This fall, I’m happy to report that the bag scene has a little bit of everything – from large bucket bags to slim clutches, and a lot in between. This makes it easy to pull off one of my favorite tricks: bring a mini bag to work in your maxi bag, and wear it to dinner. Voila! Bag multi-task, complete.

Let’s start with the large format bags first. Bucket bags are back — big time. And I love them. I can fit almost anything in them — iPads, makeup, shades, everything. The only downside is finding anything, as this style often doesn’t have more than one pocket. That’s where the Slouchy Suede Tote ($164.97 on bananarepublic.gap.com) Comes. Not only is it sporting a rich cognac color, but it’s also a hybrid of the classic bucket bag and tote bag. Underneath the zipper closure it sports exterior and interior zipper pockets so you can actually find your stuff. Problem solved.

Lots of bags this fall have checkered past—and gifts and future. Yes, the black and white checked bag has emerged as a big winner this season with all sorts of different looks, and its classic and versatile pattern makes it perfect for any occasion. It’s buttoned up and perfect with jeans on a museum visit. It’s the perfect trim choice with a black dress for dinner (think Chanel flap bags). And it holds its own for coffee dates or shopping trips, when paired with the Nico bag (at $349 aninebing.com).

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Annie Bing’s Nico Bag of the Moment comes in a check print. (photo aninebing.com)

In addition to checks, even more patterns and textures make their way onto fall options in woven versions — like Bembien’s Nell Woven Leather Clutch ($295 on saksfifthavenue.com). They have a lot of visual interest, so even though they’re neutral (mostly in black, brown, or natural cream colors), they often steal the show from anything they’re paired with.

Clutches are bigger (or, rather, smaller) than ever this fall, and not surprisingly, even more so for evening. But something interesting is happening with the details. Aside from the crystal and sequin for galas genre – which will of course always be decorative – clutches are being used all day these days, and in textures like braided leather and bold colors – a la the by Anthropologie Lindy Woven Clutch ( $80 on anthropologie.com) in metallics like bubblegum pink, bright orange, and pure gold. They’re great for carrying with sunglasses, keys and lipsticks, or as I mentioned above – just slipping into your big bag.

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The Lindy clutch comes in eye-popping colors for fall.  (Photo anthropologie.com)
The Lindy clutch comes in eye-popping colors for fall. (Photo anthropologie.com)

And at the other extreme of size, shape and utility is the bag – but not just any bag. Designers are having fun with the details, giving luxe nods to iconic bags, like Longchamp’s Veuve Follon bag (at $630 bloomingdales.com), a sleek, black design that limits every outfit by upgrading it with supple, elegant leather. Ditto Coach’s Hitch Backpack In Signature Suede ($695 on coach.com), which ups the game of most backpacks (like the aforementioned bucket bags) with everything you need to snap like the prettiest fall photo ever.

Hutch bag in signature suede.  (photocoach.com)
Hutch bag in signature suede. (photocoach.com)

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