TSM Answered: What are the top 10 Must Have Handbags ?

Anonymous Asked:

Hi Tien, can you do a post on the top 10 (or more) ‘must-have’
handbags?

T-Styled Me Answered:

“You have one bag, you put all your crap in it, why do you need more?” said my bf once, twice, 100 times to me … then he realised I was a closet handbag monster and kind of, not really, gave up on trying to understand. In answering your question, I truly believe there’s no such thing as a ‘must have’ handbag. Sure there are highly coveted, popularly blogarised and celebrity endorsed purses that we love, but it’s important to remember that bags don’t need to have a designer name to make or break an outfit and bags should be fun and fitting to an individual’s likes, lifestyle and budget.

Now, if you were to ask me another question like, say, ‘What are your top 10 favourite handbags on an unlimited budget without any associated feelings of spulrger’s guilt,’ then this is what my wishlist would look like 😛

1. A classic handbag e.g The Chanel Classic 

Why? It’s iconic, luxurious, timeless, appreciates in value, makes you feel oh so special and it’s classy (with the right outfit that is). I love that there are different sizes, styles and colours that can work to fit your own style and personality.

Red Chanel Boy BagRachel Bilson arrives at Mateo in downtown los angelesChanel mini bag chanel cupcakes chanel menu

2. A Good shoulder, cross body bag like the Proenza Schouler PS11 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA PS11 Saddle

KATE BECKINSALE in Los Angeles

3. A slightly oversized ‘Fit everything in your life’ type bag. E.g the Celine Phantom

rosie-huntington-whiteley-and-celine-phantom-bag-

Celine phantom navy

celine-phantom-jpg1

4. A multi-functional bag e.g Celine trio which separates into a clutch

celine trio blackceline trio nude creamCELINE TRIO MAGENTA RED PRADA SUNGLASSES

5. A casual yet stylish bag for travelling and everyday errands. I think Balenciagas make great travel bags personally!

balenciaga bag

Balenciaga City Regular Hardware Cumin Tan

6. Practical everyday work bag – Like my very overused Mulberry Alexa

mulberry alexa tan oak

T-Styled Me Birdman Eating Melbourne Coffee (41 of 47)

7. A tote for travel, work, nappies or the beach E.g Longchamp Pliage 

SAMSUNG CSC

longchamp pink

8. A structured alternative bag for work E.g The Givency Antigona 

miranda kerr givenchy antigona

antigona

givenchy antigona

9. A timeless clutch for those special evenings out E.g A YSL Clutch

YSL clutch bagysl clutch

T-Styled Me Zara Silk Patterned Pant trousers

10. A funky coloured fun bag like the Philip Lim Pashli 

Pashli philip lim blue pashli red philip lim pashli satchel

Photos: Internet (Pinterest) and some are mine

Right, so back to reality … Designer bags are beautiful but they come with hefty price tags. I think if you have means to be spoilt with a couple then that’s wonderful but I also think reasonable priced handbags make just as stylish accessories that can sometimes look rarer than a coveted designer brand bag!

T-Styled Me tips for buying handbags

(a) Stick to your budget (b) Make sure the quality is reputable and it’s practical enough to use and (c) Have fun expressing yourself trough handbags! Try maintaining a variety of colours, styles and designers in your collection to get the maximum looks out of your outfits.

Tien xo

TSM Recommends: Aldo Black Ankle Cham Boots

Hi Guys! Just a quick hellowww … Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was pretty good, except for the fact that it was too short but that seems to be the trend these days… What is up with that?

I know not all of you read my tumblr and I’ve had a few more questions come through about the black boots that I’m wearing in this post here so I thought I’d provide a quick update to let you know I popped back into an Aldo store on the weekend and they are back in stock this season and in a variety of colours too!

Aldo Cham Ankle Boots

Aldo Cham ankle boots with gold hardware

Unfortunately for my Aussie readers, Aldo in Europe doesn’t ship to Australia but I did a bit of research and found a similar pair available online that is in a very similar design at the iconic and may I add, it’s a little cheaper too! I can’t speak for the quality of this one but I do know the one from Aldo is made from leather and a really comfortable height.

If anyone uses Amazon.com I surprisingly found the boots on here too.

T-Styled Me Tip …

For that extra bit of comfort, add insoles! They make the world of difference and I bought a pair from Primark and Topshop which had a sticky backing and slipped right into the shoe. They certainly help with the comfort factor when I’m late and running for the bus!

shoe in-soles

Have a great week guys!

Tien xo

TSM Shopping Review: Butterfly Twists – Folding Ballerina Flats

My hands are itching. The biannual sale season is almost upon us here in Europe. Yes, if there’s one thing no-one can deny it is the fact that sales are HUGE here and they are Awwwesome! (crazy shoppers, not so much). I wasn’t sure when the sales would start this “Summer” but after nosing around (chatting to sale assistants) it appears the preview sales start this weekend with the official start in a few weeks’ time. I’ve been itching to shop for a few months now but am holding back for the bargains. The beauty of shopping for clients is that you feel that temporary rush without having to feel guilty! I’m creating a focused list of sensible items to target when the time arrives so let the games begin! (I’m still convinced shopping is a sport).

Ever since I made the mistake of wearing heels on my birthday followed by a full day of shopping around London (birthday post here), I’ve been on the lookout for fold-up flats to throw in my handbag. If you live in Europe, unless you’re wearing a stacked heel or you’re superwoman, it is extremely difficult, to walk around efficiently in heels. There’s no boyfriend’s car to totter over to but instead, you’re greeted with steps upon steps leading to out of operation escalators to the train platforms and cobblestones oh cobblestones. So unless totally inebriated after a night out, my feet are always furious at me for putting them through a fashion instigated ordeal.

I finally stumbled upon the perfect pair of fold up ballerina flats while shopping for a client last weekend and wanted to share them with you all. Not sure if I’m the only one out there who can’t manage to walk around in heels in London but in the event that I’m not alone, there are these absolute God-sends by the name of Butterfly Twists that come in a surprisingly stylish range of colours and patterns.

Folding Ballerina flats butterfy TwistsButterfly Twist BallerinasOliva Palmero leopard flats Butterfly twists folding flats

The retail price varies depending on the design but I managed to pick mine up for £20 in the OFFICE concession store in Selfridges.

They’re designed in the UK but manufactured in China and I’m not too fussed about that because they are really just a back up for when my feet need relief from heels. I’ve worn them for a couple of hours (tested them out at dinner) which included walking to the tube and restaurant and my feet felt quite supported. Although I went half a size up for extra comfort, because my left foot is slightly larger than my right, the elastic band of heeled part of the shoe dug into my heel which irritated me a little towards the end of the night. I should have gone up a full size up in hindsight. Otherwise, I’d recommend them for your wallet/purse as they are really quite comfortable and compact.

Fold up flats Butterfly twists for your handbag

I’ve got the Cleo Ballerinas on here – snap taken while waiting for the tube to come.

Butterfly Twists are available in Office and other outlets within the UK but also deliver internationally. You can always check your local pharmacy/drugstore for similar alternatives.

Hope this post was helpful! I must admit, the fact that Oliva Palmero wears them may or may not have influenced me to purchase them. Damn those celebrity enablers!

My New Squeeze from Paris: The Celine Trio Bag in Magenta Red

You know how some guys are into their cars, computer games or others are obsessed with collecting the latest tech gadget and once they get their hands on it, getting their attention is harder than prying a smackos out of a dog’s mouth? Well, I was kind of like that this weekend with the newest handbag in my collection: My very first Celine! I was spoilt courtesy of my girlfriends with this generous birthday gift that I picked up in Paris last weekend. Blog readers, may I introduce to you my newest perfect partner in life, I mean, handbag …

Celine Trio Bag Magenta Red regular small

We’re currently in the honeymoon phase; I’ll admit I’m definitely the more clingy one in the relationship. But this kind of happens when you’ve been dreaming about having someone like this in your life: vibrant, photogenic, sentimental, practical and most of all, doesn’t give me headaches from heavy baggage (It also doesn’t hurt if they’re romantically French either!) We’ve been inseparable all weekend long… This is just a sneak peek for now as my trio will be surely making more appearances soon xx

Celine Trio Bag Magenta Red regular smallCeline Trio Bag Magenta Red outfit post

Photos by Me and Kylee

Outfit Details

  • Old Topshop knit
  • Old Zara Slouchy Trouses (new season’s here)
  • Celine Trio Bag (In Stores, Similar here)
  • Old Dune Tan Flats (Similar here)

Thanks to all my gfs for such a gorgeous Parisian keepsake for my birthday. I hope you guys have a great week ahead. Bring on the Bank Holiday already I say!

TSM Styling Session: Share your Alexander Wang Diego with your mum!

Um, can somebody please tell me how it’s Easter this weekend already? Because according to me, I just came back from a quick holiday home to Oz in Jan and Easter, well that was meant to be ages away! Now they say that time flies when you’re having fun and I agree to some degree but I believe the more realistic saying is: ‘Time flies when you’re busy’ and a busy bee I’ve been lately indeed! I’ve been holding a few styling and shopping sessions with clients on top of the usual 9-5 and am now in the midst of planning European travel adventures with friends for Summer (Note ‘Summer’ is a mythical concept at this stage as it’s still snowing right now, what the?!).

My good friend Kaz’s brother and his girlfriend have moved to London recently from Melbourne too so it has been lovely having company and helping them transition their lives to this crazy cosmopolitan city that is London like we did those years ago. Chatting with them actually prompted me to post photos from a day where I did a fun little shoot in the ‘burbs with Kaz’s family with the intention of showcasing the fact that styling doesn’t stop once you have kids and get older but stays with you for life and I love the fact that Kaz and her stylish mum share an interest in fashion and get away with sharing clothes, accessories and designer bags.

TSM Rag & Bone Newbury Boots

Kaz and I often text each other lamenting over our shared curse of shopaholicalism and that we have friends who are lucky to have been born sans the shop lusting gene (hmm, apparently they term it self restraint). Kaz and I met years ago working in fashion retail at Saba so it was inevitable that we bonded over clothes, sneaky back room coffees and venting about cray cray customers. Kaz has a fantastic eye for fashion and is a style inspiration herself so when we went shopping this day, we both immediately agreed that this top, albeit from a high street store we hadn’t shopped in for ages, would be the perfect little knit for Autumn. I’d also just picked up this bright fuchsia scarf on sale at Country Road so using her existing wardrobe, I put a little casual, walk your dog and meet friends for brunch outfit together for the post.

TSM Rag & Bone Classic Newbury Boots black booties

TSM Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag Rose Gold Kaz Seduce blue juice knit

Tobes was just so handsome after a recent haircut I just had to add this pic in too!
TSM Dog Tob

T-Styled Me tip: Sometimes the thought of wearing a cropped knit can be a little uncomfortable for fear or emphasising the stomach area but a neat idea to overcome this is to pop a longer collared shirt underneath or a loose, longer tee like I did here with Kaz to create length in the torso and to create a casual layered look that emphasised the split black detailing and to break up the monochrome look, always pop some colour via way of a scarf or statement necklace to draw attention to the face.

TSM Layered speckled top from Seduce

TSM Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag Rose Gold

I love dropping by Kaz’s place for dinner. Mama Kaz teaches me everything I need to know about Chinese cooking and we often have an after dinner tea, gossip session and discuss the next handbag we’ve got our eye on :) My Balenciaga from here was actually inspired by Mama Kaz’ vintage Balenciaga city that I have drooled over for years.

TSM Alexander Wang Diego Bucket Bag Kaz mum

Although Kaz’s mum is more petite framed compared to Kaz, they can often share tops, shoes and handbags which I think is a great way to expand your own wardrobe if you both have similar tastes. Love these picture below of these gorgeous gals! Thanks for letting me play dress ups with you both :)

TSM Mum and daughter

Outfit Details (Kaz)

Outfit Details (Mama Kaz)

  • Ambercrombie Jeans
  • Saba Cropped Blazer
  • Coach Ballet Flats

And with Mama Kaz’s permission, I took a few snaps with the gorgeous vintage Balenciaga bag!

TSM H&M Balenciaga city bag house of harlow pyramid necklace Nicholas heels

TSM H&M Balenciaga city bag house of harlow pyramid necklace

TSM H&M Balenciaga city bag

IMG_1796

TSM Black labrador puppyHope this may have inspired you Aussies for your upcoming Autumn and to also have a nosey around your mum’s closet for any goodies too!

Thanks for reading,

Tien xo

TSM Review: Newly launched ‘& other Stories’ boutique in London

& other stories is basically the middle sister store of H&M and COS; three years in the making and much anticipated hype to live up to around the collection that debuted on Regent Street, London last weekend. I wasn’t brave enough to visit on opening weekend; I didn’t want claustrophobia to taint my first experience of the 1200 sq feet boutique which would no doubt have been full overly ‘focused’ fashionistas and media a rife so I managed to pop in this weekend to check it out.

And-Other-Stories London

& other stories HM

And-Other-Stories-store-london regent street

My initial verdict? I am a fan and my wallet has an unhappy feeling that I’m going to be a big fan. I’d personally describe & other stories as the adoptive child of design led COS (ok so it’s getting incestuous) – due to the clean lines and minimalist shapes and Topshop Boutique – driven by the edgier fashion forward shoes, accessories, patterns and feminine prints. Now I say ‘adoptive’ child because the concept of & other stories is meant to be like no other: It is not inspired by the latest catwalk inspired trends but rather influenced by the notion of personal style of everyday individuals (like us), bloggers and women who create their spontaneous ‘thrown together’ individual looks through multiple avenues (thrift stores, online shops, eBay, vintage stores etc). For three years, 70 designers were split between Stockholm and Paris (including designers from ACNE) to create ‘stories’ for the collections and the influence is highly visible in store by both the indoor merchandising and clothing designs.

and-other-stories

What I loved about the concept of the store was that there seemed to be a subliminal stylist following you around everywhere. The pictures of coordinated outfits were surrounded by a series of subtly suggestive edits which encouraged you to compile a thrown together look, very much popularised by bloggers and street style you see today.

Styling is about expressing personality from head to toe so I love that the wide rimmed racks (spacious finger spacing) and suggestive accessories help customers to experience mixing and matching pieces with make up to create a look of their own.

& other stories 2013 london

& other stories London & other stories Regent street

& other stories 2013These are the items I picked up in store and tried on. I suspect due to the mad Saturday rush and the fact that it was only the second weekend since opening, there weren’t any small sizes available to try on so I left empty handed. The size ranges from 34-44 (UK6-UK16 equivalent) and the pricing is fairly reasonable but on the pricier side compared to what we high street shoppers are used to.

& other Stories London changing room

Pictures from there current collection& other stories London Regent street Summer Spring

& other stories London Regent street 2

& other stories London Regent street ss2013

other stories London

I personally loved the shoe and accessories in store more than clothes but that’s just me in general. It’s difficult to tell how comfortable the leather of the shoes are but I definitely like the metallic cut out sandals and heeled brogues. I can see the heels being a hit in London as well with the younger crowd however the prices are definitely premium compared to younger sister H&M.

Best buys &Other Stories

& other stories leather ballerinas

& other stories shoes

& other stories gold heel pumps

If you’re lucky enough to live in a city where one of these stores will open, I’d highly recommend you visit for a browse (There are stores opening in Paris and Copenhagen). The stores have a cool Scandavian feel to them and there’s an eclectic mix of vintage tones, clean silhouettes and retro styles that will strike a cord with everyone and especially if you, like me, love blogger fashion! Check out their online store and find yourself browsing for hours just like I did in the actual store on weekend.

Thanks for reading – Have a great week!

Tien xo

T-Styled Me’s Weekly Insta-Tumblr Round-up!

A recap of my five favourite pictures from my instagram (@tstyledme) & Tumblr Page posted over the 7 days.

Reblogged on Tumblr: Loving the outfit & the hair !

TSM Outfit Tumblr: Alexander Wang Marion bag / H&M faux leather panelled leggings, H&M Blush pink shirt, Zara Denim Jacket & Loafers and Vintage Chain Necklace

TSM iPhone Snap: I stayed away from Zara stores for two weeks but succumbed today. Didn’t buy anything (Yay willpower!) but LOVE the Winter 12′ accessories collection currently in store so took some snaps for you … 

TSM Outfit Tumblr: H&M shirt, Saba Waxed leggings, Chloe Paraty Bag, Missoni Flats and Hermes Rivale Bracelet. Taken after a long over-due haircut (only cost me £30!). Wish my hair was always curly like this!

Reblogged from Studded Hearts: Rumi’s closet – I love that vintage Chanel Backpack x

It’s 31 degrees today in London ! Have a great weekend everyone :)

TSM Styling Session: ASOS Outfit – London Pt. 2

It’s been a while since I did a T-Styled Me Styling Session post so seeing as it’s all about the Olympics in London at the moment, I thought this the perfect time to share with you the ‘London Calling’ styling session I had earlier this year with my friend Wins from A pretty picture Blogspot.

Wins and I have known each other since primary school and like many other expats living here, we were enticed by travel opportunities associated with our ‘London calling.’ Wins is super creative when it comes to interior design, wedding styling and fashion – anything she touches, no matter how ordinary, ends up looking like it belongs in the magazine of ‘Home,’ ‘Weddings’ ‘Russh’ or a Jamie Oliver cookbook! Seriously, how awesome does this ordinary peanut butter and jelly toast that she made for her husband look?

 As with all my styling sessions, in a bid to get to know her style and personality better:

Wins’ Profile Stats

  • Wins’ Height:  5 ft 2” (1.57m)
  • Skin tone: Fair – Medium
  • Build: Extra petite
  • Body shape: Rectangular. Refer to this post if you need a reminder
  • General Clothing size: Size Extra Small (XS) i.e UK/AUS 4-6.
  • Lifestyle: Social, busy and active – Wins’ loves travelling, going for runs, trying out different eateries and exploring vintage markets
  • Shopping pref: Wants more than Needs basis – Shoes & handbags enthusiast
  • Shopping frequency: Frequently with purchases on ave monthly.
  • Style Preference: Mix of classic, edgy and relaxed
  • Personality (in three words): Social, fun and creative (All in my opinion!)

Wins’ Styling criteria

  • For this styling session, Wins’ had no criteria – She was merely modelling for me to practice my styling skills so I wanted to have a bit of fun with a graphic tee and some pieces Wins’ might not usually wear but would suit her body shape and that she could consider incorporating into her usual style.

I mostly see graphic tees teamed with jeans or shorts so I wanted to present another fun way to wear a graphic tee that’s slightly more feminine and dressy enough for a casual drink. Tucking in the tee naturally defined Wins’ waist-line and visually elongated her bottom half.

I spotted this tee from ASOS which looked pretty fun so I bought a size UK8 which was quite loose on Wins but happened to suit her style as I  remember in the past discussing her preference for knits and tees a size or two larger than usual to achieve that relaxed oversized, comfy look. Continue reading

TSM Matches Megan Park Scarf with Teacups

Even though you know I love a good cup of coffee, I’m actually habitually more of a tea drinker, leaving coffee as a social treat in attempt to avoid caffeine addiction. I’ll always have a cup of English breakfast Tea in the morning at 10am and in a Twinings’ Camomile, Honey & Vanilla herbal tea in the evenings while I catch up on TV shows and facestalk surf the Internet.

Kaz, who took pics in my last post, is also a massive tea lover. She’s taught me the funniest way to drink tea to avoid teeth staining and while it clearly works for her, I can’t manage drinking like that without spilling my tea everywhere! Looks like I’ll just need to invest in teeth whitening products in the future.

The colours of the tea cups we had at Birdmans Eating the other day matched Kaz’s newly purchased silk scarf so I wanted to quick post to share the pics of the scarf with you  …

The gorgeous print is made from 100% silk with black cotton trimmings all the way around the square-shaped scarf and is full of vibrant blues, reds, greens and … well every colour under the rainbow! It’s from Megan Park (UK designer now based in Australia) who stocks her subtle yet unique accessories and select apparel line in David Jones (Australia)

I was excited about seeing trams again so I did that embarrassing ‘tourist / parent’ thing after breakfast the other day and made poor Kaz pose in the middle of the street about 10 times before I could capture a shot of her and our unique Melbourne trams.

If you own an All Saints leather jackets you’ll know how comfortable and trendy they make you feel. They have a little more attitude than most leather jackets I’ve come across (e.g the post with Gee) and the prices are a lot dearer to match their unique designs and structure. I love the zip detailing on this particular jacket.

Continue reading

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