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Six Ways Of Up-Styling Your Bag

A little customization can work miracles when it comes to livening up a basic bag, be it a €20 no-name clutch or your mom’s somewhat worn-out Louis Vuitton monogram shopper. The ploy lies in proper choosing high-quality embellishments and then taking the time to make your vision come true. It’s common knowledge that haste makes waste, therefore don’t just grab the first something you find and glue it to last season’s Desigual messenger bag. Take the time to search cyberspace for the right paraphernalia and don’t be too stingy to pay a little extra to get what you really want. Sure, you could easily do with tying any old charm to your bag and it would probably look just fine, but a somewhat more sophisticated touch to your bag would definitely do it more justice and make it stand out – all in your favour.


Unclip the existing strap, or just tuck it inside the bag, then knot the ribbon to whatever hardware is attached to the bag. A single tasteful knot will look much nicer than a double knot, which adds awkwardness to a bag, but you may want to secure it with a stitch or two to make sure you don’t end up walking along a boulevard with the ribbon dangling from your shoulder and the bag nowhere to be found. It’s also advisable that you trim the excess ribbon and paint a thin strip of superglue along the edge to stop it from fraying. Do not apply the glue directly to the ribbon as it is easy to accidentally use too much. Either paint it on with a small brush or squeeze a dollop of glue onto some scrap cardboard and gently run the cut edge of the ribbon across the cardboard.


Monogrammed accessories are ubiquitous these days, but why stop with your initials, which is so hackneyed? Use stickers, patches, and even pins to commemorate important events and activities in your life. The key is not to get too obsessed about where you place them on the bag. Set your bag on the table, throw your embellishments down, and see where they land. If you’re not totally satisfied, keep doing it a few times until the image created by your repetitive drops is in line with your aesthetics sensors. It’s all about making things appeal to you, at the end of the day.
The idea of custom-monogramming is not that senseless as it may seem as it doesn’t only make your bag look different but also protects it from potential dirt and wear. And to tot it up – you become a designer that wears their own designs. 😉



A plain bag is just a plain bag and it may undoubtedly look chic on its own, but why not give it a chicer look by wrapping its handles with a scarf or a bandana… Knot the corner of your scarf to the base of the handle to secure it and just start wrapping. Take note of the scarf’s center so that you know how much you need to have used by the time you get to the center of the handle. Bear in your mind that the more tightly and evenly you wrap the scarf, the nicer the bag will look. If you measure it out properly, you should have just enough left over to tie a second knot at the other end.
At that point, you can either tuck the loose ends away or leave them out as part of the look. I personally prefer to survey the gentle swaying of the scarf’s corners as it usually gives your bag more laid-back femininity, but since it’s all about your taste, do it the way it works admirably for you.


No aptitude for drawing whatsoever? Don’t care about being perfect. The more imperfect it looks, the more of you there is in it! The sketchy irregularity of the lines is part of the charm. Take a water-resistant paint pen or something of the kind and draw pockets, flowers, birds, leaves, stitches, chains, bows, arrows, famous logos, medallions, or even a whole new bag. If you’re nervous about messing up, sketch your design in pencil on a piece of tissue paper and then place it on the bag and trace over it with your paint pen. The ink will bleed through the paper, giving you a hazy, connect-the-dots version of your initial drawing. Don’t be in a hurry to carry your bag immediately after your creative flow in case you inadvertently destroy your own piece of art. To avoid smudging, wait for the ink to fully dry, then trace over the entire design again with your pen. Give your bag a little rest, and then hit the town to present a new you to the unsuspecting world. 




Painting on bags has been in for quite a few years now and although there are pros and cons as to this matter, go with your gut feeling as to whether, in your opinion, your bag needs this sort of embellishment or not. As with the previous ideas, you can do it all by yourself, rediscovering the creative you in yourself or you may ask a professional artist to adorn your bag with a touch of their vivid imagination. The point here is not to exaggerate. It is a good idea to paint a small picture or an object such as a car, a helicopter, a lego character, a famous landmark – you name it – in one of the corners or right in the middle of your bag rather than to cover the whole leather front with artistic doodling. The more minimalistic it is, the more classy it looks.



Many brands are coming up with a multitude of ready-made charms for your beloved bags, so if you’re on the lazy side or your creativity has hit its lowest, I suggest reaching out for an embellishment that may cost you an arm and a leg but whose quality and style will upgrade your bag tremendously. You can either grab an Hermès horse charm, or the in-your-face LV clips or opt for a less known yet cute bag medallion from Faure Le Page which adds an unprecedented twist to your bag and doesn’t leave it unnoticed.


All in all, no matter which way you finally choose, remember to stay true to yourself yet steer clear of tacky eccentricity. 

Andris Stern