Worth It | Accessories

posted on: 1/07/2014


Special thanks to Delta for sponsoring this post. To see why Economy Comfort is #worthit and to upgrade your seat visit delta.com/EconomyComfort 
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One thing I've learned as I get older is to buy quality over quantity. You can look through my blog and see this transition happen. I started finding my style at 25 and now at 29, I've figured out that the pieces I want to buy now, I buy for keeps and not just for one or two wears. I try to invest instead of just shop for the sake of shopping. I used to be queen of buying what I liked in the moment. But after years of style blogging, I've figured out that style takes time and attention. It's not just about what you like -- it's about what fits you and where it fits in your life, budget and closet. 

I wanted to start a series that helps you figure out where you can start building your wardrobe instead of just adding to it, trend by trend but really choosing investment pieces that will last you years and not just through a season. One of the first places I started investing in and upgrading my wardrobe with was my accessories. It makes sense to start there; they are the pieces you wear the most often. Plus accessories are the easiest pieces to mix into any wardrobe, may yours be high or low. (Is dressing mid-low a thing? I think that's where I'm at actually.)

 A couple of ways to start upgrading your wardrobe, whenever that might be.

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01: Statement jewelry: Statement necklaces are everywhere and they aren't going away any time soon.  In fact, they've been around since I started blogging, so I think it is safe to say they are here to stay. When I think of buying jewelry, I tend to really like simple but bold pieces. I like to add strong pieces like statement necklaces to something simple like t-shirts for an upgraded look.

I also look for pieces that can go with many different outfits. I try to keep my pieces either neutral or with one bold color, so that I can add something to my outfit either way.




Side note: bold earrings are going to be taking over this year (trust me on this one.) Take a simple outfit and make it pop just by investing in some statement earrings. It will surprise you at how easy it is to be fancy. 

02: Purses: My first upgrade to a real leather bag was my well-loved Madewell tote (you know the one). I have used and used and used this perfect tote over and again. And you know what? It still looks brand new; completely worth the investment I made. I'm glad that I found a bag that I can wear with many different looks from casual to shop girl outfits. That's an important detail of any purse you buy. 



Last fall I went a step further into the world of designer handbags. Now I started small (with size and price) and I invested in a little black crossbody but it has quickly become a favorite of mine. I find myself wearing it to complement a high end outfit or upgrading a low end outfit. Who knew that a little purse could go a long way? I also have found that by sticking to neutral colors with handbags (i.e. tan and black) it is easier to justify the price of upgrading. These are colors that I wear every day, so they make sense to add to my wardrobe. 


04: Shoes. After returning to retail when I opened bloom, I decided no more to cheap shoes that hurt my feet. I decided only high quality, well made shoes. The price jump was quite significant, but now I have shoes that will last for years and not just a season. Also, you don't have to break the bank to upgrade your shoes. Step up a little at a time, going from synthetic materials to leather first and don't worry about brand names or labels, worry about quality and how long they will last.


If you are looking to know where to start with a shoe upgrade, I'd start with your basics. Start with a black heel -- you can always use and wear a black heel no matter what the season. To keep it season-less, go with a close-toe, classic style in leather and you will have a pair to wear for years. Boots are also a great place to upgrade since you only wear them for a few seasons of the year, they will last the longest in your wardrobe.

04: Sunglasses. A trick of always looking put together and in style is a nice pair of sunnies. A few seasons ago, I upgraded my sunglasses and have kept them in perfect condition since. I learned that I tend to take care of sunglasses that are more expensive than cheap ones that I toss after a few wears. Sunglasses are also fairly season-less as well (depending on how dark your winters are, of course). I wear my sunglasses year round here in Texas, so the worth-to-wear ratio is very good. 


This year find the pieces that are worth the investment and start to upgrade your wardrobe piece by piece. Be smart, buy what you can when you can and don't be afraid to invest in your style and wardrobe. You won't be sorry.

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Thanks again to Delta and thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

77 comments:

  1. Statement necklaces are always my 'Worth It' pieces. They make any outfit pop. Great post!
    - Jordan
    astorandfourth.blogspot.com

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  2. Love it, girl! That brown bag of yours is fabulous. Such a great investment!

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  3. It was such a good investment! I thought about it for such a long time and it was so worth it :)

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  4. Well said! I'm starting to sway more toward investment pieces as I get older and have a better sense of what I will wear for years to come. Now, for the money to update all of that? It'll take time, but updating things one at a time seems manageable for most of us!

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  5. I love this list! Also, I know there is some debate amongst bloggers about revealing whether something was gifted to them- to me it makes all the difference in the world when a blogger whose style I admire says- I purchased this with my own money, and it was worth it. I love this blog and I appreciate the transparency. I know that's not really what this post is about but I just wanted to say that, because it's one of the reasons that I come back and keep reading. :)
    (And I've been eyeing that Madewell tote for eons. I want it!)

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  6. Great post my dear!

    Elisa - My Fantabulous World

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  7. i'm assuming it's the madewell transport bag? love.


    xx, valerie @ lilyonfillmore.com

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  8. Could you tell me what kind of sunglasses those are? I've been searching for black cat-eye sunglasses for a while and can't seem to find the right one. TIA!

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  9. All of these look beautiful!

    ANDREA

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  10. Today's post was not only helpful, but motivational. I think we all get lost in names and brands and short-term fashion statements. I actually heard of an incredible new year resolution where you only buy 5 items per fashion season, so that's 10 a year. I might have to jump on this so I focus more on quality and less quantity.


    www.chevronsandeclairs.com

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  11. Hi Kendi! I love the way that you mix both higher end AND affordable pieces, and I really enjoyed this post. I will tell you that I had a really hard time reading it, though, because of all of the italics. It's not a problem when you just have a few lines of text, but for text heavy posts, the words are small and hard to see. I squinted through them because I loved your advice, but just wanted to let you know!

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  12. i've gotten really into those bobbly statement earrings too, they really make an outfit fun and interesting. http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2014/01/work-outfit-6.html

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  13. Love all the statement necklaces!

    xo - Sheila
    www.sheislovelyblog.com

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  14. I finally got smart and purchased a real leather purse last year :) No more purses falling apart at the seams!

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  15. Love this post! I am a quality HOUND! Now that I'm pregnant, I only recently starting buying cheaper clothing and it's killing me! I've splurged on a designer baby bag to up the whole look and the bag will last forever. I'm also saving for those good quality post-baby clothes! It motivates me to stay in shape too!

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  16. Ack I know! Someone has said that before…the trouble is I don't know how to change it. It's just in the design I bought. If anyone knows how to fix this I'm MORE than happy to change it. I'm just stumped and blogger isn't the easiest to figure out. Thank you for telling me though! I'll look into it :)

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  17. I can only imagine. I know maternity clothes are hard to find in general, just from hearing my friends talk about it. BUT you are still making investments and you are still making good choices, you know? Plus I don't know if you should really spend a TON of money on clothes that you are only going to wear for a few weeks at a time. So I think you are good ;)

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  18. Love this series!!! I've been trying to focus more on quality lately but dang is it hard on a post-grad budget!

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  19. Great post! I am right there with you on the quality shoes...it's a difficult jump, but well worth having pairs that last and fit nicely!
    What are some of your favorites in regards to sunnies?

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  20. This post came at just the right time for me - thanks, Kendi. :)

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  21. Completely agree with you. I've always been on a tight budget as a single college instructor, but I've realized quality is less expensive in the long run. And GREAT advice re: starting with accessories. I bought a used (but in excellent shape) LV bag last year and have used it exclusively. It makes even an impromptu grocery store run after the gym a bit more elevated. :)

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  22. great post kendi. i am embarrassed to admit that when i was in college i never wanted to wear the same thing twice...and i look back and think how vain and wasteful that was! like the french have always known, it is better to invest in a few high quality items instead of buying just to buy :) i'm glad to say this is something i have definitely stuck to over the years.


    Molly {Dreams in HD}
    http://dreamsinhd.blogspot.com

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  23. Love this post! So many gorgeous images and fantastic accessory ideas!


    xx,


    Abby


    www.alldolledupblog.com

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  24. Fun new series!

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  25. See, 2013 was supposed to be the year of the statement earring and it didn't happen. I hope it does this year!
    -Ash
    www.thestylizedwannabe.com

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  26. These are great recommendations and guidelines that I follow myself! Beautiful pieces!


    Chelsea
    Haute Child in the City

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  27. Love ALL of these outfits & such great advice!

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  28. yeah, i get you, but i'm still figuring out what my style is...

    http://glamourgirl-bg.blogspot.com/

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  29. Totally agree and thanks for sharing!!!
    Hope
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

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  30. This is a great post! I feel like I am still figuring out my style, and these tips are really helpful as I am figuring out how to upgrade. Thanks!

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  31. I love this post! I think accessories can really elevate an outfit. I know I definitely plan on investing in a few accessories this year.


    xo Adri
    www.adrilately.blogspot.com

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  32. Love this post! Where did you get the necklace in the first picture - it's gorgeous!

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  33. I LOVED this post! It's so true, investing in the right pieces really completes a wardrobe. I have a list of classic pieces I'd like to invest in. And I'm saving up for them. A new bag is one of them, I have a great one from Italy, but it's seen better days and I think it's time for an upgrade.

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  34. I totally agree about investing in pieces. Quality is definitely better than quantity. Love your MJ bag. I love me a great statement necklace.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

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  35. I have also started to incorporate this concept in my wardrobe. Starting with bags (haven't bought a new purse in over two years after the upgrade) and shoes (mainly boots). Synthetics just end up costing more in the long run.

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  36. Megan Quint GresselJanuary 7, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    First off -- You have the best accessories!

    I definitely try to balance high quality pieces I can keep and wear forever and super trendy pieces. I find myself shopping more and more with high quality brands from nordstrom, saks, etc, but what can I say -- sometimes I can't resist a Forever 21 haul :P

    xoxo,
    MeganQuint.com

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  37. i am so excited for this series!!! this is totally where i need the most help! i am 25 and still working to transition my closet from college clothes, to a professional/classy wardrobe! i'm taking notes girl! :)


    xo dilyn
    dilynd.blogspot.com

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  38. I just got that Madewell tote for Christmas and have been using it non-stop!!
    ~Lauren
    http://lalovesblog.com

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  39. Great post! I have been drooling over that Madewell tote for so long and almost bought it twice. I may just take the plunge this year.

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  40. I couldn't agree more! I still tend to go to target for t's and things I know won't last for years and years, regardless of quality, but I have found the things I really invest in are usually the ones I hold on to and love wearing all the time!

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  41. Love this great advice! I have recently become very interested in upgrading my wardrobe for quality and long-wear as I approach the beginning of my career. Looking forward to more!

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  42. Great post. I love this advice and i think style is a constantly evolving part of life. I mean i look at what i liked 5 years ago to what i like now! And i totally agree with quality over quantity and esp investing in accessories. I recently invested in two bags, Prada and Mulberry and I LOVE them. I hope i can pass the Mulberry to my daughter one day. BUT it has started an addiction...Goyard, Chanel...where does one stop? xo

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  43. This is one of my favorite posts you have done in awhile. I really love it when you share your opinions about clothing items (or in this case accessories), versus a post that is really just a few outfit photos. Keep it up! :)

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  44. you're so adorable

    i love all of these

    x
    Saba
    http://itsmysash.wordpress.com

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  45. Great post. GREAT advice. I'm can't wait for more just like it!

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  46. Love this post - thank you! I am 35 and still struggle with the quality over quantity concept. For me, it is hard to venture beyond sales racks when shopping sometimes. I am trying to figure out my personal style and am enjoying following your style!

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  47. Caitlin @ Chasing CaitJanuary 7, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    I love that Madewell tote back of yours so much that I stalked it online, ordered it and had it sent all the way to New Zealand! It's my new favourite thing :-)

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  48. I got half way through this post and remembered I NEED that Corilynn stripey skirt so went back through your (well organised) archives to find it. The sizing they have seems a little odd, particularly because they seem quite different to Australian sizing. Alas, no skirt for me.

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  49. Thanks for this post! I've been starting to shift into a more "grown-up" outlook on my wardrobe and this post has some solid insight.

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  50. Loved this post! One of the reasons I always come back to your blog is you wear clothes in the price range of a normal person. Love seeing where you splurge vs. save!

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  51. Great post! I am in that transition phase of creating a better quality wardrobe

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  52. I finally decided to stop buying fake leather bags because they fall apart IMMEDIATELY and wouldn't you know?! My pricey leather handbag still looks amazing even after a year of constant use including carrying it every day to work and using it for travel. Great post!

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  53. Great idea for a series!! I've been racking my brain the past year about my wardrobe after seeing many articles in magazines and blog posts of paring down with a big emphasis on quality vs quantity and keeping the essentials but I didn't know where to start. My big investment piece was my wool/cashmere coat, then a grey leather crossbody bag. I've got tons of jewellery but I always have the set of go-to necklaces/earrings. Shoes are my biggest problem tho but I'm working on it. Look forward to upcoming posts of these series!!!! BTW, I saw a post where you wore the Jigsaw London nip tuck pleated skirt and I had to buy it :) Now I have a go-to skirt!!

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  54. I love love love this addition to your blog. I am wondering if you would be able to provide some details for the pieces you have shown here. I have been following you for awhile now so I know your bag is from Madewell and your sunnies from Coach but it is really helpful to have an idea of where to start looking and knowing what you consider to be quality really helps start the search whether or not I end up purchasing something you've recommended. Thanks for being such an awesome style inspiration for me!

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  55. I completely agree with you about investing in pieces rather than just shopping, there's nothing worse than buying cheap items that don't last!

    x greta

    flourish-blog.blogspot.com

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  56. Kendi, this is a very smart topic. You are sounding wiser and very grown-up with this post. I had the same revelation when I turned 25. My friend simply asked me when I was going to stop shopping at the Brass Plum (now BP. Nordstrom) Department because I was too old for that department. I was shocked that she would say such a thing, but she explained that I would be happier with the better quality, quanity isn't important, and that juniors clothing actually makes you look, well, not as sophistiated as I should be looking at 25. I thought about it and knew she was right. I stopped shopping in Brass Plum and went to Point of View. I loved the better quality and thought the clothes were still very cute, and it was such a great growing-up moment. I've come to a point in my life a few years ago when I started going with better quality brands for shoes, handbags, and fashion jewelry - and again it is sooooo worth it, especially the shoes. However, I do face a challenge of falling in love with a super great quality shoe and that fact that I want more than ONE color. :/

    http://no-more-frump.blogspot.com/

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  57. I just want to mention you don't need to buy leather in order to have better quality. I stopped buying leather almost five years ago, and all my synthetic shoes and bags are still in mint condition. What matters is taking care of your things properly. Don't wear nicer shoes in the rain or snow when possible and water proof them for when it can't be avoided. Clean salt stains off. Don't throw shoes into a bin to store. Try to have enough room so each shoe can stand up and keep it's shape (for me that means some shoes also live on bookcase). The same rules generally apply to purses as well.

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  58. this is very helpful as i am trying to upgrade my wardrobe from trendy, flashy pieces into more classic, transitional pieces. i have a lot of articles that i can wear for a cute outfit but then they don't serve much else of a purpose. good tips! thanks!

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  59. I love the earrings on the right in the first image. Simple and gold, but not dainty. Anyone know where they're from?!

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  60. You are fabulous! Because of you I bought the Madewell tote and had it for maybe 3 months before it was stolen. I fell in love with it -- it was my purse, my laptop bag, my diaper bag. When it was gone I was incredibly bummed. It really is the perfect accessory. So much so, I broke down and invested in another over the holidays! Cheers!

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  61. Great, well written piece!! Maybe when you are doing your posts, you can highlight key items with (IP) Investment Piece as a key for us to know which items you deem to be solid runners in our investment portfolios ;). This is my kind of investing!!! Love it!!

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  62. LOVE this post! Would absolutely love to know where the first statment necklace came from! I love your style and enjoy reading you blog! Thanks for posting!

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  63. An accessories post sponsored by an airline? Yes, this makes total sense.

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  64. I really liked this blog post. It helps a lot for someone who is not really fashion forward. Thanks!

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    Thank you

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  67. Top Fat Burning Foods http://fedbe.net/top-fat-burning-foods/

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  68. saraaddison@sbcglobal.net


    Could you email me the brand of the boots or a link to where you got them or any suggestions to where i could get some similar!! i love them!! the heeled boots that go over the knee a bit^^

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  69. I find I'm at the same point in my life. I used to only buy cheap clothes, because I figured I'd get more quantity for the cost. As I got older, I started to strategically shop - constantly browsing, but never buying until I found a keeper and started spending more on individual pieces. I still make some mistakes and cave every now and then, but I try to aim for quality over quantity. My question though, is how do we differentiate? I think others may have also touched on it... but I'd love to see a post on this... I've come to notice that a hefty price tag doesn't always mean good quality!

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  70. I am still playing catch-up on my blogs (I got behind over Xmas break) and so I'm just getting to this post. But I am SO GLAD you are posting about this! I have the same goal this year to revamp my wardrobe with quality pieces. And I thought of your blog as a great source of guidance before I even read this post! I'm so excited to see more!

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  71. So agree on all of this! Your choices are impeccable, timeless, yet feel of the moment. Thank you for sharing the inspiration!

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  72. The shoes in the last two pictures - ankle strap black heels + nude sandals - where did you get them, they're gorgeous!

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  73. Love the tote, moto jacket and the flared skirt!
    -Marie
    Http://www.fashionableninja.com

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  74. Truth! So many people think that there are only two price points: super cheap and super expensive. You can upgrade to things that last longer without going all the way to Manolos. Side note: Love love love that blue and white striped skirt.

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  75. What is that Marc Jacobs crossbody called?

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