Welcome to The Golden Girl–a real girl approach to living your best life! (Because the internet needed a happy medium between real life and the highlight reel.)

learn more >

currently loving

shop all favorites

Ask Jess: Handbag staples, organizing a closet, and more!

Aug 15, 2017

Happy Tuesday!

Just starting to get back into the swing of things over here post two full straight weeks of travel! Whew! (Montreal was so fun! I can’t wait to share more posts with you soon!) Also as you’re reading this I may be in my first Orangetheory class which I boldly signed up for at 7:45am. (So please say prayers).

Annnyyway today, we’re back with another post in the Ask Jess series. (Remember, you can submit your questions using this form, or message me on Instagram!)

Ask Jess: Handbag staples, organizing a closet, and more!

Q: You mentioned you don’t own a ton of handbags–can you list some of your very favorites and why?

A: Correct! I really only have a select few staples that I make work for lot’s of different occasions. Of course, like anyone, I cycle in and out of certain favorites, but there are definitely some that stand out for sure that have withstood the test of time. Here are my two standbys, and a new favorite:





Ask Jess handbag staples

First up, my Louis Vuitton Speedy 25.

One of the few “designer” things I own, and it was the first big purchase I ever made with my own money back in high school. I got it off of eBay for less than $500. It is now beat to death and has been through hell and back–literally the lock has fallen off and the leather on the zipper has ripped, haha! I know I should definitely trade him in for a newer model but we’ve been through too much together 😛

I’d recommend eBay or a site like The Real Real if you’re interested in getting one–they always have really great second-hand designer items and get new items in often! I like the 25 size because it’s really easy to carry both for day and night and still fits a ton of stuff! (I think the 30 is far too big, personally!)

Second, my Madewell Transport Tote.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time you’ve probably heard me say this is my favorite go-to bag for work and travel. It’s not just beautiful and classic looking, but the leather is really nice quality, and it holds a TON of stuff without being bulky. It also is really thin, so you can actually fold it and put it in your suitcase if needed. (I actually just did that this weekend!) Several readers who have purchased this bag based off of my gushing have gone out of their way to tell me how much they love it!

Madewell Transport Tote

Third, I just recently purchased this Rebecca Minkoff “love” bag (back in stock! Yay!) and I absolutely LOVE it.

I didn’t really have a “nice” cross-body purse and this definitely fit the bill–I love that it’s olive green because it matches everything and the gold hardware looks so beautiful with it. It’s not too big or too small, it’s the perfect bag to take out with you but it still holds all of your essentials.

Rebecca Minkoff "love" bag




Q: How do you take care of/clean your jewelry?

A: That’s a REALLY good question! The only piece of nice jewelry I own is my engagement ring, and currently, I just use a cheap jewelry cleaner solution I bought at Target (it smells like cat pee and chemicals, so in hindsight, I can’t say this is something I would recommend) but several of my friends have this one from Amazon (it’s only $39!) and swear by it. It’s very gentle and has been on my to-do list to purchase forever. Actually, know what? I just purchased it as we speak. Why not? I’ll let you know how I like it 😛

Q: What are some different ways to style OTK boots for the upcoming seasons? I just got a pair and I’m so excited!

Ask Jess handbag staples and OTK boots

My favorite way to style OTK boots is with a mini skirt in a pretty fall/winter hue! (This favorite of mine just got re-stocked!) I think they make your legs look SO SO long this way! To me it also gives off a little sixties/seventies vibe which makes me love the combo even more. I also love wearing them over faux leather leggings (that is, if your boots are suede. If they’re leather, that would obviously be a pretty hardcore combo better suited for your Harley Davidson if you know what I mean.)

By the way, my favorite pairs of OTK boots that I own are the Stuart Weitzman Lowlands (splurge!) and the Blondo Olivia boots, which are also waterproof! (AND far more budget-friendly!) Make sure you give them two coats of suede protectant!

Q: Do you have any tips for keeping your closet organized?

A: I just went through a major closet overhaul a few months ago so yes, I have a few tips! (And totally feel your pain. There’s nothing more stressful!)

First, I enlisted professional help (Karla! She’s amazing!) I would highly recommend doing this for a couple of reasons: 1. Actually making an appointment will put a hard date on the calendar and keep you accountable, 2. A professional will do a much better job than you will likely do yourself, and help you put systems in place to KEEP you organized.

However, I totally understand if professional help isn’t in the cards. A few more tips if you’re DIYing your organizing: dump everything from your closet out on the floor and go through it piece by piece. I stand by the KonMari method–go through everything individually, if it doesn’t give me joy, it goes. If I haven’t worn it in a year, it goes. After that, color coordinating helps immensely, as does investing in nice, matching hangers. (The velvet ones are my favorite!) You will be astonished at what a difference nice, matching hangers makes. (No wire ones allowed! Yucky!)

More questions? Leave ’em below (or right here!)  I’ll answer them in my next Ask Jess posts! 

Keep reading...