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I Can’t Wait To Rock These Handbags Outside My Living Room

Looking for a way to stand out while socially distancing? A fly bag will do the trick.

Style

2020 has definitely been a bag of challenges but we believe that it's not over, and there is still space to add flair to your life. It could come by way of a new handbag. Accessories are the unsung heroes of outfits – they elevate your look like no other. Handbags are especially essential because they speak louder than words. They say you can't buy happiness but buying a handbag is real close, sis.

With Big Rona still out here, we wanted to arm you with some fly handbags that are sure to be showstoppers no matter the show.

The Bamboo Purse

Curated by Charlie Photography/xoNecole

Two years ago, my mom surprised me with this bamboo purse and it has been in heavy rotation ever since. This specific bag is all about structure. You might have seen the famous Cult Gaia wooden bags that usually cost a pretty penny. You can find similar looks on good ol' Amazon. My motto: Shop smart, not hard.

When styling and profiling in this bag, you have many options. I opted for a slip dress and slides because I was going for an easy yet alluring look. This getup would be perfect for a socially distanced date in the park or on a patio.

Shop Similar Bags:

Cream Bamboo Half Moon Cage Bag

Missguided

$28

The Shop Crossbody Bag

Curated by Charlie Photography/xoNecole

Shop in the name of love! See what I did there? Well, I am obsessed with this bag. Mostly because of the wordplay but also because a red bag always makes a statement. You could duplicate this top, wrap skirt and strappy heels combo for a drive-thru birthday or graduation. Don't feel like you have to oversimplify your style because life has become a paradox of simplification and fascination. We challenge you to get all dolled up at least once a week to keep that style muscle in motion.

The PVC Bag

Curated by Charlie Photography/xoNecole

PVC bags are all the rage these days. They are nostalgic and transparent, kinda like the 90's. I decided to wear this 'fit to the grocery store since this bag resembled a high-fashion grocery bag and I love to serve up a look to the clerks at my local market. I paired the Forever 21 PVC bag with a black bandeau top and high-waist flared pants because...comfort.

Rocking this bag takes boldness because you are revealing the contents of your bag to the world. This is for the woman who isn't afraid to take risks.

Shop Similar Bags:

The Basketball Satchel

Curated by Charlie Photography/xoNecole

I just added this beauty to my arsenal during my 'binge shopping in quarantine phase.' My new basketball bag lives at the intersection of style and sports. I am not a sports buff by any means; I can barely keep up with the a basketball game. But you can't deny the outright dopeness of this bag. I wore it out to run errands and I received so many compliments. Because I was going for a sporty chic look, I donned my favorite black tee, comfy biking shorts and Jordans to really play the part.

The Straw Bag

Curated by Charlie Photography/xoNecole

Grab a straw bag, for the picnic in the park. I love this bag because it is reminiscent of vacationing on beaches and drinking tropical drinks with my friends. I can't do those things right now so rocking this bag gives me some solace. I was so happy to throw on this tribal co-ord set to liven up my weekend. Summer is the perfect time to rock a straw bag with its festival-like vibe. You can go oversized like me or go small for a classic touch.

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Featured image by Joce Blake for xoNecole / All Photography by Curated by Charlie Photography

When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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