We Found the Only Bag You’ll Need for Summer


This beauty was made for sunny days. | Photograph by Nell Hoving for Philadelphia Magazine.

Right now, the best reasons to eschew machine-made for hand-hewn are the raw linen satchels and deceptively simple leather totes coming out of Bri Brant’s Chadds Ford workshop.

The PhillyU grad’s five-year-old company, Arden + James — named for her son and a century-old artist colony in Delaware — mixes art and craft to luxurious effect, with hand-etched designs (she uses a pen-like branding tool to create the those linear details), hand-hammered copper rivets, and natural materials painstakingly sourced from local spots. The standout: Brant’s Arden bag, made of soft-milled, vegetable-tanned leather (from a Pennsylvania tannery founded in 1837). It’s the perfect way to carry summer’s bounty, from farmers’ market treasures to afternoon picnic essentials. Read more »

Move Over, Tory Burch: Fitbits Might Actually Become Stylish Now Thanks to Public School

fitbit PS

One of the Fitbit x Public School designs from NYFW. | Image via Mashable.

First, Fitbit partnered with Tory Burch to create stylish(ish) ways to wear your pedometer. Then, Apple teamed up with with Hermés to create the most wildly expensive yet elegant smart watch. With Apple now backing the Costume Institute for this year’s Met Gala (titled “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”), it’s safe to say the space between fashion and tech is closing – and quickly. We say, thank goodness, because we were starting to think we had to give in to clunky rubber Fitbits for the rest of eternity.

Enter Public School, the New York-based streetwear brand that’s one of the buzziest names in fashion right now. They collaborated with Fitbit on a tech accessory line for the new Alta tracker, debuting their collection this past Sunday at their NYFW show. Read more »

Great Lengths: 5 Gorgeous Statement Earrings to Wear Now


Photo by Nell Hoving.

This season, it’s all about the earring, and when it comes to size, well, think big. Long, shoulder-dusting danglers—whether in mixed metals, like Erickson Beamon’s punkish drops, or all-out sparkle, like Philly-based Dylanlex’s chandeliers—are the most modern way to make a statement (so long, pinprick studs!) and a welcome return to all-out drama. Read more »

Life After Nalgene: 11 Reusable Water Bottles You’ll Want to Carry Everywhere

Water Bottles

I adore Memobottle’s fresh take on the water bottle. | Image via Memobottle.

I am notoriously bad at remembering to drink water. Even after a very unsexy bout with kidney stones, I still find myself lugging home an unopened water bottle at the end of the day. My mother wrapped up a stone from her backyard and gave it to me, a note taped to it: Drink water or I’ll be back! Even this physical reminder isn’t enough. My organs, I’m sure, are in constant danger of shutting down.

So it would seem that the stylish water-bottle market is ballooning just in time. As plastic bottles become side-eyed relics, savvy designers are rethinking the way we get hydrated. Suddenly, even the ubiquitous Nalgene seems old-school, the water-bottle equivalent of Crocs. Just this morning, I stumbled across memobottle, a flat, square, flask-like bottle that’s designed to fit better into laptop bags and purses. Sure, the design is better in terms of ergonomics, but it’s also far chicer than most reusable water bottles. I did some more digging – maybe this is the answer to my water issue? – and found other equally gorgeous bottles, all worthy of toting around all day. Here’s the modern, sophisticated way to pass on the plastic.  Read more »

Accessories Shop Lou Lou Coming to Midtown Village, So You Can Stop Buying Cheap Jewelry at Forever 21


A sampling of things you find at Lou Lou.

This Friday, Lou Lou opens its doors in Midtown Village with its 25th retail location on the East Coast. Founded in 2004 by co-owners (and couple) Ben and Tara Wegdam, the independent retailer has grown quickly, recognized for its wide range of cute and affordable scarves, colorful knitwear, and jewelry inspired by luxe trends, but priced more affordably.

Lou Lou is sort of the answer to the gift-and-accessory section of Target: Wallet-friendly lines of jewelry and gifty goods (including their newly launched men’s line LOU), plus quirky-cool home accessories, tech and travel essentials. For under $25, you can score gifts like a gold leaf jewelry tray to manage your bling, Edgar Allen Poe candles for your bookworm friend, or a Candy Striper mini emergency kit for the organization-obsessed girl on the go. Read more »

Shop Talk: The 4 Top Accessories Trends of 2016


Earrings FTW. | Shutterstock.

  • The easiest way to make your wardrobe look current—even amongst the ever-fickle and always-changing tides of fashion—is to invest in of-the-moment accessories. Your 2016 accessory cheat sheet: a saddlebag, flats (either brogues or sneakers), scarves (think neckerchiefs or Twillys) and major earrings.   [The Zoe Report]
  • Finally, some answers! A hair-transplant surgeon explains what’s actually going on with Donald Trump’s hair. In his professional opinion: He’s totally had work done. [Business Insider]
  • Congrats are in order for Tory Burch, who recently got engaged to Pierre Yves-Roussel, the CEO of LVMH Fashion Group (i.e. the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate). Take that, Chris Burch. [WWD]

Wait, there’s more!

7 Best Gifts for Every Man in Your Life

Gifts for Guys

A little something for everyone.

Buying gifts for guys is tricky stuff. We’ve already told you what they really want (hint: Legos), and now we’re back with even more top ideas for everyone from Dad to your little brother. Whether you want your gift to check in at under $100 or are willing to spend a bit more dough, we’ve found something he’s sure to love. At least, he’ll love it a heckuva lot more than a tie. Read more »

Why I Can’t Let Go of Shoes That Cause Me Pain


So cute; so painful. | Lauren McGrath.

Of the myriad things men will never understand about women, the one that tops the most lists are those token pairs of so-painful-we-can-hardly-walk shoes that we keep around anyway. Sure, we’ll complain about them the entire night. We’ll regret the decision for at least a week, as we nurse the blisters on our toes and heels. We’ll swear up and down that we will never wear those damn shoes again. Yet they are impossible to part with, and so they languish, mostly unworn, in our closets.

Why do we do this to ourselves? The answer is simple: for the love of all things fierce, for the way shoes can change your outfit and your outlook in one simple (albeit painful) step, and for the hope that maybe, maybe, one day our feet will shrink or our heels will become immune to blisters and we’ll be able to happily walk in them. Think you’re alone in this feeble dream? Think again. Here are eight Philly Mag staffers on the shoes we hate to love. Read more »

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