If you’re looking to give your wardrobe a refresh (whether it be for summer or winter), maybe it’s time you thought about adding a tan bag to your repertoire. Prior to last year I never thought of myself as a tan accessory person, it always seemed easier to stick with black, and perhaps tan seemed a little too grown up for me (memories of bags my mum had when I was growing up come flooding back)? That was, until I actually bought a tan bag last year on a whim and found myself wearing it literally every other day. As in, Geneva can you please change it up we are bored now (here, here, here). Tried, tested pretty much proven: tan accessories are stupidly wearable. What I’ve come to realise is that this colour bag (with matching shoes if you’re mild OCD like me) can change the whole look of an outfit – giving focus and a feature to your simple white and denim get up more than, say, black accessories would. Is it weird to also admit that tan accessories make me feel like I’m on holidays? Don’t ask me why!
And so, when Coach asked me to style piece from their new Spring collection for fashion week a few weeks ago, naturally it had to be this tan saddle bag – the logical next step from my hardcore addiction to that tote I’ve been wearing for months. Read on for a few of my tips for adding tan to your wardrobe. Are you feeling the tan?
How to wear a tan bag:
Choose the right shade
With so many different shades of tan out there it’s sometimes hard to find the right one. If you imagine different shades of tan on the spectrum between beige, orange and brown, it’s about finding a colour that suits your skin tones and the colours that you wear. This Coach bag I’m wearing is more on the brown side which gives it a more weathered feel, while this J Crew bag I always use is more orange. It’s really up to you but if in doubt, steer to a cooler tone further towards brown rather than too orange.
Think about shoe colour choices
If you’re worried about whether or not to match your bag with your shoes when wearing tan (or vice versus) I suggest either matching perfectly (within a few shades reason) or not matching at all. I know it might sound pedantic and a tad stepford wife-ish, but that awkward middle ground of sort-of matching accessories can throw a whole outfit off.
Wear with fresh simple palettes
Tan looks great with classic, fresh inspired outfits – think simple white cotton shirts, denim cut offs and a panama hat. As perfect for Hong Kong as it would be in Santorini!
Channel the 70’s
With the whole 70’s vibe in full swing this season, a tan bag is a great way to give a slight nod to the colour palette of that era, without having to throw away all your skinny leg jeans. Or are you getting into the flares again?
Let it weather
Tan leather wears so well over time, and I’ve noticed that it seems to slowly darkens in colour, which is something to keep in mind when you buy it.
Looking for a tan bag? A few other gorgeous tan options include this J crew bucket style (I want!), this APC saddle bag (in a lighter tone), this J Crew tote that you’ll recognise cos I wear it alllll the time, this Asos backpack, this Topshop cross body bag, this Madewell saddle bag style, and this Botkier cross body one.
Photos by Nicola Lemmon