Prima Bambolina

Of course when I give people my name they always ask me what it means, and they always spell it wrong. A bambolina is a little doll and a prima bambolina is like a prima ballerina - a really good one - except I can't dance. So I shop instead. And I'm really good at that. Mostly I shop for purses, handbags, tote bags, luggage, golf bags (you don't even have to know how to play to have a really nice bag), picnic baskets, wine carriers, craft organizers, briefcases, laptop bags - There's no end to it. Decisions...decisions...

The Relationship Between a Woman and Her Handbag is Sacred.

My handbag is my best friend.  Really.  My handbag knows everything that is going on in my life.  From when I get my period, to how much money I have, to what prescriptions I’m taking, to how disorganized I really am. Things I wouldn’t flat out tell my closest friends, my handbag is intimately aware of.  And best of all, my handbag knows how to keep my secrets safe.  Keep her mouth zipped so to speak.

You will never find a friend who is so adaptable, so willing to go along with whatever my mood.  We even color coordinate our outfits.  She switches from a practical travel bag when I am feeling active, to a pretty clutch when we go for a nice dinner or to a large tote if I need to bring everything but the kitchen sink along.

Wherever I go, my handbag goes with me.  We do everything together.  She sits in my passenger seat for long drives, always ready with a mint or a Kleenex.  She hangs out with me in restaurants, always nearby. She is agreeable to whatever movie I want to see and is always quiet throughout the film and hangs on to the M&M’s.

Maybe it sounds one-sided.  But it’s not, really.  I don’t take her for granted.  I protect her from the rain. Never leave her just lying around.  I always keep an eye on her.  She is always safely next to me.  I never burden her with too much.

If I ever lost my handbag, I’d be mortified.  If I don’t know where she is for even a moment, I panic.  If I forget her somewhere, you know I’ll go right back and get her before anything can happen to her.  I can’t imagine a day without her.

My family understands our special relationship.  They respect our bond by not messing with my handbag ever.  They know that a woman’s handbag is hands off.

They say a dog is man’s best friend.  That may be so.  But when it comes to women, her handbag is her best friend.




This gallery contains 6 photos.

Prima Bambolina_vertical web (your online boutique for fun handbags and fashion accessories) has moved it’s blog.  Please go to our blog page for our article on Fashion Trends.

We’re “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag” On These Handbag Expressions.

Sure your handbag is special, some of them are probably really really special.  Some of them probably are conversation starters.  But did you ever realize how much our handbags and bags are actually incorporated into our conversations?

A handbag is not just a pretty accessory, it’s been part of our existence since back in the day when men carried coin purses.  To hold the purse strings or to control the purse strings goes back to late middle English, when purses were closed by the purse strings.   The person who controls the strings, controls the money.  So, the next time you find yourself wondering, “I wonder who controls the purse strings in that family,” check out whose opening and closing the drawstring handbag.

While you might want to be the one controlling the finances in your relationship, you might not want to be the one left “holding the bag”.   According to the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, this phrase dates back to the 1600’s to “give one the bag.”   The one left “holding the bag” is the one left in the lurch, holding the empty bag, while the guilty parties have taken off with the valuable contents.  Of course, with the recent record breaking auctioning off of designer handbags, sometimes the one left holding the bag might be better off.



Sure, you’re impressed with my handbag history, you may even be asking yourself, what else does she have in her “bag of tricks”?  The origin of this bag phrase has been credited to Aesop, to the Brothers Grimm and to Lafontaine.  In all cases the story related to a cunning fox.  To have a bag of tricks is to have many resources and talents to turn to.




Can you think of any handbag related expressions?  Join in the conversation.

How to tell a designer handbag from an imitation.

More and more news stories are coming to light about desperate attempts to pass off fakes as genuine designer handbags.

On a recent trip to Italy, we couldn’t get from one corner to the next in major tourist areas without being offered a $30 knock-off of various high-end designers.  Many fellow tourists were tempted by the low quality substitutes proving that there is indeed a demand for fashion statement purses, even if it was a totally underhanded way to impress your friends back home.


You don’t have to go to Italy to be offered a fake designer bag. They can be found online, in flea markets, from a friend of a friend, etc.  But investing in a designer handbag can be pricey. Many designer handbags sell for upward of a thousand dollars and true investors are looking for a quality item that lasts, not a one night stand with a handbag that falls apart during the appetizer.


1- Buy from the official boutique.  You may not get the deal you are looking for, but you can’t go wrong when buying from the stores authorized to sell your dream genuine bag.

2- Check out the price.  If it’s too good to be true, it is too good a price to be a real designer bag.  Don’t bother.  Consider buying a bag from up and coming designers.  What’s not to love about Sydney Love?



3- You wouldn’t buy a car without familiarizing yourself with its specs would you?  So before buying a high end handbag, read up on it.  Does the manufacturer have trademark features that a counterfeiter might not bother with.  Details like serial number stamping, certificates of authenticity, specific lining.


4- Some knock-offs are legal knock offs.  Although it may look identical to a Louis Vuitton bag from afar thanks to its brown and gold pattern, a closer look reveals the name, logo, or designs are different enough to make them legal.


5- Study the handbags stitching for evenness, thread color, alignment.  Authentic designer handbags won’t let foul ups out the door.


6- Study the quality of the hardware and any hardware or logos that is specific to a designer that may or may not be missing, as well hardware color.  Are all the closures, buckles and snaps the same color?


7- Check out the inside of the handbag.  Is the designer’s name stamped or sewn into the inside of the handbag?



Prima Bambolina_vertical web (your online boutique for fun handbags and fashion accessories) has moved it’s blog.  Please go to our blog page for our article on  Hack-Free Handbags.

What Ever Happened to the Customer is Always Right?

Happy CustomerWhen I get good customer service I am so surprised I tell everyone I know. It doesn’t have to be something big, it’s the thought that counts.  Some places have wonderful customer service policies and give that little extra. For example, the other day I was dead-set on buying a little pin-striped hand towel.  I looked online and off, and finally came across something suitable in a decor store that sold some really gorgeous high ticket items. They could have balked as I approached the cash with my 5$ hand towel and credit card in hand.  But no, they treated me as well as the customer behind me who was decorating a whole room.  Not only that, the towel was nicely folded, wrapped in tissue and handed to me in a quality gift bag that must have cost half of my total expenditure. They made me feel important and I knew I would be back.

Other retailers seem to be clueless about customer satisfaction.  The girl at the cash at the grocery store who is ignoring me as she rings up my items, in favor of a conversation with the bag boy.  (Even pausing from time to time when the conversation heats up.)  The appliance store who sold me a dryer that doesn’t fit in my laundry room and then told me their company policy is no refunds or exchanges. (Really!)  The return policy wasn’t noted anywhere.  The waitress that doesn’t ask if  I want anything because I am waiting for someone.

Or the lady in the travel agency in a nearby strip mall.  Her windows advertised a very pricey fabulous vacation I happened to be shopping for.  While I perused the heavyweight magazine that detailed my trip she never looked up from the client seated opposite her.  I read the magazine cover to cover (even planned which luggage I’d be toting) and waited.  Still she completely ignored me.  No, hello.  No, I’ll be with you in a moment.  Not even a smile to acknowledge I was there.   I knew I would not be back.

Is it just me, or does customer service seem to have gone by the wayside? Don’t these businesses need clients?  Are these the exceptions?  Shouldn’t I expect excellent customer care and not be so surprised when I get it?

Easter, the meaning behind the traditions

Easter marks a turning point in the year when you just know the warm weather and greenery is on its way.  In fact, the word ‘Easter’ is derived from Eostre, the goddess of Spring.

Like the resurgence of the crocuses, Easter represents a time for renewal. Thus, your rituals should include the wearing of a brand new outfit and a beautifully adorned bonnet to mark this spiritual rebirth.

Whether you are painting your eggs green like the Germans did or red like the Greeks, the symbolic egg is sure to be included in your celebration. Since eggs were forbidden during Lent in Medieval Europe, eggs that were hatched during that time had to be boiled to be preserved and then formed an integral part in the Easter feast.  Eggs are also a symbol of fertility.

So how did the bunny come into the picture?  Well, like the Christmas tree, we have the Germans to thank for including rabbits in the celebration.  Since rabbits are reputed for their fertility, it seems natural that a tale of a fertile hare who lays eggs for children to discover became part of the institution of Easter.

Have you initiated any of your own traditions?


Let’s Get That Purse Closet Sorted Out

Ahh…spring.  Time to crack open the windows and attack the dust bunnies. Empty out those cupboards.  Sort through your wardrobe.  Haul away your winter gear and dig out your lighter spring paraphernalia.

In your quest for a refreshing life makeover, don’t forget to organize some of your more important accessories – your handbags.Spring Cleaning Handbags

1 – Empty your handbags (tote bags, clutches, etc.)

You can start with the contents of  your handbags. Empty out your purses (ideally, they are all empty, except the one you are using right now). Bonus!  You are bound to find some spare change.  Aside from tissue or purse inserts that you use to maintain your purse’s shape, your purses should all be stored empty.

2 – Review your purse wardrobe

Does every purse in your collection still do it for you?  Is it just the right complement to that certain outfit?  Is it a statement maker that will jazz up an everyday pair of jeans?  Is it perfect for your travels or for work or for the weekend?  Do you love it?  Is the tag still hanging off of it?  Is it worn, permanently stained or shabby – not in a chic way?  Spring is a time to make decisions.  If you don’t love it, it’s time to toss it, give it away or donate it.  Time to make room for a handbag that you will love.

3 – Do any of your handbags require cleaning or repairs?

You’ve got everything out of the closet, you’ve streamlined your bag collection, no don’t just stick them back in the closet.  Now is the time to do a repair and cleaning inventory.  For those items that  you can safely clean, there is no better time.  Clean them accordingly and put them aside.  For those that need professional cleaning, need a new clasp, a new zipper, a strap repair – it’s time to stop procrastinating and get it done.

4 – Where should you store your handbags?

Consider your space.  Is it the best location for your various handbags, clutches, tote bags, hobos etc.?  Is there another space that is more roomy, more accessible, more ideal for your collection of accessories? If the space is good.  Great.  Wipe down shelves, remove any irrelevant items and prepare the stage for your prized handbags.

5 – What is the best way to store your handbags?

You may want to check out our previous post on How to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Handbag before putting everything back in your closet.  In brief, the shape of your purse should be protected with tissue paper or a purse insert, and special items should be placed in its original storage bag or a pillow case.   You may be tempted to hang your purse by its handle but I wouldn’t recommend hanging a purse for more than a couple of days. It is best to store them on a shelf with seasonal items more accessible. You can improvise using pot lid holders to divide clutches, or check out the for shelf organizers.

Now, about those shoes…








Marsala: The Fashion Color of the Year

Admittedly, when I first heard that predicted that Marsala was the color of the year,  I thirsted for a glass of  Italian wine and hungered for my favorite Tikka Massala recipe.  What the heck was Marsala anyway?  It sounded creamy and fluffy like a Champagne cocktail.  Visions of potential colors danced in my head, instead of sugarplums, the fruit that closely resembles the color trend of 2015.  Thankfully Google cleared it up for me (as Google tends to do).


Marsala, the color of the bold Italian wine, but perhaps a bit more subdued, will be all over our walls, our beds, and our men in 2015.  Makes you kind of thirsty doesn’t it?

I have always been a lover of the burgundies (the wine, the color and the region) so it is kind of thrilling that a color that flatters everyone will also be available in the shops I frequent online and off.  You may have already noticed that Hollywood celebrities are already setting the stage for this pseudo-burgundy color.

So, will you be joining the Marsala revolution?  I’d love to see how you’ve incorporated Marsala into your life.


This gallery contains 8 photos.

It’s St-Patrick’s Day – Why All the Green?

So, it’s that time of year again, the sun is brighter the days are longer.  You know I for one am thrilled.  Perfect timing to celebrate a happy-go-lucky occasion like St-Patrick’s Day.  Pull out your green shirt, your green shoes, your green hat (and of course your green handbag) and head on out for a mug of green ale.

It’s almost like we’re celebrating the color green and the onset of warmer weather, rather than the most famous patron saint of Ireland.  So, what’s behind all this green anyways?  Why do we relate St-Patrick’s day with green?St-Patrick's Day PB

 Why We Wear Green on St-Patrick’s

There are a few theories on why green is worn on St-Patrick’s Day.  The most prevalent theory goes like this.  While there are some theories that blue was the color previously associated with St-Patrick’s Day, green has been the color of choice since the 1700’s, which makes alot more sense.

After all,  Ireland, the country that originated St-Patrick’s Day is known as the Emerald Isle.  The holiday was named in honor of the renowned patron saint, Saint Patrick who wore a green shamrock.  The St-Patrick’s Day feast is celebrated in his memory.  St-Patrick died on March 17th, when spring was in the air and the greenery began to permeate the outdoors.

Why You Dare Not Not Wear Green

According to those in the know, if you wear green you are invisible to the mischievous leprochauns who enjoy pinching their surprised victims.  So unless you like the attentions of little green elves, be warned.  Those who do not wear green to commemorate this day, can expect to be pinched by friends who are staunch St-Patrick’s Day supporters or dare I say, leprochauns…?

Looking For A Little Green Inspiration?

Check these out:


Winter be damned! I’m Dusting Off My White Shoes and My Beach Bag!

So what if it’s snowing.  I’m taking out my beach bag.  Who decided that we shouldn’t wear bold colors and white shoes after Labor Day?  Emily Post?  Well, she’s not making fashion decisions for me anymore.  I’ll use the right fork but that’s where it ends Emily.

I’ve had it with cloudy skies and slippery grounds and I’m making new fashion rules just for me. If summer isn’t coming to me, then it’s time I found summer in my closet.  Isn’t that what the 21st century is about?  Do I need to follow someone else’s trend to look good?  Do I need to pay thousands of dollars on a designer handbag because some magazine tells me I should want it.


Maybe I don’t suit that designer handbag and maybe that designer handbag doesn’t suit me.  I don’t want to look like a fashion clone.  I want to be comfortable being me, and if being me means carrying a floral tote bag and wearing white after Labor Day and antagonizing the fashion gods – so be it.  After all, do I want to be a fashion leader or a fashion follower?

 You’ll Go Wild for These Animal Print Bags

Animal print fashion…we’ve been wearing it since the caveman days.  Think Fred and Wilma and their Saber Toothed Tiger outfits.  With the dawn of animal rights and our love for pets, the nice thing is that now our animal prints are no skin off anyone’s back.  We can look like mighty animals without violating any animal rights rules and at prices that will make you purr.

Animal print show no sign of leaving the runways anytime soon.  They’ve been seen on trend-setters all the way back to Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis.  You can go never go wrong with the right animal print accessory.  Use them like neutrals like black and white. These five bags will take you to work, to dinner, or to a day of shopping, paired with a sexy black dress or your go-to jeans and you will always look like a fashion icon.





The Little Black Dress… Slimming, classic, and it’ll take you anywhere. Whether you want to go casual, go to work, or go to a special dinner, you know you can always rely on your little black dress.  Pair it with the right purse and your little black dress can go a long way to making the right fashion statement for you.



The great thing about a classic black dress is that it matches everything, the bolder the better.

The right handbag says a lot about the wearer. And wearing a black dress as the backdrop to your perfect purse, is equivalent to framing a work of art.  Your entire outfit will stand out.

For busy weekends full of errands, how about this stunning perforated reversible tote?  Two looks for one.


A touch of sparkle can play up any outfit, from your favorite jeans and t-shirt to your little black dress.  Wear it anyway you want.

IMG_0119 (640x480)With this week’s Nor’easter driving the east coast to a halt, it comes as no surprise for those of us enduring colder winters that as February nears, many of us are done with winter.  Had it up to here (or like those newscasters in New England, up to the kneecaps) with snow, gray skies, chapped lips and flyaway hair.  While a few gray hairs are easy to camouflage, try as we might to wish them away, gray skies are impossible to banish.


What can you do when the Caribbean isn’t an option?  Look to color to brighten your winter blahs. Here’s where we found color in winter:

1  – Keep your eyes open, and your color radar on.  You’ll begin to notice color everywhere.


2 – Spend time with colorful people.  You don’t want to listen to other people gripe about winter, surround yourself with people whose personalities will add color to your day.


3 – Eat colorful food.  Not only will it add a bit of optimism to your plate, but healthy foods are usually the ones that are the most colorful.


4 – Dress colorfully.  Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you have to wear black and gray, and black and gray.  Add a splash of color to your wardrobe.


At, where handbags are never boring, we are all about adding color to your every day life.   Do you live a colorful life?  Do you have tips to share on banishing winter blahs?  We welcome your comments.



Prima Bambolina_vertical web (your online boutique for fun handbags and fashion accessories) has moved it’s blog.  Please go to our blog page for our article on How Your Handbag Can Attract Mr. Right .