20080716-living-0101.jpgLet’s admit it: We all have a few handbags lying around filled with old lipsticks, ink pens and nail files, and we keep promising ourselves we’re going to clean them out. It’s an unwanted side-effect of our ongoing purse-changing habit (and perhaps a bigger indication of our purse buying tendencies). But a glimpse into what’s in store this fall will solve that problem in a big way.

Rule No. 1 is to let color inspire your choice. Think rich colors ­of gemstones — emerald green, amethyst purple, ruby red, topaz yellow, sapphire blue, tourmaline green and turquoise blue. “Everyone says [the jewel tones] are the new black,” says Artesia’s Holly Klock. “There’s no more matching.”

Among the best — and most affordable — examples of the late summer/early fall trend is Melie Bianco’s leather convertible clutch with raw edges, a satin lining and gold chain hardware. It’s remarkably well-constructed, a classy bag that retails for only $68 (pictured at left from Artesia). This vibrant three-in-one look will take you from day into night with its impressive versatility. During the day, fold the top over and strap it on your shoulder or remove the strap and hold it by the handles. Transition into the evening by keeping the strap off and converting it into a clutch.

It’s an inoffensive splash of color, and the bag’s dark teal hue makes it super-compatible with both brown and black shoes. “This is going to be your everyday bag,” Klock says.

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