STYLE & BEAUTY
05/13/2015 07:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

18 Kitschy Bags And How You Can Actually Pull Them Off In Real Life

The right accessory has the power to transform an outfit. That's why most of us own a pair (or several) of sparkly pumps, a few statement necklaces and a designer handbag that probably cost more then we'd like to admit.

And if you're looking to really up the style ante, then you'll also have a kitschy bag in your arsenal -- you know, those crazy carryalls in the shape of various animals and random objects. While some might consider the novelty bags tacky, we like to think of them as wearable art, symbols of fearless personal style and a validation of good humor.

Remember Carrie Bradshaw's Eiffel Tower bag in the "Sex In The City" movie? The exquisite crystal-adorned clutches by Judith Leiber? Or basically any time a celebrity has stepped out holding a Charlotte Olympia bag? Those are all prime examples of kitsch being cool.

To that end, we obviously encourage embracing this trend. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind ...

  1. Keep your outfit simple and let the bag be the outfit's exclamation point.
  2. But, if you want to get a bit more festive with your look, make sure to stay on theme.
  3. Location, location, location. In other words, don't wear a fish-shaped bag to a Broadway show when it really belongs on the boardwalk.
  4. Have fun! It's almost impossible not to when you're carrying a purse that looks like a telephone. Right?

Check out a few kitschy bags we love below! Which ones do you covet?

Top row: Kate Spade "Splash Out" tote, $298; Disaster Designs "Holding Pattern" bag, $25; Kate Spade "Fancy Footwork" bag, $234.
2nd row: Anya Hindmarch "Eggs" tote, $744; JumpFromPaper "Carly Sweetie" bag, $89; Moschino Cheap and Chic "Dinosaur" bag, $495.
3rd row: Betsey Johnson "Phone" purse, $88; Lulu Guinness "Perspex Lips" clutch, $380; Betsey Johnson "Clock" bag, $128.
4rd row: Kate Spade "Spring Forward Watering Can" bag, $328; Claire's "Memories" clutch, $20; Unique Vintage "Flamingo" bag, $25.
5th row: Kotur "Espey Minaudiere" clutch, $495; Unique Vintage "Pineapple" bag, $30; Kenzo "Oui" pouch, $240.
Bottom row: Unique Vintage "Popcorn" bag, $38; Charlotte Olympia "Pussycat" purse, $725; Judith Leiber clutch, $4,995.

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