Men’s Fashion: February Rich Grays

February’s color, as you can see here, is a rich gray. In fact, 2021’s official colors are Gray and Yellow! I have here (along with a cross section of my life on/around the ottoman, different colors of gray. Showing are 9 bags/clutches/wallets. You can see the reverse side of the calvin klein color block gray as yellow (I initially bought for August Yellow). Other colors for February are the October Breast Cancer Awareness Pinks and July’s Fiery Reds.

First is the Dark Gray Hobo bag by Kilamal. Overpaid for the gray hobo tote from another vendor, but do love the bag. Since I’m 50+ now, I must carry more things (medications, emergency health care kit, water, computer, phones, cables, etc) and need bigger bags. I use separate smaller bags (single clutches, small bags and a foldover clutch) so items aren’t swimming in the interior. This is one of my ‘Neutrals’ for any season, the design is innocuous enough that both men and women can carry. As someone else reviewed, the middle zipper pocket is annoying, flopping back and forth. Wish it were gone.

At the widest, the tote does measure 17 inches, but the bottom is 15, by 11 inches at the narrow vertical middle. I love the fact that the bag has both shoulder and crossbody straps, however, I’m not certain the single stitching at the crossbody strap junction to the bag will be able to hold everything without ripping the PU Leather. A few rivets would have been helpful. Just carrying the bag full around the apartment saw the crossbody strap straining the body where the single stitch patch was attached, so I just removed it. Looking inside where the shoulder strap holds, there is a larger patch where the ends of the straps were tucked underneath. No idea if they were double stitched or if the bag is depending on the patch to hold it.

I bought the Grey color, a neutral that goes with every color and style. I do not have one ‘single’ bag I use consistently, but change out with the seasons. Hopefully this will lessen the chance of the straps ripping out.

Next is the smaller medium gray by Covelin.

I collect bags, clutches and totes in seasonal colors and neutrals. I had a large CK Tote in pink for October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in October. There was a mauve envelope clutch to match but was looking for a smaller tote bag in pink, to show the different sizes to carry. This bag was the only one to have a stiff center zip pocket. The top zipper looked too small to put anything inside surprising me by allowing the extra-wide zip wallet inside, and the stitching looked like it was sewn by professionals. I went ahead and ordered as a test, as I’m looking to add to other colors and seasons.

When the bag arrived, I was pleasantly surprised about the size, professional sewing, hardware and pockets. The size is correct, roughly, 11x8x5, which is a good size for a tote bag to carry essentials plus. The shoulder extends to use as a crossbody strap. The bag can be stuffed full of the items: A full pack of rosacea facial wipes, small umbrella, sunglasses case on the left; on the right is a large wide clutch wallet in pink (holding two large smartphones, insulin pens + needle caps, slim wallet, carmex), red medical bag, small phone that was in the back pocket and keys which were in the front oblique (angular) pocket. There was even room for my hearing aid bag! I didn’t mind the center dividing zip pocket so much, as it is stiffer than found in other, more expensive bags and actually held it’s shape with what was inside. Very impressive.

I am duly impressed with this tote bag! I will be ordering more for other seasons and months. Covelin–please do not stop producing these bags for such a great price!

The third is the small foldover clutch (discussed on this blog in previous posts) by Stella and Dot, in silver matallic gray on the inner side and a punch-out lighter gray on the outside. It has a zip pocket on the foldover side and metal hoops for a shoulder strap.

The fourth item is a small gray fold + zip wallet I bought at a Goodwill store about ten years ago, along with a matching hat. They both have images, but not quite the same. I’ve received so many compliments on the hat. I carried the gray image wallet or about five years before moving on. What I most loved, at the time, is just swiping the back along the transit bus’s card reader. Didn’t even have to remove the transit card! Reach, Swipe and Plop back in my bag. BOOM!

Next is the genuine leather envelope clutch by Yaluxe, a bit larger than the other envelope clutches I have. Now I have to replace some of the smaller clutches from other makers with this one. This one is roughly 10×6 inches with a zip top and an outside zip pocket for a phone or small slim wallet, whichever you use more frequently. It does have an inside zip divider, which I absolutely loathe–dividers, they mostly get in the way.. There are slip pockets on one side and another zip pocket inside.

Next is the dove gray large three compartment zip wallet also by Yaluxe. I have bought this wallet in seven colors with three more to go. This is a must-have imho. This can stretch almost three fold with phones, slim wallet, keys, insulin pens + caps, and so on. This is genuine leather as well as the previous envelope clutch. I have one for almost every month, save September and December’s clutch wallets by Piel Leather.

Onward with the totes. This smaller tote, 11x10x5, is in dark charcoal by Piel Leather. I love Piel Leather’s bags and totes, made in Columbia by leather artisans. When I first saw this tote, I thought it was too small to be useful, along with the Amazon price of $133. I bought it for around $80, at a great bargain (compare to Piel’s price of around $250!). The leather is thick, the accouterments are top quality. I’m talking about not only the leather, but the handles, shoulder straps, the metal strap holders, feet, zippers, liners. All top quality.

You have to determine what the price you’re willing to pay for top quality handmade leather is. You also have to learn to give into your stringent demands on what you are willing to give up for that quality. This goes for anything in life. Learn to give and stretch in your demands.

The bags are more for day-to-day errands, and can hold more than you think: a large wallet, umbrella, phones and cables, medical kit bags (for those of us that need one). So, for me, this 11.5×9×5 bag is just big enough for the extra-basics that smaller bags and clutches can carry (phone, keys, wallet, carmex only). The tote can carry a large wallet with 3 smartphones, wallet, keys, carmex, diabetic pens and needles and placed inside this tote. The shoulder drop is 9 inches, so really too shallow to throw over your shoulder, unless you have small arms like I do. The shoulder crossbody strap can be extended up to 51 inches. There is one outside zip pocket, 5 x 3.75 inches for keys, a very small phone, lip balm, etc. The Charcoal has a light gray lining and the Toffee has a dark brown lining.

I love the colors of these bags, Charcoal and Toffee, according to their Amazon Piel Leather page. I can use the Toffee for Spring-Summer and the Charcoal for Fall-Winter.

Make your decisions wisely.

Finally are two different Calvin Klein bags, both reversible, the Sonoma North South tote and the Gabrianna tote. I initially bought the gray and whie color block Sonoma tote for the reverse yellow color, to add to my August Yellows. This attractive color block was a nice surprise, after having previously buying the blue color block (and the matching crossbody bag). This tote bought used on poshmark was a nice surprise and is useful for two different months/seasons. It is the same large dimensions that i’ve covered in previous articles here.

The last bag, the Calvin Klein Gabrianna tote caught my eye on poshmark months ago and I couldn’t think of why the dark, deep rich colors caught my attention. It wasn’t until the bag went on sale that pushed my memory of a dark pale ale ice cream I once bought! How about that? The ice cream was an odd gray-olive color, so creamy, delicious and rich. That memory stuck with me. I love this tote so much, I bought another on sale in the Twilight Blue! This is 11x13x6! Absolutely huge! I love the way the handles weave through the top of the bag and can be ‘squeezed’ tighter, closing the bag.

So here are my choices for the February Grays!

Until next article.

By Brick ONeil

Author, Researcher, Writer: . Called 'a prolific writer' since 2001, work includes Blogging, Copywriting, Spreadsheets, Research, Proposals, Articles in the fields of real estate, dating, health, fitness, disease, disability, technology and food.

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