How to style a neutral bag: we show you 4 fabulous outfits with a tan bag

by Sylvia

neutral tote handbag looks chic |

Handbags are a powerful accessory to instantly add polish and thoughtful styling to a look (with very little effort).

A classic and timeless bag in a neutral tone, however, is a key closet must have as it will go with most anything and not be restricted by seasons and trends. Neutral tones (gray, black, nude) in a classic, structured silhouette are the perfect investment. A neutral tone handbag will go with most anything in your closet and can be dressed down (for a weekend look) or dressed up (for an evening out).

With this classic tan DKNY leather tote in mind, we put together 4 outfits to take you from formal to leisure and day to night, and to inspire you to consider all the endless possibilities with such a a powerhouse of an accessory as the neutral bag.

Office look

For this office look, we went with a timeless and classic ensemble. We added a feminine flair with a pink button-up blouse, which instantly softens the severity of the suit. Delicate earrings and a necklace work to further soften the look and not overwhelm.

The coordination between the animal print pumps (with a more somber tone) and our neutral tote work well to contrast with the black suit, while also adding a unique edge to the look that is still office appropriate.

office look animal print heels black suit buttonup |

Evening look

We selected a little white dress with an embellished neckline for our evening look. Picking up on the gold hues of the neckline, we added gold and diamond drop earrings and a gold bangle.

The tote pulls on the gold tones of the look and blends seamlessly. Its structured build also plays well into the structure of the dress, as well as its metallic hardware that plays well off of the metallic heels.

little white dress embellished metallic heels gold |

Errands look

When spending a day running errands, we usually want to go with a polished look that is as effortless as it is comfortable. For this look, we went with a comfy pair of boyfriend jeans. Pointed toe flats add class, yet are still comfortable to last for a full day completing tasks.

A plaid silk top is comfortable and casual with a little luxe silk to add to the look.

We also included a twill coat that helps to balance proportions, yet is still casual enough for the look. The neutral tote blends in perfectly and showcases how a neutral tone bag can easily be integrated.

Additionally, the bag also adds enough polish to the look without dressing up the outfit too much.

errands look plaid top pointed toe flats |

Weekend brunch look

Weekend brunch looks are always an exciting ensemble to put together as they have to balance the tone between casual and chic.

To meet in the middle, we styled the neutral tote with a midi floral skirt, which instantly boosts the chic factor. To dress it down, while still delivering on a unique look, we went with a striped blue top. The blue tones link the two pieces which allows for the interesting visual of contrasting prints.

Brown sandals keep the look less complex and coordinate perfectly with a nude tote that adds more structure and pulls all the textures, shades of blue, and prints together.

brunch look floral skirt striped top statement earrings |

Shop the items above and additional neutral bags below:

Do you love having a neutral bag like this one? How would you style it?



P.S. Do you want to learn a lot more about accessorizing and how to complete your outfits? Our style course Accessorize Me Confident & Beautiful is now open for enrolment!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzanne

This was full of wonderful style tips. The clothes and handbag were just delicious. Even at the age of 68 I picked up some great tips.


2 Yvonne

I love all the outfits! Thanks so much for giving all of your followers your time, advice, and suggestions. I can’t wait for Saturday nights Webinar


3 Patti

That floral skirt – just perfection. Thanks for the great tips and visuals. xo



4 Suzanne

I’m kind of in love with that floral skirt.



5 Ann

Great choices! Love that first combination. I use silver and gold bags as a neutral tone as you have shown with this lovely tan one. My hair is light and I find them an easy to coordinate accessory that goes with just about everything.


6 Silvia DiPierdomenico

The styling tips are so helpful! In an odd coincidence, I just posted about a woman’s love of her handbag and my vintage handbag obsession.


7 Elaine

Beautiful bag paired with those classic looks. Right up my alley! This is the year of bag shopping for me.


8 Greetje

And a few more tips I can use. Thank you.


9 Catherine @ Not Dressed As Lamb

Sylvia I’m loving all the looks here – but I’m ESPECIALLY dying over the striped shirt and floral midi!! I’ve pinned it and totally want to recreate that in the summer…!

Catherine x


10 beate

love the weekend-brunch and the evening look!!!
no need for the office look here – instead i would wear the brunch style for business appointments…..
i really need a plain tan bag now 😉


11 Leslie Clingan

Such wholesome, classic good looks. That great bag is such a strong foundation piece. Love the floral Kandinsky skirt (seeing a whole lot of blue for spring) paired with the subtle pattern in the blouse. And that white? Delicious like whipped cream.


12 Sherry Edwards

Unfortunately my basic go to bag is a boring “black”. Even with the rest of my outfit the black purse is always handy. I do have lots of other purses however that requires more planning and organization and a black purse is just sooooo easy.


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