Thirteen Cool Things

Ah, the merry month of….January. Not! With the holidays over and the inevitability of miserable weather approaching, we all need a bit of help staying upbeat and happy in January; even if it’s help of the superficial kind: retail therapy. Luckily, there is a never ending stream of merchandise out there, some of which just might do the trick, cheer you up, give you something to look forward to, and take a sting out of the month.

The following 13 items, priced from $31 – $750 have certainly caught my eye. And while I am hardly Marie Kondo (probably the polar opposite!), these updated classics possess something unique that sets them apart and have ‘sparked joy’ by virtue of their clever design which makes them functional, versatile and practical, in addition to looking good.

The Multi-Purpose Hinza Bag

Hinza’s colorful multi purpose totes are made out of recyclable polyethylene.
Click images for full-size views

The Hinza bag, a Swedish classic, designed by Perstorp A.B., originally became popular at the beginning of the 1950’s and was reissued in 2008 by Karin Bachstätter, the great granddaughter of the founder. Made of a recyclable polyethylene to withstand almost anything they are subjected to the rugged plastic totes are stackable and perfect for everything from storage to beach, picnics, gardening, and shopping. They easily wipe or rinse off any dirt, come in two sizes, and are available in 11 colors, $31 – $38.50  More info/purchase

Veronica Beard Fergus Dickey Jacket

Veronica Beard Fergus Dickey Jacket in Off White

Sharp tailoring never gets old, as exemplified by Veronica Beard’s Fergus Dickey Jacket. In chic off white wool and spandex, with a contrasting black collar, it features a single button fastening and a removable silver chain. So chict! It is also available in black with a gold chain. Both are compatible with all Veronica Beard Dickeys, $695. More info/purchase

Jeffrey Campbell Ballero Scarf Loafer

Jeffrey Campbell Ballero Scarf Loafers

Scarves and scarf prints never go out of style and they always add a touch of color, pattern, and interest to any ensemble. They have recently been given appealing updates (French designer Marine Serre, for one, has been using them inventively in her collections). Jeffrey Campbell had a clever idea to add a knotted printed satin scarf to spice up his classic white stacked heel loafers, $154. More info/purchase

Apolis Global Citizen Customized Market Bag

Apolis Global Citizen Customizable Market Bag

The Apolis Global Citizen made-to-order market bags are perfect for carrying everything you might need, from office supplies, mom stuff, groceries, gym wear, or daily gear (Gisele Bundchen is among the fans). They hold over 100 pounds, are made to last at least 8 years, and what sets them apart is that they are customizable. You can enter up to three lines of text and multiple designs to be hand printed to your specifications and not only are you getting a chic, durable, practical bag with a water resistant interior, but better yet, all the Bangladeshi mothers who handcraft the bags receive Fair Trade wages, annual profit dividends, and a retirement fund, so it’s win- win all the way around, $68.

This month, they are coming out with their limited-edition Customizable Hand-Painted Monogram Bag: Apolis + Emily J. Snyder, $88. This bag features the initials of your choice hand-painted in water-resistant paint by Los Angeles-based artist Emily J. Snyder. More info/purchase

Norma Kamali Abstract Lines Carpet Bag

Norma Kamali Large Carpet Bag

No doubt travel (or long weekends out of town), is in your future and Norma Kamali’s enormous rectangular nylon and spandex carpet bag should do the trick beautifully. It has a distinctive abstract black and white ‘Lines’ pattern, raw-cut edges, a double handle, and is lightweight enough so it won’t weigh you down. But it is still roomy enough to hold all the things you can’t live without. An added bonus, it’s been reduced from $420 to $150. More info/purchase

Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag Car Coat in White

Norma Kamali Sleeping Bag Car Coat

Collectible. Covetable. Comfortable. The poly filled abbreviated Sleeping Bag Car Coat is one of the newest additions to the classic NK icons and it’s a cold-weather must have. There is something really delicious about doing it in optic white, and keeping it starkly monochromatic in the dead of winter when everyone else is in black, $550.  More info/purchase

Norma Kamali NK Shirt Bodysuit

Norma Kamali NK White Shirt Bodysuit

Who doesn’t need a wardrobe of perfect crisp white shirts in their closet year round? Leave it to Norma to come up with a shirt that is a bodysuit so you know it will stay perfectly in place (just the thing for high waisted pants and skirts). This bodysuit pulls on for ease and has a bonded collar, cuffs and front placket for structure with raw, clean-cut edges for a modern finish, $265. More info/purchase

Kara White Shirt Bag

Kara White Shirt Bag in Lambskin

Kara’s limited edition lambskin leather Shirt Bag, from their capsule collection, celebrates the small, everyday gestures and objects that fill our lives. The front side is cleverly constructed with two zippered compartments while the full back panel has a single compartment accessible from the interior and exterior of ‘Shirt’. Tie sleeves together to create a messenger bag or cinch around waist, $750. More info/purchase

Kara Black Biker Wallet

Kara Biker Wallet

Kara’s Black Biker Wallet is inspired by oversized bike locks worn by cyclists around New York City. Made of polished calf leather it features a 36.25 inch chunky oversized silver chain with clip which makes it versatile. You can wear it over your shoulder, across your torso, or slip the wallet into your pant pocket and clip the chain to a belt loop. It is so popular it sold out but is on back order, $295. More info/purchase

Barneys New York Neoprene Insert Rain Boots

Barneys New York Neoprene and Tweed Boots

It’s been a season filled with great looking combat boots and hiking boots, but what makes these so great, is that they are made of molded black rubber with a heathered rib-knit collar and neoprene sock insert; perfect for braving the rain and snow in style, $195. More info/purchase

Dr. Martens Women’s 1460 Pascal Black Velvet Boots

Dr. Martins Black Velvet Boots

The 1460 is the original Dr. Martens boot. With its 8 eyes, grooved sides, heel-loop, yellow stitching, and comfortable air-cushioned sole, it is instantly recognizable. And iconic. Other than a Birkenstock and a Chuck Taylor lace up sneaker, it was the footwear of choice for Marc Jacobs’ resort 2019 Redux Grunge Collection. One normally finds versions of this boot in leather or maybe patent leather, but seeing it in sumptuous black velvet with matching satin laces, is more unexpected and quite appealing, $69.99 – $176.94 depending on the size you order. More info/purchase

 Dr. Martens Purple Velvet Boots

Even more unusual and out of the ordinary is the cherry red and purple (dusty violet) velvet which also has limited availability. Depending on the size your order, prices range from about $69.99 – $176.00.  More info/purchase

Zara Down Coat with Wrap Collar and Attached Mittens

Zara Down Coat with Wrap Collar and Attached Mittens

Zara’s hooded feather and down fill puffer coat will keep you extra warm and cozy thanks to its high wrap collar, double-breasted snap button closure, and adjustable long sleeves with elasticized cuffs. In addition to camel, it is also available in dark green, navy, and black, and you can’t go wrong with the price: $149. More info/purchase

What really sets this apart from other puffer coats is that it has removable insulated mittens so if you are like me, and are constantly losing one or both gloves, that will not be a problem! Love it!

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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