20 backpacks to have you reconsidering backpacks

street style backpack

I love the look of a backpack—so urban-chic and no-nonsense. Plus, they are so much kinder to your back than carrying your life around in a handbag. I am thinking about getting one for travel, because I hate dragging a huge tote around the airport, and like the idea of being hands-free.

everlane backpack1

The dark green on this option from Everlane is really good, but it comes in a couple of other colors too.

mansur gavriel backpack

A poppy red choice from Mansur Gavriel.

fjallraven backpack

I love classic Fjallraven backpacks: they’re cheap and stylish and there’s something kind of Euro about them (they’re from Sweden, so that follows). I also like this one, which is meant for laptops.

fjallraven backpack1

Another Fjallraven model worth considering.

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A simple, straightforward backpack from Clare V.


kara backpack

Kara’s backpack is a favorite of mine: so streamlined, with an oversize zipper that makes a big statement.

vere verto backpack

The natural leather here will age really well.

rag & bone backpack

An understatedly elegant choice from Rag & Bone.

herschel supply backpack

Just your basic black backpack, from Herschel.

sole society backpack

This is faux leather and a great deal.

allsaints backpack

I didn’t used to like it when backpacks were shaped like something other than backpacks, but now I can see the utility of having a backpack that reads like a handbag, and for that reason I like this one from Allsaints.

adidas backpack

This is actually a gym bag, and it’s nicely big, so I’m thinking it would be great for travel.

madewell backpack

A cute little canvas number with touches of leather.rag & bone backpack1

This could easily go from work to evening.

longchamp backpack

You know how geeked out I am lately on Longchamp bags, so I am loving this. It comes in black and a couple of other colors too, but I think the blue is kind of fun and less-expected.

frye backpack

I’m not typically the biggest fan of hardware, but I really like it here.

sole society backpack1

This looks a bit like what the woman in the top picture is carrying.

madewell leather backpack

A leather backpack that’s pretty reasonably priced.

jerome dreyfuss backpack

And finally: something gorgeous, spendy, and French from Jerome Dreyfuss.


Did you miss my post on excellent everyday handbags?

A note from the GOACA sickbed

natalie wood

Excuses in advance if things are a little slow this week: I had a bunch of posts conveniently prepared in advance before I got sick, but am now working to bring myself up to speed while still not feeling 100%. Meanwhile, this picture of Natalie Wood pretty much sums up the last week at GOACA HQ: just nonstop glamour with me and the dogs, fine china, and very strong antibiotics. Tell me, because I’m craving entertainment: what the most exciting thing that has happened to you so far this year?

A bunch of pretty silk tops

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I’ll just start out by saying that silk tops are not a cheap category. There’s nothing too outrageously splurgy here (at least by my—admittedly skewed—standards) and I did manage to unearth a couple of reasonably-priced choices, but for the most part, a nice silk blouse will cost you. But I think they’re worth it, because it always feels a little bit special to be wearing silk, even if you’ve got no bigger plans than lounging about at home. Why not let’s start with this divine leopard print?

vince silk top

I sort of wanted to save this red top for a “Things I bought, things I want” post, because I do want it a lot, but I haven’t bought much lately so it goes in here. Just such a good red, and nice slouchy fit.

everlane silk top

Well-priced, deeply office-worthy, covertly kind of cool.

equipment silk top1

This popover has all the crispness on a freshly-ironed white button-down shirt.

eileen fisher silk top

This shirt comes in a few colors—including always-handy black—but I like it best in this vibrant red.

veronica beard silk top

A pretty dark floral, just how I like them.

lagence silk top

Small touches—the deep cuffs, the covered buttons—make this an elegant option.

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Another pretty floral print—because spring will come, eventually.

joie silk top

I’ve thought about buying this easy top so many times: it just looks like a good solid option for those days when nothing else in your closet seems quite right.

vince silk top1

The gentle gathers on this blouse make it quite feminine.

rebecca taylor silk top

This top is a bit girlier than I usually go, but I like it.

green silk top

I just really love this green.

everlane silk top1

I saw a striped shirt like this from Isabel Marant recently that costs about twenty times what this one does.

eileen fisher striped silk top

I like the very subtle stripes here.

frame silk top

Another top I surprise myself by liking because a high neck like that is usually not for me. But I think the smocking is a cool touch.

vince silk top2

I love the graceful neckline here.


In case you missed it: my post last week on tops with great prints.

A really very picky jeans post

ag jeans

All I’m interested in looking at right now are jeans in dark washes, with little or no whiskering, fading, or distressing. A tiny little bit of that stuff is OK. Good even, because it gives jeans character, and can even cause a pair to be more flattering. But too much of it—and there is so so much of it out there—is way overdone. There are few things I think a person necessarily has to age out of, but super worn-in-looking jeans is for the kids, I really believe.  This pair from AG has a nice straight cut, and such a clean wash you could wear it to work, just about.

topshop jeans

This high-waisted dark-grey pair from Topshop has a lot of slouch appeal.

madewell jeans

A very all-American choice, from Madewell.

universal standard jeans

Universal Standard makes the best jeans in extended sizes, and I’m having a tough time finding others I like as well. Thoughts, ladies?

citizens jeans

These cropped jeans are nice  and neat-looking, and I like that the waist is high, but not too high.

levis grey jeans

These Levi’s are just a good kick-around-on-the-weekends option.

mother jeans

A nice inky-dark take with a step hem, from Mother.

everlane boyfriend jeans

Everlane’s boyfriend jean in pitch black is another one I’d consider for the office.



j crew jeans

This pair, from  J. Crew, has the just-right amount of whiskering—which is to say, very little.

goldsign jeans

A very excellently 70s mom option.

absolution jeans

A well-priced pair of boyfriend jeans.

transcend jeans

If you’re looking for something black and skinny, you could do worse than these.

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Nili Lotan’s boyfriend jean has a nice, trouser-ish cut.

everlane jean

Everlane’s High-Rise skinny jean has such a good dark indigo wash. They remind me of APC.

veronica beard jeans

I like Veronica Beard’s line, and so I’m curious about her jeans. These have a pleasingly saturated wash, and a not-distracting amount of whiskering.


Here’s a post I did a little while back on boyfriend jeans.

GOACA wardrobe classics: camisoles

rebecca minkoff camisole

Back around 2003 or so, you couldn’t get me out of camisoles: I owned a drawer-full of them and wore them on their own, or—more commonly—with a blazer or cardigan. Lately I’ve been thinking about them again because I’ve acquired a few sheer tops that require them, but also because I feel as though I can still, just maybe, get away with wearing them layered with blazers and sweaters the way I used to. I don’t especially like cotton camis—too clingy—and prefer something a bit silkier. It just drapes better, especially if you’re wearing it under a top. This one, from  Rebecca Minkoff, isn’t left in too many sizes, but is so cute with the embroidered stars.

mango camisole

A well-priced orange option.

equipment camisole

More stars, from Equipment.

madewell camisole

Just a really sweet floral.

soprano camisole

I like the scalloping at the neckline here.

j crew camisole

Here’s a velvet peplum cami that looks really flattering.

elle camisole

I am a big fan of the color combination here.

vince camisole

I like the skinny, skinny straps on this (marked-down) option from Vince.

floreat camisole

I don’t like too too much lace on a cami, and think this one gets it just about exactly right.cami nyc camisole

A striped cami like this would look great peeking out from under a blazer.

cami nyc camisole

The blue on blue here is just gorgeous (here is a cheaper but similar option).

organic by John Patrick camisole

Somewhere in my apartment is this Organic by John Patrick cami, which I’d be wearing nonstop if I could find it, because it’s got a beautiful bias cut. And here is another very simply-cut black choice.

anine bing camisole

I like the clean lines on this pretty blue one from Anine Bing.

anthro camisole

Like I mentioned, I’m not a big fan of cotton camis, but I’ll make an exception for this one because the embroidery is so pretty.


Here is a post on my favorite lingerie resources.

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