Fashion / Style

Clear Plastic Handbags Get Truly Stylish, Making Even Those Rigid NFL Stadium Rules No Fashion Obstacle: How to Dress for Game Day Without the Ziploc

BY // 09.05.18

Did we ever imagine that plastic would be a fashionista’s best friend? Never. At least not until denizens of NFL security declared backpacks and Hermés Kelly bags verboten. The fashion conundrum presented by the stadium-compliant 12″ x 6″ x 12″ clear bag and the tiny clutch 4.5″ x 6.5″ restrictions sent many a stylista into deep depression when it launched in 2013.

The idea of re-imagining a gallon Ziploc bag as a tote, as was frequently suggested, was inconceivable, likewise those unsightly plastic team logo bags. Ugh. It was a dystopian fashion era when even a Judith Leiber minaudière would not fit the tiny criteria.

The ban on high-fashion handbags of a certain size reminded Billy Fong, PaperCity Dallas’ culture/style editor, of The Battle of Algiers, a film he studied during a political iconography class while at university. Women in the opposition ranks dressed as fashionable French damoiselles and carried  bombs in their chichi handbags. Not a chance of that today, not even amid the most heated gridiron rivalry.

As restrictions on bag sizes have spread across the sports and entertainment landscapes, alternatives to the Ziploc have multiplied until even the haute and mighty have joined the plastic revolution. Tops on the luxury bag chain is Valentino Garavani’s  Rockstud Spike Plexi Medium Shoulder Bag with an interior leather zip privacy pocket, priced at $2,444. While stadiums and rock concerts were not in mind when Prada came up with its Small Plex Shopper, the polyvinyl logo tote with leather tim and removable leather for $1,040 fits the bill.

Austin-based handbag designer Kelly Wynne Ferguson scored with the stadium bag thing before it was a true designer fashion option, transforming her popular Mingle Mingle Mini into a PVC plastic design with leather panels in the line’s signature textures with a luxe chain strap. So popular are the Kelly Wynne bags that Nordstrom selected it as the premiere clear bag line to sell on its website. In a playful nod to her alma mater, Ole Miss, Wynne created the petite Game Changer Mini in Red Haute, embossed red suede, gold metallic snake skin and embossed red patent leather.

This little gem, 4.5″ x 6.5″ comes in a dozen color ways and patterns ranging from periwinkle embossed leather to multi-colored embossed leather with python detailing. They range in price from $298 to $315.

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GiGi New York’s Collins Crossbody is an affordable and fun answer to this most-annoying fashion challenge. The Game Day Collection clear bag with Vachetta leather trim in beige or black is the result of a collaboration between GiGi and lifestyle blogger Collins Tuohy Smith of “Collins Closets.” The stylish bag in PVC clear plastic has the option of personalization with up to three letters. And for an $25 extra, above the $148 price tag, you can select a fringe tassel in your team’s color.

Sara Cusumano and Maria Harrington weren’t necessarily thinking AT&T or NRG stadiums or the Cowboys and Texans when they created their clear handbags, conceived as a solution to  the dilemma of cluttered chaos. Yet, as sports authorities and concert sponsors started putting limits on carry-ins, the gals created their stadium- and concert-compliant bags, the current rage in Los Angeles. The affordable yet stylish bags come in Clarity Crossbody, Clarity Clutch and Clarity Clutch small with price tags at $78, $48 and $45.

The biggest and perhaps corniest selection comes from SCORE!, The Official Game Day Bag. With styles titled with girly names such as Chrissy, Jacqui and Eva, most of the designs come in 40 color combinations as well as polkadot. Bags start at $69.

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