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The Everyday Clutch
This Linda Marcus Design bag might be exotic, but it's also multi-purpose.

"Oh my goodness," A woman yelled at me."Your bag is amazing!"

I stopped in my tracks, and looked around. "Me?" I mouthed and pointed at myself. "Yes, you!" she squealed. "At first I thought you were holding a little dog - but it's a purse!" 

Indeed. I did have a fabulous purse, and it was by Linda Marcus Designs.  I went to visit her in her studio in a cute part of Downtown Milwaukee, and was pleasantly surprised to see that she creates all of her own designs by hand before sending them off to be produced in larger quantities. Plus, they're all made in the U.S.

So what's so special about her designs? Other than being a conversation piece, they are one of a kind.

"An LMD bag is as unique as the woman who carries it. Some of the designs feature vintage silk linings, and no two are exactly alike. Other designs offer unique components that make a woman feel special and help her navigate the world in which she lives" says Marcus.

Whether it's made out of stingray, Mongolian sheep's fur or leather, and starting at $250 - I knew this would be my next go-to bag.

Linda's designs fit into four categories: ray-us, bark, sheep, and water. Each category represents the challenges a modern woman has in her every day life. For instance, her "bark" is meant to symbolize the hard exterior one might put up to protect and shelter her cherished inside. "Water" signifies how a woman can find her way through anything, like a stream running through a rough-edged rock bed. 

As beautiful as her designs are, some wonder exactly what to wear with such a statement piece?  I put together a few outfits with the Mongolian sheep fur clutch Linda lent me to help you out.

For a casual, comfortable every day look. This clutch has a wristlet attached for easy carrying.

Perfect for a cocktail or dinner! Playing with textures in the same color family keeps it chic.

Whether you're running errands or shopping, pairing a statement purse with a trouser jean, trench and pointed toe pump will keep you sophisticated yet effortless.

Of course, you can still wear patterns with a statement piece, just make sure it's a bit subdued. 

A rule of thumb when you have a statement handbag: If you wear bold colors, keep it solid. If you are wearing a print, keep the color of the garment darker. 

I've been carrying Linda's Mongolian sheep's fur clutch over a week now, and I have to say not a day goes by that someone doesn't track me down to ask where it's from.

For more of Marcus' designs check out http://www.lindamarcusdesign.com.

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