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Summer's in the bag 

Sad to say, but there’s not much room for fashion with San Antonio’s unforgiving summer heat. Now that we’re hitting our 90-degree stride, I can predict an endless variation on tank tops, cool cotton skirts and shorts all the way through October. Even a  chunky resin bracelet feels oppressive. But there is one item that still needs consideration before you start the season’s round of icehouses, swimming pools, and croquet courts: that summer satchel.

Open your purse. Receipts, bills, random business cards, stale breath mints — is this you? Get zen by dumping that clutter and keeping only the most basic necessities: your ID, the slimmest phone you can afford, house key, car key, and your signature summer lippie (stick with gel or gloss; cream lipsticks melt!).

Now you are ready for the most streamlined of bags: the chic, elegant clutch. Shaped like an envelope and meant to be simply “clutched” in one hand, this bag is minimalism at its best. Haven’t carried a clutch since prom? No worries — these bags are back in casual motifs like straw, canvas, even wood. Another update: Keep hands free for both cocktails and hors d’oeuvre by choosing a clutch with a wristlet.

Clutches close to me this season: Gap’s paper version comes in black or brown, with wristlet, on sale right now for $6.99. Michael Kors’s “Santorini” is too cute in picnic-basket wicker accented with a chunky metal lock; $148 at Nordstroms.

Can’t leave the house so unprepared? The big-bag trend, made so popular by waifish starlets trying to look even smaller, is still going strong, so embrace it. But leave those massive studded and fringed pleather hobos from a few seasons ago behind and get back to basics: the Mexican market bag. Whether in ripstop woven plastic or printed vinyl, these simple, sturdy bags are perfect for packing your summer survival kit. The colors are bright and sunny, and the wipe-down fabric means you can drop your bag anywhere without worry. If your market bag is good and cavernous, compartmentalize it so you can find smaller items. Freebie makeup bags (from department-store special offers) or school-supply pouches — or even the new power Ziploc baggies — are perfect for sorting sunscreen from swim suit from sketchbook.

Where can I get one? The downtown Mercado, of course. Or go international with BazuraShop, a women’s business co-op in the Philippines that recycles juice boxes into shopping bags. Colorful, indestructible, and environmentally friendly. Beach bag, $26.95,

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November 17, 2021

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