Coffee Break – Serena Hobo Bag

Kate Spade New York - Medium Serena (Coconut/Cream) - Bags and LuggageZappos seems to have a number of Kate Spade items marked down still, and this Serena hobo caught my eye. I like the black and white print here — I don’t think it’s properly a “zebra” print, but it does remind me of an animal print in general. I like that it’s black and white (very versatile) but a little wild (animal) — I also like the chain detailing on the strap. It was $325, and is currently marked to $260. Nice! Kate Spade New York – Medium Serena (Coconut/Cream) – Bags and Luggage



  1. This bag is only $162 at,default,pd.html?dwvar_PXRU2489_color=218&start=45&cgid=sale

    I just got this bag in the same pattern and am very happy with it.,default,pd.html?dwvar_PXRU2486_color=218&start=46&cgid=sale

  2. Is this bag made of Leather or Canvass? If Leather, then fine, but if it is canvass, or some other kind of cloth, it is to expensive. There is a guy on 57th street near Madison avenue that has this bag, or something close for $30. After work, I will go see if it is the same.

  3. finance reads? :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a great personal finance book with an emphasis on how much money to save and how (i.e. through what investment vehicle) to save it? I’m a married recent law school grad without debt and with modest savings. I’m about to start a biglaw job. I used to work in finance so I’m not clueless about asset allocation. I’m more curious about retirement investment vehicles, buying a home, minimizing my tax liability, etc. I don’t plan on buying many individual stocks because I’ll be on the corporate side at my new job and I don’t want to deal with the pain of getting all of my stock holdings cleared. I did a quick search of this site but didn’t see any other discussions–apologies in advance if there’s another thread I should be looking at.

    • I really liked the Elizabeth Warren book, All Your Worth, that she wrote with her daughter. It has really great, common sense spending plans for families of all incomes.

    • E as in oebe :

      A variant of this question has been asked several times here, but (imho) has not been satisfactorily answered. I used to read a ton about personal finance and investing in my early 20s and have an economics background. Now I’m in almost the same boat as you financially and haven’t found that magic book/blog/etc yet. Everything I’ve found is either “basic” personal finance (budgeting, importance of emergency fund, stop buying lattes) or “basic” to “specialized” investing (index funds are your friends, stock picking, real estate investing). I haven’t found anything that addresses oversaving for retirement, how much to put down on a house when you have 70% of the purchase price in cash (erm, how to allocate between real estate and cash investments?), or how much I can budget for vacations now that I can actually afford them.

      That said, Elizabeth Warren’s book is the best overall (and I’ve read most of the personal finance books out there).

    • finance reads? :

      Thanks–this was great feedback. I’ll check out All Your Worth.

    • karenpadi :

      Quite frankly, one can only be so educated about personal finance. At some point (and it sounds like you are there), you just have to jump in and get wet.

      Pool’s open!

      BTW, this is one of those men v. women things. Guys are more likely to jump in earlier and accept risk. Us women, on the other hand, hem and haw over what’s “best” when there really isn’t a “best”.

    • In all seriousness – Investing for Dummies.

      There’s also a Personal Finance for Dummies, but I can’t personally recommend it because I haven’t read it. But Investing for Dummies was great. Since you worked on finance, maybe you know more than I did, but I was definitely a “dummy” and I found it very helpful. Like you I was mostly interested in managing my retirement investments and buying a home.

    • I liked The Big Payoff by Sharon Epperson. Too many personal finance books start with the premise that the reader has stumbled into 30k of credit card debt. This one starts with the premise that you are gainfully employed and reasonably responsible with your money, but you want more details about retirement, investment, tax, health care, and savings choices. It touts itself as giving advice for “couples,” but that just manifests itself by assuming that you have a spouse and explaining how your marriage affects your options, tax liability, etc., and has a couple chapters on financially planning for children in terms of buying a house and saving for college/private school.

  4. I’m planning a vacation to Montreal in mid-September. Plan to do lots of bike riding, eating out, and go out to pubs/ clubs/ lounges. Is anyone on Corporette from Montreal or familiar with what stylish women wear there? It’s going to be relatively cool at night and hit mid-60s during the day so my approach is to layer.

    I’ve been to Toronto many times but Quebec province seems like a whole other country to me and I want to make sure I fit in and bring the right items. So far I have a couple of comfortable walking flats and a classic trench for the day. Any ideas for to wear to a nice meal out? Or to a club/ lounge? I’ll be driving there so I can bring more than I normally would if I were flying. Thanks in advance!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I went to Mcgill (just as a frame of reference). Clubs: the outfit depends a lot on where you end up going, but most places will have some sort of dress code. You’d probably feel comfortable in nice jeans, heels, and a ‘going-out’ shirt of some sort (black, a little revealing), or maybe a little black dress. Same thing for for a nice meal out. Nice heels definitely if you’re going out to a club or for dinner.

      I’d really recommend La Clube Chasse et Peche- it’s super expensive, but fantastic (from what I remember- I’d always beg my parents to take me when they came to visit). Another place that was good and not super expensive is L’Academie. I’d also recommend visiting Santropol for their sandwiches, they are to die for. As in, I still dream about those sandwiches (and I lived in Montreal 3 year ago). St. Viateur for bagels. Schwartzes for smoked meat. Rockaberry for pies. The Jean-Talon Market is also really cute. Club 737 is at the top of the highest building, I always liked it up there, it was a different atmosphere than many of the other clubs.

      Enjoy! It’s a lovely city.

      • McGill Grad Also :

        I also went to McGill and I am so excited to see a post about Montreal! When I was in Montreal, it was very stylish and trendy. I would definitely bring a nice black dress or similar outfit for dinner and clubs. That way you can dress it up or down with accessories, etc. when you get a feel for what is appropriate there.

        I second L’Academie. I used to live about a block away and my roommates and I would go there all the time. It is in a great part of town where all the restaurants are bring your own wine (L’Academie is right next to the SAQ, the liquor store, which I also used to shop at frequently). However, pretty much any restaurant in Montreal is amazing.

        If you are in Old Montreal (which I am sure you are planning to visit), you MUST go to Crepe Suzette. It is the ultimate french-type restaurant (fondue, unbelievable crepes, hot wine…). The food is amazing and I always felt like I was in a different world when I was in there.

        Montreal is amazing! I wish I could get back there soon!

    • Heels are definitely big in Montreal, in the street and in clubs. I know someone who refers to the walk you do when wearing heels on ice as “the Montreal Shuffle”. Some clubs will not allow women to wear flats or wedges, although most of them do.

      Street style is pretty inventive and “stylish” compared to most places in Canada, so feel free to dress up and dress trendy. It’s not a very casually-dressed city, though.

      • Oh, and I second Shwartz’s! The smoked meat is amazing. Also, try real poutine (seriously, it sounds weird but is so good) and sugar pie, if you can!

        • gone dotty :

          Oh, a great simple classy restaurant – Entrecot St Jean…fixed menu, steak and fries. Only choice is w/w0 sauce. In the downtown hotel area which connects to the underground “mall.” Sorry I can’t be more specific. I was there when DH was on business for months at a time. There are some very fine shopping opportunities along that same main street, a bit past the restaurant. I second the thoughts about eating Montreal smoked meat…there are two major players in town…love Shwartz. Enjoy!

          • gone dotty :

            Forgot to mention. Learned about vanilla ice cream sprinkled with maple sugar in Montreal. We keep bags o’maple sugar at home for all sorts of things now…found it in the Old City.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Also- I should warn you that mid-September in Montreal can still be quite hot. I remember the first couple weeks of school every year still hitting the mid-20C range, and one year in particular, it was 30C in early October. I’d still bring the trench for evening, but I would not think that you’ll need it during the day much, if at all.

    • missing Montreal :

      I grew up in Mtl and went to McGill too.. great to see others! I agree with the nice jeans and heels or cute flats (I don’t think you’ll have a giant problem not wearing heels) plus a going-out top as a general evening outfit. The classic trench is a good idea, as is bringing an LBD (which doesn’t have to be B, just that sort of style). Plus a lightweight scarf or two. Mid-September is great weather in Montreal.

      Also, definitely, absolutely, 100% go to Juliette et Chocolat (several locations by now). It’s basically a restaurant revolving around chocolate, with also some crepes and salads on the menu. Amazing. Wonderful. Perfect. And I second Santropol for a lunch (sit in the terrasse outside in the back). Au Pied de Cochon is super incredibly popular also, very meat/foie gras oriented but apparently very creative and amazing.

      I live in TO now and agree that street style in Montreal is much more stylish and inventive than here (alas). Women here seem to dress more expensively, but much less interestingly (everyone has pricey clothes and bags, but everyone sort of has the same pricey clothes and bags).

    • I second almost all of the recommendations listed above except for Club 737 and l’Academie. 737 has an incredible view, but I’d go there for a happy hour (and only for the view) and not the club. I used to go to l’Academie all the time as a student, but the food’s really not that great (though it is cheap). For another BYOW option, Yoyo is good, slightly more expensive but well worth it.

      As to style – take whatever you’d wear to Toronto, make it a little more funky and you’re good to go.

  5. Why are purses so expensive lately? The cost of purses has risen insanely while we can still get shoes for 100 bucks and jeans for less. I have never, ever paid more than 100 dollars for a purse. What is up?

    • I don’t think purses have gotten more expensive, but I do think more women are buying luxury/designer purses than other luxury/designer items. Luxury brand shoes and jeans cost way more than $100, but your average middle-class woman doesn’t buy them. For me, it’s because I wear different shoes or clothes every day, but I carry the same bag, which makes it worth spending a lot on. I couldn’t afford to have 10 or 20 pairs of $400 shoes, but I can afford one $400 bag (well – I have 3, I buy one every year or two). And I do think my Cole Haan and Carlos Falchi bags are at least ten times better than my old $50 Nine West bag.

    • Trying again because my comment evidently disappeared the first and second time I posted –

      I don’t think purses have gotten more expensive, but I do think more women are buying luxury purses than other luxury items. Luxury brand shoes and jeans cost way more than $100, but your average middle-class woman doesn’t buy them. For me, it’s because I wear different shoes or clothes every day, but I carry the same bag, which makes it worth spending a lot on. I couldn’t afford to have 10 or 20 pairs of $400 shoes, but I can afford one $400 bag (well – I have 3, I buy one every year or two). And I do think my Cole Haan and Carlos Falchi bags are at least ten times better than my old $50 Nine West bag.

  6. Drool:,default,pd.html?dwvar_34112503_color=411&start=57&cgid=newarrivals-clothing

  7. Equity's Darling :

    Does anyone else find it super weird when you walk around and see the names of business for files that you’re doing work on?

    I just started as an articling student about a month ago, and I’ve seen the names of a few businesses or property developments in the newspaper, or just walking around my neighbourhood, and I find it so bizarre.

    I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough, but as of right now, I still marvel that I’m helping with a corporate restructuring for xyz co, and that I also see their housing development ads (for example…)

    • I’ve been in finance for 25 years and I still don’t get tired of it. I’m immensely proud of the companies that I’ve financed, from the start-ups that I still see in business 20 years later to the Fortune 50 companies that are household names. I’ve financed planes, trucks, boats, buildings, museums, universities and also helped not-for-profits that are improving the lives and health of people in the US and also in developing countries.

    • I’m a trademark attorney, and I love seeing clients’ brands out and about – I don’t think that will ever wear off.

  8. Kat, recently I’ve had a lot of comments straight up disappear, not even going into moderation. I think they all contained hyperlinks or something that your spam software may construe as hyperlinks such as punctuation like colons or slashes. Thought I should let you know because it seems to be a bug.

  9. Just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who suggested things for me and my friend to do in Chicago last weekend. We had a great time, and felt like such insiders for skipping the Sears Tower in favor of John Hancock for drinks. :) Your city is fantastic!

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