These 5 purses are really the staples of my wardrobe. I own FAR MORE than these 5 bags, but I find myself reaching for them or similar versions of them over and over again.
Crossbody bag (or something similar)
I’m sort of starting to warm up to the idea of a hip bag (i.e. fancier name for a fanny pack).
I don’t know why, don’t ask me, but I think it has something to do with having a child and wanting to have two hands free and NOTHING obstructing you to be able to run after an active toddler and grab him with two hands because he’s having a baby fit and wants to walk by himself across a busy road and do everything else BY HIMSELF.
Anwyay, here’s another alternative to a crossbody bag if you are interested (*cough*myself included*cough*)
Clutch: For Formal Events Where You Won’t Be Eating A Lot
A fancy clutch. Just one. That goes with everything.
I like picking beautiful patterns for clutches only because I can make ANYTHING work with a pretty print, and black is just so … boring.
This is mostly for events where you are more than likely going to be stuffed into some structured shapewear, wearing pantyhose and trying not to salivate and make eye contact with the waiter/waitress for the hors d’oeuvres because you know you will not be able to breathe if you eat too many of them.
Instead, you are trying to find a chair to sit down to rest your legs and back because your heels are probably an inch too high and you are not used to any of this because you were dragged here by a friend / colleague / partner / spouse and you have to make nicey-nice.
Or is that just me?
I tend to avoid these events from the absolute lack of ability to eat.
Still, you need to be prepared for these events, no matter how often you try and avoid them.
This clutch will do it for you and amp up ANY outfit or any of these other clutches if you are so inclined for something more neutral, or wilder.
Or you can use them to go out with the girls!
I know everyone and their dog is really excited about Madewell Totes for $200 or whatever, but honestly, you can find better for the same price point if you are looking for leather totes.
I bought this structured leather tote from Etsy’s Paterson & Salisbury and my goodness it is a beautiful work of art. I’m thrilled to use and carry it, and I don’t look at it and think: Ugh. This feels cheap.
Sure, it’s not floppy and flimsy like those leather totes but it’s about the same price point and it is just GORGEOUS.
If you want something lighter, I like Longchamp Pliages (around $200 mark as well but SUPER lightweight as they’re nylon & very chic in a casual way).
Classic Work Satchel
You need one if you work or are thinking of working. It has to be structured and big enough to fit a laptop but not oversized. You need this to carry to interviews, to chic events, to places where a clutch is too fancy and everything else is too casual.
I like the Matt & Nat Kintla bag because it’s vegan leather but doesn’t feel like crap, and I wrote all about it everything I can stuff in the Matt & Nat Kintla bag here in this post.
For everything else — the gym, for heavy errands, carrying things to the tailor, you need a less structured, floppy duffel bag that is able to be crammed full of junk when you’re out & trying to get absolutely EVERYTHING DONE.
I use this bag when I go downtown and have 7 things to check off my list to either buy and/or return, and this Cornelia Guest vegan wool bag does the trick.
It also looks very chic as a weekend bag.
Other options are big totes like this one from Squeak Totes (Etsy strikes again!) that holds a HECK of a lot of things and is just as floppy, but with a little more edge with the ink blot design: