I don’t like giving advice saying you need these 5 bags or else!!.. .so I am offering up these 5 options and letting you know what lifestyle each bag requires:
The Classic Structured Handbag / Tote
Over the shoulder or just held by the hand, a lot of like this Dagne Dover pictured above, is the perfect bag for the office that is logo free, understated and organized to carry everything.
FYI: This bag is for sale! Contact me. It’s the Dagne Dover 15″ Oynx Stingray Tote. $250 USD
This is very much an office / meetings / ladies who lunch kind of bag, and if you don’t have any of those events in your life, forget about this bag and move on to something more suited to your life.
The Everyday Slouchy Satchel
Now “satchel” means a lot of things to people, and the #1 bag I see Parisiennes carry THE MOST is the Longchamp Pliage.
Pictured above is the Longchamp Pliage Neo because it looks more stylish and elegant (plus a little more hardwearing due to its double-layer construction & fabric), than the standard Longchamp Pliages, but either will do.
They use it as an everyday purse.
They carry EVERYTHING in it, go shopping, to school, to work.. it’s a light, unassuming bag but because of the logo, it’s not some cheap everyday bag that won’t stand the test of time.
From my own experience, my Pliages lasted for years until they were stolen. I didn’t want to replace it but I finally did, when I felt like I had a hole in my wardrobe from missing this very essential bag that is chic & lightweight.
If you are not willing to fork out that kind of $$ on (what is to a lot of people just a cheap nylon bag with a logo), I also highly recommend leather satchels that look like this one I picked up in Paris from under the nose of a Frenchwoman:
Again, unassuming, no logos, 60 EUR and hardwearing. I have had this purse since 2009 and it remains one of the most beloved, most used purses in my purse wardrobe due to its classic look, shape and hardware.
The leather has worn it down to the softness of a baby’s bottom and it is an excellent everyday bag.
Large Folded Leather Clutch
This is for women who don’t need two hands free to handle a free-range toddler, but I see this often, the large folded leather envelope clutch or a large envelope clutch.
If it’s large, it looks more chic than a too small one, just about the size of the one above looks great.
The Stylish Bucket Bag
This was a trendy bag for a while but I’ve seen girls tote it long before it became famous.
Navy is a really unexpected neutral leather bag colour, but you can’t go wrong with black or cognac.. or any shade of brown, really.
I managed to score one in a thrift store for $7 but it might take some hunting before you find yours.
Small crossbody purse
Another really simple purse that more Parisiennes carry is a small crossbody purse.
It is small, I am talking smaller than what we North Americans are used to toting around, and it holds your wallet, keys and phone. That’s it.
It looks fantastic to just carry when you’re out for a walk or for the day to go have brunch, or out with friends.