No sillies. Not me! I’m not the old bag I write of this time! I’m talking old bags—the handbag kind. The ones sitting on a shelf in your closet. A whole bunch of ’em!
Some of the old bags resting on my closet shelf. I think they are tired of being there and want to come out to play!
First, I’ll tell you about my week—then I’ll continue the bag tawk. Training started for me this past Tuesday at the “high-end department store” where I am now employed. As I have a blog, HR explained to me that I cannot name the store on my blog, nor can I be an affiliate. It’s cool—trust me, after all the shit I’ve been through in trying to find a job at my age of —-61 in two weeks, I’m feeling good that this high-end retail corporation decided to make me part of the team!
Wait—I was under the assumption that I would be working full time. I’m not. I was hired part time—and part time enough that I fall short of being eligible for any medical benefits. So my search for a full-time position continues. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy what I will be doing.
Once again, I made an ass out of me when I assumed I would be working full-time! Oops!
Believe me, I know bags. Goddess knows, I’ve got enough. And here’s the thing. I don’t rotate my bags often as I should. My bag collection is pretty old—I just don’t update a lot. I don’t run out and purchase bags every season. In fact, my lack of rotation is not making my old bags very happy.
Why? Well…it’s because I’m too damned lazy. That’s it. And it’s also because I like a big bag. Basically a bag big, large enormous enough to carry all my stuff will suit me just fine.
But—we all know all too well what not keeping bags in rotation does. It all but ruins that one bag you keep using every day. The bag I’m currently carrying is a J. Crew Brompton bag. I received it years ago as a Christmas gift from Oona. Not only does it do the job of carrying all my garbage items that are so important to me because I’m a bag stuffer-into hoarder, but I love the look of the Brompton.
The Brompton Bag ( discontinued, naturally!) from J. Crew is my go-to bag. It is enormous. The bag has a removable shoulder strap, but the handles are large enough to throw this over my shoulder anyway. The inside has the capacity to hold a small city. I stuff everything into this bag!
I simply love the look of an unstructured bag. I may be old and my bags may be aged as well. Even so, I don’t like bags that shout “Old Lady”! I don’t like a bag that whispers “I’m matronly”. I’m quite serious about this.
I’m not fond of matronly bags like this. Believe me, I LOVED my grandmother so much, but she carried this style and this style only. And in it was nothing more than Pep-O-Mint Life Savers, a ton of tissues and an old black leather change purse. We need to put these bags to rest!
And once again, the industry equates older women with matronly bags. Leave the matronly bags to Queen Elizabeth. Please! We modern mature women want a more fun bag. Even at the office, our serious bags can still have a bit of an edge. OK?
God save the Queen, but please get rid of that bag. Give her a less matronly look. I think she would do well with a Tory Burch Small York bag!
My bag of choice is a big ol’ bag. I’ll show you what I mean. It’s about time I rotate my bag so let’s look at some pics of a few of my old bags!
Tawk about OLD! This bag is a hand-me-down from Oona’s college days at Coach! This bag has to be at least six years old but I love it and I should rotate it more often. It looks good and has plenty of room inside…
OK–so the interior fabric is a bit dirty from years of use but the bag has a phone pocket, an additional pocket next to it and a zippered pocket across…
…and this “tote” also zips closed. It is a bit more structured than my usual bag, but the shape of the bag is more relaxed. I also like the color–a deep rich brownish burgundy!
My Longchamp collection. The “le Pliage” folds nicely for storage purposes. If you don’t want all leather, these nylon PVC coated bags are incredibly durable. If you are looking for interior organization, this bag doesn’t have it–and the little pocket inside barely holds a phone, but the durability trumps organization. I also multi-task the le Pliage as a beach bag! The Longchamp “Planetes”, which I have in orange, in the back, and the small black bag next to it, it a tad more structured and the nylon PVC coating is much thicker. These bags do not fold. Next to the black bag is a small canvas Longchamp bag I picked up in France–its one of the limited editions. And–in front is my prized Longchamp leather bag. I picked this up at Nordstrom Rack a few years back for about $100 USD. It was a steal and although it looks a bit on the small side, this bag holds a TON of stuff. There is an extra pocket in the front of the bag, the bag has both handles and a shoulder strap and…
The interior is beautifully lined in silk Longchamp logo and has zippered compartments as well as pockets. The bag also has a little clasp to place your keys so they don’t get “lost” at the bottom!
My first “expensive” bag. My Kooba “Sloane” bag. I love the look of this bag so much and I wish Kooba would bring this bag back. I would love to own it in black. It doesn’t hold as much as you would think, but regardless, this bag does hold quite a bit. Of all the bags I own, this one has gotten a great number of compliments. It’s also sturdy. On a flight back from France, a little girl threw up all over it and the bag cleaned so well! I can’t part with this bag at all! She’s a sentimental old bag for me!
I want you to take a CLOSE look at this Nat & Nin bag. First of all, I love Nat & Nin bags because the leather is just so incredibly buttery soft–and the bags have lots of nooks and crannies. BUT–I’ve learned that I need to treat this bags and to be careful with what I wear when carrying them. See how dirty the bag is? It’s dye. From my dark wash jeans. I wore her with a new pair of jeans and the dye from the jeans got all over the bag. Two years later, the dye hasn’t faded. It’s a shame because I did get a lot of compliments on this bag before it became ruined. Also, look at the photo on the left. Chippy chewed the leather. This bag now comes out of rotation in the worst of weather because it is already ruined! Lesson learned-do NOT carry a light-colored bag when you are wearing dark wash jeans!!
The same Nat & Nin bag in raspberry. I definitely take better care of THIS bag. I like to bring her out when I’m wearing my raspberry and navy maxi or when I’m dressed in neutrals and want a splash of color!
And yet, another Nat & Nin Carrie bag. I stinkin’ LOVE this bag. I love the color, I love the shape, I love all the straps and compartments. And this bag can also be folded over. I also wear her when I’m wearing lighter colored and color-fast clothing!
Another favorite of mine is this vintage Texier bag I got on eBay about ten years ago. I think I paid about ten bucks and it also holds a ton of stuff. The design is incredibly simple and timeless. I’ve worn her on and off for the past ten years and this Texier looks better with age!
This red faux leather clutch was purchased at TJ Maxx a few years back. It doesn’t hold much at all, but for a night out, it serves the purpose–bags such as this don’t need to cost a lot of money. Save the big bucks for a bag you will use on a regular basis!
Just for fun, I decided to empty out my bags before taking photos. Can you believe the random items I had? I discovered Euros mixed up with my change, samples of face cream, a Weight Watchers calculator, hair stuff, chopsticks–a Delta Gamma beer can kozzie (OK-Oona) and half an almond! Half an almond–WTF????? Why would I eat HALF an almond. Chippy finished that half off!
Because a bag reflects your personality, you really have to love that bag. The bag becomes a part of you. Yesterday I assisted a woman who was mulling over the most beautiful tote. All Saints Pearl Hobo bag. The second I felt that leather, I wanted it for myself. I’m telling you, this bag was great. A tote that was timeless, simple, chic and incredibly multi-tasking. After a lengthy search, she kept coming back to this one bag—and finally made the purchase. I’ll tell you, I was so happy for both the woman and the bag. I knew that bag found a great home and I knew the woman would treasure the bag and take great care of it! Come to think of it, I want an All Saints bag. All Saints clothing has a young vibe—and so do the bags. But the bags are so simple and classic that they seem to span generations.
I am in love with this All Saints Pearl Hobo Bag. She is a beauty! I mean it–All Saints bags speak to me! I’m praying back to the Saints!
I plan to use make a purchase at some point!
Another bag that I especially have my eye on is the Tory Burch York Buckle Tote. This is a more structured bag, but not structured to the point where the leather is as hard as plywood. There is a nice softness to the leather and the design is incredibly simple—the uniqueness of the straps is the small buckles. I like that a lot.
This is a nicely structured bag without looking matronly. Tory Burch is so hit or miss for me, but I do like many of her bags. This is a great office tote!
It’s weird because Tory Burch is such a hit or miss for me. I love my Reva flats, but I find many of her other shoes hideous. Same with her bags—a small number of them are adorable and many are just downright fugly or matronly. Don’t even get me started on her clothing line. I have a tunic that is so beautiful but the fit is horrific. That’s for another day though. Back to the bags.
I’m going to place my Brompton bag on the shelf in my closet for a while and use my Longchamp leather bag. And in a few weeks, I’ll try to bring out a more summery bag—perhaps my tan Nat & Nin.
I’ve stuffed most of my necessities *subjective* into the Longchamp bag! Time to rotate the old bag!!!
Some points to remember when searching for your next bag.
- Find a bag that suits your personality.
- Ask yourself what the purpose is. If you are a professional and want a bag for work, you will need one to fit a laptop and other office essentials. Look for a more structured leather tote.
- Keep it in proportion. If you are five feet tall, an oversized bag will overpower you.
- Stay within budget. If you are going to purchase an everyday bag, you may want to spend a bit more money for a great quality. On the other hand, if you are looking for a small clutch or a bag to match an outfit for a special occasion, you can go with an inexpensive bag.
- Feel the bag. Personally, I cannot stand the feel of pebbled leather. I like smooth leather.
- Try the bag. Carry it on your shoulder for a few moments. Do the straps stay on your shoulder? Are the straps comfortable? How will the bag feel when it is chock full of your stuff? If the bag is a satchel how does the handle feel? Is it comfortable in your hand? Do the handles feel heavy or cheap?
- Are you concerned with leather becoming scratched? Perhaps you need a different material.
- Do you like a bag that will look better with age and better as it gets more worn in? A leather that wears well will be good for you.
- Are you concerned with the brand or are you willing to go slightly out of your brand loyalty comfort zone?
- Is look more important to you than the interior structure? Do you want the pockets for your phone, pens, money, etc? Or are you ok to search for your phone at the bottom of your massive bag? (Guilty!!)
These are all things to be considered when purchasing a bag. And moving forward, I’m going to practice what I preach and take all of the above into consideration.
Enjoy the weekend! It’s raining here! Here’s a rainy day song that I used to sing to the kids all the time when they were younger. From Sesame Street! A Rainy Day! XOXOXO!!