Thanks Lisa P!!! I suspected as much yet I still lusted after it. Having your first hand knowledge can save me some heartache.

Sigh. I am probably going to use this thread as justfiication to go out and buy myself a brand new purse!! It has been a long, hard summer. I can justify anything at this moment and purses are my primary weakness!!!!!!

Pre-YLF, I used 2 or 3 bags until they wore out. Now I have around 20 in several sizes and enjoy them all. If I had to downsize to A bag, it would be a metallic ( probably silver or pewter) satchel. That size is big enough for my needs and could be used year round. I have admired the backpack purse but do not have one. They seem heavy. I do use a nylon backpack for day trips such as to the zoo, to carry everything I may need hands free, including topper, hat, water, protein bars, etc. that I may not usually carry.

Interesting. I guess there are basically two camps -- 1. The handbag minimalists who carry a bag primarily for function. 2. Those of us who, as Sterling said, "stop by the purse section of every department store" and "visit every single time."

I have always loved bags, although for many years, I only had one at a time. These days I see them more as an accessory as opposed to strictly functional although function is certainly important. I have, over time, collected about twenty. This post was partly my attempt to curate that collection. I wanted to see which bags were in current use so that I could make decisions about the others.

Thank you to everyone who provided finds and described their collections. I Iove getting a glimpse of others' bags.
Angie -- you have a gorgeous collection!
Lisa P -- I too have a sense of uneasiness about large collections (for myself) when it comes to shoes and handbags, largely because I don't want to own, more than I need or use. In addition, I've been feeling an increasing desire to pare down my closets and my life. I feel very ambivalent about stuff that sits around unused. No matter how much I may like something, if it's not in current rotation, I would rather pass it along. Also, I live in an old house with tiny closets and allocate exactly one shelf in a large armoire for handbags. My shoes are in a constant state of chaos due to very little storage space. I read several minimalist blogs regularly but thus far seem unable to apply their principles to my own life.
Kerry -- I love your collection -- beautiful colors.
Staysfit -- The 'Puzzle bag' is lovely. I think having one or two really nice bags is a great idea, particularly when you have a strong sense of your own style.
JAileen and Sterling -- Thanks for assuring me that I'm not alone.
Stylefan -- Your old Coach bag is beautiful.
Donna F I'm sure that you would like the Rebecca Minkoff bag but I'm not sure that it's saffiano. I think I've seen it in pebbled leather. I'm a huge RM fan as you can see from my collection.

Thank you for starting this thread, Jill58. I have enjoyed it immensely.

Sterling -- I'm so glad. I enjoyed it too!

I pretty much use one bag for everything. I have a limited wardrobe budget, and I prefer to spend on clothing. But if I had more to spend, I would certainly buy a few more bags. They are kind of like shoes in that they can really change up an outfit in a big way.

In addition to the one bag that I use every day, I have a Fossil wristlet that I also use everyday as a wallet, and then I have a leopard-print bag from BR that is sitting in the closet. It is smaller than my everyday bag, so I consider it to be more of a special occasion item.

I have too many bags to count, and I need to cull soon. But I adore bags and shoes, and since bags are easier to fit at this point... I do have a bag (or more than one) to fit every occasion, but that doesn't stop me from indulging in a new one now and then. But I am not as obsessed as I once was, and I generally now only buy a new bag when it is too fabulous to resist. Additionally, I know the styles that work for me, so I don't have many tiny bags or cross-body bags or large, tote sized bags, and I have very few bags (except clutches) that do not have a shoulder strap.

I love bags and always have. They can't be easily cast aside by foot issues, weight fluctuations, or age. They're arguably the most accessible of all fashion items. That said, my collection is limited to three: one tote to carry my laptop and commuting stuff, when I don't feel like using a knapsack; one crossbody; and one clutch. I don't see a need for another bag in my life at the moment, but I also steer clear of sources of temptation.

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gradfashionista Your collection is a perfect example of a minimalist collection would span just about any event. Very nice.

Bags, fabulous bags! What fun I could have shopping all of your closets! Bags are my favorite accessory. Over the years, I have had many, MANY bags. A few years ago I sorted through my bag warehouse and donated several gently used bags to an annual fundraiser (tables of bags for $5, $10 and designer for $15). The bags pictured are my keepers.
1. Small bags: the one with Italy is a gift from my sister and a nod to our ancestry.
2. The yellow tote is the one I use to cart my school materials in the spring. It reverses to a gorgeous animal print, but I like the softness of the butter yellow best. The small alligator clutch belonged to my grandmother. I rarely use it, but will keep it always. The white Alaina Marie (a fairly new Maine designer) was designed and donated to raise funds for Tri for a Cure (cancer).
3. The blue Dooney and tomato Kate Spade create interest to any outfit, but the black Kate Spade is the most frequent flyer in this grouping.
4. My not-boring-at-all neutrals. These bags are in frequent rotation in the fall and winter.
5. These are my true workhorses. They were worth waiting for.
6. My most used totes. The brown Dooney is over 20 years old and carries my school materials and laptop during the fall and winter months. The Maine Sea Bag is my favorite tote for beach, boating and exploring days.
My dream bag is a classic black Chanel. It will be worth waiting for.

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Mainelady -- What a wonderful collection! I too dream of a classic black Chanel!

Another fun YLF question! Though, like many here, I'm not that much of a bag person. I'm probably closest to Joy: I used to carry 1 or 2 bags (black or silver to go with everything) until I had to replace, and now it's maybe 3 to 5 in rotation and 5 to 7 others for more specialized duty (e.g., clutch, small backpack). I shop for bags only when I perceive a "need," and most don't spark interest at all when I see them...something has to hit the target of features I'm looking for to even register.

Since switching coasts, my taste for color and pattern has expanded. I have a few neutrals (black, denimy blue, tan, etc.) and a bright bag or two (like orange and hot pink); plus, I've added gold to my silver, so I choose for the day accordingly. The "guitar" strap thing has boosted my fun factor a lot, adding color, pattern, or more hardware to the game, and unlike my earlier self, I now enjoy pattern mixing, like with strap and outfit.

My one-bag lifestyle was partly due to a dread of switching fiddly little items between bags, but keeping things grouped into an insert or set of small pouches has revolutionized this for me. I don't carry a lot in the first place, which thankfully my lifestyle allows, but it's still plenty enough to juggle even in small crossbody sizes. I avoid heavy bags, and big ones make me look almost as ridiculous as a golf umbrella does. The size issue nixes so many out there that I can easily ignore them! My bags, then, are all on the smaller side. (Oh, but if I need to carry more or bigger things temporarily, like to a class or something, I supplement with a nice "permanent" shopping bag or tote bag that reads clearly as such and not as a purse.)

It's kind of funny, I guess, that since I'm so late to the bag party, I've almost never thought about matching bags to shoes. Well, I don't have any hot pink or fire-red-orange shoes...hmm....

A question for the multibag people:
How do you keep organized and easily transfer stuff from one bag to the other? And how do you deal with the different holding capacities of each bag (and the fact that some will have lots of inner pockets and slots, while others will be a big hollow vessel)?

I have a few different bags (maybe 10) and this challenge keeps me from rotating among them with the frequency I would like...

I'm not super multbag, K.M., but I addressed this in my post. I've found that I no longer prefer bags with lots of pockets for this reason. Before corralling my items the way I do now, I really hated the cavern-type bags, and of course I still don't go for big ones.

Suzanne, oops, I skimmed all the previous posts too fast, coming late to the thread!

Do you have any suggestions of specific products for organizing pouches?

I also sometimes complement my bag with a second tote of the obviously shopping, non-handbag kind, but I do wish I could pare everything down to just one bag. It would be nice not to feel like a walking Christmas tree! And the totes I use for this complementary purpose are not particularly cute. I think I also need to be more minimalist with my daily stuff.

Like you, I don't look good carrying big bags (I'm short), but I have been tempted by some of the mid-size totes out there.

K.M.--there are things like this "bag organizer" idea that can do it all in one, but I personally use a few small zip pouches to move most items from bag to bag. This works best for me because my bags are generally smaller.

I've found these anywhere from Target to dollar stores to fun change purses and cosmetic pouches from fashion sites like I often look for *mesh* pouches to keep the weight low. In an ideal world, I might prefer the quality of leather, but it can be heavy. (Hmm...I have one pouch from a company called International Arrivals, but they might have disappeared.)

Yes, when I use the supplemental bigger totes, it's for specific jobs like carrying art supplies to a class or packages to ship and not daily. I feel fortunate that I don't have to carry around a laptop or a lot of stuff anymore (I have for some jobs in the past). My husband, who's an engineer, uses a backpack daily for his laptop and usually a book, plus steel water bottle/snacks/sunglasses/etc. etc. as needed. When I was a young girl and thus even smaller than I am now, I had a chock-FULL bookbag of hardcover textbooks that I had to lug a quarter mile up and down our neighborhood hill from the schoolbus might have been twenty pounds. Never again!

Suzanne, I see your point about small inserts instead of a big organizer; they would be much more versatile and customizable. I like the idea of mesh because then you can see the contents.

I guess the main "big" thing I find hard to pare down is my lunch, which I like to pack everyday; it would be hard to fit it in a handbag or medium tote.

Thanks for the info!

K.M., ah...the tasty lunch! It's true, I wouldn't be able to fit that in my everyday purses, alas.

K.M. I have a bag insert (purchased on Amazon for ~$4).

Sadly, I carry a tote and a thermal lunch container each day I work in the office. There is no way my breakfast/lunch/snacks could fit into my tote.

Very nice collection. I dont have a large selection of bags just some basics that are versatile to many outfit types. I also worry about setting a clutch down and forgetting it or getting it stolen. Also how do you hang them when needed. Maybe an invisble training leash haha lol

I do love bags but o try to keep them to minimum. I also found I really like nice quality bags so my budget dictates I can't have too many

For my birthday last year my hubby (upon my direction) bought me No. 1 which is an Oroton large hobo. Despite the photo it is a slouchy bag. I have used this for work almost every single day since I got it! And there are no signs of me tiring of it. It's perfect doe work and for casual.

No. 2 was also a gift and it's a lovely clutch in a super soft leather. This one is ethically made. It's great for throwing onto my large grey tote (which I use for work when I have extra to carry) and then when I pop out during the day I grab the clutch.

No. 4 is another clutch that I had custom made with a view to using it more for going out and special occasions when I don't need to carry much.

I do have others but I am trying to minimise and ensure that they all deserve to be kept

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Deborah -- I admire the simplicity of your collection. The clutch (#4) is particularly lovely but each bag seems perfectly suited to your style. It's hard to beat a perfect black bag. I can see why you're so happy with the Oroton Hobo.

Love this thread! My fifteen span travel bags, errand totes, a wine-colored satchel that I take to work daily, and a number of small bags for weekends and events. The last category is my favorite (small bags in black, burgundy, and pewter, including more casual and more formal versions), and weekends / events are when I'm most willing to switch it up.

Although I've pared down to my absolute favorites that coordinate with my wardrobe and have all my bases covered, I'm with the camp that always browses!

I looked for a bag organizer thing, and couldn't find anything universal enough for my needs. So I tried the pouch method and have been working with it for a few months. I have a big Clare V clutch pouch that fits my wallet, keys, phone, sub-pouch for makeup and meds, and that fits into most of my other bags.

Jill58, you have a very nice collection of bags!

Years ago, I tried to manage with only 2 bags. But I soon felt a little restricted and bored. I love accessories, and I as I have many of my clothes for a long time, I enjoy styling them with various accessories to make them look fresh.

At present, I have the following bags in my summer wardrobe:
- 2 clutches, for parties only (1 pearly taupe / silver grey, 1 black)
- 5 small or medium shoulder bags (light citron, hot pink & black, cobalt blue & black, grey, and black)
- 8 satchels / totes / shoppers (violet, medium blue, midnight blue with white stars, solid white, silver grey, black with white polka dots, black with white florals, and solid black)
The light citron and white bags are not used in the winter months.

Of course, I COULD manage with 1 or 2 neutral, solid-coloured bags in each of these categories. But I allow myself to have some fun with coloured, colour-blocked and patterned accessories.

I have the following:


  • Cream/bone soft satchel
  • Cognac tote
  • Toffee small cross body
  • Black and white fabric Backpack (very casual)
  • Orange leather clutch
  • Black beaded clutch
  • Blue hardshell beaded clutch (with chain handle)
  • pewter clutch
  • Straw tote
I would like to add a black tote to my collection too and ideally upgrade my Cognac bag to a smaller higher quality verson (mine is Zara and was purchased second hand on Trademe - NZ EBay). Aside from this I am happy with my collection. Neither will happen imminently however sadly.

K.M., Suzanne, Sterling, Ummlila -- I've gone back and forth on purse organizers but I'm currently trying the pouch method. Some of my bags seem more inclined to organization than others and I'm hoping this will also lead to a smoother transition when changing bags.
Sal I like the look of these Madewell totes although I've never seen them in person. Cuyana has beautiful totes too.
The Cat Thanks! I too used to think I really only needed one or two bags (black and brown) but I really enjoy having a variety. Your mention of "colour-blocked and patterned accessories" reminded me of a crossbody bag (see below) that I bought on ebay some time ago that's never gotten much use. The hardware is gold (I generally prefer silver) and I have mixed feelings about snake prints, but I like the colors (maroon, green and black/white) for fall.
Penny --15 bags is a nice manageable number. My plan is to try to institute the "one in, one out" rule from now on.
MsGreer -- I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way about clutches.

Thanks for the shout-out, Jill! I'm glad you re-asked the question, because there are lots of helpful answers here. I now have four bags (five if you count my backpack, which I think of as gear but it's quite a nice one) and I feel like I have enough to go with all my daytime outfits, but I still need a special occasion purse (I'm hoping for a smallish beaded envelope clutch). For me it's more an issue of colour than size. (I'm a small person, so I prefer smallish bags, and I don't need to carry a whole lot). Right now I have:

- a small red leather crossbody bag
- a small black leather crossbody bag
- a medium light brown leather crossbody bag
- a mustard and black canvas handbag with dandelion seed print
- a nylon canvas backpack with camo print

Aziraphale Thanks for asking the question that inspired this thread! Yes, it's been interesting to me to see the replies. You are a true handbag minimalist! I too love crossbody bags and carry them whenever possible.

What a fun thread! Thanks, Jill.

I used to just have one backpack. Now I have a variety of bags and I really enjoy it. The pic includes a leather backpack and a black weekend bag. Some are hardly worn, and the satchel style bags are in daily rotation. I use small/medium sized mesh bags (travel accessory from Eagle, I think) to keep organized and I find it reasonably easy to change bags that way.

I have a tomato red dressy tote/satchel and a citron one on my wish list. And a DVF fur mini bag for fun (but very expensive for an occation wear bag)

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