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Page 2 in the conversation "Let's talk handbags and outfits..." by catgirl
Una, I use this to hold all of my stuff and just move it from bag to bag. It works really well.
Deb, I've seen that, but how big are your bags? My current one is a small citron Coach. That's a great idea though!
I've sort of wanted one of those organizer things. I end up with lipgloss in every bag I own after a couple of weeks and can never find any of them. Despite being a purse lover, I have never managed to make a habit of keeping things in a makeup bag.
i do what gryffin does. i get 1 new tote every 1-2 years. i do have dressy purses that i use for conferences--i have to be able to fit my ipad, phone, sunglasses, a couple of pens and a ziplock bag with lipbalm, floss and lipstick.
in the market for a tote/satchel with built in dividers or pockets. of course the one i want is this
I use my clutches pretty much only for evening. Except the pink one -- that's a daytime bag. It has a strap, and can be worn crossbody, and also a wrist strap. And it's bigger so it holds more. I would only bring a clutch on a specific type of outing. Not an "on the go" type day.
Switching bags isn't hard for me. Admittedly I don't do it often. I tend to pick one per season that I use the most.
I have a makeup bag, glasses case, phone, keys, wallet -- that's pretty much all I need to switch over. Sometimes a book, notebook, Kindle. Computer if on the road.
Such a good discussion. I have loads of bags that are in a constant process of being bought and sold (all second hand, I don't think I have ever bought a new bag!). I go by functionality (do I need hands free, do I need a big bag to carry stuff) then within that category hold them up and see what I like - which comes down to structure vs. hobo and then color. When I bother at all, that is.
5 shoppers/totes...kind of like Suz. I haul a lot of stuff, including my lunch (in it's own bag) in my 'purse'. I also haul a gym bag daily.
I have a clutch, that has a hidden leather and chain strap, that I use for nights out, and a mini cross body when I want to go 'hands free' with just a wallet, phone, and keys.
When I travel, I use a 'travel wallet' that is smaller, and fits just the cards I need...I leave all my work, and non essential cards at home. The Le Pliage is my bag of choice when travelling.
I clean and stock my bag on the weekend as part of my getting ready for the work week ritual. I select it to co-ordinate with my outfits.
I usually only switch out bags when I have a good reason to. That's generally either getting a new one, getting really bored, realizing the one I was carrying really looks awkward with an outfit I want to wear, getting dressed up, or doing something where I want a casual nylon bag.
I've been carrying my indigo Marc Jacobs bag almost every day for over 6 months now, which is repetitive even by my standards. Am surprised by how much it goes with! I think I changed it out for an older black and white striped one a few times when I was wearing an outfit that looked funny with the blue bag (this one cobalt dress that looked too matchy-matchy with it was usually the culprit), then changed back once I got sick of trying to wear outfits that wouldn't look too busy with a patterned bag.
So I'm probably zero help here.
In my climate, for 6 months of the year I'm mostly concerned that my bag work with my coat, scarf, boots and gloves. The only time I'm in indoor clothes + bag is for trips to the ladies' room at work! I don't do overly embellished or structured, ladylike bags. I truly love messenger bags and need a crossbody for my commute, not huge but ideally big enough to hold a magazine and small lunch. All these factors lead to a fairly limited selection of possibilities. Interestingly both of my current fall/winter bags are colours: dark teal and a rich burgundy. My coats and accessories are tonal with them or neutral. One's not a messenger and a bit dressier, so it's the obvious choice for dressier days, while the other is perfectly casual for weekend stuff with the kids, errands etc. I don't always swap but sometimes it is called for.
Una, I'm just like you - a one-bag girl (though this is NOT AT ALL a true statement). I just normally can't be bothered with switching bags with the outfit. For the most part, it's laziness. I HATE transferring my stuff from one bag to the next. Other times, I'm just too practical when it comes to bags. I also prefer going "hands free" so cross body bags are my go-to option. I travel through public transportation and I just really dislike having to clutch another bag and keep it from slipping off my shoulders.
Like you, I don't replace a bag until something major happens. When I've had my fill of low quality bags one day, I purchased a relatively pricy (even on sale) leather hobo bag that converts from shoulder to cross body. It's 3 years going strong.
The bag was causing me a lot of shoulder pain and dizziness. It was aggravating my desk job injury due to it's weight so I switched back to my unapologetically yellow Cambridge bag which is lighter and forced me to carry less. It worked out better for me in the end.
How are you with clutches/evening bags? Do you tend to switch based on your outfit? I think this is the only instance where I'm not so "practical". Pieces own about 4 evening bags... That's 2 more than my everyday bags!
I am not really a bag person either .. But I have amassed lots too! I bought every single bag on a sale o_O .... Just because you know .... It was a good deal :D. After coming to YLF I realized that a handbag is an integral part of an outfit. So now I take more conscious effort to actually match my handbag with the theme (color/vibe) of my outfit.
I also realized that ... All my bags are a casual affair AND statements on their own (mostly slouchy totes and studs). The only structured bag which is also not a statement is my green BCBG tote. I think I need simple and clean bags like that, because my outfits usually have a lot going on. And going forward that would be my shopping strategy for handbags. I also think, there is nothing wrong with one super cool handbag that goes with everything in your wardrobe :). But then again I am not a handbag girl
ETA: I think I could live with just my white handbag. It goes with everything in my wardrobe.
I only have a few bags(around 12) but I use only a few for my weekdays, to work. It's usually a multifunctional(!) bigger tote or satchel like (but with some structure) for work, as I carry a lot of things and need enough place (but I have a separate bag-a tech black and grey- for my notebook).
From fall to spring I usually consider my bag for my outerwear only (level of formality, color, size, texture and comfort-say are the handles long enough for holding it on my shoulder when I have my coats on?).
My winter coats, and one dressier trench are mainly longer and black -so I usually have one darker and dressier bag to match them (now it's a black patent, and quilted structured satchel with handles AND cross/shoulder strap-but have had some greys, and cognac-too depends on the shoe choices I ever had) and one more casual to contrast them (usually a yellow tote). I find these 2 colors to go/contrast well also with my other 2 shorter trenches/coats wich are a golden brown trench coated with a subtle darker dust(for fall) and a white pleather coat for spring.
Then I have another 2 for work in spring and summer. Usually a slouchy neutral (I generally preffer a very light grey or cream to whites) and one more structured in a color (per moment it's still my 4 yrs old faded coral one). These also go great with my blue denim jacket, or other neutral jackets I have (usually, navy, black, white, grey). Oh, but my summer neutral bag and my yellow fallish one both goes well with a purple cotton jacket, too-which I love.
Then there are some smaller(usually cross body) bags and more casual totes for weekends for all seasons around(usually black, grey, brown or metallic bronze) and beachy holidays (including one bigger shoulder strapped straw bag in yellow again-WHICH I LOVE).
And there are also some clutches, both formals(black sequined) and more casual ones in plain leather(beige, grey and orange) for various functions.
One thing I remarked for myself I love me some hardware(esp if blackened) and that I am more a yellow/mint green/bronze bag girl than a red one/true blue or cobalt/silver or gold one. So I guess it has to do with your personal coloring and/or wardrobe, too.
una, if it helps, i think of my bags the same way i think of my coats…..i pick the one i'm using that day based on the activities of the day, for example…if i want to take my iPad with me that day, i'll use my brahmin. if i'm going to be doing a lot of walking, i'll take my small hammitt. if i'm traveling, will use a small tote that can hold both my iPad and my hammitt, so that i can have options on my trip.
Thanks! This is so helpful. I'm a bag wannabe. I had a light bulb moment the first time I did YLF & realized they are like delightfully oversized SHOES, but I don't keep my costco card floating loose in my shoes, ya know? Because I sub & there is often very limited space to safely stash personal items I use a compact cognac leather backpack style bag for workdays. But I really aspire to switching up my bag game for weekends & holidays. I'll make that a 2015 goal I guess. (After I went through the first 15 of my horrendous 21 job interviews this spring that only resulted in one unsuitable job offer, I gifted myself $10 per interview & bought a beautiful persimmon orange structured italian bag. It glares at us from the corner of the room everyday when the cognac bag & I prepare to leave together. I'm a little afraid of it!)
I used to be a one-bag person, but acquired additional bags for pragmatic reasons. Generally, I prefer my crossbody with top strap, it's dressy enough to go with me everywhere, and fits everything I need, including a tablet and a book. I got tired of lugging it and wanted to feel a bit freer, and picked up a clutch with a removable chain. I use that when traveling, because it can be stashed into a bigger carry-on. My next bag, en route to me as we speak, is a very simple tote bag by Everlane, something that was minimally light, leather, and could hold a laptop. The biggest challenge pragmatically has been lugging the laptop, because leather purses that can accommodate laptops tend to be heavy. Le Pliage seems to be popular, but mine didn't last six weeks without getting tiny holes in the bottom, and the white colour acquired dirt stains that were impossible to clean.
I use the small organizers and they will compact nicely for fewer items and a thinner bag.
I am a giant Bag Lady. I use an organizer pouch similar to the one deb posted, so it's easy peasy to change bags as often as I like. If I want to carry one of my (few) small clutches, I just grab my phone, ID, credit card, lipstick, and a little cash and call it a day. Helpful hint: If you do get an organizer, make sure you get a light-colored one so it doesn't become a black hole into which your stuff disappears (ask me how I know that... ).
Like thumbelina, I feel like a bag is another change to make a fun statement in my outfit, not unlike my shoes. It's a great way to add a fun color or texture or print or studs or whatever...
One Bag Gal Club. I believe in the One Purse That Shall Rule Them All.
I buy a good one and wear it for years. This works for my life. I do have a smaller convertible clutch/wristlet/crossbody for when the big bag won't work.
I need to thank everyone for all the amazing input. I'm going to go through this thread and try to distill the points that jump out at me. You all are going to turn me into a bag lady with your expertise. All the ways of thinking about how a bag works in an outfit just amaze me. I'm not sure if I want to try now or be thankful I haven't acquired the taste yet! XOXO
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