MeFites, What Purse Do You Carry? July 22, 2014 10:45 AM   Subscribe

Because we are having great fun in this thread sharing links to cool purse sites, and we have been talking about the Meaning Of Purses, and in the past we have done desks: What purse do you carry, and what story does it tell about you? LINKS OR PICS PLZ. What important things does it carry? Gentlemen, you are welcome to share your manbags or fancy wallets, but you must agree to ooh and ahh over purses. This is a place of PURSE ADMIRATION, not judgment or scorn.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 10:45 AM (460 comments total) 111 users marked this as a favorite

I have a messenger bag (i think it's this one but not sure of the size) from HEad Porter and i adore it and it meets all of my handbaggy needs.
posted by elizardbits at 10:58 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have been carrying around this Brooklyn Industries shoulder bag for years, and have been wholly unironically referring to it as my purse.

I am also super jealous of the variety in women's purses and the relative dearth of cool-looking bags for dudes. I want to get a nice leather one when that one gives out and I'm pretty sure I'm going to get an Actual Purse. If I am going to be carrying something on me day-in day-out, I'd very much like it to make some sort of statement. Or, more specifically, a statement that isn't the inherent apology for even having to carry around a non-industry-related bag that I see in the design of 95% of men's/unisex shoulder bags.
posted by griphus at 10:59 AM on July 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

This is my bag and it symbolizes that I did not want to spend more than $40 on a bag. It would seem that the color I got is no longer in stock.

It is a fairly good bag.

Has a padded pocket where I keep my kindle and 3 years of costco receipts. There is also a secret pocket that has a little man symbol on it with a line through him and I think that's supposed to be for tampon storage. In the bottom there's plenty of room for the numerous buttons that used to be pinned to the front of it but have since fallen off. Someday I'll put them back on, but that day is not today.

A++++++++++would bag again.
posted by phunniemee at 11:00 AM on July 22, 2014 [15 favorites]

The last year or so I have been won over to Ogio bags. I'm a bus commuter, so in the winter I need a bigger bag I can load up with hat, scarf, earmuffs, gloves, blah blah blah. This model in red did nicely. Now that it's summer and I no longer need to carry an entire layer of outerwear with me but only a mini-umbrella, I'm carrying the same bag as phunniemee, but mine is raspberry stripe. I am usually a black leather bag sort of girl but these are sturdy and cute and roomy and so I'm learning to embrace the colorful bag.

I have small Tom Bihn Cafe Bag kicking around in a closet for days when I want to travel really light, and a big Osprey backpack that gets dragged out once or twice a week for grocery shopping. Also somewhere a tiny black Coach bag big enough for a wallet and phone and not much else, which exists solely for dress-up occasions where I must wear a fancy dress without pockets but do not want to lug a full-sized bag around all night.

Mostly what my bags say about me is I'm a bus traveller in a city that gets cold and rainy, so I need sturdy, long-lasting, roomy bags that don't show wear and tear too easily, and carry a lot of weather options, lunches, and reading material, but I also like my bags to be pretty when that is feasible.
posted by Stacey at 11:09 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I am currently carrying the Anuschka Two for Joy which I stalked for a LONG TIME before finding it on sale. I have never carried a handbag that wasn't just plain black or brown before, but I was so bored of big dull boxy purses after mine doubling as my diaper bag for four years that I decided to get something REALLY FUN now that I could shrink back to just-me size. I require exterior cell phone slip pockets and a full-zip top so score! Also fits my kindle. It is holding up well to my vicious purse abuse so far!

I sometimes have to swap it out for plain black to go do Serious Grownup Business but that's okay, A+ would purse again.

I just ordered a new wallet and I have been carrying the same wallet since college and it literally won't hold my cards anymore, so I am waiting for that to arrive and I AM NERVOUS. I fear bag-related change.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:10 AM on July 22, 2014 [16 favorites]

This is my bag, and it is just one of many things my mother has given me because she believes in certain Amulets of Adult Femaleness. And bears tremendous guilt over my impoverished childhood. (Other signifiers include a diamond ring, pearls, and an expensive wallet, along with repeated insistence upon the much-loathed "spa pedicure.")

She gives me these things because she doesn't want me to "wait for a man to give them," since she's been waiting literally forever for a man to give them to her. Repeated assurance that I'm not waiting for anyone to give them to me (because these things seem kind of dumb to me) has not been effective.

That said, it's really an excellent purse, and carries a lot more than one would think. It is also lifetime guaranteed, which is good, because I break things all the time.
posted by like_a_friend at 11:12 AM on July 22, 2014 [16 favorites]

I have a Lauren Ralph Lauren Newberry Classic Tote. The redundant name is weird, but the bag is a dream. Mine is tan and it's timeless. I can use it in any season, it's lightweight, holds all my crap and then some.

I've had it for a year now and I'm as in love with it as the day I bought it.

I think it suits my style, Preppy-Classic-Elegant, and it means that I don't have to change bags every day.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:13 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oh gosh yes purses/bags/satchels/whatever have always been very important to me. Especially when I was younger and lived in my parents' house, they felt like a safe place, somewhere that was private and all mine.

When I was in high school, I was the tech director/stage manager for my high school's theater program so I had a bag in which I carried a ton of stuff. I used to have, among other things, a hammer, two screwdrivers (Phillip's head and flat head), an extension cord, duct tape/masking tape/scotch tape, various types of batteries, books, some granola bars, a change of underwear, and a bathing suit. I used all of these things at least once and many of them more often; I felt like my bag provided me autonomy, like if I had my bag I could survive on my own. If I had to stay away for a night, I didn't care if I wore the same clothes two days in a row but I felt/feel really gross if I can't change my undies so having a pair with me constantly gave me a certain amount of freedom. I felt like I was prepared and that gave me a great feeling of safety which was not easy for me to find in high school. One of my teachers actually wrote a college recommendation letter for me about that bag.

Admittedly that was more a bag than a purse, but purses can do the same thing. If I have my purse, I always have my wallet, my keys, a hairbrush, my phone and charger, at least one book, and probably three pairs of sunglasses (thanks Stunner of the Month!). If I get stuck somewhere, I can use those things either to survive or make it home. I'll always have a book so I won't be left alone with my thoughts. If I have sunglasses I can cover up my eyes if I start to cry. If I have my wallet I can identify myself and pay for transportation or lodging.

My husband mentioned the story of my current purse in the actual thread but yeah, she's a beautiful green Kate Spade bag and she smells amazing. Other women sometimes compliment me on her which gives us a nice little moment of connection on otherwise cold and empty elevator rides. She's bright and cheerful when I am not, and she makes me feel good and I like having her.

This isn't the world's greatest picture of her (maybe like me she is camera shy) but please know she is very beautiful and she makes me happy. She is green (my favorite color!) and she represented freedom and safety and, in the case of this particular bag, how much my husband loves me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:13 AM on July 22, 2014 [27 favorites]

I love love love purses! I probably own 15+ plus purses, most of which are the cheap Target/Old Navy variety. They range from long shoulder strap hobo bags (for vacations with lots of walking) to cheap vinyl with outside pockets (excellent for storing a rolled up wet umbrella) to larger tote style bags (when I have classes to go to or I want to carry around my laptop). I love buying cheap purses because I can get crazy colors (bright yellow, teal, etc) or whatever is currently fashionable but will be horribly dated in three years.

My purse pretty much always contains: small notebook/planner (with shopping list, coupons, to-do list), whatever book I'm currently reading, Kindle, wallet, sunglasses (summer only), pads, small knife, hand sanitizer, iPod, phone. Optional: water bottle, collapsible shopping bag.

My current favorite is this Jessica Simpson purse in mustard yellow. More than I would normally pay, but it was a birthday present. I'm currently in love with structured satchel-style bags and that will likely be my next purchase. I have few specific requirements for a bag beyond liking the look of it and it having a handle long enough that I can carry it over my shoulder.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:19 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

When I was in high school, I was the tech director/stage manager for my high school's theater program so I had a bag in which I carried a ton of stuff. I used to have, among other things, a hammer, two screwdrivers (Phillip's head and flat head), an extension cord, duct tape/masking tape/scotch tape, various types of batteries, books, some granola bars, a change of underwear, and a bathing suit. I used all of these things at least once and many of them more often; I felt like my bag provided me autonomy, like if I had my bag I could survive on my own.

I want to cuddle this paragraph to my breast like it was a baby bird because my own stage managers' kit did exactly the same thing. Yeah, it got me some dirty looks when I was seeing a chiropractor (ironically, after throwing my back out) and he asked if I really needed everything in it ("HELL yes, do you know what I do?"), but it also served me well through ten years' worth of shows, and even let me be the worlds' most effective Good Samaritan when a woman stumbled on the stairs in the subway tunnel once and knocked out her tooth. I was able to pull out of my bag and give her:

* a couple Wet-wipes to clean herself up,
* a couple antibacterial wipes to clean up some scrapes,
* a couple band-aids,
* a cold-pack for the tooth so she could maybe get it re-implanted at the E.R.,
* a baggie to carry the cold-pack and the tooth in,
* a chocolate bar to cheer her up,
* a few safety pins for her ripped skirt, and
* a map for me and a couple other good-samaritans to consult to find where the nearest E.R. was so they could walk her there.

I just kept pulling stuff out of the bag for her as people looked at me in amazement. I felt like a freakin' Time Lord.

(Oh, and the bag itself was a backpack I got free after donating ten bucks to the Sierra Club.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on July 22, 2014 [101 favorites]

I loved reading all the comments in that thread and looking at lovely bags I'd like to own someday, but all I've got at the moment is a diaper bag. I mean, it holds everything that would go in my purse and then some, so there's no point in carrying that extra bag.

This is a metaphor for motherhood.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 11:21 AM on July 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

I have this black 2010 Nixon crossbody bag (the one in the middle). I got it off of through a friend who worked there, so it was only around $100. It's served me well, but I'm starting to think I need something larger, and also something that zips. I'm in no rush, though.

Kinky people always think I only bought it because the straps looks like whips. This was not a consideration when I bought the bag but I guess it's a bonus?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:23 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is my bag, which I bought for cheap because it was the last of a floor sample at MacWorld some years back, when Apple still showed at the show. It holds my laptop and its associated bits, my kindle, and a bottle of ibuprofen and probably a dead pen or two. I basically only carry from my house to my car to my office and back again. I have another small bag (too small for the laptop) that I use sometimes for when I'm heading out for the day and need to bring a scarf or hoodie (because San Francisco).
posted by rtha at 11:23 AM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I have recently moved over to a Timbuk2 Valencia Hobo Bag (in "Confetti/Mulberry - Polyester Tweed"). It makes me ridiculously happy. I am 39 years old - and it is only in the past year that I have regularly carried a purse because I have a terrible history of leaving them all over the place and never seeing them again. I'm doing really well this year, though.

This purse contains an interesting mix of work things (rolling papers, crack pipes, cellphone) and personal things (cellphone, a bunch of EOS lip balm balls, sharpies, glasses). I will be honest - it's a great purse, and holds all my stuff, but I particularly love that the shape of it looks like a subtle Hello Kitty.
posted by VioletU at 11:23 AM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

lollymccatburglar: " all I've got at the moment is a diaper bag. I mean, it holds everything that would go in my purse and then some, so there's no point in carrying that extra bag. This is a metaphor for motherhood."

Yep, that's exactly why I got such a LOUD COLORFUL PURSE when I finally got to quit diaper bags!

I love these Ogio totes (from phunnimee and Stacey's links) so much that I sort-of wish I hadn't just bought a new tote bag! Oh well, this is what wishlists are for.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:26 AM on July 22, 2014

Since moving to the midwest and having my car double as my place-to-put-stuff, I have this one in red, which I like because it was on sale for $7 and is tiny.

I also have larger briefcase-y bag for carrying all-of-the-things.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:27 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a Tom Bihn Medium Cafe Bag (Steel Parapack outside, Iberian Dyneema inside), along with 3 accessory clip bags hung inside. It is incredibly dorky and murse-y and I love it forever.

I also have a Prinz camera bag which is the single greatest under-seat airline bag of all time, but it's really old (I got it as part of a used camera purchase years ago) and I can't find it online.
posted by selfnoise at 11:28 AM on July 22, 2014

This purse contains an interesting mix of work things (rolling papers, crack pipes, cellphone)

posted by showbiz_liz at 11:29 AM on July 22, 2014 [20 favorites]

I have a shoulder bag I got at a thrift store in small-town Michigan that I thought was great and then one day on the train in Chicago a stranger told me that the insignia on it was for the Israeli paratroopers and now I feel weird about it.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:30 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why is this in meta and not in the thread? It's not exactly a derail there.

omg this is a meta meta comment
posted by desjardins at 11:30 AM on July 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


Harm reduction health care worker of some flavor, I bet!
posted by rtha at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I have a leather tote (in brown) that I got because of the good reviews on ebags. It says I am too impatient to fiddle with flaps or zippers, and trusting enough of the people regularly in my space bubble to not need a bag that shuts. I like that it has no visible label as I am one of the people referenced in the thread that is shooting for that middle class no-labels "practical" aesthetic. It holds a tablet, an umbrella, and a giant water bottle, in addition to all of the other standard purse nonsense.

I've tried other bags. I can't quit this one. The only time it really sucks is on planes, because I worry about it spilling.

Why is this in meta and not in the thread? It's not exactly a derail there.

I appreciate that this is explicitly a judgment free thread, and that no one is going to tell me to put all of my stuff in a mesh fanny pack and donate the money I would have spent to charity.
posted by almostmanda at 11:33 AM on July 22, 2014 [14 favorites]

I hate purses ever since mine got robbed by sudden snatching from me 10+ years ago, so I either carry my wallet in my hand and my keys in my pocket and clipped to a beltloop or just clipped to myself somewhere should there be no pockets in whatever dumb thing I'm wearing, or I carry all that and my lunch and an umbrella in whatever tote bag is least befouled and closest to hand. This means I can't live in NYC and work anywhere swank. So I'm consigned to the underclass.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:33 AM on July 22, 2014

I carry this Everlane backpack in grey most days. I'm a grad student and I bike commute so a backpack makes the most sense for me, and this one is decent to look at and has waterproof(ish) lining. It's held up really nicely so far and I've had it for about a year. My favorite thing about it is how it sort of looks like a gorilla face if you look at it right.
posted by dialetheia at 11:33 AM on July 22, 2014 [11 favorites]

Hey you guys know what's fun is One of my favorite internet time-wasters.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:34 AM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

I have three that I use for different purposes.

this Rebecca Minkoff hobo (in a snakeskin print), which was my "cart every damn thing my toddler needs around NYC" bag and which was excellent for that purpose. Now my daughter is bigger, I don't use it so often, because it's too big for my every day needs. Unless we are out for the day, in which case, yep.

this black bucket bag, which is my every day bag, fits my wallet, glasses, kindle and assorted random things.

This purse in bright green, which is my fun one, for when I only need my cards, makeup, phone.

oh yeah, I also have a purple clutch, which I got from a small craft store in Rhode Island and I love it, but no pix.
posted by gaspode at 11:34 AM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I am a girly girl and I love me my Brahmin bags, of which I have a small collection, mostly of crossbody styles, mostly bought on ebay. Plus I go nowhere work-oriented without my (basic black) Tom Bihn cafe bag.
posted by bearwife at 11:36 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Today, the OG by Lo and Sons in a robin's egg blue color that was apparently discontinued, because I plan to go to yoga after work and then I want to return some clothes at Target and I want my book because I've been trying to read more, etc.

Most of the time, Le Pliage by Longchamp in a bluish grey color.

(I feel like a jerk saying what brand my bags are but it is not an exaggeration to say that I have used the Longchamp bag 500x so whatever.)
posted by kat518 at 11:36 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have this, in black with white stitching. My sister gave it to me as a hand me down because she didn't use it. It's enormous and fantastic for traveling, especially when you're doing the thing where you're trying not to check luggage. I use it frequently, because even when not traveling, I like to have my tablet and knitting and a water bottle and some medications and some wet wipes and a snack and...

My other bag is a small nylon rectangle from xhileration, so nondescript that I can't find a picture of it anywhere. It fits epipens, my Nexus, a phone, a wallet, and a pill bottle, and, if I squish a bit, a ball of yarn. It cost $2 at a thrift store.

Those are the only two I own, but now I want about seventeen more, so thanks a lot, guys.
posted by MeghanC at 11:36 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Also, on the off chance that someone knows what to call that bag in my first link (it's a Coach something, but what?) please tell me, as I'm asked occasionally and am always reduced to making vague noises and gestures.
posted by MeghanC at 11:37 AM on July 22, 2014

The Filson Original Briefcase in otter green

It's pretty heavy and doesn't hold enough, but I like it.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:38 AM on July 22, 2014

Here's mine; it's a Kipling bag from a couple of years ago. Adjustable strap so I can make it a cross-body bag if I want to; flap with magnetic closure so I don't have to fiddle with a zipper or clasp; not too big or heavy, but can fit a tablet, wallet, notebook, pens, lipstick, hairbrush, etc., and a small bottle of water; various handy compartments so I can locate stuff; non-slippery strap that doesn't slide down my arm; stripey. MONKEY. @('.')@

I also have a cute little wee black crocheted bag that I'm too lazy to photograph, and a quite nice old expensive leather tote (gift!), but it's too heavy to easily carry around with a lot of walking and carrying of grocery bags, leashing of dog, etc.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:39 AM on July 22, 2014

Oh, whew! I saw the "MeTa" link and was worried! I highly approve of Eyebrows McGee's contributions to that FPP and even highlier (?!?) approve of this MeTa.

I have to port around the brown version of the Hygeia EnJoye pump bag, of which I'm sure you are all jealous. So my go-to purses are either a blue fish-shaped purse (yes! the mouth is the opening! complete with eyeballs!) I bought from a Hmong artisan booth at a local craft fair or a green velveteen embroidered little sack I bought in Warsaw, Poland, on a work trip 4 years ago. They both conveniently fit in the side pocket of the pump bag along with my cell phone and my red and white polka dotted metal cigarette case I use to hold my IDs and credit cards.
posted by jillithd at 11:40 AM on July 22, 2014

During the workweek I carry the Vera Bradley Midnight with Mickey tote. I'm a big fan of The Mouse, and this bag lets me subtly show that. Subtly, that is, because it's a crazy Vera Bradley bag. Only the real Disney nuts or super eagle-eyed people can tell it's a Mickey bag in passing. It's large and comfortable, and lets me carry my wallet, makeup, umbrella, notebooks, phone and iPad without bulging.

On the weekends I switch to a simple brown Life is Good canvas purse with a flower applique. I toss the wallet and phone in there.
posted by kimberussell at 11:41 AM on July 22, 2014

This is a place of PURSE ADMIRATION, not judgment or scorn.

Aww, man, I was all ready to bring this out.

I do get a steady stream of compliments for my man-bag, though.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:42 AM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I am a bag lover and a purse hater. I have this in light gray, bought on sale, and I carry it every day because it is so pleasingly unfussy. I have other accessories for performing femininity, this bag is for kicking ass.
posted by clavicle at 11:42 AM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Please no scorn, but as a busy person who must carry much of her life around in her "purse," my purse is a Jansport backpack.
posted by Lynsey at 11:42 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Some guy from further up north in California converts old military ammo bags into bike side bags, cheap, musty, and small, but they're bullet-proof!
posted by carsonb at 11:43 AM on July 22, 2014

Oh, yes. And the story behind the fish purse was that I had already gotten a bunch of cute purses from a friend who was down-sizing her (extensive!) purse collection, but was at the local craft fair with another friend. The fish purse just won me over, but I told my friend that I had too many purses already.

Her response: But you don't have any FISH purses yet!
posted by jillithd at 11:43 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have used the same blue kate spade thing (irving place little nadine, apparently) for a couple years now. I got a great deal on it, it's like a little mary poppins bag, I can fit everything in there and despite beating the shit out of it through everyday wear it's held up like a champ.

I was about to post an ask about a bag for a giant laptop but I'm totally gonna trawl this thread for bags I like instead.
posted by troika at 11:45 AM on July 22, 2014

Timbuk2 4 life, yo. I have so many Timbuk2 bags... My current one looks like this.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:45 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have a big old work bag which is this in brown and I have a day-to-day bag which looks like this (but better as the photography is rubbish and my suede is beautiful).

Neither is particularly expensive but that's because they were given to me out of pity as I am widely known to be a handbag simpleton. I would love to have a really great handbag I've picked out myself, so these threads have been brilliant.
posted by tavegyl at 11:45 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a couple bags that I use.

One is my winter bag: a blue leather Clark & Mayfield. My 13" laptop fits in it without much wasted space; there's also room for my Wacom tablet, the assorted cables involved with both of those things, my wallet, my keys, some Kleenex, fliers for my comic, and occasionally a stuffed tyrannosaurus rex when I'm traveling and want something to cuddle at night. It's stiff enough that I can sit on the ground with my laptop on my lap and the Wacom at just about the right drawing height on the bag beside me; I've got a couple carabiners dangling off of it for my water bottle, hat, and whatnot.

I'm pretty happy with it in the winter, when another two pounds don't make a difference since I'm carrying two pounds of coat anyway.

But now that it's summer again I've found myself going back to a black canvas Dakine bag that my laptop kinda rattles around in, and doesn't really have enough internal pockets for my wallet to always have a consistent place to live. I kinda hate it but it's light and that's important to me in the summer. I've added the strap from an unloved Tumbuk2 messenger I never use so I can use it crossbody as well as carry it by the handles; I am of the generation who thought that one-strapping a backpack was COOL so I kinda gravitate to crossbody bags.

As to what they say, I'm trying to find a middle ground between "femme" and "utilitarian" with a smidgen of "lives in Seattle and gets rained on". I want something that's one simple color statement (or maybe two, I would kill for a nicely colorblocked bag in the right shape and colors) without a lot of jangly shinies dangling off of it. Plus I am a transwoman so I have this kind of essential horror of pink; it's complicated.

I'm kinda looking for a summer bag with more pockets than that Dakine thing, so I'm glad of this thread and the fpp that spawned it! This overnight/gym bag from Lo & Sons I found via a link in the FPP is tempting my wallet, but first I'm gonna open a bunch of tabs from this thread!
posted by egypturnash at 11:46 AM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

My wife got me this beautiful bag for my birthday this year and now I carry it everywhere.
posted by invitapriore at 11:46 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I made you guys an EDC pic of my purse guts. Clockwise from top: Purse, kindle, wallet, CPR mask & gloves, sunblock, lip balm, keys, pouch o' stuff, sunglasses, Lego guy who I just found while dumping my purse out for my picture but I included him because I am constantly finding my kids' stuff in my purse. One time I was hunting for a pen for someone and pulled out three toy tigers. Not shown: Assorted pens, loose change, cell phone, work ID badge (which, when in the outside pocket, triggers the door without having to be pulled out), and my emergency spare keys which I attack to the inside of the purse so I can't drop them. Inside The Pouch are things like floss, tylenol, benadryl, handiwipes, kleenex, a sewing kit, hand lotion, a flashlight, and a measuring tape.

desjardins: "Why is this in meta and not in the thread? It's not exactly a derail there."

This is more about mefites than about the thread topic. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:46 AM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

Love this thread!

I [an academic] carry a Rough & Tumble waxed canvas messenger bag. I adore it: it has awesome hardware, loads of pockets, and has endured for years being carried daily on long foot-and-public commutes. I love the fact that it's very unusual and not made by children in a sweatshop. I can't recommend these bags highly enough! (I went for waxed canvas, which is harder to find commercially than leather or nylon, but the same shop does leather, too.)

I also just bought an amazingly beautiful embroidered bag from a Tibetan shop, but it's at home, so no pics. You'll just have to believe me when I say it glows. I also have a bunch of $5 wristlets in that general style that I use as wallets/evening purses (one is in my R&T bag right now), as well as a proper understated black leather Coach wristlet for times when loud embroidery is inappropriate. (Which, frankly, it never is -- it's a splash of color against the LBD on formal occasions, and I get compliments on those wristlets all the time.)
posted by Westringia F. at 11:48 AM on July 22, 2014 [11 favorites]

I wear whatever crossbody bag is big enough and sturdy enough for my stuff (wallet, ebook reader, phone, mp3 player, sunglasses, keys, and so on and so on down to the LED torch and mini handcream), usually cheap-ass bags from high street stores. The only designer bag I own is this h.NAOTO bag I bought in Harajuku in 2009 for under 100$ IIRC and which I use very infrequently.

But designer gothloli bag from Harajuku! \(º3º)/
posted by sukeban at 11:49 AM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

Today I am using this purse, which is as small as I can go. But I love it a lot. I also have a bright yellow leather purse which my grandmother gave me, a light green leather-or-fake-leather purse, the same black MEC bag that every Canadian owns, a satiny olive green bag, a red tote bag with Alice in Wonderland (Disney version) on it, a bright pink bag that looks like a watering can -- probably lots more that I cannot think of offhand because I have a bench stuffed full of bags.
posted by jeather at 11:49 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

sukeban, that bag is brilliant.
posted by tavegyl at 11:50 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

And yeah, my current bag is brown, cotton, vaguely ugly in the style of camera bags, and bought for 10€ last summer sales.
posted by sukeban at 11:50 AM on July 22, 2014

Don't have the wherewithal to take a photo of my current bag right now - I may be able to when I get home if required. But it's a red suede thing that I got at Goodwill for about $18 and is in wonderful shape. It's small enough that it doesn't read "huge tote" but still big enough that I can even carry my lunch in it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:51 AM on July 22, 2014

I have generally two bags that I use on and off.

This one makes me feel all funky like I'm cool or something. Also, it may very well have a third dimension as I can fit a ton of shit in that bag. Also, it is built like a brick house. I swear I bought it 4 years ago and it looks like I bought it last week.

The other one is a little more professional and I am carrying it today.

I am going to read the hell out of these threads because I really need a new bag.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:52 AM on July 22, 2014

Because I work in publishing I have a zillion tote bags that I got for free - right now I am sporting the DK 40 Year Anniversary because it is a good size and the straps are long enough. This is not picture-worthy.

HOWEVER I have long been in the market for a new purse. My mom didn't care too much for clothes or shoes but she loved Stone Mountain leather purses and would spend as much as she needed to when she was ready for a new one. I learned from her that it's okay to spend cash on new purses but I have very specific needs and have long been looking in vain. So I, like some others upthread, want to say THANK YOU for all of these fantastic links.

I'm especially looking at you phunniemee and almostmanda.
posted by lyssabee at 11:53 AM on July 22, 2014

carsonb: "Some guy from further up north in California converts old military ammo bags into bike side bags, cheap, musty, and small, but they're bullet-proof!"

I carried an old military ammo bag as a purse in grad school! Got it at a surplus store. Sturdy as all get out! (But no zip-top and I now require zip tops.) I can vouch for its excellence as a purse.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:56 AM on July 22, 2014

I wear an older version of the Chrome Warsaw. Many in the messenger community might scoff at its supposed trendiness, but I have found it to be far more practical and comfortable than a Timbuk2 bag (and I really don't like one-shoulder messenger bags). In fact, it is the most comfortable bag for cycling that I have ever owned, and has survived being struck by more than one car. In fact, it probably saved me from further injury when I slid down Spadina after being knocked off my bike just below Casa Loma.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:57 AM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Today it's the aforementioned conference swag tote bag and a LeSportsac Shellie in Mod Pin Dot print.

I switch to a LeSportsac Small Cleo in Isla Patent during the weekend.

Just for fun, here's LeSportsac's print archive.
posted by needled at 11:57 AM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am totally going to take a picture of my bench full of bags when I get home, though it also includes shopping bags which are not purses at all.

Typically my bag has my phone, an ereader, my wallet, keys and ibuprofen in it. Sometimes I add in lip stuff if they are chapped or cream in the winter. Often there is a hair clip or seven, and random collected detritus.
posted by jeather at 11:57 AM on July 22, 2014

My dream purse may come from this Wicked Purses site. Because I am hiding some serious Rockabilly love under all this odd, nerdy blandness.
posted by jillithd at 11:59 AM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

Totally agreeing with the thoughts above about your bag being your autonomy. I remember the first time it struck me in college that I needed a big bag to carry stuff around in all day to do all the shit I had to do, and that is the moment I first felt like a woman.

This is my work bag, which I love.

For not working I have a simple little black cross-body bag from Target that holds my keys, wallet, and phone. In the winter I just keep that stuff in my pockets if I'm not going to work.
posted by bleep at 12:02 PM on July 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

I also have a black leather tote I bought specifically to take on interviews in order to signal that I'm a competent professional who understands things like "having the right bag".
posted by bleep at 12:03 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

...and then one day on the train in Chicago a stranger told me that the insignia on it was for the Israeli paratroopers and now I feel weird about it.

I used to have a canvas messenger bag with a biohazard logo on it because I thought it was a cool logo.

One day I'm on the train heading back home to Williamsburg and this dude -- dressed down but fashionable, slim, graying hair, in his 40s -- keeps trying to make eye contact from pretty far away and does and rolls up his sleeve and he's got a biohazard tattoo. And he gives me a thumbs up and I nod because, hey, cool logo.

He gets off at the same stop I do, catches up to me and says one phrase before speeding off into the crowd:

"Get it and spread it. That's the word."

I had never felt more D: than I did at that moment.
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on July 22, 2014 [37 favorites]

My father used to design and manufacture handbags in the 60s, so growing up it was either quality leather or no leather (and usually no leather because of the cost.) I still usually end up with Target/Ross/TJ Maxx because I dress very casually, but I have a couple of very nice bags from a previous life. I just can't seem to bring myself to pay a medium amount on a purse, it's all or nothing.

Last year I got this bag (which is actually nicer than the photo) as a gift. I love it, so when it went on sale for $50 I bought one in a different color, and now when I carry a purse it's usually one or the other. It seems to spark a conversation whenever I plop it on a counter somewhere, and I enjoy talking about it. Men, in particular, seem fascinated by the construction, because it looks like stuff would just fall out.

I don't carry a lot of stuff with me anymore, but I used to be that person. Years ago (pre-9/11) I was going through the x-ray at the airport and the guy asked me what the "metal thing" in my purse was. I didn't know, so we started digging through it. "What, are you going on Let's Make A Deal?" The metal thing turned out to be one brass handle for a fireplace screen. I have never had a fireplace. ¯\(°_o)/¯
posted by Room 641-A at 12:07 PM on July 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

This is what I got for the girlfriend: Rubber Chicken Hen Tote Bag Handbag Purse Pocketbook. It has a matching coin purse. We can't go anywhere without someone commenting on it.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:08 PM on July 22, 2014 [11 favorites]

leotrotsky, I have a green Filson briefcase too! I just got it to serve as a fancier supplement to my seven-year-old Chrome bag--I use it practically every day but there are occasional situations (job interview, night at the concert hall) where seatbelts won't quite cut it.

(I am fascinated by the Chrome bag re: trendiness. When I first got it, I got comments all the time, then I guess everyone got used to them for a few years, now I am back to "is that a REAL seatbelt?" every couple days. Yes it is, thank you; one time I was stuck in a door and was able to extricate myself by opening the buckle...smooth.)
posted by ferret branca at 12:08 PM on July 22, 2014

I have an older version of this bag. It is an awesome bag.

It can hold comfortably:

1. iPad
2. Kindle
3. iPad keyboard
4. 24 fine-line pens of various colors
5. small sketchbook
6. wallet
7. three medication bottles
8. phone
9. full-sized noise-cancelling headphones
10. other more different kinds of pens and stylii
11. earbuds
12. handkerchiefs
13. small bento of snack
14. lotion, compact, water additives, and other random stuff

I wear it everywhere but only use its full capacity when travelling. I adore it, although it's not really suitable for work if I didn't work somewhere that people think bedroom slippers are appropriate office attire.
posted by winna at 12:09 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is my everyday bag. I love it: it's cute and different without being too precious, it's large enough to carry approximately everything, it's got plenty of easy-access interior pockets, and it's sturdy and inexpensive.

My previous everyday bag is a Tom Bihn Cafe Bag (linked upthread a couple times), which I also love. I haven't carried it in a while, but I will again someday. I'm picky about messenger bags and prefer ones that are understated and not too backpacky-looking, and the Tom Bihn is exactly right.

This is my "grown up" bag that I carry for things like client meetings and nicer restaurants and anywhere else where I'd bother wearing high heels and makeup. I bought it specifically because I was looking for something nice-looking but not eye-catching. I'm not thrilled by the interior: the lining is flimsy, and I find the accordion pockets to be much less useful than I anticipated: they're only good at holding flat-ish things, and it's easy to lose track of which pocket has what. I wouldn't buy it again, but it's fine for occasional outings.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:09 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have this HOBO International bag, and while there are many things I love about it -- dedicated mobile pocket on the side, several pockets in the interior -- it really did not hold up to the rigors of being an urban working parent of a young child.

My purse has to hold the following: wallet; keys; mobile recording equipment (for interviews); iPad; mobile phone; charger cords & earbuds; reporters' notebooks; pens; "emergency" pouch*; a change of underwear and clean pants for the just-potty-trained child (haven't had to use it yet, but you know the minute I forget ...); a packet of baby wipes because those will clean up ANYTHING; sunblock; a book for the child; stickers and twist-up crayons for emergency entertainment purposes; snacks for me, the child and the pre-diabetic spouse to stave off hanger; mesh produce bags; two foldable shopping bags for grocery or farmers' market stops. I also throw in a 24-oz water bottle from time to time, and during the rainy season, I have a small portable umbrella.

After a scant year of this, the bag's strap gave up the ghost. I paid a cobbler $12 to reinforce the strap, but it galls me that it was necessary.

If/when this store manages to restock this exact bag/color combination, I think I'm going to splurge. I very much like ellen truijen's stuff.

* This contains: tampons, ibuprofrin, antacid, bactine gel for scrapes, band-aids, prescription meds, vitamin powder additives for water, tea bags, bare-minimum makeup to make me appear as if I'm merely in my 40s and not recently exhumed, hair elastics for my daughter, vitamin e cream for hands and face (we live in a dry climate & the kiddo gets windburn on beach days), hairbrush, and two ziplocs, because you just never know when you'll need those.
posted by sobell at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

> It also leads to all kinds of weird sentences, "I think I left that in the chicken," or "Check the chicken" are common statements in our household.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is what I got for the girlfriend: Rubber Chicken Hen Tote Bag Handbag Purse Pocketbook.

Please tell me you keep a pulley in that thing.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

My most-loved everyday bag is this Wisconsin-themed satchel from a long-dormant Etsy seller. I get asked about it almost every day and always have to answer with regret; the seller appears to have opened a brick and mortar shop for a couple months, then disappeared off the face of the earth post-haste.

When I'm traveling and need something a bit more secure and rugged, I carry Queen Bee's Finley in black. It holds all my daily stuff with room to spare, so I can easily pack in a day or two's worth of groceries if I forgot to bring my reusable bag to the store. Waxed canvas convertible FTW!
posted by divined by radio at 12:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

oh my god the two-tone red and white skull purse on the front of Wicked Purses is so not practical for me and I want it so fucking bad now. Thanks, Bleep.
posted by egypturnash at 12:12 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I bought this Overland Donner in the spring (on sale, too, or it would have been out of budget) after deciding that my old tote bag strategy (use them until they become too holey to be useful) wasn't going to cut it on solo road trips and had all the baggage of being big (having to check it, or cherry picking things out of it when going to shop). The Donner has more pockets than I'd normally opt for, but it holds a lot more than you'd think.

I typically have a book (and/or my ipad, when traveling), my wallet, checkbook, phone, ipod, retainer case, receipts, notebook (or small sketchbook), pens, all the jewelry I took on my road trip but never unpacked, a water bottle or two, a packet of charcoal and eraser, assorted lists, keys, a packet of sales tags, napkins, emergency supplies (for headaches, unexpected menstruation, cuts, and wardrobe malfunctions), little screwdriver kit, small things I've bought to resell (there's a 1950s green elf figurine in there right now), hair doodads, and chargers (if I'm traveling).

I generally can't fit in my knitting unless I skip the book/ipad and am working on something small. This is a bit of a bummer, even though I have a knitting tube container with a handle I can carry with me if I know I'm going to my local yarn shop or am traveling or know I'll want to knit while waiting for something, but this has proven to be sturdy and flexible so far. (My tote bags typically also had markers, scissors, painter's tape, pegboard hooks, a folder of papers, picture-framing supplies, a hammer, pliers, and a screwdriver, which have their own tote now, and are strategically deployed).

Now, if I could only find a reasonably priced wallet that didn't suck. My $8 palm-sized one is OK, but not great.
posted by julen at 12:15 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I hated most nappy bags when I had elder daughter, but then I realised knitting bags are in fact ideal for the parent - lots of compartments, cross body and roomy.

I currently use a Nameste Mini Messenger in the colour they called Caribbean Blue and I'd call Peacock.

If I had more money I'd get myself a Frietag Messenger.
posted by hfnuala at 12:16 PM on July 22, 2014

The Coach bag I bought myself, mentioned in that thread, is this one. However, it was a little big and I had a tendency to overstuff it, which hurt my back, so my mom recently bought me this one when she had a coupon at the outlet. It's jsut big enough to hold my (large) wallet, keys, lipsticks, phone, other small sundries, and my Kindle. I think it's cute and it's pretty sturdy.
posted by leesh at 12:17 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I carry around the messenger bag thing that we got for free when starting college. Actually, it's my second, having stolen the one they gave my wife. I keep thinking about replacing it with something more aesthetically pleasing (i.e. doesn't say "NSIT: Network Services and Information Technology" on it), but I'm so used to it and it's the perfect size to carry an umbrella, my lunch, and a couple of books without taking up too much space. All the man bags I like are too big.

I have a nice professional briefcase that I take to court, but the shoulder strap on it is sized perfectly so that (at the smallest setting) it slips under my butt if I bend over and I start to risk falling down. I could carry it in my hand, but then it gets in the way if I need to pick up groceries or whatever. Life is conspiring to force me to stick with that NSIT bag.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:18 PM on July 22, 2014

(I do this thing on public where I look at people's shoes and try to imagine what their faces look like, and now I find I'm looking at everyone's bags here and doing the same thing. You're all really beautiful.)
posted by Westringia F. at 12:20 PM on July 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

I buy my clothes mostly at Goodwill. I get discount groceries at Market Basket. I go to the library for books. I "splurge" on Shabby Chic linens at Target. I do my own shitty manicures and pedicures.

And I have a $1200 Mulberry Roxanne bag.

I am a badass with my bag. To me, it's rich and luxurious and it makes me feel like I AM WORTH SO MANY THINGS.

Inside of it is a wallet, a phone, scattered lipstains, a notebook for drawing my life and all my pens. (Okay, I also have a bizarre devotion to purple felt-tip pens. Only purple.)

After I finally divorced my rat-bastard of an ex-husband, I did a few "ALL ABOUT KINETIC" things.

1. I bought those damned sheets with pink flowers on them.
2. I spent some serious cash on new running clothes.
3. I bought a very expensive bag.

I still have the sheets and the bag. That bag is a symbol of freedom, a symbol of me spending money on myself.

I have no other bags. Just my ridiculously expensive and beautiful Mulberry Roxanne bag.
posted by kinetic at 12:21 PM on July 22, 2014 [47 favorites]

That looks awesome. I always look at those bags and the big straps on the side pockets and think, "Damn that looks cool, but it would take forever for me to get what I needed out". Is it as much of a PITA as it looks? Do you just not use those pockets?
posted by selfnoise at 12:24 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

By the way, I love looking at everyone's purses! They're all so cute.
posted by leesh at 12:25 PM on July 22, 2014

My dream purse may come from this Wicked Purses site.

Must Have These Bags
posted by Sophie1 at 12:28 PM on July 22, 2014

Harvey seatbelt bag.
posted by Librarypt at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2014

I carry a messenger bag from Seagull Bags custom-embroidered with CUPCAKE GANGSTER.

Here is a post I wrote about how to use a messenger bag as a carry-on luggage, starring said messenger bag.

I am very femme but I am not very feminine.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

I'm usually in possession of more than one blackBaggallini tote.

I have a couple of lovely Coach bags-- one a small vintage purse that looks like a grandmother's purse, and the other is one of their big tote type things in black leather given to me by my partner one Christmas. Awesome gift; I use it to dress up a look whenever I need to be more professional. He also surprised me with a Coach leather wristlet that looks very vintage and has a loafer-type tassel on it. Again black. Whoa, I can't find it on the site, which is sad. Someday I'm going to get up the nerve to buy a purse that's not black.
posted by BibiRose at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2014

My workday bag is a bottle green Zara shopper, big enough for my insulated lunch pack, make-up/medication/emergency repairs bag, and, if I need to bring it home, my work laptop. It's not frilly or covered in decorative hardware, and it's quite structured - I think I'd be in danger of bag addiction if more were like that.

On weekends, I move my pens, keys, purse, phone, lipstain and painkillers in an 11" navy blue Cambridge Satchel. It's not quite big enough for both water and a book so I wish I'd gone up a size, but it looks nearly new after three years of frequent use, and I love it even if they're ubiquitous.
posted by carbide at 12:40 PM on July 22, 2014

I want to buy alllll the purses in this thread. This is somewhat problematic.
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:40 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

As a pack rat who carries everything I need with me at most times, I have a Tom Bihn Synapse 19. I take public transit, so I feel a need to have all the stuff with me all the time. Knitting/crochet, emergency phone charger, umbrella, shopping bag, scarf... I will admit it's excessive but I feel better knowing I have stuff with me if I need it.

I have a ridiculous amount of bags, and I really need to whittle down to the stuff I actually USE.
posted by bibliogrrl at 12:41 PM on July 22, 2014

When I achieved a significant career goal, I ordered a custom bag from this esty seller. This is what I'm carrying for the summer, and she has some new styles that are tempting. Time to complete another major goal.
posted by mimo at 12:42 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

Great question. This is my bag, because it's screamingly practical. I can carry it as a backpack or a cross-body bag. It weighs under a pound. It holds everything I want, with well-organized pockets, and zipper garages. It's not dressy, but discreet enough that it doesn't scream "nylon backpack". If I lost it, I'd buy another one tomorrow.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 12:50 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

During the week: Nomadic Wise-Walker . So many convenient pockets! It makes me sad that Nomadic stuff is so hard to get in the US- this is one of only a few styles I can find. Ipad, keyboard, shawl for over-air-conditioned bus, small essentials/makeup bag, lunch etc.

Weekends: pockets on cargo pants. One for phone, one for wallet, maybe a pen and a field notes notebook. Handy knife in front pocket, for all my twine-cutting etc. needs. I can stick a powder compact in a pocket too if I think I might need it.
posted by acanthous at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

My wallet is a Dunhill. I like the brand. They have one store in the States, on 55th and Madison. The wallet has no visible branding apart from a small inside stamp, and nobody would recognize the name anyway, but I know and I dig it. The wallet itself is a beautiful, soft brown leather. I wanted a simple wallet with six card slots, two facing ID windows, and zero other frills. That alone was hard to find, and it just happened that my favorite brand manufactured one.

I've carried a Filson briefcase for about ten years. Filson is a paragon of men's brands; their catalog is full of anecdotes like how their tin-cloth pants saved someone from a bear attack. Their famous instruction is, "Clean by wiping or brushing only. Gains character with use." That has been my experience with the bag. It has the number of pockets I wanted with the simplicity I wanted. I made one upgrade: a Tom Bihn Absolute Shoulder Strap. Very comfortable!

Lastly, for almost as long as I've used iPhones, I have been using Hard Graft cases. They keep discontinuing designs that I use, but every time I upgrade my phone, Hard Graft seems to have one (and only one) that fits what I want: a simple, thin leather-and-felt sleeve with no frills. I don't want a shell case. The iPhone was designed to be used bare, and I want to use it that way. I have accidentally dropped iPhones inside Hard Graft sleeves with no problem.

I'm still shopping for a camera bag. I'm currently using a Lowepro, which is great but feels a bit cramped, so I'm eyeing Domke's lineup. I carry my DSLR everywhere, so either my briefcase or my camera bag ends up doing double duty as essentially a purse: wallet, phone, keys, etc. It's hard to find one that feels long-term right. I totally understand buying a new bag every season. I just don't want to. I wore my last wristwatch for eleven years, and I'm up to nine with this one. My fashion personality isn't seasonal, it's enduring.
posted by cribcage at 12:52 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Back and forth from work, I use a Timbuk 2 laptop bag.

Running around town for errands, I have this Patricia Nash monster -- it holds my tablet, e-reader, chargers for both, wallet, and anything else I'm convinced I might need at any given moment.

For anything less casual I use one of those purses with the changeable outer shell, usually this one or plain red leather. Cheesy, but it works.
posted by rewil at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2014

This is my big purse for when I have to carry around more than the small amount of stuff. I bought it our or five years ago in London when I was visiting my sister. This one is red is my favorite purse which I've had for eleven years but don't take anywhere often because, aside from mefi meetups of course, I lead a very unglamorous life. I will admit to a minor a purse problem.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 12:53 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I favor Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade. This is probably my favorite bag I own.

Right now I'm rocking this summery Kate Spade.
posted by Windigo at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had a funny experience recently where I was on a plane flight and I wanted to bring my above-mentioned bag in addition to the backpack and duffel that I had already packed with all of my stuff for the trip, but I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to get past the security checkpoint with three carry-ons. I realized that I could just put my small bag inside my backpack and carry on as normal, and when I shared this triumph with my wife she was like, "uh, yep, every woman knows that that's what you do with your purse on the plane."
posted by invitapriore at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [17 favorites]

I genuinely appreciate this subversion of metatalk. The conversation on the Blue has turned into a discussion of what it means to talk about talking about handbags. Here its just a discussion about handbags.

Other than that I have nothing to offer here. I don't know much about them (I'm a guy that carries a Tumi briefcase that functions like a handbag in that I carry everything I could conceivably need) but my wife is a fan.
posted by rtimmel at 12:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Last holiday season, I decided to buy myself a new purse - one I could use every day (I am lazy), would stand up to the wear, and would fit my vaguely arty, kinda bohemian style. I browsed on-line for a long time, read a ton of reviews, and ended up with this Patricia Nash bag, in a red that doesn't look currently available. Brown or black would've been more sensible than red, but I couldn't stop myself when I saw the red.

No visible logo, no dangly tags, no gold-tone trim! I've had it since December and have been very happy with it.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:56 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

For work I carry a Cole Haan bag - this is the best shot I can find of it, no idea what it's called to find it online. It can carry a iPad, a bunch of files, a laptop and a lunch.

For non-work I carry an 8" yellow wallet from Target.

For my camera stuff I use a LowePro Slingshot and an older Crumpler 5 Million Dollar.
posted by rhapsodie at 12:59 PM on July 22, 2014

I love Crumpler bags. They make me want to buy more and larger camera equipment just so I can use more of them.

I hadn't heard of Patricia Nash, and while she's mostly not quite my style those are beautifully made bags and I'd be happy to own one.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2014

My current bag is from the Linea Pelle for Target collection a few years ago. The shoulder strap can convert to crossbody, which I love. It's roomy enough for my wallet, keys, phone, envirosax and a few other things but add in a tablet or if I decide a buy a few things, it can't take the strain. (Hence the envirosax. And the .5/plastic bag charge.)

It's starting to fall apart and I'm not sure what to replace it with. I went on a weird buying spree five years ago (aspirational spending?) but I don't really know how to take care of leather bags and I worry that I'll ruin them. I've already scratched the keylock on my Hayden Harnett Clara Flap bag which makes me so very sad. I feel like I missed a class on how to do this girly+ stuff.

I've been thinking of picking up a Tom Bihn Cafe bag (and I need a packing organizer cube for electronics anyway) but I am a sucker for a bag that has a hidden shoe compartment so that Lo & Sons OMG bag is looking mighty good too.
posted by zix at 1:03 PM on July 22, 2014

I am a guy and I like bags. I just recently bought a Filson briefcase in tan to replace a heavy leather laptop bag that finally gave out. That's my every day carry bag, but I like having nice looking, special bags for other occasions.

I got two tweed Hartmann tweed overnight bags on Craigslist for a song (similar to this). For a couple of nights, one is big enough to carry a few changes of clothes and an iPad with cables and other odds and ends.

I have fitted out my bicycle with some beautiful waxed cotton bags from Acorn - the boxy rando is up front and the large saddlebag is in the rear, both in olive (which it seems like they don't offer anymore). I still need to find panniers that will complement those bags. HOT BIKE BAG ACTION

My flight bag is your run of the mill black ballistic nylon dealie, but it's big enough to fit everything I need plus a change of clothes so it's good for quick overnights. Other miscellaneous bags - a large leather suitcase from the early 1900s (inherited, and I have actually brought it with me on trips but god it's heavy), a Tamrac camera backpack in black and red, three or four other miscellaneous camera bags with old kit in them, and a couple "regular" wheelie suitcases.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:06 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

My wallet is a Mywalit large with zip purse, which was such an impulse purchase. I saw it, gasped, and was at the counter handing over my card before I even really thought about it. It was way more expensive than I really thought a wallet was worth at the time, but has proved to wear incredibly well, have the perfect amount of space, and I get frequent compliments on it.
posted by Squeak Attack at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am so done with diaper bags, but unfortunately my life is not done with diapers, so I need something big. I have a member of my extended family who has posted some execrable racist shit about Michelle Obama on Facebook, so when I randomly encountered this bag (in my local fancy grocery store, no less) I knew I had to have it. It's pretty great, it can hold wet stuff without leaking, you can wipe down the insides, it holds EVERYTHING, it has both long and short handles, and nobody ever confuses it with their own bag. I just wish it had a top zipper, then it would be *perfect.*

And I carry Michelle Obama on my shoulder with pride, racist fuckwit relatives be damned.
posted by ambrosia at 1:19 PM on July 22, 2014 [10 favorites]

Ooh, I have a Mywallit! It's the only "real" wallet I've ever bought, and it's just big enough to hold my phone and a key or two so it can double as a little clutch.

They're not sold in the US (or at least they weren't at the time) and I just stumbled across it, but the international shipping was ridiculous. Then I happened to find some random woman who owned a yarn shop and she had listed the wallet for sale so I grabbed it. It's about 10 years old, has been through the wringer, and is super soft and worn in. The best part is opening it and seeing all the colors. It makes me very happy.

Also, I just realized that all the shoes I currently wear probably cost under $300 total, and that includes a decent pair of running shoes.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:20 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

My current bag is a Tom Bihn Side Effect. I hate carrying a lot of stuff, so the smallness of the Side Effect is perfect and carries everything I need. (Small wallet, phone, card case with car insurance/club cards, another card case with gift cards, a Baggu bag or two for shopping excursions, chapstick, tissues, keys)

I also have a collection of pretty purses but my current bag is perfectly-sized and zero hassle and since I work from home I have minimal need to look pretty. If I'm going somewhere that I want a fancier purse, I can pull one out and usually fit the Side Effect directly into it.

For a long time I used a small Lodis wallet/clutch/handbag thing (essentially a large wallet with a strap). It was about as minimal as I could get, and could hold my phone and keys and cash/cards/change and that was about it. I still use it sometimes, and I have a MyWalit thing which is very similar.

MyWalit makes pretty great wallets. The one I have is a bit too large for the pocket in my current bag, but I do use the id/card case.
posted by that girl at 1:21 PM on July 22, 2014

my bag is a Chrome messenger backpack. It is useful for biking and outdoor idiocy and air travel and pretty much everything. I love it; it loves me.

my current work bag is a jokey pink backpack from Rite-Aid which is falling apart as we speak, but I have no idea what kind of nicer work bag I would get. Too much career/class/ego anxiety!

I also straight up still use the little Dickies messenger bag I got back in high school from the raver store in the mall when I need a quick shoulder bag because it is all black on black and unobtrusive.
posted by beefetish at 1:23 PM on July 22, 2014

Mine is basically a no-name purse: I got it at a craft show directly from the leatherworker who made it. I really, really dislike the vast majority of commercial purses: I like 1. a max of one pocket inside, certainly no more than that; 2. smallish, basically just big enough for my wallet & phone, because I hate carrying around giant totebags everyday!, 3. plain ol' brown leather, not plastic or 'leather-like' or anything fake; and even more 4. I refuse to pay for the privilege of hauling around some designer's name on anything --- if they want me to do their advertising, they can pay me.
posted by easily confused at 1:26 PM on July 22, 2014

backseatpilot, do these Frost River panniers meet your style? They look similar (and I have a jonesing for Frost River stuff, too).
posted by jillithd at 1:36 PM on July 22, 2014

My son bought me this purse when he spent a month traveling in Bolivia with his (Bolivian) bio-dad in 2010 (5'4" Simon meeting his microscopic Bolivian grandma). It's a quite sturdy little number (I have a similar one that I bought in 1994 that is still usable), but it is not going to last forever. Some day it is going to be tattered and the straps will break irreparably or it will get holes or something and I won't be able to carry it around any more, and that makes me sad because I lost Simon to suicide in 2012 and I don't like to think about the day when I can no longer carry the purse he bought me around everywhere I go.
posted by drlith at 1:37 PM on July 22, 2014 [42 favorites]

I've been carrying a purse from Oberon Design for probably sixteen of the last twenty years. They don't make the one I carry any more, but it's similar to the Lilah but a bit bigger. It was $85 when I bought it, which seemed outrageous, but: well over a decade of daily use! It's now wearing out just a tad, it probably has a year of good wear left in it, but it's also a tetch small; I keep a large wallet, iphone in an otterbox, keys, kindle, headphones in a case, and a reusable shopping bag in my purse, and they all FIT, but everything has to be just so tetris-style so getting anything out requires unpacking my whole purse.

I'm probably going to replace it with the Crossbody Hobo Purse from Saddleback Leather. I liked having one purse for twenty years, and I LOATHE zippers. I love the look of the small satchel from them, too; it looks like something Amelia Earhart would have carried across the Atlantic with her, but I think that buckle closure would get super-annoying on a daily purse. I still crave it though. I also love love love the Anuschka purses that Eyebrows McGee linked to above, but they are just not as sturdy or overwhelmingly practical as the Saddleback bags are.
posted by KathrynT at 1:43 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

Oh, I'm so sorry about your son, drlith. That's a pretty fantastic purse, too.
posted by jillithd at 1:46 PM on July 22, 2014

Oh, when we needed a diaper bag, we traded off between a grey Eddie Bauer backpack and a County Comm Bail-Out Bag.. When I was carrying the Bail-out bag as my diaper bag, I once submitted the contents of it to an Every-Day Carry (EDC) blog, on the basis that this definitely met the requirements of "every day carry" both literally and as it is culturally used, and they declined to publish it on the basis that "that's not really what we mean by EDC." I was like, fuck you, assholes, if you're all about Preparedness, let me tell you that you can solve a lot more daily problems with baby wipes and a cheese stick than with a gun and a diver's watch. Three years later and I am still cranky.
posted by KathrynT at 1:47 PM on July 22, 2014 [41 favorites]

drlith: "Some day it is going to be tattered and the straps will break irreparably or it will get holes or something and I won't be able to carry it around any more, and that makes me sad because I lost Simon to suicide in 2012 and I don't like to think about the day when I can no longer carry the purse he bought me around everywhere I go."

It wouldn't be the same, but when that happens, a talented seamstress would be able to take that front panel and mount it on a new purse, or insert it in the lining of a cloth purse so it can be the "loose change and cell phone pockets" panel and a little secret bit for just you to see. Or turn pieces of the fabrics of it into key fobs. So you can keep carrying at least remembrances of it everywhere you go.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:50 PM on July 22, 2014 [26 favorites]

SO love this discussion.....I'm such a purse girl.....Can't stand to spend more than $20 on shoes but don't tell me to not buy a quality purse!!! As stated in thread, I have about 20 Coaches (most bought or gifted over several years with my friend's discount). All leather, solid colors, all classic styles, I don't do trendy. I have a Lo and Son's that I LOVE and use for travel.....I have several Vera Bradley's, don't really use them too much but I'm in the South and they are required. I have several Marshal's / Ross / Macy's /etsy purchases that were impulse buys....A few Saks, I really like the Sak brand. A handful of nice evening bags. A big, expensive Louie Vuitton that I bought when I started my divorce proceedings.....just cause I felt like I needed it (really didn't, it was retail therapy).....a new, coral JW Hulme on the way thanks to the thread on the blue . And my favorite, my baby......a big, gorgeous, black, pebbled, Ostrich leather Chanel that I ADORE.....Talk about butter!!! Can't WAIT to really digest this again slowly to see what other people love!! SQUEEEEEEE!!!!
posted by pearlybob at 1:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I usually carry a bog-standard World Famous satchel--the one with two straps to hold the top down. It contains the book I'm currently reading, my iPod Nano, a small tin with antiseptic wipes and a little container holding a couple days' worth of my meds (just in case), a notebook, and a pen. Sometimes a bottle of water. And anything specifically needed for wherever I'm going. Cellphone goes in my pocket because I believe cellphones should be seen and not heard, and so it is set to only vibrate 99% of the time.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:55 PM on July 22, 2014

This is my canvas military surplus haversack There are many like it but this is my own. It's study, got a good size, and when worn with cord jackets and wool sweater vests, gives the impression of a combat librarian, someone who might at any moment have to run into the library stacks and stab a goblin.
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

drlith + Eyebrows McGee - That's a lovely idea. Another idea would be to turn it into a pillow. A seamstress could remove the zippers and sew those lines shut, add a black border around the material and put a backing (with a pillowcase zipper) on the back. I'm so sorry for the loss of your son.

My current bag is this handsome + sexy waxed canvas messenger bag - The Finch Satchel Coal by Peg and Awl. I love the leather strap, it looks good with a variety of my outfits and is awesome for travel. It was expensive, but I tend to have one bag at a time, for years and years, and I looked for ages for something that fit my needs & aesthetic desires. No regrets!
posted by barnone at 2:00 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I work in Corporate Creative/Tech, and from my internship all the way up to Associate Creative Director, I dressed like a scruffy tech dude. I'm a lady.

Then, a few years ago, just after my promotion to management, I began to have more face time with the client. I began traveling for work more often. A team started answering to me.

I started to feel incredibly uncomfortable in my attire. I mean, next to the female CMO in Chanel, I looked and felt like a weak, inexperienced intern. I knew I was pretty damn good at my job, but the room didn’t. I was also feeling a great deal of Imposter Syndrome.

So, I began to think about the image I was projecting. It wasn’t conscious just yet, but seeds of thought were there.

Then one day, I was in London on business, and had some time to kill. I wandered into Harrods. And there IT WAS. The BUSINESS ME. The glory that was a motherfuckin’ dead-serious Alexander McQueen with a razor blade sticking out of it.

It was $550 bucks.

I had never spent that much money on anything. I came from a trailer in Indiana. I grew up in rubber boots, feeding chickens. I happily train-hopped with fellow punks for a summer. Ran off with a metal band instead of going to college. I couldn’t get my head around The Power Bag. I left without it, because it was too frivolous.

Then I said, "fuck it," went back and got it, shaking as I swiped my card. I marched into the client meeting the next morning feeling like ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Like I had power. Social capital. Like I was on par with The Big Players. One stupid bag gave me the confidence to project who I really am—a professional, with serious and important opinions.

I don’t like that I have to look a specific way to succeed. But then again, I didn’t really like that I had to wear bowtie for my server job at Steak 'n' Shake, or the fluffy costume I had to wear as a semi-professional singer, or my first business blazer. But…that bag IS my uniform, to an extent. On the weekends, I’m more than welcome to wear my MetaFilter tshirt, WNYC tote, Nike shorts, and gold flip-flops to the bagel store. But during the week, I Am A Pro.

I was and still am aware of all of the –isms. I do recognize the privileges and opportunities I have. I’m freakin’ aware of it every time I pick up that bag, because part of me STILL doesn’t believe I should be where I am. I am grateful. And weirded out. And feeling like a bit of an asshole for spending $550, even still.

(PS: That fucking bag can fit my laptop, powercord, a change of clothes, heels, notebook, presentation folder, AND all of my normal purse stuff. It has little to no branding, and the leather is to die for. Oh, and I bought it 4 years ago. Still looks amazing.)
posted by functionequalsform at 2:00 PM on July 22, 2014 [126 favorites]

Here's mine. I admit similar jealousy as griphus as to the variety of bags available to women, but am unwilling to trade lack of pockets for that selection. I tend to get new bags when I run out of spaces for patches on the old one. The need for patches means I stick with canvas, which is fine, because I clearly want to be John Keel or Scott Wolter or Indiana Jones or someone who needs to think seriously about archaeology, aliens, and conspiracies.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:01 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

After years of carrying rather large and butch bags, I recently bought a rather large and slightly more femme bag!
posted by twoporedomain at 2:02 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am a bag lover and a purse hater.

You know, I never thought of this distinction, but now I realise this must be my problem too. There's no end of amazing purses for those who love them, and I can certainly admire and be amazed, but in the end I always think of these things as luggage. I just want something classy and sensible to carry my bits and pieces around.

So all the more props to my gorgeous Doria bag, which I bought not just for being gorgeous but to carry this wallet attached to a 600kg rated carabiner holding a huge bunch of keys and a card holder. You may laugh, but it's only a little bit heavy and functionally loss and theft proof. Also has space left over for phone, assorted toiletries and other small paraphernalia.

That's the small bag, and it goes almost everywhere with me at the moment. Overflow for the working day such as laptop, cables, notebooks, paperwork and other sundries goes in a characterfully battered leather backpack like this but in dark green. Plus a tiny nylon shopper for picking up groceries on the way home. I've worked this formula of small shoulder bag + backpack off and on for a while. It means phone, money and keys are always accessible but I can carry the weight of larger items on my back, all very handy on a bicycle.

I've also been the tote bag route, which can work very well but dammit if those things don't become repositories for carting around all sorts of useless objects that have made their way to the bottom and been forgotten about. Nevertheless, since nobody else has, honourable mention should go to La Pliage for being the epitome of anti-It Bag. Strong, lightweight, foldable and oh so perfect for carry on and overflow. I keep trying to phase it out but it's just too damn useful.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have the best bag, everyone! I'm sorry, it's true. Why is my bag the best? My bag is the best because it is identical to the $295 J Peterman mailbag except that I got it on eBay used for $35, it has no brand name on it and it's in reddish brown weather resistant leather.

In it I carry my favorite three scarves, a hat, a leatherman pocket tool, my favorite tee shirt, the necklace I wore at my great-aunt's funeral and have never been able to make myself wear again, several books, various tiny medical things, pens and so on. People in my social circle never seem to have pocket knives, so I appear dazzlingly practical and together when I use mine to save the day, which is a sadly misleading impression of my character.
posted by Frowner at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

THIS is the bag I am currently lusting over but ....not gonna happen unless I win the lotto after becoming an international sensation overnight
posted by The Whelk at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

One stupid bag gave me the confidence to project who I really am—a professional, with serious and important opinions.

I can't explain why but I immediately pictured you as O-Ren Ishii marching into a boardroom and silently dumping a human head out of that (really awesome) bag.

Here's mine.

holy shit those patches are awesome and everything in their etsy store is awesome and oh my god can I really justify the purchase of another t-shirt i will never wear?

posted by griphus at 2:06 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

I've got a lumbar pack with this organizer stuck inside because it doesn't have organize-y bits.

The story it tells is that as an RSI veteran, I like to be able to carry things without upper body tension or compression.

they declined to publish it on the basis that "that's not really what we mean by EDC."

Well, that stinks, but I wish I could be more surprised by it, given how much of the EDC crowd's idea of an everyday situation is the zombie apocalypse.
posted by Zed at 2:07 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I talk a good game about being frugal and I really truly am about most things but when somebody asks me what I want for a holiday present the answer is usually "more luggage/bag things!"

My daily bag is a messenger bag that was made in my town by the Courierware guys. It's black and looks like nothing. You can see it in corners of photos containing my laptop. I have a sleeve for my laptop, a Walker mesh bag for all my cables and dongles and USB drives and crap, a pocket for my wallet, a pocket for my phone and a pocket for my sunglasses. Cough drops and gum if I am traveling. It can also hold a book, Kindle, or iPad. Or all three. When I travel, it comes on the plane with me. It's indestructible.

If I need something that is smaller or more purselike or I am going to the gym I have this Dickies bag (mine's red/orange/yellow) and it holds ipad, headphones, gym card, wallet phone.

I used to have an old Yakpak messenger bag and swore by it for a while but it eventually fell apart. When I'm traveling I have this surprisingly roomy Timberland Duffel (only mine is orange) which replaced the ex-boyfriend's ratty backpack. It has a small bag of my father's ashes in it so he goes where I go. When I started charging people real money to hear me speak, I also upgraded my traveling luggage to this Tom Bihn bag which is as incredible as it looks. Green outside, purple inside. So cool. And I got a discount from Tom Bihn because AskMe always refers people there. Because their stuff is awesome.

I do not have a purse. But when I go to weddings I have a little pink corduroy thing with an applique flower on it that my phone/wallet can go in.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

This thread has turned out SO MUCH MORE AWESOME than I hoped. So many interesting, cool, pretty, pockety bags!

griphus: "I can't explain why but I immediately pictured you as O-Ren Ishii marching into a boardroom and silently dumping a human head out of that (really awesome) bag.

It might be because of the post tags.

posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:13 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


I got the shirt with all the Crypto stuff on it, which means I can't wear it when I wear the bag because it makes me too much of a Mothman fanboy.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:14 PM on July 22, 2014

Meanwhile, I keep trying to do an EDC sort of thing where the bag I wear every day has useful things in it for everyday life in it like the rest of you mention. But unless at some point I will need to MacGyver my way out of a situation with nothing more than a steel water bottle, a ConEd bill and a ballpoint pen that doesn't work, I've failed spectacularly.

It might be because of the post tags.

I didn't even notice that, so high fives all around.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

My daily purse is a Fjallraven Kanken Mini in black. If I need to carry more stuff I have a Timbuk2 messenger bag in an apparently-discontinued (but lovely) burgundy and mustard colorway.
posted by workerant at 2:23 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

My bag is not very interesting.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:25 PM on July 22, 2014

selfnoise, I have maybe two handfuls worth of stuff in the Mulberry bag but yes, every time I'm looking for a lipstain I have to rummage through the giganticness of the bag.

And...Jessamyn reminded me! I also have a gigantic purple and black CourierWare bag that I bought 25 years ago which was my before babies, diaper bag, after babies bag until I bought the Mulberry.

So, yeah. 2 bags in 25 years.
posted by kinetic at 2:27 PM on July 22, 2014

backseatpilot, do these Frost River panniers meet your style?

They look great, but I really want two separate bags instead of the tandem set that drapes over the top like that. The rack has two lower cross bars that you can mount panniers to, so that the panniers don't interfere with the load on the top of the rack.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:28 PM on July 22, 2014

My everyday bag is the Everlane zip backpack, but I also have this Fossil tote my mom gave to me for Christmas a few years ago. I probably would not have picked out for myself, but it has turned out to be pretty great. Whenever I wear it, I remember how she gave it to me with the disclaimer that she wasn't wearing glasses when she bought it and thought that the birdies were penguins. <3
posted by mustard seeds at 2:34 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have this blue hobo from Target because my last two big bags were red then yellow, so it was time for a new bright color! I love the extra crossbody strap and the heavier textured feel of the material. Plus, the TARDIS blue color makes it fun to tell folks "It's bigger on the inside" when pulling random crap out of it.

Because I'm lazy and hate switching all my stuff from one bag to another, inside the big bag is my small black canvas Dickies bag that has all my carry-everywhere stuff (wallet, business cards, lipsticks, breath mints, earplugs, Excedrin). I've had this little bag for as long as I can remember and it's perfect for travel and gigs when I don't want to lug around something big or conspicuous. It's starting to get a bit ragged, but I haven't yet found a replacement that is equally small, lightweight, durable and can still hold what I need. Dickies, why did you discontinue it???

My wallet is my favorite though, a gorgeous red sparkle vinyl number from Lux De Ville that holds everything and still looks brand new after 2 years of constant use. One of my favorite birthday gifts in the last few years!
posted by platinum at 2:36 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I learned about my current favorite bag on Metafilter. It is my second Reign Vermont purse and I love it.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2014

I have this bag which has a huge inkspot on the side because of a rollerball pen. It is a bottomless pit (holds two fauxdori notebooks, my iPad mini, my phone, my wallet, my checkbook, my pen pouch, my makeup pouch, my manicure kit, etc.) and I love it.

On days when I don't want to carry around a bottomless pit, I use this.
posted by Lucinda at 2:50 PM on July 22, 2014

Turin bag by Tumi -

It represent the sexism of the airline industry - as my purse and laptop bag are much smaller than most of the back packs men carry, but in order to have a roller bag as well - my laptop bag and and purse had to be combined into one.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:58 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I look at all the beautiful purses that other MetaTalkers carry, and I should be ashamed. At one time in my life, I would not have appeared in blue shoes without a blue purse, or brown shoes without a hurriedly re-packed brown purse. Those days are long gone. I now have a black tote that is large enough for a fold-up umbrella (I live in Oregon you know), water bottle, billfold, keys, sundries bag, Kllenex pouch, the occasional 8x11 file folder, and whatever is currently needed. Tote is an apt description of carrying it. Well done to all you fashionable persons.
posted by Cranberry at 3:09 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't carry a purse (Ouch! Don't hit me!), but my laptop bag is the closest thing I have. It generally contains things like pens, a notebook, reading glasses, mints, a spork, paper handkerchiefs, a book, a mouse (even though I don't use one) and so on. I sort of live in that bag.

No Leatherman. That lives on my belt.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:09 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

And I'm not ashamed.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:11 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I am also a purse hater/bag lover! I carry an Ameribag sort of like this one (which I found through someone else's AskMe -thank you whoever you were!). Inside my bag is a tiny Ameribag, that I use as a purse-like thing when I need to act like an adult.

I am a sucker for things with a zillion little pockets where I can hide all sorts of nonsense. Hooray for bags!
posted by blurker at 3:16 PM on July 22, 2014

My first Special Purse (a college graduation gift from my mother) was an enormous Cole Haan G-Series bag that I have not been able to find in person or online ever again.

It was absolutely perfect for me: professional-looking, shaped like a very, very large satchel, with black patent leather panels, but its bottom was made of a really durable synthetic material and it came with such a wide, heavy-duty strap for wearing across my body that I suspect it was actually meant to coordinate with a luggage set. It had the perfect configuration of exterior pockets: one on the outside of each end, just right for easy access to keys/buspass, and a slim pockets on each side (perfect for boarding passes and paperback books).

I carried some combination of a 15-inch laptop, books, 3-ring binders, lunch containers, a water bottle, blue books/student papers, spare clothing/shoes, as well as keys, wallet, etc. in there every single day during the years that I was taking grad coursework. I was able to take weekend trips with only a couple of sets of clothes rolled up in the bottom and a bag of toiletries and a book perched on top with my wallet and phone, totally eliminating the need for a carry-on bag and allowing me couchsurf my way through visits with friends in other cities without stashing my things anywhere. That bag could take a beating. I had the straps repaired four times and the lining redone once before finally retiring it.

Writing this out, it strikes me that all of the other purses I buy are just disappointing attempts to recapture this bag's perfect combination of pockets, durability, and sleek, black exterior. I wish I could find a link or a pic of it, or a bag similar to it. If I ever find it again, I'll buy three and be set on purses for the rest of my life.

Since replacing it with a daintier bag, I've been much more careful about my purse's contents than I ever was before. I even use smaller pouches for makeup, keys, etc., per Jean Godfrey-June (and even go one pouch better, as carrying headphones and pens in the same place would result in ink-stained headphones).
posted by Austenite at 3:18 PM on July 22, 2014

This Haiku bag was a Christmas gift this past year. I had a smaller Haiku bag -- same colors and all -- and I loved it, but it was just too small for my everyday stuff. The new one is perfect. It's got lots of pockets! The strap is long enough for me to wear it cross-body! It is TARDIS-like in that it holds a TON -- I can carry my wallet, keys, phone, small knitting project, random assorted knitting tools, pens, notebook, Kindle, many many many lip balms, and other miscellany easily. It's as close to bag perfection as I've found so far.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:20 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

oooh, getting out of the realm of purses, but I also love my duffle.
posted by gaspode at 3:22 PM on July 22, 2014

For going to work, I have this LLBean bag - a more grownup version of the ubiquitous (especially in NH) LL Bean backpack of my childhood. It generally fits my laptop, phone, charger, external hard drive, microphone, and wallet (which will need replacing soon ... maybe with something from here...).

Right now, I don't have a nice bag for going out with or anything. I have a bag which I got at Wholly Craft, a local crafty things store. It is green canvas with polka dots, but it is probably not going to hold up much longer and it is also not the most mature handbag, so I am going to start saving up my next paycheck to get something a little more grown up, or at least less bright green and polka dotted.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:30 PM on July 22, 2014

I'm usually carrying a sort of cheapish $50 purse for a year or so at a time, as I don't like leather and probably would get sick of anything that I had to carry for many years at a time. Since my mom bought me a Baggelini at some outlet mall in Florida a few years ago, that's mostly what I carry. My current purse is just right for me. Cross-body for hands free, large enough for an iPad/Kindle in a pinch, enough pockets to carry my phone and wallet easily, a way to clip on keys, and secure with a zipper so I don't spill stuff everywhere.
posted by gemmy at 3:31 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Whelk > THIS is the bag I am currently lusting over

oh my godddddd the boy I used to be is in baglust. It is not for the woman I became but ohhh myyyyy.
posted by egypturnash at 3:33 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

purse and contents: 1, 2

ooh, wish i'd seen this earlier. love bag voyeurism, used to love sifting through the flickr whatsinmybag tags/groups (aw flickr, i remember you).

i love getting my bag just right as i'm weirdly picky about specs. i like waterproof materials, i want structure but not TOO much rigidity if that makes any sense, ditto size not garbage bag huge and not '50s handbag demure either, no (to me) ugly ornament/logos/bling, useful compartments (not too many, but some) and it has to be able to sit upright on its own. oh, and the strap length and thickness…i had one of those popular oggio bags and it was great except the material felt a little casual (i don't like having to switch up my bag, want to be able to go to a client meeting and run to the grocery store or go to a rock show and not look too out of place either way because i'm lazy) but more importantly, the strap wasn't adjustable and made the bag too long on my short torso, alas (loved the inside material and the compartment for an ipad!). on the other hand, i LOATHE finding the right bag for the same reason, that i'm picky. it's insane how hard it is to find practical, versatile, somewhat durable, but not fugly or too drably utilitarian purses for less than a jillion dollars. i think how hard that quest can be is WHY i love seeing other people's solutions.

anyway, this bag (no idea who makes it, just searched endlessly on ebay 'til i found something that looked like it might work) is so-so, i've had better and worse. i like lighter, eye-catching but not screaming '80s florescent-type or girly pink bag colors, so it's pretty ok on that front, but it's not terribly durable and it could stand to be a smidge bigger (i can't carry my ipad in it). but it's comfortable and structured enough all my shit doesn't just meld into a black hole puddle at the bottom, which is good.

the best bag i ever owned was a cream colored, pebbled leather shoulder bag from UO that was the perfect size (could fit magazines or a small laptop without any folding, but still comfortably lightweight/not bulky or too boxy), structured without being stiff (i found one similar recently but it's waaaay too rigid, making the practical capacity much smaller and the whole thing too uncomfortable), with no loud ornament, just a nice distinctive but tasteful front section sort of like a stitched on envelope clasp that was perfect for stuff like your phone. i mourn its passing to this day, arrr.

as for contents…right now i'm packing a blank notebook with some stamps and addresses and postcards stuffed in its middle, gass' on being blue, a makeup pouch for private things (i don't wear makeup really, esp. not in the summer, but you gotta have a place for things like tampons, condoms, and pepto bismol, plus more innocuous things like hand wipes, sunscreen, and hair ties), a harney tagalog tin with some tea in it, kitty coin purse (used for ear buds and ear plugs because it only takes going to say, a swans or dinosaur jr. show without plugs once to never make that mistake again), sunglasses, wallet, key chain that practically doubles as its own mini purse with a leatherman and space pen and flash light and lip balm (the space pen is the best part of my key chain!!), and phone (phone's missing from pic 'cause it was in the bedroom at the time). sometimes i also haul a tea tumbler and/or the ipad, kindle, ds, and/or camera, though these days that usually only happens if we're going out of town.
posted by ifjuly at 3:34 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh....for pete's sake.

Am I the only person here who carries an Orvis creel bag as a bag?

I love it - it's got a nice nylon strap, a plastic inside, and it's canvas. I can let it get as dirty as I want. I've used it forever, but everyone here with their beautiful bags has made me feel like a weirdo. A practical weirdo, but weird nevertheless.

I don't even want to talk about what's in my bag
posted by barchan at 3:41 PM on July 22, 2014 [7 favorites]

My current purse is a taupe (grey with a touch of purple) shoulder bag from Coach *gasp* that's just old enough that I can't find the shape of it on their web site any more, so maybe a year and a half? It's also a little pebbly, which I'm okay with but not hugely in love with. I've been itching to replace it for a while but these two threads have raised the itch level to the point where I'm about to unload this one of its contents and go back to the purple hobo that matches the purple streak in my hair.

Sperose, if my hair were that color instead of bright purple I'd covet yours even more than I do already. Puuuuuurple.
posted by immlass at 3:44 PM on July 22, 2014

no way barchan, i think that bag looks really cool. i used to have this bright blue vinyl pan am bag from when i was a little kid in the '80s and i wish i still had it because i'd use the heck out of it now; the charm of yours reminds me of what i liked about it.
posted by ifjuly at 3:45 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

A camera photo of most of my purses (but not laptop bags) living on the bench full of purses and grocery bags. This includes a huge purple bag with lime interior that can carry enough for 1-2 nights away (excluding laptop), my red Alice bag, a green purse, this awesome mauve purse with a terrible strap, the yellow bag my grandmother gave me that I save for summers and adore, the turquoise bag I am using this week, my sparkly green olive bag, my grey bag that I got when the dog ate an entire dessert my mother was making and she was so mad she went out and bought purses, my black MEC bag, my tiny black purse, a red messenger bag I didn't even know I owned, and a Dooney & Burke bag my grandmother gave me which I don't really like that much but is perfect for beach or pool use.

I could probably use a somewhat larger winter purse, looking at what I have. The purses range from about 10 years old to maybe 2-3 years, except the D&B which I was given a month or so ago. So I am totally due for a new purse. You are all really bad influences, btw.
posted by jeather at 3:47 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I carry around a Bagallini crossbody hobo bag (evidently a discontinued style because I can't find a picture of it), which I got for a trip overseas a couple of months ago and haven't quit carrying since. (I am embarrassed to admit how many different bags I bought and returned on Zappos and Amazon before I settled on it... probably close to a dozen.) My other go-to bag is a leather satchel from Fossil that I got about 5 years ago. Plus I have a few vintage clutches for nights out.

I carry: wallet, keys, sunglasses, phone, small notebook, pens, a small makeup bag with lip balm/barrette/Tylenol/etc., and inevitably various receipts or grocery coupons crumpled at the bottom. It's big enough that I can also take my Kindle and/or a scarf or cardigan, when necessary.
posted by scody at 3:50 PM on July 22, 2014

My three current favorites. LL Bean tote, something practical and light from REI (much lighter than the Tom Bihn that didn't merit the photo), and -- yes -- a vintage Coach bag I found at Goodwill.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:50 PM on July 22, 2014

Oh. and current contents of haversack, paperback book, universal charger, a packet of mints, a small folding umbrella, small Moomin-themed notepad with silver pen, compass, Super Mario style mushroom tin with stuff like aspirin or anti-acids and band-aids, a vintage brass lighter, a packet of individually wrapped wet-naps, gum, extra headphones, and an LED flashlight shaped like Matt Smith's sonic screwdriver
posted by The Whelk at 3:53 PM on July 22, 2014

Also, can I ask the thread? Since I COVET THE ORVIS LEATHER NAVIGATOR BAG, BUT I am not going to spent nearly a thousand dollars on a bag, what's something LIKE IT but not like, five hundred dollars.
posted by The Whelk at 3:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a brocade purse in the shape of the standard American Chinese takeout container. It had the standard wire handle, too, but I replaced it with a ribbon which is getting ratty and I need to find a strap for it (if anyone knows where I can get a really nice-looking strap that will attach to it, I'm all ears, because it has little holes in the side for the metal handle thingie to go in, so it'd need to have something that could go through those and have a holdy thing on the inside, like some jacket buttons have). I have had it for forever. It is pale blue. I get more compliments on it than basically anything else I own. It's just the right size to fit my phone, an ipod, several lip products, and whatever wallety things and pills I need. It also makes me smile and think about the history of the Chinese takeout container, which I learned from metafilter. I love it because it fits over my shoulder nicely and before the ribbon got ratty it was just the right level of quirky and fancy that I could wear it pretty much anywhere with pretty much anything, at least in Albuquerque, which has low standards for such things. I can take it instead of one of those tiny clutches that are socially appropriate to wear with formalwear. It also matched my scooter when I rode that everywhere, which was nice.
posted by NoraReed at 3:55 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am a complete schlub, but I am not totally devoid of taste. i like Quality Items that are plain and classy so I look like I might have made good fashion decisions at least once in my life :P

When I was working the front desk at a campus office (one of my first Real Jobs), I shared it with a horrible barely-graduated party girl who liked to do things like yell, "I SEE YOU ARE TAKING YOUR PURSE WITH YOU. ARE YOU HAVING YOUR PERIOD?" just for fun. Anyways. One day she was yammering on about some particularly garish super-logoey clown-barf Coach model, and said, "You know what? You really, really need a Coach bag." To which I pulled out the plain but lovely black leather one I'd been carrying for the last year and said, "Oh... you mean, like this one?" Touché.

I do love the old-style Coach bags. My current work bag was a reward for FINALLY getting a permanent position in my office, and also replacing my late and much lamented Tano hobo that got stolen out of our car with barely anything in it. I've never seen anyone with one like it, either: it's kind of like this Bleecker hobo with just the shoulder strap and in smooth blue leather. Like, Superman's-tights blue. I've gotten a ton of compliments on the color.

My "weekend bag" is a cotton Marimekko hobo-ish bag I bought to take to EbertFest, where you are guaranteed to spend at least one hour standing in the rain. It is magenta and purple and I love it.

Both of those bags, however, have the unfortunate distinction of being Mary Poppins bags. I mean, it's nice to be able to fit two pairs of shoes and a small gorilla inside, but it's not so good when you search through a small handbag for over 10 minutes and STILL have trouble finding your massive keyring... and it's actually in there.

Pregnancy has added some interesting complications. Working from home most days, I find myself carrying the Marimekko bag everywhere. It contains at least one blue plastic hospital barf bag, a crapton of loose cough drops, a crapton of loose Tums Chewy Delights, and any number of pill bottles in varying states of emptiness. Also a ton of crumpled paper, usually lists of my current medication which I receive every time I go in.

And THEN we have the Great Diaper Bag Quest -- which, trust me, has involved way more "regular" bags than Official Diaper Bags. I started with this Diaper Dude pinstriped bag, but right now I am leaning towards the Ju Ju Be Better Be in a fairly neutralish pattern. (My husband is secure in his masculinity. I'm the one who needs it more low key.) Again, we run the risk of Mary Poppins Syndrome, but as both of us answer to the name Spillzilla (never mind the baby... we're the messy ones...) I am pretty sure that a wipeable bag with a crumb hole is a good choice.
posted by Madamina at 3:56 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Lately, I have become a bit of a magnet for Kate Spade novelty bags.

It all started with this one, which I got for myself with my tax return money. Two months later, I ended up at a clothing swap, where I traded a fat-girl-sized bias cut silk gown for a Tower Avenue Quinn bag shaped like a TV set. Then, a few weeks ago, I sold $160 worth of clothing to my friendly neighborhood Buffalo Exchange, where I used my $80 and some cash to buy this little number. Right now I'm keeping an eye out for a Call Me Chase to complete my collection of semi-luxury purses inspired by obsolete technology.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:57 PM on July 22, 2014 [10 favorites]

pxe2000, I deeply admire your taste in bags, those are fantastic.

also please sign me up for Orvis-lookalike updates, that thing is incredible.
posted by jetlagaddict at 3:59 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, when I was looking for a nice durable EbertFest tote that I could bang around in the rain, I went into the Fancy College Girl Store and found an Alexander Wang black suede croc-embossed bowling bag that was marked down from $900 to something like $250 because it had been returned in need of a wee strap repair. It was everything I didn't need. It was EVERYTHING.
posted by Madamina at 4:01 PM on July 22, 2014

I have a black hobo of indeterminate brand and age, but it's at least 12 years old. It's getting a bit shabby now. A brown shoulder unstructured tote/ sack thing from some small Italian brand I can't remember that's about 5 years old. It's totally plain, the leather is that mid brown broken in color. It's the perfect bag!!, so useful, so many compliments on it. And two clutches, one red and one vintage velvet with embroidery for going out.

At some point I need to replace the black one but I haven't seen anything I love and can afford in a while.
posted by fshgrl at 4:06 PM on July 22, 2014

This satchel is my current bag. (They used to have an Amazon storefront; dunno why they don't now.) I wanted something that didn't look like my last bag, a huge black frilly thing with lots of fringe. The satchel is more my style.

Typically I carry my keys, tablet, kindle, wallet, umbrella and a smaller pouch containing a mirror, lip balm, and lipstick. It's big enough to hold my dslr and an extra lens, so I sometimes use it as a camera bag.
posted by supermassive at 4:08 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ohhh, the diaper bag quest. I'd have thought searching for a decent-looking, super-pockety bag would be oodles of fun, but that's not the case. I'm leaning toward the Skip Hop Duo based on numerous recommendations, but I'm not really in love with it. Maybe my trusty Tom Bihn can be repurposed, if it's large enough.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:11 PM on July 22, 2014

I never have understood the need for diaper bags. I used backpacks or messenger bags or... oh shit, I just realized this makes me sound like the pocketbook-nonbelievers in the original FPP. Never mind! You go ahead and use a dedicated diaper-bag if it does what you need it to do and brings you joy!
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:14 PM on July 22, 2014

Wow, i don't know what i expected but a lot of people on here have really cool bags. Or want really cool bags i haven't thought about. Or just have really awesome style, especially if they're able to pull off/have the confidence to wear some of this awesome stuff. Right on.

The Whelk: THIS is the bag I am currently lusting over but ....not gonna happen unless I win the lotto after becoming an international sensation overnight

Ugh, i used to have a bag almost exactly like this. Someone actually stole it out of my office. Like not a shared space, my actual work area. It wasn't this bag obviously, but a similar vintage one. I had owned it for a really long time in bag years(of which, as far as i'm concerned, 1 year is something to the effect of 5 real years). I think its actual true age was probably in 40s or 50s territory. I got it off a guy who moved to Seattle from Bangladesh and dressed like a steam-punk willy wonka who was having a little street blanket sale in the mid 2000s. I probably had that bag as long as i've had an account here.

I stitched it back together by hand one day after a seam blew in an ex girlfriends apartment who took pity on my stuff flying out and it not latching when i happened to randomly encounter her on the street after not seeing her for ages. I traveled all over with it, and it happened to be there for a lot of interesting/amazing moments. Over time it became more and more stitched and patched as threads gave way and pieces wore out. It held everything from tools to laptops to clothes to garbage to thrift finds and piles of party supplies. It fit exactly the right amount of stuff, every time. It held a laptop, a change of clothes, and a few bits and bobs just perfectly.

I still really miss that bag. I wish i remembered what the weird old labelmaker-from-a-60s-library name tag on it glued next to the handle said, it was something awesome like "Kevorkian".

I also wish that i could find even a used bag in this sort of style for not-$500. But every time i see something like that which isn't SUPER cheesy and some department store hunk of junk, it's properly expensive. Especially if it's vintage and in usable shape... or even not.

That said, my current bag is this. Which as far as i'm concerned is the best backpack ever. I own two, and the one i'm currently using is a cool super-dark-navy custom color. I got it as a present for my partner, but it ended up being exaggeratedly large on her petite body and i didn't feel like dealing with a return... and then a defective metal clasp on one of the straps blew out. I sent it back and got it back in a few days fixed no questions asked.

My first one of those bags was a size they don't even make anymore, which i'd describe as "bus". There's small, medium, and large now. There used to be extra large. You could basically stuff a normal sized rubbermaid garage box into the thing. It collapses down, but inflated it's like an aircraft carrier. I took enough supplies for 4 people for two nights, a change of boots, two changes of clothes, 4 fifths of booze, a laptop, all the gear to play a laptop set(control pads, audio cables, interface, mixer, effects, etc) and a bunch of shirts/CDs to hand out at a show and more including blankets in the thing.

I could barely stand.

I abused it for years like that, i never had a single problem. It has several small stains, it has all my friends stupid tags scrawled all over it, it's been hosed out in the bathtub and left to dry upsidedown more times than i can remember. It's been exposed to fire, snow, oil, and i don't even know what else. It still looks like it's maybe a few months old and i regularly get asked where i bought it.

The smaller blue one, that i've had for several years now, still looks new. People occasionally ask me when i got a new bag. I just can't believe how freaking well made these things are. I'll probably have it for the rest of my life. Oh, and it's comfortable as hell. And completely weatherproof. My only complaint is that for such a big bag a 15in laptop in a case barely fits in the outside compartment, like i have to almost force it in. Of course only the mega one fit my old 17in laptop, but i'm still annoyed because it looks like a big enough bag for a machine that size. Whatever though, my next machine will likely be a 13in or even smaller.(i really, really miss my 8in laptop. like almost every day)
posted by emptythought at 4:18 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Many of you like bags that look disturbingly heavy to me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:20 PM on July 22, 2014

yeah Whelk, if you get any good leads please share them...that bag has the same structure and detailing of the bag i had years ago whose passing i still mourn, love that kind of thing. sigh.
posted by ifjuly at 4:23 PM on July 22, 2014

I can't wait to scroll back through this but I want to type up my answer before my baby wakes up (fussy, fussy day. Damn those tiny new baby teeth.)

When I was pregnant and in the throes of nesting I went through my purse collection and realized that I had 40 purses. I'd purchased all of 6 of them myself. The rest came from my mother who is constantly searching and failing to find the perfect purse. I get her overstock. They are usually okay leather purses from TJ Maxx in very bright colors that are almost but not quite to my tastes, but close enough that I'll use them for awhile (the exception was this purse which is super awesome enough that my mother stole it back from me for awhile before I stole it back from her). My mother-in-law also likes getting me bags, but they're pricey and almost universally not to my tastes. The expense makes getting rid of them hard, because I'm always like, I should sell that on ebay, but never get around to it.

I whittled my collection down to, I think, 10 bags but by Christmas my mother had given me three more. I don't really want them, but I don't not want them, if that makes sense.

The bags I buy myself tend to be fake leather in very bright colors from TJ Maxx or Target. I have one in bright, vivid turquoise that I love more than anything. My dream, though, is to get a really nice brown leather satchel. Hell, I'd even take a PU satchel if it was the right sort of thing--a two-front pocketed cross body bag, like a leather brief case but slouchier. I have never found this bag and maybe never will. Certainly not for the price I like to pay for bags, which is generally like $40 exactly.

Right now, though, I am living in the land of diaper bags. I have three (none of which I purchased for myself, naturally!) and 90% of the time end up carrying around this happy snails vera bradley diaper bag that my mother-in-law got me. She's bought me the entire happy snails collection which I'm pretty meh about, but the diaper bag is awesome, so there's that.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:24 PM on July 22, 2014

The Whelk - have you seen this much cheaper version at (um) J Crew?

Also, I just realized I have a beautiful bag - it's my geologist's field case, made specifically for field work. The gfeller geologists field case, complete with room for pens, picks, scale, and acid bottle. It's one of the most beautiful things I own.
posted by barchan at 4:24 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

This -- or the 10 year old version of it -- is my travel bag. It's a bit heavy, but it can hold so much more than it looks. I have it in black, but am really tempted by this blue.

For a long time it was an excellent way to find stealth Canadians.
posted by jeather at 4:25 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

My birthday was in March. My parents and their untrained dog had moved in temporarily after my mother had a stroke. I was off work caring for my daughter who had just had ANOTHER round of pinkeye, and Josh asked me what I wanted for my birthday.

He organized the whole family to pitch in to purchase my dream bag. It is a huge slouchy gorgeous behemoth of a bag and I love it beyond measure. It brings me such pleasure.

Thank you for this thread! I grew up poor and I never imagined living a life where I could have new, beautiful things without shame or remorse.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 4:25 PM on July 22, 2014 [9 favorites]

#1: This messenger bag for daily work stuff.
#2: No explanation needed
posted by pemberkins at 4:31 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

A thread after my own heart!

* Work
* Play

Going for a trip, so will have to do a travel post next.
posted by evoque at 4:35 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is it okay to say here that the purse thread made me so upset I might cry? I can't exactly articulate why, or maybe it's more that a lot of people in the thread articulated bits and pieces of it, but I read that thread and I felt tacky and anxious and defeated. I got my mom to finally treat herself to a "nice" purse after years of budget purses and she picked a black leather Coach bag and still felt guilty about spending so much. I'm five years out of undergrad and I'm just barely starting to accept that My First Real Job is never coming so I'm going back to school for allied health (which I am so far terrible at). I just started a new job and realized I will have to substantially step up my wardrobe game, including probably going back to a purse after having a bike commute job where a backpack was okay, and retiring the reusable shopping bag I have been using as a purse/bookbag. And it's like, not only do I have to start living in Fashion World again, where I feel like an especially ugly alien, but it turns out the knowledge I accumulated about stuff that's expensive but lasts and is moderately fashionable is out of date and there's another stupid level of knowledge to be acquired? There's another stupid world of Big Bosses to be defeated? And it will never work because this kind of knowledge is supposed to be learned by osmosis, and any misstep reveals you as NOKD since you aren't rich enough to be an eccentric?

It requires so much effort not to care about this stuff, and sometimes you are required to care about it, there is no opting out, and then you often undo all your not caring progress. I am going to Applebee's for my mom's birthday dinner and since this morning I have read that stupid purse thread and gone back to being the kind of person who is self-conscious about being judged by others for eating in a chain restaurant. I hate everything, especially the rigged self-esteem shell game that is consumer capitalism, and excluding present company.

In the spirit of the thing, my current purse is a reusable shopping bag from the frou-frou organic grocery store near my old job, which is nice because it's one of the ones with a reinforced bottom panel which in this case happens to be the exact dimensions of my physics textbook. When I don't need my school stuff, I have a little cloth clutch that's just big enough for cash, cards, and phone. It was a bridesmaid gift, it's a pink and purple floral pattern, and I think it's very pretty.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:38 PM on July 22, 2014 [42 favorites]

Also, I hope I didn't make anyone feel bad about loving their purses. People should have nice things that they love and enjoy. This just interacts with my particular damage in a terrible way. BACK TO THE FUN, look at all these pretties!!!

-silk screened by hand
-under 100 dollars
-ships worldwide!!
-pretty coordinating patterns on the inside for contrast
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:43 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

This is my diaper bag and I love it. I love the color, of course, I love all the pockets, and I loooooove that I can throw it in the washing machine when it starts to look dingy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:45 PM on July 22, 2014

Snarl Furillo, I hope your mom has an awesome birthday and a great dinner-- I bet her bag is really great, and I hope she loves using it.

(also those Etsy bags are adorable)
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:48 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Madamina: "Pregnancy has added some interesting complications. Working from home most days, I find myself carrying the Marimekko bag everywhere. It contains at least one blue plastic hospital barf bag, a crapton of loose cough drops, a crapton of loose Tums Chewy Delights, and any number of pill bottles in varying states of emptiness. Also a ton of crumpled paper, usually lists of my current medication which I receive every time I go in.

After I gave birth -- I had a C-section -- I took an old clutch purse and used it to carry my medications, boob cream, lip balm, breast pads, etc., all over the house with me, because it was waaaaaaaay too much trouble to go back and get them from where I left them.

Metroid Baby: "Ohhh, the diaper bag quest. I'd have thought searching for a decent-looking, super-pockety bag would be oodles of fun, but that's not the case. I'm leaning toward the Skip Hop Duo based on numerous recommendations, but I'm not really in love with it. Maybe my trusty Tom Bihn can be repurposed, if it's large enough."

I have the Skip*Hop Dash, it's a good bag, holds up well and washes well. That said, after the newborn weeks I mostly only used it when going on longer trips and just carried spare diapers and wipes and things in my purse. I probably would have been fine with a regular tote bag. If you use a not-diaper-specific bag, make sure you stuff a few waterproof pouches and ziploc bags in it, though. Also it's helpful to have a pocket that can carry a bottle or sippy cup upright, as sometimes you just gotta carry things without them being sealed.

Also a Tide Stain Pen, trust me on that.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:54 PM on July 22, 2014

Because feeling bad in one thread was not enough, there had to be a Meta where other people could show off their nice things. Thanks, guys. Snarl Furillo, I feel your pain.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I confessed upthread that I use a black tote pretty much every day. I should have mentioned that a group I belong to has a 'Panty Party' once a year to collect underwear and other stuff to donate to a Portland charity that gives homeless women a place to drop in, and maybe get some clothing or toiletries or whatever that cannot be gotten without money. I donated all those purses that I do not use and cleared up some closet space. I do still have a couple of evening purses if I am going where I will not need full preparedness gear.
posted by Cranberry at 5:01 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

A courier bag: Crumpler's "The Textbook Point". Pic 1, Pic 2. Really tough bags. They pull a lot of compliments too. Mine's gone across Canada, a bit of England and Ireland. The velcro's showing some wear, but after 3 years, I can't complain. It's also had 2 out of 4 Guinness tallboys burst in it (due to the bag doing a 2 storey drop). A few hours of soaking in a bucket with a bit of soap and it was as good as new. Next one'll probably be The Barney Rustle Blanket (Pic) as that was always my second choice, that and Crumpler is every kind of cool.
posted by Zack_Replica at 5:01 PM on July 22, 2014

alltomorrowsparties: I see it as us enjoying each others' things, not all of which were expensive. My three bags together were less than $100.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:04 PM on July 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

Snarl Furillo, I hope you and your mom have a fabulous time.

I wish that they would let you take home a daiquiri so you could have a bathdaiquiri because you deserve one. Everyone needs a hug and a bathdaiquiri.
posted by winna at 5:08 PM on July 22, 2014 [10 favorites]

After the $35.00 bag I got at the mall died after 3 weeks use, I saw a Fendi Adele 1328 in the window of a consignment shop. Mine's older than some of my coworkers, and the handles are bit worn and there are a couple inkstains inside, but the leather doesn't show any obvious scuffmarks, and it feels incredibly well made.

Oh, and despite looking small and dainty, I had wallet, kobo, phone, pens, tiny makeup bag, hair clips and my lunch in there today with tons of room to spare. I think I may have actually bought a tardis. . .
posted by peppermind at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2014

alltomorrowsparties: This doesn't seem to be a thread about showing off "nice things" as it does celebrating the wonderful variety of solutions MeFites have come up with for the common problem of how to carry things (especially if you're a woman and lack pockets). Sure there were some very nice bags in this thread, but there were also local/artisan/international/thrift bags, bags put to other uses, and bags that people admitted was their only splurge, as well as expressions of how a certain bag purchase/gift felt. The feelings behind the bags is what makes this thread so interesting.

Snarl Furillo, I really could care less about clothing but need to for my job, so thank god for Kate Middleton. Don't laugh - I've ripped off my entire professional wardrobe after her, because it's in style, classy, multi-situational, good enough for royalty, she re-wears/re-combines a lot, there's a few good blogs that break everything she wears down, and, better yet, she has such a ripple effect that it's easy to find inexpensive clothing patterned off of what she wears. I don't stand out but I fit in and I use much less energy/time.

hugs for you, hugs for your mom, and hugs for the applebees take 2 menu for the indecisive
posted by barchan at 5:17 PM on July 22, 2014 [11 favorites]

Late to share, but this custom Timbuk2 is the bag I use everyday for work and is the most favorite thing I own, because carries all the things I need when I need them to be carried.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:18 PM on July 22, 2014

Now that I don't teach English or wear suits anymore, I don't really have a need for the bags I became briefly addicted to. Mrs. Ghidorah gave me a Felizi bag (nylon construction with canvas and wood handles), and from there, I just started buying bags. My favorite was a Porter bag, which I highly recommend. They last, and they're very functional. The thing is, my favorite style of bag is more 'portrait' than 'landscape.' I like my bag to hang down, and not get in the way, but for men's bags, finding a narrow but deep bag (A4 size so it can actually hold stuff) is next to impossible here in Japan. I found one in a store in Ameyoko (the shopping area south of Ueno station) for about a thousand yen/ten bucks: grey canvas, Velcro fasteners on the flap. It's perfect for a trip to the city. It easily holds my ipad, a book, beer cozies, bottle opener, earbuds, and, in a pinch, a bottle of water. Mrs. Ghidorah looks at it with scorn, but yet, she still prefers it to my backpack, which is still my everyday bag.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:21 PM on July 22, 2014

there's a few good blogs that break everything she wears down

posted by elizardbits at 5:23 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:25 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I picked up this Black Paw hobo at a salvage store for $6.99. It's kind of weirdly padded, but water resistant, the outside material is softish, and it appears to be indestructible. Too small for a laptop, but would fit an e-reader or possibly a tablet.

There is an outside zipper pocket on one side, perfect for holding pens and my little notepad. There is one inside zipper pocket, where I keep lip balms. Two open pockets on the inside, one could be for a cellphone or other similar object. I imagine it would keep a sandwich cold due to the insulation.

I thought it was kind of fugly at first (I have the olive), but it's really convenient and grew on me. I don't have to dress to impress so it's a basic grocery store and can take to beach and drives to the woods and lakes type of bag. That website also has Tumi and North Face type of outdoorsy stuff if anyone is looking for something to take camping.

I also have a multi-colored straw bag with bamboo handles (resale), and a large Target red cloth hobo with fringe, which I love, but it holds too much stuff for an every day bag, and a black drawstring bag made of some kind of waterproof material with neon pink butterflies on it and black leather trim. An evening purse in black with patent leather and a red interior, a silver hobo made up of dangly giant sequins, and a mini canvas tote in natural with butterflies on it (perfect for suntan lotion, my P&S camera, band-aids, etc. to put inside a larger tote for the beach so I can grab the necessary items right away).

Had some department store type designer name bags (nothing very expensive, Steve Madden, Kathy Van Zeeland) but the the hardware kept catching my hair and other things. I just don't do chains and stuff like that very well. Purses shouldn't hurt.

If you are new to purses, Burlington Coat Factory has a decent selection of good looking purses that won't break the bank.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:27 PM on July 22, 2014

I carry (lately) one or more of:
A yvonne koné 'large purse'
a claire vivier 'moyen messenger'
a clare vivier 'flat clutch' (but with a white background)
a sassico (?) 'conte bag'

what this says about me is that I buy too many bags
posted by jcrbuzz at 5:30 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

P.S. I just got back from Ruby Tuesday. And we used a coupon! But my belly is full.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:33 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Anyone else now purse shopping? platinum has excellent tastes in purses, and now I'm totally lusting for a nice cheap merona purse in bright purple or turquoise or maybe both.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:33 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not shopping, but adding to my wish list.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:40 PM on July 22, 2014


Yep, WhatKateWore and also
posted by barchan at 5:43 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Window shopping because in order to use (coughcoughafford) the bags I've liked best I would need to be a Frankenstein doctor and possibly an extra in Assassin's Creed and also a wealthy third son on a Grand Tour in the fifties who writes for a newspaper on the side and I am...none of those things.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:43 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

The J. crew bag is a little ...puffy for my tastes, hmmmm

Oh well time to go dig in the eBay mines
posted by The Whelk at 5:44 PM on July 22, 2014

I just mentioned in the original thread that I'm a fan of Fossil purses, and here's one of my more recent purchases. I'm really into practicality and efficiency, so I like that it has a cross-body strap so it doesn't tie up my hands or keep falling off my shoulder, and it fits exactly everything I need but doesn't have a lot of excess room. I find if there's too much extra space, I will start cramming my bag to the brim with notebooks, an umbrella, twenty pens, rolls of quarters, etc.

(Funny story: one time at the airport, I was going through security, and they pulled me aside so that they could empty everything out of my purse. Apparently, I had such an obscene amount of loose change that they had to take that out and then run my purse through the x ray machine sans coins. They then returned my purse to me with my change conveniently placed in a ziploc bag. It was kind of embarassing at the time, but amusing in retrospect.)

Anyway, I also like this purse because it's a fun color, but it doesn't clash with a lot of what I wear, and it's good quality leather. These days I carry a separate backpack/messenger bag for my laptop, books, etc, so I can get away with carrying a smaller purse. In fact, this purse is small enough that I can even shove it in my backpack sometimes, which is convenient.
posted by litera scripta manet at 5:45 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm just glad that most of this thread and the other are more purses and less man-bag/unisex bags because those are my downfall. (Though of course I spent some time sighing over Filson bags.)

These threads are kind of amazing, though, in managing to make people all across the spectrum feel bad about the kinds of bags they do or do not like or have or lust after. Sigh indeed.
posted by rtha at 5:47 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well I was just about to post an AskMe for purse advice so this thread is awesome! I recently went on a closet purge and got rid of all but one wedding/event purse and one daily purse that I'm kind of sick of. (Work is a backpack, because the fancy Grownup Business Tote I was using gave me massive shoulder problems. Now I only use it for interviews/short events when I'm not carrying more than a folder, wallet and phone, and a bottle of water).

I've been having a problem finding a good cross-body bag with slit pockets that actually hold a bigger phone inside, as well as a zip compartment. I'm happily tracking down a bunch of links now. Now I just need the thread to convince me that it's ok to spend more than $40 on a purse!
posted by TwoStride at 5:50 PM on July 22, 2014

Every bag is beautiful
Every bag is good
Every bag is needed
In your neighborhood
posted by The Whelk at 5:50 PM on July 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

TwoStride - if you have a local TJMaxx, that's a great way to go and look at a large number of purse styles that you can pick up, put on, carry around the store with you, etc, to help find one you like.

There's my answer to your non-AskMe.
posted by maryr at 5:58 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not shopping, but I am... contemplating.

I've seen a few smallish leather backpacks around NYC and I like them (like this but, um, not $1200 probably) but I'm not sure I want to spend leather-money on something that might be hopelessly passe in two years...
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:11 PM on July 22, 2014

OK, I haven't read all the comments here, but in the active purse thread I promised to post a picture of the most awesome purse I have ever acquired. I found it at a thrift shop on Valencia in SF. I never use this purse, so I'd be happy to give it to a MeFite. Let me know if you want it.

OK, now to look at everyone's lovely bags....
posted by maryr at 6:11 PM on July 22, 2014 [10 favorites]

This is my current cheaparse black bag which needs replacing - it contains 3 books, a memo/sketch book, roughly 3 million recipes torn out from magazines, mobile phone, ipad (when required), three hankies which all need washing, 5 pens, the remnants of a Freddo Frog, most of last year's correspondence, referral letter to the paediatrician, employment pathway plan from Centrelink, lipstick, perfume, eyebrow pencil, lighter, smokes, small torch, chequebook, a nasty large black wallet which also needs replacing and lots of old receipts from ATMs and so on.

This is my collection of old dead black bags which I keep on top of a bookshelf to gather dust and depress myself with.

One day I'll find the perfect big (but not too big) black bag, perhaps, but in the meantime I'll keep buying and using the cheap ones and envying everyone else's taste.
posted by h00py at 6:14 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

These two threads just led me to spend an hour trolling eBay for vintage Coach bags. I do not need a vintage Coach bag. I HAVE a vintage Coach bag, in fact (well, it's a briefcase), and I love it but never carry it because it is not big enough to hold ANYTHING, but I've had it since 1999 and it's really just gorgeous.

Anyway, my favorite bag ever is one I bought at Banana Republic seven years ago; it has no label or markings of any kind, I get tons of compliments on it, and the only reason I don't carry it every day any more is that it's a hobo and I need a tote to haul papers and crap back and forth from my office to my home. It's really pretty, though, isn't it?

Right now, I think I want to find a nice satchel. My everyday bag is a Coach tote (from the outlet, so quality is not super), and it's fine but not spectacular, and I kind of want something spectacular but that's also the right shape and size to hold paper files and is really classic and clean.
posted by devinemissk at 6:14 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

PhoBWanKenobi, I now have a whole bookmarks folder full of nothing but links to purses, wallets, and messenger bags. In the event that I win lotto, I will be buying *so many expensive bags*. I will buy us all expensive bags. It will be glorious.
posted by MeghanC at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

But perhaps...
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:17 PM on July 22, 2014

Oh, I forgot that I also have a black Manhattan Portage DJ bag, but lately I use it only when I have to bring large binders of material back and forth from work, since smaller amounts of papers fit in my tote. It worked well as my main bag for a long time, though, and I kept my ID, cards, keys, and phone in a small cross-body bag (someone linked it up thread, actually -- from Target, cost about $10). But I wanted to be able to carry the same bag most days, and only one bag, so now I just carry around my Coach tote. If only it weren't such a hassle to move ID and cards from one receptacle to another -- most of the small cross-body bags double as wallets but are also somewhat too large to shove into a tote and still have room for, say, a small makeup bag, a bottle of water, my iPad, and any papers.

I give this stuff a lot of thought, y'all.
posted by devinemissk at 6:39 PM on July 22, 2014

I need to check out the other thread for fun bag posts. I have bunch of bags but favorites right now are this older version of the Rough and Tumble messenger. I also have the bigger backpack for schlepping the laptop. These are the best bags I own. They're wearing beautifully and they worked with me to get my backpack in time for a trip. My only warning is that if you want them to still be a bit slouchy I'd size up - like get the 11" bag for a 13" laptop.

My other bags are a bit flashier.
posted by oneear at 6:59 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love this thread so much! I have one purse that I've been using since I graduated from college 10 years ago. I graduated with a degree in education and intended to teach. My parents wanted to give me a gift that would last. Here is the purse they chose, albeit not a great picture (and has my partner's bag of dice in the background). My mom had this idea that it could be like a tote I could carry student work home in. I've loved Louis Vuitton since I was young and we lived in Europe where I saw a knock off at a market. Ten years later, I'm working in the financial industry, and still using this purse because my stuff won't fit in anything else. It's nicer than the day I got it and it's great as a purse on a plane because it zips and holds sooo much. It's even brought liquor back from out of the country :)

I have a few small purses that I use for a night out here and there, but they've never seen as much use as this one.
posted by persephone's rant at 7:04 PM on July 22, 2014

Filthy enablers, the lot of you. This thread is great.

Crossbody for ever and ever for daily use, I like my hands free and I always overstuff tote bags and ruin the handles. My current one holds a surprising amount (some thrilling combination of glasses case/book/notebook/sketchbook/pens/pencils/mini first aid kit/snacks/water bottle/scarf/etc. on any given day) but since it's nylon it doesn't get too heavy.

I keep thinking someday I'll go all minimalist and sleek and get by with a pouch on a belt, but that day never seems to dawn.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:11 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

So to save myself an Ask Metafilter question: can anyone recommend a good leather conditioner? I have a beautiful bag but the top flap is drying out and needs some good love.
posted by dame at 7:17 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dear TheWhelk, please post an update if you find the perfect bag at a better price point because my husband swooned when he saw your bag, and I would never have picked that for him.

I have a small denim-leather bag from Marks & Spencers that I bought on the spot because it fits my mini-iPad that is my default bag, because it is sort of schlumpy like me. I do not love it, but I settle for it until I can find my ideal bag.

For my laptop, I have a giant blue Sherpani bag that I will not link to recommend because the handle broke in less than a year, so I've been using a cat-printed canvas bag that my husband bought at a bookstore and borrowing my daughter's knock-off Cath Kidston red polka dot bag which is actually a nicer round shape than the official ones, and cost $20. For some reason, Cath Kidston-pirated designs are hot in the working-class neighbourhoods where I live in Singapore, so me and all the other aunties are covered for our twee laminated bag needs.

My dream bag is my older sister's vintage red crocodile handbag that she has probably forgotten about, but that remains the emblem of bohemian adulthood in my mind. Bags are mythical in some ways - I can't remember my mother's clothes as clearly as I can her bags, the tiny glittered clutches in their cloth protective cases with the chains, being told to sit quietly while she browsed at Coach, my dad's series of briefcases - when you're a child, adults' bags contain so much mystery and promise.

Oh, and the trick with organising a giant bag is very brightly coloured quirky pouches. I have lots of pouches from Bloom Bags and Smateria, two fair-trade business in Cambodia run by women I know and adore, and I divide things into little pouches - meds go in the bright pink fishfeed bag, computer accessories in the bronze mosquito-netting bag, etc. Bonus is that I can reach in without looking and because of the different textures, pull out the right pouch. Switching bags means just chucking pouches I need back and forth.
posted by viggorlijah at 7:43 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

dame - the website for your bag says that it's a naked unsealed leather so depending on conditioners you might get some darkening when you condition it. This conditioner was recommended to me for that kind of leather. It's a spray and the idea is to hit the bag with a fine mist. Of course I'd recommend testing on some less obvious part of the bag just to see that it doesn't change the color in a way you wouldn't like.
posted by oneear at 7:44 PM on July 22, 2014

I have to say that while not every bag here is necessarily my style they are all very, very nice!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:51 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, this is like the skort of bags. I love it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:53 PM on July 22, 2014 [12 favorites]

The bag photos and stories are great!

I don't carry a bag, ever. (I do own a Timbuk2 laptop bag, but that's just for carrying my computer on trips so it never goes further than from house to car and car to hotel, and obviously I have various bags and survey vests for field gear.) I carry only keys (and the absolute fewest possible, to the point of having different key rings so that I am never carrying keys that I don't need), phone, and a minimalist wallet, plus sunglasses if it is sunny. I'd ditch all of those if I could pay for things and open doors with a retinal scan -- being totally unencumbered is the biggest luxury I know.

I used to always have a pocket knife clipped to a front pocket but I loaned it out and never got it back, and haven't replaced it because everyone I work with carries a knife and these days I fly often enough to have that be a hassle.

My wallet is disappointingly falling apart, however (the "leather" appears to not actually be leather), and I've been on and off searching for a new wallet with a similar design but better materials. I have this dream of finding one made out of leather that is both thin and has the perfect texture, but so far I haven't found the magic one. Clearly I need to put together an AskMe question for this, given the amazing bag knowledge represented here.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:08 PM on July 22, 2014

> my dad's series of briefcases

I recently got into a friend's car and there in the back seat was my dad's briefcase. It wasn't actually my dad's -- he died a long time ago -- but it was identical. My friend's husband had bought it at a thrift store.

It was a shock to see it. I stared, then took a photo to send to my mom, who also was startled. So many memories, just from looking at this one shabby leather briefcase in my friend's car. I immediately was thinking of our old apartment so clearly, and could remember grabbing his briefcase every evening to get the copy of the International Herald Tribune so I could read Doonesbury and the Art Buchwald column sitting on the carpet by the front door. I hadn't thought of that in decades, but it was so detailed.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:11 PM on July 22, 2014 [17 favorites]

Oh my god, this is like the skort of bags. I love it.

Aw, crap, I actually really want to buy that.
posted by pemberkins at 8:16 PM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

Well, I guess you all know that I am the owner of this ugly classic messenger Timbuk2 bag, which I adore. I sometimes do switch it out with this Jack Spade, which was a gift and has a cool slot for a CD Walkman.

This is my canoe.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:16 PM on July 22, 2014

...Anyone want to loan a grad student $112 for a skortpurse?
posted by pemberkins at 8:18 PM on July 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

I need a bag. And a new wallet.

Wallet first, I think. This is my current wallet. I love it because it has an exterior zippered change pocket and an open pocket big enough for a phone or a passport. On the inside, there is one pocket for really long items (like boarding passes or paper gift certificates), plus two other pockets, a large one where all my cards go, and a smaller one that holds my cash snugly. It folds in half and snaps closed, so it doesn't take up much more footprint than a regular wallet. It's made of soft black leather, and it has a shoulder strap so I can carry it instead of a purse to run into the drugstore or in formal situations. I can't find anything like it!

For a bag, I've been using a standard canvas tote that I got for free with something I ordered. But I'm really frustrated with its lack of pockets, any pockets. And I feel the need to buy something big enough to double as a diaper bag for short trips, as I'm about to have my second baby. I'll be scouting ideas from this thread, thanks everyone.
posted by Night_owl at 8:18 PM on July 22, 2014

This is my bag. I bought mine for like 20 bucks at Old Navy when I was 19 and have had it for over ten years. It's gone to multiple continents with me. I went through a period of thinking "When I'm a proper grown-up with money I'll get nice things like a nice handbag!" but then I became a nurse. Being a nurse is like the combo-breaker of lady status markers because we're all dressed alike in scrubs, we're usually wearing sneakers or clogs, we wear sort of minimal jewelry and makeup, and I carry a canvas bag because I'm going to what, drop money on something that is going to become an expensive vector for infection? Nuh uh. I have an appreciation for the finer things so I coo over the lady doctors newest Fendi, but in my mind I'm like "You put that on the floor and it's now a Fendi covered in MRSA." and I feel better about making like a quarter of their money.
posted by supercrayon at 8:26 PM on July 22, 2014 [13 favorites]

I carry a $10 denim purse I bought at Walmart. I didn't actually plan to use it as a purse, I bought it one time when I had this wild fantasy that I was going to go into the forest to read and draw out in the nature and I needed something to carry my Kindle and sketchbook.

This purse has never seen the forest even a single time. When I got done shopping for it at Walmart I was tired and out of the mood to go.

After I broke the clasp on the small, cheap black purse I had been using (not even sure how, but it involved being a little tipsy after drinking a margarita as big as my head) I transferred all my shit to the denim purse and have been carrying it ever since.

I actually like it a lot. It is just the right size to carry everything I need but without a lot of room to collect a bunch of heavy crap. The strap is adjustable so I can comfortably wear it across my body when I want my hands free, which is most of the time.

I have owned many bags in prices ranging from $30 to $150, and I have not been nearly as happy with any of them as I am with this simple little cloth bag.

Currently in said bag: Kindle, phone, iPod, headphones, small hairbrush, pen, grocery list, crumpled tube of handcream, small bottle of ibuprofen, Great Lash mascara in black, Burt's Bees lip tint in pomegranate. Tazo's "Wild Sweet Orange" tea bags, book of stamps, tiny credit/debit card holder thingie, about $4 in loose change & bills. Strawberry gum, church bulletin, used cough drop that I spit back into the wrapper because it was time for communion. Rosary and St Jude prayer book, which I have never prayed out of but like to have with me because you never know when it will suddenly be the Apocalypse and I'll want to pray something fancy.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:32 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

There's another stupid world of Big Bosses to be defeated? And it will never work because this kind of knowledge is supposed to be learned by osmosis, and any misstep reveals you as NOKD since you aren't rich enough to be an eccentric?
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:38 PM on July 23 [15 favorites +] [!]

Oh fuck that noise, you carry whatever you want and don't worry about people who think they know something about you from your damn bag. When you're in health I give you permission to announce loudly that you are TOO BUSY SAVING THESE PATIENTS LIVES EVERY DAMN DAY to care about whatever, and I don't care if you're never even near a patient.
posted by supercrayon at 8:32 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Jessamyn, I, too, have a giant ol' Courierware bag. I was given it by my dear sister for college graduation 20 years ago. It still looks damn near new!

I carry my work laptop & iPad & Very Important Papers in a CamelBak backpack, that's also loaded with cables and adapters and the like. My lunch goes into a Mountainsmith Lumbar pack that has a handle on top so I can carry it like a lunchpail.

I suppose I ought to pick one or the other, but why limit myself?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:44 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I just got a Taxi Wallet to carry in my front pants pocket. It's small, and nice enough leather, and fits my cards, so I am satisfied with it.

(Though I do wish it had a space where I could keep a pair of business cards and two small newspaper clippings without risking them falling out.)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:50 PM on July 22, 2014

My purse and, since I kinda bragged up its capacity in the other thread, its contents.. Turns out I overstated my case - only 7 pens and I left my sweater at jessamyn's this weekend. The purse is the latest in a series of ~$35 possess, this time a Steve Madden from TJMaxx that I have found attractive and then convinced myself to buy after walking around the store wearing it until I forgot it wasn't my purse. That is my method for determining is the purse I think is pretty is worth buying and I stand by it. I don't know what else it says about me.
posted by maryr at 8:52 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I may have to take this FANCY LEATHER BAG question to AskMe because of reasons
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

My standby for years now is the Chrome Citizen. Either by bike or transit, I find it just makes the countless little errands a little more convenient. When empty, it's like it isn't even there, but it can hold a truly phenomenal amount of stuff. Of course, I also have a charmingly weathered tan leather shoulder bag just big enough for my laptop and a few other items, because as ferret branca so expertly put it:

I use [my Chrome bag] practically every day but there are occasional situations (job interview, night at the concert hall) where seatbelts won't quite cut it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:09 PM on July 22, 2014

I also have an enormous Courierware bag! I wore it to work once and my fellow receptionist said it looked like I was packing for Mars.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:12 PM on July 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I have been shopping for a leather bag for weeks, so I followed both purse threads today with great interest. As a reader I had nothing but sympathy for the idea of buying nice purses, but, when it came down to it, even though the bag I like (Rebecca Minkoff, medium M.A.B. studded tote) is on sale for "only" $200 and even though I am shopping with extra money earned from side projects, pulling the trigger was incredibly nerve wracking. Even with free shipping and free returns taking all the risk out of it! The fear of making the wrong choice and being outed as unwoman and/or hopelessly déclassé is just so overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who shared their bag wisdom and bag stories today for making my brief incursion into the world of lady things more fun than usual.
posted by mustard seeds at 9:17 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

My current bag is this one, which is a temporary fill-in; stodgy, cheap, utilitarian, and wildly unglamorous, and yet it meets enough of my Perfect Bag criteria that I can muddle along with it for now, but I am slowly working through both these threads and checking links in hopes of finding a a better fit for my insanely nitpicky requirements, which include:

--a shoulder strap long enough that I can wear it cross-body;
--a top handle as well as the shoulder strap, so I can easily grab it when getting out of the car;
--flap-over top rather than zipper-top, because I hate the way zipper-edges abrade my hand and wrist when I reach in for something (and in fact as few zippers as humanly possible);
--no rivets, gussets, bling, or embellishments of any sort;
--no contrast stitching (for whatever reason, I have this burning hatred for contrast stitching);
--no velcro, because the sound of velcro ripping open gives me the wiggins;
--as much as I love the look and feel of good-quality leather, no really heavy leather, because my arthritic shoulders can't take the extra weight;
--at the same time, no flimsy cheapo leather that will rip/wear out in months;
--at the same same time, no slippery nylon or other synthetics, because the feel of them is repulsive to me;
--grey, if possible, because grey is always my perfect color;
--correctly sized to hold my 10" tablet (preferably in an internal slip-pocket with a tab closure) but not so big as to hold,say, a 15" laptop;
--a few easily-accessible pockets so that I can reach phone, pen, keys, and tissues, without rooting through the whole bag.

The search continues; and I love these threads as a way of seeing all the many and diverse ways others have pursued their own quests, and found (or are still seeking) their own Perfect Bags.
posted by Kat Allison at 9:30 PM on July 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

i'm also in the everyday Chrome camp - this is me with my Citizen pack out for a stroll. it's all black, no highlight colors. the one thing i wish is that it had more individual pockets so i could categorize all my things... but at the same time i've gotten pretty used to digging around in the sides of the bag and finding things by touch rather than sight. another issue is that since i ride all the time i get caught in the rain, and the buckle started to rust, which stained my shirts. i tried to go to the Chrome store to get it replaced (they do free repairs) but since it was the female part that was rusted it had to be sent back to their repair place in California, and i was told they had such a backlog that it would be months before i saw my bag again. so.... i just wrapped the whole buckle in gaffers tape and went on my way. personally i think the bag would be way lighter if they didn't have the stupid buckle there in the first place - i never used it even when it was working.

since i bike everywhere it's really important that my purses and bags don't get in the way of riding. this is my cute purse from dean. that fits perfectly over one shoulder and across my chest without dangling down so far as to bump against my pedaling legs. i use this bag when i want to show up somewhere looking vaguely nice. i've had it for over 10 years, it's a wonderful purse. at one point the stitching came loose on one side, but a decent leather repair shop fixed it with no problems.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 9:35 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have to go to bed and I can't without posting my purse links, so here goes.

All of my current favorite purses are actually diaper bags. I fell in love with the patterns at Petunia Pickle Bottom but their full sized diaper bags seemed too big. I got two Cross Town Clutches over the past 4 years during their outlet sale. It's a good size. Now I use both of those as purses instead and carry diapers in a ratty fraying black thing that I usually leave in the car.

I also got the Whereabouts Wallet which holds wallet stuff and my phone, and has a cross-body strap - I wear it around the house a lot.
posted by bq at 10:13 PM on July 22, 2014

I had to switch to a backpack thanks to shoulder issues (well, more like my mom has shoulder issues and I could see mine coming so decided to avert early) which makes it a challenge to be both professional and fun. My current bag was about $20 and I got it from Target.

My next bag is a lovely butterscotch leather backpack that my best friend's mom gave me last week when she realized that I was the person she bought it for (chance is a wonderful thing).

I also feel like it's important to say that I totally understand people who get stressed out by purses/bags and the gender and class landmines you end up navigating. Been there, opted out for years, and if you're in my area (it's in the profile) and want a shoulder to lean on while you're shopping, just send a MeMail. I'm sure most other Mefites in this thread would say the same.
posted by librarylis at 10:26 PM on July 22, 2014

omfg griphus, I need to go pet a rabbit for a while.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:44 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Salamander at 11:13 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Normally I tuck a wristlet or a small clutch in my briefcase so I can carry that when I go to lunch. Today I'm carrying a Coach Madison tote in purple (because it's big enough to carry my running gear to the gym.

As a wallet I'm carrying a vintage silver cigarette case.
posted by 26.2 at 11:30 PM on July 22, 2014

I just picked up a new purse in a shockingly bright blue color. I almost always went for black purses, but I haven't liked how black works with the style recently - which is all spare designs and lots of gold hardware (oh how I long for the days of the mismatched leather remnant styled purses). I bought this new purse as much for the texture (buttery soft and pliable) as for the color - and almost got the minty green. It's my first brightly colored purse.

I covet expensive, large, decorated purses, but not enough to actually save up the money for one.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:14 AM on July 23, 2014

My beautiful-but-impractical purse is an old Kate Spade design that looks like this, but in black leather. My good-looking-but-slightly-more-practical bag is a bookhou zip tote in a triangle print. I have two bags that are more functional: a waxed canvas Moop Carrier that can hold a ton but is starting to wear at the bottom (too much in-and-out of my bike basket) and a Crumpler Doona Sling that I love because it's practically weightless when empty.

Sadly, I have to use a practical but un-cute Timbuk2 Command messenger bag most of the time, because I need to carry a 15" laptop. It's a great bag for commuting, but I miss my purses.
posted by neushoorn at 12:24 AM on July 23, 2014

My current every day bag is this ugly purple tote thing which I bought on a whim while buying a bag for my mum from the same vendor (ruffled linen tote thing) and I think I sort of hated it on sight, and YET, it is so awesomely practical, I'm kind of reveling in the ugliness. I'm considering commissioning a second one, in a different colour, with a light coloured lining (this one is black inside, which is impossible), and maybe with a divider, to separate the insides so all my stuff isn't stacked vertically on eachother. It has a key fob strap thingie, which I love because otherwise I can never find my house keys, it has only a few internal pockets, is waterproof, and can carry everything. The strap is adjustable so I can carry it cross body because I have shoulders that shed shoulder straps, too. It also doesn't hold smells - I was using a Jordana Paige bag previously (that style, but in the "lucky green" colour) but I work and store my bag in a kitchen and I got tired of smelling the kitchen on my bag at home).

I also have two of the little OGIO bags mentioned right at the top - in brown and the blue one (which is sort of closer to teal than it looks in pictures)(I never use the blue one, so if anyone covets it, I can swap/sell). They really are terrific, and carry almost everything.
posted by thylacinthine at 1:34 AM on July 23, 2014

Black duckling, my favorite for taking to work these days. All the pockets! They're great for metro tickets. The little bit of flair didn't come with it, and is no longer on it. It still looks just like in that photo and passes for new with people who haven't seen it on me before. I've never seen anyone else with this purse.

Burgundy and brown ducklings. The burgundy one is wearing out faster than the others, but I still use it as it can hold pretty much anything. The brown purse is my favorite for going out on the town. Light, comfortable, sleek, goes with everything, holds what I need.

Still have the wallet too, but don't use it as much as I should... paradoxically because I like it so much :D
posted by fraula at 1:43 AM on July 23, 2014

I may have to take this FANCY LEATHER BAG question to AskMe because of reasons
posted by The Whelk at 8:54 PM on July 22 [1 favorite +] [!

Oh, The Whelk, please do! I once spent weeks browsing men's leather bags for a friend. I can't remember if I actually got him to pull the trigger on the Gant bag I loved, but it was the most delightful research question this librarian ever worked on.

I, too, have a collection of lovely bags that I would happily send on if some kind of bag swap was organized.
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 1:54 AM on July 23, 2014

I love this thread so much! I have serious bag envy here.

This is my current everyday bag, imagine a far more battered version than the one in the picture; though I sometimes switch it up with a Longchamp Li Pliage which I love for its size but hate for its lack of pockets. The Fossil on the other hand has more pockets than I know what to do with.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:45 AM on July 23, 2014

I have this bag, in gray. I had to turn to Etsy for a vinyl messenger bag when I was priced out of Queen Bee bags, and this one has held up really nicely. I get compliments on it during my commute all the time, which has never happened (even when I had what I thought was a more interesting bag in the past!).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:53 AM on July 23, 2014

I hate having to carry stuff around! I wish I could keep everything I need in my head and sashay blissfully unencumbered through life. I also dislike clothing baggy enough to accommodate pockets big enough to be useful, so I generally carry purses that are little more than a pocket on a strap. These are very hard to find these days, but my mom is some kind of purse ninja and she found me a bag that is about 5" high and 3" wide made out of patent leather and I love it! it's the bag on the right. the one on the left is even smaller, and it's what I use when I go to a club. it holds a key, ID, bank card, cash, and maybe a mini lipstick if I'm feeling fancy.

When I have to shop, or carry a lunch to work, I use a black tote bag with this design on it, because it's awesome.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:02 AM on July 23, 2014

What do I carry in my enormous trompe d'oeil purses? Well, I'll tell you:

- A tie wallet that carries my money, Diane the iDevice, and ID
- Lipstick
- Cellphone
- Keys
- Daily journal
- Knitting project
- Small zippered notions bag

Some days I also carry the book I'm reading, which can make for fun photography. (Incidentally, this Black Flag bio is light on details about SST, which is why I picked it up, but it's pretty amusing nonetheless.)
posted by pxe2000 at 4:00 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Awesome thread! I got this bag on sale, which is another mary-poppins-bigger-than-it-looks-inside amazement. I'm a big fan of pouches to stop the trouble of searching for things inside, and my mum got me a pouch like this from Morocco that contains painkillers, hairband, grips, plasters, floss pick and assorted other bits.

I am addicted to buying handbags, and ask for them often when people want to buy me a birthday or Christmas present.

After the capsule wardrobe thread I have a friend coming over tomorrow to help me sort through my clothes, think I should probably add handbags too!
posted by ellieBOA at 4:07 AM on July 23, 2014

The thing all my stuff is in *right now*. The new work bag I just ordered this week. The one I re-buy at the sample sales in different colors for WAY less than this price. Same.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:26 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I came back to share photos of the French innards of my bags :) Behold:
- My black Mandarina Duck purse grew a cat
- More seriously, she's stood up well to my paws and others'
- Inside my purse: a pink Fossil wallet I got a few months ago (god I love this wallet), my phone on its fabric case I made, entry card for swiping at the office, metro tickets, lip balm, eyeglasses microfibre from Eugene, pen, and keys to my three laptop security cables (hello I'm a tester)
- Inside my wallet is where things get seriously French:

The group of four cards on the left: pink is driver's license (which I've used, oh, maybe four times in 11 years to actually drive vehicles), healthcare mutuelle card, blood type card (I need this because my endometrium likes to travel and take me to various hospitals), and French ID with a typo for Springfield because the people who made it didn't think I could possibly be from the same city as fictional characters. The green card beneath them is the national healthcare card.

Still in my wallet are my two Visa bank cards, one personal, one corporate, not quite as privileged as it sounds, the corporate card only reimburses metro tickets. Visa cards are boring here, you don't get pictures on them, sniff, they're just green.

The row of red-pink-yellow, top to bottom, these are all store discount cards: Muji, Esprit, Hippopotamus (restaurant that serves really good beef if you roll that way), Nice local shops (the pink one), and the yellow one is for a chain of DIY stores.

Then you have the ones I use the most often: Monoprix supermarket card, Louvre museum card (80 euros gets you free unlimited entry for a year, woohooooo), SNCF "Grand Voyageur Plus" card (I can haz TGV kilometrz), FNAC card, and on the right, as you may have guessed, a wine shop card. *grin*
posted by fraula at 4:27 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Why is this thread so interesting?! I had better contribute, so. For work I have a Rickshaw commuter. It really is a good bag for carrying laptop and papers (and lunch) on transit and in all weather - I've had nicer looking bags that claimed they could do the job but didn't. It has a waterproof liner, stands up, has some sort of very thick material on the bottom that can survive salty footprints relatively well and it has many pockets including a little one in the back for my transit pass. For play it could be any one of a number of bags. I have a little Manhattan Portage bag I've used a lot that seems to be indestructible - throw it in the washing machine and it looks/acts good as new.
posted by jamesonandwater at 5:26 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

These threads are kind of amazing, though, in managing to make people all across the spectrum feel bad about the kinds of bags they do or do not like or have or lust after. Sigh indeed.

I decided a while ago that the actual purpose of fashion was to make everyone feel bad. It's probably some sort of Satanic plot like the M25.
posted by winna at 5:42 AM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

I don't feel bad that I can only afford shit bags. I'm poor, goddamnit! The task is finding something I like and will feel comfortable wearing with everything at all times.

My great love will always be the ubiquitous black bag, soft material, capacious and with compartments (but not too many silly ones) for individual things like phones and lipstick and pens, etc. (I carry one bag pretty much everywhere although I do have a smaller but similar style of bag made from a stiffer material for more formal events and I do have at least two other bags that contain different colours for colour co-ordination purposes when I'm not wearing black).

Whilst the likelihood is great that I may never be able to buy some of the bags suggested in this thread, my taste can be expanded by seeing the sheer quantity of styles that are available and I can then go forward, recharged with the purpose of finding something based on new ideas, even if I'll only ever be looking at bargain basement brands.

Great thread, A+!
posted by h00py at 6:00 AM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, and the bag has to have a long shoulder strap, that's incredibly necessary. I've experimented with the whole 'hold bag by one hand thing' and that doesn't work for me at all because I need at least two hands free (or the option, anyway) pretty much most of the time.
posted by h00py at 6:19 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have a large leather bag (a soft briefcase, technically, I guess) that my wife gave me for Christmas a few years back. It is lovely. Most days I feel that it's a bit too big. But every now and then I am praising it for it's ability to hold a 17 inch laptop, a couple of novels, a bottle of wine, and a change of clothes.

Pic 1
Pic 2

It has no labels or logos on it and, being as it was a present, I have no idea where you could buy one or how much it would cost.
posted by 256 at 6:27 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This thread reminded me of how much I used to love reading those magazine pictorials of what people carried in their bags.
posted by kinetic at 6:54 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

256 - I bought my husband a bag very much like that, in black, from Fossil.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:54 AM on July 23, 2014

I use an Ikea Family backpack (that they not longer seem to have on the website) for day to day as I a) like to carry a vast amount of stuff* and b) have a 6k round trip walking commute now but I used to carry a Nameste Hermosa in Peacock blue when I had a bus commute and the accompanying knitting time. Sadly, I can't use it when I walk now because it just slides off my shoulder constantly. :(

For fancy occasions, I have a Lulu Guinness bag that I picked up for a steal (well under £50) at London Fashion Week, probably about 6 years ago. I'm probably going to treat myself to a leather satchel kit soon as my non-commute bag. I really like the idea of sewing it myself and the sandals I made from one of their kits are still going strong.

*I like to be prepared. Thank heavens for a variety of small pouches.
posted by halcyonday at 7:08 AM on July 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Oh, and the bag has to have a long shoulder strap, that's incredibly necessary. I've experimented with the whole 'hold bag by one hand thing' and that doesn't work for me at all because I need at least two hands free (or the option, anyway) pretty much most of the time.

Pretty much the only online complaints about the purses I mentioned above were that the strap is too long and is not adjustable. As a 5'7" woman with large-ish boobs I love that I can also use the bags as cross-body if needed without it resting in my armpit. (Freeing up that third hand is still a problem.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:12 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

halcyonday, those leather kits look really cool! How hard were the sandals to make? I'm sorely tempted....
posted by Westringia F. at 7:32 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Like I said above, on my own time I never carry a bag. For field work, though, I wear/carry this survey vest in sexy hi-viz yellow. It has a ton of pockets and will carry a lot of weight comfortably, as well as let you crawl through brush without getting hung up like a backpack does. (The color is because I neither want to be shot by a drunk hunter nor run over by an inattentive heavy equipment operator, both of which are real risks. I used to have a much nicer looking olive one, but decided safety mattered more than aesthetics.)

You'd look like a big dork wearing one around town, but it really does work better than a bag for a lot of tasks.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:38 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Westringia, They weren't hard at all! Took me about an afternoon to make these ones. The thread is tough and obviously leather is tough too so handcream and occasional hand flexing breaks were needed. I'd definitely recommend them.

I wear mine pretty much constantly if the weather is good so I need to get replacement insoles but the stitching and the leather is holding up great.
posted by halcyonday at 7:43 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, halcyonday, those satchel kits look amazing! I think I'm getting one for my birthday self-present *drools*
posted by sukeban at 7:44 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have this messenger bag from Mariclaro. It's hand made from recycled materials and I love it to pieces. Plus, looking up a link for it I discovered that it has a zippered pocket on the inside that I have just now noticed.
posted by aclevername at 8:09 AM on July 23, 2014

Not so much a purse person, but definitely a bag person though not a leather person.

My current bag and, I think, My Perfect Bag, is Kinie's Classic in the linked colour. It's cheap for what it is, well-made, sturdy, practical, is enormous, and has ENOUGH POCKETS. This is a truly rare thing in my life. Never before have I had enough pockets, and I have destroyed many, many, many bags.

There are like eight pockets at least, excluding pen slots and mobile phone slot, and they're quite deep and sturdy. I carry a ridiculous amount of stuff in my everyday life, truly ridiculous, and yet everything has a place. I bought it earlier this year and it has held up very, very well considering how heavily I've used it (daily) and for the price(!).

I love this bag, I love this bag, may I never be parted from it.

(though I am considering the mini version in a different colour, there is a sale)
posted by E. Whitehall at 8:30 AM on July 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

*listening for more chatter about either a swap or a random "hey, let me send you a bag" - I have some bags in the closet that I'd love to cast out onto the universe so they can be loved*
posted by ersatzkat at 8:39 AM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh god stupid etsy I hate you so much because look at this! I don't need any more flippin' bags but I love that bag. Dammit.
posted by rtha at 8:56 AM on July 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Aagh, rtha, that is basically my dream bag. Such temptation.
posted by ferret branca at 9:04 AM on July 23, 2014

That bag made me think of the Bay City Rollers. In a good way.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

Well, I will commence dithering over that bag. If I still remember in a month that I like it and want it, then I will dither some more, probably. That's my usual pattern.
posted by rtha at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2014

This is the etsy bag I really want, though it's somewhat special-purpose.
posted by Zed at 9:26 AM on July 23, 2014

A few years back I picked up this (mine's an older model: without the patent section, 1 silver ring instead of 2 gold, and with 3 interior sections). I wanted something that I could throw my laptop in, but not look like a laptop case. This bag has been great. I can fit a surprising amount of groceries in it, it's soft, comfortable, opens and shuts easily with the magnet, and has the perfect strap length for hanging or holding. I've abused the hell out of it, but it still looks pretty new.

I also have an orange crossbody Fossil bag and a JW Hulme large zippered wallet. I can fit my phone and keys in it, so it also serves nicely as a small clutch-type bag.

I'm enjoying this thread. Thanks, everyone!
posted by spandex at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2014

I am so very close to posting an AskMe for one of you amazingly bagged folks to help me find my perfect wallet. You all have such great style!
posted by Night_owl at 9:38 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Today is my birthday and I have yet to get anything -- I'm vehemently anti-receiving gifts, so I ask my friends to throw some money at a charity and just get myself a little something every year. In light of this fact and this thread, I am now spending my lunch break scouring Etsy in search of a vegan wristlet or clutch: omg, omg, omg, omg.

Enablers, the lot of you!
posted by divined by radio at 9:40 AM on July 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

woo happy birthday though
posted by elizardbits at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2014

or not in case you hate that
posted by elizardbits at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2014

Oh man this thread is so enabling. I just started grad school and I need to up my tote game- right now I use this Berkshires map tote to carry my school stuff, but as much as I enjoy the college nostalgia/random people striking up conversations about the Berkshires with me, it's too small and undivided to carry all the things I want to carry. I've been eying this leather tote from LL Bean for ages, but I can't quite bite the bullet. Maybe this thread will be the push I need?

And then there's my everyday purse, which is currently defaulting to this Fossil satchel that was my very first "real bag" purchase when I was maybe a freshman in college? So I'm due for an update, I think, but I can't quite decide what I want. I've looked at a million cross body bags, to the point that they've started to go out of style, but again I'm paralyzed by too many choices. The Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC is the front runner but again, I can't bring myself to spend 200 bucks on a bag.

Reading this thread is making me kind of confront the weird pattern of longing online window shopping and self denial I have with bags- like it just occurred to me that I could buy these bags that I clearly want, which aren't even absurdly expensive, and nothing bad would happen. Maybe I'd end up returning them immediately or replacing them in a year or so if they don't work out, but I have the money and what am I waiting for? I think it's partly worrying about being judged, either for getting the wrong bag or spending too much money, and partly thinking that if I just keep waiting, a perfect bag will show up that costs half as much and is twice as wonderful as whatever bag is currently tempting me. But in the meantime, I've had the same purse for years and I've wasted some money on cheap impulse buys at Target and H&M that fell apart after a few months. Hmmm.
posted by MadamM at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

divined by radio - your second link made me go *gasp* - SO pretty!
posted by ersatzkat at 10:14 AM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

divined by radio - happy birthday! Here is a guinea pig being menaced by an ink drawing octopus! (from here)
posted by winna at 10:33 AM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

MadamM, if you factor in L.L.Bean's great warranty, that might help you make up your mind.

Or not! Mwa-ha-HA!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:57 AM on July 23, 2014

MadamM, personally I'd opt for a Longchamps Le Pliage tote rather than the L.L. Bean one, because it's going to be lighter in terms of weight, and I think doesn't look as dowdy. I see the Le Pliage totes a lot at academic conferences, too, because they make great travel bags.
posted by needled at 11:05 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

And so the circle of consumption continues, because MadamM has just indirectly caused me to buy a pretty sweet Pittsburgh t-shirt from Maptotes.
posted by Stacey at 11:08 AM on July 23, 2014

They're not glamorous or high fashion, but here are two that are in current rotation.

The overstuffed red one (mentioned here) has a strap long enough to go over my shoulder (which is an absolute must for me) although it's a bit too short to be called a shoulder strap. It's my daily purse, and fits an iPad mini along with more eyeglass cases than I can count my large wallet plus all of the other stuff I carry.

The black and chestnut one is for when I have to leave the office for a work function where it would be inappropriate for me to drag one of my large working totes but where I'm still required to carry everything I need to do in order to perform my job. I wish it were tiny bit larger as glossy brochure folders are a bit of a snug fit, especially when it is jammed with everything else I have to carry.

Both are Soprano bags. Both have an outside zip pocket (it's on the back of the black one). Both have zippers (again, an absolute must on almost all my bags), an interior zippered compartment and a few small interior pockets. The leather is good, the metal hardware is excellent. The construction is top-notch (those handles aren't going to rip off). I've had them a while, so I don't remember exactly what I paid for them, but they both came in around the CDN$100 mark.

Now if I could just fine a replacement for my "personal item" travel bag I'd be a happy camper, but that is turning into a seemingly impossible task. You'd think companies would be itching to manufacture and most importantly sell bags to women that meet the airlines' measurements for "personal item carry on." Yes, I've got my piece of personal, carry-on luggage, but I also want to maximize what I can bring and that means a large (or as large as allowable) bag with a zipper (for security), a shoulder strap and no compartments. An outside pocket where I could slip my travel documents would be a bonus. How hard is that?
posted by sardonyx at 11:09 AM on July 23, 2014

As for what is in my bag, it varies so much from day to day. I tend to almost completely empty it each night and repack it the next day. It's in unpacked mode at the moment, which means only the always-carry items are in it:

-1 leather document portfolio, with pad of lined paper
-2 black uniball vision micro pens
-1 folding buck knife
-1 stick of deodorant
posted by 256 at 11:57 AM on July 23, 2014

And oh no, I'm undecided again- to me the LL Bean bag looks simple and classic, plus it has enough internal pockets and dividers that I could throw my keys and iPad and phone and everything in it and not worry about scratches. Also, I didn't mention it initially but the Le Pliage is a strong contender because it is prettier; however, it's also marked in my mind as The Bag Rich Girls Carry because it was so popular among a certain kind of person where I went to undergrad. But then again, maybe I need to escape that kind of thinking entirely! Which would really mean just buying the LL Bean bag already and not worrying about it so much (and ugh, if I could actually follow this advice, so much of my life would be simpler).
posted by MadamM at 11:57 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My mom recently bought my niece that Longchamp Le Pliage bag as a birthday/going to college present. At the time we were both kinda like man, I dunno, it's like $100 for something that's mostly nylon with a little leather trim - so it's reassuring to see them get some recs in this thread as something that's practical and stylish.

(Because my mom loves not paying retail but is a little new to internet shopping, she also accidentally scored a knockoff of Chinese origin when looking for the best possible deal. It actually looked pretty good! Though she had to let it off-gas in the garage for a week or two to let that "rubber factory" scent dissipate, and I have no idea whether it's gotten much actual use.)

For a long time this map case (or something very similar) was my man-purse. I still get a kick of how perfectly my daily essentials, including a 7" Eee PC plus power cord, fit into it, plus there was a little cardboard or something inside that gave its contents some extra protection against knocks and stuff.

Make no mistake, though, if you are a dude and you carry a bag that isn't a briefcase or a backpack you are still going to get a lot of comments reminding you that you are DOIN GENDER RONG, even if it's a freaking camo-print bag you got from the Army Surplus. Maybe especially so, now that I think about it, since people might think you're failing at performing macho-ness as opposed to succeeding at performing androgyny... signaling is hard! Whatever though, it was a cool bag and I only stopped using it because I got a larger laptop.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:02 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

So many Chromeos, I'm glad there is some Crumpler love here as well! My Fux Deluxe (now a discontinued model apparently?) has a been a constant companion through a few continents, innumerable thunderstorms, and basic daily life for the past 7+ years now. I got it in stylish blue (like this), though it is considerably faded and jaded at this point.
posted by Panjandrum at 12:03 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

My current bag, BTW, is this Chrome roll-top. The narrowest dimension is just a little too narrow for me for some reason - I'd prefer if it could actually expand to accommodate a full bag of groceries without unpacking and repacking them. On the whole though, it's really comfortable and it holds a lot of great stuff: my Nook (which I use for work as a dumb terminal!), a sweater and jacket for the daily SF temperature swing, a gigantic thing of sunscreen, pills and ointments and tinctures, physical notebooks and pens, and often, a week's worth of perishables on top of that. Plus the reflective panel is baller and makes me feel marginally safer at night.

(I also have an electric blue Jansport that I got while saving for something more elaborate, which was a ~$20 TJ's number. It's actually pretty awesome but it needs a trip through the washing machine since it is starting to get dingy.)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:08 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been watching these threads closely, as I broke my longtime bag some months ago, and haven't really found anything I like that much. (I currently have a polka dotted Kate Spade tote/bucket/whatever that's called, and a red leather Giani Bernini satchel that I'm making do with. Each was less than $5 at the local thrift store.)

I also have an extremely glamorous Enid Collins black flowerbasket style bucket purse, but it's very clearly a HANDbag that I have to carry on my lower arm, so it's only appropriate for situations in which I can be helplessly glamorous, which is less than 50% of what I do. (Maybe instead of getting a new purse, I could get a new kind of life where that is OK. Hmmmm.)

I'm picky as hell about this sort of thing, though, and am on a long term quest to find something as good as the bag I destroyed. It was a vintage (50s or 60s) Koret black leather satchel, with wraparound pockets and a kiss clasp for the pouchier middle section, and straps just long enough to tuck securely and comfortably under my arm. It was just the right size, too. In fact, it kind of blew my mind when I was able to fit my 7" tablet in one of the outer pockets. It also had soft red leather inside, and a matching changepurse. It was just the right amount of prim ladypurse without being too formal for basically everything I wear and do.

The only beefs I had with it were that the hardware (strap buckles and the kiss clasp) were gold-toned, which I don't care for; and that the strap buckles were silly skeumorphs. Basically just insultingly unconvincing bas reliefs of buckles. That moral outrage aside, though, it was a fantastic bag, and it broke my heart when I ruined it. (I somehow managed to close the strap in a car door, completely and irreparably severing it.)

I've had zero luck finding another like it, and was still in the process slowly acclimating to the idea that I might have to actually go to some kind of store and buy something new. But THEN, to compound the tragedy, my wallet has started to degrade to the point that the cards keep falling out.

I am only about 75-80% kidding when I say that I feel like my life is in a state of chaos until I get my shit all sorted out. I am currently leaning toward one of those leather satchels supermassive posted, but I think I'm going to do a few big thrift store tours first.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:12 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

sardonyx, since there's no standard definition of "personal item" for carry-ons other than "must fit under the seat in front of you," it's pretty much a free-for-all. You can look for items marketed as flight bags, but honestly, a Longchamp or Herve Chapelier tote should do you just fine.
posted by evoque at 12:13 PM on July 23, 2014

The only beefs I had with it were that the hardware (strap buckles and the kiss clasp) were gold-toned, which I don't care for;

Holy *shit* can I ever overthink the color of hardware on a bag. To an almost unhealthy degree, and I have zero issues mixing metals when it comes to jewelry. No idea why.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

ernielundquist - omg your poor wallet!
posted by ersatzkat at 12:16 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh do I have bag stories. So originally I had a YakPak grab-bag find (anyone remember the grab bag? I think I learned about it here, about a decade ago) that was fine, but it had a hot-pink star on an otherwise boring black shoulder bag and I am not all about the hot pink. But it worked out to like $3, and it held all my stuff, and it would. not. die. So I was resigned to keeping it until something finally destroyed it.

Then my friend confessed her envy of it, and I joyfully handed it over! So much better that it should be loved instead of resented. But now I needed a new bag.

I bought this one, from Duluth Trading Company (although in tan, which they don't seem to stock at the moment.) I generally like their stuff, and they have a stellar return policy. It had gorgeous leather, lots of pockets, and was very sturdily made, but it was just too big. Too floppy, didn't sit on my hip right, and my usual loadout of manuscript, pens, notebook, and assorted crap rattled around too much. So I returned it.

So then I bit the bullet and bought this much more expensive bag. What the hell, I thought, I'm going to use it forever. I thought I was getting the nice dark green, but what arrived was... the hunter's camouflage. Not my thing. And the leather quality was distinctly unimpressive for the price. So I returned that, too.

Now I'm annoyed, and I've paid enough in shipping the returns to have replaced my original bag about twenty times over. So I go to, find a good-sized bag that would work for travel and a little bag for daily use, together for less than either of my first two tries. Yay!

The little bag is great, albeit *little*. The big bag survived one trip, then the strap fell off in an irreparable way while I was bending to pick up my luggage at the baggage carousel coming home. Goddammit.

And then sokka shot first came to town, and wanted to stop by the Chrome store to replace... something little, I don't remember what, on his messenger bag that he loved, and I found this in green. Which is sturdy, tolerably attractive, the right size, and has not fallen apart or otherwise offended me despite being dragged the entire breadth of the continent already. So I think I'm good.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:20 PM on July 23, 2014

Most of the airlines I fly tend tend to list the following dimensions for the "personal item":
16 cm x 33 cm x 43 cm (6 in x 13 in x 17 in), so that's essentially what I'm looking for. I also need it to be professional enough looking to double as a briefcase/work tote, as I mainly use it when travelling on business.

It can't be a rigidly structured bag as I need it to accommodate my laptop, my toiletries (or at least the tiny bottles of liquid shampoo and contact solution the airlines so generously permit you to carry these days), shoes (as these usually take up too much room in my luggage), my wallet, and a host of other things.

I've had the bag repaired more than once, but I'm really starting to worry that it will eventually fail in some catastrophic way and then I'll be left without anything suitable to replace it with. I've been looking for months now for a suitable replacement and no luck. I was hoping to spot one on the current purse threads and while there have been a few that have been close, I've had to rule them out for one reason or another. The hunt continues.
posted by sardonyx at 12:24 PM on July 23, 2014

h00py: "with compartments (but not too many silly ones)"

This is always my problem! I want lots of little compartments to sort things into! But not TOO MANY COMPARTMENTS, or WEIRD compartments, I want the exact set of compartments FOR ME. And also a pony. And a compartment to put the pony in.

Someone should do an infographic showing the best-selling purse and bag shapes at mass-market retailers for the past 20 or 30 years, and see if we can all pinpoint when people started carrying laptops, cell phones, and tablets ... I have definitely noticed a massive uptick in a bag size between a large tote and a small handbag that can fit an iPad in the past 3 years or so! And some interesting new shapes as a result.

Also, PS, fashionable bags may have an objective (if ever-changing) definition, but stylish bags are ones that suit you and look stylish on you. There have been tons of bags in this thread from Target or or thrift stores or TJ Maxx or whatever that, when combined with what I know about the poster, I've been like, "Oh, that is so HER! I bet it looks great!"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:33 PM on July 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

Well thanks to restless_nomad I went and bought this thing just now.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:39 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

omg your poor wallet!

I know! The worst part, though, is that I can't even find anyplace that uses that kind of Thank You bag with the motion blurring anymore.
posted by ernielundquist at 12:50 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Crumpler, yessss. My overnight/carry-on bag is this one and it is wondrous. I ought to start carrying it on gym-going days again (but I haaaaaaaate repacking so actually I want a tote bag).
posted by clavicle at 1:05 PM on July 23, 2014

I have this bag in this foresty green color. I got it after I spent $50 on a purse from DSW thinking "Okay, this is a good $30 more than I usually spend on bags; this is bound to last me at least a year!" It lasted less than 60 days. So, I saved up and bought this bag on ebay. It's a very nice bag and has held up very well for the around two years I've had it; I don't see myself replacing it anytime soon—I'm a daily-use, one-bag-at-a-time kind of person right now. It has lots of pockets, room for lots of stuff including sunglasses, first aid kit, a kindle or a tablet, etc. The only tag on it is very inconspicuous and hidden on the back, so I think what it says about me is probably "I like green."

I'm in the market for a large bag that closes to carry my laptop and other necessaries for travel (the awesome tote bag I've been using around town is not good at keeping its contents contained on airplane floors), and a small (maybe crossbody?) bag, also for travel, because when I'm sightseeing I don't really need my huge bag with all my "at home" stuff. So I am looking forward to clicking all the links in this thread!
posted by audacity at 1:19 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh the Rothco bags are available on Amazon Prime.

Not to be an enabler...
posted by 26.2 at 1:24 PM on July 23, 2014

sardonyx, it would be just a shade over your airlines' approved sizing, but MZ Wallace's Chelsea tote should tick all your boxes.
posted by evoque at 1:37 PM on July 23, 2014

I don't remember how or why I have this tab opened, but I assume it has something to do with this thread.

Crumpler, yessss.

I do not need to know that Crumpler isn't just camera bags anymore.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:46 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Close but I'd be leary about the size. It would be my luck to get one of those cranky airport employees who would insist on measuring the bag. Plus my preference is for leather or leatherette/vinyl. I've had nylon bags before and I find they tend to soak up water rather than repelling them.

The Longchamp ones mentioned by evoque seemed really close. They were gorgous. If I can just find one in the right size. Actually that has been my biggest problem. I can find lots of bags I like but the dimensions are always wrong.
posted by sardonyx at 1:48 PM on July 23, 2014

Hey, this is the four-year anniversary of the MeFi Bag Swap. I'm still using two of mine, "A Greener Bolton: it's In the Bag," and a green LCBO one. The Bolton one has received many complements, as it's burlap and a good rectangular shape. It's almost worn out, which is so sad.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:04 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

This thread is killing me. I've been wavering on buying a for-real Adult Bag for quite some time - something that I am not embarrassed to have on my shoulder at a work conference, but that isn't too fancy to bring out to a bar or to see a band. Preferably a lovely soft distressed leather in a warm cognac color, with a crossbody strap. Not too big but not too small. Or, big is okay but maybe I would also get a wristlet or little baby crossbody purse for small-purse days.

I wavered because of price and I never quite saw The One. Now thanks to this thread I have seen several The Ones but I've spent $500 on veterinary bills on my dog and cat in last two days and my SO has been unemployed for two months which makes big purchases a no-no. So I guess I can't replace the crappy Target purse with torn lining that I went from loving to hating in like one week of ownership... Argh. I hate you (and love you) all.
posted by misskaz at 2:06 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Misskaz, I feel you! I've had a bunch of tabs open and was getting ready to take the plunge and get a bag (and I'm looking for exactly what you are--link if you see anything great!) and then I spent $900 on a root canal today.

Someone tell me that retail therapy is not, in fact, the way to make my face stop hurting.
posted by TwoStride at 2:08 PM on July 23, 2014

"Your bag makes you look like you're in Italy," said a lady as I stood gazing at the grass-fed beef the other day at my local expensive food store. It's this Marley Teardrop leather backpack bag from Levenger. At least one other Mefite also has it, based on my recommendation in an earlier purse thread.
posted by HotToddy at 2:44 PM on July 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Oh HotToddy that is a sweet bag.

I love that bag. I may need to get that bag.
posted by winna at 2:50 PM on July 23, 2014

TwoStride, this is the one I loved enough to tweet about, though I'm not sure what size I would get without thinking about it a bit more. Root canal, ouchies! Feel better soon.
posted by misskaz at 2:51 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Triggerfinger linked to this shop in the other thread. They used to be Adeleshop on Etsy, but I suppose that became confusing with the advent of Diva Adele. I reactivated my long-dormant flickr account to show all of you my bag, the Jolie, which is more than two years old but still gorgeously cognac and roomy and wonderful.
posted by zoetrope at 3:01 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh, misskaz, that bag is GORGEOUS. Maybe it can be my entire Christmas list...
posted by TwoStride at 3:03 PM on July 23, 2014

Winna, it is very well made of buttery soft leather. I have some rather high-end bags that I rarely use and this one is every bit as well made, at a fraction of the cost. In fact everything I've ever bought from Levenger has been super nice.
posted by HotToddy at 3:09 PM on July 23, 2014

I have almost bought that Marley at least twice, HotToddy. One of these days I will give in and actually carry through with the purchase. SO PRETTY. And I'm such a sucker for a red bag.
posted by Stacey at 3:12 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This red Zara double buckle over-shoulder handbag has been my bag for the past three years. It's polyurethane though, and eventually started flaking, so now it looks horrendous. Just last week, I ordered this red leather shopper bag from Fossil. I'm hoping it'll last me a lot longer.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2014

Mmm...a purse/bag thread. Some amazing bags on display here. Here are my three bags:

The middle one is my current daily work bag. I got it on clearance at REI several years ago and cut the laptop pocket out of it to make more room inside. My only complaint is that it's not waterproof. I use this one in the summer when I have fewer classes and thus fewer papers to carry around.

The pack on the right is from 5.11 Tactical and I got it because it was supposed to be waterproof or at least resistant. It's not, so I bought a rainfly and use this in the winter when I bike to campus in the Oregon rain. It's too hot to use in the summer. It's the perfect size for travel, though. It fits under the seat or overhead and carries all I need for a week. I also like all the tactical straps for all the tactical situations I find myself in. Tactically. Seriously, though, the little straps are great for hanging bottles and keys and stuff on for easy access while biking.

The bag on the left came from County Comm and replaced a small Timbuk2 mini-messenger bag that I now regret giving away. This bag is my purse for everywhere else but campus/work -- keys, books, sketch/notebooks, kindle, ipad, keyboard, sunscreen, binder clips, stylus, sometimes a hat. The little bag/wallet thing in front holds several pens and a notebook.

I'm learning to sew, and I have a dream of designing and sewing my own bag that will have all the features I want and none of the stupid things that irritate me about the bags I carry (swivel shoulder straps are from the devil and I hate them). I will make it from heavy-duty canvas, maybe sailcloth, and leather, and I will wax it so it's waterproof. And I will carry all my things it in and will never need another bag, ever. One day. In the meantime, I have to go through every bag in this thread to see if my dream bag is among them.
posted by malthusan at 3:41 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

My Plum brand purse from Sears is black/brown/tan so it goes with everything, has understated nickel hardware, great zippered pockets, and holds a ton (Mr. Superna affectionately refers to it as "pursemageddon"), but it was cheap and is starting to look the worse for wear after a few years.

Thanks to this thread, I just ordered the gorgeous Haiku purse Sarcasticah posted as a replacement.
posted by superna at 3:45 PM on July 23, 2014

swivel shoulder straps are from the devil and I hate them

posted by winna at 3:46 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is my minimalist man-purse, as seen in the wild on a Nova Scotia beach a couple of hours ago when I was taking the dogs for a walk.
It's 'Kenneth Cole Reaction' and I bought it on eBay from the States for $100, circa 2006 when I was working for an architecture firm in London.
It's a bit small for my laptop, but it is large enough for a Tek-9, a few extra clips and half a dozen or so healing and power-up potions.
posted by Flashman at 4:14 PM on July 23, 2014 [5 favorites]

Flashman - that is a *terrific* man-purse - love it!
posted by ersatzkat at 4:24 PM on July 23, 2014

And speaking of dogs, that's one of the main things to love about the Marley, if I two-shoulder it--my dogs are no longer getting bashed in the face by a shoulder bag swinging into them when I bend over to clip/unclip leashes.
posted by HotToddy at 4:29 PM on July 23, 2014

So I bought the LL bean tote mentioned above due to an AskMe I did in 2010. I still use it daily; it holds my Macbook Air and a ton of other crap and let's me carry my work life and personal life separated by a thin enclosed area of total necessities, which is about right. I guess it's dowdy, as mentioned up thread (sniffle) but it's okay, I'll own it. I like that it is utilitarian and serious and that it's lasted four years. Go, tote, go!

My other key handbag, aside from the great Target clutch mentioned in the other thread, I also bought as the result of my asking Metafilter. Apparently less than two hundred dollars, I find iffy but palatable. I do not know what's behind that particular calibration but I would guess that it feels *to me* like an indulgence but not an appalling one. And I do use them for years; I have a couple of others but bought them so long ago I couldn't guess when.

Clutches are great, because I can throw them in the big LL Bean bag and as someone mentioned upthread, if I go to have lunch or stop in the grocery store I don't have to haul Big Bean around.

I also have a black slouchy leather Lucky Brand bag that I like which I must have bought ages and ages ago and is hopelessly out of style because I couldn't even find a picture on image search.

That said, seeing all of these fancier, less 'dowdy' bags -- I want one. I totally do.

Not caving though because apparently this is a once every four years treat for me. See you in AskMe 2018.

This is a great thread.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:44 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

That 6pm site is a rabbit hole of 'it's a deal I should buy it'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:50 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is really interesting reading and seeing everyone's bags! Thanks for starting this Meta, Eyebrows McGee.

I ordered a Bill Murray "replaceface" tote as a result of an AskMe question and really love it. It's pretty well made and comfy on the shoulder.

The ink transfer or whatever technology they used is very well done, too. There's a whole series of 'em but for some reason the Bill Murray one just clicked with me.

Also you get a lot of comments on it when you're out and about.

(What an incredible thread, here and on the blue; it's taken me a while to get caught up. Wot have I wrought with the FPP??? :D)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I bought the tote! Now I'm worried that this has unleashed all of my pent up Bag Desire and I'm going to buy All The Bags. Namely this small Le Pliage in mint to use when I just need to carry a few more things than currently fit in my purse, and maybe a convertible clutch that I can throw in the larger bag or use as a small purse, and where my wallet/sunglasses/lip balm can live.
posted by MadamM at 5:47 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

MadamM - good for you! Love that bag - and you would love a small wristlet or convertible clutch to toss little things in. I have this convertible clutch and it's awesome - bought it at sample sale for more than half off. I bought it about 3 years ago and took the long strap off immediately, but about a month ago I dug it out and put it on and am really digging it for a light, hands-free bag for summer.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2014

I should say that I actually bought the "dowdy" LL Bean tote- whatever, I like it, and reading this thread has definitely convinced me that there are so many kinds of bags out there and so many that I don't like but other people love and vice versa that I should just buy what I like and chill out.
posted by MadamM at 6:19 PM on July 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

> I should say that I actually bought the "dowdy" LL Bean tote

Good, because it's on my wish list and I was saddened to see it called "dowdy." Although that's the message of this Meta, and the FPP: carry the bag what you like and fuck the begrudgers.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:23 PM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

MetaTalk: unleashing all of your pent up Bag Desire and so you can Buy All The Bags
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:45 PM on July 23, 2014 [4 favorites]

I love my LL Bean tote. It holds everything, and it always looks good.

I also have three blanket-chest sized plastic boxes full of bags in my basement, about two thirds of them Vera Bradley and the rest vintage Coach or the like, so don't mind me.
posted by Peach at 6:58 PM on July 23, 2014

This is my current tote: The Vera Bradley Laptop Tote in Midnight Blues. It holds the Macbook Air, the journal, and all the other things.
posted by Peach at 7:03 PM on July 23, 2014

Well, hell. This thread inspired me to take a look at what's currently being offered by some brands I've had luck with in the past, and it looks like both Overland Equipment and Manhattan Portage are now making bags only in nylon, rather than canvas. I mean, I know nylon is practical and all, but I just hate the way it feels. Grumble, grumble.

On the other hand, thanks to this thread I've now discovered the Rough & Tumble messenger bag, upon which I have developed a sudden mad crush, and if I'm unable to bring myself to close the tab by the end of the week I will likely have to just give in and buy it.
posted by Kat Allison at 7:09 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Convertible clutch! Apparently that's the term I'm looking for, but that's still too big for me. I want something no bigger than 7" by 5". But this thread is great.
posted by Night_owl at 7:10 PM on July 23, 2014

That Rough and Tumble bag looks like a black version of The Best Bag Ever, which I carried in high school on occasion. It belonged to my grandpa and was basically awesome. I have no idea when or how it disappeared, which is part of my immense sadness at not having it around anymore. It just made me feel so COOL to have a bag with a past.
posted by Madamina at 7:45 PM on July 23, 2014

Every time I come to this thread I end up with at least one more tab sitting there waiting for me to make a final decision. I am pretty sure I'm going to end up with SOMETHING for a lightweight laptop bag for the summer, and a little bag I can put ipad/wallet/headphones/kleenex into for when I'm on a plane...
posted by egypturnash at 7:52 PM on July 23, 2014

This Rough and Tumble bag is seriously tempting me for an iPad bag. Especially maybe in graphite on Navy. Nom nom nom.
posted by egypturnash at 8:00 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Re: diaper bags, I have now proceeded into "tactical" bags and the EDC community, which -- while lowering the price and upping the utility -- gives you reviews like this:

it has a spot for two bottles, space for a couple diapers and some baby stuff. its a relatively small pack when compared to a traditional diaper bag. it also has a compartment for youir pistol with the velro holster and a extra mag holder on top.

The videos are great, too. Useful, but then you only have a few seconds between "This pocket is for [tiniest pink socks ever]" and "This one is for your firearm, but I don't like to keep my firearm away from my body, so I use it for diapers."

I mean, who needs Petunia Pickle Bottom when you can get a MAXPEDITION JUMBO VERSIPACK BITCHEZZZZ (which actually looks pretty damn great)
posted by Madamina at 8:06 PM on July 23, 2014 [9 favorites]

I haven't had this much fun since the time I drowned my Hello Kitty backpack in a sink full of vodka.
posted by mikurski at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2014

I don't know who linked this bag, but you're my nemesis. I've had that tab open literally all day, and have sent it to a bunch of friends to gush over it with, and I cannot afford a new bag, but I'm just going to keep that tab open forever, and as soon as I have disposable income, it's going to be mine. I need it.
posted by MeghanC at 8:18 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love my Max bag from the etsy shop I linked in the thread and that zoetrope linked above!

I have at least one and maybe more extra handbags around that I'd be willing to give away or swap if we were going to do something like that. But don't get excited, they're not Mulberrys or Kate Spades - my current purse is the first and only moderately expensive one I've ever owned. But they're still pretty cool, imho.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:15 PM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

arrrrgggghhh I was all ready to spend money on this Lo and Sons tote and it turns out they're out of every color except army green and that is soooo not me. Arrrgh I want it in blue with that utterly obscene lavender inside, it will be like keeping my laptop inside my giant detachable vagina and it will be great.

Well I guess I'll just have to wait and see if I still have bag lust for it when they restock...
posted by egypturnash at 9:16 PM on July 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Re: wallets, I have a Ragged Edge wallet and the durability is great - after a couple of years of being sat on, prodded, and put through the wash by accident, it looks much the same as when I got it. The only thing I've noticed is a small amount of "stretching out" of the clear plastic where I've overstuffed it with cards, and really, it's small - the cards still stay in there just fine.

Personally I think they're tech-y in a cool way as opposed to a dorky/fusty way, but obv YMMV. Mine's black with yellow stitching on the inside but you can now get a pretty awesome range of inside/outside colors.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:19 PM on July 23, 2014

if anyone needs a duct tape wallet my brother can totes hook you up
posted by Madamina at 9:25 PM on July 23, 2014

does he have houndstooth and neon duct tape? cuz I just rewatched PR season 8 and am on a huge Mondo Guerra kick again
posted by en forme de poire at 9:28 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I mean, who needs Petunia Pickle Bottom when you can get a MAXPEDITION JUMBO VERSIPACK BITCHEZZZZ (which actually looks pretty damn great)

Maxpedition puts together a really nice pack, all things considered. I was gifted one of their Sitka Gearslinger bags a few years back, and it's pretty nice as a home-office-about-town-convention bag. It's got handles so you can haul it around without having to sling it over your shoulder, and everything has zippers.

This was my load back when I first got the thing, but I'm consistently surprised at how useful ginger candy and aspirin can be.
posted by mikurski at 9:32 PM on July 23, 2014

who needs Petunia Pickle Bottom when you can get a MAXPEDITION JUMBO VERSIPACK BITCHEZZZZ

I do have that Maxpedition decked out as a diaper bag, actually, and it's pretty great. I use the pistol pocket as a place to store a book and a toy or two, so they're super easily accessible for the kid should she need them. The front pocket with all the compartments is great for storing medicine, diaper cream, thermometer, a small bottle of advil for us parents, and nail clippers. The large pocket can hold 8 toddler-sized diapers, a flat wipes container, a change of clothes, a blanket, and a couple of snacks. The top tiny easy-access pouch we use for hair bows and sunglasses, not sure what else it would be good for. Then there's the outside bottle pocket, which can hold two standardly-skinny baby bottles or a toddler cup. Or, as I do, an 8-oz bottle of water with my toddler's cup on top of it. It's super great.
posted by Night_owl at 9:42 PM on July 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

I am enjoying this post so much. I forgot to mention another bag I have from Rough & Tumble bags that I love. I have an older style of the market tote that is super useful.
posted by oneear at 1:01 AM on July 24, 2014

I'm an undergrad, so no fancy bags, but I have the Baggu Duck Bag for going out and throwing around. Although it's three years old and faded, sometimes when I'm wearing it out I still get a little squee of joy. It holds just enough. It has a beautiful shape. It's sturdy. It holds knitting well. And heck, it looks really good slung cross body, with the snap buckled and the handles peeking out. Hooray! I think when I graduate and can afford it I'd really like a nice leather tote with the silhouette of the Madewell tote, but as sturdy/value-for-money as they are made.

And of course, for class my trusty companion is none other than a Jansport backpack. Mine I walked back to the store at 8.30pm to buy on my last night in the US, because I didn't want to go home without it.
posted by undue influence at 2:56 AM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is me. This is my Coach purse (or rather, tote).

Right now, it holds a few fountain pens, a pencil, an eraser, a Franzen novel that I might not finish, a "fashion bandana" that I use as a handkerchief, an opinel knife, some hand sanitizer, some medicine, a notebook, a piece of paper I need to show the dentist next month, my money clip, dental floss, miswak, and tiger balm. Oh, and my iPhone goes in that lovely modest outside pocket.

I'm glad other men are repping their purses in here. I like feeling like I'm making a statement while also being totally utilitarian at the same time, but at the same time, I hate telling people that it isn't a man-purse (it's a purse!). More men should carry purses! Down with gender essentialism!
posted by oceanjesse at 5:25 AM on July 24, 2014 [10 favorites]

I've had a series of tablet-sized hemp bags; my current one looks a lot like this but undyed. This thread is fun but also makes me groan at yet another thing that People Notice That I Had No Clue About. I, too, am considering an AskMe to figure out what folks mean by "unprofessional", and if I am failing once again.

I get all my whimsy out on my knitting bag, which I got from here.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:29 AM on July 24, 2014

I have this backpack/purse (there's a zipper on the strap which converts it) which I picked up at one of the craft shows they go to. The one I have now is in Milky Way, replacing the light blue tapestry (color sadly discontinued) one I wore out after several years of hard use. (The previous one survived being driven over a by car after I dropped it in a couple inches of road slush dodging said car. Fortunately I did not have my netbook in it that day and had my phone in my jacket pocket.) I also have one of their wallet-on-a-string types for my minimalist days.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:50 AM on July 24, 2014

night_owl, a lot of designers are copying Chanel's Wallet on Chain, so here's a few for you to ponder.

* Foley & Corinna's Cache crossbody (you'll want to get the wristlet strap reinforced)
* Derek Alexander's Utility small organizer clutch
* Rebecca Minkoff's Mini Wallet on a Chain (the discontinued not-mini size was better IMHO)
* Lug's Kickflip convertible wallet
* Dylan Kain's The LSC (my current wallet/clutch; I have a few nitpicks about it, but it's otherwise awesome)
* Hayden Harnett's Pompidou clutch (pretty close to perfect, IMHO)
posted by evoque at 7:37 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I thought that was going to be a totally different sort of wallet on a chain, and was amused to think that Mr Corpse would be fashionable; he's still using the wallet (like this, but aged 20 years) that I got from the record store where I worked in the early 1990s. The chain is long-gone, fortunately.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:58 AM on July 24, 2014

Nylon 14 inch Carhartt tool-bag. Opens at the top, light, capacious. I'm an English professor, and need to carry All The Books. However, thanks to these threads, I'm considering a Saddleback Large Classic Briefcase. Because spending too much money on permanent things that weigh more than what I will carry in them is a great idea.
posted by LucretiusJones at 8:11 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Love this thread! I never thought I liked bags till I discovered vintage purses. Mine are all thrifted. This is how I acquired the Etienne Aigner purses I coveted as as teen. :) I paid $3-$7 for each of these.

This summer's bag, Aigner satchel bag, 1980s

My favorite 70s Aigner bag

Coach Mercer twill/leather trim bag, ca. 2000

Blingity-bling Paloma Picasso, 80s!

posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 8:53 AM on July 24, 2014

posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on July 24, 2014

This thread is great. Not only do I have a super long dream shopping list, I'm also getting amazing ads.

Also, my best purse ever had a string with a key clip on the end so you could always find your keys and use them without detaching them from the purse. It was from Paco and Lupe but none of their current options look great to me.
posted by carolr at 10:24 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am so excited to have something original to contribute to this really awesome thread: Roo Tote. Cute, cheap, great patterns and pockets. Slogan, "Fun Outing!".

My bags: boring but functional black Longchamp Le Pliage, ancient LL Bean backpack (yellow!), many Baggu bags. So many tote bags that I cannot list them for the shame....
posted by chocotaco at 10:25 AM on July 24, 2014

I feel awkward participating in this thread because I do not carry a purse. I do have a little bohemian patchwork purse in dark purple and black from the early 1990s that I carry on very rare occasions when I do not have pockets nor a spouse with pockets. But most of the time I carry this Timbuk2 backpack (mine is last year's model of the blue one, so the middle panel is grey). And I adore it. It makes me happy to carry and look at and mess with it just as much as everyone above feels about their (beautiful) purses. For years before that I had a Simple canvas messenger bag (they are sadly out of business) that I was just as passionate about, which was perfect for a grad student but is just too small for my daily carry as a professor.

I'm an ecologist and biology professor. It would be as silly and professionally inappropriate for me to carry a beautiful purse like those above (I love yours especially, functionequalsform) as it would be for many of you to carry my Timbuk2 backpack. And that's okay.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:58 AM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love bags, and I am enjoying this thread!

I tend to pick up tano bags on sale, my current one is this. Some of my older tano bags are wearing out a bit faster than I would like, but I do overstuff bags.

I like Hobo wallets, I have one that looks like this.

I like bags that have tons of pockets and compartments! One of my greatest bag triumphs was hunting down a new Gryson Painted Violet on ebay. So many pockets! I don't use it all that much because of I want to preserve the precious but I should haul it out again.

I'm currently coveting something from Rough and Tumble Bags.
posted by gnat at 12:50 PM on July 24, 2014

hydropsyche: "I feel awkward participating in this thread because I do not carry a purse."

I love your cheerful blue backpack, and this is a place of BAG LOVE and BAG ACCEPTANCE! Everyone's gotta rock their own style, be it teeny bejeweled clutch or battered canvas duffel.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

FYI, because I'm an enabler, Timbuk2 is having a one-day sale today.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:32 PM on July 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I also don't carry a purse usually, but a selection of Timbuk2 bags, so am happy to see more Timbuk2 backpack/messenger love here.
posted by gingerbeer at 1:34 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

My current purse is a two-tone pink Liz Claiborne I found at a consignment shop for $15. It has a zippered center compartment, which is my holy grail for handbags. I also like that it doesn't have any obvious external branding.

Like others in the original thread, my first Big Girl purchase was the only Coach bag I could afford - $100 (!!) for a purse that held a wallet, keys and a lipstick - but 25+ years later, my daughter is using it so I guess it was money well-spent.

But totes made from recycled polypropylene are my guilty pleasure. I currently have a Scout bag at my feet - black and white paisley with a pink handle - but they're spendy for what you get, especially compared to BlueQ (and their designs are also a lot more fun).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:38 PM on July 24, 2014

Oh, and West Elm has these leather zipper pouches on sale right now, to hold stuff that might otherwise just swim at the bottom of your bag.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:40 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I have these bags:

Cut N' Paste bag, like this one, but tan (for going out, grocery shopping, anywhere I need to travel light). It holds my phone, lipstick, wallet, etc

This bag that is shaped like a fried egg and covered with glitter. My friends call this my Disco Brunch bag. I get so many comments when I carry it.

A couple of Issey Miyake knockoffs (sorrrrrrrrry, I can't afford a real one yet, someday!)

This bag that is covered in spikes. One of the spikes fell off, which drives me a little bonkers; I need to put replace the spike.

I typically use a olive green canvas messenger bag (like this one) for work, with my cut n' paste bag inside to jettison when I walk to lunch.
posted by hotelechozulu at 1:46 PM on July 24, 2014

Curse you, gingerbeer! I covet the Aviator Wheeled Pack so much but I can't justify it even at half price because my existing luggage still works.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:54 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ohhh, I just remembered Jump From Paper bags, which I don't think have been mentioned yet. I want one so bad, but I can't really justify the price. (There are cheapo knockoffs on eBay, but I have mixed feelings about buying knockoffs.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:03 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

gingerbeer: FYI, because I'm an enabler

YES, you are.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2014

Bag Scientists of Metafilter, please hope me. I've been dicking around for years trying to find The One Bag, and still haven't. Maybe you can help with my ridiculously specific list of requirements?

This is what I have now. I like the shape, rectangular, at least one secure exterior pocket. What I don't like is the size, material, and fussy buckle stuff.

I'd like to find something a little larger - big enough to fit a kindle or trade paperback book inside, but not huge. My back is wonky so lighter is better. I need at least one secure external pocket for a glasses case, since I wear prescription sunglasses. I don't want a messenger flap, it always gets in the way. Zipper close on the top. No huge amount of dividers inside the bag, but an ipod/phone pocket is good, and a zippered tampon compartment is too. Long & adjustable shoulder/cross strap. Last, I need it tough. Dogproof, weatherproof, "I dropped the damn thing in muddy low tide and only needed to brush it off" tough. I'm open to materials.

Plain is good, utilitarian is good, army surplus is fine, any giant shiny gold/brass hardware is an immediate no.

Hit me with your best bags. Fire away.
posted by cmyk at 2:23 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh man I could do a whole separate post about zip cases, wallets and other small leather goods. I have my odds and ends in this carryall.

Papers and stuff are in this MZ Wallace skull pouch. They usually do a Halloween themed one each year.

Other bits are in cases by 49 sq mi that I got at a sample sale.
posted by oneear at 2:27 PM on July 24, 2014

cmyk: "Bag Scientists of Metafilter, please hope me. I've been dicking around for years trying to find The One Bag, and still haven't. Maybe you can help with my ridiculously specific list of requirements?"

I have started you with the features "zip top -- external pockets -- extra small -- crossbody" on this ebags search which nets 72 bags (which unfortunately I cannot sort by shape but your eyeballs can do that quickly). You may want to add in "small" which will get you a further 250.

If you add in preferred colors, fabrics, or price points, we can narrow it further!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:00 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might like some of the Roots bags, cmyk. They're really well made and last forever.

Side Saddle Prince
Venetian Village Prince
The Pocketbook Vintage Tribe Leather
posted by barnone at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't need a new bag, I don't need a new bag, I don't need a new bag...
posted by sarcasticah at 3:23 PM on July 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

cmyk, I'd look at MZ Wallace's bags, as the Jenna (small) or the Paige (medium) meet your requirements. They're made in thick, Teflon-coated nylon, and after treating with Nikwax, mine have been dragged around all sorts of weather, had cats/kids attempt their worst on it, and look none the worse for wear. Keep an eye on the sales; they can be had for up to 75% off.

oneear, good to see another Hayden Harnett carryall aficionado in the ranks!
posted by evoque at 4:05 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh, so many choices to look at, thank you! I'm broke-ass people so this is just windowshopping for me - unless I find an incredible deal I can't turn down. Still, it's nice to think that the bag I need actually exists somewhere.
posted by cmyk at 4:06 PM on July 24, 2014

I've been schlepping kids around cultural activities, so this week, I tried out my Handbag of Holding. I have to say, as cool as it is in concept, I will have to disassemble it, and add zippers, and reassemble it, before it will be functional enough to use if I were carrying anything important like my wallet. This lady wrote a review with which I agree.

My usual bag is this bag, from the factory that made this bag, only without all the tacky branding stuff. Also, this bag retails for $2,000ish, and I paid like $75 for mine. It's awesome, and I've had it for years and years.

The other knockoff I bought a decade or so back, and sometimes still carry around is my Birkin bag. I love that thing, but I'm trying to reduce purse size down to something smaller than a 3rd world nation.

I also carry bags made by local saddlemaker. They're not princess pretty, but damn y' couldn't kill one with a tank. That is some solid leather work, right there, I tell you what. Although it can be a trick to find one in black...and without a crucifix of some sort. All of them will have something sparkly. I've just resigned myself to the fact that I live in Dallas, and there is no escaping spangled things. But, these bags are so well designed with compartments and zippers and closures, that the pure practicality of them, especially for a handmade item at the price point they sell for (-$200)...hell, I'll put up with rhinestones. Just not bejeweled crucifixes, that's just a step too far. Even for a really great purse.
posted by dejah420 at 4:50 PM on July 24, 2014

barnone: "You might like some of the Roots bags, cmyk. They're really well made and last forever. "

I did not know about this company. Their bags look amazing. I love that they don't have obvious branding, and at least in the images they look really well made, and fantastically practical. I may have to have one. (I'm sure whichever one I pick will be the least fashionable of the lot. I swear, I have anti-fashion sense when it comes to purses.)
posted by dejah420 at 5:12 PM on July 24, 2014

I don't need a new bag, I don't need a new bag, I don't need a new bag...

*points, laughs, weeps in sympathy*
posted by rtha at 5:14 PM on July 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

Here is a close lookalike of The Whelk's Orvis lust-bag, only $400 less and without the logo. They do custom work and could probably make the fasteners and shape of the top flap more like those of the Orvis bag if you wanted, though that might erode some of the price advantage.

I practically live out of this from the same manufacturer and can vouch for the quality of the leather and workmanship, and that it has held up well to the abuse I put it through on my 100% travel job.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 6:33 PM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

2 Patricia Nash Barcelona Bags, on in brown, one I had dyed black. Sturdy, well made, ages beautifully. No liner - a turn off for some, a plus to me as I tend to be hard on my bags and liners give out way before the bag.

Current contents:
Small water bottle
Make-up pouch
Sesame seed bagel with creme cheese, cucumber and avocado that I bought this morning and forgot to eat
Mr. Penguin
Small umbrella
4 year old $12 Target wallet
Pen pouch
Day planner
posted by space_cookie at 7:52 PM on July 24, 2014

I totally forgot about my retro mod-style laptop bag, which I've had for ~15 years. I hardly ever use it, and have other messenger-style bags I could always use, but I just can't part with it. I found it in the early-ish days of the internet, and it came from England. Other than the thumbprint and "respect" on the front tag I have no idea what brand it is or where I bought it. It cost too much with the shipping, but somehow (ie, pure luck) I managed to expense it.

It's a pretty pure laptop bag so there's not much extra room if you put the laptop in, but it has a bunch of pockets under the front flap.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 PM on July 24, 2014

I made my own leather wallet a few years ago (based on a vinyl one I owned that started to get grungy looking pretty quickly) Looking at the prices of nice leather bags and thinking of my own picky need (not too big, not to small, must have an adjustable strap, must have a zipper etc. etc..) I think I'm going to pick up some fun leather scraps and sew myself a bag.

If anyone else wants to join me, there are plenty of neat free patterns at this site:
posted by vespabelle at 8:38 PM on July 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I managed to get a little black leather shoulder bag at an op shop.
It's nicer than I think I should carry, which makes me feel vaguely professional, especially once I realised I can just wipe a kids shoe polish stick over any scuff marks. It says Herme (not Hermes), so I think it's some kind of awesome knockoff.

However, the bag I still miss, is a black Lynx shower bag, shaped like a shoulder bag.
So, Lynx is the alternative name for Axe, so it's a bag they must have handed out at some stage if you got Lynx deodorant (*shudder*) and shower gels and things.
Lynx/Axe is terrible. But the bag was awesome.

It was plain black, very small, sturdy, nice strap but also had that shower bag hanger thing which was surprisingly handy for hooking over something and showing all my compartments.
It had a handle which mean I could loop the strap through it to do that turn it into a backback thing.
It could juuuuuust fit my netbook, and a book, and had a mesh compartment for pens and coins and things, and was just small enough that no one expected me to pull a netbook and harddrives and books, and pens etc out of it, without it being big enough for me to overload myself.
(I overload myself all the time. My backpacks somehow always end up with a minimum of 3 heavy books in them, and the occasional sack of potatoes).

It had that plain laptop bag look which meant it was appropriate for work, but also casual satchel thing.

Anyway, I got that bag when helping a friend who was leaving the country, clear out his house, and I rescued it from the rubbish pile.
The worst thing, the WORST THING, is that only about 6 months later, I met that friend's brother in town, and he went - "That's my shower bag!

He'd left it at his brother's accidentally. And it was extremely awkward, because I'm very polite, but in no way wanted to give it up, and even offered to buy it from him. There's still a part of me going - it was going in the bin! I rescued it! Can't you see we were meant to be together?
I over empathise with rescue pet owners who've had the original owner turn up. It's ridiculous.

I still want it back dammit, and I keep trawling the internet in the hopes of finding an old one, and I've never ever even seen one like it.
Why, oh why, would a crappy deodorant company make the best shower/not shower bag ever?

So yeah, I have a nice black leather bag that I got for almost nothing at an op shop, that people compliment me on, and an Axe shower bag was my ideal damn purse.
posted by Elysum at 12:10 AM on July 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

Soy dude. I have this Timbuk2 in grey and red. This thread inspired me to buy one of these Brooklyn Industries messenger bags.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:52 AM on July 25, 2014

Elysum, was it like this?
posted by persona au gratin at 2:15 AM on July 25, 2014

Can I just say that waking up to all these additional bag love posts was awesome!!! My mom has been on my ass for weeks for a bday suggestion (she does that) so I sent her to the incredibly discounted Goyard website that I discovered as a result of these threads. Both of us very happy. Metafilter strikes again. Thanks y'all!!
posted by pearlybob at 3:17 AM on July 25, 2014

the incredibly discounted Goyard website that I discovered as a result of these threads

What, where? I must have missed out on that in the treasure trove that is this thread. Link, please?
posted by hellopanda at 4:03 AM on July 25, 2014

I do need something to carry my laptop. If I were in the US, I'd get this Herschel Mill bag, because it has a built-in fleece-lined laptop sleeve, which seems handy, a lot of organizer features inside, outer sleeve pockets, what looks like a decent carry handle, and a nice, big, padded shoulder strap.

I did find it locally, but it's about twice the price, so no. :(
posted by taz (staff) at 4:38 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite] I'm not taking credit..... got it early off the original blue thread. And bless whoever posted it...
posted by pearlybob at 5:15 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Looks like sells fakes, so caveat emptor.
posted by evoque at 5:47 AM on July 25, 2014

This thread has me embarrassed by my crappy falling-apart Target purse, but I love this canvas tote I got for Christmas from my brother and sister-in-law... so today I am using tote as purse. Works for now! (Story behind the tote here.)
posted by misskaz at 6:53 AM on July 25, 2014

In terms of legitimately large bags I own and use regularly, there are three and they all cost under $150 each, but I bought them all on sale :D

- Roots Leather Satchel - This was sold at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008 for $170 but I waited until the last day to nab it for $90. Six years later, the side of the bag that rests against my leg is now REALLY slick and a gorgeous mottled brown. It's on the heavy side and it retains a LOT of heat so I don't carry this in the summer. It's currently selling for $248 so I think I got it while the getting was good. The only difference between mine and this one is that there is a TIFF 08 brand on the bottom corner of the bag, but my friend managed to spend $25 getting his seared off, so I could possibly do that too (I carry it like a nerdy badge of honour.)

- Danier Crossbody Bag in Teal - I bought this two and a half years ago with a giftcard...on sale, so I only spent about $30 on this bag but I think the initial retail value was closer to $150/170? This girl has a great write-up on it. It's my day-to-day standard in the spring because it's durable and sturdy and water-resistent but still nice enough to take to work.

- A newish purchase, Dooney and Bourke leisure shopper in this gorgeous yellow floral colour. I wanted a cute, graphic/patterned, non-messenger/crossover bag that fit a LOT of stuff. I can carry all my essentials (wallet, makeup bag, book, keys, glasses, etc), plus a change of clothes (I cycle to work) and my lunch in this thing. It cost $150 (with tax) but was on clearance down from $225 or something (Oh, Canada). I patiently waited until the last minute to snatch it up. It's cute, gorgeous and holds all of the thiiings.

I've had dalliances into vegan bags like Matt & Nat but I've had THREE of their bags fall apart after an unreasonably short amount of time. I tried another vegan bag and it was SHREDDED after a year. I moved recently and threw out FIVE cheap bags I'd purchased within the last two years for all under $40 each, which were all mangled and un-fixable and was horrified. I vowed that I wouldn't buy any more cheap bags. In terms of other sturdy suggestions, I had a great Crumpler laptop bag for my old honking HP laptop about six years ago, and my boyfriend has purchased some neat bags from them.

I also have a great mini-messenger from Windbag Company, they repurpose bags out of sails, cloth and rope from sailboats in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. And since the bags are made from sails, You can just chuck em in the wash and they come out clean as day. Each bags is unique so I can't find a picture of mine, but here is their store.
posted by darlingmagpie at 8:36 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Six years later, the side of the bag that rests against my leg is now REALLY slick and a gorgeous mottled brown.

I looked at the bag; I bet it looks beautiful!

Dooney and Bourke leisure shopper in this gorgeous yellow floral colour.

Ooh, I just saw this at TJ Maxx! Yellow is my favorite color so I'm always tempted, but day-to-day I'm a little too casual with my flip-slops and stuff to feel like I could pull it off (or get a lot of use out of it.)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:45 AM on July 25, 2014

Oops, I meant to add that the tote at TJ Maxx was around $150, too, so don't fret that you missed it for $40 bucks or anything.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:45 AM on July 25, 2014

Yeah, I gave in on the Rough and Tumble Market bag and a couple of the West Elm pouches. Curse/Bless you all.
posted by almostmanda at 10:18 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Though I only mentioned my lumber pack, it actually hasn't gotten much play since I got a fitbit and started walking the two miles to work. Suddenly a feature of the backpack I got on clearance a couple of years ago really made a difference: a ventilated back panel. A curved metal frame keeps the backpack off your back, making the points of contact just at the shoulders and your waist. It's really comfortable, and eliminates the back-and-back-of-backpack-soaked-in-sweat problem.

But for stumbling on that clearance backpack, I wouldn't have known this design existed and now I'd be loath to consider a backpack without it.
posted by Zed at 10:55 AM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Joining the chorus of those who have fallen to temptation--I have no idea why I thought I'd be able to hold off until the weekend before pushing the "Buy" button on the Rough & Tumble messenger bag. It is now en route from Maine, and I am poorer but happier. (The woman who runs that business should probably make a donation to MeFi...)
posted by Kat Allison at 10:55 AM on July 25, 2014

I am another bag lover and purse hater. I have a few purses schlepping around in my things for times when I must dress up and be femme.

However. The daily bag that I carry and will do so until my death or it falls apart is my limited-edition Upper Playground Angel of Death messenger bag.

Some brilliant individual chose that bag as first prize for the women's class at the 2009 Denver Dia Del Muertes alleycat race. Let me repeat that: I won my Chrome bag legit, at an alleycat, and beat a score of girls who could have been my daughters at the time to do so. I am stupidly, recklessly, egocentrically proud of that damn bag. I carry it everywhere. It's been to Switzerland, the UK and Barstow, to name a few. It has been my pillow on transit, my suitcase for numberless trips both locally and abroad, and it goes back and forth to work with me daily on my bike. It still looks brand new, five years later.

I sold the fixie that I won that alleycat with, but I will never get rid of that bag.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:16 AM on July 25, 2014 [8 favorites]

Let me repeat that: I won my Chrome bag legit, at an alleycat

Fucking legit!! What an awesome bag, too.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:24 AM on July 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I live in Maine and I had never heard of Rough and Tumble bags before. Realized the store is about 20 minutes from the place where I go tourmaline picking once a month (about 1 1/2 hours away). I should stop in to browse next time, because my husband is always asking me what I want for my birthday or other holidays. I could really see paying the price for these bags, but say, the Steve Madden bag I had started getting a ripped lining and the outside got scratched (it was white with a floral design).

We also have a Sea Bags place, in Portland, which I had heard of -- looks like they do custom designs. I keep getting fed ads now with a black pug on a Sea Bag. I don't have a dog but I want the pug bag.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:22 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't get to carry them these days (bedridden) but here's my pic of my Isabella Fiore problem. (Can't believe nobody's named them - maybe the rest of you have good taste or something.)
posted by jocelmeow at 12:56 PM on July 25, 2014 [6 favorites]

Whoa! My taste just went up three or four notches, thank you for posting these. And I thought I was going to make it out of this thread without a new bag. (Well, I probably still will, but I was having bag lust-lust and now I just have bag lust.)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:13 PM on July 25, 2014

We're all going to be followed around online by targeted ads until we buy one, you know.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:29 PM on July 25, 2014 [5 favorites]

I succumbed to my own West Elm link above and then picked up this pretty in Tan (at an awesome price!) thanks to somebody else. And now I am clearing my cache because I cannot spend another penny.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:33 PM on July 25, 2014

Clearly, many mefites will in future be identifiable by our West Elm pouches. I bought two, even though I am not precisely in funds, because I was so allured by their beautiful blues and because my existing old Baggu nylon pouches are too soft, even though they're very nicely made.
posted by Frowner at 1:38 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I got lured in by 6pm and ended up buying a sparkly minaudiere because OBVIOUSLY THAT'S SOMETHING I'LL USE A LOT IN MY SUPER-GLAMOROUS LIFE thanks to you people and all your awesome links. I have managed to NOT buy a big leather something, but I've added a whole bunch of them to my wishlist!

Since we're talking about fun totebags now, I have this hilarious tote I picked up for a couple bucks on clearance at Target some years ago and I looooooove it so much. I carry embroidery projects in it and giggle at it every time I use it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:45 PM on July 25, 2014 [9 favorites]

I have not yet succumbed to the insatiable bag lust inspired by this thread, but I did just get a new bag in the mail -- a bag of dicks (SFW), from my best friend!

I can't wait to take it to the farmer's market.
posted by divined by radio at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

Francesco Biasia has given me five wonderful bags. His original studio is near my hometown (Vicenza) and my oldest bag is twelve year old and still looking good is spite of constant use. I have a taupe purse, a dark brown one, a pewter one, and two black ones, suitable for every outfit.
posted by francesca too at 5:49 PM on July 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

My work bag for 6 years was an awesome plain black leather tote I bought on Ebay for $40 that turned out to be astonishingly high quality. Unfortunately I am super hard on my bags and the straps wore out. To my delight I found that it was still being made. To my chagrin I found that a new one would be considerably more expensive.. I keep meaning to take it by a shoe guy to see if he can fix the straps.

Then I bought a secondhand Mulberry Bayswater in bright red, which sheds tiny bits of leather from the unlined interior every time I carry it, plus the nifty little brass lock is a PITA. It's probably my least favorite purse. I should probably sell it, but I'm too lazy.

My current work tote is this gray one, which is capacious and was <1>quite right from the finding-things-in the purse perspective.

Weekends I schlep around a blue and white woven fabric bag that I think was $30. It is of a size where I can easily not notice that I'm already carrying a full-size bottle of sunscreen, snacks, five diapers, and a bag of sidewalk chalk until I've put those things in a second time.

I thought I had plenty of bags till I hit this thread but now there is so much to covet.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 7:47 PM on July 25, 2014

Mod note: Okay, Imma let your bags finish, but can I just say that these are the greatest shoes I won't be buying OF ALL TIME. I found them here, which is a place on the internet that I somehow ended up on because of you people and the bags, and now I know the terrible pain of not having that particular pair of boots.

I may not be buying them, but I still claim them for all time and forevermore because I love them and always will.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:14 AM on July 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

@persona au gratin: Awww, it was so thoughtful of you to look that up!
But no, it also had a shoulder strap, so it was more like a mini-laptop bag.
It's quite similar though in the way it opens out, and how that hook could be handy, so you can get the idea.
posted by Elysum at 8:26 AM on July 26, 2014

My red Fossil bag (that I described above) arrived yesterday! I am excited about having a purse that will last again.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:27 AM on July 26, 2014

Kinda disappointed the bag of dicks isn't covered in portraits of Nixon, Armey, Cheney, Clark, Grayson, etc etc etc.
posted by maryr at 10:11 AM on July 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm super late but this is my bag. I ended up picking it up at an art crawl. My old baggalini was more practical but I can't get myself to care too much.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

I posted a purse question on the green this winter and ended up with this Mulberry Bayswater Shoulder bag in eggplant. It's practical (apart from the price) and after a few months of owning it I'm finally not having a heart attack every time someone looks at it the wrong way or I brush against a door.

Apparently writing utensils are very important to me since that is mainly what's in there. I need a new wallet and would like a smaller one but need all my cards and cash (since most places in my area are cash only). I'm pretty happy that although I have a nice bag I still carry a Hello Kitty pen and sketchbook inside. The only thing I don't get is what people do when they carry a laptop to work and their purse. I carry mine in a Baggu Duck bag but carrying two bags feels weird.
posted by Bunglegirl at 12:35 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

The only thing I don't get is what people do when they carry a laptop to work and their purse.

I was so happy the day I discovered that there are some proper grown-up totes out there now that are designed to comfortable stow a laptop, like this Tory Burch or this Michael Kors.
posted by Dante Riordan at 2:41 PM on July 26, 2014

I love all y'all's purses and want to share mine. My friend made me an amazing bag that looks like I decapitated a muppet. The interior pockets are wonderful, and there's a hidden pocket behind the eyebrows.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:57 PM on July 26, 2014 [13 favorites]

I decapitated a muppet.

You are not kidding.
posted by Madamina at 3:13 PM on July 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

You are not kidding.

And it must look like you are fisting the poor decapitated creature every time you reach into it.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2014

I was so happy the day I discovered that there are some proper grown-up totes out there now that are designed to comfortable stow a laptop, like this Tory Burch or this Michael Kors.

Neither of which is much use to this proper grown-up woman whose proper grown-up job involves leading students through the woods and creeks to learn biology (not to mention sprinting for a bus with a laptop and a gigantic stack of student papers). In other words, "proper" and "grown-up" are words that vary for each of us.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:15 PM on July 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

You don't fist something in the mouth! Amateurs.

(The purse is freaking amazing bile and syntax.)
posted by en forme de poire at 5:02 PM on July 26, 2014 [6 favorites]

Purse contents: I always have my wallet, keys, iphone, iphone headset, lip goo, epipen, and usually a pen, sometimes other writing materials. I can also fit my nalgene and a book. I do not take this bag to work, but for walking around when I don't want my backpack it's pretty perfect.

My other bags are a black Reload briefcase bag for work, and a black Trash Courier Pack with green stitching and a picture of spacecat for not-work. In both of these bags, I carry the same stuff as would go in my purse, plus a set of bamboo eating utensils, my nalgene, a small pharmacy, an iphone charger, and whatever else I need to carry. The work bag also usually has laptop and work paraphernalia, my spare epipen, snackbars, and pens. The backpack has crayons and a water-damaged pocket Constitution that I just haven't thrown out.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:19 PM on July 26, 2014

I cycle between a Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack and a Barbour Game Bag
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:25 AM on July 27, 2014

I switched bags as a result of the bag thread and now I'm carrying this. I don't care if it marks me as uncool. It matches my hair and that's what makes me happy.
posted by immlass at 11:09 AM on July 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

immlas, that's beautiful! I really love bucket bags, and that purple is half of my Lakers colors. It also led me to this bag. Thankfully it's a little too structured for my flip-flop lifestyle or I'd be lusting after it, hard. Yellow is my favorite color but it looks horrible on me so I love a good yellow purse or bag.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2014

Oh no I went looking for bags and I found this bag and I really want it.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:13 PM on July 27, 2014

uughh, I just bought a purse online and if I hate it I'm going to blame all of you!

I'm still going to make a bag though. Maybe a tote for my lunch/coffee/book.
posted by vespabelle at 8:28 PM on July 27, 2014

Coming in late to say thanks to this thread, I did a lot of online research to find out about brands and styles and reviews then got myself down to a department store clearance rack where at the bottom was a beautiful, quality leather bag for 70% off. Thanks, all!
posted by pointystick at 4:54 AM on July 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Barchan that Gfeller stuff is gorgeous. I hope they make Gelesbian versions. Though come to think of it they don't need to. It's all perfect. Dammit. (I got through both threads without getting credit card twitch once and then I saw that.)
posted by firstdrop at 11:01 AM on July 28, 2014

Count me in as another one who has been shopping after this thread! Just bought this.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

I went shopping, too! Matt & Nat (vegan handbag peddlers extraordinaire) were having a blowout sale on their Spring 2014 collection last week, so I splurged and picked up this little beauty in a classy, gorgeous dark brown. It's my first-ever Fancy Lady Grownup Bag and I am very excited.
posted by divined by radio at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2014

I don't have a pic handy, but my current default purse was custom-made for me by an acquaintance of my mother's. A mutual friend used to own an ends-and-pieces fabric shop and had a lot of pieces of good-quality, designer upholstery and specialty material for cheap. Mom and this other lady used to hang out there, Mom admired her purse, and it turned out she made them. Mom bought the fabric (a cat-pattern tapestry) and ordered one. She not only charged her a ridiculously low price for the work, she used the scraps to make a matching one for me. It's only got two pockets; but the lining and hardware are super-sturdy, the shape, size, and strap length are just right, and it machine-washes beautifully.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:16 PM on July 28, 2014

Carrying an Abaco bag I finally found on sale in black.

I totally thought bag of dicks would be this (slightly NSFW). If they made that pattern in sheets I would totally buy it.
posted by oneear at 4:19 PM on July 28, 2014 [4 favorites]

Also late to the party. Right now I'm carrying this Vera Bradley bag, but I like to switch them up every so often.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:52 AM on July 29, 2014

Belated thank you to everyone who reassured me that it is okay and human to sometimes feels upset and overwhelmed by fashion and money. It helped me feel much better.

Also, PS, fashionable bags may have an objective (if ever-changing) definition, but stylish bags are ones that suit you and look stylish on you. There have been tons of bags in this thread from Target or or thrift stores or TJ Maxx or whatever that, when combined with what I know about the poster, I've been like, "Oh, that is so HER! I bet it looks great!"

I enjoyed this thread so much for just that reason! I loved hearing about all the things people liked about their bags and what appealed to them about the style. There was so much awesome variety. It was a very good and fun reminder that there are a lot of cool styles out there and that the right style for you is the best mix of your personal values of functional and aesthetically pleasing. :)

oneear, the bag of dicks sent me down a rabbit hole of tote bags! Now I want to upgrade my school bag to a Dana Scully or Notorious RBG tote.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:33 PM on July 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

I sew all my own purses and this is my new summer purse; the lining is green gingham. I had seen similar cross-body bags when in Portland and went searching for a pattern online. The one I found is the appropriately-named Two-Zip Hipster and it's a great pattern--lots of pictures and very clear instructions. The bag is especially great for travel; when I fly, I put my iPad in there for reading material, and when I go hiking, I put a bottle of water and a Clif bar in with my wallet and other daily necessities.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 10:17 AM on July 30, 2014 [5 favorites]

I saw a handbag on the subway that I liked a lot, and I swore I'd remember the name on the tag, but of course I didn't. The brand name was a woman's name (firstname lastname, I think), and the bag was shaped like a doctor's bag and looked like it was made from canvas with some sort of synthetic treatment (or it could have been completely synthetic, with a fake weave texture). The pattern was the most distinctive part: marimekko-ish large print of flowers on a gray background. Anyone have any idea what it could have been?
posted by ocherdraco at 10:06 PM on July 30, 2014

Kate Spade, Rebecca Minkoff, Betsey Johnson (unlikely for the shape), Michelle Vale, Kathy van Zeeland, Jane Shilton?

My bet would be Kate Spade from your description, something like this?
posted by viggorlijah at 10:21 PM on July 30, 2014

I would also guess Kate Spade-- if it wasn't that, maybe this or this? (The patterned bags tend to be on sale for short periods of time, especially the recent city collections, but Ebay is a great resource for similar bags.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:02 PM on July 30, 2014

Orla Kierly?
posted by ellieBOA at 11:19 PM on July 30, 2014

Carrying an Abaco bag I finally found on sale in black.

I totally thought bag of dicks would be this (slightly NSFW). If they made that pattern in sheets I would totally buy it.

Holy shit, I would pay good money for a button up shirt with that pattern.

Like, is that available? Because I'd buy it this second.
posted by emptythought at 11:22 PM on July 30, 2014 [2 favorites]

ocherdraco: Could it have been a Cath Kidston bag like this one?
posted by at 7:46 AM on July 31, 2014

Orla Kiely is it! The exact bag is no longer on their website, but it was very similar to this one, with the same logo placement and a different floral pattern.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:19 AM on July 31, 2014

ocherdraco - I was going to say Orla Kiely print too. Here's the same model in a different color and pattern. The material is kind of an interesting cotton canvas with waterproofing on it. It makes them very resistant to stains and dirt, but still flexible and colorful.
posted by barnone at 10:19 AM on July 31, 2014

I splashed out on these sheets three years ago, and it is one of my best purchases ever, although it has ruined me for my other (cheaper!) bedding sets.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:48 AM on July 31, 2014

barnone, if that's not the actual bag, then it is darn close. Definitely same colors and style.

Having just purchased a new bag, Orla Kiely will have to wait, but I'm glad to know the name now!
posted by ocherdraco at 5:32 PM on July 31, 2014

Okay, I've been avoiding this thread for fear of wanting all the bags. I used to be such a purse addict that I'd switch every few months.

A couple years ago as my mom got sick, I needed a bigger purse so I could carry some of her purse stuff and a blood sugar test kit. My criteria were simple; I wanted something that I could wear cross-body to have my hands free to help her balance, and it had to have a zipper so it wouldn't spill if it tipped over. I got a Baggallini Everywhere Bagg and I love it. I haven't switched purses since. It can hold everything I can cram in it (and boy can I cram things in), including my large Overland Equipment wallet, my iPad mini, and the Original Pak (which I got half price with a Groupon and customized with stuff from Minimus).

At $75, the Baggallini Everywhere is the most I've ever spent on a purse (including my one Coach purse I got at the outlet store for $50 and can't find a picture of online) and I love it more than any other bag I've ever had.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:31 AM on August 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

my new purse arrived in the mail! yay!
it's wayyyy lighter and more beige than I expected. boo!
but I'm not gonna blame you all, I'm just going to enjoy my continued searching. (or maybe I'll just splurge on the this.
posted by vespabelle at 6:10 PM on August 1, 2014

I am blaming this thread on my renewed desire for a Bohemia or Cambridge satchel in neon.

No one has listed those, but I'd buried that desire somewhere near my love for Fluevogs (which my feet don't like, therefore very impractical for me), and now it's resurfaced.
posted by bibliogrrl at 6:38 AM on August 3, 2014

somewhere near my love for Fluevogs

Unfortunately, I like them, and your comment prompted me to check if the shoes I wanted were on sale (weird colour, I thought it was likely), and they were.

But I have wanted these shoes for months.
posted by jeather at 6:56 PM on August 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

OMG I totally just won a Bohemia satchel on ebay for 1/3 what it would cost new.
posted by bibliogrrl at 4:08 PM on August 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Got my shoes!
posted by jeather at 7:21 AM on August 6, 2014 [6 favorites]

Yay for Fluevogs!
posted by gingerbeer at 8:44 AM on August 6, 2014

Well, okay! I had to finally jump off this bridge too, so I got a bag on eBay for my birthday – a used Gianni Chiarinni bag that was originally $275, for around $45, including shipping. It hasn't arrived yet, so I can't say how great a deal this is, but the seller seemed very nice (I had to contact her to organize shipping). It's similar to this, but black, not pebbled texture, very soft leather, and has a pocket on the front. It should fit my laptop. woo. :)
posted by taz (staff) at 7:50 AM on August 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

I got tired of waiting for Lo and Sons to restock the bag I wanted in blue, so I pulled the trigger on a black one (with gold trim, not silver, thank you very much) this morning. Now to wait for it to get here.
posted by egypturnash at 7:31 PM on August 20, 2014

I finally got my "gently used" in the mail, and it was definitely a major bargain! Almost no signs of wear or use, and was sent with the original dust bag plus authenticity / certificate of guarantee tags. Very good deal, indeed!

Now, I'd just like to share a thing some of you may want to join me in drooling over: This Orla Kiely "rare" bag I came across on Ebay UK: photos 1, 2, 3. But at £250.00 / $414.00, it will remain in fantasy land in its puddle of friendly communal drool. Here's the listing, for anyone who's interested. :)
posted by taz (staff) at 7:19 AM on August 22, 2014

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