Monday, May 21, 2012

What do you carry on your shoulders?

Audrey Brooke

This past weekend I devoted a day to me, myself and I time and went in search of a perfect black bag. My perfection criteria included:

1) Genuine leather
2) Accommodate iPad (wireless keyboard, sometimes), camera, sketch/notebook and wallet without having to dig deep to find them (too big) or the bag looking bulky (too small).
3) Day to night bag.
4) Understated but with interesting details.
5) Classic - not trendy.

I was hoping to come across a bargain, although I was prepared to make a bit of an investment. My goal being to find the right bag, allowing me to get rid of (donate) my cheaper, not-the-right-fit, taking up closet space, black bags - for one go-to, high quality bag. I went to TJ Maxx, Plato's Closet, Classic Consignment, Marshall's, and finally DSW. I found my purse in DSW. It's an Audrey Brooke handbag which I understand is a DSW brand.

I like this belted satchel because it gives me details (I love details) while maintaining a classic look ( I love classic). It has front and back zip pockets perfect for my keys and phone - the two things I seem to always look for. I like the sturdy rolled handles. I actually would have loved for the fabric lining to have been in an interesting pattern, but it works in all black. Dimensions: 15" x 7" x 10"

It is on sale on the website for $99.94, but I got it for about $15 less at my local DSW.

Handbags haven't always been my thing. Growing up, through my college years, and early in my career, I always carried a backpack. My last backpack was a handmade brown leather bag I got in Argentina over 15 years ago. I still have it. I loved backpacks because they allowed me to do so much. I could carry 2-3 books, a notebook, a scarf or sweater in case the temperature cooled down, a bottle of water, my lipstick or gloss, snacks, etc. Practically whatever I wanted. And I could conveniently take my mini-life with me wherever I pleased. On the other hand, purses didn't seem so accommodating to me.

My brown leather backpack was subtle. A handbag big enough to carry my necessities seemed almost obnoxious to me. And the choices - my mind wasn't cooperating enough to visualize the right one. Switching bags for outfits/shoes - ugh! I always ended up losing something or forgetting something during these switches.

I think I started appreciating handbags more the day I was gifted a Coach bag that was big enough for my journal/iPad but small enough to still be understated when necessary. In other words, sometimes I want the handbag to be in the background; sometimes the handbag will play a bigger role in the outfit. Anyhow, my mind has decided to embrace the handbag. It is now my backpack; allowing me to take my mini-life with me wherever I go - in a more "grown-up" fashion.

Do you have a go-to bag? Do you carry your life in your bag? Or a small pharmacy?


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