Sunday, July 27, 2008
My sister has a love of handbags that borders on ridiculous; she is truly the bag lady in the family, while I am most clearly the (self-proclaimed, of course) shoe queen. So li'l sis, this one is for you.
Sooo...handbags at the office...
I have made it clear that backpacks are unacceptable, right? You are just too cute for that Jansport.
Office-appropriate day bags are everywhere, so choosing only one may be difficult. My first consideration when choosing one is whether it is truly going to work with most of my professional outfits. If you tend to wear a lot of color, then a neutral bag, like the above delightful shopper might be best for you. If you tend on the more neutral side of clothing, I recommend something colorful and fun, like the cool red tote below.
Another consideration is whether it will hold all of my crap every day. We're talking a book and magazine and iPod for the commute, wallet, keys, iPhone (I know it seems redundant but I don't use it for music, whatever), chapstick, etc. In order to avoid being one of those people on the train with 4 bags (seriously people, there is no reason why you need a purse, work bag, gym bag, and lunch bag- CONSOLIDATE for god's sake), get one that fits what you will realistically bring to and from work with you every day.
Durability is key, since you will be hauling your bag with you every day. I prefer leather in the fall and winter and canvas in the spring or summer, just to change things up (plus Tory Burch makes amazing canvas totes, just look at the fabulous printed one above), but leather is a great way to go year round. Note that choosing a non-leather option does not give you license to get anything plastic, a bag with a juvenile print (your skull print does not make you look bad ass, it makes you look 14), or ANYTHING in camo. Honestly, just because Dior decides to do camo does not make it pretty or classy- it is simply both ugly AND expensive.
One thing I typically do when deciding on a new work bag is to wear my current one while shopping and then placing all of my day to day crap in the potential new bag (I will usually notify a salesperson so they understand why it looks like I'm moving into a bag I haven't even purchased). If it all fits well, there are enough pockets, it feels weighted properly, etc., then it is a contender. If not, I move on.
You should also consider whether you want the bag to fit over your shoulder when you are wearing bulky sweaters or jackets. If you do, be sure the drop in the handle (distance between the top of the handle and the top of the bag) is large enough to accommodate.
One quick note on size: all accessories should be in proportion to your stature. If you are petite, a gigantic tote will overwhelm you. If you are taller, broader, etc., a tiny purse just looks ridiculous. A mid-sized day bag will work for most people, with slight size adjustments to be considered if you are on one end of the spectrum or the other.