There's nothing wrong with having a few (versatile) bags
for different occasions. A bag like this can go from
airport to beach, to weekend camping trip, and its size
and color will look good on any body shape and height.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Flash Nylon Overnighter Big Tote,
$278 at ShopBop.com.
As much as I've tried to go hands-free when it comes to carrying a purse, I've found that it's near impossible. I don't understand why I need to keep an umbrella with me at all times (when I live in L.A.) or why I need to carry three bottles of hand sanitizer. Oh, right. That's because I live in L.A. I tried, for a while, to go out without a purse, and I was like Ricky Bobby; I just didn't know what to do with my hands. I felt like I wasn't being useful, and kept asking the man I married if he wanted me to carry him. He was like, “What?” and I was like, “Yeah, carry you. Like, so you don't have to walk. I feel like I need to be holding something” and he goes, “Sabrina. Go get your purse” and I was like, “Ugh! Support me, Dude!”
If you're like 99.999 percent of women in the world who never leave home without a purse, or you're like me, and have tried to make it sans bag, but are questioning your ability to follow through, thus succumbing to the womanly pressures of the universe and throwing your hands up in defeat, then now is a good time to teach you how to find the right bag. You know, since you'll be carrying one anyway.
Be practical. Getting a giant tote with a skinny strap will cause the strap to dig into your shoulder, and cause soreness around your rotator cuff. If you often find yourself in coats, pick a bag that will function well with your jacket. A cross-body bag, for example, doesn't fit well with a lady-like trench – you'll bunch all over. Skip fancy closures on your everyday bag, and opt for a magnet or buckle -- no one wants to wait in line behind you at Whole Foods for three minutes while you untie (then re-tie) the ribbon on your tote.
When shopping for a status bag look for something that is well-made. Look for pockets on the bag that open and close easily, and make sure the stitching is secure. This bag should feel solid, but you shouldn't have to arm wrestle it every time you need your car keys. Status bags are pricey, so if you decide to invest in one, skip the trendy shape. Go classic so that you can use for years to come.
Next, it's a misconception that your bag has to match your shoes. You wouldn't carry your Chanel wearing sneakers, but don't worry about mixing materials – just stay within a comparable level of dressiness. Also, know this: a clutch should have a (removable) strap, if you lug around a huge tote, stick a tiny bag inside for lunches and meetings so you don't look like a pack rat, and when buying a saddle bag, find an adjustable strap so you can alter it based on your height -- bags should always go with your size.