Friday, December 20, 2013


When I became pregnant with my first child, I knew that my love of purses was going to have to take a backseat and allow a practical and relatively unattractive diaper bag take the lead for a while.  What I didn't know, though, was that even post-diaper bag era, my "Is it pretty and affordable?" method of buying purses would be out the window.

With at least one child generally holding my hand, another handing me a water bottle to hold or trash to dispose of, a pouch full of coupons that goes everywhere with me, and someone constantly whining about being hungry (necessitating never-ending snack availability), my purse buying criteria are drastically different than they were in 2005.  Here is what I look for in a bag.

1.  Is it lovely?  If it is not, then forget it.
2.  Does it have two straps that are long enough to comfortably fit on my shoulder?  I need to be able to reach in my bag without taking it off of my shoulder.  On strap on, one strap off.  See?
3.  Are the straps flat, as opposed to rolled?  Rolled leather straps fall of of my shoulders too easily.
4.  Is it large enough to hold 23,000 lbs. of stuff?
5.  Does it have a small compartment to hold my keys, lipstick, and phone?  I don't care much about other separate compartments, because I have my own little pouches that I transfer from bag to bag.

That's about it.  That's enough, don't you think?  The problem I have, even after I've run through my checklist, is that my bag is inevitably a black hole.  Things get lost waaaaay down at the bottom.  I'm constantly rummaging through to find my phone or my keys or my lipstick.  (Yes, still rummaging even with the separate compartment for those things.  This is my life.)  Trust me--I have been able to find plenty of stylish bags that follow all of my guidelines.  Below are a few I've been eyeing.

Lauren Ralph Lauren Bembridge N/S Tote - $99
Kate Spade Saturday Boxy Wide Tote - $160

Cole Haan Village Flat Tote - $119

Pour la Victoire Melee E/W Shopper - $93

Madewell Transport Tote - $168 (30% off right now)

Sure, I still buy other styles from time to time, but a large tote is what I find myself carrying 95% of the time.  It's just my thing.  

What do you look for in a bag?  Do you have a checklist like I do?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

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