GOACA summer classics: the weekender bag


I purchased this Clare V bag maybe five years ago, when its price was splurgy (though not quite as splurgy as it is now) and I have to say it’s a purchase I do not regret: the leather is super-lightweight—like literally lighter than a nylon bag—and it has aged really nicely.

The chevron print and color blocking here make this one standout. I also like this black version.

A seriously big—as in, it’s 29 inches long—quilted number in which I’m pretty sure I could easily pack enough for a whole week away.

I just really like the combination of creamy tones on this one.

I often pack my weekend stuff in a backpack like this one from Fjallraven, especially when I’m weighted down with other bags and need at least one hand free for the dog.

An appealingly utilitarian, clean-lined Carhartt option.

This one folds up, making it an ideal bag to bring in the suitcase on a longer trip when you think you might be coming home with more than you had when you left.

This nylon bag also comes in black, but I dig this marigold hue.

Here is a particularly elegant option. I’m always a fan of a canvas and leather combination.

How fun is this tie dye choice from MZ Wallace?

The deep green on this sturdy-looking choice appeals.

A fun leopard print, from Ganni.

This rings in at under $75 and is just really cute in the pink.

This just looks so summery in red, white, and blue.

And finally: I opened with a splurgy option so I’ll close with one too—this suede Rag & Bone bag, which is just desperately chic.

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10 Thoughts on GOACA summer classics: the weekender bag
    15 Jun 2022

    I bought the paravel for my husband for Christmas with his initials. I love all the color ways you can choose. Love that it zips up. Quite sturdy & light!


    15 Jun 2022

    I have recently fallen in love with Some of the Parts, a small Canadian brand. The owner is a joy to work with if you want to customize a bag. She doesn’t make a weekender, but I just got a gigantic market tote—no top closure—that would work for a car trip. I also really like Moop Shop canvas bags. The maker does some magic thing so that the bags feel really well balanced and easy to carry, even when I radically overstuff them. Both of these are tiny one-woman shows, with charming Instagram accounts (very different sensibilities). I’m a sucker for a good brand story.


      16 Jun 2022

      A not-so-small Canadian brand that has some incredible weekender bags is Roots! I recently treated myself to one and used it on my first international (woo hoo!) flight in almost three years. Mine is a quilted leather version no longer available on the website but there’s tons of styles and colours in leather and canvas. Most of Roots’ weekender bags are listed as “small” but they’re crazy roomy. The “large” versions I saw IRL could practically double as a sleeping bags.

      I’ve had a few Roots handbags over the years — the workmanship is incredible, and many bags are made in Canada, which is kinda cool!


    Debra Gibson- Welch
    15 Jun 2022

    Please, please do one for laptop bags and backpacks, I have a hard time finding nice options, especially for travel. And it is hard to find a bag or backpack that fits a laptop that is a bit larger too. Thanks for this!


    15 Jun 2022

    I never felt cool enough for this site, but the minute I spied vera Bradley I jumped for joy. Those bags are the best and can hold a ton. Perfect for traveling.


    15 Jun 2022

    I have three different types of Herschel bags (computer bag, “purse,” and fanny pack) and have used them ferociously. All three have stood up to my abuse. The fanny pack (for the last six years) that I wear crossbody style and use as my “dog bag” has been to the beach a zillion times––a dog (not mine) has thrown up on it, a different dog peed on it, it was “lost” in the waves and dropped in the sand repeatedly and also thrown in the bag of the car where two dogs have stepped on it and sat on it repeatedly. It’s also held dog treats that are odiferous at best and still the bag looks only very slightly used. Once washed it does not retain the smells of vomit, urine or beef liver treats (not that any of you are planning to vomit, urinate or store raw beef liver in your weekend bags)––all to say I highly recommend.


      Tahe Z
      15 Jun 2022

      CW, that’s hysterical. I believe you need to copy and paste this review into any site that carries those particular Herschel bags.


    Betsy P
    15 Jun 2022

    Love this post. I have an MZ Wallace camo bag that holds more clothes in than I can carry and I became a Think Rolyn convert a few years back when their handbags appeared in a local store. They are so light and durable AND can be thrown in the washer. The Clare V is amazing and may be my next splurge, although probably a tote I can carry every day. Gotta get that cost per wear down.


    15 Jun 2022

    I’ve been collecting vintage nylon Kipling bags from the 1990s (remember the logo and the monkey key chain?). They were such “a thing” back then, but almost extinct today. They are SO well made and last forever…. AND they are washable. I have various bags for carry-on and weekends, totes for flea market shopping, large cosmetic carry all (that I carry in my large, leather tote that has no closure or pocket), a wallet, and a cross-body bucket bag. The carry-on bags have taken me from Machu Picchu to Tuscany and from Mo’orea to Vancouver! I find them on Poshmark, eBay, or at thrift shops. My largest (and most pricey) carry-on shoulder bag cost me 50 bucks and, like all of the ones I’ve purchased, looks brand new. I love how they look and I especially love the nostalgia of them. I only buy jewel toned or black ones from the 1990’s because, like Coach bags, their items made later don’t appeal to me.

    I just returned from Tuscany last week and while waiting in Paris CDG airport with my Kipling by my side I saw a woman carrying a vintage Kipling shoulder bag also…. and we looked at each other and smiled (I had on a mask but was smiling below – she wore no mask!)….. like we were in a secret sisterhood of two!


    15 Jun 2022

    I’ve never been deeply enamored with Madewell’s bags. But years ago I bought the leather weekender and it is perfect. And has aged SO well. My partner has since stolen it for his own, so I bought the canvas and leather one for myself thinking it would be lighter and thusly, even better. And IT IS! I know they’re hit or miss about carrying the weekender now, but as I just had a friend get this bag on my urging, you can get great ones off Poshmark and that ilk.



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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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