A whole host of great everyday bags

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I am super, super-picky about handbags. I like as little hardware as possible and nice, clean shapes, and I can’t bear them when they’re too small. At the same time, I don’t like feeling as though I’m lugging around a feedbag. And usually, when I try to do a post like this, I don’t find too many desirable options, but this time around, I located plenty, starting with this double-handled  zipper tote, which is big enough to fit your entire life, but at the same time isn’t too much.

I always like canvas and leather together, and also think the shape of this bucket bag is really good.

This is not the first time I’ve written about Clare V’s Gosee clutch (I don’t know why they call it a clutch) because I think it is a miraculous bag, which can fit a lot more than it looks like it can.

I don’t need a new bag right now, but I’m having a tough time resisting this Longchamp number, which manages to be both slouchy and elegant at the same time.

The contrasting strap on this bag from Rag & Bone appeals.

This sort of resembles a classic Chloe bag, but is much cheaper.

Here is one that’s on the smaller side compared to many I’ve included here, but is big enough to carry the essentials.

I’m a big fan of Jerome Dreyfuss bags (though they’re pricey, so I pick them up on the Real Real), but if you’re looking to make an investment, you could do a lot worse than this (fun fact: all Jerome Dreyfuss bags come with mini-flashlights, so you never have to rummage around looking for your keys or whatever again).

Here’s a lightweight nylon tote that’d be great for travel.

The size of this drawstring tote from Madewell is just about perfect.

The exterior pockets on this nylon crossbody bag are handy, and lend a utilitarian feel. It’s also pretty well-priced.

 

I know I said I don’t go in for hardware, but I do like it on this bag.

A fun small camo print tote with a cute pop of color; here it is in all black if that’s more your speed.

This leather crossbody bag has kind of a tough girl vibe that appeals.

Here’s a rather spendy Isabel Marant bag in an unexpected—but satisfyingly neutral—color.

Another Longchamp bag that I think is rather excellently sophisticated. The latch fastening is a nice detail too.

From Allsaints: a cool hobo bag that comes in black and army green too, though I’m partial to the grey.

 

 

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28 Thoughts on A whole host of great everyday bags
    Maryn
    18 Jan 2020
    9:49pm

    Another endorsement for the Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir! I travel 1-2x a month, and it performs perfectly for me as a “packed purse” — that is, laid flat inside my carry-on (where it takes up no room) as a smaller alternative to the backpack that carries all my computer-cables-makeup-wallet-glasses-notebooks-recorders-etc. It is secure thanks to the zipper, crossbody unless you are tall (I am 5’5″), lightweight and coolly elegant. I love it.

    Longchamps come up periodically on Gilt.com and Beyond The Rack, at 30-50% off. (Mine came from Gilt I think.)

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    Mamavalveeta03
    15 Jan 2020
    7:09pm

    I’m the first one to poke fun at camo, but I think the ANDI camo bag with coral trim is so cute! Who knew?

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    Viajera
    10 Jan 2020
    12:52pm

    B*ll*cks! The one I like is named after Brooklyn … why, fashion gods, why? (My issue is not with the place or people there, just the whole ____ Idk what to call it…) Would I feel like a cliche when i used it? … Mind you, I *am* a cliche and mostly don’t even notice. … Hmm. … Also how come no one else worries about pickpockets? Have people stopped picking them? Maybe for the new year I will resolve to be carefree. … I actually do need a bag. I want something light and colorful that can take a beating. Many of these are quite cute. Also, the first one is on sale in white. Hmm.

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    Brenda
    10 Jan 2020
    11:07am

    Plug for https://thecassclutch.com/ – I got the Cassie in black for the holidays and I am in love.

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    c.w.
    10 Jan 2020
    11:29am

    The & Other Stories nylon bag would be great for traveling.

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    Doyenne
    10 Jan 2020
    11:49am

    Because I am a crazy bag lady with far too many bags, I am delighted that the gorgeous Rag & Bone and brown leather Madewell cross-body bags have those magnetic closures—those are no-nos for this city dweller who is uber cautious against pick-pockets on the el. (Zippers are a requirement.) Am I sad that I can’t get those lovely bags? You betcha. But my New Year resolution to spend less is feeling smug about my resistance. (Le sigh. Self control is no fun.)

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    Gemma
    10 Jan 2020
    10:26am

    May I also put in a plug for the Fabric Horse everyday tote? It is US made, water resistant, and vegan. I’ve used mine as my main work bag for over three years and I love it so much.

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      Kimbersam
      10 Jan 2020
      3:11pm

      So—just bought the cognac everyday tote from your reccy. Thank you!

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        jenny
        10 Jan 2020
        4:01pm

        I need another bag like I need another ex-husband, but I gasped (in a good way!) when I saw the Fabric horse offerings.

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    Heather
    10 Jan 2020
    10:31am

    I love Jerome Dreyfuss and have quite a collection (thanks, RealReal), but just FYI, the larger bags are quite heavy, relatively speaking. I have a gorgeous python messenger bag from JD that I envisioned being my everyday schlepper but which I don’t end up carrying all that often because of the added weight. Perfectly fine if you commute by car, but if you’re out and about for long stretches, you really feel it!

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      Mamavalveeta03
      15 Jan 2020
      7:43pm

      Weight is a deal-breaker for me with shoulder and neck problems. Thanks for the heads up.

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    Elisa
    10 Jan 2020
    10:39am

    I have the All Saints bag in black, and I love it. My only complaint is that the crossbody strap was too long for my 5’2” frame, so I had to add holes, and the excess strap is a bit long as a result.

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      EW
      10 Jan 2020
      3:09pm

      I have the AllSaints bag also but its perfect for me at 5’10” 😉

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        LisaR
        10 Jan 2020
        5:00pm

        I have it too and love it! Crossbody works great for me (5’8″) and I enjoy it as a shoulder bag as well.

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    Kate
    10 Jan 2020
    3:41pm

    The model’s outfit in the first photo reminds me of some of the spreads on layering I saved from Lucky. 🙂

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    JB
    10 Jan 2020
    10:05am

    Kim and Girls: I am in need of the perfect everyday bag — and while I like some of these, they don’t tick all my boxes. Here’s my checklist: lightweight, durable, waterproof with a zip or closed top, shoulder straps of some kind (crossbody preferred), useful internal and external pockets (enough but too many), large enough for my iPad Pro and daily essentials, some kind of “feet” on the bottom so you can set on floor of restaurant etc., AND it needs to be chic and stylish. MZ Wallace nails a lot of these, but their style just misses for me. Any ideas?

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      Mamavalveeta03
      15 Jan 2020
      7:48pm

      Looks like a lot of us are on the same page! Sounds just about perfect to me. 😊

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      Viajera
      10 Jan 2020
      12:59pm

      No ideas at all but when you find this please share!

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    Kimbersam
    10 Jan 2020
    10:12am

    Trigger Warning/ Rant: Why oh why don’t the e-commerce sites include a photo of EVERY bag w/ a person so one can accurately gauge silhouette/size? (Yes, I know they give the dimensions but I shouldn’t have to work that hard).

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      c.w.
      10 Jan 2020
      11:28am

      I understand the reasoning, Bkman, makes perfect business sense and if I were on the business end of the product I would do exactly that––shoot without an expensive human model, BUT there have been many times I have not ordered bags online because I couldn’t figure out how they would look on my shorter stature. Very frustrating for both parties! 🙂

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        kim
        10 Jan 2020
        5:13pm

        But, they could just put an outline drawing of a person wearing the bag. Or, maybe let you select from different size people outlines to really see how it would fit a human your size/height.

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          Kimberly Samuelson
          11 Jan 2020
          10:36am

          This is a genius idea! You are brilliant!

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      Bkmam
      10 Jan 2020
      10:51am

      Earnest answer: it costs less to shoot only product vs product on model. So many places shoot accessories (and sometimes even clothing!) without a model. I work in retail/ecomm, and I’ve always pushed for a model, or some sort of relative size comparison, but retailers don’t always budget for it.

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        Viajera
        10 Jan 2020
        12:55pm

        Bkmam! Can you get them to stop showing the same item online fifty times just in different colors? I so can’t deal. (Short shopping attention span) Also I hate when I get to the bottom of a page, and then more items appear. I need to know how many there are before I decide what I’m getting into. … Mind you, this all probably says more about me…

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          Bkmam
          13 Jan 2020
          3:47pm

          Viajera, I feel the same. Would prefer one ‘hero’ image with color options, but for ecomm, there are a few reasons why the retailer will show all/multiple color ways separately. Mostly for more opportunities for customers to click through. Retailers want as many ways as possible to capture a customer’s interest. And I too hate the newer system of what I call endless scroll.

          Kimbersam, Yoox does usually show on model, but you have to click through on the item.

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        Kimbersam
        10 Jan 2020
        3:18pm

        Thank you for this! I wonder if there’s a way to calculate the $$ they either lose or have to refund because the size doesn’t work? BTW It also drives me batty when they don’t put clothing on a model. (YOOX, I am stink-eyeing you).

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    Marla
    10 Jan 2020
    8:57am

    I own that Rag & Bone bag and I love it! It’s got unique design details (the snug cell phone slot is a dream), the hardware is matte and the quality is impeccable. The leather is somehow both soft and structured. It’s a bit smaller than I’m used to but holds all I need and is both secure and easy access. The two tone is lovely, this bag is a beauty!

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    Moi
    10 Jan 2020
    10:39pm

    I’m a longtime Longchamp Le Pliage user and can’t say enough good things about the bags. I have one in medium for everyday carry, one in the larger carry-on size that I use for travel. Both in black leather. Can be worn cross-body or over the shoulder, and they fold up into a neat little package for travel. Tough as nails. Still look nearly new after 10+ years. Spendy, but they come up on TRR all the time. One time I made the mistake of forgoing the Longchamp in favor of an open tote on a short trip. Sure enough, the container holding both my prescription sun and distance glasses fell out somewhere on the first leg of the trip. Never again will I carry a bag that doesn’t zip or otherwise securely close.

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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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