I used to swallow UP the editorial pages of magazines that displayed the full range of handbags to coincide with different occasions. Wear this one (large and boxy, with a top handle and shoulder strap) to work! This one (small, hardshell, capable of carrying nothing more or less than a lipstick and some cash) on date night! Wow your girlfriends with this one (usually the wild card, often explicitly branded). They would tout the benefits of having every bag and I would eat the argument up like a hungry person standing over an all-you-can-eat buffet. But once logic kicked in (or maybe this is what happened after I flung it out the door), it became really clear that assigning bags to occasions is futile. It’s like forcing a square peg into a circular mold or, you know, a black tie gown into jury duty. So I stopped wearing bags all together: free-balling like the woman of wonder I have always wanted to be with errant credit cards in various pockets and my cell phone tucked into my ass cheeks.
Just kidding, that was to make sure you were reading. But let me just get to the point, which is that things change and people change and I am not immune to all of this upheaval, so when I tell you that I like bags again — that I’m no longer willing to free-ball, that I, too, want to wear a bag on every different occasion, I want you to believe it. The thing is, I’m not interested in collecting a bedroom full of places-to-store-my-keys. I’m narrowing it down to three bags that I’m sure I can’t go wrong with for the simple reason that I can’t really go right with them either. You know? Let me show you.
Bag 1: The DIY Fanny Pack
This cylindrical whiz comes equipped with long brass straps that I have all but mutilated in order to loop into a rolled up silk scarf to tie around my waist and wear as a fanny pack. In case it is unclear, that is pistachio green and lavender metallic leather that you see — two colors that are impossible to go wrong with. And in case you’re wondering what fits inside the pack, let me just tell you: a pack of gum, a sleeve of crackers, a giant phone, a binder clip full of credit cards and various forms of identification, a tiny notebook that I never use but always say I will to write down my feelings and finally, a pair of gold hoops.
This is exactly the kind of outfit that you wear when you know you don’t have to walk a very long distance.
Bag 2: The Did-I-Do-My-Laundry Purse
And I do mean purse! Imagine the scenario: it’s a brisk fall day that is just warm enough for open toe shoes but cool enough for an over-layer, and you have no clean underwear left in your intimates drawer. You’re thrilled to be wearing feather-festooned pajamas and a trench coat, but eventually you know you’ll have to change (reason tbd), and even though you are already late for whatever it is that you need to do, something about the pajamas are making you feel like a lady of leisure with no concept of time or respect for that of others. You establish that you will walk your underwear to the laundromat, but wait! Where’s your bag? Your newfangled fanny pack doesn’t quite suit your look, so you grab at the pink box decorated with gold and lacquer accents that’s posing with great aplomb on the chair next to your door. You grab it, stuff four pairs underwear and a bunch of quarters into it and then hightail it over to the laundromat.
Incidentally, your errand turns into a photoshoot and you are so glad you decided to wash just four pairs of underwear instead of all of them because no one even knows you’re carrying dirty laundry. Mid-photo you realize you could have just hand-washed them but you know what Nora Ephron’s mom says: everything is copy.
Bag 3: The Show Stopper
You know, for when the best you can muster is a pair of utility green shorts with a linen button down that you may or may not have stolen from a male relative in your life and a t-shirt that is branded by the company for which you work. (Or launched, whatever.) I’m a firm believer that with the right accessories, anything you’re wearing can look pretty awesome which is precisely what I set out to prove with this I’m-running-to-the-deli-to-grab-a-sandwich look. To be clear, I dress like this on most days, but primarily because I very much enjoy the inclusion of one dramatic earring, or a big necklace, or both, especially when they are freckled by good shoes and an even better bag, which would probably say, if it could talk, “HKJSFHDG FHSGSB !!!!!!FUDGFHSB !!!”
Let’s be honest: no one is having more fun than this guy. Look at him!