Bag It Up
I am constantly, and I mean constantly, on the lookout for the perfect all-day, all-around bag. It's become my holy grail. I need something stylish, and that will go with my work wardrobe, but won't look out of place in case I want to use it on the weekends. It has to fit, admittedly, a lot of stuff: sometimes a laptop, or an iPad, my phone, sunglasses, magazines, a notebook or two, pens, and, OK, OK, at least ten tubes of lipstick. Extra points if it fits a lunch and a pair of heels. Or props for a photo shoot. Or...you see where this is going.
It also can't be too heavy.
I know that this is completely unreasonable. Yet, I keep searching for that bag.
Then, Duluth Trading Company—they of the hardy workwear, like longtail Ts and firehose pants marketed for tradesmen—sent me an email yesterday with some serious contenders.
This lifetime leather messenger bag certainly looks big enough. I love that it's the kind of leather that will look better and better the more you use it and beat it up (I tend to be hard on my bags). It will dress down dressier ensembles in that street-fashiony sort of way and dress up more casual outfits. It's got interior pockets and organizers, a padded shoulder strap, reinforced zippers, and it has both the buckle and a magnetic closure. Sounds bombproof and looks gorgeous, no? (And it's available at a great price point—$160.)
A slightly smaller version would be the lifetime leather tote. One thing that immediately puts it in the "win" category for me is that the top actually zips closed. Excellent. Love the side pockets for when you have to stash something on the go, and there's a zip pocket inside. This one's $150. A wonderful price point for quality goods—and a company that's based locally/regionally.
As for the ten tubes of lipstick (or maybe you have some other small, obsessive collection you carry with you)—Duluth Trading also offers lifetime leather pouches that you can slip inside your bag to stay organized. (They've got other great travel and oilcloth totes at a lower price point, and without leather, if that floats your boat.)
You guys. Could this be it? True love? A functional and fashionable marriage between me and a bag that can really get me everywhere? I kind of want both.