On… my bag problem

I have a bag problem.

The thing about my bag problem is that it’s the opposite of my lipstick problem.

I have a million lipsticks and, arguably, need none of them.

I have no handbags, and I need one.

I mean, I really do. Enough is enough.

Now, I know most women love handbags, but I don’t. I hate them. They’re heavy and ugly and bulky and annoying and urgh.

So for most of my life, I’ve only used clutches. Sometimes little hard perspex ones. Sometimes big soft grabby ones. For a long, long, long time I used a little yellow patent clutch from H&M that could fit all the essentials of every twenty-something: credit cards, cash, Oyster card (that’s the weekly ticket for the London Underground, for all you non-Londoners), phone, keys, eyeliner, lipgloss, a packet of Marlboro Lights, and a moderate-sized novel.  (I know, seriously, that clutch was fucking magic, it fit EVERYTHING.)

Then I tired of the sluttiness of the shiny patent, and replaced it with yellow neoprene clutch from Joe Fresh. The neoprene clutch was fine. I never really loved it. It got dirty superfast and I had to constantly replace it, but it was about $6, so no biggie. And then I started to wonder if looking like a student with a $6 bag, when I was by now fully grown-up and in my 30s with a husband and baby to prove it, was a bit sad.

So I took the plunge with a real bag, and for the past year I’ve been using this. The Alexander Wang Fumo.


It’s called a wristlet, apparently. Basically a roomy wallet with a little wrist strap.  It has enough room for cash, cards, keys, a lipstick or lip balm, and my Blackberry. I wear it everywhere. When I go to meetings, I carry my laptop and my wristlet. I can take it out to dinner and keep it in my lap so I never have to think about purse-snatchers. If I’m in the playground with Errol, I can secure it to the stroller with this lame-but-brilliant Mommy Hook thing. If I’m on the phone or holding Errol, I can loop it through my wrist. All in all, the Fumo and I have had a very happy 12 months together.

But yesterday I bought an iPhone. (I KNOW. I know. Let’s not get too annoyed at me for being so late to this party, hmm? We can all still have a good time.) And there is just no damn room for an iPhone in the Fumo. So suddenly I’ve got two things to carry. Plus a laptop for meetings. Plus I am a big snacker in pregnancy, you know, and carrying a ziplock bag of Fig Newtons for all the world to see is not cool.

I think I can get away with not having a handbag for a few months yet. It’s coming up to winter, so I can use my coat pockets. Fig Newtons in a coat pocket are just fine.

But then this baby will arrive. (Woo!) I will need something that will carry all my shit and keep my hands free so that if I’m out, and I need to, I can breastfeed (or as they say in New York, slightly primly, ‘nurse’), use the Ergo, manage Errol at the same time, blah blah blah. I need something I can sling across my body so I don’t need to worry about it falling off my wrist or shoulder. If it fits my laptop, so much the better. I need something stylish and grown-up so I can take it to meetings without looking like a mess. But I don’t want something that is huge. Or heavy.

So last night I went online to Topshop, ASOS, Zara, My-Wardrobe, Shopbop, TheOutnet, Net-a-Porter and Barneys. I looked at options from the sublime ($9) to the ridiculous ($3,200). I spent almost an hour looking, and I found nothing. Nothing.

See? I have a bag problem.


Update: bag problem is solved. For now.

I found these at Zara. They are soft squishy pouchy clutches that aren’t too small or too big. They look and – importantly – feel like they should cost way more than $99 (or in the UK £79). They can fit my wallet, iphone, keys and a snack, without looking overstuffed. They have a little strap thing so you can wrap them around your wrist, if you so wish, which I do, and they also have a long strap so you can wear them around your body, if you so wish, which I might one day. And they come in black and nude, which pretty much covers every sartorial eventuality I could ever have. I got one of each.




When I go to meetings I’ll just carry my stupid laptop.

Until I can afford my dream bag from Celine without feeling like I’m evil for spending so much on a dead cow, these will do perfectly.



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2 thoughts on “On… my bag problem

  1. Stephanie

    Can’t help but comment on this because I have the opposite problem (too many bags, not enough lipsticks) but you should check out Coach’s crossbody bags- I loooove them. EG:


    They’re having 25% discount this weekend. I’d be happy to send you the code.

    Also, this:


    P.S. Love your blog xx


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