First world problems: new purse


Key caribiner, phone pocket (modified), double strap pretending to be single.

Are you fussy about your purse? Does it have to be exactly so big? Have at least five pockets? No pockets? One strap or two? Plain black or color? Bling or no bling? Leather or microfiber? And the phone pocket?

It’s that time again. My resale shop Liz Claiborne pocketbook-sized purse has died. I can now:

o go to all the stores and look for a new purse meeting my exacting requirements
o try the resale shops again
o look in my closet at previous purchases and see if any of them pass

I can’t show you the Liz purse that broke—it was buried swiftly and ceremonially so I couldn’t cry over it. All flesh is grass, and that goes double for purses. But the wonderful thing that bag did for me was teach me that I can fit everything I need into a smaller purse.


Two zipper pockets inside, one outside.

Some women can get by with a clutch that holds a credit card, a lipstick, and their keys. Is this you? I envy you.

Earlier bags I have carried: a camera bag that could carry a cocker spaniel; a leather backpack that could hold a tennis racket; a lawyer-style leather briefcase stuffed to bursting; a long series of conventional top-loader grandma purses with eight compartments.

Then I fell in love with the Liz. It was too small. But I really, really liked that purse. I was motivated to eliminate about eighteen ounces of stuff. Voila! A purse I could carry without a forklift! I could have danced all night!

But now it is broken.

Let’s look in the closet.

The top flap has a zip pocket! It’s floppy if I put too much into it. Liz has taught me to leave all that stuff at home.

I rejected this baby before because it was too small. However, post-Liz, I can totally deal. It has three zipper compartments, three outer flat pockets, two inner “where is it?” pockets (so called because I dig around in them muttering where is it?), two pen loops, a calculator holster, and a phone pocket which was of course too big for my phone. Solution visible in this picture—I folded up some red felt until it made the pocket small enough that the phone won’t slide out when I bend over. Note that the key caribiner is hooked to a nice stout metal ring. It’s microfiber, which is great because my purses come in contact with many substances that stain or eat leather.

Flaws: It’s a little floppy. Also, the strap is not a single loop; it’s doubled. That has actually proved an advantage when I want to sling it across my chest instead of over my shoulder.

All in all, though, it’s a fine bag.

Of course it is years out of fashion, which means I’ll never find another just like it. This is what we women put up with. Along with bras and the blue jeans that fit, decent walking shoes, and a lipstick that doesn’t make us break out or look like Bozo the Clown, a good purse is always a unique find. Treasure it. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

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First world problems: new purse — 4 Comments

  1. Over the last ten years or so, I discovered Baggalini. I am still not through loving my Baggalinis, even if I do have to toss them when the nylon becomes dirty enough to notice. I also found I can’t carry most leather bags because with the stuff in them, the leather is too heavy for my shoulder. I only carry cross body bags, and yes, I need pockets. The Baggalini, in all forms, has LOTS of pockets.

  2. If you know precisely the brand and model of your old bag, go over to Ebay and put those terms into the search window. See if an exact replacement pops up there. No harm to look right?

  3. I am horribly fussy about what I carry for a bag when I carry one (usually just to work and back). My partner got me this super awesome if oddly shaped handmade bag from etsy. At first I thought it was too small, despite how much I loved it. Then I thought about what I actually use out of what I carry, and I’ve converted over and been using it for over a year.

  4. Deborah … Baggalini…taking notes…

    Jeez, Brenda, way to take the mystery and adventure out of purse shopping. I may just do that.

    Yvette, YES fussy!