My Five Essential Bags

Upon landing my job last year I purchased my first quality handbag, and ever since I’ve forsaken my past purse pick-ups (say that three times fast) from H&M/Forever 21/etc. In efforts to not go bag-lady crazy, I’ve compiled a list (what’s new) of bags that I think are essential. The necessity of each item may vary for others, but these are the ones I couldn’t live without*.

Structured Satchel

MK_SelmaMy pick: Michael Kors Large Selma Top-Zip Satchel (Luggage)

This is the bag I use the most. I goes with me to work, and will most likely follow me on the weekends if I’m too lazy to switch out to another bag. It carries literally everything: my phone, wallet, keys, Kindle, chargers, lunch, non-existent iPad mini that’s a figment of my imagination, make-up, emergency items, a small puppy, etc. When I started hunting for the perfect work satchel I kept several things in mind: structure, color, durability. I like a sturdy structured bag for work so I don’t have to worry about it losing shape as I fill it. I kept the color neutral so it will go with anything and the Saffiano leather on this baby is virtually indestructible against my clumsy self.

Casual Satchel

DB_FlorentineMy pick: Dooney & Bourke Florentine Small Satchel (Black)

This bag is great for more casual outings, but occasionally I’ll bring it into work. It’s roomy enough to hold a majority of my essentials, but unlike my Selma, if I stuff this, the shape of the handbag suffers. For what I intended to be my more casual bag, I find I’m most careful with this one. It’s made of super supple Florentine leather and therefore extremely prone to scratches. But I love the relaxed look of it and the sturdy hardware. If I can manage to take good care of her, I think this bag will last me a while.

Bright, Vibrant Crossbody

RM_AveryMy pick: Rebecca Minkoff Avery Crossbody (Wintermint) | Similar

The crossbody bag is a must-have for me because it means being hands-free. If I’m running errands or going shopping I’ll grab my crossbody. While I tend to gravitate toward neutrals for most of my bags, for this pick I chose a light, pretty mint shade. Its color and trendy hardware often stands out against my more casual weekend outfits.

Functional Tote

VC_LeilaMy pick: Vince Camuto Leila Tote (Nude/Nude Glossy Snake)

Alright, I do not own this yet. But I can see myself using it a lot on days I’m lugging around my laptop and/or my life. Initially I narrowed my search to no prints and strictly neutrals, but once I saw the design of this Vince Camuto, I fell in love. It’s trendy, but not so much that it will fall out of style in a year.


My picks (clockwise, starting top left): Baggu Duffel Bag (Sailor Stripe), Sole Society Lacie (Brown), Everlane Twill Weekender (Grey/Navy Stripe), Cuyana Canvas and Leather Weekender Bag (Charcoal)

For me, a weekender is not as necessary as the first four bags, but I still like having one for those few times I need it. I currently own a relatively small one from H&M, but I’m looking to replace it soon. Durability is the most important feature with this bag. It has to withstand being squished in the overhead bin or tossed into the trunk; a size suitable to carry enough for a short weekend trip is perfect for me.




My pick: Herschel Supply Co. Heritage Backpack (Khaki) | Similar

I love my backpack. Since I don’t own that ever so coveted tote yet, this has been the bag I use when I bring my laptop to work. It’s funny because I purchased this after graduating from college. A few friends even made fun of me for it. But jokes on them because I’ve found it to be extremely useful for everything from overnight visits to amusement parks. It got me through a week of adventuring around Disney World in 2013. If you often find yourself with a large load to carry and don’t want to strain your back then buy a backpack.

So what are your essential bags? Did I miss any you think are vital? And do you have a dream handbag you’d love to own one day?

* Okay, I’d be able to live. But I’d live a sad life where I would have to carry around everything in my arms. Or a plastic bag.


3 thoughts on “My Five Essential Bags

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