Monday, May 24, 2010

Make Believe Monday | Black bag

This may seem like a no-brainer but has been one of the hardest to fulfill items on my wishlist for some time now: a day-to-day use black purse.  Yup.  You heard it.  Little Miss New Professional does not have a black handbag for daily use.  I have black clutches, I have black laptop totes, but nothing for the normal workday.  Generally, I like color better for handbags (the two I go back and forth between are a honey-caramel mini duffel and a red shoulder bag), but I would love to have the option of carrying a black bag when I feel like it. 

I have a few requirements for my purse:
  • Zipper.  Call it paranoia but I can't stand letting others have easy access to the contents of my purse (ironically the purse I carried throughout NYC as a grad student did not have a zipper on it).
  • Medium to medium-large in size. My must haves: wallet (large), camera (point-and-shoot, umbrella (until summer finally hits), sunglasses, keys, phone, chapstick, plenty of pens, bobby pins, and hair ties.
  • Over-the-shoulder.  I like to keep my hands free.
  • Outside zipped pockets.  For my chapstick and cell phone.  Again, somewhat paranoid. 
  • Leather or leather-like, non-patent.  Just a personal preference.
  • Work appropriate.  Most likely a satchel or tote.  Hobos that are too slouchy or totes that are too large can look casual and unprofessional.
  • No monogram, label, or tag denoting maker.  Details like zippers and studs are fine.

There are a few reasons I haven't yet taken the plunge to just buy a black purse.  I haven't found one that I like in my price range, and I am wary of shopping online (especially if it's a synthetic bag...they run the gamut like crazy). 

Some bags I'm mulling over (most of which are out of my desired price range, but someday I may just have to cave). 

This back has a great shape and nice stitch detailing.  At 13" x 10" x 5", it can also fit a folder or notebook for a meeting, too.  The metal tag looks removable (a plus).

A similar style, and very much like the bag I already carry.  Old habits die hard, but they don't let me down, either.

This bag also comes in black, but the photo wasn't loading well.  I love the shape of this bag, and the footed detail.  It's faux-patent, though, and I'm not a big fan of shiny.  Otherwise this would be great.

This one is my fave, but wayyy out of budget.  This "mini-bag" is a full 8" x 12.5" x 6.5"...I'm a little scared of what the regular size one looks like!  I love this bag because you know I love studs.  But the structured shape and muted color make this bag the perfect piece of flair for a toned-down professional outfit.  Plus it transitions well to night and weekends.

I mentioned too-slouchy hobos as too casual for the office, but this gem is a great example of a hobo with office-appropriate structure.  It would be a great bag for business travel...stash some reading, a sweater, and some snacks for the plane. 

So now that I found some suitable options, it's time to find them in store to cop a feel (and start saving for my fave, the studded bag). 

What color/shape bag do you carry to work?  Do you buy bags online?


  1. About a year and half ago I invested in my perfect black leather bag from coach. While it was out of my everyday price range it was definitely worth it! For about $275 I got a bag that is both casual and structured, durable, classic, and can be worn all seasons. I would definitely recommend you think about uping your black bag budget a little to open up to better quality and maybe your dream bag

  2. i've been looking for a white leather purse for ages and ages!! and i haven't bought one for the same reasons as you.

  3. @Alicia I agree...I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to comprising like that. I definitely still want to wait until I find a style I totally fall in love with. The $500+ price tags (from the Rebecca Minkoffs above) are still a bit much...but maybe in the $100-$250 range I might be able to do (eventually).

    @Step Good to know I'm not the only one with purse-shopping challenges! White leather is also hard to find...something about the color being such a blank canvas makes all the potential flaws really stand out (in my opinion).

  4. oh man, i'm having the same problems. i want a nice black bag too, but the ones i want are out of my budget as well! booooooo. you should address the problem of sloppy shoulders (such as mine) where shoulder bags just sliiiiiide right off.

  5. @T--Have you found a solution to sloped shoulders? I'm thinking cross-body or satchel bags (that you'd hand-carry or hang from the crook of your arm), but if you've found any that work or any tips I'd be glad to post them! I'm not too familiar with the problem, though, so it's hard for me to come up with the solution.

  6. rolling briefcase


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