One handbag is all you need
Handbags puzzle me. When I was younger I had just one backpack. I used it for school. I sometimes used the same bag when I went to dance classes. When I had classes straight after school and travelled to the dance studio, I just had my bag.
Messenger bags slowly became a thing, and at the time I had that ‘rock chick’ style. I collected a lot of badges/pins, and people often pinned badges on the straps of their messenger bags. My strap was really flimsy so I pinned them on the front of my bag instead. It got insane. My bag was absolutely covered in badges.
After messenger bags, handbags became trendy. Girls in high school would carry a shoulder bag or a tote bag, then carry their books in a folder. I had a favourite shiny silver handbag, but it got thrown around a lot and because I had to put it on the floor (damn it I hate putting my bag on the floor), the bottom of it wore out eventually.
Throughout university I carried a messenger bag, but my laptop was insanely heavy that I ended up getting a backpack instead.
Of all the bags I used, one thing was common: I loved the bags that I used for a while and used until they fell apart.
You only use one bag at once
I know a lot of girls and a lot of women love handbags and may even get addicted to buying them. I was like that at some stage. I’ve never been a ‘girly girl’, but after some time I realised I had handbags lying around that hardly got any use. I had spent money on them because they were nice, and I imagined I would use the bags, when in reality I didn’t use them as much as I had imagined.
One thing that stopped me from buying handbags was that I clearly only use one bag at once. I don’t like carrying several bags (who does?), and like to be able to fit everything I need daily in one bag. So when thinking about a bag I wanted, I thought about this as part of the criteria.
Tip: Pick a bag you will want to use regularly.
A bag is a utility
I am not sure why girls feel the need to fit their life in their bag. I don’t wear makeup, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you don’t need to carry three lipsticks and your whole makeup bag. Just take what you need to touch up, right?
If you are in a rush and you don’t have time to do your makeup so you’re going to do it on the bus (I don’t understand why people do this because it’s not very clean) or at work in the bathroom, then that’s another issue altogether.
Some girls carry water bottles and want to carry their laptops and maybe even another pair of shoes.
I don’t always carry a water bottle, or my laptop, and I rarely ever carry another pair of shoes. Because I don’t take these often, ‘huge bag’ wasn’t on my list. A medium sized one would be fine. Carrying a laptop separately, in a more protective bag designed for that purpose, would be better than trying to shove it into a perfectly nice handbag.
Worst case, a plastic bag for a pair of shoes, or buying a water bottle, would also be alright.
Tip: Opt for a well-sized bag that fits all your essentials, and maybe a tiny bit extra, but don’t go overboard.
Don’t get too sucked into designer brands
I remember writing in a comment to Pauline, after she bought a designer handbag, that spending a lot of money on a good quality (designer, if you like) handbag was completely OK, if you use the handbag regularly and make it worth its money. Yes, the prices of these things are often inflated because of the brand, but anyone willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a bag should be willing to make it worth its money.
For a long time I honestly couldn’t justify spending a few hundred dollars on a handbag. :/ I just thought about all the other things I could buy with a hundred dollars and then didn’t really care. For a while, I went handbag-less, and just stuck to cheap totes, or putting my things in my pockets. If I wasn’t able to fit it in my pockets, then I obviously was going to do without it.
Tip: Feel free to spend, but spend for quality and make sure you’re not buying the product just for the brand.
Fashion and style matter – to some extent
We all want a handbag for every purpose, but back to the point I made earlier: a bag is a utility. You want to carry things in it, and carrying something heavy on your shoulder for a long period of time can be inconvenient and can be bad for your arm or back.
When I decided to spend a fair bit of money on a good handbag, I eventually settled on one from Fossil. I chose the colour black because most of my wardrobe is black or neutral coloured, and black would go well with it all. You might choose a bright blue handbag because it’s your favourite colour or you just love having a pop of colour in your outfit. You might choose beige because your signature look is beige pants.
Tip: Pick a versatile bag in a colour you love.
Different occasions call for different bags
You might be thinking, ‘I can’t live with one handbag’. I know what you’re thinking – maybe you want a handbag for a night out, and you need a clutch. You’re going to the library and you really want some kind of tote bag.
Go back and read over the points I’ve made again.
You want a clutch to take to the bar? Make sure it fits only the things you need. Don’t spend a lot on a bag that will fall apart after a few uses. Make sure it’s versatile and that you can take it every time you want to go to a bar or a nightclub. Make it the clutch for you.
You want a tote bag to carry larger items or to take a festival? Make sure it fits only the things you need. Don’t spend a lot on a bag that will fall apart after a few uses. Make sure it’s versatile and that you can take it every time you want to a festival. Make it the tote bag for you.
Just because I’ve encouraged buying less handbags, doesn’t mean you really have to stick with literally one. Grab one of each type, but only if you need them. And I suggest buying a versatile piece that will go with what you like to wear.
Tip: Think of ways you can slim down on the number of bags you have. The less bags you own, the more love each of them will get, the more value you will get out of using them, and the less you spend on bags that you don’t use often. :)