Much as I love my Alexander Wang Emile tote (not only is it’s a beautifully constructed “forever” bag, it’s also big enough to hold an iPad, a folder of headshots, and a stash of makeup and overnight things = i.e., “pragmatic” on the most fundamental level to my wardrobe-schlepping, walk-of-shame-making, Carrie-Bradshaw-by-way-of-Baba-Yaga -gypsy lifestyle; I don’t choose these things, they choose me), I am beginning to see the value in occasionally sizing down.
I don’t own a lot of bags – in fact, until I got the Wang I pretty much carried the same bag for well over a decade (an ancient Coach that I bummed off my Grandma in high school) – though living in a city where “schlepping” is such an integral part of the lifestyle has piqued my interest in exploring my portable options. In New York, the goal is to attain the most elegant ratio of volume to convenience:
H = (BV)²/P
Where H = Ideal Handbag, B = Beauty, V = Total Volume & Capacity (including pockets), and P = Pain-in-the-Ass to Haul Around. (A good cross-strap never hurts, either; any lass who’s developed a case of tennis elbow from her over-stuffed “lady bag” knows this detail reaches far beyond the realm of mere trendiness and modernity).
“Miniature” purses just don’t cut it, unless of course you’re going to the club and checking your real handbag at the door. Until we have access to Timelord technology (in which case we would multiply the above quadratic equation by the speed of light in a vacuum and divide the whole thing by zero), I personally am limited to handbags that are large enough to accommodate actual things and possessions.
Browsing Topshop one hungover Sunday afternoon, I stumbled upon the seemingly perfect mid-sized solution.
It’s roomy yet compact, lightweight yet seemingly robust. It has lots of pockets and that all-important cross-strap, and – turned out in studded white leather – feels absolutely current and fresh as a daisy for the summertime. (As black is my usual go-to, I’ve been in the market for a few lighter options.) Plus, at $136, it comes at a great price point.
“I love this bag,” comments the girl behind the register at Topshop, fresh as a daisy herself in white denim and purring Eastern Bloc accent. “It’s a real best-seller in all the colors.” (A brief perusal of the Topshop website reveals the bag is indeed available in an array of ballet neutrals, including black and buff pink. I like the white, though; it might require some diligence to keep clean, but I feel the white makes the studs more elegant.)
A word to the wise, however: my friend at Topshop tells me that the leather doesn’t come pre-treated, so be sure to spray it down with some kind of protectant or repellant before you wear.
Et voila: style and convenience, and (for me) a transcendent new wavelength on the visible spectrum. After all: “beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” Light, Love, and Happy Midsummer, my friends!