April 12, 2008

A Tribute to Marimekko at H&M





I love anything Marimekko and I love H&M...so I was quite excited when I first heard they would be doing a collaboration. I had this day noted in my daily planner for months and ran over to the 50th & 5th H&M as soon as the clock in my cubicle hit 12:00pm. And I am quite happy to say the collection does not disappoint.

First off, although the store was slightly more crowded than normal I was still able to peacefully browse and there were plenty of small sizes left. I ended up buying the full skirt in the orange/green print and I plan to wear it to a friend's wedding with black peep toe pumps, a black tank top...and a spray tan! I also purchased the flowy black and white blouse that I wore today and I love, love, love it! It looked great with my skinny jeans from Uniqlo and red ballet flats. I stopped by another H&M today on 5th by Union Square but ended up just getting a non-Marimekko pair of jeans. I wil probably try to swing by another flagship later next week. I'm still interested in a large scarf, the funky body suit thing, and I was swooning over the bulky travel bag but wasn't sure if I wanted to drop $69 on it.

More Marimekko H&M coverage:
Racked (great comment)
Fashion Herald
NY Mag
Who What Wear Daily



February 9, 2008

Malinka Backpack from Hayden-Harnett


A few mornings ago it was the same old story, I was crammed onto an over packed 7 train trying to hang on to the handrail, read the New Yorker, and hold my overly heavy handbag in the crook of my elbow. Of course my arm was falling asleep and I could feel a shooting pain in my back that was stooped over from the bag's weight. Finally I decided enough is enough and I need to get a comfy backpack to even out the weight that I have to carry.

As luck would have it I was poking around the sale room at the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie the next day and spotted the Malinka Backpack by Hayden-Harnett sitting in the back of a high shelf. The best part was that it was on sale so of course I took it home with me.

I love the funky geometric print with the red, purple and tan color combination. The bag also has nice touches like "hh" stamped on some of the hardware.

My only complain is the sometimes the straps slide out of the buckle and they fall off my shoulder, but I can probably find a way to fix this. I'm looking forward to less back pain and more comfortable NYC subway rides!



June 17, 2007

JCrew Straw Tote for the summer

061707_straw.jpg So as much as I love, love my Kooba bag from the past winter's sample sale, recently as the temperature here in NYC has begun to creep up I started thinking about a good summer bag. I needed something lightweight and that felt a little beachy.

For a week or so I tried to get away with the Kooba bag by tying a palm leaf print Gucci scarf ($20 at Filene's Basement) around on strap, an idea I read once at Closet Therapy. But the scarf slipped around and I was afraid it would fall off so I was back to square one.

One day while walking by the JCrew at Rockefeller Center I spied the large straw tote in the window. It was just what I was looking for: great big size but still lightweight, striped nautical lining, and nice long leather straps that would make it easy to swing over my shoulder. But at the time the bag was full price and I just couldn't justify the cost. Then, as luck would have it, a few weeks later I noticed the bag on sale online. I printed out the online page, and even though the bag was still marked full price in the store the salesperson honored the sale price and I walked out with a smile.

The bag has been perfect for summer and it is a great size to carry all my crap around the city. I can fit everything I need easil without cramming everything in or without my stuff poking out the top. It also comes in a medium size. My only complaint (if this is one) is that the bag is so wide i have to hold it the long way on my lap in the subway or it takes up space on the seats to the left and right of me.

Of course, now I also have my eye on the Small patchwork madras Amagansett tote...



April 15, 2007

"I'm not a plastic bag"


I always look forward to receiving my WhoeWhatWear emails every weekday morning, especally when they are profiling handbags.

I have to admit, after seeing it around so much, I'm starting to get interested in the "I'm not a plastic bag" by Anya Hindmarch. I have a kitchen cabinet full of plastic bags I have toted home from stores (WHY must they double bag everything?) and would love a reusable, fabric alternative. Especially one that is also used by supermodels.

It will be interesting to see if the bag takes off in the US as much as it has everywhere else. I'm keeping an eye out.

More info from The Bag Snob.

Update: I just read via Fashionista that this bag will also be sold at Whole Foods starting June 20th.



October 28, 2006

Marimekko everywhere


I grew up sleeping on a pair of vintage Marimekko sheets, which is a fact I could only recently appreciate. The sheets had giant flowers in shades of yellow and orange, similar to these but with more orange. So last year when I was shopping at Crate and Barrel for new sheets I instantly gravitated to the Merimekko Kukkula linens in taupe. Similar to my childhood sheets but in a more muted color/botanical print and easy to launder, I've become a huge fan of Marimekko.

So imagine my surprise when flipping through the latest Anthropologie catalog I saw Marimekko bags, especially the Pictograph Tote with a black background and white horses. And there are even more bags at the Marimekko site. My favorites are Maple, and Opaali with blue dots.

Marimekko everywhere!



September 20, 2006

I Need a New Small Bag

092006_oldbag.jpg So while I am still hanging tough with my big commuting bag I am in desperate need for a replacement for my small "running errands" bag. I've had this Old Navy Braided-Cinch purse in khaki green for almost two years now and it has served me well. The perfect size to throw in my cell, wallet, camera and keys it was just the right weight to carry when running to the grocery store or going for a walk in the park. But recently it had gotten pretty tired looking and the braided handle is starting to look a little worn. So I'm shopping for a new small bag, something in a lightweight fabric with a lightweight price.

The leader of the pack so far is the Natural hobo from the Gap. Looks good and small, but full o pockets and with a nice contrast lining. I haven't been able to see this bag in person yet because it hasn't shown up at any NYC Gaps yet, and the Gap customer service is not help at all. (If you see this bag at a NYC-area Gap let me know: thebagblog at gmail.com!)

Banana Re has a nice plaid/suede bag that is worth an in person look. But besides that I am out of ideas.

Let me know if you have a great suggestion for the perfect small bag for me.



August 10, 2006

Gap Canvas Cosmetic Bags

I stopped by the Gap on my way home the other night and was happily surprised to see some good stuff in the women's dept. I am a Gap obsessive, but for the past 4 or so seasons I've been quite disappointed. As far as I'm concerned the Gap started to loose me when they booted the beautiful SJP for some random 19 year old. Around the same time I started my heavy shopping at Old Navy which still to this day never disappoints. For a while I was convinced all the good designers had gone from the Gap to Old Navy but I have no proof of this.

The other night what first caught my eye was the Contrast trim canvas satchel. On closer inspection I'm not crazy about the yellow/tan color though I do like the brown leather trim. Then I happened upon these lovely cosmetic bags in all sort of shapes, sizes and colors. I plan to pick up a couple of these small bags, not for cosmetics, but to keep everything organized in my larger commuting bag.

Now all the Gap needs to do to get back in my good graces is hire SJP back for all ads and give me this leather jacket for free and all will be forgiven!



July 25, 2006

Green Leafy Rootote

072006_leaf_tote.jpgWell even though I promised myself I wouldn't buy another bag while I am semi-unemployed I couldn't resist this bag that I stumbled across in Sweet Charity a store located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. While I was buying it the shopgirl told me it was the last one!

Although I tend to tire easily of totes (not enough pockets, everything falls to the bottom) this bag charmed me with the natural color and leaf prints. As a bonus, when I got home I noticed a sentence in French across the top: Le Bonheur est a ceux qui savent rire. Thanks to the magic of Babelfish I learned this means something close to: Happiness stays with those who laugh.

The bag is called a Rootote by Super Planning Co because of a small zip up side pocket where I keep my four different kinds of lip balm. The three pockets inside are perfect for my wallet, phone and nano. I do wish their was a fifth pocket for my camera, but I guess I can always sew in another pocket if I really need it.

And I noticed when I got home that the style of the leafy print on the canvas tote almost matches my sheets. Now that's coordination.



June 22, 2006

Gap Silk Blend Mustang Clutch


Ever since I moved in with my new roommate Jaime I've been eyeing her navy blue Gap clutch from a few years ago. As clutches go it is pretty basic, but the key is the the print of multi colored mustang horses frolicking across the bag. Its the perfect sized cluth to grab before running out the door on the way to a local bar.

So of course I wanted my own clutch, but I had missed my chance when the bag was in season. I remember seeing them in the store, but at the time all they had left was a teal blue color not the navy blue. So last week I did a search on Ebay and there it was, the exact clutch I had been hoping to find. A few days later it was in my hand and ready to take a spin the next time I go out.

Yay for Ebay! Has Ebay helped you find an out of season/hard to find bag?



June 6, 2006

Cole Haan Large drawstring


I still can't get white bags off my mind especially now that the weather is heating up. This large drawstring bag from Cole Haan is beautiful to look at. I like the nifty little details like the studded hardware, square rivets and steel blue lining. My second favorite color is the terracotta, but the white really stands out.



February 28, 2006

Hello Pretty Little Thing


Just when I think there is nothing new under the sun over at the ol' Gap I see this Gap Corduroy chain bag winking at me from gap.com.

I haven't seen this bag in person yet so who know, but the gumdrop green on the web site looks fantastic. Love, love the chain handle and the studs, as well as the double zipper. Will let you know my in person impression if any of my local Gaps are carrying this pretty little number.



February 25, 2006

My Current Bag: Old navy tote


One my most recent trip to Old Navy I discovered that the Floral Tote looked just as good in person as it did online, and for $16.50 I had to have it. So far it has been an excellent commuting bag.

My previous commuting bag was getting a little old, and it wasn't deep enough to fit my lunch without having to cram it in there. This bag fits everything I need during the day, with a little extra room to stow my hat, gloves, and scarf when I get to work. As predicted the straps are a little too short but the do fit over some of my less bulky jackets.

Plus this is the time of year when Boston gets cold and grey and it seems like winter will never end, and I start to crave anything brght green to cheer me up. Last year it was a Green leather tote from the Gap which I still really like. I am enjoying the "O'Donell Green" of my new Old Navy bag and the pretty flowers remind me that soon it really will be spring.



Hayden-Harnett Spring Bags


The Hayden-Harnett Spring Collection is here. The Alfie Bird bag jumped out at me right away. I like that it is SO different from all the other bags out there, and that goes for shape and fabric. The linen looks especially nice up against the brown or white leather. And I notice there is a nice long zipper pull on the outside of the bag. That kind of attention to details makes me never want to buy a mass produced bag Target bag from China ever again.

The Alfie Bird bag probably would not be the most practical of bags to use for everyday, but it would be perfect for running errands or going out for the evening. Basically anytime where you need a small attention getting bag, but still need to fit your wallet, camera, phone and five different kinds of lip balm (maybe that last part is just me).

But when it comes to the whole HH collection myheart belongs to Ibiza Convertible Flight Tote in olive nylon which I have been stalking online for several months now. It is basically two bags in one so I could use it as an everyday commuting bag or as a carry on when I travel. Pockets everywhere including a padded laptop pocket, two staps so I can wear it different ways, and made out of heavy duty nylon that can stand up to being banged around every day on on the subway.

A possible 30th birthday present to myself? I'm thinking about it.



February 12, 2006

Ann Veronica


As the snow coninues to fall here in Boston I can't help but think of the best way to spend a summer day: eating Maine lobster!

Sadly that is still months away, but in the meantime I can enjoy the Downeast Feast (scroll down) canvas print by Ann Veronica. I also like the Crab & Scallop print, and Toy Boat. The bag styles are all traditional tote bags which are a nice contrast with the bright, unique prints. I like the Marblehead Tote, Monhegan Bag, Casco Bay Bag and the Southwest Harbor Handbag (multiple outside pockets!)

A great way to enjoy summer in Maine all year round.



Old Navy Bags


Old Navy has gotten in a crop of new bags and I'm quite happy with what I see. I like the emphasis on colorful and durable canvas prints which I think works out much better with inexpensive bags then using cheapo faux leather.

A couple weeks ago I picked up a Studded Canvas Tote in white to use as my daily commuting bag. I liked the studs and the very nautical rope handles. Turns out the bag was too big to use everyday, but turned into a handy weekend bag. The new Lucky magazine has a smaller version of this bag, but so far I haven't seen it online or in the store.

I also like the Woman's Floral Tote with the lovely green flowers. The straps looks like they might be too short to fit over my bulky jacket, but I could probably overlook that.

The jury is still out for me for the Crescent bags. I liked the pictures online, but when I saw it in person I thought the handles looked very cheap and the whole bag was so big it looked sloppy. But the pop of the colorful canvas print is nice especially with all the winter blacks that we have been wearing around the northeast recently.

And if your on the lookout for a small hand held bag you can't go wrong with a Ring-Handled bag. I like the green canvas pictured above.



January 5, 2006

White bags of all shapes, sizes and prices

I'v gotten a couple email requests about white bags so I'm going to try to pull up some suggestions all in one post. I always ruled out white bags for myself as too risky since they could get dirty fast. I tend to bang up my bags, so white seemed to be asking for trouble. But not only is white going to be big this spring, but I've also found myself keeping an eye out for winter white this season. So for all seasons, you can't go wrong with white.

* Lucy Leather Tote from Kooba
Fiorucci White Braided Handle Bag
at Target. SImple and sweet, especially the braided detail.
*Kempton small shoulder bag from Banana Republic.
*Coach Hamptons Leather Satchel
*Woven Bucket Bag from Urban Outfitters
*The Montauk Large Hogo from Hayden-Harnett
*Sequined-Strap Bag from Old Navy. Would be fantastic to carry around this spring.
*Dior Flight Leather Shopper seen at Purseuing.
* Mulberry Tassle Phoebe seen at BagCrazy
*Lastly, my favorite of the white bags Shadow play hobo from Anthropologie



Large Nevis Tote


Why can't more bags be designed to be this straight forward and practical? Canvas fabric looks durable and hard wearing, but the metallic details are light and delicate.

What first caught my attention was these big open pockets in the front. Perfect to stash my subway pass, cell phone, lip gloss...all those items I'm usually fumbling around for.

Sadly, it looks like everyone else figured out how great this bag was before me since it is sold out.



December 3, 2005

Bags at Neighborhoodies


I was just thinking the other day how nice it would be to get a new neighborhoodie with thebagblog.com across the chest. Last spring, I got a "slugger" shirt in navy/heather with my other domain saralovering.com, and I figured now was the time to get a matching blag blog shirt.

But you know what would be even better? A customized BAG! It would say thebagblog.com across the side and it would match my new neighborhoodie. I could even wear the two together just to make sure I was getting my point across to everyone.

Have your own URL/nickname/pet name/whatnot that you'd liek to have on a customized bag? Then check out Swinger or Tote Monkey.



December 2, 2005

Harvard Square Urban Outfitters

I know I aged out of their demographic, oh say 5 years ago but I just can't stop shopping at Urban Oufitters. I'd never wear head to toe Urban, but I love to throw in some funky pieces with a regular outfit. You can often find me in the Harvard Square Urban during my lunch break searching for a bargain.

Recently I picked up this cute belt bag from the sale pile. I wanted something that would carry my small camera, some care and some lip gloss yet leave my hands free. I haven't actually had any place to wear the belt bag yet, but my mom wore it to a sushi party and said it was great.

Other recent Urban purchases (not bags):
-Lux Fancy Velvet Trim Blazer. Velvet is everywhere this season, but I didn't think I was ready for a full on velvet blaser. I've lovehaving velvet details, but it isn't overwhelming.
-3 Inch Hammered Hoops in silver. The best to liven up a dull outfit.
-Lux Horse Print Scoop Neck Tee. What is better then a horse shirt?

And what I wanted to buy, but didn't because I kept walking out of them:
Suede Leather Cross Wedge Shoes. And what is still on my mind: Angel Wing Earings (and necklace)



November 16, 2005

Remixed Tano Bag

Remember that beautiful mystery bag I spotted months ago? We were able to find out it was made by Tano and it was just beautiful. I hesitated buying it and still haven't decided if that was a mistake or no.

Well I spotted on Frosting Fashions a new version of this bag, Remix, that is even better then the original. Described as a "Mega-tote" this version is in ginger and bronze colored leather with a purple interior.

Am I being given a second chance with this bag? Is it a sign?

Don't miss the Tano web site for photos of all their beautiful fall bags.



November 15, 2005

New LeSportsac bags


I continue to be impressed by everything being churrned out by the folks over at LeSportsac. I have long been a fan of this company, but everytime I thinkt here is nothing new that can be done with rip stop nylon I find myself happy to be wrong.

The latest is the Winter Remix Collection featuring an amazing electric blue peacock fabric with metallic touches. I especially love the Goa clutch, the Large Studio handbag, and the Drum & Bass tote.

The amazing colors of these bags would be perfect to liven up my typical winter outfit which basically consists of black boots and a long black coat which I then wear for nine months straight. The blue of the bag would really cheer me up during the long dark winter months.



October 9, 2005

Party Bag


I had a rare occasions this weekend to get dressed up all fancy, check out a new restaurant and celebrate my sister's birthday. My outfit consisted of my fancy gold t-strap heels that I never wear, my beloved seven jeans, green blazer from the gap, red pashmina, and a funky black top and earings from Urban Outfitters.

As luck would have it the green from my blazer matched perfectly with the green in the paisley velvet from a bag I bought recently from Macy's. The bag was from Nine West and the closest I can find online are these bags which are the same shape and design but in faux suede instead of velvet. I bought the bag on a whim and a week later I planner to return it to Macy's because I didn't like how deep the bag is and that lack of inside pockets. But I forgot to return it and then it was too late, and then the bag started growing on me again.

I tried to use it one day as an everyday bag and it didn't work out. Its a weird shape and as expected everything fell to the bottom.

But I discovered last night it was perfect as a party bag. I was able to hold all my regular stuff, plus a pair of flat shoes in case the heels became to painful and I could stash my pashmina in there when we were at the bar. It took a little bit of fumbling to get my camera out, but no more then any similar bag. And the dark velvet was perfect for all the dark, jewel tone colors we are seeing everywhere this season. The best part is the cool braided handle, very similar to this one

Once again, it was worth it to give a bag a second look.



My new commuting bag


As I started to look around for a new commuting bag, I returned to the basics. A Kate Spade Nylon Messenger bag. I had to laugh when I decided on that bag since I have wanted one since around 1999 when they first came out (I think) which was when I started working in Boston, and for the first time was exposed to fancy designer bags everyday as I walked down the street.

I started looking for this bag on ebay a few years ago, but it was still too popular and the bids always went higher then I wanted to spend. But now, since the bag is so old and not as popular it was actually easy to find one on ebay. Because I didn't buy it in a store I can't be 100% sure that it is authentic, but it looks pretty good to me. Just to be on the safe side I am going to pop into a Kate Spade store one of these days to compare.

I do wish there were more pockets (why don't bag makers GET this???) and I almost got the diaper bag version since I liked the inside pockets. But I'm able to fit a day's worth of stuff inside including my lunch and a book to read, so the size is just right for me. Plus the nylon cleans up well, and when I got caught in the rain the other day walking home the bag looks just fine once it dried up.

I almost didn't buy this bag because I felt that it was a couple years old, outdated, and I should be a little more "cutting edge" but then I realized that if I liked it since 1999 then chances are I won't get sick of it anytime soon.

You can read reviews about this bag over at ebags.com.



September 22, 2005

LL Bean Bags


Now that I have an hour long commute everyday, instead of my previous commute from the bathroom to the dining room table, I've been keeping an eye out for some good sensible commuting bags.

LL Bean has a good selection of totes, and you can't beat their customer service as we all learned in Marketing 101.

I've found myself quite facinated with the Hunter's Tote Bag, Zip-Top in camouflage, of course. And if a bag can stand up to "waterfowling, dog training or shooting" it can probably handle the MBTA.

My only complaint is that the handles look very short and I couldn't sling the bag over my shoulder.



September 21, 2005

Guest Bag Blogger: Beth from Just My Cup of Tea

I love a Great Bag. Who doesn’t? But my true weakness? I am a total sucker for finding that Great Bag at a fantastic price. And even better? Finding it at a totally unexpected place.

For example:

Friend: I love your bag! Where did you get it?
Me: I From Salvation Army
Friend: I Really? You should tell people you got it from some boutique on the Lower East Side
Me: INo way! It’s cooler because I got it at a thrift store.

Of course you can find a beautiful bag at Prada or Kate Spade or Louis Vuitton – that’s easy-as-pie! But what about Old Navy? Or H&M? Or Goodwill? Are you up to the challenge?

I am. Always.

For me half the fun is the hunt. Finding that perfect something you didn’t know you needed and don’t know how you could have lived without for all these years. And the bonus? The sheer sticker shock you have when you realize you won’t have to rearrange your finances to manage the bag and your rent.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite finds.

Exhibit 1:
This beaut is from H&M. I love everything about it – the size, the color, the shape – and especially the price. $49.99 and 100% real leather. This is the type of bag that pulls together absolutely any outfit. And it has that boho-chic feel I can never resist. I’m certain Sienna Miller would approve. And at this price, I can buy the bag and a copy of US Weekly.

Exhibit 2:
Like a man, a good clutch is hard to find. This one however, was love at first sight. I found it at the Salvation Army in Syracuse, New York and I am not kidding when I tell you it cost $1. I use it all the time. Dressed up. Dressed down. Sometimes I even carry it when I’m not dressed at all. But that’s another article for another time.

Exhibit 3:
This red number is another thrift store find and though I’d be lying if I told you I remember which thrift store I bought it from, I clearly remember the price: $3.99. Yep, you read me. I got this bag for less than it costs to get a grande iced mocha at Starbucks. It’s completely classic and yet modern at the same time. And the color? To die for. A total traffic stopper.

Exhibit 4:
I found this bag when I popped into Old Navy – literally – to kill 5 minutes before meeting friends. I did a quick (and unsuccessful) breeze through the store and on my way out I saw this bag hanging on the wall with a “50% off” sign displayed prominently above it. Before I knew it, I was in a line, debit card in hand. This bag – which cost me $8.94 including tax - reminds me of something you’d see on a sophisticated, yet totally cool urbanite or as part of the perfect mix-and-match outfit. And I have to admit, a major reason I am so madly in love with this bag is its rich purple-pink lining. Of course no one will see that but me, but it’s a little secret I am happy to have.

You can find the author at Just My Cup of Tea.
She likes other things besides bags. Like shoes, magazines, cupcakes, margaritas and boys.



September 20, 2005

New LeSportsSac bag


I love LeSportsac because I have fond memories of the 80's.

I had this great black, messenger-ish bag from LeSportsac that I carried with me everyday for about a year, around 2002. It had lots of pockets for all my junk and had an adjustable strap to I could wear it as a shoulder bag or a messenger.

So what if the only other people I saw with this bag were old ladies in Chinatown? I loved it, and since then I have always been on the look out for the Next Great LeSportsac bag.

I think I may have found it in the LeSportsac City Satchel in Bonnie Black or Totem print. The size looks good, and I love the side pockets. Perfect for my T pass and chapstick. I think the flowers in the Bonnie Black print would cheer me up even in the dead of winter.

By the way, for those of you who in the Boston area, Filene's Basement is a great place to pick up discount LeSportsacs.



Target Slouchy Hobo


Have you read the blog Slave to Target yet? It is by two women who love Target so much they want to marry it! Who doesn't?

Speaking of Target I was there last week picking up some sensible items (a new shower curtain rod and some Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer) and I spotted this lovely boho suede bag in red.

Now I loves me some good boho fashion since I normally gravitate towards anything that looks like it might have been worn walking down Haight-Ashbury, circa 1968. The reason for this (I think) is because when I was 15, and started getting into fashion my first Seventeen magazine had a spread with all hippie clothes. So that style has been permanently stamped on my brain, and has made it hard for me to try out different styles. So I was quite happy to see boho become all the rage this Spring, but I have since been wondering if that is now out of style, but it looks like I can rest easy since I saw this bag in Target.

The suede was nice and slouchy and the bag was a good size with some interior pockets. The only bad thing was the the shoulder strap was extremely fake leather that is noticeable from a mile away. Maybe is you had it over you shoulder and under your arm, however, it wouldn't look as bad.

Better grab yours quickly though since there were only a few left so they must be flying off the shelves.



May 10, 2005

Coach Straw bag


I generally avoid straw bags because I'm afraid they will easily rip and go out of style quickly. But this Straw Tote by Coach looks sturdy enough to last forever. Plus with the lovely green metallic touches it is guaranteed to be in style for quite some time.



March 26, 2005

Laptop Bags Revisted

Sad to say, but I'm having buyer's remorse about the black polka dotted laptop bag I bought recently at Target. Sure it is slick looking and better then a corporate issued black bag, but all it took was one use when flying from Houston to Boston to discover some design flaws.

First off, the bag fits a laptop and thats it. Let me repeat that, it fits the lap top only. There was no place to put my mouse or power cord and I had to wrap them up and jam them in the side which made it nearly impossible to zip up with out ripping the zipper. I can't think of a possible time when I would need a lap topbag but wouldn't also need these items. And the zippered pocket on the side was pretty much useless.

The detachable shoulder strap was the best, and only useful feature. Well, the polka dots were nice too. But besides that I was pretty much just annoyed and frustrated with this bag while making my way into the airport, or when I was commuting into Boston to work. And the whole point of the laptop bag is that it should make them easier and convenient.

So the laptop bag has found a new home. I've given it to my sister who has a slightly smaller laptop that will be a better fit for this bag

But I'm not giving up, in fact I already have my eye on a new laptop bag at Timbuk2 (seen via Purseuing). I like the shape of the bag, it doesn't look like a laptop bag at all. There are a number of vibrant colors to choose from and I'm interested to see the "no-slip shoulder handles". The bag doesn't look too big or too small, and it could also be used as a travel bag or even and everyday bag with or without a laptop. The web site is well designed and even has a button that shows a picture of the inside of the bag.

I've already found the stores nearby that carry Timbuk2 and hope to stop by sometime and see how the bag looks in person.



March 22, 2005

Gap Bag Celebrity Spotting


How great is this?

I was just checking out the photo page of one of my favorite sites, Celebrity Baby Blog, and I spot this photo of Reece Witherspoon walking around town with daught Ava AND a Gap Studded Handle Tote. This is great to see someone who is a millionaire how many times over carrying around a $50 bag. Yay Reece!

PS and Fantastic sunglesses!



March 17, 2005

Last Post about Lucky Magazine

Ok, after this I promise no more from the April issue of Lucky. Two good things that I must share:

The Pink Horse Canvas Bag from Talla. I especially liked this quote from the designer:

"Each print is an original. My fabrics are all hand-blocked and hand-printed, 1 yard at a time. If you look closely at the fabric, the prints are not exactly perfect, which makes it so beautiful."

Now I am all for cheap, mass produced bags and own many of my own, but I also like the idea of unique hand printed fabric and carrying around something 100% original. Especially when it involves this cute and unique horse print. I came really close to ordering this bag, but hesitated since I was afraid the white would get dirty fast.

031705_petit.jpg I had been wondering for awhile what all the hype was about Petit Bateau. I picked up a long sleeve v necked shirt at a big sale recently at the Abejas Boutique and it is quite comfy, a lovely shade of blue-gray and looks like it will hold up well. So I certainly noticed in the April issue that Petit Bateau is now making totes. I couldn't use this as an everyday bag since I need a shoulder stap but I think it would be great for day trips like a picnic or the beach.I couldn't find the bag anywhere on the (hard to navigate) web site, so just keep an eye out if you have a local boutique.



March 12, 2005

A Whole New World...

So for the past 5 years or so I carried around a giant bag with me all the time. This was necessity because I walked to work everyday or took the subway and needed something that would carry a day's worth of stuff like my lunch and reading material. In addition, one of the items that I insisted on carrying with me was a large bulky camera. In fact, I haven't gone anywhere since around 2000 without some version of a camera tucked inside my bag at all times.

I used to gaze at pretty small dainty bags but I knew they were not for me. I needed "big n sturdy" bag to hold all my stuff and that would allow quick access to my camera. Too often "big n sturdy" also meant ugly. The few times I tried leaving the house with a smaller bag I would get so annoyed with everything crammed inside and paranoid that I would somehow knock my wallet onto the ground, that I switched right back to a large bag.

Recently though this all changed, albeit temporarily. While we are in Houston I am working from home which means no commuting bag is needed. Also, I was given a hand me down Canon Powershot S110 camera from my mom the last time I was home. Now with a smaller camera a whole new world of bags has opened up for me.

My first small bag purchase was a Printed Linen Clutch from Old Navy. It was tight fit, but I was able to carry my camera, phone, keys and wallet in this cute little bag. I am not normally a big fan of linen but it give the bag an interesting texture, as does the gathered fabric on the side. Plus even though the bag is so small, it still has a handy inside zippered pocket.

If things go well with the clutch I'll probably invest in a more expensive version, such as Style 102 by Emily or the Diana by by Allison Burns (a similar bag was show in Wonkette's Weeks worth of style.) And if I win big in Vegas, I'll be looking at a Marc Jacobs clutch.

Next up, again from Old Navy, was the Braided-Cinch Purse. Let me tell you, as someone who is NEVER 100% happy with ANY bag, I have to say this is probably the best bag I have bought in ages. (It is right up there with my red Kenneth Cole bag, saldy still stranded at my mom's in Boston because I can never fit it in my luggage when I fly back to Houston.) And it was just $12.50!

The braid detail and silver metal ring is my favorite part. Its a stretch to compare, but the braided handle is a poor man's version of the beautiful handle on the Burberry Cinda bag.

Also, the bag looks even better when it full of stuff, unlike most fabric bags which end up looking strange and lumpy. I bought mine in an olive green, so it feels a little safari-ish to me. The bag looks good being carried from my hand, or it tucks comfortably under my arm and over my shoulder. I can move around with it and lean over without the chance of it swinging off my shoulder. (One time I was sitting on the subway minding my own business when the pocketbook of a woman standing above me swung off he shoulder in an arc and hit me directly in the face-TRUE STORY!)

So I know this small bag gravy train won't last forever. The summer when we are back in Boston I'll have to switch back to a big commuting bag. Plus I have my eye on another bulky camera which will probably need a whole bag of its own. But for now I'm going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the small bags, warm sun and palm trees of the gulf coast.



March 10, 2005

Two Good Things at purseuing.com

I'm getting really addicted to purseuing.com. Below are two good things I saw recently:

After I wrote about laptop bags, reader Anne wrote in looking for an oversized laptop bag for those ginourmous laptops. I was never able to find anything but purseuing.com links to these suede laptop bags which include large sizes.

Next up is the Lucky Beggar Purse, from wishingfish.com, designed after these familiar cups. A portion of the proceeds are donated to a homeless charity. I've already ordered mine!



March 5, 2005

Green Gap Tote


I ran out and got a green Gap leather tote as soon as my friend Jaren mentioned to me that they had gone on sale. At first I wasn't sure if is was a good purchase. There was a little too much yellow in the green, and I am more of a blue green person then a yellow green person. I also tend to avoid bags without a tie or zip on the top since I am afraid of losing stuff. Plus the stap is too small to go over my sholder.

But this bag ended up really growing me. I used it is my "personal item" carry on when I flew home to Boston and I liked that the top was open since I could easily throw stuff into the bag. My mom kept commenting on how she loved the yellow green and how much the color "popped" when held against my long black winter coat. I didn't see what she meant until I saw the picture to the left the I accidentally took in the mirror of my reception venue.

So now I love this bag. The green is perfect for spring and the shape is so classic and simple I should be able to use it all the time.

The totes are no longer online, but I've seen them in the stores at the local Gaps. The pick and black are also nice.



March 2, 2005

A Herve Chelier Bag Near You


Reader Claire writes in looking for Herver Chapelier bags in San Francisco. I can tell from her email that this is an urgent request. TBB understands, once I decided I wanted a Herve Chapelier bag I had to get it RIGHT AWAY.

The Herve Chapelier web site has a directory of all local stores carrying their bags. Although there are many things wrong with this site, bad flash navigation and you can't order bags online, the local directory is quite handy.

I was able to quickly find out what stores in SF carry these lovely, heavy duty and colorful line of bags:

344 Presidio Avenue

2048 Fillmore Street

These two stores have closed.

629A Haight Street

If there are no stores near you Ebay always has lots of HC bags for sale. I have to admit I've thought a bit about buying another one of these bags. But instead now I'm looking at the Longchamp Pliages line for my nylon bag needs.

If a HC is too pricey to you, check out the very similar Two Toned Totes at the Container Store.

[Also: See what happened when I washed my HC bag.]



February 15, 2005

Dr. Livingston, I presume?

Planning a trip to the jungle to search for lions and gazelle? Or just want to look the part? You're in luck since safari themes are big this spring.

The Gap has the new Safari Tote, part of their new Africa collection. I like the leather wrapped handle, but I'm not sure about the wooden ring on the front. I'd have to see that in person, and I learned from a visit to my local Gap today the safari bags haven't arrived just yet. (Or any of the safari collection modeled by SJP.) Gap customer service tells me these items are due the last week of Febrary.

Anthropologie has a Safari Purse. I also haven't seen this bag in person but I like the teal trimmings against the tan canvas.

Now all you need is a safari hat to complete the outfit!

Update: The Bag Chick does a great run down of some of the current bags at the Gap. I am beginning to think that my local Gap here in Houston is a little behind, because several of these bags haven't hit the racks yet. You can bet I'll be swinging by the Gap in Boston when I am home this weekend.



February 14, 2005

Isaac Mizrahi Drop East West Totes


How brilliant is the Isaac Mizrahi line at Target? Up until last week I wasn't really much of a fan. I always saw stuff I liked online, but then when I visited the store everything was a mess and the good stuff was all sold out. But last week, after picking up a laptop bag I swung by the rest of the bags and saw the Drop East West Tote. I couldn't resisting picking up on in Navy/White. I must have still had this bag on my brain, plus I'm a sucker for anything remotely natical.
I won't use this as my every day bag--I need a longer strap that I can throw over my shoulder--but this will be a great bag to take with me to lunch or out as I run errands. It would look great with some sailor pants. And don't miss the clear plastic version, it would be perfect for dodging raindrops.



Good Things at Bluefly


I've yet to order a bag online that I liked when it arrived. I like to use web sites to research bags, then I visit them in person. Coach is a good example of this.

Sometimes though I see some bags that tempt me to place an order.

Hype eggplant leather 'Gossip' handbag is beautiful. I like the organic shape and the metal details. The purple color looks even better then other purple bags I have seen.

Black Pleated Leather Hobo bag by Michelle Frantz. I like the pleats in the front that bring a nice texture to the shape and the bars that suspend the bag straps.

And in the over $150 category here's a super funky striped hobo bag Joanna by Flavio Olivera.



February 6, 2005

Create your own Longchamp Les Pliages Bag


Trouble finding bags with the exact color combination you want? Then the Create your own Les Pliages Bag from Longchamp is for you. You customize everything from bag size, to hardward, to colored strips. I tested it our and created one in ice blue and grape. You can even have your initials stamped on leather flap on the front.

(seen at Coolchiq)



February 5, 2005

Strike two...

...another miss in my quest to find my new carry all bag.

I spied In A Snap II over at the KC Web site and thought it would be perfect. I liked the metal grommets and the tote bag feel, but the best part was the beautiful eggplant muted purple which would make the bag stand out from anything else in my closet. Plus as a Bostonian I tend to wear black all the time and an eggplant purple would be perfect to go along with my head to toe black.

So I checked out the bag at the local KC store and didn't make the purchase. The bag wasn't as wide as I pictured, and I could see I would have trouble fitting all my stuff into the bag neatly. The leather was shinier then it looked on the site and the lovely muted eggplant was much brighter in person. More of a reddish-purple then muted eggplant. Always a good idea to see a bag in person instead of just ordering off the web.

But as luck would have it KC is doing a drive for clothes for the homeless until 2/15. So I dropped off a few old clothes, and now have 20% off coupon to use until mid-Feb. Check it out if you have a local store.

Keep an eye out for the next round of KC bags, etc. Sounds like there is some good stuff on the way:

"...a series of snakeskin boxy bags and slouchy totes in alternating bright and battered hues..."



February 1, 2005

My next bag? Or not.

012605coin.jpgI spotted this green coin purse bag on the Anthropologie site and was instantly smitten. The bag looked big and sturdy and the coin purses made it unique. I was planning on getting a new bag for the spring and this looked like The One. Of course I ran down to the local store to see the bag in person.

Well my local Anthroplogie didn't have the green version, just the red. When I first saw it i was disappointed. The red leather looked too fake and shiny. Plus the leather under the large coinpurse was crackling and buckling. Not a good sign. So I left the store without a new bag.

There's a number of other cute bags at Anthroplogie but my local store doesn't have them and I'm afraid to order with out seeing the bag in person.

Moving on...

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January 23, 2005

Leather Hype Durango Bag

I recently discoved SheFinds and now read the blog everyday. Recently she had posted about a sale over at Bluefly.com and I clicked through to check it out.

I normally and very skittish about buying bags online. I'm so picky that when the bag arrives it never looks exactly the way I pictured it in my head and I am always disapointed. I did see one bag at Bluefly one bag that I have seen in person and can vouch that is is a good one because I can remember looking at one at a store in Boston months ago. And that's the black leather Durango bag by Hype. Love the side pockets and the contast stitching.



January 12, 2005

Wash and Wear Results

I have good news to report from when I washed my Herve Chapelier tote bag. Hooray...the bag came out good a new! Maybe a few wrinkles but nothing some steam or spray wouldn't fix. All I did was toss it in the regular cycle with the darks.

The bottom of my bag was pink, and that is still slightly dirty. I'm sure it would have been fine if I had scrubbed it with detergent before putting it in the wash.

Not only did the bag come out like new, but I ended up trading with my sister for a bag she owned and now my bag is headed for a new life in San Francisco. That's another good bag tip: rotate your collection with friends and relatives so everyone gets a chance!



December 7, 2004

Wash and Wear Herve Chapelier?

I ordered a Herve Chaplier bag in Perle/Tarama last summer off EBay. All in all it was good bag, heavy duty and roomy. I used it for much of the summer and then retired it.

During the past few months I discovered it made an excellent airplane carry on bag. However dragging the light pink/tan bag through multiple airports resulted in a rather grungy bottom. I was able to do some touch ups with soap and a sponge, but it doesn't look new. Until I remembered that the HC's *in theory* can just be tossed in the laundry. Durning the summer I was too nervous to try that with my beautiful bag. But now that its older and not so important I am now willing to try out a washing.
Will report back here later this week with how the washing experiment worked out.

PS Now I'm begining to get the HC bug again. I am thinking maybe the small hanbag 901N, in the nicest brightest colors Ebay has to offer. That wouldn't work for Boston in the winter, but since we will be down in Houston the colors should fit right in with the warm weather.

[Update: Here are the results.]



February 10, 2004

Suede bags

Suede bags seem to be big this season. I see them all over Coach, Banana Republic, Gap and other places. I don't think I like the idea. Suede is to high maintenence for me, gets dirty too quickly and can be ruined by the rain.

Nevertheless, I do like the shape and design of BR's suede zip pocket tote though I would only purchase one if it went way, way on sale.



February 9, 2004

Hold Everything Tote


One recent bag that I have been very happy with is the basic canvas tote from Real Simple.

I discovered this bag on a very bad day of bag shopping. I had gone to a whole bunch of department stores and couldn't find anything I liked. I was hungry and tired and cranky and just wanted to go home, but couldn't stand the idea of having to use my current tired old bag again for another day. So I headed down to the end of Newbury Street to check out the bags at urban outfitters. I thought I had a good shot since I had seen a ton listed on the web site, but when I got there the bags looked cheap and flimsy in person. And the ones on the web site I really liked were nowhere to be found in the store. As I was leaving I just happened to walk by the Hold Everything store next door. There I saw this lovely tote. Perfect, simple easy, pretty, sturdy. I especially loved the color blue, a rich blue with a little purple. And the bag was $29, in my price range.
I used the bag for about a week, and really liked it. I was worried about the open top, but it wasn't a problem. and there were side pockets to instert items i needed quickly. It was a little too big for daily use, but that ended up being an advantage since I could throw everything I there, like my lunch or the LBJ book I was reading.
But I'm not using the bag right now. Why? It was great but the bright blue seemed to spring-like, so I decided to put it away for 2 more months and it will be my official robins egg spring blue bag.
Also in totes:
L.L.Bean has a nice selection of totes. I hadn't really considerered them since I assumed an L.L.Bean bag would be stuffy and dull, but now that I check out this page they have some cute stuff. I esp like the boardwalk market tote and is there anything with more fun potential then an adventure tote! and the classic boat and tote bag is actually pretty decent. I always want some sturdy that will stand the test of time, and i'm sure anything L.L.Bbean would do that.

also tote le monde was in this month's real simple.