How do you schlep everything around while looking cute and not hurting your back? Carry everything in one bag, or more than one bag? Are backpacks terminally unstylish? I mean, once you add laptop, lunch, and book to the normal keys, wallet, phone, makeup, etc, you’ve got quite a haul. What do you do with this, especially if you’re smaller of stature or also need to shop, carry a child, etc.?
A fine, fine question and a tough one to answer succinctly. Especially as we all have different daily tasks, and different stuff that needs schlepping. But here’s how I manage my load:
I keep my wallet, keys, phone, sunglasses, business card holder, and makeup bag in my purse. I gravitate toward larger handbags, so I could slip a bottle of water or a novel in there … but I don’t. I reserve my purse for my daily personal essentials. Since your purse is the bag you’re most likely to take just about everywhere, try to cull its contents. No need to drag a can of Sprite and your Kindle and a hair dryer and a spare pair of wellies in there, ya know?
A cute lunchbag is a sound environmental choice and also aids in stylish schlepping. Mine is a solid red one, similar to the one shown above, by a company called Built. It’s flexible, washable, and helps keep my food a wee bit colder than a paper bag. On days when I have nothing additional to carry, I can waltz into the office with just my purse and my lunchbag and feel fabulously chic.
I bought this monster black tote five years ago, and it gets a ridiculous amount of use. (It hails from Amazon and is no longer available, but similar styles are everywhere.) Pretty much any time I need to bring anything non-lunchy with me, it goes in here. I use it to carry my work shoes when it’s too snowy out to wear them, the cylinder of oatmeal I keep in my cube for late breakfasts, and just about anything else that requires schlepping. My lunch goes inside this bag whenever it gets carried, so I’ve got a maximum of two bags to carry at any given time.
There are far more stylish and elegant solutions than this baby, but I love it because it’s big, it’s black, and I can beat the crap out of it without worrying. If something spills in it or on it, I won’t shed a single tear. And although it’s utilitarian, it’s simple and sleek enough to suit my taste.
Now, as for the question of backpacks and coolness, I’ve seen several modern, chic backpacks that I think could sub for either the Purse of the Everything Else bag. I own this red one from The Leather Store, and it’s roomy, sturdy, and stylish. Lugging loads of heavy crap around with you, day in and day out, WILL take its toll on your back, joints, and muscles, so if you’ve got a helluva load to bear, consider seeking a stylish backpack.
The top image in this post is of my Diaz Bags satchel which, believe it or not, is also a laptop case AND a backpack. You can remove the shoulder strap, slip it through a system of rings, and make it into a rucksack in under a minute. Something to think about for you mondo-multitaskers …
Now I realize that I don’t have a laptop or a baby, so I can’t really speak to those two needs. Those of you who carry your computer or who have portable offspring, what’s your system of schlep? Do you carry more than two bags? Do you consolidate your purse contents with those of a diaper- or laptop-bag?
And I’d love to know just generally: How do you schlep stylishly? What’s your system?
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