After college, it occurred to me that I should probably buy a purse. In addition to feeling like that’s what adult women did, I realized that my beat-up knapsack wasn’t going to cut it at my new office job. I had no idea what I wanted, so I just bought a bag that looked like what I’d seen the women around me carrying. It was a long-strap duffle, it was real leather, it seemed to work fine, and I stuck with it for ages.
It wasn’t until I became a regular cell phone user that handbag design began to matter to me. Sure, it’s best to have a bag that lets you access your wallet and keys fairly easily, but when you’ve only got four to five rings to extract a live telephone, that ups the ante. In 2005 I owned an unbearably gorgeous, handmade leather messenger bag that weighs about nine pounds completely empty. I loved it passionately, but it was a pain to haul around and I could never unbuckle the buckles in time to reach my ringing phone. So I searched for and located a lovely bag that had two external pockets with magnetic closures. And I carried it every day for about four years. I figured that, for the vast majority of my waking hours, I was NOT visibly carrying my handbag. I was sitting at a computer or talking with a friend or working out at the gym. My bag needed to be attractive and useful, and one attractive, useful bag would suffice.
Originally posted 2011-11-29 06:17:34.