Alternative to NAS Bag

So, I just saw this at J. Crew. Has anyone seen it in person? The price is a bit less than the sale price in CAD for the Minkoff and it might serve my needs better. 


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  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Haven't seen it Suz, but be careful of too narrow straps on totes. They cause pressure and hurt when bags are heavy. 

  • gradfashionista replied 4 years ago

    Hmm. If the straps aren't rounded, and are flat, then I agree with Angie, and think that the second bag might be more comfortable to lug around than the first. It also easier to squish between your arm and torso when you need to have a bit of weight off your shoulder. The J. Crew bag is lovely bag, though, so either way, you have great options.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Hmm. I feel like I need to see it in person. I wonder if they have it up at the Ottawa j. Crew. Am thinking of a short road trip -- I could bring my Minkoff to either keep or return, depending...

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    'If it ain't broken, don't fix it' is what folks say, and as such the JCrew tote would likely work for you. However it is more of the 'same old'. Though I didn't post in either of your original bag posts, I will say now that I liked the look of the Minkoff bag in the unstuffed/personal stuff iteration. I like the colour A LOT, and the lack of hard edges.

    And, just to declare myself, I am fancying a similar bag in wine coloured leather but slightly smaller. Mine does not need to fit a laptop.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    I know, Carla. Same old same old can be boring, which I think is why I wanted to try the hobo -- but it may be a pain in the butt for me. Of course I could also buy one of those bag organizer thingies for it and see if that makes me happy, too.

    Hmmm. The leather is truly lovely. And it's light for what it is. 

  • jill58 replied 4 years ago

    I love the Minkoff bag but I understand your reservations. Maybe having that much bag right under your arm seems to much. I agree with Angie that the narrow straps on the J. Crew bag could be a problem--still it's worth taking a look. I've always meant to buy a bag organizer to see if it would keep my large hobo from seeming like a black hole. Given the generous returns policy at Nordstrom you would have time to order one and try it out. I do think a large hobo can be a great thing--I know that mine is my go-to bag--it's the one I carry the most and it's wonderful when I really need to carry a lot of stuff. When it's not so full it has a pleasant slouchy quality.

    Just noticed this Fossil Sydney shopper which zips and could be an alternative but again, the straps might not be as sturdy.

  • cjh replied 4 years ago

    My biggest tote bag has narrow straps like that and that's not a problem or uncomfortable to me. I did have a tote made almost like the Minkoff that I ditched after a few uses because the strap, though wide, was as stiff as metal and actually hurt my shoulder. I also didn't like the bag being so close to my armpit - that was even worse with a heavy coat on.

    You maybe aren't in love with the Minkoff, since you looked around for other options?

    Are these easy (free) returns? If so, you probably should order both and then choose.

  • Zibbets replied 4 years ago

    I like both, but the way the straps are set on the JCrew bag might make it harder to wear on your shoulder than the Minkoff one. Would you carry it that way? 

  • Greenjeans replied 4 years ago

    I don't know, the Minkoff is pretty great on you.  The J Crew isn't going to nestle under your shoulder the same way.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Not sure on the jcrew bag - US reviews were mixed on their site.

    I shopped a lot for this color too - I ended up with a smaller KS handbag as I don't need to carry a laptop, but I did see these other two that could possibly be of interest to you.

    I can vouch for the quality of Briggs & Riley and Lodis has a lot of options in this color.

  • Greenjeans replied 4 years ago

    FWIW, my all time favorite bag was a vintage cloth purse with a metal clasp that nestled under my shoulder just-so.  I wore it to pieces and have yet to find something I like as much comfort-wise.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Bags are so so personal. It really helps to try them on, doesn't it. Online doesn't really cut it. I still haven't tried out the Minkoff at home, but i have a feeling I'm more comfortable with more structure -- the opposite to many. I can easily return the Minkoff -- that part is not a problem. 

    J. Crew delivery and returns are unfortunately costly for me. 

    Tex, I like your options there. 6pm is not available to us in Canada, alas. (They won't even take our credit cards). 

    Amazon is more likely -- will check that one out. 

    I really like the bag you ended up with!

  • Roxanna replied 4 years ago

    I think it's entirely a personal and comfort decision. For me, wearign a bag like the Minkoff with a wide strap so close of my shoulder would drive me nuts, as I know it would keep slipping off my nylon parka and I would need another hand to hold it in place as I walked. Now if you are using it mostly while you travel by car, it's perfectly fine (though size is still an issue I think.) I personally like tote bags with wider shoulder drops as I find them more convenient (but as you heard from my other post - even I am getting sick of same old!)

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    Lodis is a big brand and is likely available at several other retailers.

  • replied 4 years ago

    I like how the JCrew one looks to be the right shape for square, hard items. If I were a student, I think I would prefer the JCrew one to the hobo. It seems functionally superior and would stay organized better.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks for all these opinions and thoughts -- it's really helpful to me. 

    I have been trying out the Minkoff and still wavering. One minute I think -- gah, this lack of structure is going to make me mad!!! -- and the next minute I really like it.

    For example, if I take my computer out and only have a few items in the bag, it just kind of nicely folds into itself and doesn't insist on itself. It's lightweight and for me easy to hold. The shoulder drop that bothers others is perhaps just right for me because I always carry a bag on my shoulder with one hand hitched into it to balance it. Always. I switch shoulders every now and again for comfort or convenience. I do the same with totes and actually can be bothered by long straps because either they fall off my shoulders or the bag bumps my hip as a walk. I guess I'm short waisted so the drop doesn't feel too short for me. 

    Hmmm. I might just keep this Minkoff as a change and see how it goes. What is the worst that can happen? I decide after a little time it's not for me and offer it up on the style exchange to another Fabber. 

  • Tina replied 4 years ago

    I think trying it out is a good idea! That colour is so gorgeous and so perfect with your colour palette. When it comes to larger bags that should hold a lot, that need to be 'toted', it comes down to personal preference. Your pros are other people's cons. It's bound to be that way because hauling around stuff can get heavy and awkward and there are various factors that play in to what works for us. Outerwear, how we stride, distance covered when out and about, how often do we need access while we commute and so on. This bag looks good on your shoulder and I hear you on a longer bag bumping your hip as you walk- annoying. I just spent the past month in the city walking pretty much every week day (to and from radiation treatments, so I was schlepping stuff but no lap top) and I quickly discovered that a walking friendly bag was a must. Also, I am a fast walker, as you are, and I really think that makes a difference too.

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    The fact you are still wavering means you find the bag appealing. Why not go with your instincts in this situation? You look happy with that bag slung over your shoulder and that counts for a lot in my books!

  • jill58 replied 4 years ago

    Think about how you would feel if you returned it. Would it make you sad? I once bought a bag twice from Nordstrom Rack. I bought it online--returned it to the store--and then when I regretted the return, went back to the Rack several days later and found it--the exact bag! Kind of crazy.

    In any case, I think the Minkoff bag looks great on you and would be a great bag to have--it doesn't have to be the one and only bag you ever own, but I do think it would have a place and I also think it would be a great addition to your wardrobe.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Gaylene. It does remind me of a certain "bag of my youth" and I think that's part of its appeal. I did a little math on it also and realized that the CPW would be about $1 by the end of one season, which is pretty reasonable. I really want one of those m0581 bags, but I also want to feel and try one before I buy, and this is not a possibility until I can get to a city. 

    Tina, radiation treatments....I hope you are okay? I will be thinking of you. 

    And yes, that is it -- the bag that works for heavy walking isn't necessarily the bag that works best on the bus or at the office, and what works for one of us doesn't work for another. Honestly, bags and jewellery are the hardest things for me. I am less sure of my own needs and taste I suppose through lack of practice. 

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Jill, that's a good standard, and I've done the very same thing with buying something, returning it, and buying it again the next year (only to find it was a total workhorse)!!!! 

    I'm not sure I'd feel sad, to tell you the truth. If I had a perfect replacement I wouldn't. I think my "pets" are footwear and jackets more than bags, which for me are pretty much utilitarian (except I DID splurge on a really pretty clutch a while back, LOL.) 

    However, there are things I really do like about it -- the softness of the leather, the colour, and the simplicity of it, which is strangely hard to find in a bag. So, all those features incline me towards it. 

  • Roxanna replied 4 years ago

    I think a bag - as per my other thread - is one of those things you really have to try to understand if it will work for your lifestyle. If you need a change, why not? As you said, you can always sell it later!

  • Roxanna replied 4 years ago

    @Suz - I have a ton of m0851 bags, so i'm happy to take pics or talk them over with you if you have questions (I'm a devotee and go there to check out the new line every chance I get ;) )

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    I have the same Milly silver tote as Janet and carry it daily. It has two narrow straps that don't bother me at all, and I carry a ton of stuff some days. I love this bag for you!

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    I was just in J. Crew today (which I call Suz's Store, btw)  I noticed this bag immediately -yummy color, nice refined pebbled leather.  I liked its overall proportions, and the straps seemed to suit well.  There is an odd pocket on the outside -- sized for a credit card or ID.  But who would carry it in such an unsafe position?  

    It is more traditional than the Minkhoff, but I think your things would stay tidy and easy to reach inside.

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Beth Ann, exactly -- what is up with that silly pocket? Some of the reviewers mentioned it, too. But it looks super organized (I mean the bag as a whole does.) Hmmm. As for J. Crew being "my" store, that is true to a large extent, but I think it's even more Angie's and Viva's store than mine. Now that my hair is grey I'm probably going to get less there. The knit colours have always been a bit bright and or sour for me on the whole, and it's more evident now with the grey...alas! 

    Una, that is interesting. I don't find the narrow straps on my Le Pliage to be a problem, either.  And I would LOVE that silver tote. I wonder if I could find one on ebay, hmmmm.....I tried a cheapo Zara version this summer but it was awful so I sent it right back. 

    Roxanna, I'd LOVE a lesson on the m0851 bags!! PLEASE!! Open a new thread and let's give some of our Canadian designers some love. 

  • Gaylene replied 4 years ago

    M0851 bags are irresistible! They are understated in the best possible way. Clean design, beautiful leathers, and impeccable workmanship. They don't need embellishments to attract attention and just get better with age. Mr. G's postal M0851 shoulder bag even got an envious look from a Parisian waiter who muttered "nice bag"!

  • Runcarla replied 4 years ago

    Ah! Fossil! I love my Fossil totes!

  • Freckles replied 4 years ago

    Lots of sage advice here.
    The little pocket would be perfect for a bus pass if one was to take that form of transportation to work.

  • Muffin replied 4 years ago

    Just wanted to chime in that I saw that J Crew bag today in store. It is a gorgeous color. I am wishing I had noticed the RM in store one so I could have mentally compared.
    The straps on the JC bag were definitely thin and stiff (the whole bag was stiff and very structured). It did have multiple interior pockets that could be useful. That one little pocket on the outside didn't bother me but I'm sure what someone would use it for- and I would be worried about it catching and breaking the snap. The one thing that struck me is that it might not be big enough at the opening for your things. There are 2 snaps at the tops sides that expand the opening but not sure if that is something you would need or want to deal with everytime you were to use your bag.
    I did really like the RM one on you when stuffed with your own stuff. It might just be a good test to see what your threshold for soft vs structure is (although a somewhat pricey test).
    Hope this helps (but maybe you've already decided). But it was good to go in because they are going to be closing until October for a remodel!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    Muffin, thank you so much for this thorough review -- SO helpful. 

    It sounds as if the J. Crew one would be super useful and "easy" for me in the sense that it would be similar to other bags that have worked for me in the past. But I think I am going to keep the Minkoff. I played around with it a bit today and yesterday and it seemed to be working. I'll get a bag organizer for it to make things a little less lost inside -- if I need to. And this way I will learn how I feel about unstructured bags, I guess. It's worth a try at the sale price. 

  • tulle replied 4 years ago

    Yes, please do keep the Minkoff, Suz!  I love seeing it on your arm--the rich leather just seems to glow.   So chic, and just different enough to underscore your new silver look.  If it works for you in every other way, I think you'll be glad you did.

  • jill58 replied 4 years ago

    So happy you're keeping the Minkoff bag. I did some looking around for that color online and saw nothing better. My guess is that you'll be very happy with it. I have several of her bags and the quality is great. 

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