Bag suggestions?

Friends, I have a wardrobe hole. I need to improve my bag collection. 

Here is the thing. I have learned that in general, I carry 2 kinds of bag: 

  1. The large tote or backpack which can fit my computer and heaven only knows what else in it. This is pretty much an every day need. I prefer smaller bags for appearance (esp. since I am not a huge person) but the reality is, most of the time I need to carry a lot of stuff around.  (I do compromise in summer sometimes by using a shopper bag -- not as big as the tote but still relatively large.) 
  2. A clutch or smaller "going out" bag, dressier than bag type 1. 

So. For spring, I currently have a cobalt Ralph Lauren shopper, a navy Zara vegan backpack, a black-and-bone huge tote from Danier, and a hot pink clutch. I also have my grey Le Pliage which I have used all winter and which is boring the heck out of me. 

What colour/ style bag would look good with my new leather jacket? (Blue) What type/ style of bag could I perhaps try to break myself out of the backpack/ tote trap? In spring/ summer I have less need to carry the computer every day, so can experiment a bit. 

Also, what would be a good medium sized slightly dressier-feeling bag for going out in the evening. Sometimes a clutch isn't going to work and yet the totes/ backpacks just feel way too casual. 

I'm a bag ignoramus, just like I am a jewellery ignoramus. Help! :) 

Visuals/ Finds most welcome!! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    I don't know, I think a tote is still the way to go.  You could try a satchel but then you have more "bag" weighing you down, especially if it is big enough to carry a laptop.  I still love my totes but do not need them all the time, I use them less than you do.  Let me think about this more Ok?

  • Mochi replied 5 years ago

    Suz, I'll be out this entire evening but if you don't come up with a good option I will look into it later!

  • AviaMariah replied 5 years ago

    I'm following because I'm a bag ignoramus too!!

  • UmmLila replied 5 years ago

    My usual bag buying criterion is that my iPad should fit -- and it often does in satchels. Now I'm upgrading to a MacBook and I think it might be sized out of my favorites. Not that I will bring it with me everywhere, but I like the flexibility.

    I am presently admiring a handbag that morphs shape -- the aqua Loewe hammock -- but at a price substantially above the new computer, it's not happening.

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    How about this one. My very avant-garde client has these in THREE colours. Needs to put her laptop in daily. I'm thinking the pearl grey, cognac or white. Beautiful quality. 

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    For going out, I think a clutch with an optional strap to carry as a cross-body would be great. I don't have one, but it seems useful to me. I like to carry cross-body bags for sightseeing and shopping, if I don't need to carry a lot of stuff with me.
    I like my MK metallic bag for going out. The strap is not removable, but the "MK" charm was, which cinched the deal for me. :) The handle can be doubled, so it's a bit versatile that way.

  • Xtabay replied 5 years ago

    Maybe a canvas satchel?  This is a nice one by Kate Spade:

  • replied 5 years ago

    Yikes - that Everlane bag has my name on it. Wow.  I vote one of those, plus Sharan's metallic Kors. Can you imagine having that pair?  (yes, and I could also imagine flying to Hawaii- lol).  Seriously, that pairing would be just right for your needs, as I understand them.  I do a fair bit of evening going-out, and take the smallest chain/leather strap bag I can find that still holds my phone and smaller wallet.  

    Angie - I want to "meet" your avant garde client!  Tell me more about what she likes to wear :) 

    Suz = what's your budget ?  And is it just one bag that you are looking for ?  Of course navy or a tan shade would be good...or even a fuchsia /berry tone if you want to be a little bold.

  • Elizabeth P replied 5 years ago

    Can you get to a Danier for their clearance prices? I have bought three totes there in the last year, they are great quality, and have well designed interior pockets.

  • krishnidoux replied 5 years ago

    This thread is most interesting! 
    I have two bags: the one to carry my computer/school stuff in, and a real purse, which I try to keep as small as possible, cross body if possible as it is more practical. I own many, so I can match with what I wear that day.
    My work tote is from Hedgren. I love this company, they make light, stylish travel accessories.It looks like this.
    My cross bodies are various, but some I love are from Roots, they make the perfect size, and they are not too expensive. This type is also nice. You don't need a big purse if you have stuff in a business/work tote already. 

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    So helpful, all -- thank you!

    Krish, I'm going to check Roots out again. I even have a local store to do that, wonder of wonders. 

    Elizabeth, I own a couple of Danier totes and I do like them. I was at our local store and one of the TO stores and saw nothing I liked at all. The stock was very low and pretty uniformly awful, in my view. 

    Lisa, I had not fixed on a budget yet but I think I can spend a decent but not designer amount, if that makes sense. I have finally realized that -- hey, surprise!! -- bags actually get a lot of use if they are good ones!! So the CPW pretty quickly goes down on these items. IF you choose intelligently. 

    Xtbay, I hadn't thought of canvas -- I will check it out. Thank you!

    Sharan, I love that bag. Perfect! And yes!! If the darn MK tag is removeable it's much better. (I did that with my Ralph Lauren bag, too -- just yanked it off -- so much better!) 

    Angie, the Everlane looks really beautiful and practical. You know my needs! I am going to check it out. I like that it has a slightly different shape and looks architectural. 

    Ummlila, I also love that amazing bag you posted. Wow! Interesting. 

  • Gail replied 5 years ago

    Have you looked at the bags from Henri Bendel ? They have a ton.
    They have a wide selection of leather, canvas and nylon. 
    I have the Jetsetter back pack in red and also black. Its has leather top straps with a fun purple lining and can be used as a cross body and backpack.
    The straps can also be removed and the bag  worn with just the two top handles on your arm  (can't think what to call that ! )
    They have a ton of fun colors and sizes . The find is not available or I would post pics. Here is the link to the jetsetter in a neutral color.
    I find mine very versatile and it was great for travel too I can easily fit in an iPad plus my usual pretty large wallet.

  • Runcarla replied 5 years ago

    Suz, I'm a big fan of Fossil totes.  The sizes in general are perfect for schlepping stuff for a commute and busy day 'out'.  I would also suggest checking out Winners or Marshall's, if you have one since their bag collections are usually extensive and there is lots of leather as well as trending designers.   (I've picked up Fossil, Longchamps, Coach, etc. under $100.)  

  • viva replied 5 years ago

    I'm adding that Everlane bag to my wishlist (Christmas, maybe?). It's beautiful, so sleek and modern. And that with a sparkly going-out bag would be so nice.

    Sigh. It would be nice to have a life where a sparkly going-out bag made sense. (I feel like Kirsten Dunst in the movie Little Women mooning over limes.)

  • Inge replied 5 years ago

    First of all, I haven't had a chance yet to tell you how much I love your new blue leather jacket. It's soooo gorgeous!!-)

    For evening/going out I was thinking along the same lines as Sharan: a clutch that can double as a shoulder bag in a fun colour or something with interesting lines.

    I just had a look on the Matt & Nat website, because they often do interesting colours for Summer, and their bags often have the architectural lines we both love. In the new collection, I especially love the mint, fuchsia, lemonade and lilac colours for you (in general, but will look fab with your jacket as well).

    (ETA: definitely check out the pictures with the models, gives you a better idea of the details for each bag.)

  • abc replied 5 years ago

    Following with great interest. You know our needs and taste are similar so usually what works for you ends up a copycat temptation for me!

    Love the everlane option though the practical side of me would maybe choose the dove over the white. Love the metallic Sharan suggested and you and I both know metallics are neutrals that earn their keep.

    Please keep us posted.

    Btw speaking of copycatting I finally got to wear my sofft wedge sandals like yours and wow how amazing are they! Thx for the inspiration :)

  • replied 5 years ago

    Mmmmm - I quite like the Matt & Nat pics Inge has shown here.  Those are nice bags indeed.  I keep forgetting about this line as it's more of a boutique brand  and not in every store everywhere. Which is a good thing....

  • Roxanna replied 5 years ago

    Suz: Check our Opelle. Nicely shaped bags that are fashion forward but not too uch so. Some are architectural and interesting. And - bonus! Made in canada so you don't have to pay the ridiculous exchange.

    This one seems perfect:

  • Xtabay replied 5 years ago

    Also, Duluth Trading Co. has some good hardworking bags available at 

    I like their leather totes, available in several colors and well-priced.

    Happy shopping!

  • Gaylene replied 5 years ago

    At a higher pricepoint, but have you checked out m0851 bags. Gorgeous, soft but tough, leathers with impeccable stitching. Canadian brand (Montreal) with a shop in Yorkville.

    I bought one of their totes about five years ago and the leather just gets better and better as it ages. With this brand, it's all about quality.

  • Roxanna replied 5 years ago

    I echo @Gaylene. I collect these m0851 bags - I have about 5 now - and I adore them all. Good looking, clean lines, hard wearing, and they just get more and more beautiful, Well worth the investment (also - they sometimes go on sale at end of season.)

  • replied 5 years ago

    Suz - I happened to see the Matt and Nat bags today .  They are gorgeous - the colours are so lovely.  I can't help but think they might be a bit on the pale side for you though? But shape and size are ideal.

    And wow, that m0851 line is amazing!  I can feel the old juices starting to flow - which I don't want , lol.  No more bags!  

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Oh wow, you are doing great here!! Thank you!! I'm coming away with such ideas. 

    Gaylene, that mO851 line is just amazing. I can't capture the Find because it's not enabled, but I immediately fell for this one:,44

    I am going to check them out in Montreal. I am there at end of May. 

    Inge, I always forget about Matt and Nat, too, and those are lovely. I agree with Lisa that some might be too pale for me. But not the fuchsia! 

    Roxanna the Opelle line is gorgeous, too. I had never heard of them, either. I love these suggestions for Canadian companies! They mostly look more unstructured than I prefer, but I think they are stunning bags! And I should probably experiment with a more unstructured bag for a change as well -- sometimes you don't know until you try, right? 

    Carla, I will certainly look at Fossil .I like their Sydney tote. 

    Gail, I got quite intrigued with those Jetsetter bags this morning! They do ship to Canada, too, apparently. 

    Thank you all so much! Still deliberating but I feel as if I have some good places to begin now. 

  • Isabel replied 5 years ago

    What a beautiful jacket !!!  I recently ( like,  it arrived yesterday ) bought this bag in a HEWI ( 5 years )  color, the forest green, pic. 1 :

    I also do a LOT of totes. I always carry so much stuff that I don't need. This bag size is perfect and I can carry it cross body.  All the colors are beautiful.  I have become very partial to grey and dark silver metallic too.   

    Pics 2 and 3 are also orYANY.  The leather is just lovely. I wouldn't do lime with your jacket unless it is more of a steel blue. I am also LOVING the deep purple bags that are around.   : ) 

  • Staysfit replied 5 years ago

    Suz, they may not be dressier than what you already have, but I love my MZ Wallace bags. I reach for them in preference over all my other bags. They are light weight, durable, have multiple convenient pockets, come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. I have one that is leather that I carried all winter. I have three cloth. They are easy to keep clean. They hold a ton. My medium bag looks nice but still holds an iPad, and most of the items I need for a busy work day.

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