Large, Professional, Lightweight Handbag/Briefcase
January 29, 2013 8:31 AM Subscribe
I'm starting a new professional job, and I need a new, professional bag. I need something large, very lightweight, and preferably with a cross-body shoulder strap.
I'm a woman in my 30s, pretty tall, with a generally conservative style. I've been carrying a knockoff Longchamp LePliage tote
, but it's not ideal, mostly because it doesn't have a messenger-style cross-body strap, so it's sort of awkward to carry. I sometimes also use a huge Jansport backpack, but that doesn't look at all professional, so I'd prefer not to do that, even when I have a lot to carry.
Here are my requirements:
- Conservative: I'll be going to court and to a lot of professional meetings. The bag needs to look good with a full suit. This somewhat rules out the Timbuk2-style true messenger bags, unless I can find one that is a lot less casual than their normal styles and from what I've seen, the more professional styles also seem to be a lot heavier. Prefer black or grey so that it will go with all of my clothes, but I'm not wedded to that.
- Lightweight: I have back problems, so I want to keep my load as light as I can (considering that I also have to carry a lot of paper). The LePliage is great because it weighs nothing empty, so I'd love something equally light. Ergonomic bags welcome.
- Large: I have to carry a ton of fat books and papers, most of which are legal size. I need them all to fit.
- Weatherproof: I walk outside a lot. I'd like a bag that zips or has a full flap over the top and is relatively waterproof.
- Messenger style: Shoulder bags are nice, but the straps are often too short to be comfortable because I'm tall and broad-shouldered. I really prefer something I can wear cross-body while I'm walking so that I have my hands free.
- No roller bags: I do have another bag with wheels for my truly ridiculous heavy load days. I want an everyday bag that I can carry, not roll.
- Durable: I've bought a lot of cheap bags that have fallen apart. I want to invest now in something where the fabric won't tear and the zipper won't break when I overstuff it. At the very least, I'd like a good warranty so that I can get it replaced if I destroy it.
Things I don't much care about:
- Pockets: I'm just as happy with one big open compartment as with divided compartments, just as long as all my stuff will fit and it doesn't weigh too much. It would be nice if there were an outside zippered pocket to keep my wallet and keys handy, but it's not required.
- Fancy designer labels: I don't care where it comes from. I also don't really want visible logos on the outside of the bag.
- Laptop storage: I carry a laptop, but I have a good sleeve, so I don't need a dedicated laptop bag.
I'm willing to spend a few hundred dollars on this if it meets all of my requirements exactly. I'm hoping to keep this bag for a long time, so I can invest in it. Thanks in advance for your help!