Is there a magic bag?
October 7, 2019 4:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm going on a trip and I need a handbag. The one I use all the time is too big to carry around all day sightseeing and I only ever have one bag at a time (apart from an evening clutch and a hiking rucksack). Problem: I'm only taking a cabin bag, no hold luggage, and I need something that will go with everything I'm bringing because I don't really have room to bring one and pack one. Any ideas?

Mostly what I'll be wearing are things like this (only less put together prob) - I don't know what you'd call that look, but casual with white trainers and mainly greys. But I also got this skirt which I love and want to wear during the day with a black top and trainers. I'm also planning to wear it for our one fancy night with heels and a clutch, but bringing those and my other clothes means I don't have room for an extra day bag. But I don't know what colour would go with both pale greys and black and red. I think black would be too harsh with the greys. I thought maybe go for mustard and just deliberately don't match anything, but don't know if that would look stupid. If not that, any other colours? I want a cross body bag that's not too heavy and not too big or small - I'll be taking it on the plane so I need at least room for phone, wallet, the misc you need when travelling, so the tiny purses-on-straps won't work and I beg you not to recommend any form of bumbag. I'm leaving on Thursday so preferably I need something that I can call into a UK shop for. Any advice welcome!
posted by billiebee to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Before I spent about ten years of handbag budget on a Loewe puzzle bag, Marks and Spencer was my go-to for cute good quality bags. I just had a look and they have a really great collection this year, including a couple in a really cute barrel shape and some with striped webbing straps that look really cool and would be comfortable to wear for a day of sightseeing.

Black isn’t too harsh at all, but blush or brown or even dark green would look great with the outfits you linked. I’d avoid mustard because it has been so completely ubiquitous for the last three years that it already looks outdated and fashion-victim-y. (My prediction for the next big everywhere colour is deep, rich turquoise-tinged blue, if anyone cares).

By the way, bumbags are really in right now- neat, tailored leather belt bags worn in the normal way, or the classic sporty shape worn across the body with the bag part over the chest. All the arty fashion girls have them.
posted by cilantro at 5:38 AM on October 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

FC Mid City Tote by Foley + Corinna is my go to bag for this situation -- mine is a muted pewter metallic but it is usually available in a variety of colors I believe. Don't be fooled by pics you find online that make it look like just an odd tote with odd handles... yes, you can carry it as a tote, but also it folds over and has an ample shoulder strap that can be easily worn cross body, plus the shoulder strap can be removed to carry it as an oversize clutch (if you don't overstuff it). I believe Foley + Corinna is available in the UK, but I apologize I don't know your stores well enough to recommend where to look.
posted by somanyamys at 5:45 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Sherpani Camden bag is magic for travel because it can be a backpack, cross-body bag, and a tote. It's very durable, comes in black, black/mustard/cream combo, grey, black/blue combo. Don't know about the UK availability.
posted by medusa at 7:51 AM on October 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I picked up one of these Mantaray bags for travelling with earlier this year and although I got it purely because I needed a specific type of bag for that trip, I actually really like it now. It squishes down well if you need to pack it in luggage, but also is a decent size so you can get plenty of stuff in as a day bag. But it's a softish material, so it folds in on itself if it's not completely full and doesn't look as big as it is. The strap is adjustable, so it can go over one shoulder, or cross body. It has zips that zip all the way across instead of letting the bag dangle half open and plenty of pockets to put separate things in.

I don't know if that's the type of magic you're looking for, but it turned out to be the bag I didn't know I needed. And it comes in a bunch of different colours, so if you have a Debenhams near you, you could just pop in and see which one you like best. (They also have similar bags in smaller and larger styles.)
posted by randomonium at 10:52 AM on October 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all but especially cilantro - I never think of going to M&S! I called in after work and got this in the black, perfect size and a snip at £19.50 (it’s nicer in real life). It’s black but with a dove/minky contrast so I think it’ll go with everything. I was sorely tempted to get the yellow version because it’s so cheery, but I heeded your wise words. (Except about the bumbags. I cannot with the bumbags.) Thanks!
posted by billiebee at 11:50 AM on October 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

« Older Long-term effects of temporary starvation   |   The thing about Arsenal is they always try to walk... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.