a nice bag for a nice injured bag lady
October 12, 2021 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I need a new handbag for daily use. Parameters inside.

When I turned 30 I bought myself a Brahmin bag as a present. It was my first "grown up" bag.

The problem is, it's a tote, and it tends to accumulate junk and random stuff in it, making it heavy. And I carry it on my right shoulder. And I have a rib on my right side that pops out of place constantly, due to hours of playing gigs and attending rehearsals with my heavy Fender P-bass strapped to my person, and the way I have to bend my right arm and shoulder to play bass. My chiropractor pointed out that my bag is not helping my rib.

I clean out my bag constantly, but inevitably over time the random crap accumulates. I need a handbag that forces me to only carry the essentials, and I would ideally like it to be a nice bag (not a cheapy fast fashion deal).

My essentials:
Small notebook and two pens
Small pill box (2 inches diameter) for my anxiety meds
Face mask

Crossbody bags are difficult for me because I have a rack of doom and I can never get the strap to sit correctly without it strangling me.

Recommendations please!

posted by nayantara to Shopping (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Do you still want it to be in leather? Because of course other fabrics will be (often much) lighter, but there's a style tradeoff.
posted by praemunire at 5:33 PM on October 12

How do you feel about a backpack purse?
I’m disabled with a bad back and a lot of crap I have to carry and I switched to a small backpack and never turned back. It’s so much more ergonomic and easy to still dangle from one shoulder.

There are many styles, including leather, which is heavier. Anything from inexpensive to designer is available. I use a JuJuBe midi which is marketed towards parents - but they are great quality and function.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:56 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]

You might have luck with a Sashbag, even though they're crossbody, because of the way they distribute weight. They'll also definitely force you to only carry the essentials!
posted by burntflowers at 5:57 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Leather is definitely not necessary. :)
posted by nayantara at 6:35 PM on October 12

It may not be your aesthetic, but I love LeSportsacs. You can set them as crossbody but do not have to.
posted by oflinkey at 6:46 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I can vouch for Kipling bags for being light, well-made, and comfortable (in my experience, anyway). My last two bags and my current wallet have been from Kipling and they usually have some nice little details, and — VERY important — non-slippy-slidey or digging-in shoulder straps. If I were shopping for a bag right now, I'd probably get this one. Check out the "Try me" feature on that site, and it will show you the bag sizes relative to other items, like a magazine, water bottle, etc.
posted by taz at 7:47 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

A Tom Bihn Small Cafe Bag will probably be just about big enough for your load-out and not much more. You can wear them as shoulder bags or cross-body, as preferred. A variety of colors.
posted by praemunire at 7:48 PM on October 12

I have a Baggu tote that can be worn crossbody or off the shoulder, and am also working with a major rack. It’s been fine for me. I find canvas to be lighter and more forgiving than leather.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 5:19 AM on October 13

I carry a Haiku bag that's lighter than leather and water resistant. Most of their bags come with a detachable and adjustable cross-body strap. I use mine as a cross-body bag all of the time even with a rack of doom because I let the strap almost all the way out so I get a bigger drop and it sits comfortably. I've used mine year round since 2014, and the fabric still looks great (although my style isn't available any more).
posted by gladly at 9:51 AM on October 13

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