What is wilson silverleaf? We're organitarians; it's best for our bodies and the planet. We cloth diapered Nina for the same reason. We drive a hybrid car & wish we could afford solar panels on our house. I'm a strong advocate for homebirth, full-time mom, & also a movie junkie. We don't have a tv though; we watch dvds on our computer. We love contradancing. I garden & knit; Larry's a puzzle lover & plays fantasy football.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

tale of two bags

The first time I saw Wannabe Hippie with the Overland Donner bag, I fell head over heels in love. At the time, I was still carrying around a diaper or two but was ready to graduate from a diaper bag to something smaller. It was perfect. But recently I've been feeling like a bit of a schlub when I use it. I'm going to be 35 this year, and I decided I'm ready for a purse. I don't really carry that much stuff around with me, so it didn't have to be very big.

I do have a beautiful purse/handbag from J.Jill that is just wonderful but the handles are the type that you either just carry in your hand or on one shoulder and it sits just below the armpit. Not very comfy for me, especially considering that a lot of the time I have a toddler in one arm. It's still a beautiful bag, though, and I use it if I'm going out. It's a reddish brown, so I decided on a black one to buy new (though a red one was what I had imagined getting, something nice and deeply, smoothly red; I just coulnd't find one that worked).

I needed just a few things:
*to be able to sling it over my head and wear it across my body when the need arises
*to feel a little more grown up wearing it
*for it to cost under 50$ (though I would probably shell out more for THE PERFECT BAG)
*some different areas for specific stuff; ie, the wallet has a specific place where it goes, same for the camera, I cannot have a bag where everything is just thrown in and you have to dig around for it
*it has to close; it can't be open at the top
*I like structure, not of these buttery soft leather purses that don't stand up on their own
*I would prefer that it not be leather; I just can't be worrying about scratching it, getting it damp, etc

Here's what I found:

We'll call this one L.C., for Liz Claiborne, which must be the name of the person in China who made it. As you can see, it came from Marshall's and cost 30$, which was more than I was hoping to spend on a bag that didn't make my heart go pitty-pat. But I bought it knowing that I could return it if I found one I liked more. It is matte black (suede-esque?), and though the straps are short, you can lengthen them by unclipping them from the "rings" the attach to and undoubling them. Very handy, but I wasn't too keen on the double strap deal. It seems hip enough, it's attractive, and it's got dividers. But the wallet pocket on the inside of the middle is just a smidge too small; I could get it in there but I would be fighting with it and worrying about ripping the interior fabric if I kept it in there. I thought it was leather (it REALLY smells like it, but on the inside it says 100% polyurethane). Why does it smell like leather? L.C., that's just CREEPY. It's got three divided compartments, the middle of which zips. But it's a bit slouchy, as you can see in the pics. L.C., you are cute, cute, cute, but somehow I haven't fallen in love. Maybe it has a little to do with the brass color of your metal bits. Maybe I'm just not ready for you.

On to Merona (neither of these sound like particularly chinese names, do they, though both of these bags were made in China...ugh). This one came from Target--20$, thank you very much. Though it looks like a messenger bag, it's smaller, and fits everything I had in the Overland bag with a little room to spare. Though it has only the one inner space, it has pockets on the outside (perfect for the camera and the wallet), pockets on the inside (one for phone) a slot for a pen, a zippered compartment on the inside, and another on the outside (the side you can't see in the pic). The strap goes across the shoulder, it has structure (doesn't sag at all when there's nothing in it), and the metal trim is silver tone. The buckles on the flap are faux, with magnetic thingers underneath, the only drawback being that you have to get them on just right for them to catch. I bet I will get better at doing it quickly. Though I know this bag isn't as trendy and it's more of a "mom bag" (what I was trying to get away from), somehow, it's the one for me. As soon as I got into the car I started putting my stuff in it. There was no fiddling or re-arranging, everything just went in its place. Ah well, it's a step in the right direction, right?

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angela said...

I thought I was the only woman on the planet that had such a hard time finding a purse. Glad to know I'm in good company!

veganmomma said...

Glad to know you've made a step in the right direction. I like it too. Unfortunately at 30 I'm still carrying a backpack, so maybe I should graduate to the Overland Donner bag now, and then maybe when I grow up like you I'll be ready for a purse too!

enviromama said...

So when you saw first Elaine with the Overland Donner, did you fall in love with her or the bag? I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess it was both.

lola coca-cola said...

Totally both, you're right, Jenny!