Saturday, March 31, 2007

What Are You Carrying?

Eastport BagI'm an organizing freak. If you were to look in my closet you'd see first jeans, then khakis, trousers and dress slacks. On top are sweat shirts, t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, short-sleeved blouses then long-sleeved blouses. Folded on the shelves my sweaters are arranged by color and weight, to the side skirts are hanging by length.

Books are alphabetized by author, dishes are neatly ordered, even my toilet paper in the cupboard is carefully stacked in three-roll columns. It's a disease I tell you. But my love of order and compartments had lead to a love of purses and bags. Not "Prada to match my shoes" bags but purses used for carrying and organizing things.

When I had small children my purse doubled as a diaper bag and I found a terrific purse at Walmart. Sporty with pockets and zippers to hold all the stuff I needed, it could handle a couple diapers and a package of wipes--and was even lined with water-proof material for that inevitable day when the wipers would leak.

Sak PurseBest thing? It was $14. Ha! I love a bargain and that thing was a gem but once Lillian was potty trained I ditched my Big Momma bag for something smaller and sleeker, a crocheted black hand bag. And as I don't like transferring things from one bag to another it's the only one I use.

Eastport Computer BagWhen I got my laptop last summer I went in search of a bag for porting my equipment and papers and found (again at Walmart) this bag that did a fair job. A few design problems but overall not bad--especially considering the $14 price tag. I love Walmart! They should change their slogan to Walmart: Home of the $14 bag.

Here's where the plot thickens: Andrew bought himself a new Macbook a month ago and as he was planning his business trip earlier this month he happened to mention how he wanted a new computer bag. Specifically, one made especially for Macs by Marware that he'd seen at the Mac Store here in town.

Marware Macbook CaseAHA! Instantly I was onto him. I decided right there that while he was gone I'd sneak to the store and buy it for him, presenting it as a token of my undying love upon his triumphant return. He's hard to buy gifts for--if I buy stripes, he wants plaid. If I buy brown he wants navy. I can never get it right so I was excited to find something he wanted that I could splurge on for no reason--and surprise him.

The night before he was to leave I was talking to him in our room as he was packing and what do you think he pulled out of the closet? Yup, The Bag. He just couldn't leave without a proper bag for his precious Mac so he'd picked it up after work.

So much for my brilliant idea, I was crushed. But you've got to check this bag out. It's got everything you want: a place for your ipod, a place for your iphone (because anyone with a Macbook and one of these bags is going to get an iphone, it's a given) a place to thread the cord so that you can use all your techy toys on the run. And the best feature? It's made out of the same material that the Bat Cape is made of. It's true. One touch on the ultra-cool laytex-leather-plastic-Kevlar pocket and you know it's the same stuff as the Dark Knight himself wears. I bet it stops bullets--they even call the color Stealth black. Oh it's cool alright--cool enough to justify the $80 price tag.
Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag $35,000
So what are you using? Purses or diaper bags? Do you have one tried-and-true bag or do you have several? Are you into designer brands ($35,000 for the Louis Vuitton tote bag pictured at right?? It's hideous AND expensive) or are you a Walmart nerd like me? Prada, if you're listening, I'd love to do a product review for you free of charge. If you've got a computer bag, do you like it? So far Andrew's loving his, I catch him stroking it from time to time when he thinks I'm not looking.

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37 comments:

luckyzmom said...

I have a black bag with a long strap that fits on my right shoulder and the bag on my left hip. It it the type with lots of compartments. I think I got it at Sears 3 years ago on sale for somewhere around $15. I usually also have a summer straw purse with a long strap and compartments, but last summer I just continued to carry the black because I needed a new straw and couldn't find one I liked. I would have more if I could find any I liked.

Was that what you wanted to know. $115 plus tax is as much as I've ever spent on a purse, once.

my4kids said...

At the moment I have a small black purse with eyeore on it that my 11 year old helped me pick out. Its kind of small though and I am thinking I should have an older bag.

jchevais said...

I have a Pucca kitsch bag (which is totally unprofessional since I work in a law firm... which is why I love it) and a "commuter" canvas tote bag that has a print of an old frou frou magazine on one side (highlighted with sequins doncha know) for my books, sketch books, and miscellania. That bag is cool too... specially since I bought it at a market in Saint Tropez (Saint Tropez is totally over rated btw... yachts yes, traffic jams, yes... snootiness, yes... in short very superficial).

Anonymous said...

I just picked up a $118 leather designer bag at Macy's for $29.00 That makes me feel just plain wonderful. Trouble is it makes me feel like someone's gonna want to STEAL the thing! Someone who recognizes a $118 purse when they see it....hmmm. Maybe there is more security in my Wally World purses. I think I need to rethink this newest member of my purse family. Love your blog! Tracee

Cathy said...

I just bought a Patagonia backpack/purse that I am LOVING. I bought it because when you need to get your wallet out, or a kleenex, gum, lego, pen, batman toy, hand sanitizer, etc.etc.etc, you just pull it around in front of you and wa-la! I bought it mostly because we spend some of our summers in...drumroll please...the Alaskan bush! So I am so happy to have stumbled on your blog. Big Smile.

PS--Target had a similiar bag for the Walmart-purse-price of $14 (LOTS of pennies less than the Patagonia), but wasn't even in the same ball park with Patagonia's quality.

FARMERS WIFE said...

I have an overly huge, wonderfully spacious, diaper bag from Anything Joes...we got our last name painted on it, just in case someone mistakens our massive pink striped bag for theirs...as they are sooo common.

And I carry an eency weency purse, only big enough for a wallet and lipstick, so I don't have to shove diapers in it.

Babystepper said...

Any woman who has the boldness to put picture of not just one, but three of her purses/bags on the internet deserves a response.

I am in the middle of that changeover time. I don't need to lug bottles around, but one kid still needs diapers. And of course sippies and snack for two. So I have about 40 kajillion bags right now, because I'm going through that transition trial and error. I'd say the one I use the most is a little kids backpack from, you guessed it, Wal-mart. It was probably about $14, too. It's really perfect for what I need, with a place for my keys and phone and wallet, and then the big compartment for the kids' junk. . er, stuff.

I look forward to someday having a real, lady bag, but that will have to wait for a while. I will never, never spend more than, oh, $30 on one, though. I agree with you about the high-priced ones. (Especially the one you pictured. =P

Geekwif said...

I saw those lovely bags at the Apple Store, but I just couldn't justify the price, so I bought a used Dell bag on ebay instead. Sometimes it feels a bit like sacrilege carrying a MacBook in a Dell bag.

I also have a large purse (fake leather from Target) for days when I have to carry lots of stuff, and a small tote from Longaberger (a gift from a friend) for dates and grocery trips.

I do like a nice bag, but I'm just too cheap to pay much money for them.

Leslie said...

I have a nifty black laptop case from Wal-Mart and I carry the free diaper bag they send you home with at the hospital. I'm pretty chic.

Heather said...

I love handbags, too. I have tote bags, a soft-sided brief case, purses, clutch bags, etc, etc, etc. I generally carry one purse for everyday, but I switch for speical occasions. I'm not picky about brands, but I love Louis Vuitton bags. My friend has several and I ogle them like crazy when I see her at church. She even has shoes to match a couple.
I also adore Coach, but both Coach and Kouis are far out of my price range.
I will buy a bag anywhere if it's cute!
I used to carry the one that would fit diapers and wipes, but mine now is smaller. I also tend to carry a smaller one in the summer.
Great post. You've found my weakness!

Undercover Angel said...

I tend to carry a purse, only because my children have been out of diapers for years now and I'd look pretty silly carrying a diaper bag as I walk down street with my 14 year old son...

As for what kind of purse I carry - usually whatever I can find at Walmart or Zellers or somewhere cheap that I like. I'm not into designer purses because my purses tend to take a real beating...

grnidlady said...

i haven't carried a purse in years. i use a small backpack as my purse. however i am not organized and it still looks like the inside of a woman's purse (i can never find anything!)

Jenny said...

I have this great Tumbuk2 laptop bag that has enough nifty compartments to pull double duty as a diaper bag when need be. Usually though, I make Andrew carry his own stuff in this. He loves to pull it around by the handle and the backpack straps are big enough that I can wear them if need be.

Cagey said...

I love purses, so the diaper bag thing has been pretty tough on me. I went with Eddie Bauer for awhile because their diaper bags are AWESOME, but I missed having something stylish.

I finally found a solution that works well for me - I have a Coach leather tote (an outlet store STEAL) for all the diapers and a smaller Coach clutch that I can pull out when I don't need to lug the diapers so I can leave the tote in the car trunk (i.e. a quick run into the grocery store). It's worked out well and I don't feel like I am carrying luggage all the time. The best part is that tote will still be useful even when we are done with the diaper bidness.

Jen said...

I use that very Walmart bag right now as my main purse. It's shameful; I don't have any kiddie stuff in there, it's all my crap. I do have an enormous wallet that I can just take out and leave with, if need be. My Walmart purse was a whopping $6. I also have a darling handmade purse I bought at a purse party. It's dark brown burlap-y fabric, with five different ties I can match to my outfit and wrap around it like a belt and tie in a knot. I love it. It's my "out on the town" purse, which is sad, since it rarely gets used and it's really not a fancy-schmancy purse by any stretch.
I have a laptop backpack. I think Tom got it at Best Buy as a XMAS gift for me. My last laptop backpack was too small for my new, extra-wide computer. It's a very large backpack, with room for any and everything I could possibly need. As for large amounts of money on purses, that will never happen. I'd rather spend the money on something else. Besides, as soon as I got an expensive purse, one of my cherubs would spill something on it and that would be that.

Anonymous said...

I'm all over Old Navy purses! I love big, but cute bags and they have great ones that are pretty cheap. As for computer bags, I don't really like computer bags as I bring my computer around with me a lot and often need a bag that also can carry a lot of other things. Unfortunately, computer bags don't tend to have a lot of space for anything other than your computer and its accessories, so I've discovered my favorite thing to tote around my computer in safety is the computer sleeve. It's pretty much a cover that slips around just your computer. You can then put it in a bag and it's padded and secure. If you're especially poor (like me), you can make one yourself one by taping together a couple of padded envelopes! Yes, I am ghetto, but it works great.

scribbit said...

I love some of these tips--a padded envelope? That's terrific, I can see it becoming the latest techy trend--especially if held together by duct tape. Kind of a eco-friendly, shabby chic thing.

chelle said...

hehe, I am just transitioning back to the diaper bag after a few months of freedom!

I have a diaper bag from diaper dudes that I adore and then I sewed my own for my more feminine` days :D

maggie said...

I am forever searching for the right bag, for my essential items but i do have a size rule!!! The bigger the bag the more things you put in it. I am also a fan of the over the shoulder, the hang off the forearm bag is for the heiress' that never had to run after three yr old twins!!! That Mac bag sounds right up my alley, (I have an apple addiction and not the red juicy type)!!!

I shop at TJ MAXX and Marshalls etc. for my bags and I never go over 20. I should also mention that I love square bags, weird huh?

Christie said...

i have 5 diaper bags. the first one was too small, the second was too big and didn't fit in my stoller basket, and i finally ended up with a cute little bag that looks like a purse and i love it! of course, i spilled something all in the bottom of it the second day i got it so it now has a stain on the bottom, but oh well, it's still my favorite bag. i transfer the little stuff (lipstick, wallet, compact) into a cute purse when i go kidless. love purses and diaper bags. love them. but no more than 20 bucks a piece. i can't stomach spending a lot on one bag.

KarenW said...

My purse is a basic black leather. I'm looking for something a bit more summery and roomy enough for all my stuff plus a note book. I am trying to get more organized. . . But I don' t want to lug around a suitcase. I'm still shopping.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

my current "purse" is really something i bought at WALMART :) also for probably $4. it was a clothing item to slip over your head to provide warmth around your neck. i took it and sewed up one opening side and like magic i had my purse. i like to call it my little bag of tricks. it perfectly holds my money items, chapstick (a must have for living in alaska), and has plenty of room for my sewing craft i carry around with me for any time i have to wait somewhere. i, too, will never spend very much on a purse, in fact, i will never spend very much on anything. i am frugal and proud of it!

happy day to ya,

Heffalump said...

I have a smallish black purse with brown trim, and a wallet to match. Any purse of mine must have a long strap or I will set it down and lose it. I like this one because it has an outside zipper pocket that is right for the checkbook, and its big enough to fit my wallet in, which I can always take out when I don't want to carry a purse around. In high school I used a military bag that was made to carry a gas mask in for my purse. I was so cool. (Not really)

Heffalump said...

I almost forgot...for our diaper bag we use a backpack. I felt like my shoulder was going to get dislocated trying to lug the other kind around, so we just put it all in a nice day pack that has extra pockets, and at least all the weight is evenly distributed.

kfk said...

Bags are my downfall. My husband hates me for it; but at least I don't spend a week's pay on any single item. I don't own anything more designerish than Liz Claiborne! Although, secretly I lust over several Coach bags. That LV bag though? I wouldn't buy it even if I could afford it.

dcrmom said...

Fun post! Steph at Adventures in Babywearing asked just this question last week. I posted a few of my favorite purses. I love small, cute purses, and I change them to match or coordinate with my outfits. If I need a diaper bag, I carry a separate one, but it usually lives in the car.

The Daring One said...

I want that walmart bag. Want. It. I carry about 20 different bags that rotate between small purses, up to huge diaper backpacks. My favorite right now is a little brown bag that's just big enough to carry a small dog with a diamond studded collar.

kailani said...

When I out without the kids, I usually use my black coach purse or my pink burberry one. Either one pretty much matches my whole wardrobe. LOL!

With the kids, I use this really cute diaper bag I got from LuvMyBag.com or my Juicy Diaper bag.

M said...

I love my Fleurville Escape Pod. I was recently at The Coach Store considering replacing it with a new bag when one of the salespeople pulled me aside and asked, under her breath, where I had gotten my purse. I walked out of there and never looked back!

Mayberry said...

I am doing the big purse-that-can-double-as-a-diaper-bag thing right now. I have an olive green rectangular bag from Target that I'm using for everyday. For my laptop I bought a small bag from eBags - big enough for the laptop, cords etc and a few magazines/newspapers or misc stuff. When I travel with the kids I can fit an extra outfit for each of them in it - that plus my purse and I am good to go, no further carryons!

Damselfly said...

Notice how all those bags are black ...? ;)

I just switched into my spring purse. It's actually from last year, but I think it's still relevant/stylish. It's yellow with studs all over it, a simple hobo style.

But then there's the red faux croc tote bag I've been using as a diaper bag. My husband calls it the black hole!

masgblog said...

I have met my twin! Like you, I am an organizing nut....AND...I adore bags.....purses...whatever....they all eventually find their way into my heart...and my closet...

Lazaro said...

I have a small green purse

Salehoo said...

I have Eddie Bauer & like it so much :)

Azzaro said...

I use Walmart bag as my main purse.

Hamilton said...

I love purses, so the diaper bag thing has been pretty tough on me.

Juicy said...

For now, I have just like any other ordinary bag but in it are small other bags to keep my things organized like a wallet, coin purse, small bag for my personal things like make up, combs, etc.