Month: March 2005

Laptop Bags Revisted

Sad to say, but I’m having buyer’s remorse about the black polka dotted laptop bag I bought recently at Target. Sure it is slick looking and better then a corporate issued black bag, but all it took was one use when flying from Houston to Boston to discover some design flaws.

First off, the bag fits a laptop and thats it. Let me repeat that, it fits the lap top only. There was no place to put my mouse or power cord and I had to wrap them up and jam them in the side which made it nearly impossible to zip up with out ripping the zipper. I can’t think of a possible time when I would need a lap topbag but wouldn’t also need these items. And the zippered pocket on the side was pretty much useless.

The detachable shoulder strap was the best, and only useful feature. Well, the polka dots were nice too. But besides that I was pretty much just annoyed and frustrated with this bag while making my way into the airport, or when I was commuting into Boston to work. And the whole point of the laptop bag is that it should make them easier and convenient.

So the laptop bag has found a new home. I’ve given it to my sister who has a slightly smaller laptop that will be a better fit for this bag

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But I’m not giving up, in fact I already have my eye on a new laptop bag at Timbuk2 (seen via Purseuing). I like the shape of the bag, it doesn’t look like a laptop bag at all. There are a number of vibrant colors to choose from and I’m interested to see the “no-slip shoulder handles”. The bag doesn’t look too big or too small, and it could also be used as a travel bag or even and everyday bag with or without a laptop. The web site is well designed and even has a button that shows a picture of the inside of the bag.

I’ve already found the stores nearby that carry Timbuk2 and hope to stop by sometime and see how the bag looks in person.

Mint Shoes

032105_shoes.jpg Meet my beautiful new shoes, Vanna, by Chinese Laundry in Mint green. I have been searching for shoes like this for over a year and a half.
I never would have found them except that the web site has a fantastic shoe locator where I was able to find all the local stores that stocked Vanna.

Funny coincedence, once I brought the shoes home I noticed that they are the exact same color as our wedding invitations, except that Paper Source calls the color sage.

Last Post about Lucky Magazine

Ok, after this I promise no more from the April issue of Lucky. Two good things that I must share:

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The Pink Horse Canvas Bag from Talla. I especially liked this quote from the designer:

“Each print is an original. My fabrics are all hand-blocked and hand-printed, 1 yard at a time. If you look closely at the fabric, the prints are not exactly perfect, which makes it so beautiful.”

Now I am all for cheap, mass produced bags and own many of my own, but I also like the idea of unique hand printed fabric and carrying around something 100% original. Especially when it involves this cute and unique horse print. I came really close to ordering this bag, but hesitated since I was afraid the white would get dirty fast.

031705_petit.jpg I had been wondering for awhile what all the hype was about Petit Bateau. I picked up a long sleeve v necked shirt at a big sale recently at the Abejas Boutique and it is quite comfy, a lovely shade of blue-gray and looks like it will hold up well. So I certainly noticed in the April issue that Petit Bateau is now making totes. I couldn’t use this as an everyday bag since I need a shoulder stap but I think it would be great for day trips like a picnic or the beach.I couldn’t find the bag anywhere on the (hard to navigate) web site, so just keep an eye out if you have a local boutique.

A Whole New World…

So for the past 5 years or so I carried around a giant bag with me all the time. This was necessity because I walked to work everyday or took the subway and needed something that would carry a day’s worth of stuff like my lunch and reading material. In addition, one of the items that I insisted on carrying with me was a large bulky camera. In fact, I haven’t gone anywhere since around 2000 without some version of a camera tucked inside my bag at all times.

I used to gaze at pretty small dainty bags but I knew they were not for me. I needed “big n sturdy” bag to hold all my stuff and that would allow quick access to my camera. Too often “big n sturdy” also meant ugly. The few times I tried leaving the house with a smaller bag I would get so annoyed with everything crammed inside and paranoid that I would somehow knock my wallet onto the ground, that I switched right back to a large bag.

Recently though this all changed, albeit temporarily. While we are in Houston I am working from home which means no commuting bag is needed. Also, I was given a hand me down Canon Powershot S110 camera from my mom the last time I was home. Now with a smaller camera a whole new world of bags has opened up for me.

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My first small bag purchase was a Printed Linen Clutch from Old Navy. It was tight fit, but I was able to carry my camera, phone, keys and wallet in this cute little bag. I am not normally a big fan of linen but it give the bag an interesting texture, as does the gathered fabric on the side. Plus even though the bag is so small, it still has a handy inside zippered pocket.

If things go well with the clutch I’ll probably invest in a more expensive version, such as Style 102 by Emily or the Diana by by Allison Burns (a similar bag was show in Wonkette’s Weeks worth of style.) And if I win big in Vegas, I’ll be looking at a Marc Jacobs clutch.
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Next up, again from Old Navy, was the Braided-Cinch Purse. Let me tell you, as someone who is NEVER 100% happy with ANY bag, I have to say this is probably the best bag I have bought in ages. (It is right up there with my red Kenneth Cole bag, saldy still stranded at my mom’s in Boston because I can never fit it in my luggage when I fly back to Houston.) And it was just $12.50!

The braid detail and silver metal ring is my favorite part. Its a stretch to compare, but the braided handle is a poor man’s version of the beautiful handle on the Burberry Cinda bag.

Also, the bag looks even better when it full of stuff, unlike most fabric bags which end up looking strange and lumpy. I bought mine in an olive green, so it feels a little safari-ish to me. The bag looks good being carried from my hand, or it tucks comfortably under my arm and over my shoulder. I can move around with it and lean over without the chance of it swinging off my shoulder. (One time I was sitting on the subway minding my own business when the pocketbook of a woman standing above me swung off he shoulder in an arc and hit me directly in the face-TRUE STORY!)

So I know this small bag gravy train won’t last forever. The summer when we are back in Boston I’ll have to switch back to a big commuting bag. Plus I have my eye on another bulky camera which will probably need a whole bag of its own. But for now I’m going to sit back, relax, and enjoy the small bags, warm sun and palm trees of the gulf coast.

Two Good Things at purseuing.com

I’m getting really addicted to purseuing.com. Below are two good things I saw recently:

After I wrote about laptop bags, reader Anne wrote in looking for an oversized laptop bag for those ginourmous laptops. I was never able to find anything but purseuing.com links to these suede laptop bags which include large sizes.

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Next up is the Lucky Beggar Purse, from wishingfish.com, designed after these familiar cups. A portion of the proceeds are donated to a homeless charity. I’ve already ordered mine!

Wonkette in Lucky’s “A Week’s Worth of Style”

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One day in the future I had hoped to ask Ana Marie Cox, author of one of my favorite blogs Wonkette, to be a guest bag blogger for this site. But it looks like Lucky Magazine beat me to it since Wonkette is featured in this month’s “Week Worth of Style”.

As if snarky political posts on a daily basis wasn’t enough to endear her to us already, we now also have #3 of her Fashion Rules: “Splurge on a great bag twice a year.” Here here! (A quick Google search also turned up an old article by Cox about Monica Lewinsky’s bags.)

Featured in the photospread is a cool brown leather studded bag by Marciano. Sadly I checked with customer service and they are out of the brown bags. The silver metallic clutch by Allison Burns is also worth checking out. Simple and smooth.

Lucky Bag Guide

I admit it, I love Lucky Magazine. In theory it is such a bad idea to have a magazine about nothing but shopping, but actually it is fantastic. I especially love when they put different outfits together from different pieces. I’m also looking forward to getting a copy of the Lucky Shopping Manual for more shopping goodness.

But if you don’t subscribe to Lucky you’ll want to run out and grab a copy of the April issue and turn to bag 173 for the Lucky Bag Guide. Lots of good stuff to choose from.

Green Gap Tote

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I ran out and got a green Gap leather tote as soon as my friend Jaren mentioned to me that they had gone on sale. At first I wasn’t sure if is was a good purchase. There was a little too much yellow in the green, and I am more of a blue green person then a yellow green person. I also tend to avoid bags without a tie or zip on the top since I am afraid of losing stuff. Plus the stap is too small to go over my sholder.

But this bag ended up really growing me. I used it is my “personal item” carry on when I flew home to Boston and I liked that the top was open since I could easily throw stuff into the bag. My mom kept commenting on how she loved the yellow green and how much the color “popped” when held against my long black winter coat. I didn’t see what she meant until I saw the picture to the left the I accidentally took in the mirror of my reception venue.

So now I love this bag. The green is perfect for spring and the shape is so classic and simple I should be able to use it all the time.

The totes are no longer online, but I’ve seen them in the stores at the local Gaps. The pick and black are also nice.

A Herve Chapelier Bag Near You

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Reader Claire writes in looking for Herver Chapelier bags in San Francisco. I can tell from her email that this is an urgent request. TBB understands, once I decided I wanted a Herve Chapelier bag I had to get it RIGHT AWAY.

The Herve Chapelier web site has a directory of all local stores carrying their bags. Although there are many things wrong with this site, bad flash navigation and you can’t order bags online, the local directory is quite handy.

I was able to quickly find out what stores in SF carry these lovely, heavy duty and colorful line of bags:

FETISH
344 Presidio Avenue
415-409-7429

HEATHER FRAZIER
2048 Fillmore Street
415-409-4410

These two stores have closed.

DOE
629A Haight Street
415-558-8588

If there are no stores near you Ebay always has lots of HC bags for sale. I have to admit I’ve thought a bit about buying another one of these bags. But instead now I’m looking at the Longchamp Pliages line for my nylon bag needs.

If a HC is too pricey to you, check out the very similar Two Toned Totes at the Container Store.

[Also: See what happened when I washed my HC bag.]