Ask Belle: Weekend Casual Bags

May 29, 2013

Hi Belle,

I have been enjoying your blog for awhile, and have made numerous purchases from your recommendations, and they all have been great. I was curious if you could share a few weekend bags that have both a long shoulder strap and shorter handles that are chic, lightweight, and under-$200. I saw that Lo and Sons just announced a Catalina weekend bag, and it is already on a waitlist. A bag that works for all seasons would be ideal.

Thanks, Rachel

I’m so glad you mentioned the Lo & Sons Catalina bag ($120)!  I actually received one to test out and it is awesome.  Enormous.  Huge.  Gigantic.  But awesome in its largeness.

The bag is canvas and has a large top compartment, which, as their video illustrates, can hold anything you’ve got to throw in it.  It also has a compartment along the bottom that zips, perfect for storing a wet swimsuit, a sandy beach towel or a change of shoes.  It would make the perfect weekend travel bag or pool/beach bag.

But if you don’t have time to wait or you’re looking for something a bit different, I also have some ideas for you.

First, I’d look at a nylon bag.  While I don’t endorse Longchamp bags for the office (too casual), using it as a weekend travel bag or a gym bag makes sense to me.  I prefer something with more structure, like this nylon Lipault bag or this inexpensive Lulu Guinness duffel.

Prefer the look of leather?  I found this great faux-leather duffel, that I can’t believe costs under-$100.

If it’s a beach bag you’re after, this DvF for Roxy tote is still my favorite.  But this Herschel tote from Urban Outfitters has a lot of pockets and would be great for a mom headed to the beach or the pool.

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  1. Leigh says:

    Kate Spade Saturday has some cute bags, they look pretty similar to the Lo & Sons bag.

  2. Julie says:

    Dangzors, that Catalina bag is absolutely massive! But it does look perfect as a weekender bag. I just discovered Sole Society recently and I’m pretty much in love with everything they have–especially their shoes!

    Style by Joules

  3. Naomi says:

    Everlane has great weekender bags. Just received their new reverse-denim bag. It’s a huge, classic, and fits a lot, with long (but too long) leather straps. Love it.

  4. Amy says:

    Can anyone really pack for an entire weekend in one of these? If so, I really need a lesson on lean-and-mean packing! Perhaps a topic for a future post, Belle?

  5. L says:

    I recommend the JPK Paris Lovesac bags. They’re basically like Longchamps — plain, light, different sizes available — but not as overpriced. They’re on Rue La La sales a lot.

  6. Valerie says:

    Lo and Sons, I will eventually end up spending way too much money on several of your bags. I love them. Belle, if you get the discount for Cap Hill Style readers on any of their bags, please let us know!

  7. Beth says:

    I love that bag too but I am surprised to see the model toting all that cr8p around – on a bike, even. That bag had to have weighed 15 pounds when she was done with it.

  8. T says:

    I definitely agree with the JPK Paris Lovesac bags recommendation- I got a huge one from Rue La La for $19 that’s comparable to a $200 Med-Large Longchamps. It’s great for gym clothes, overnights (as in going to the bf’s apt, not backing for a weekend away overnight), and stuffing a picnic blanket and stuff in for the weekends, and is so light, adds no bulk. Only word of warning- don’t overstuff it. I once used it for a weekender bag and the threading on one of the straps popped off b/c I was putting weight on it (the straps are really thin and can’t bear a lot of unnecessary weight)

    Also agree with Beth. Lo and Sons bags are deceivingly HEAVY. I tried using the OMG bag as my gym bag (to carry a tank top, shorts, and tennis shoes, and a luna bar) and the bag was so heavy and dug so deep into my shoulder I had a bruise for a week! Switched right back to my cheapy JPK Paris bag right after that and never looked back. Lo and Sons bags are only good for car trips. Definitely not what you want if you’re commuting/walking/metroing/lugging around an airport/taking on a weekend trip to NYC.

    • Elizabeth says:

      While it can get a little heavy, I tend to disagree with you abut the OMG bag. When I fly I use it as my “personal item” along with a small rolling suitcase and it has the zippers on one side that allow it to fit on top of my rolling suitcase. And I also carry it as my gym bag with the same items you list plus an iPad (I watch my favorite guilty pleasure shows on the treadmill) and a water bottle. The bag has never been so heavy for me to stop carrying it. I always use the shoulder strap though, I could see just the handles hurting your shoulder.

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