Say Hello to My Little Friend, eh Handbag

May 11, 2017

For years, I carried Mary Poppins-sized carpet bags everywhere I went.  Big satchels, voluminous totes, messenger bags.  I needed their contents–everything from Purell to makeup to notebooks.  These were “essentials.”

Then, one day, one of my co-workers walked into the office carrying a mid-sized clutch.  What was wrong with her?  Didn’t she commute?  Didn’t she need an extra pair of shoes, hairbrush, iPhone charger, and seven lip glosses?  She had mastered traveling light.  Anything she might need for the workday was kept in her desk.  Only her “ride or die” essentials were in her bag.

It took me a long time to understand this way of thinking, but I’m starting to get it, at least when it comes to my non-work bag.

Last month, I took the large wallet that I’ve carried for my entire adult life, and replaced it will a simple card case.  Only once, during a spontaneous trip to Costco, was I without something I actually needed.   So when I spotted this small satchel on the Instagram of another fashion blogger, I decided it was time to give a smaller purse a try.

This Mackage Rubie Satchel ($375) is the most adorable bag ever.  I love the arrow-shaped clasp; it’s a chic detail.  It’s also surprisingly functional for such a small bag.  On the underside of the flap, there’s a small pouch where I keep cash.  The main compartment is divided into two.  One side holds my cellphone and keys, while the other holds my wallet, lipgloss, and sunglasses. If you want to skip the wallet, the inner pocket is lined with several card slots.  And it comes with a shoulder strap, so you can wear it as a crossbody.

The bag comes in the blush color that I bought, as well as white, red, black, and black with gold hardware.  They also make a version called The Keeley, which is wider by two inches.  I’m thinking about buying it in black-on-black.

Looking for something smaller but affordable?  Mini Reed satchel in a selection of summer colors has very cool luggage details.  I also like the sleek handle on this Audra Mini Crossbody.    And this Merona mini-top handle is not to be missed.

I am completely obsessed with this purse, and I get so many compliments when I carry it.  It’s one of the best purchases that I’ve made in a long time.  I’m adjusting to carrying less, but I really enjoy not having to lug a large satchel when I don’t need one.  If I wanted to carry this bag to work, I would probably carry a large tote separately (if I needed shoes or other large items that day) or just store things in my desk.

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  1. Ari says:

    The details on that bag! So, cute. I love the clasp. Love that you refer to your large bags as Marry Poppins carpet bags because that is exactly what I call my laptop tote. I’ve actually been on the same mission and recently ordered a Lo & Sons Pearl, because it will be so easy to pop in my laptop tote when I carry it and just grab the handbag when I’m not toting my computer.

    • J says:

      I’m not usually a purse fanatic, but I am obsessed with my Lo & Sons Pearl. Bought it in black a year ago wondering how useful it would be, and now I carry it almost every day and it has held up gloriously through everything from my DC metro commute to multiple international trips. Planning on pulling the trigger on another color since they’re currently 40% off.

      • Belle says:

        I heard the worst things about the strap on that bag. How do you like it?

        • addie says:

          i got the navy saffiano l&s pearl about a month ago and love it. i don’t have any complaints or praises about the strap. it’s pretty sturdy/comfy.

        • J says:

          The strap has been great for me. Tight stitching, sturdy, has stood up well to the overall beating that it has taken under my ownership. There’s a Reddit thread out there about some loose stitching, but I’m assuming that’s a factory defect and not the norm (and for what it’s worth, I’ve always found L&S customer service quite good, so presumably any stitching issues would result in a replacement). But I’m no connoisseur of purse straps so perhaps others with keener eyes see something I don’t.

          • Abigail says:

            Addie – I have three l&s bags (O.M.G, Pearl, and Claremont), all for at least one year, and can attest to the quality of the structure. They have held their structure through regular use professionally and personally, including a lot of travel.

            As for the customer service – When the Claremont first arrived, the hangtag – which can also hold an extra SD card – was miscolored. I contacted l&s to ask for a replacement, and happened to indicated that I was leaving for a year in Europe in two days. Unpromoted, l&s overnighted a new hangtag to me, which arrived before I depa.rted for the airport.

            So basically – if you are interested in their products, take the leap. You won’t regret it.

          • Ari says:

            Glad to hear the bag holds up well. I actually picked mine up used on Ebay because I saw that Reddit thread. I was afraid to pay full price. I have to of their laptop totes (Brookline and O.G.) and I love them, so I’m really excited to try the Pearl.

    • Anna says:

      The Pearl reminds me a little too much of a bag my mom had in the early 90s. It can definitely work for some people though. I’m definitely liking their Waverly though. Not sure if it’s big enough to fit a Kindle, but that’s about the size bag I prefer to carry in the summer.

  2. Dina Chavez says:

    Such a cute bag!

  3. Sof says:

    Bless you, I wish I could do the same. Unfortunately I have to drag my insulin and medical supplies literally everywhere I go, so downsizing isn’t on my horizon. I’ll admire from afar!

    • Belle says:

      Rough, but being alive is more important than a cute bag. When I go to the bar, I have to take a flexible clutch to accommodate my epi-pen (serious gin allergy), so this cute little guy will have to stay at home.

  4. Cat says:

    Re: the large wallet problem. I highly recommend taking photos of all your random membership cards / library card and keeping them in a folder on your phone (or for participating retailers, storing them in your Apple Wallet/similar). Most of the time they scan just fine, and even if they don’t, the account info is right there for the cashier to type in.

  5. PSP says:

    My water bottle! I carry one with me EVERYWHERE, and that’s what constantly keeps me in large purses.

  6. Jess says:

    My purse has to be big enough to hold an actual book. So 20th century, I know! I will however, second the card holder instead of a wallet. I made the switch about a year ago and I will never go back.

    • Kelly says:

      I usually have a book or my Kindle, but what really keeps me using large bags is carrying my lunch in my purse. I’m starting to think about getting a separate lunch tote and then I could really downsize my bag.

  7. Meghan says:

    This bag is SO cute! Might need to borrow it if I ever make it out to your neck of the woods 😉

  8. Anna says:

    I got a card case, thinking I would only use it when going out instead of my full wallet, and I ended up pretty much using it exclusively. Now I have a pocket attached to the back of my phone case, again, initially with the intention of only using it for business cards at receptions or for cafeteria runs, and now I rarely even carry the card case.

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