The Perfect Everyday Bag

I get a lot of questions about finding the perfect everyday bag.

ramshackle glam botkier bag

This is mine.

Now, granted: I own a lot of bags. It’s sort of my thing: I like that the right one instantly makes even a t-shirt and jeans look like an actual “outfit” and that they make excellent long-term investments, because unless they’re white (which is not a bag color that I should ever own) you don’t have to worry too much about them. As opposed to, say, shoes, which I destroy instantly.

But even given my fairly extensive handbag collection, the Botkier pictured above (which, by the way, I found majorly discounted online) is the one I use for everyday grab-and-go purposes, and it’s a pretty good example of what I think an investment bag should be:

– Between $150 and $500: any less than that and I think you sacrifice some quality; any more than that is just unnecessary when there are so many gorgeous bags in that range (I make an exception for Chanel, which I don’t own but would very much like to).

– Either black or dark grey (in my opinion, red and leopard are also excellent picks for an investment bag, since they go with much, much more than you might think).

– Classic enough to go with everything, but with a few unique details to make it stand out (I love the zippers and the hot-pink interior of my bag).

– Small enough to tote around everywhere without hurting your neck, but big enough to carry what you realistically need (I need something large-ish because I carry a pretty big wallet, a DSLR camera, and about ten thousand toy cars at all times).

– Made of a sturdy (and easy-to-clean) fabric.

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If you prefer something slightly more casual, the Ellington Mia Tote (pictured above) is kind of amazing. It’s excellently priced, has a great shape and cute brushed gold details…and is nylon twill, so it’s both easy-to-clean and really lightweight – you can barely feel the thing on when it’s not filled.

foley corinna mid city tort

I also absolutely love Foley & Corinna’s Mid-City Tote: I own it in emerald green, but if you buy it in a dark solid (or this amazing black-and-gold plated style) it would be perfect for everyday. It’s made of a gorgeous leather that feels stiff when it first arrives but quickly softens up into a beautiful, slouchy foldover shape, holds more than you’d think, and perfectly toes the line between “fancy” and “casual”, making it an excellent day-to-night option.

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And just in case none of those work for you, here are more options that I haven’t tried out personally, but that I very much love the look of:

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