Every time I read a list of fashion basics, or fashion staples, or capsule wardrobe examples, a leather tote bag is, without exception, included. I used to think it was true, but in fact, any chiropractor would tell you it is not true.
I used to wear a leather tote bag that was vintage, made in Spain, that I got for $25 at Du Bois fabrics. Me and my girlfriend were flying to Seattle, to check it out because she had some job offers there, and my bag went off in the metal detector. I really couldn’t figure out what it was! So I was standing there, running late, pulling out all my mini color block makeup bags that I got as a set at Target, and used for different purposes like makeup, writing implements, etc., to organize everything in my superlarge bag.
Finally, I found my leatherman tool in one of the bags that were supposed to help me organize. I had “lost” it the month prior and had been unknowingly carrying it everywhere every day!
Carrying around a leatherman multi tool for over a month without knowing it was really my wake up call. Leather tote bags are remarkably heavy and inefficient. Unless you get a camera bag that includes a heavy and padded organizer, everything pools in the bottom four inches of the bag and your items ste knocking around, swimming in stuff soup, and impossible to find at night without a headlamp.
When I was shopping for new, smaller bags, my girlfriend pointed out that leather itself was heavy. I had literally never thought of this. Leather seemed like the ONLY option for a sturdy, everyday “kind of an investment but not really a true investment bag because I’m not some kind of person buying a Celiné or Hermes bag”.
Anyway, after she pointed out how heavy to me just leather by itself (without even putting all the stuff I carry around everyday) is, I decided to get a nylon bag. I got a Prada 8x8x2 Testusso crossbody bag with an authentication card from Poshmark, and I have been happy using it everyday for almost a year. I take it to divey hipster bars and on hikes without worrying. It’s easy to spot clean.
Prada Testusso baguette bags are very fairly priced on the Real Real, and I think that is a very good option! The baguette is very out of style for no good reason. The long, shallow shape makes finding all your stuff easy. I really don’t understand bucket bags or other bags that are longer than they are wide, because you can really only use the few inches along the bottom for everyday purposes. A purse shouldn’t be an archeological dig.
Plus, I think baguettes will come back in 3 years when people can stop saying 2006 was so horrible. I like baguettes and 3/4 tights,.