In addition to being a lawyer and a yogi, I am also a handbag addict. I told you purses would need their own entry.
There is nothing I love more than a great handbag. Yes, this is the entry in which I attempt to justify having bought more than one purse recently—BEFORE the Year of Buying Nothing began.
For a working woman, a bag can be so much more than a bag—it can pull an outfit together, carry everything needed for the day and keep it organized and so much more! A work tote is an absolute necessity for the modern woman in the workplace. As I began going to court more often over the past year and needed to carry files, paperwork, and occasionally my laptop, it became clear that a new tote was needed. The trusty Tignanello tote that had served me well for years carrying binders, notebooks and HUGE law textbooks during law school was no longer cutting it as my only tote. After years of hard use, it was time for the Tignanello to take a rest on the back burner as a backup tote, perhaps to be passed on to someone else in the near future.
After obsessively researching work totes for weeks, if not months, I made the following (mindful) additions:
Dooney & Bourke Lexington Shopper Tote: This adorable tote is structured and professional. I got it in black with brown straps so that it matches anything. It’s large enough to carry some files and a legal pad, but not my 15” laptop. This is perfect for interviews to carry a copy of my resume or for days when I need to carry some files or paperwork, but don’t need my laptop. Sewn into the bag is a strap with a hook on the end to attach to car keys so they don’t get lost at the bottom of the bag—I’ve never had a bag with that feature before and never knew I needed it until I had one!
(Photo from dooney.com)
Love 41 Simple Tote (Limited Edition Whiskey Brown): This lesser-known leather brand is known for its durable leather goods. They are so confident in their products, they offer a 41-year warranty (hence the name Love 41), and their sales benefit charity. Their sister company, Saddleback, offers a 100-year warranty on their products and boasts “they’ll fight over it when you’re dead.” Both companies use full-grain, vegetable tanned leather that is designed to only look better with age. I love this particular bag because whiskey brown is unique, as it is a limited-edition color that is not one of the brand’s standard colors. The unlined interior gives the bag a rugged, durable feel. This bag can take a beating!
In addition to being unique, the whiskey brown color goes well with a pair of shoes I already own and will look great for years to come. I purchased one of the brand’s tassels in a complementary color to give my bag some extra pizazz. In the month or so I have had it, it has already become my go-to bag. It looks nice enough to take to work, tough yet light enough to carry around running errands, but doesn’t look out of place with my yoga pants when I lug it to yoga class! With the open top, it might not be the most practical choice for when I go to court.
(Tote pictured at work with matching Lucky Brand shoes)
(Pictured with Love41 tassel in western cedar)
Satchel & Page Briefcase— I’m justifying buying yet another bag because I do not currently have a briefcase or a bag I can take to court that will fit my laptop besides my old Tignanello. I’ve recently learned that, when it comes to leather, getting the highest quality for your money often means eschewing a designer or name brand. I had originally purchased a designer bag to fill this need, but was less than enthused when comparing the quality of it to my new Love41 bag. I returned the designer bag and went back to square one, this time looking at leather working companies instead of designer and department store websites.
As I was searching, I found a briefcase from Satchel & Page, a leather company I found out about online from other Love41 fans. Like Saddleback, Satchel & Page offers a lifetime warranty. This briefcase bag has the distinct honor of being my last purchase for an entire year. I am still waiting to receive it because Satchel & Page uses a kickstarter-type model to crowdfund their production runs. I should get it in a few more weeks.
(NOTE: These are completely voluntary and unpaid endorsements on my part. There are no sponsors yet.)