Friday, November 16, 2007

Arm Candy?

(I went looking on the web for nice purses and couldn't find any. To me, these are ugly. There's too much detail, too much contrast, too much hardware. I like my purses quiet and well-behaved. That doesn't seem to be the trend in purses at the moment. Images from

I'm not even going to get them out.

I have three.

Stalwart Staple: (1)

One over the shoulder bag in black. Could be leather, but I doubt it. I got it after Christmas, (sssh, at a department store), on sale. I like shoulder bags as I must have my hands free--if not for a child, then for my ever present coffee mug. It's OK. It "goes" with my running shoes. When I wear it, I wear it--it is most unfashionably across my chest. Those sloping shoulders are a nuisance.

Same Time, Next Year: (2)

One brightly coloured, probably plastic beach bag bought in a flash of anticipation of packing it to go to the park (beaches being few and far between in these parts). We did that for a while. Actually though, I prefer a backpack for this--and loading up the kids with stuff in their own backpacks. "I am not your valet" is an oft heard expression around here.

One small shiny patent black leather shoulder bag bought back when I purchased my black leather patent shoes (which do not and shall not ever fit me again). I don't think I have ever used it. The only occasions I seemed to have for it were all in summer when carrying a black bag, no matter how shiny, just seemed wrong. I've had it (and the shoes) for probably 20+ years. They were my first "grown-up" wardrobe investment pieces.

Not a purse, so much as a good sturdy bag to schlep books back and forth to the library. I use really strong plastic bags--but they do wear out and I'm not that fond of the "bag lady" look. As Mella so diplomatically said,

"nothing wrong with anyone who is, but I'm not one, and I don't want my accessories to be dishonest."
The library actually sells a fabric bag, but I've resisted purchasing it as it would be nice to also have a bag for purchases at Home despot and other places that use plastic bags. And I don't like being branded--not even by the library.

I don't suppose you've come across a pattern for such a thing, Zooza? I'd have to have super industrial strength handles on the thing.

And that, as they say, is that.

Now what?


zooza said...

I'm having to step back a little bit from everything at the moment (I will explain shortly), but for now I have posted a few links on my blog for you. I hope one of them is what you're looking for!

Shopping Bags post

drwende said...

Those images really justify not being a purse person, don't they?

Yikes! So my puffy black tote from Target is a Prada tribute. It's a lot easier to like at ~$25 than at "hey, that's more than my rent!"

smallcitybeth said...

Those images are exactly why I have trouble finding a purse that works for me. They're all so huge!

I like Zooza's shopping bags post. I, too, don't like being branded -- I have resisted all the shopping bag options in all the stores, because I don't want to have one store's name emblazoned on the bag I use for another store. But I'm with you in needing something better than grocery bags for my library books.

curing what ails me said...

On second thought...after looking at zooza's links, I really like the one that looks like a plastic shopping bag with integrated handles...I think this will be a pattern I can use to make bags for everyone on my Christmas list. Looks cool and durable at the same time, and would be a great way to use up some of my fabric stash.

curing what ails me said...

sorry, thought I posted a previous comment extolling the virtues of the L.L.Bean Boat and Tote...I don't see it anywhere, but that is what my "second thought" comment referred to.

drwende said...

For routine book and grocery toting, I went straight for "obnoxious" -- I use a tote advertising a California drugstore that doesn't have stores in Arizona.

Mella DP said...

It sounds like you have the most workable system so far. And yes, those are ugly. Especially the two on the bottom.

Totebags - piece of cake with zooza's patterns, maybe triple-reinforce all the seams. I have a whole collection gleaned from conferences, career fairs, and trade shows. Also a few purchased ones (I was pining after Wegmans for an eternity after leaving NY, so my mother had pity and sent me some bags). And some from my mother, who's a librarian and so gets pummeled with tote bags drive-by-shooting style most every day.

lorijo said...

LL Bean and Lands end both make some rather nice canvas bags, heavy duty handles, in different sizes. I really like them alot.

Anne said...

I agree about the canvas bags, and if you like plain solid purses that are nice leather but not so fussy, some department stores carry a brand called Hobo International that I am very fond of. I am a bag lover but most of my everyday/work bags come from REI or another outdoor store so the Hobo International ones are really a treat.

Alana in Canada said...

Lorijo and anne--thanks, I just saw you suggestions. Perhaps Hobo International is different than the bags I've seen called Hobo? (That seems to be a style and it doesn't appeal to me.)
And lorijo--LL Bean and Land's End, indeed! I saw one at each--both under $40 which is much closer to my price range than anything I've been cruising for on my own. But even so, $40.00 is probably what I paid for my purse--and even though it was a Christmas gift--I thought I was spending too much. I had no idea I was so *cheap.*

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