Seen above: My Pamela Munson bag, which I’ve owned for many years. A full (raving) review below. I’m wearing Doen’s Siena dress, which I found on sale for 40% off in a different pattern. It was one of my favorite dresses last summer. You do need a half-slip and these with it, as it is semi-sheer. I’m wearing my Hermes Orans; you can get the look for less with these.
Ed. Note: Historically, I have referred to these shopping Q+As as “WYSF” (What You’re Shopping For) installments, but I had a lot of readers confused by the acronym. Retitling to the clarifying “Dear Abby” type title instead! Just a heads up on the name change. I will still be answering your queries!
I was surprised by how many spring bag inquiries there were in my latest call for shopping requests! Then, yesterday morning, I noticed a small patch of hopeful crocuses standing proudly, vulnerably against the gray and bare and I realized spring is not as far away as we think. Below, my top picks for spring bags, sorted by general use case.
Spring 2023 Bags for Everyday Life — Motherhood + Beyond.
The bags below are fabulous options for everyday bags — running errands, taking children out and about, grabbing coffee with girlfriends, daily schlep to/from a casual work environment, etc. Critical in my criteria for selection: all of these bags must be able to be worn over the shoulder for functionality. A few notes on particular styles:
01. It’s been awhile since I mentioned the M.Z. Wallace Medium Metro tote but I still get a lot of use out of mine for bigger adventure days with the children. (You can read a full review here.) I found this bag to be a workhorse when I was in the early days of looking after two very young children, and there was so much gear to carry everywhere! It has a zippered top and fits, like, your entire living room. It is large, so unless you have a lot to carry with you, I would pick another style for true everyday living.
02. I’ve had my Pamela Munson bag (large size, not small, seen above with white leather straps) for at least four or five years now and I still pull it out every single spring/summer and wear very heavily. It is a tad heavy, but I love the look and it carries a lot more than you’d think. I also appreciate the interior side pocket — just the right size for my phone. I’ve often used this as a bag when out with children when I also want to look coordinated/pulled together. Her bags are just spectacular in concept and quality. I get stopped about this bag regularly, still.
03. My most-worn everyday bag is my Goyard St. Louis PM Bag. You can find tons second-hand or in mint condition on Fashionphile, which is convenient, as you can only otherwise buy the bags in person at a Goyard store. It weighs next to nothing so is fantastic for everyday life / diaper bag / etc. I will say that it shows wear after awhile of heavy use (not surprising — I mean, I’ve used this bag every week for nearly six years). I need to have mine sent off to Goyard (actually, making a note to bring it up with me to NYC next time I’m there) for repair — they will replace the straps and reinforce the corners that show wear for a few hundred dollars. I love that it is highly lightweight, fits a fair amount, has a great shoulder drop (not too short or too long), and always makes me feel polished.
04. I don’t own a Naghedi St. Barth tote, but many of my friends do, and they love it because it has a kind of sturdy, neoprene weave that handles the occasional splash / sitting in a little water / at the beach / on the ground in dirt situation that comes with parenting and living a busy life. Love the Bottega-esque style and comes in great colors. Plus, a reasonable price for something you might wear just as easily with a sundress as you would with leggings and a sweatshirt. You can get the look for less with this Amazon score.
M.Z. WALLACE MEDIUM METRO TOTE // NAGHEDI ST. BARTHS TOTE // AMAZON WOVEN TOTE // BON DEP LIBERTY TOTE (YOU CAN HAVE IT PERSONALIZED!) // GOYARD ST. LOUIS PM // PAMELA MUNSON ISLA BAHIA TOTE // RUE DE VERNUEIL CRUISE TOTE // L’UNIFORM CANVAS TOOL BAG
Spring 2023 Bags for Work.
I selected work bags that could be more or less worn year round, as I don’t think I ever swapped out a bag for work according to seasons, but I understand that several of you are looking to make a new work bag investment. Some notes:
01. I own the Annabel Ingall tote and it is fantastic. I use it frequently when I need to carry a laptop and sometimes as a diaper/kids bag for everyday life. It is polished and understated. It is a tad heavy on its own and for some reason one of those bags whose leather smell lingers — not necessarily in a great way. It kind of has a raw hide scent. Just pointing out because, even five or six years after purchase, it still smells!
02. I own a Cuyana — not this exact style, but a similar one — and remain impressed with the quality for the price. I love that it doesn’t announce itself with big logos or hardware, too. I used to use this bag for work travel carry-on all the time as it was big enough for a laptop, polished, but I wouldn’t be stressed about shoving it under the seat in front of me (vs. my skittishness with nicer bags).
Note the dimensions for all of these bags prior to purchase relative to your laptop/technology dimensions. Not all will be perfectly suited for the larger Macbooks. But I also know some of us don’t need to carry technology back and forth, and are just looking for something with polish.
Spring 2023 Statement Bags.
The just-for-fun category! I am personally lusting after each and every one of these bags. I really love Pamela Munson’s Lady Bag and might have to add it to my collection, though her new Sally style is cute and slightly easier to wear thanks to the strap. I own and adore my Amanda Lindroth basket bag (love the contrasting leather strap — the brown leather coordinates perfectly with my Hermes Oran sandals) and have the smaller size of the FRP Collection Sylvia bag below in a gorgeous mint color I wore all last summer.
P.S. Also had some requests for pretty Easter/spring dresses. I did end up ordering this one because I could not stop thinking about it, and it was (is) selling fast. I’m usually not this far ahead of the game but I saw it and literally fell in love and knew it had to be mine. More pretty special occasion attire for the season ahead in this post.
P.P.S. On channeling “pre-internet energy.” Such an interesting thought.
P.P.P.S. New fitness finds.