Yeah, so I’ve got a bit of a bag fetish. I like shoes – but I love bags.
Not because they’re pretty, or fashionable, or chic (although it doesn’t hurt) – but because they’re so practical.
A great bag will carry, contain, and organise all of your most important day-to-day bits and bobs, and will never leave you fishing for your keys whilst balancing half a P.A. system on your knee against the side of your car.
Although, I have daydreams about being a purse polygamist and having a different statement bag for every outfit – I really don’t have the time or energy to constantly switch everything around – and I certainly don’t have space in my tiny closet.
So, I opted for the minimalist option: A wonder bag for all outfits and occasions. And these were my requirements:
- Hobo or trapeze style
- Easy to dress up or down
- Neutral colour – not white as it’s too hard to clean, and not black, as I don’t generally include it in my neutral palette because it washes me out.
- Excellent quality and durability (if I’m gonna use this bag every day, it needs to seriously hold up to wear and tear
- Medium size
- Flat bottom to stand up straight when open
- Light! Heavy bags and guitars give me very bad neck strain – I solved my guitar problem with this great invention).
- Beautiful! If I only get one bag, it better be a damn nice one!
On a daily basis, my bag contains:
- Earbud headphones
- Pen & Filofax (yes; I still use a Filofax)
- Lip balm, hair pins
- Guitar picks
- Business cards
And in addition, if I’m going out for the whole day or travelling:
- Water bottle
- The Times codeword book (I usually just tear out a few pages)
- Library book or Kindle
- Phone charger
- Cosmetics bag
So ideally, I needed a bag that was not too big for my daily items, but that could also accommodate my “extra” items when necessary.
It took me quite a long time to find a bag that ticked all of the boxes, but then last December I stumbled across this beauty in Manchester Airport:
It was perfect in every way, except . . .
It was really missing compartments and dividers, and didn’t hold its shape very well when standing.
After a few weeks, the bag just became a black hole of stuff. The two small pockets on the side were quite shallow, and my keys and phone would often fall out and mingle dangerously in the main compartment.
But I loved the bag so much that I couldn’t even consider replacing it, so I searched for handbag dividers, and stumbled across this fabulous felted purse organiser on Etsy. These made-to-measure inserts are handmade by Burak Yilmaz and his small team at OriginalClub in Turkey.
I ordered the version made specifically for my Lonchamp model in storm grey, and I seriously could not be more happy. It’s a perfect fit, and it has solved all my organisational issues! Plus it gives the bag back its shape, so it looks so much better inside and out.
It was way above my price point, even though it was significantly reduced, But the timing couldn’t have been better because my parents had sent me some Christmas money in lieu of presents. I know – I’m spoiled!
I was in love. With a Longchamp Paris Le Pliage Cuir small foldable tote.
Now, there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place!
I do still own a small clutch for very dress-up affairs, and a backpack for travelling, but otherwise, my Longchamp+OriginalClub combo is the secret formula for a stylish and serviceable everyday wonder bag!
I think this bag works with pretty well everything: