From Bag to Worse

My name is Amy. And I destroy purses.

I always have the best of intentions. Whether it’s a cheapo Target faux leather impulse buy or a beautiful Cole Haan leather bag, I pledge it will be different this time. But then life gets in the way. My bag always has a notebook and a book inside. Then I’ll occasionally toss a netbook in for work meetings. Since I am an old person who remembers a day before somewhat decent cellphone picture resolution, I carry a decent point and shoot camera too. Factor in my wallet, cellphone, janitor-like collection of keys, lip balm, lip color, collapsable reusable bag, Kleenex travel pack for my endlessly runny nose, and a small collection of pens, it’s no wonder I ruin them.

The gorgeous red leather purse I bought on a trip to Italy in 2006 has straps that are about to fall off. The Cole Haan bag I bought at the Filene’s Basement final sale (the original awesome Downtown Crossing one, not the chain liquidation) is discolored with frayed straps. An H&M saddlebag sucks pens into the netherworld between the lining and the imitation leather exterior. The Tignanello red hobo purse I adored is ripped to shreds around the magnetic closure. The Tignanello bag my boyfriend’s Mom gave me when I was interviewing for jobs a couple of years ago is now frayed on the strap as well.

As a teenager, I didn’t like carrying a purse until I bought this bag at an Army/Navy store. It held the composition notebooks I was always writing in along with a Discman quite nicely, and allowed me to sew on an array of patches and display all the snarky pins I could buy at Newbury Comics with my babysitting money. It didn’t have a lining, so it was impossible to lose anything inside the purse itself. The strap did eventually fray, but it was cheap to replace.

As tempting as it is to drop a few bucks on an Army/Navy bag for day-to-day use, it doesn’t really project the image of a polished woman I’m trying to adopt now. (Stop laughing.) I keep scouring the internet for a durable, sleek, preferably cloth-like bag with a nearly invincible lining and straps that will hold my massive pile of crap without being too bulky, but I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for. If you’ve got a hot tip, leave it in the comments or holler at me on the Twitters.


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