Friday, June 5, 2009

The Tote

During the high school years, my sons had events to attend nearly every day. I started lugging books and notebooks with me so that I could use my waiting time. My purses began gettting larger and larger, full of interesting items. Near the end, they looked like overnight bags. I suspect that some of the purses people were always buying for me in sympathy were actually luggage. Before long, my purses became a family joke. Why, I wondered, does my husband laugh every time I heave my "purse" into the car ?

I am a little embarrassed to share all of this, but I should be completely honest with you. I also started losing things. It was hard to stay organized when my family was on the run. My larger purses were not large enough. The things I needed wouldn't all fit in them. So I carried them to the car as well. Important papers, favorite pens, notes, even make-up, got lost in the cracks between the seats. For a few months, I started carrying an extra cloth bag to the car, in additon to my large purse. The extra bag was floppy and didn't do a good job of keeping everything inside. Now, my friends laughed when I came to the car. It's no surprise. This was all pretty silly.

One Sunday afternoon, I was reading the paper when I saw an article about a new trend in New York City for female executives. It's called the tote. It's a large leather (or faux leather) bag. Some of the bags have a lot of compartments; some have only a few. Gym clothes, papers for work, books, grocery lists, make-up, medicine, lunch -- it all can go into the tote. You can also buy a small, matching purse that is agile and lightweight. The larger bag stays in the car; for some women, it's carried once a day into the office and back to the car, but it mostly stays in one place. The smaller bag goes with errands into the supermarket, the bank, and the post office.

The totes look very stylish. I imagined myself carrying one and looking very sleek, chic, and all together. I expressed my desires to my husband, who took me shopping for one of these totes over Christmas. A number of stores carry them in a wide price range. The totes at larger department stores were expensive. After an afternoon of searching, we found one at New York and Company, on sale for $20. It's black leather. Since I wear a lot of black, this is a good color choice. My bag has held up well with use over the last six months. It always looks clean, neat, and -- yes, chic.

In May, I finally found the perfect little purse to match my tote at Staples for under $20. It's slightly larger than a clutch purse, with many little pockets inside and moderate-length straps. It's black leather and white stitching match my tote exactly. I feel very together when I pick up my purse and tote. As I have traveled this past spring, I've been grateful to have them.

When I looked online today, I could not find the tote I purchased in December, but I did find something similar. New York and Company is currently offering a City-Style Peppled Tote for just under $14. Other totes they offer come in a range of colors and styles. Staples carries small purses in their stores that are quality products for reasonable prices.

I suggest -- no, I urge -- you to go and buy yourself a tote and purse system. Take your time. Be choosy. Make sure it's something you will love, both for it's structure and it's appearance. This is a smart way to treat yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I'm encouraged...time to go shopping for a good tote!

    Thanks for posting this!
    Laura (THL)


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