Best Bags Ever

The Rules for getting a fabulous woman a fabulous purse. Even if you are a man.

1. Shop at a store near you. Easy to return.
2. Go with your instincts. Even if you ask the sales people for tips and advice, you look at the bag and see if it something that will appeal to the lady you know.
3. Look at her current bags. Ask about them. Example: "I like that purse. Where did you get it? Did you take that purse with you to cousin Sally's wedding?"
4. Ask how much her current favorite bag cost. Spend within $100 of it. Outside of this range, she will return it because you spent too little, or too much.
5. Look at the "hardware" -- the buckles, the snaps, the zippers. Is it quality? Is it tough -- like a Snap On tool set or whatever those red things are at the auto mechanics? That's what you want.
6. Real leather. (Sure, she might have faux fur handbags but stuff like that you have to let her buy on her own.)
7. Don't get a purse to match her eyes.
8. Throw a little something else inside the purse. A coffee card. A pair of gloves. Candy. That's just a sweet little touch.
9. Don't talk about the "really nice sales lady" who helped you. That's just weird. You did it yourself, okay?
10. What is the last rule?! Click EasyEdit and add it here!

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Best bag now:

Francesco Biasia 'Calendar Girl' Hobo Bag

  • Calendar girl

    Zippered pouch pockets front a crinkled leather hobo with brushed metal hardware.
  • Top zip closure.
  • Adjustable strap.
  • Back magnetic snap pocket.
  • Interior zip, slide and cell phone pockets.
  • Leather: sweet, textured, fantastically colored Italian leather.
  • By Francesco Biasia; imported.
  • $335, at Nordstrom.
  • Excellent gift!

What makes a favorite? Is it the fashion, or is it the function? Share your secrets for what makes a favorite! Click on EasyEdit and get to talking about the best little purse you ever carried.

custom term papers

My first favorite bag...

Molly's Best Bags:

...was a black microfiber, over-the-shoulder bag. It had a rectangular bottom, probably 8 inches long, soft slightly padded sides that held their shape, a zipper top, and flexible plastic handles, a faux tortoise-shell. The straps were long enough I could put it over my shoulder with one hand, but not so long it swung too much.
When I had this bag, I was traveling quite a bit for work. I didn’t really need a briefcase, so this small bag was perfect. It had an inside zippered pocket where I kept my business card case for easy access. It was big enough for a wallet, a makeup bag, a passport and a camera, and a cell phone, back when they first came out. The zipper top made it safe for the streets of Tokyo or Russia, and the black fabric with the tortoiseshell handles meant it could go with black or brown. The black fabric always looked great, and cleaned easily. Loved it. One of the straps finally pulled out, while I was in Japan. I had to attach it with a safety pin til I got back home.

Best Bags Ever - It's All in the BagMy recent favorite bag is big enough to hold my laptop if I need to take it with me, or at
least my jot-down-everything notebook. Again, the straps are long enough to swing over my shoulder with one hand. It has an inside zippered pocket near the top for my keys and business card case, and a pocket with an elasticized top for my cell phone. On top of the great way this bag works for me, what’s killer about it is the style. It’s from Clever Carriage Company, and even men comment on it. On the outside, it’s canvas, with a print with a French winery logo (that's what men like). Because the canvas has an off-white background and is of lighter weight, the whole canvas outside is covered in a plastic-like material. Fabulous. Inside, it’s lined in a darling black and white gingham, and the straps and trim around the top are black leather. It's sophisticated enough I can take it to my most formal meetings. I’ve toted it around so much over the last few years, the plastic has started to wear at the bottom corners. Time for a new one.

Bosom pinkHere's a bag I'd love to have, but I haven't indulged yet. I had these ladies from Bosom Buddy bring their bags to a fashion show and boutique I organized as a fund raiser. All the models had a blast choosing one of their bags to match their outfits. The dupioni silk bag at the top of this picture is gorgeous. If I could buy five in different colors, I'd be in heaven, but with the number of black tie events on my calendar, that's a bit unreasonable. So, my challenge is picking just one!

Sometimes having favorite bags leads to Bag Dilemmas. You know what I'm talking about?

Samantha Ann: It was a purse. Only a purse.

I loved it so much because: I paid too much for it. It was the lucky bag - always with me when good times got better. It was the most stylish thing you ever saw. Women would chase me down the street to ask where I got it. A man at my office walked by and stopped at my desk, staring at the purse before finally asking me "What is that thing?"

Pursella's best work bag:

I abhor (that's a snooty way of saying 'hate') the briefcase as much as shoulder pads. My first work bags were big woven numbers from Mexico (I figured I dressed conservatively so why not a little flair on the shoulder?). Or a charming Garden Club of America canvas bag in kelly green and navy. Subtext: I am worth more than the $7.11 I made hourly. But I grew up. And went to black leather. Like San Francisco's Bay Bridge, this stylish little number is the workhorse of my purse stable. I've had four years though it doesn't show it. You can't see it, but it is holding legal size documents and an accordian file. Work it!

work bagExterior: Black grain leather
Interior: One single, simple pocket with a zipper.
Straps: Over the shoulder with a little sway.
Size: Big enough for legal documents lengthwise and wide enough for a can of soda.
Price: I paid $78. It retailed for $234.
Brand: Maxx

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