The above photo is from an article I recently happened upon on the website Corporette. Despite the fact that I am not, never have been, and likely never will be a person with a corporate job, the article grabbed my attention because it was all about one's "daily shlep" - the sheer amount of stuff we carry with us to and from work, or anywhere else we may be headed. While I'm certainly not of the mind that there is a "right" amount of stuff to carry with you at any given time (that's personal and down to how much you're willing to carry), those of us who move about quite a bit can probably relate to my newfound near obsession with bags that are comfy, practical, and allow you to be hands-free.
But it's not as easy as just finding a good quality bag that speaks to you that has a good crossbody style, or even a bandolier-type strap that enables you to covert it as you need to. I continually remind myself of this when I ram a bunch of my daily "essentials" (a term I use lightly when it comes to handbags) into my leather Dooney & Bourke Florentine Satchel, to date my absolute favourite handbag, and about 30 minutes in, if I'm wearing it as a crossbody, the bandolier strap is pinching my shoulder. Am I going to die? No. Does that mean I give up on my Dooney? GOD no. Never. But a substantial leather bag, loaded to the gills is probably not the bag for long-haul, hands free wear, if only because you end up thinking about it. Personally, I end up having to switch shoulders a lot if I'm out for a long time, because that little pinch of a reminder of its presence is annoying AF.
I have finally laid aside my rather inflexible belief that the best bags are multi-functional and built like tanks, and come around to appreciate smaller bags that have been designed specifically to be worn as crossbody bags. Many of these can also work as a "bag inside a bag" - a small bag you can carry inside your larger tote for when you just want to nip in without the hassle of a large bag. Here are a few that I've come to appreciate, some vintage, some new.
Have a happy, healthy, non-pinchy hands-free summer of finally getting to be on the move again! For more info on any of these bags, click on the photos!