Even at the age of 10, I was always trying to find the perfect bag to accompany me in all my “professional” endeavors. Of course, at this age, my professional bag was the perfect school bag. I ended up snagging my mother’s old satchel that she used as a school bag in the 70s, and let me just tell you…the leather and craftsmanship was simply amazing! Now being 30, I’m once again on the search for the perfect work bag to hold my life together in a more demanding, professional world. All the same criteria still apply: quality, style, and craftsmanship.
With the exception of the LBD, there is no item quite as treasured in any woman’s wardrobe as the Perfect Work Bag (I am dubbing it the “PWB”). Like the LBD, the synonymous PWB must be that piece that indicates style without appearing stylish. The PWB piece that shows who you are without people thinking that is all you are. Am I overthinking it? No, I don’t think so – the PWB is a staple that serves a big purpose.
So what tough criteria does the PWB have to meet?
- Top handles and a long strap – Being able to carry the bag hands-free is essential! Files, double shot espressos, and handheld bags do not mix; trust me.
- Black in colour – I can tie a twilly on the handles for colour when I need it.
- Grained leather – As a work bag endures a lot of harsh handling, I need a leather that can withstand damage particularly when traveling for work.
- Lightweight – I need to be able to fill this bag up without it being too heavy. Comfort is key.
- At least two main compartments and some zip pockets – I like my work handbags to look organised, because it makes me look and feel more organised;
- Metal feet – Metal feet prevent general wear and tear. If you are one to fill your bags to the brim, the feet help keep the bag steady when you place it down and prevent the contents from spilling out.
- Structure – My day-to-day and work style is quite masculine, so structure is something that I would look for even when shopping for an off-duty handbag. Particularly for work though, I feel like structured bags have more of a professional look. Plus, slouchy bags make it nearly impossible to find your things on-the-go.
For me personally, none of the categories above are negotiable.
I seldom dip into my work bag during weekends, therefore, come Monday morning there is no switching over of contents (save for my iPhone). I simply grab go, so as a forgone conclusion, the PWB has to comfortably fit my work week items with a little space for anything else I might need to throw in (usually Ladurée macarons). My weekly work essentials are as follows:
- Louis Vuitton monogram glasses case in size MM
- Louis Vuitton cosmetic pouch
- iPad mini
- Prada wallet (I’d say it is more of a card holder, but Prada calls it a wallet)
- Montblanc pen (with pen case)
- Hermes Ulysee notebook/agenda in size PM
Options, Options, Options…
As you can imagine, finding a bag that fit all these criteria was a difficult process for me. Allow me to take you through my journey…The bags in the running were the following….
- Louis Vuitton Capucines BB
- YSL Sac Du Jour in size small
- Diorever in size medium
- Fendi Peekaboo in size regular (some would say the Peekaboo is more of a slouchy bag, but much like the Hermes Kelly retourne it still very much holds structure)
I have loved all of the above bags for quite some time now, in various colours and sizes. But I figured if I am spending the money it might as well be for something I need. I’ve justified that I’m adding one of these lustworthy bags to my collection but with practical aspects, so it is not just an unnecessary addition.
Process of Elimination
First bag to be eliminated from the running was the Louis Vuitton Capucines BB. I went into the store to try the bag in black with SHW, and it was sold out but due to be restocked! My SA then showed me the most beautiful Capucines BB bag in Galet with GHW, and it just sang to me (it was not just the lighting on the top floor of the LV Bond Street store – the bag colour was actually a dream)! I’d tried the black before, but for me the Galet was even better! I was not looking for a bag in a neutral colour at the moment – but it is now on my mind and on my wishlist. However, a neutral colour would not work for my PWB.
Second to be knocked out of the running was the Diorever. This bag is absolutely beautiful! I love how it can be worn with the flap forward, which is great when you need a little extra security. It can also be worn with the flap back, which is a more relaxed look. It did however protrude a little too much from my hip when worn with the strap. As much as this bag fit my checklist with its long strap and top handle, it suited me more when carried as a top handle bag. Bye for now Diorever (but hello to a gorgeous new Mitzah scarf).
To the finale! Fendi Peekaboo versus YSL Sac du Jour. Both pieces are perfect; they suit me, black is my favourite colour in both, all the criteria are met but who knows what will happen when decision time comes…
The victor…YSL Sac du Jour! Why? I loved the Fendi Peekaboo in the smooth leather more than the grained leather. The Fendi Peekaboo in the grained leather felt heavy, and I did not find it as easy to access as the YSL Sac du Jour. The Sac du Jour simply ticked every single box. I loved how it looked when carried top handle or with the long strap. I loved the strong structure and shape from the front, the subtle branding, and the unique concertina on the side.
As you can tell by my excitement, I cannot wait to carry my PWB!
Feel free to share your favorite work bags in the conversation on BopTalk.
ST on behalf of PB,
Read related articles below:
A Travel Tote for Every Handbag
Saint Laurent Sac de Jour Tote
8 Reasons We Love the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour
Diorever: The Best Bag of 2016
Back to Basics: Little Black Bags
Fendi Peekaboo: The It Bag of 2015
Will the Louis Vuitton Capucines Be LV’s Next Classic?
The Perfect Neutral-ista
2 Responses to “The Perfect Work Bag (PWB)”
Great article. I personally like the Prada double bag for a PWB but not sure how it’s holding up in the years to come
Loved reading this article! Congrats on your new beautiful bag! I was imagining that the peekaboo would be crossed out for being too heavy hahaha I have a large grained leather one and OMG, so heavy…but I love it to pieces anyways :) thank you for sharing your opinion.