What a strange few months it has been. I always thought I was a summer baby, but it turns out this particular Hot Girl Summer has been a mixed bag with lots of changes, curve balls and work-travel. My mind, body and spirit have been thrown out of wack more than a couple times, and it’s funny yet predictable how I neglect to take care of myself until something goes wrong. I’m sure I am not the only one.
I’m thankful for the last couple weeks; I’ve gotten to spend more time in NYC. It’s given me a moment to reestablish my routine and balance, and figure out how to improve my life in big and small ways. These include visiting various health specialists, organizing my finances, finding a therapist, purging my house of things I don’t need… SNOOZE. They also include more enjoyable things like catching up with friends over amazing food, mani, pedis and massages, and even… the very occasional shopping spree.
This weekend, I bought my first “investment” bag. It is a Cuyana Trapeze in Stone. I agonized over bag choices for weeks, consulted with a number of people, and made a list of justifications in my head of why this was the one for me.
Now, I must share that my relationship to money is a little tense, so this purchase took a lot of deliberation. I feel guilty when forking over money on material objects that are not directly tied to my survival, like food and housing. It’s easier for me to spend more on experiences like travel, entertainment, learning, music… but bags? It always felt a bit frivolous to me.
My position on this has shifted, maybe because I work in NYC and all the ladies have nice bags. Bag culture is real. As much as I don’t feel the need to participate, the truth is that my work bag is part of my daily life. Form and function – the bag is a standing, unchanging part of my work outfits, and it carries / organizes all of the stuff I carry from place to place. Like anything else I wear, it represents me.
This year, I decided to pass on buying another cheap bag, and opt for something with a longer lifespan and that would make me feel good, rather than spend $40 on another poorly made bag that starts out looking cute but breaks down under a year, like the current bag I own now. It’s literally shedding into pieces.
That said, I have limits. I wanted something that isn’t on the lower end of cost or quality, but am unwilling to buy a bag that is priced higher than my monthly rent. The bags at the higher price point typically come with a designer name, reputation and associated prestige, with ability to maintain or grow in value with time. One day, I may trade up for those features, but all I need now is quality, a clean and timeless aesthetic, and function.
Which brings me to my new purchase! This bag is a happy medium for me – not cheap, but well under monthly rent, and a solid, entry-level investment purse. It’s well-constructed, made from a sturdy leather that will soften over time (I would have gone for a vegan leather, but these don’t wear as well), with a simple design and silhouette, and designed with versatility and functionality in mind. I trust the brand, which is coincidentally based in San Francisco (like your girl), and the understated aesthetic speaks to me.
Design was also important. The roomy interior has a clever laptop compartment along the side, and contains two pockets, one of which closes with a zipper. There is a removable shoulder strap clasp, so I can wear it if I don’t want to use the two handles. A flap with a concealed magnet drapes over the top of the bag, keeping my belongings concealed and secure. Living in NYC, and I wonder how anyone feels comfortable with a bag that does not shut. Lift the flap and my monogrammed initials are revealed for a personalized touch.
Today I checked off a ‘grown woman’ milestone, as I cruise full speed towards 28. I don’t know shit about shit, but I did learn a new rule: Don’t put your bag on the floor!
P.S. I tried a lip shade that maybe isn’t the most flattering (go hard or go home) and revisited an oldie but goodie hairstyle, the easy hack crown braid.
See ya next time, pals.