1 Personal Item

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I love a handbag, a purse, a sack, a satchel, a pocketbook, a knapsack, a clutch, a messenger, a backpack, a portmanteau, a valise — basically anything designed to carry stuff, I love.

But with all the stuff we carry around it can be difficult to find the balance of function and fashion.

I’ve been trying a couple of different bags when traveling – and I’ve honed in on my favorite, which luckily is a very popular silhouette and can be found at a myriad of different prices and sizes….

Mansur Gavriel Large Tote – I love Mansur Gavriel, all of their bags and shoes are so beautiful in their simplicity and craftsmanship. I think it’s important to note that I have this bag in the vegetable tanned leather as they now offer it in a tumbled leather which I look forward to purchasing. The tanned leather is stiff and scratches, though as they say on a note when you purchase the bag, the scratches add character – I agree!

I like the length of the shoulder straps and the size of this bag. I can easily get all my stuff in and hook it on top of my carry on wheel bag when I don’t want to carry it. I’m not at all bothered by the no closure on the top design. In fact I like it. This bag is lightweight on it’s own, which is important because it holds a lot and I am someone who will fill the bag. The only problem I have with this bag is that I can’t put it under the seat in front of me. I am one of those weird-os that likes to keep my bag under the seat and I just couldn’t do it with this bag.

Pierre Hardy coated canvas duffel bag. I love coated canvas, it’s so durable and light weight. I fell in love with this duffel bag in London and bought it for weekend trips, but I’ve used it a couple of times as my “personal item” when traveling. It’s not my favorite for that particular use. It’s a little too big = too heavy. Finding things quickly in this bag is not possible which frustrates me. And it has two strap options: one long strap to wear cross body and then two shorter straps that are too short to go over a shoulder so I guess they’re forearm straps. I can do the cross body but it usually gets too heavy for me and my arm wears out quickly – it looks good but can be tiring to carry around. Because of the length of the shorter straps, I also can’t hook it on my carry on wheel bag easily. All in all, not my favorite and the only way you’ll be seeing me carrying it through an airport is… well I’m not sure yet.

Celine Belt Bag. I am obsessed with this bag and basically all Celine handbags. I have the bigger version, which isn’t a very big bag. Something about this bag just makes me feel special and elevated. That said I rarely travel with it unless it’s packed in a suitcase that I’m carrying on because I don’t want to risk losing this one! When I am traveling I don’t want to worry about damaging anything, there’s enough to worry about already! While I like the way this bag functions and makes me feel, it’s not what I would suggest one travels with.

Mansur Gavriel Backpack. I have been looking for the right backpack for awhile now and I sort of impulse bought this backpack… not always the best idea. I love the color and the fact that it easily carries my computer while looking chic. But. I prefer a backpack to be a little softer (once again, vegetable tanned leather) and to have an outside pocket so I can easily get to things. It looks so damn cool… but I’m still searching for my perfect backpack.

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Louis Vuitton Neverfull. Hands down my favorite travel bag. It is a light weight coated canvas and retains some of it’s shape while being soft enough to put under a seat. Because of the durability of the coated canvas, I take it everywhere: in the rain, to the beach, to Africa. It is my travel talisman. I can get everything I need to in this bag without it feeling too heavy (I have the medium size one). I love the simplicity of the design. And while I don’t always love bags with lots of labels – this is at least a timeless one. The length of the shoulder straps are perfect for my proportions and I can easily set it on my wheeled carry on. I recently looked at a very similar Goyard tote – but the shoulder straps are just a hair short so that you can carry it on your shoulder but have to take it off to get into. I like the on the shoulder grab my wallet/boarding pass function of the Louis Vuitton. I would highly suggest investing in this bag, but there are a lot of great options out there in different price ranges try herehere, herehere and here.

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