If there’s one place that brings out my most judgmental thoughts, it’s an airport. Something about lugging my essential personal belongings through a crowded terminal, rushing only to wait in another line, just really puts me in the worst of states. I have minimal grace for anyone. Knowing how stressful traveling can be, I can’t help the confused thoughts that rush through my head when I witness travelers with insufficient purse and bag choices for their trip.
Luckily, because you read this fine source of wisdom and knowledge, here’s my ideal purse-packing guide for just about any trip you take. Near or far, fancy or casual, a day or a month, this purse combo has never let me down.
Convertible and Roomy: I own this Michael Kors black bag and a similar camel brown satchel bag from Italy and not only do I reach for them nearly every trip, but they are my every day handbag staples. They both have smaller straps so that I can carry the bag on my elbow, and a longer shoulder strap that I use most often for maximum comfort. Choose the leather color based off of the wardrobe you pack, although both options are neutrals so they should coordinate with almost everything.
Large, Durable Tote: There is no shortage of my singing praises for the Longchamp LePilage large tote with long shoulder straps. My mom gifted me the black version years ago and it has saved the contents of my purse from torrential downpours more than once. It’s sleek and simple enough to go with almost anything, roomy enough for your airplane carry on, and the fact that it’s nylon and easy to clean means it’s an impromptu gym bag, beach bag, or farmers market bag on your trip. When empty, it folds up into a small rectangle, so it’s easy to pack as an “in case” bag. I also love the zipper, which lets me feel more secure when traveling in crowded cities or if it tips over on the floor of an airplane.
Slim Leather Clutch: I own a couple of these in different colors, and depending on where I’m going and what the rest of my wardrobe looks like for the trip, I’ll pack either a simple caramel-brown monogrammed version or a bronze metallic Marc Jacobs pouch clutch. The clutch can slip into both of the larger bag options to corral my necessities (wallet, chap stick, phone charger) or be carried alone for a sleek night out.
While packing 3 bags for a shorter trip can seem excessive, keep in mind that two of these are really just “in case” options that fold down or pack flat to take up almost no room. You may not need them, but if you find yourself in a situation where you are suddenly going out to a chic rooftop dinner or needing to tote wine and banquettes for a picnic on the steps of Sacre Couer, you’ll be glad you spared the extra four inches in your luggage.