Personal Shopper: An Easy Access, Non-Mom Bag for Emily

Emily writes, "I'm on the hunt for the perfect everyday bag. With so many options out there, I thought it would be a breeze, but so far, everything is coming up short. I'm a new mom, but I don't want to haul a diaper bag around as my main bag when I don't have the little one in tow--but it needs to be big enough to hold a few essentials for quick trips around town. I'm looking for something with shorter straps to go over the shoulder as well as a cross-body strap for when I need more freedom of movement. The main compartment can't have a zipper or flap closure (too hard to open and close one-handed when I'm holding the baby) so a magnet closure or even an open top would be ideal. And a few outside pockets are always helpful as a place to stash phone, keys, wallet, etc. so I don't have to spend time digging around. Other than that, I like color and I don't want anything to "momish" or briefcase-looking. Thanks for your help!"

Hi Emily, Layla here! Phew, this was a toughie! All of these bags should meet your specifications, though two do have small flaps. From experience toting around my own purse and my own eleven-month old, you'll never keep a flap clasped shut, so you should have something that's easy-peasy to open one-handed. I hope I've found one that catches your eye!

1. Steven by Steve Madden Downtown Tote ($198)
2. Dooney & Bourke Editor's Tote ($198)
3. The Lovelock Tote ($268)
4. Calvin Klein Modena Leather Tote ($248)
5. Test Prep Satchel ($65)
6. Patricia Nash Overdyed Small Gave Tote ($198)
7. Dooney & Bourke Croco-Embossed Janine Satchel ($216)

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layla-pic.jpgLayla here: At a strapping 5'2", I've got plenty of tricks up my sleeve for fellow petite girls who need to look fashion fabulous. Plus, I make all of my beauty purchases online just so I can get free trial size samples in the mail. If you're not sure about a product, chances are I've tried it! I'd be glad to recommend my favs. I also have a knack for men's apparel and gifts, especially geek guy gifts, thanks to the expertise of my own gadget-inclined guy.



Posted on 12.12.12 at 1:42 PM

I get wanting one-hand access, but it seems obvious that you can leave a zipper open. And then when you dno't have the kid - and want to secure yoru stuff - you can close it. Problem solved. I had a diaper bag w/o a good closure, and it ended up being a total pain because if it was tossed around or knocked over (often) shit would spill out everywhere. Nothing worse than having a baby's pacifier spill out onto the floor of an airplane. GROSS.


Posted on 12.12.12 at 2:50 PM

I would also say check out Coach bags they have a tote that looks like a purse that comes with a changing pad. That's my fav!


Posted on 12.13.12 at 8:11 AM

TYLER RODAN! All of his purses are amazingly durable, have a TON of pockets, and most of them have magnet closures. They're also fairly affordable, come in neutral shades, and can be found at places like TJ Maxx for a quarter of the price of these other bags!

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