What Your Bag Says About You

Esther Levy | December 11, 2014

Well for one, it confirms that you are, in fact, a bag lady.

Nobody knows us better than our bags. They are what we make of them and furthermore, what we put in them. This is why countless types of bags exist — because there are countless types of bag ladies. A friend of mine, for example, has been known to carry around a single sweaty sock and portions of last night’s dinner in her purse. How her medium-sized satchel manages to house that shit-show is a mystery to me, but to her, it’s a clear, two-way conversation.

Another friend is rarely seen carrying anything at all, while yet another tends towards backpacks (we’re a diverse group), making her the ideal candidate to hold everyone else’s phones. I’ve always quietly admired the woman who could top off an outfit with a chic clutch, but where does she keep her emergency deodorant? She doesn’t. Her natural scent is one of sandalwood and plumeria.

If clothes maketh the man, than the bag maketh the lady. Now watch me make it rain with these vast generalizations of what yours makes you:

The Clutch:

The-clutch-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert-in-post

This girl is put together, the right dose of  fashionably late and always the one to have the last word in a conversation over farmed fish. She is poised, responsible, and smart enough to know the difference between butter and margarine. She also knows that the only thing a woman needs to bring to dinner is a form of identification, a credit card, Advil, and her keys. She doesn’t need Tide to Go because she’s probably dressed in black.

Verdict: She’s Batman  

The Trendy Tote:

what-your-bag-says-about-you-the-trendy-tote-insert

The trendy tote-bearer wants you and your grandmother’s mother to know that she purchases all of her books at the Strand. Her idea of a perfect date night is Scrabble and red wine. Ira Glass is her dream man, and of course, she believes that vinyl is the only way to listen to music. 

Verdict: She leads the Bushwick Community Board

The Incognito Bag:

The-incognito-bag-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert

She’s convinced that she was the inspiration for the Olympia Le-Tan clutch and is one of the last people on earth to have been seen carrying a money clip. Tony Soprano (RIP) was the other. The Incognito Bag girl has used everything from an empty gum pack to a banana peel for carrying quarters.

Verdict: You see a cereal aisle, she sees wall-to-wall accessories.

The Overnight Bag Lady: 

The-overnightbag-lady-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert

This is the friend who hobbles into the restaurant thirty minutes late and proceeds to ask the waiter if she can have an extra chair for her bag. Also, Can he pleaaaaase plug her phone into the nearest outlet? She flew over — probably on a razor scooter — from a 6:30 PM gym class, as evidenced by the overwhelming stench emanating from her bag. She’s also “crashing at your place again,” but she promises to water the plants this time.

Verdict: She’s homeless. You love her for it.

The Fanny Pack: 

The-fanny-pack-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert

She’s either an American Apparel employee, at a rave, or a tourist in the big city. There are no other options.

Verdict: She’s you at ages 19, 20, 21 and 85 respectively.

The Backpack: 

The-backpack-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert

The Backpack girl is trendy, and most probably has a creative job that requires her to bring her own laptop to work. She condemns the messenger bag for its contribution to Scoliosis but favors the one-strap backpack look. What gives?  

Verdict: She used a purse instead of a backpack throughout high school and college and is making up now for lost time

The Shapeless Satchel: 

shapeless-satchel-what-your-bag-says-about-you-insert

Between yoga classes during her lunch break, emergency protein bars and a frayed copy of Anna Karenina, the bohemian yet fashion-forward satchel is this woman’s best friend. Her bag may resemble a black hole to the untrained eye, but to fellow shapeless satchel bearers it’s the carrier of all that is good and necessary. She frequents brunch on Sundays but she promises that she’s in it for the food.

Verdict: She’s not in it for the food.

The Mod-ish Briefcase: 

modish-brief-what-your-handbag-says-about-your-slide Contrary to popular belief, the woman toting the mod-ish briefcase is not a lawyer, for they carry clutches (see above description). This girl has a penchant for vintage finds and boasts a costumer plaque hung on a wall within the Warby Parker headquarters. Once a year — usually during the onset of fall — she inspires you to get a pixie cut. And then you remember that you don’t have her quirky flare, doe-eyes, or button nose.

 Verdict: She is Carey Mulligan.

The It Bag: 

what-your-bag-says-about-you-the-it-bag-insert

This girl believes — and rightfully so — that a bag and good shoes are all one needs to tie an outfit together. All of her advice ends with a Sex and the City quote, and she doesn’t mind taking out a home mortgage in the name of fashion.

The verdict: She’s one of us.

The Hands Free: 

the-hands-free-insert-what-your-bag-says-about-you

The “bra-as-bag” wearer is as savvy as Dora the Explorer with a map and a backpack. She knows that cleavage is best put to use while holding a piece of Orbit gum in its midst. She never loses her clutch while out because she doesn’t carry one. She is bound to get far in life, as is anyone with enough confidence to wedge her debit card where the sun don’t shine.

“Where is all of your shit?” you ask her. “It’s in here!” [She points to her brain/chest.] Conversely, the hands-free girl is constantly losing her phone due to her lack of aforementioned bag and clothing with structured pockets. She likes the Beach Boys, maintains with fierce conviction that Ringo Starr was the best Beatle, and hosts the annual anti-Valentines Day party which coincidentally always seems to take place at your place.

Verdict: Either she’ll make the best Maid of Honor — or —  she will one day lead the nationwide search for Waldo.

Okay, now, tell me what I’ve missed, where you stand, and also, did anyone see my phone?

Turns out, your ponytail profile picture  and gym clothes also say many, many things about you! And for more fashion illustrated content, check out the wacky and wonderful life of a trend!

  • jess

    love this

  • Quinn Halman

    Technically I am the backpack but it’s nothing trendy,like, at all. What gives me back problems is a huge green and black Impact bag with airline tags still on the handles. I look like a turtle in a vintage Calvin Klein coat everyday because I barely every take it off. It’s heavy as fuck but makes for a nice pillow when I inevitably pass out.
    By description and come the weekend, I am either the strapless satchel or hands free. Sometimes I wear my period bras when I’m not on my cycle for extra room + pockets really get me going

  • Gia

    Ich hoffe du hast auch alles in deiner Handtasche was du brauchst, egal wie klein sie ist, wie hier: http://www.styleset.de/blog/11-dinge-fur-die-handtasche 😀

  • Ray, L

    You forgot “MoneyBags” that’s the Person who many Wives,Daughters,& Girlfriends rely on to pay for all those bags,

    Verdict: If you would rather have $3000 Bag with no Money in it then a brown paper bag with $3000 in it then congrats your a Moneybagger…
    or as your Mom might say “I’ll take the Paper bag and buy the $4000 bag I want now give me another $1000.”

    • Esther Levy

      Hi dad.

      • Lulu

        This is so cute!

      • andrea raymer

        Aww.

      • Ray, L

        Hi Esther,
        miss you

    • Amelia Diamond

      Hi Mr. Levy!

      • Ray, L

        hello….
        don’t tell Esther but i check MR constantly to see if Esther Posted anything…

    • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

      Mr. Levy,

      I love when you and your wife comment on Man Repeller. Truly epitomizes the family feel of this site.

      • Ray, L

        i was told I would be receiving some money for this?

        • http://www.giveashitaboutfashion.com/ Aurélia Bode

          sorry to break these news to you… but Esther will keep the money.. for a new bag

          • Ray, L

            ahh but she has a Husband now and it’s his issue not mine,

  • Lily

    I’m the hands free and it is so accurate it hurts ahaha

  • Sylvia

    There are so many other kinds of “bags” Maybe it’s better not to discuss! Love the post !

  • http://www.accidentalicon.com Accidental Icon

    This is hysterical and right on. Are you a an expert in human behavior?
    Accidental Icon
    http://www.accidentalicon.com/

  • Lorena

    Loved it!!

  • http://www.soulariablog.com Soula Parassidis

    Ummm…clutch, check. All black outfit, (albeit a mix of subtle pattern), check. Don’t EVEN get me started on that farmed fish. P.S. did you know margarine is largely made of vegetable oil? #batgirl

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    I think I’m a mixed bag (LOL). Different situations call for different bags! I guess I use an everyday shapeless satchel for work. Clutch to hit da town. I wish I could be more hands free, but I carry at least 6 lipsticks with me at once. Not sure if this would fall into the clutch category, but you could also add “small cross-body” to the list. This girl isn’t carefree enough to go hands free, but she double fists vodka sodas and can’t be bothered to worry about HOLDING a bag when she’s trying to dance! Actually, I might be her.

    • Lua Jane

      Small cross body (if it’s small at all) enterd my life too in a shape of black Cambridge satchel company classic. It’s about as small as i can go with the bag.

      • Lulu

        Exactly the one I wear too!!!

      • http://www.adriannagrezak.com Adrianna

        I bought a couple of small Kate Spade cross body bags on Black Thursday at 70% off – perfect for storing my ridiculously sized iPhone 6, wallet, and keys – and it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a bag!

    • Lulu

      Yes!!! I’m a small cross-body bag girl too!!

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

        They are a lifesaver. Overstuff mine every time and now the little straps are starting to fray, but I firmly believe hands should carry nothing whenever possible.

        • andrea raymer

          You speak the truth. But, we all know you are the fanny pack as a crossbody bag lady.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

            Ha! Yes — I would argue that the other VERY viable option for the fanny pack wearer is the Dane. Cross-body and cool. Not just limited to rave-goers and old tourists!

            http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/22/53/f0/2253f07e5d89fc4194e42085793e180f.jpg

          • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

            omg. every time I see it it looks so cool and new.

          • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

            The Scandinavians are resourceful, practical, aesthetic/design geniuses.

          • http://hermeone.etsy.com Josie Fillat

            word

    • Amelia Diamond

      #DJ CJ

    • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

      Re: Double-fisting vodka sodas, you definitely are her. Own it — she’s a fun gal. <3

      • Quinn Halman

        HAHAHAH

    • Aydan

      I’m right there with you on this. There is a bag and a lipstick for every situation!

    • http://rebekaann.blogspot.com Rebeka Osborne

      I was also wondering about the cross-body, and also decided that it falls into the clutch category because of size.

  • Lua Jane

    Shapeless satchel toting lawyer here. 😀 I guess I’m among that 0.001 % of lawyer females who just can’t get a hang of that clutch thing. Plus I do need and carry around my deodorant, phone charger, small umbrella, about ten lip products, wet wipes, hands sanitizer (Monk, much?), chocolate bars, sometimes even a bagel. 😀 Latelly I gave up on carrying books around, since I never actually have time to read outside home, but frayed copy of Anna Karenina part was spot on.

    • http://rebekaann.blogspot.com Rebeka Osborne

      Put me into the shapeless satchel toting lawyer category too (hey, friend!), especially when I’m going to work (for a million hours) because: laptop + snacks + everything for my 11 hour day. But when I’m going out I’m all about the clutch or small crossbody.

      • Alexis Lambert

        Plus 3 on the shapeless satchel toting lawyers! On the weekends, I’m all about the small crossbody bag, though.

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    This was so cute!

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Jamie Leland

    “She used a purse instead of a backpack throughout high school and college and is making up now for lost time”

    So true.

    On a seperate note, is the vintage Dooney girl still a thing?

    • http://www.adriannagrezak.com Adrianna

      I remember when girls carried around purses in my 7-12th grade school in NJ. It specifically meant that the girls who had purses entered womanhood – they had a use for the tampons in their bags

      Flash forward two years later when I attended high school in Pennsylvania. Bags and book bags were banned (due to previous bomb threats and concerns), and I didn’t hear any girls gossip about who was and wasn’t on their period

  • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

    Or, you know, the Backpack girl just needs to get da fuq outta town, in which case her backpack will carry sunscreen, trail mix, and a book to identify various types of wildflowers and scat.

    Nature: where a backpack can be just that.

    • Quinn Halman

      tell me how you really feel about nature

      • http://Medium.com/@hager_emma Emma Häger

        Let’s put it this way: You go to the synagogue and I go to the mountains. A necessary, spiritual constant.

      • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

        i think she likes it

    • Malynn

      I actually carry a backpack for exactly this reason. I’m a mix between the backpack and the ‘it’ bag but only because right now the backpack IS the “IT” bag. For me, it’s a way for me to carry all my ‘ish’ into nature with me but not have to worry about a water bottle and a book on desert wildlife not fitting in it. I’m all about that yougurt chips and granola life.

  • amalieilund

    I’m the good old over-the-shoulder leather back – I put practicality above everything else (though I also find it beautiful).
    In the past I used to bring 3 totes with me everywhere. I don’t believe it was because of the trendiness but rather the fact that I am in fact a real baglady.
    Also your posts don’t get through to my Bloglovin-account – it’s been like this for 3 days and I can’t live without Man Repeller…

  • ShanIsRad

    I’m either the shapeless satchel, or the it bag, and they are so accurate! This needs a small cross body, I always use one when I go out! I can fit more stuff in it (like my camera for a concert), and I can be hands-free, and not worry about it.

  • starryhye

    The LV Neverfull seems to be the bag of choice for suburban moms. Big enough to tote juniors trucks, a pack of baby wipes,diapers and some spare clothes. It’s easily recognizable thanks to the ubiquitous monogram and expensive enough to make others envious. Please note that I do not own this bag!

    My modestly sized Marc Jacobs cross body has been my trusty sidekick for a few years now. It holds all the essentials while keeping my hands free to prevent my kid from eating random “treasures” he finds on the ground.

  • https://soundcloud.com/s-a-i-l-i-n-g Sophia

    I have an it-bag I guess but it’s not an it-bag…? I guess? It’s a blue Coach bag. I switch between that and shapeless satchel, so I’m a little bit of both I guess

  • andrea raymer

    I am a tiniest crossbody I can find type of person. I guess a combination of the clutch and the hands free. I get the best of both worlds.

  • soniadelvalle

    Crossbody! Too much clutter (charger, protein bar, sunglasses even if its nighttime) to fit everything in a clutch and too practical to bother with this “holding my bag” thing. I’d rather hold my phone to live snapchat my steady descent into madness.

  • http://www.dressmonsta.com/ Daul Be

    I’m a backpack girl and I could not agree more ! Kudos to Team MR for nailing this down to the tote =)))

  • I think you mean

    “doe-eyed” (dough=pillsbury)

  • Golden

    Love this!! But where is my cross body bag??

  • http://sweetsymposium.wordpress.com/ Stephanie

    You’ve described my kind 🙂 My shapeless satchel is absolutely necessary, although I don’t do brunch. I’m going to share this with all my fellow bag ladies. Great post!

    -Stephanie
    sweetsymposium.wordpress.com

  • parkzark

    Winona rockin the…. whimsical suitcase?

  • Kandeel

    I am roomy pockets and an anonymous black backpack i took the jansport logo off of. I would rather wear my dad’s jeans than find pants with sewed in pockets, they are the bane of my existence. (P.S. i really need a fjallkraven)

  • http://tcelfer.tumblr.com/ diyana ♛

    i’m an it bag lady in the streets but a backpack freak in the school thread (im sorry Luda i tried)

    http://tcelfer.tumblr.com

  • Raven

    What about if you carry a wallet in your pocket, I’m not talking about the giant ladies wallet I am talking about the billfold wallet that usually dudes carry…

  • Raquel levy

    I see this potentially turning into a buzzfeed quiz

  • JM

    Nailed it.

  • Johnnie Goldfish

    I am hands free and flat chested, so at the end of the day I just look in my boots for my stuff, deleted junk

  • Gloria Cavallaro

    Woah, woah, woah. This was crazy on-point. It was like a Bag Horoscope. As a scoliosis suffering, laptop carrying, content creating, backpack wearer, I am at once impressed and fearful of the description’s accuracy.

  • Freelancersforb
  • http://www.allinclusivegirl.com/ MJ

    A clutch is my favorite type of bag. Its small enough for me not to load it up with lots of junk..Does anyone else have this problem? Cannot wait for my clutch line to come out next fall!
    http://www.allinclusivegirl.com

  • Ryan Osborn

    Believe Jesus Christ is your savior for your sins. Jesus Christ is God Almighty in the Flesh. This is the Gospel, believe Jesus Christ shed his precious blood and died for you and all of your sins on the cross, he was buried and he rose again from the dead three days later from God’s Power and you will be saved, you are a Born Again Christian and you will go to Heaven forever. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God to where we all deserve death, destruction and judgement in the Lake of Fire from the wrath of God to where we need a savior to save us for our sins forever. By receiving Jesus Christ’s blood sacrifice as full payment for your sins you will be saved forever. It matters not how much you have sinned in the past, in the present and in the future. Once you are saved you are saved forever no matter what. Good works will not ever save you and no one and nothing else will. That is the Gospel and if you believe in the Gospel you are now a Born Again Christian and you are now saved and you will go to Heaven forever and that is the whole truth. Spread the truth. All glory goes to God forever! Praise God! Amen! (John Ch. 3:16, Romans Ch. 3:25, 4:1-6, 5:9, 1 Corinthians Ch. 15:1-4, Ephesians Ch. 2:8-9) The Authorized King James Version Bible

  • http://tostylewithlove.com/ Daphne Blunt

    You can tell everything about a woman based on her bag

    http://tostylewithlove.com/

    Daphne

  • Estee

    Love love love!

  • KarenSantaFe

    There is also the “bag within a bag” bag. That’s what I have — one bag or purse, with smaller bags inside it organized by category. Very OCD. I know. But it works!

  • dederka

    this is spot on! amazing. also i am multiple ladies at once and i feel ready to conquer the world now that i know i am both batman, would make it even homeless and that bushwick just woudn’t do without me. woohoo!

  • http://www.yologear.co.uk YOLOGear UK

    I love the blog. It is very helpful.

  • Steph William

    The cross body hip bag!!!

  • Kai

    The bag lady–because you insist on carrying the IT bag that goes with your outfit, even thought it can’t hold all your stuff. So you carry two… Or three bags. *Guilty*

  • claire

    The incognito bag is just the drug dealer bag !

  • Aliya Tair

    Levy family wins everything here

  • LalaN

    What about a cross body? What am I?!!

  • Graciela Molina

    Mini bags count as clutches because then im a clutch girl

  • http://www.fashionquet.blogspot.com/ Lesley

    I’m the backpack girl. Like I get stressed all the time trying to carry handbags on my arm or hand. I just prefer backing it all lol.

  • Jean Chen

    Pretty much true….?
    http://Www.projectcloud9.com