Summertime and the Living’s Hands Free

Look ma, no hands!


So you can ride a bike with no handlebars. Big whoop. I can ride a bike if someone is holding on to it while walking beside me but you don’t see me bragging about it. What’s actually impressive is figuring out how to ride life with no handlebars.

I’m talking about a hands-free summer.

Just imagine it: no more carrying crap. No more wet-shouldered walks across the Manhattan desert of Midtown avenues while sporting some dumb satchel. No more armpit clamps or hand cramps. No more pools of condensation from keeping your elbow bent to carry that dumb bagNo more dropping things. No more losing things! No more whacking strangers on the subway or trying to figure out where to put your clutch during a date. No more schlepping. No more purse means no more responsibility — school’s out for summer, arms open for the party.

Going totally hands-free is a commitment to fun. You can cartwheel on a moment’s notice. You can high-five yourself when you tell a good joke. You can hand jive to Grease without having to put down your shit, and you’re consistently prepared to double-fist adult beverages. It’s serious business — this takes logistical planning, dedication, phenomenal social skills, and bravery — but if you follow my guide, you’ll be living La Vida Bluetooth in no time.

Invest in clothing with pockets

Very rarely do we actually make use of our clothing’s sewn-in utility, but it turns out that pockets are great for holding things. Maybe this is why Leandra wants cargo shorts.

Alternatively, learn to appreciate nature’s pockets

Kangaroos have had it right all along. So too, I suppose, have drug mules. I bet you’ve never tried to keep your house key inside your belly button, but if you ask either of them (a kangaroo or a drug mule, that is), it’s definitely doable. And if for some reason you can’t bear the thought of keeping your debit card in your various DNA-given ATMs, opt for a Boobypack. Then raise your arms in celebration.

Find a friend who is bringing a purse no matter what

Then slip your belongings in when she isn’t looking.

Ask strangers to hold things for you

You kind of have to trick them at first — “Excuse me, do you mind holding this umbrella, backpack, shopping bag and antique rug I just found while I quickly tie my shoe?” — then engage them in conversation long enough until you’ve reached your destination.

Now, if you’re concerned about someone running off with your crap, let me ask you this: when’s the last time you handed your phone to a stranger so they could take a picture of you and your friends? Yesterday? Exactly. A stranger is just a purse you haven’t met yet.

Create urban hiding places

I like to dig holes around various locations in the city and hide important things: my ID lives under a tree near my favorite bar, my emergencies-only credit card is shoved into a potted plant outside of Barneys. I keep a Chapstick under the floor mat of nearly every coffee shop I frequent and drop my phone off in puddles of water whenever convenient.

Just don’t bring shit with you

And hope for the best.

Restaurants, friends, roommates and police tend to get really annoyed with this one, but not having to hold anything all summer is worth it.


Especially if you need your hands free to grab on to your bike.

Feature image via Downtown from Behind

Get more Humor ?
  • Christina Storm

    Haha love this idea! It does sound liberating!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  • Mordecai

    I actually go out of my house to jog, have lunch with friends, and spend the night at a club/bar without carrying anything the whole day. I have learned to manipulate friends and earth spaces to be holders of my possessionzz

  • Love this idea! Amelia you are such a good writer!
    Anisa – The Macadames. xx

  • Loving this post for two reasons : I just got a bike, and I hate carrying a purse! We are long past the diaper/baby phase, so don’t look at mom (meaning me) to carry your stuff anymore. They have hands, right?! I feel so free when I leave it all behind, pockets are your summertime friend.

  • I think I carry too much stuff even when I go jogging. I’ve thought about pockets and tried it too…but it sort of doubles my size ’cause no matter how I try and filter I still think I cannot live without ‘this one’ and ‘that one’ . In order to be hands free I think I need filtering tutorials:))

  • longandluxe

    “A stranger is just a purse you haven’t met yet.” OMG I’m so doing this. Love it.

  • Self liberate….love it! Once upon a time, I remember literally doing this. Never wanting to carry a purse. Pockets or nothing.

  • Jen

    I would love to go hands free for the day but having a set of 5 year old twins does not allow you to do so. I can still dream about it. 🙂

  • Lol, love it. Husband remarked on giant bag I was hauling yesterday. Pockets!

  • lesfactoryfemmes

    FREEEEDOM for our hands :: totally envy about how you write :: it´s hilarious :: xx deea&laura

  • Tess Harrison

    I stopped carrying a bag regularly about a year ago. I can fit everything I need for night on the town in a pair of tight jeans and a bra. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is sexier than a woman without a purse. I feel powerful walking down the street with nothing on my arms. I dare you, its the most liberating.

  • monkeyshines
  • Aubrey Green

    I put my house key in my bra all the time, as well as my id and cc.

  • RamonANielson

    I just got a bike, and I hate carrying a purse! We are long past the diaper/baby phase, so don’t look at mom (meaning me) to carry your stuff anymore.

  • Dresses with pockets are the best!

  • Whitney V

    As long as I have a bottle of water and some cash in my pocket we can go wherever and whenever!!

  • I’ll take the last point! I don’t need to carry anything except a heavy necklace around my neck and a hat!

  • Annika

    small backpacks ftw

  • Bink

    I usually opt for a belt with pockets… like:


    or This:

    Ideal for wandering around the city, hands free. Whether by bicycle, foot, taxi, or transit.

  • Celeste

    “A stranger is just a purse you haven’t met yet.” Amelia. I love you.

  • I bought a tiny cross-body bag for a vacation last year, and it was amazing to have both arms free!

    Of course, as soon as I came home I went right back to the big satchel. Something about cleavage sweat from the strap hitting right between my boobs…

    I’m into the “carry nothing” idea, though!