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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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 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:
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:
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:
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 “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?