I miss back-to-school shopping so much. Every September, I would go to Staples with my mom and load up a basket with brightly-colored folders, highlighters, mechanical pencils, notebooks, paper clips, binders and sometimes, if my old one was looking a little worn out, a new backpack. I remember thinking that my backpack and its contents were imbued with an auspicious kind of superpower — a first-aid kit primed and ready to doctor my brand-new-me, brand-new-school-year potential.
I recently came to the realization that even though I’m not in school any more, I still assemble “kits” for the various seasons of adult life, undoubtedly in a subconscious attempt to tap into that same auspicious superpower I looked forward to every school year. The Volon’s handbags are the ideal size and shape to hold the contents of these care packages to and from myself, not to mention a serious aesthetic upgrade from the nylon backpacks I used to lug around to class. More jewel box than toolbox, each bag is so colorful it seems to be the exact missing piece every comparatively dull outfit puzzle could stand to benefit from, which is helpful enough that the stuff inside almost doesn’t even matter. If you’re still in the mood to to snoop, scroll below to unpack the three kits I’m carrying this fall.
Cozy Cafe Kit
This one has a special appeal to me as a writer who will forever romanticize the idea of sitting in a New York City cafe on a gray September day, cloaked in a plaid cashmere scarf, working my way through a book, but I do believe it’s a universally applicable fantasy for anyone interested in the autumnal version of “self care.” I’m planning to load up a bag with my tome of choice, a phone charger because I’m committed to squatting for AT LEAST half a day, headphones in case I want to take a break and listen to a podcast, loose change for splurging on whatever overpriced, pumpkin spiced baked good looks appealing and probably a thick pair of socks to accommodate my inevitable urge to kick off my shoes and curl into myself like a plaid cashmere burrito.
Apple Picking Kit
I feel like an eight-year-old admitting this but I truly, deeply, genuinely LOVE apple picking. My friends and I drive to upstate New York every October and do it the old-fashioned way: we traipse through rows of trees in dirty sneakers, stand on each other’s shoulders to reach the ripest offerings, munch on piping hot apple cider donuts. This year I’m coming prepared with the apple picking kit to end all apple picking kits: a real camera that screams nostalgia with every click of the shutter, a Swiss army knife for carving up rogue apple slice tastings on the fly, hand sanitizer for hygienic snacking and a bandana in case my forehead starts to sweat from the energetic plucking, all wrapped up in a cylindrical silver bag so shiny I can check my apple-red lipstick in it for smearing.
Job Interview Kit
Though I’m not currently interviewing for jobs, I’ve utilized this particular kit in the past, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. In a purse big enough to hold an iPad, preferably (the ability to conduct last-minute research is very important), pack yourself a pair of what I like to call “confidence glasses,” which may or may not actually be prescription and may or may not include a pearl croakie, a pad and pencil for note-taking, ibuprofen *just in case* you get a stress headache (just me??) and a good luck charm of some kind, like a pair of lucky underwear, perhaps, or a glass elephant. Whatever floats your bag’s boat.
In a pinch, though, your house keys and wallet will always do the trick.
Photography: Louisiana Mei Gelpi
Creative Direction: Emily Zirimis.