After executing a quick Man Repeller search, it appears as though I have withdrawn interest in large handbags at least eight times, have rallied for small ones — clutches, minaudières, novelty sacks, whatever you want to call them — at least six times and shunned their existence entirely at least twice. I’ve called women who don’t carry big bags decisive and strong, able to carry what they need in the fell swoop of Ziploc-sized pouch. I’ve commended myself for free-balling. I’ve explained that jeans and a tee just don’t make sense in the context of a big bag, that they need something small in order to maintain the personality they deserve.

But now? Now I change my mind, which is perhaps the magic of fashion. Inconsistency is the currency by which a trend’s success is measured vis-a-vis its wearer, so you can’t really marry yourself to any single ideal for too long because invariably and eventually, you will be swayed in another direction. You might even end up like me: wearing a silk bandana around your head as if a ninja, hunting down a cheaper version of Chanel’s Coco Cabas like it is 2006 and you are an Olsen.

But let’s let bygones (old bags) be bygones (continue to loiter around resale sites). With such a healthy deluge of new product on the market for your consuming pleasure, you don’t have to revisit the past unless you really want to. Instead, thank the likes of Balenciaga and Céline (see: Fall 2017, Spring 2017 respectively) for making it seem cool to be a schlepper again and dip your big-ass stuffed animal (Laundry? Lunch? Shoes? Keys? Gigantic headphones? KitchenAid? The entire makeup department at Duane Reade?) into any of these.

And as for how to wear them — that’s a good question! I suggest athleisure, like a pair of black leggings you’ve never actually worked out in, with velvet slippers like these, a striped shirt like this one (oh, or what about this!) and a jacket not unlike this.

If that’s not really your beat, it’s a damn good thing your bag is so big because you can carry a change of clothes! How about a dress like this, a coat like this, boots like this and sunglasses like-a-this?

Questions? Comments? Concerns? I am all ears.

Photos by Louisiana Mei Gelpi; Creative Direction by Emily Zirimis. 

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  • Hayley

    Mini bag club 4 lyfe

  • Rachel

    I’ve always carried a giant bag big enough to fit my laptop and a million other things in because I couldn’t possibly leave the house without a bag full of random but potentially useful things. But recently I’ve switched to using two much smaller bags depending on where I’m going. It’s always been a big challenge but I’m finally learning to carry around less stuff (my chiropractor is very happy). As much as I love big bags I don’t think I could go back after all the progress I’ve made.

  • Abby

    During the work week I carry a very large tote, but if I’m not on the clock I do a crossbody that doesn’t fit more than my credit card and a tampon.

  • Lindsay D

    i love that jew top and the equipment. I LOVE a big bag, i need something to hold a mini hairbrush, deodorant, 1-2 snacks, my swell bottle etc…..

    • Leandra Medine

      what is a jew top!?!!?!?!?!?

      • Lindsay D

        hahahahaha JCrew that got auto corrected!

        • garnishmywages

          laughed hard at this

  • Kelsey

    I love a good, big, bag. Currently rocking a Madewell medium transport tote in Oxblood and I’m a fan (it is a little smaller than my last go-to bag, but I’d still call it sizable.)

  • Martyna

    Man. I love small/no bags and I’m proud of it. I only have one slightly bigger to fit my lunch box, as I always bring lunch to work. But you’ll bring me down, Leandra. Sooner or later, doesn’t matter how positive I feel now that I don’t like them. You always take me with you.

  • Emily

    I have a giant Matt& Nat bag that is shaped like a milk carton for a giant and it is one of the best things i own/could fit a small family inside seamlessly

    • ssmagpie

      This sounds like *the best thing ever*

  • Holland Kennedy

    love these photos!!

  • rachelattack

    I refuse to live in a world where my bag doesn’t make me look more diminutive – I’m a 6′ behemoth – and for all the key-fumbling I think it’s so worth it to always have a place for extra shoes, an apple, baby wipes, sub-compact vehicles…

    • Leandra Medine

      trade you heights?

      • rachelattack


  • mollie blackwood

    For some reason I kept rereading the title as “Big Bangs” and it still made sense… until I actually read the article.

  • cecilrahn

    props to Louisiana for this INCREDIBLE photo story, sharing it with everyone i know

    • Sheila T.

      lol. props.

  • Catherine Wen Xi Xiang

    Came for the giraffe, stayed for the dalmatian. This photo story is TOO good.

  • Nah I gotta say no to big bags. A seriously dressy clutch (sequins!) with everything is a real quick route to happiness for me.
    La Femme | Unofficially the best lifestyle blog ever

  • Alli

    I love a big bag!!! I’m too forgetful and spacey to keep track of small ones, so I’m thankful that I’m still in college and can rock my spot-her-a-mile-away “French Red” Patagonia backpack everywhere without questions about its role in my fashion presence. If I need to carry more than my pockets can handle, I usually figure “why not just go ahead and level up to my backpack so i can schlep my whole life around with me” because otherwise, pockets. Just pockets.

  • gwendomouse

    I love big bags and I cannot lie. This is music to my ears. If my budget stretched to the asish rainbow tote, I’d live in it. I’d marry it.

  • Oh would totally buy the Marques Almeida bag just because it was photographed with the giraffe.