We make lots of bags that I love... but the practicality of a crossbody is just the best. The one I've been carrying nearly nonstop since February is the proto of the new Clara style that just came in. The size, the shape, the color (actually think the new browns may be a bit more wearable than my red sample!) ... it's all perfect. As a matter of fact, the scale of this one just may be my gold standard. It holds just enough to keep you edited just as Marie Kondo taught us to do which means it's not big enough to apologize for as you're squeezing your way into the window seat on a flight. (And the weight light enough to not make a dent in your shoulder skin!) Accordion pockets make it not such a black hole... it is a dream to dive into and just grab what you need.
I had a great architect explain to me once, when Sid and I had the complete treat of building a small house together, that you can cut corners on a few things, but the items that you TOUCH every day -- doorknobs, sink fixtures, the wood underneath your feet -- on these things, you should spend as much as you can afford, and it will give back exceedingly. He was right, of course... and for a purse, this translates beautifully. (I feel the same way about shoes and coats - but that is for another day!) It is a delight to touch the leather, see how perfectly your wallet and keys and pouch and lipstick are tucked in there and so easy to find! This is the thing about a great bag. It is a little gift you give yourself several times a day.
I think it's this practicality that I love so much. Hands free. What could be better? For so many years, toting so many girls around and trying to keep track of them all, my default mode was one of slight panic. What am I missing? What (or who?!) did I forget? My daughters are grown now, but that sense of panic will be hard-wired into me forever. And so a crossbody like this one gives me a sense of security. It can always stay on me (is it like the Baby Bjorn of purses??) I never have to take it off, or set it down in the taxi, or put it on the floor at the coffee shop. It just sits at my side like the best little child or lap dog.
And maybe this sounds like a lot of fuss over a simple crossbody, but of course, a bag isn't just a bag. It signifies womanhood, having your life together. And at least when I was growing up, it was a rite of passage. No one really used backpacks, so when you got your period, all of a sudden you needed something to carry your tampons around in. I can remember that first one very clearly from junior high – the saddle-ish shape very much like the Clara, actually, with flowers and a little snap. (I believe Julie the 70s-era American Girl doll has a very similar one, which kind of tells you all you need to know...) There was not much else to put in it. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers... some dimes for phone calls... the lunch card that they'd punch holes in at the cafeteria. But it didn't matter! It was about having this grown-up thing that held all of your belongings in a neat little lineup. You had this purse, and you were a woman. It is a real joy to have a beautiful bag, to have a place for all your things, and to take pleasure in the carrying of it.