Crowdsourcing: What’s The Most Amazing Bag You’ve Ever Bought?


I’ve been looking for a new purse for six months. I know, #firstworldproblems and get a life and check your privilege, Carrie. But what is the deal with bags these days? Am I the only one who is on an endless quest for a not-too-big, not-too-small, not goddamn cross body bag that I can carry in my daily life? All I want is a nice, preferably leather shoulder bag that isn’t a weird color, doesn’t have studs or gigantic hardware and isn’t really cheaply made. I would take faux leather, if it doesn’t have a weird texture! I would buy it anywhere, from the thrift store to ASOS to a local boutique.

Oh yeah, and it can’t be too expensive. Sorry but $300 handbags are not in the budget of this freelance writer. A few years ago I splurged on this bag from Bali ELF, the most I’ve ever paid for a purse or bag. It’s custom-made, gorgeous and juuuuust a little bit too big to use every day, unless you want to be constantly digging for your lip balm and frantically searching for your phone while you can hear it ringing, AHEM. It’s nice for the airport, though! But it seems that these days, there’s no middle ground between teeny tiny bags that basically only fit a wallet and a phone and cavernous tote bags you can hear your voice echo inside.  For the last few months,  I’ve been using a slightly shitty medium-sized Roxy hobo bag I got at Marshall’s but it’s on its last leg.

So tell me, friends. What’s the most amazing bag you’ve ever had and where did you get it? It obviously doesn’t have to be something that’s available today. I’d love to hear about the incredible vintage bag you scored at a flea market in London or the hand-me-down kisslock purse your grandmother gave you. Let’s talk things you carry things in!

P.S. Yes, the above is the purse the teenage Carrie Bradshaw carries on The Carrie Diaries. Have you watched the show? It’s surprisingly amazing. The show is set in the 80s and features straight talk about abortion, an out teenage boy, a teenage girl following her career AND romantic dreams and of course, awesome clothes. It’s on Netfix. Go watch it, snowed-in people!

Photo: The Carrie Diaries, CW

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    • keanesian

      I used to have a Coach patchwork velvet bag that I loved. I know, that sounds heinous, but there’s one on Ebay right now so you can go look at it and tell me what you think:

    • Eve Vawter

      I have this ridic Prada tweed bag we bought, well, my husband bought for me when we lived in Europe and he preordered it so no one else had it, it sold out immediately and people used to stop me allll the time asking me how I got one.

      • CMJ


      • Eve Vawter

        I do believe you know this bag. I also have an amazing B&D bag that doubles as a weapon with tons of spikes on it, that thing is HEAVY

      • CMJ

        I don’t remember the Prada! I remember the B&D bag for sure.

        I also remember those amazing dior (?) shoes I tried on that were too big for me. Sigh. COME LIVE WITH ME.

      • Eve Vawter

        i have BIG feets.

      • CMJ

        I have pretty big feets too…that’s why I was willing them to fit me.

    • Erin

      I spend far too long looking at bags that I will ever be willing to admit, with most of the same criteria. Ended up with this:
      It’s cavernous, but has two pockets on the outside for cash and phone.

    • Katie

      I got this amazing Badgley Mischka bag on sale one time, but it was still super expensive. I spotted it and just wandered around in a daze clutching it, thinking about how much I didn’t need it. But after I got it, it was so useful. I could put my lunch in it, and my waterbottle and it still wasn’t too bulky and looked awesome. It’s even the right size for patient files and other work stuff, but I used it to go out too. Now, I just use my sweet jansport backpack, because I’m back in school, but if I need to look fancy I bust it out.

      On a side note, I had been looking for a black crossbody bag to go out with for like 6 months as well, because I didn’t want another from H&M that would fall apart again like the last 5 I’ve bought, but I still didn’t want to spend too much money. And Kate Spade is having a sale today on a bunch of things, and then if you sign up for their newsletter, you get an extra 15% off, so if that’s in your price range, they have some super cute stuff there. I finally found my crossbody bag! Think of how much dancing I can do now! I’m pretty excited about it.

    • Lindsey Conklin

      I used to carry around this denim purse by Guess. it was hideous and I thought it was so cool. still makes me cringe. more recently, my sister has a tory burch bag that i just think is the perfect bag with zippers, pockets, etc. I wish it wasn’t a brand name, but sigh.

    • Candace

      Anything from Olivia & Joy: affordable, amazing quality, versatile. I get compliments on mine all the time, and people think I spent way more money than I did. Also, a plethora of inner pockets :)

    • Samantha Escobar

      I bought myself a pricier bag in November from Fossil that I f’ing love. It’s like this one but with just one pair of straps.

      I also have had REALLY good luck at Buffalo Exchange.

    • DebMoore17

      About 25 years ago I found this purse at Pick-N-Save (I think it’s called Big Lots now) for $4.99. It was a tiny grandma style purse that was shiny orange. All that would fit in it was cash & license (too small for a wallet, but I was in High School so I didn’t have credit cards or anything yet) a pack of smokes & lighter and my car & house key. Not practical in any sense of the word, but I loved it!

    • Nickie Joy

      Matt & Nat is a great vegan brand– beautiful bags, look for sales. I’ve also seen some gorgeous Pour la Victoire bags on sale & sale sites for 50%+ off lately.

    • Elizabeth Licata

      Hm. I got this leather owl purse:

      I generally like a larger bag, but the leather on this doesn’t suck and it has a great color. Also it looks like an owl.

      Most amazing bag I ever bought though? I have a Timmy Woods horse purse I found on eBay for a really good price and a Mulberry Roxanne I found for 80% off at a Decades pop-up shop.

    • Madame X

      My holy grail of bags is my Barbour tote bag. It’s made of some waterproof black woven material and leather with the Barbour plaid lining. It does have handy pockets and I use smaller pouches for little things inside (like lip gloss). I can fit my laptop inside and in general I love having a bigger bag so it works for me. I have tried to find another and I’m beginning to wonder if a fairy godmother bestowed this one upon me because I never have seen one again. I bought it at a little garden and outdoor apparel store in South Pasadena that was an authorized Barbour retailer. I want to say it was in the $300-400 range which was totally worth it because it’s going strong 4 years later.

    • aemccarthy

      The Coach factory clearance site is a great way to find a really good bag for a good price. They run constant 70% off sales. You need an invite to join, but you can sign up on the site. I’ve definitely spent way too much money there.

    • Ashley

      My Michael Kors Bedford East West Satchel in large is my favorite ever. Three compartments, outside pocket… it’s heaven.