I was first introduced to the “purse hook” a few years ago on New Years at a bar in north Brooklyn. My friend Nadja sat down, felt around beneath the bar for a hook and then we exchanged what I thought was that universal lady dismay expression of, “There are no hooks at this bar and our bags shall have to be placed on the floor if there is not an empty seat beside us.”*

But then she shrugged, reached into her bag and produced a pocket-sized device that looked like a bewjeweled compact. From that she slid out a hook and then set it on the bar, from which she dangled her giant shoulder bag. I was amazed. I swore I’d get one. Then I did not think about this moment for a couple more years. Probably because of not being sober even though New Years is a terrible drinking night.

…I did not think of this moment until, of course, Mon Mode sent me a purse hook to road test a few weeks ago.

Jennifer and I have discussed at length the pros and cons of purse hooks. On the one hand, setting your bag on the floor of some place can lead to disgusting bacteria hitchhiking along everywhere you go. On the other hand, I live in New York City, and if the deadly purse bacteria doesn’t get me, the everything fucking else will. Furthermore, the purse hook is a really practical thing if you go to a small restaurant and there’s no room on the floor/the floor is dirty/etc. On the other other hand, would you feel kind of dorky?

So I’ve had the hook for a few weeks now and honestly, I have not once used it. Maybe that’s because everywhere I go offers myriad options for where a woman can put her handbag.

…But I have been using the hell out of it as a compact. Mon Mode, thoughtfully, made their product a handy two-in-one and installed a little mirror on the back of the gem. Because the hook is small enough to fit in your purse, it doubles nicely as a mirror for touch ups.

So, what do you think: do you find yourself in need of a place to stash your handbag when you’re out and if so, would you use a purse hook?

[Update: The people at Mon Mode wisely pointed out that their purse hook isn’t necessarily for bars (though I assume everything is), but particularly indispensable at cafes with sticky soda floors, in bathrooms with minimal counter space, and perhaps most compelling, doctor’s offices.]


*This exchange is sometimes called TANHATB&OBSHTBPOTFIFINAESBU