Essential Bags for a Minimal Wardrobe21.6.16
Bags should be, above all else, useful ; much like shoes , they should serve a purpose and serve it well. Our individual lifestyles will...
Bags should be, above all else, useful; much like shoes, they should serve a purpose and serve it well. Our individual lifestyles will affect what the appropriate choice of bag for us will be and how many we "need" to own. When it comes to buying bags for a minimal wardrobe, the first concern should be how it will cope with the situation it finds itself in, and if you get smart with your choices, you'll discover bags that will happily double up on usefulness and accommodate multiple purposes. These are the four main staple bags that will cover you for all and any scenario.
The Cross-Body Bag
Otherwise known as the trusty handbag; it's a bag you can fling over your shoulder and take with you pretty much anywhere. It's useful, versatile, and timeless. Opt for a compact size with enough room to hold all the daily essentials (and a little extra just in case) in a versatile colour that complements your everyday style. The strap should be adjustable so it won't get in the way or irritate you by falling off your shoulder every few seconds. You should be able to take it out when running errands and it should be suitable to bring to brunch with friends or a last minute fancy dinner date you forgot about. The "everyday handbag" doesn't have to be boring or stuffy for the sake of versatility; I opted for a petite cross-body bag in a "brandy" shade by TINCT (although I do, admittedly, have a slightly roomier black alternative too) and it serves me well. I don't think twice about taking it out daily and I'd happily take it to more professional occasions (if the need ever arose) because it's just such a versatile bag yet playful, which is why I think I like it so much.
The Clutch Bag
Sometimes you need a bag that's a little prettier, a little fancier, than all the rest and this is it, the clutch bag. Ideally you want to opt for one with a removable chain so it doubles as both a handbag and traditional clutch. One basic clutch is enough for anyone really, so choose wisely; make it understated but special, it should stand out but not so much the design becomes outdated quickly. It should smarten up casual clothing without being showy and complement your evening wardrobe beautifully. The single clutch I own is this Ted Baker Black Bar Clutch with (detachable) gold snake chain, it's a simple design yet unique in style; it can in no way be called "practical," there is barely enough room inside to hold anything other than absolute essentials. But whenever we're invited to attend professional openings, I'm relieved I have something more suited to these formal events.
The Structured Tote Bag
If you could only own one bag, this would be it. The tote bag should be big (but not bulky) and roomy in a clean style in a classic colour with a zip closure (because tote bags without zips are pointless) and small inside pocket, that's it - simple, elegant, versatile. You can take this to the market for carrying the food shop but also on day trips, to the beach, out on dates, to lunch, and - if chosen with consideration - to relaxed launch parties and professional events. This bag can do it all and it does it with a whole heap of style. My tote bag* comes from Everlane, it has a 100% cotton twill exterior with leather straps and gunmetal zip-top closure; the "11-inch shoulder drop" makes it sit comfortably under the arm whether its full to the brim or not. I love everything about this bag and my wardrobe would feel incomplete without it.
An absolutely essential for day trippers and travelers, or for anyone that needs to lug a bunch of stuff to and from places. The backpack is, above all else, useful - it has a clear purpose to carry all of the things; you can pile stuff upon stuff in these bags and they'll take it all. Although traditionally backpacks are a bit lame and old-fashioned, they've had moment in fashion and I, for one, am grateful. I own a Kanken Mini, which is surprisingly roomy for such a small looking backpack; you can buy them in all kinds of shades and colour combinations, making them far more appealing if you're conscious of style. A backpack might not be an absolute essential for everyone but if you tend to travel or require a little extra room to help to carry more than just the daily essentials, it's worth considering adding one to your minimal wardrobe.