Jerome Dreyfuss “nude” Bobi | Purchased with credits earned from a former partnership with Forzieri
I like big bags…
But I desperately WANT to be able to carry a smaller one sometimes. Case in point: I got this Jerome Dreyfuss bag a month or so ago and have carried it only once because not 30 minutes after I left the house, I was missing some things I usually carry in my bag after paring everything down to fit into this smaller bag.
And then, I just felt naked without a big tote and all my “stuff.” I know it’s all in my head, and of course, I survived the day without my cuticle nippers, but I think it’s time to give up on trying to fit my life into a small bag. I just can’t do it. Obviously, I am not a minimalist LOL
I love small bags though. They’re so appealing, just like having a very small, curated wardrobe is appealing. But neither has proven to be realistic for me.
I do want to be able to carry a smaller bag when I travel, but that doesn’t always work out, because I like to have a tote or bag big enough I can carry a water bottle and/or layers around with me, especially for city travel.
When it’s hot, I like a smaller bag I can carry cross body – it just feels “cooler” than lugging around a huge tote.
And I like how organized a smaller bag is, everything in it’s place and a place for everything. Fewer things though, which is the rub.
More my style…I also like a bag big enough to throw my laptop into
Inside my Kara midi tie tote
What’s in my MM6 perforated tote bag – why I can’t carry a smaller bag!!
Comme Des Garcons large pouch (Black – very old)
Comme des Garcons french wallet (old!!)
Jerome Dreyfuss popoche small (printed haircalf – very old)
Sunglasses (Karen Walker)
Way too many lip thingies…Lipstick Queen favorite 🙂
So, here’s my question: do you prefer big or small? How often do you change your bag? What do you carry with you every day? Does your bag style depend on the season? How do you transition from a big bag to a smaller one without feeling like you’re “missing” things??
We’re going to Florida this weekend for my step-son’s 8th grade graduation so I’m going to use the Jerome Dreyfuss bag as my purse and use a weekender carry-on for everything else. Wish me luck !!
Oh, and in case you needed an eye-roll today, YSL has named their latest teeny tiny bag the “blogger bag.” UGH. BARF. (sorry)
I like both too! I travel a lot domestically in summer. I tend to wear the small Clare Vivier grey double sac crossbody for most of summer especially when I travel. But for fall through spring I like a more substantial bag that zips. I also have a Clare Vivier tote.
I love love love crossbody bags! I have a large Preston flap as my primary commuting/travel bag. It doesn’t fit a laptop, but I don’t need it to. It does fit: sunglasses case, glasses case, wallet (I have a tiny one), iPhone headphones, noise canceling headphones, chapstick, hair elastics, house keys, car keys, work badge, cell phone, and it has a great pocket to hide my passport when I’m traveling.
I have two small crossbody bags: a light coloured one (for when I’m not wearing jeans) that will hold my phone, tiny wallet, chapstick, keys and two glasses cases (sunglasses/reading glasses) and a dark coloured one with more pockets that will hold my phone, tiny wallet, chapstick, apartment keys, and one glasses case.
I’m not a huge fan of totes – they are much more annoying to carry in my city lifestyle and tend to not have much in the way of pockets. Also, the straps seem to slide off the shoulders of my jackets.
The key for me in transitioning from a bigger bag to a smaller one is when I really don’t need a ton of things when I’m going out. Also, I have a tiny wallet, which really helps! In the past, I used to use a smartphone wallet and then dropped it in the bigger purse when I needed the space, but I haven’t done that since I got my iPhone 6S last year.
i keep a smaller cross-body bag and a large tote in rotation, and tend to use the tote on weekdays and the smaller bag on weekends. during the week, i commute to work on the subway and carry anything i might need for the whole day, because i don’t have time to go home between work and any after-work plans. my smaller bag is still big enough to carry my water bottle because i can’t handle being without it. both bags are super simple and i use them until they fall apart and don’t really get bored with them because i hate shopping for bags. i am just so apathetic about them! i just want something that is neutral, decent quality, and as unobtrusive as possible.
I found I really like the small backpack. I got the Everlane mini zip backpack with the intent to use it as a nicer looking diaper bag, and now I use it all the time for everything. I used to pretty much only use cross body messenger bags, but those started hurting my shoulders , even when I didn’t put much in them (I’ve got some shoulder issues, so I don’t like using shoulder bags at all unless I can hold it like a tote). I like that the mini zip backpack is all black and sleek-looking. The only downside is it attracts fuzz and dog hair pretty badly, and I have giant fluffy white dog. 🙁
Grechen Reiter says
i love the idea of a backpack, and really want one again, but haven’t been able to find one i really love yet. i had a jerome dreyfuss one that I loved SO MUCH, but it was annoying getting into and the straps were narrower than i like. but i’m also finding cross body bags rather uncomfortable lately. i do best with double two-inch thick shoulder straps 😉
if the everlane zip backpack was leather, or something other than that twill, i think i’d give it a try. i like the functionality of it!!
I have a tote which fits all of the things and sometimes that’s what I want. Then I get annoyed with not being able to find my keys in the bottom of it and I go back to my small bag.
Most of the time, I use a Fossil crossbody. I manage to fit a Baggu, Kindle, water bottle, phone/wallet, travel umbrella, keys and other stuff like headphones, medication, lip balm, tissues, utility knife. It’s a bit of a squish with the water bottle but I’ve been making it work for a good couple of years now.
When it dies I’m going to be super sad, cos it’s one of those ones with carry handles (plus the adjustable crossbody/shoulder strap) that doesn’t have a flap and I haven’t been able to find anything similar yet.
I like a smaller cross body bag, but when I travel a small bagpack is good for carrying water, a light jacket. etc.
Grechen – off topic question – I just bought a pair of Karen Walker sunglasses on sale from shopbop recently, but the case they come with is huge! Where did you get that tidy looking sunglasses case in the pic? And your KWs fit in there comfortably? Thanks in advance!
When it comes to bags I use them all, just depends on the mood or plans for the day. If I’m running around doing errands around my home base, I stick to small bags that don’t get in the way. I’ll use a larger bag if I plan on sitting in a cafe and catch up on reading. The same goes if I’m traveling; larger if I plan on being out and about most of the day. I also love a good cross-body but lately I’ve noticed how much they can hurt if used all day. It’s not great on my back and I wonder if my smaller frame has something to do with it (I’m 5’2). I’m also a photographer and if I plan on shooting I stick to something versatile like a tote that can take the extra load without denting my shoulders, like the ONA bag. On an unrelated note, what’s that lovely black jacket you’re wearing in your first photo? Looks very comfy and stylish.
Grechen Reiter says
Hi Deb! my karen walker sunglasses BARELY fit in there, but i couldn’t manage with that huge case they come in! the case i have them in is the oliver peoples case my regular glasses came in 😉 for traveling, or if i need to squish them in to a smaller bag, i have a leather pouch that’s a little smaller than that jerome dreyfuss pouch show there i can carry them in, it’s just not a hard case, so i don’t use it all the time…
i love my KW sunnies, but man, they are giant !!
Grechen Reiter says
hi sammie – the jacket is a james perse fleece bomber jacket, my dad gave it to me for my birthday a couple years ago – here it is at last call (great price!!)
i was just mentioning in another comment that i don’t find crossbody bags as comfortable as i used to either – even with a wider strap.
ultimately i think i’m just lazy: i don’t like to switch bags too much, so i tend to carry whatever i can throw my laptop into when i need to, which is always going to be a tote. and even if i’m sticking close to home, just running errands, i can’t bother to change my bag into a smaller one. and inevitably, i’d do that, and forget something i took out. ugh. i feel so high maintenance 😉
Grechen Reiter says
oh my gosh, that is a MAJOR requirement for me too, having shorter carry handles in addition to a longer shoulder/crossbody strap! it’s hard to find a lot of bags like that though…i agree.
and that’s why i have such a hard time with bags – not being able to find things in the bottom of them, with my MM6 especially. i love it, and use it a lot, but it always ends up frustrating me at the end of the day because everything just ends up in a black hole at the bottom…
LOL. Yeah, that YSL “Blogger bag” really is gag inducing. 🙂
Even though I’m only 5’2″, I love a large bag. I do sometimes lament the fact that I can’t seem to pare all the stuff I carry down to fit into one of those chic smaller bags, but I just feel too insecure without that glorious space that a larger bag provides. And I don’t even think I carry THAT much. I always have my wallet, a leather money pouch, three lipsticks, a hard case for my glasses, my Chanel refillable powder compact, two pens, mints, a small comb, eye pencil and lipliner, a small tube of hand lotion, a nail clipper, my iPhone , and my keys. But I love the idea of knowing that if I buy a book or a magazine or something, or need to take my iPad with me, there’s plenty of room for it.
I don’t change bags often at all, and certainly not according to season, since L.A. barely HAS seasons. I usually carry the same large bag every day and night for two or three years (only switching to a small black, vintage, beaded evening bag if we go to a fancy party), because I get used to having everything where I can find it — knowing which inner pocket has my keys or sunglasses or lipstick.
I’m not interested in trendiness when it comes to my bags, but I do love quality. My bag now is a beautiful English tan leather Coach bag that is, quite literally, 30 years old. It was my mum’s (barely used) and she gave it to me last year and I’ve been carrying it ever since. It’s a very simple style, with a lovely, thick, adjustable strap with brass buckles that I can wear either cross-body or over my shoulder. I keep it really beautiful with Lexol Leather Cleaner and Neets Foot oil and It’s big and I can fit everything in it.
Living in an area where there’s a LOT of obsession with “It”-bags, and labels and ‘Statement’ bags, I kinda love carrying something so unpretentious and eco-sustainable (by virtue of its age and use). And it looks great with everything from jeans and a tee to a nicer pant or skirt suit, or with dresses.
When I’m on a major job, I’ll also carry my work case with my equipment, but that’s always in addition to my Coach bag.
I totally get it. Sometimes simplicity is best. And I don’t think that’s being high maintenance, just knowing what you like. 😉
Thanks for the link! I just might have to grab it! Mind if I ask what size you’re wearing in the photo? I think it’s a great reference for me. 🙂
Here! Here! I’m also an Angeleno and couldn’t agree with you more about ever-evolving trends here. I stay far away from them. Keeps me sane and, more importantly, my money in my bank where it belongs.
Grechen Reiter says
i wear a size 2
oh i definitely know what i like, it’s very particular LOL which is why i am always searching for “perfect”!! especially when it comes to bags. i cannot seem to be happy with anything long enough to want to carry it for more than a month or so. except for my admonish bags my friend makes, those i cherish and carry off and on all the time….
Grechen Reiter says
i bet dallas rivals LA for “it” bags. well, not necessarily the very high-end designer ones, except in very specific parts of the city, but LV and michael kors could probably survive just by their sales in the dallas metroplex alone. never have i seen SO MANY LV NEVERFULLS. And one today with nothing in it!! i was like, girl!
i love love love my no-name bags – they always get a lot of appreciation interestingly enough. by people in the “know” anyway 😉
i have always thought i wanted to have ONE perfect bag that i could carry for many years and be happy with, but i’ve yet to find that bag. the closest i’ve come is my admonish tote bag, the big black one in the photos above, because it’s not too big and holds everything nicely, but still…i want variety.
Gretchen I love this Jerome Dreyfuss bag! I hope you might consider a review of it, maybe some pictures of the inside? I tend to carry larger bags because I have two young children,but this appeals to me as something easy to wear crossbody when we’re out and about and j can keep diapers,snacks, etc. in the car. 🙂 I’m getting ready to travel on my own with them and thinking about the best bags for flying…thinking small crossbody for wallet, etc. and then something functional like a backpack for all the stuff I need to lug on the plane…
Aw, thanks, Sammie. It keeps me sane, too.
I love your bags, too. They’re very spare and gorgeous. I think that’s why I love your blog and your pared-down, down-to-earth style so much — it’s so refreshing (not to mention better for the Earth). I know what you mean, though, wanting that one perfect bag that would be the answer to everything, that you could just carry for years. You seem like you’re really loyal to the ones you have, though, and they’re stunning in their simplicity. That Kara midi is SO beautiful! Love it on you.
I am pretty much a one bag woman. I love my Jas M.B. Old School Bag so much that I’m on my second one. I wore the first for over a decade before it started looking a bit too worn out and am now a few years in on my second. I have a small bag for really dressy events, but it almost never gets used.
I had to google the YSL bag – thank you for the best laugh I’ve had all day!
Grechen Reiter says
jas mb bags are THE BEST. my wings traveler bag is one of my very favorite bags (I have two), and so versatile, but i don’t carry it much anymore – was thinking of pulling it out again though, actually, so perhaps i will! i miss the very old ones i sold, but they’re not much my style anymore anyway.
i have a couple of jas bags from a friend i’m getting ready to put up on slowre 😉 she and i had a problem there for a while!!
I used to carry nothing but big bags but as of last November, when I decided to pare down essentially everything I own, I’ve made the switch to small bags – and I love it. At first I wasn’t sure how I’d manage without carrying around *everything* – but I’m so glad I forced myself to pare down…plus less shoulder aches! Now, I have a small variety of small bags that I rotate…and even a small cute backpack during the summer (or when I travel). I still have one or two big bags around but haven’t used them since November…though I’ll probably invest in one quality tote for those rare days when I want to carry my laptop or a few magazines.
Grechen Reiter says
ok, so what is your secret?? how did you pare down??? i have tried SO MANY TIMES. do i just have to do it cold turkey? 😉
I love ALL kinds of bags! Big ones, small ones, cross-body, clutches… But my favorite bag of all is my large saddle leather colored J Crew tote bag that I got on-sale. I use it every single day. About the only time I actually end up switching out bags is when I travel, and then I always bring along a black cross-body bag (either J Crew or Gigi NY) that I can stuff in my tote, OR when my husband and I go out and I want to feel special. Then, it’s gotta be my leopard print Clare Vivier clutch. I just bought a red bucket bag on-sale from J Crew, but I haven’t decided whether or not to keep it. I really want a Mansur Gavriel bucket bag in a neutral beige or black. I have a feeling it would bridge the sizes of teeny and BIG for me quite well. And I’m definitely getting rid of a few that I never use!
[email protected] says
I think that Jerome Dreyfuss bag actually looks pretty spacious for a small bag. I like all kinds of bags, but I’m really picky too, and often can’t find what I’m looking for. I also flip-flop between wanting something really structured and “lady-like”, and something more relaxed. Lately I’ve mostly been carrying a slouchy black leather tote from COS that can fold over and be a crossbody. I really like it, but after 2+ years of the tote bag route, I’m finding myself increasingly annoyed with the black-hole syndrome, and might have to make the switch back to something with more interior organization. On the slouchy tote side, I also have a smaller unstructured bag from Eileen Fisher that I love. I tend to use the small bag on the weekends, and the large for work or travel. I’ve been looking for a really plain but beautiful evening bag, but I haven’t found one that I can afford, or at least justify the cost-per-wear since evening bags are infrequently used in my life.
What a great read! I prefer a small cross body-bag.
I have that exact Baggu! They’re the greatest, aren’t they?