A woman’s bag

Inside a woman’s bag is her whole life.

First of all, it’s something very useful – I cannot imagine how men can do without it! It allows us to carry everywhere with us the things we need most. And those we need less, as well…

Many times have I seen this question, mostly in interviews with famous women: “What do you carry inside your bag?”, and from their replies I can conclude that there are a few things shared by us all. And then, each woman will add her own personal tastes, of course – be it books, scarves, gadgets, notebooks, snacks, etc, etc.

As for my bag, it has to be a large one. Not only do I carry a lot of stuff – and my spine attests to that! – but I always need to have extra space as well – for that additional unexpected item you may need to bring along at the last moment. Being a tall woman, small bags do not favour me, either.

First of all, my wallet – which, in itself, is also a large one – after all, there are so many cards, and the checks, and some money of course, and a compartment for the coins… then, the pen case, with at least three pens, as they may run out of ink! Then of course the cosmetics purse, including compact powder, blush and lipstick – absolutely essential. Then my home keys; the car keys; my iPhone and the headphones (to talk as well as to listen to music on Spotify); and my inseparable iPad, as it’s so much better for surfing the internet… After these basics – that always have to accompany me everywhere – I will bring some bills that I have to pay for at the ATM machine near our office, my Moleskine personal diary (with the list of things to be done in my personal life, such as doctors’ appointments, calling my younger son’s school for some reason or buying something for the boys, etc, etc), the shopping list for the supermarket, and so on.

At the last minute I may add a bottle of water, the book I’m reading or my Hola magazine, and I could go on and on, as sometimes the boys will ask me to put inside it something of theirs:”Mom, can you keep it for me, please?” – and into my bag will go chewing gum or sweets, a soft drink (!), a Playstation game or a rugby mouthgard!

But there is another reason why we, women, need to carry a bag – because it’s the most incredible fashion statement we can make. No matter how simply dressed you are a bag will tell the world if you are stylish or not – just like that.

Even as a teenager I loved bags. I remember seeing beautiful designer bags in the pages of the French Marie Claire I used to read in my late teens and dreaming of the Lancel model that was very popular in the early eighties, in a sort of golden beige canvas – and my absolute delight when Mom asked a friend of hers to bring it from Paris! Many bags after – even if not all make you feel that strange exhilaration – I remember the day I bought my first Vuitton bag, less than ten years ago. I was in Paris for some meetings and with a colleague who was, and is still, a good friend. We were coming down the Champs Elysées and decided to go into the shop. It is a beautiful shop and the whole building belongs to them (some years later as they did some works in the building they had it covered in what seemed gift paper with their LV logo). As we went in we were immediately offered a glass of champagne and so we wandered through the shop sipping our champagne and feeling like million dollar girls! And I came out with a bag, feeling it would last forever…the fact is I’m still wearing it and will continue to do so for a long time! It’s timeless.

For some years I enjoyed having several bags in a variety of colours that I could change according to the clothes I was wearing, but now I’ve grown lazy…with so many things to move from one bag to another, it’s much more practical to stick to one bag that you can wear with almost everything. And this is cost effective too, so a winning decision in every sense.

As winter ends and spring approaches, I’m thinking about how I want this season’s bag to be like. The one I want for myself, that is: it will be large so that I may continue to carry my work papers and files there (for some time now I’ve forgotten briefcases) and all the rest; it will be stylish (of one of my favourite brands), it will be a mix of a tote and a shoulder bag, so that I may use it either way and it will be in a warm, rich colour that would apparently – only apparently – limit my choice of clothes but on the contrary, I will wear it with almost everything! Alternatively, it will be in a neutral tone so that it really goes well with everything. I’m sure I’ll make up my mind when I see it: the right bag for me this spring and summer!

And, as always – and I’m quite certain as all my gender sisters in the world – I will feel like a queen on the day I first wear it.

Really, bags are one of the reasons why I absolutely love being a woman.