i finally have a proper work bag.
i’m so late to the game on this one. there’s plenty of things that all working women seem to have that for some reason i’ve been slow to adopt. my transition into a professional wardrobe has been very slow. i bought the midi sized dagne dover bag secondhand from someone on ebay that had only used the bag a couple times. i got it for 70% off, and it’s practically new, although i did take a risk since there are no returns.
before getting this bag, i had been haphazardly carrying around my regular small crossbody and occasionally lugging extra canvas totes to work whenever i needed to carry extra things. years ago i owned the ubiquitous madewell transport tote but i got a bad batch and the cheaply made glued together handles fell apart. madewell replaced it free of charge with a better version that had handles sewn together, but i was already tired of this type of bag by that point, and ended up selling it pretty quickly on poshmark because i just didn’t like carrying that tote around anymore. it was too floppy and unstructured.
i finally decided that i wanted a functional large bag with lots of interior organization to use while traveling and for my commute to and from work. there aren’t a lot of options in this department. the only bag company i found with lots of organization was lo and sons and dagne dover. lo and sons seemed geared more towards major traveling and their laptop bags were larger than what i needed. my macbook is only 12 inches and i rarely carry it with me.
dagne dover bags are more attractive, although there’s plenty of aesthetic changes i would make to the bag if it were up to me. i can’t stand that there is prominent branding on the detachable cross body strap and the key chain strap, for example. i also wish the handles had clean straight lines and weren’t so bulky where they attach to the body.
i took the bag with me today to get some work done at the medical library. the bag felt heavy, but it wasn’t too heavy for about 15 minutes of walking to and from the subway. it’s definitely not a bag i could carry around all day. i think the padded lining for tablets is stupid because most people already have a case for their tablets that they will use despite the padding. i don’t use a tablet, so the padding is just unnecessary weight.
but overall i’m pretty happy with it. i like that it stands upright, for easy access to my stuff when i’m sitting in the subway or in the future, driving a car. i like that there’s an interior cup holder and lots of slots for my keys, wallet, sunglasses, pens, chapstick, notebook, and laptop. in short, it’s functional but not as beautiful as i would like. aside from my everyday commute to work, i’m hoping this comes in handy for our epic road trip back to california this summer.
this is my last real winter guys! i can’t decide if i should be celebrating or feel kind of nostalgic about it. i’m relieved to not have to deal with the long winters anymore but feel kind of sad that i won’t be able to commiserate about it with my fellow east coast bloggers. note to self: don’t ever complain about the weather when you’re back in los angeles!
[outfit: *dagne dover midi tote, hopp studios zip up boots]
8 thoughts on “an organized work bag”
I like that you have the option to zip it up. I’m looking for a new tote bag to replace the Everlane Petra I use for travel. I like the size and weight of the Petra, and it has two huge pockets inside, but I hate that it can’t be zipped up. It’s a pain to run in through the X-ray at airport security, and I would just feel better with the option to zip it shut when I’m in more crowded locations. I’m starting to look toward men’s totes as an alternative, because more often than not they zip up, and for some reason men’s bags seem to have longer shoulder straps than women’s. Also, there are more canvas options for me. I feel like that might be more sturdy for air travel (although, the Everlane bag has really held up).
Your Dagne Dover bag fits my general criteria, and I like that it looks like just a regular handbag. When I travel, I use the Petra as an everyday purse in addition to my carry-on item. It’s big, but it’s not super heavy when I don’t have all of my airplane trinkets along for the ride. I’ll have to check out their selection to see if they have anything a bit larger.
great idea to look into men’s bags.. my bag is actually made out of canvas too but its a stiff coated type of canvas.. you can wipe it clean with a wet towel and its waterproof. i didn’t want something so precious as leather for a change.
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Beautiful bag. If I was in the market I’d consider it for sure. The zip feature is great too.
I just look like a student going to work because I carry a backpack. It’s a holdover from when I biked to work but I found I love all the pockets and the hands-free-ness. It’s great for airports too.
thanks! i’ve never been a backpack kinda person.. wish i tho bc they are way easier to shop for, and probably better for your back too.
It’s interesting to hear how you came to a ‘proper’ work bag. Looking forward to hearing how this one works for you—my major qualm with them has also been about the weight and consequent poor ergonomics. I still can’t help but think that I’m getting the short end of the stick with the (implicit) pressure to carry a nice leather purse, while male colleagues have practical slim briefcases or backpacks.
oh yes, women pretty much always get the short end of the stick.. also depends on the way you see it.. i’ve certainly had male colleagues complain about having such a restricted range of things to wear to work, ie. lamenting that women can wear skirts, dresses, cardigans, tees, long sleeve short sleeve etc, and they have to wear dress pants, a button up shirt and tie everyday. i probably would get bored too. i’ve never been a backpack person mainly bc i don’t like needing to put both arms into them and taking them on and off on the subway would be annoying and to constantly reached behind myself to get anything out.. never been my thing. but i’ll probably be a hunch back and my scoliosis will get worse bc of these poor choices.. for now i’m alternating shoulders as much as possible.
Yay, it’s good to know that the bag is working out for your needs! I’m super-fussy about not having a bag that feels heavy, so that factor alone has always kept me from being interested in the Dagne Dover totes.
Oh and I know what you mean in your point above that men’s business dress codes are a bit more restrictive in some ways. I think I generally feel like business casual dress codes in NYC are much “easier” on women than men, especially in summer, since they end up having to wear, at a minimum, long pants, collared shirt and an undershirt, no matter how hot or humid it gets.
I did a weight comparison between bags and realized a lot of bags were heavier than I imagined them to be. The leather DD bags are 3+ lbs! This one is canvas so actually a lot lighter than others I’ve looked at.