Monday, October 23, 2006

Helena Hand...bag - A Contest!

I'll admit it, frankly: I've never been terribly skilled at accessorizing - yes, I collect shoes, but I've only recently purchased a couple of purses for myself, and yesterday's earring purchase increased the collection by about 75 percent. (Collection stood at: diamond studs, silly silver hoops, mother of pearl large tear-shaped dangles)

  • c. 1997-1999: Pale blue 'shopping bag with long handles' in sturdy vinyl/plastic - cute enough at the time, went all the way to England with me. Graduation gift.
  • c. 1999-200-something: Upgraded to Prada, (via ex-boyfriend) a cute, black, medium-sized tote that I schlepped around all over the place until I was completely sick of it - about four years after everyone else was oooover it.
  • Mid-2000 - Occasionally alternated the Prada with a cool vintage clutch, lined in bright orange - a gift from my sister-in-law, or the tiny black or white beaded evening bags she gave me. Found the following truths to be universal: 1. Clutches are cute, but ye must clutch them, all night long...through cocktails, wind, rain, appetizers, shaking people's hands. They tend to migrate to two areas of my body, and end up between my knees or tucked up in my armpit. Neither are attractive or appropriate for a purse of such cuteness. 2. Tiny beaded purses that cannot simutaneously house a compact and a cell phone can only live in the Elysium fields of my imaginary social life - you know, the one where I get to attend (as a guest) parties that are a cross between Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby.
  • 2005: Bought a cute (small) black purse, just big enough to lose my keys in, from Target. It is dead and will not be coming back.
  • Recently: I got really sick of having to hand-carry binder(s), phone, lighter, etc around or try and stash them somewhere out of sight every event I do. In a moment of weakness, I dashed over to Ross (let me pause and hang my head in shame here) and grabbed a sturdy, open-topped satchel. Not the prettiest, not the smallest, it boasts three open-topped compartments, a zippered center divider, and an outside half-height pocket. Scott hates it, and keeps pestering me to tell him what the fashionable gals are carrying around these days.
I've discovered a two-fold problem with this new purse: Scott hates it with the fire of a thousand burning suns, and it holds a lot of crap. To wit, I am currently carrying around the following items, among others:

-Cute brown/white scarf, purchased yesterday
-50 small bobby pins, tweezers.
-Mac products: NC 40 pressed powder, bronze "powersurge" eye kohl, foundation brush (yes, I know, yes I clean and dry it regularly)
-Free sample of Clinique repairwear SPF 15 anti-aging makeup, too light, gets blended with other products, such as my almost-denuded cheap, water-based foundation.
-Two lipliners (light pink, medium lip-tone), black eyeliner, mascara, deep red "Rhapsody" lipstick purchased with my sister in Colorado, 'raspberry' Clinique lipstick (gift with purchase, happens to look good), 'Downtown Brown' matte lipstick/clear gloss, clear nail polish, weird pink gloss I never keep on and is too light by itself.
-Mini hair brush, clip, 3 Tampax

Sustenance, aka kid/husband bribery:
-Mini Butterfinger, bite-sized 3 Musketeers, SweetTarts, violet candy (tastes exactly like it smells!) two sticks Orbit gum, mini Tootsie pop. Some evidence of tiny Tootsie roll.

-10 sea-green/blue/clear glass beads.
-trio of cute mini-stick pads
-shopping list
-silica gel pack
-One crumpled personalized cocktail napkin,
-Small craft box containing mini wedding album.
-Six normal pens, one gold, one 'nice' pen (suitable for guestbook and contract signing)
-Fully functional "stick" lighter (good for candles, arson, bonfires, lighting heaters)
-$1.47, Level Vodka magnetic billfold, 2 keys, tiny flashlight, Borders/Library/Albertsons card/P.E.T.C.O. card.
-Deep red corkscrew pull, gift of another awesome photographer.

-Two card organizers, full of cards.
-Lovely engraved silver card holder with my name and business name on it.
-Bunch of my business cards, two of Scotts'.
-Cell phone.
-Gift card from a photographer friend, good for an engagement portrait session.

So here's where the contest starts: What kind of purse should I invest in? Suggestions, pictures, admonitions on my bad handbag choices and dire stories of child laborers making the sort of purse I just bought are all equally welcome. Just remember, I'm looking for the following criteria:

1. Must be large enough to comfortably fit a one-inch binder in it, plus a bunch of other stuff.
2. Must easily sling over my shoulder (no tiny straps)
3. Must be fairly water-wine-weather proof - and hopefully not black (everyone's purse is black, this is a bad thing at weddings). Red perhaps? Subtle patterns ok. Not overly trendy (no weird grommet-y things, etc)
4. Must have pockets, compartments and at least have a strap over the top, if not a zippered top.
5. Try not to break my bank - We need to head down to Mexico for another exciting week of dental work, and I'm hoping to spend a lovely day or two at Disneyland as a sort of mini vacation soon.

Winning suggestion will get a special surprise from me in the mail! Start your engines, ladies and gentlemen.


Hay Lady said...

Oooooo. Now here's one I can help with. Here are a few bags I would love to have a reason to buy.

Ok, so a shopper type tote would be my suggestion. You can always do Ebay for a price break. Oh, and can I say how refreshing it is to finally find someone who thinks grommets are better suited for, I don't know, say a shower curtain, rather than a purse :)

Meepers said...

HAY LADY! You're still out there! How ARE you doing? I hope better and at least able to recycle those baby boy clothes, right? Thanks for the suggestions - I think I'm far too practical to consider grommets as shoe/bag decor, vs. shower curtain stuff. Love the "Christina' tote...and the other two as well.

Fizzle said...

I have long and drawn out theories on every angle of shopping....except for handbags, dammit. So I'll need to know what you found out.

Thanks for your visit, I actually lost the link to Chock Late! Lookin' good around here...will add you to my blogroll again!

Chiada said...

Personally I've always been a huge fan of Fossil bags - especially their canvas bags. The interior linings are always colorful and patterned. Here's a couple of ideas:

Hay Lady said...

Thanks. I want a new purse now :) Check out all of the cute colors this one comes in!

I can be frugal too.

Now this has "Uber-organized wedding planner" written all over it :)

I'll stop now :) Thanks for the shopping fix. Since I don't have to buy a single thing for me or the new baby....