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I need a good 'adult' bag...where to start?

art hoe

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Right now, I'm finally coming into my own, still in college, but no longer a teen. I'm a 20-something, but my bags still say trashy art student - satchels, backpacks, and hand-me-downs.

I need something:
  • big!
  • square-ish/clean lines
  • minimalist - no fringe, frills, trinkets
I don't know where to start looking for a really good, admirable adult bag that can go with my chic'd up minimalist wardrobe. can anyone point me in a direction?
 
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bingeonvogue

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Right now, I'm finally coming into my own, still in college, but no longer a teen. I'm a 20-something, but my bags still say trashy art student - satchels, backpacks, and hand-me-downs.

I need something:
  • big!
  • square-ish/clean lines
  • minimalist - no fringe, frills, trinkets
I don't know where to start looking for a really good, admirable adult bag that can go with my chic'd up minimalist wardrobe. can anyone point me in a direction?
What price range are you thinking of?
 

Peonies

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Longchamp I think are lower price range and meet all your criteria. There are of course a lot of really nice ones, but I'm assuming college budget kind of makes those options a little out of reach.
 

art hoe

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What price range are you thinking of?
Unfortunately, because I'm not established enough in my industry yet to be making the big bucks, I'm going to have to top out around 500. That being said, I'm willing to save for a marginally more beautiful 'perfect' bag if I find one; I'd rather a great investment than a cheap almost-there purchase.

Longchamp I think are lower price range and meet all your criteria. There are of course a lot of really nice ones, but I'm assuming college budget kind of makes those options a little out of reach.
Thank you! This is a good place to start looking.
 

Peonies

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If you are able to pay up to 500, what about a Tory birch bag? I hear it's amazingly versatile and great quality.
 

pterodactyl

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I feel like for 500USD you can definitely get a designer sale bag at Nordstrom Rack or Sak's off 5th that is nice. I've bought many bags for that price range from these places. Or go outlet shopping. It should be a fun experience and if you go in person you can ensure the size is just right! The only bad thing with this is it will truly be hit or miss depending on what is in stock, but you are not against a deadline, right?

One of my favorite classy and minimalist plus not too expensive bag brand is FURLA. I feel they are quite indestructible and I like their clean look for a school or work type function. (Also material isn't too soft like lambskin which will be tore up if handled more roughly) I have a nice leather crocodile embossed tote which is really functional and I get many compliments on it. It was under 200 on sale. Maybe originally 500, made in Europe.

Otherwise a brand that I know about from a 6 degrees of separation connection (long story but I know the company is pretty dedicated to working with local craftspeople) is Billy Kirk. I don't own one of their bags (only bc I prefer to see merchandise in person), but I feel like for a bag that gets better with age and that can withstand being manhandled a bit with work/school supplies, these bags would be very useful. A bit more masculine, but well constructed at least and pretty minimalist, such as this black leather tote or others might be down your alley.

Lastly, DKNY is always a place to look for something minimalist but still sleekly feminine & urban. I've had good experience with their bags for durability as well even though my purses were lambskin they still held up pretty well. For you though I'd probably recommend cow's hide if possible since you are looking for a more functional/robust bag.

.
 
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ZeroDiet

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Longchamp I think are lower price range and meet all your criteria. There are of course a lot of really nice ones, but I'm assuming college budget kind of makes those options a little out of reach.
Seconding this. Longchamp is cheapish and good for school. It's pretty much indestructible unless you take a pair of scissors to it. Mine has held up well over 4+ years of abuse. Not the most stylish... but does what it needs. The only thing that drove me crazy was the lack of interior pockets (I had to carry my laptop & misc power cords daily for school).
 

bingeonvogue

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Right now, I'm finally coming into my own, still in college, but no longer a teen. I'm a 20-something, but my bags still say trashy art student - satchels, backpacks, and hand-me-downs.

I need something:
  • big!
  • square-ish/clean lines
  • minimalist - no fringe, frills, trinkets
I don't know where to start looking for a really good, admirable adult bag that can go with my chic'd up minimalist wardrobe. can anyone point me in a direction?
Hm similar to Longchamp in terms of practicality but imo nicer aesthetically is Goyard – pricier though but I think you can probably find resold ones online for much cheaper? I just did a one minute search and here's one for 900. I think it almost pays for itself – I've been carrying the same black one every single school day/many non school days for 5 years now because it fits everything/goes with everything but it still looks almost new :nervous:
 

art hoe

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If you are able to pay up to 500, what about a Tory birch bag? I hear it's amazingly versatile and great quality.
These are beautiful!

I feel like for 500USD you can definitely get a designer sale bag at Nordstrom Rack or Sak's off 5th that is nice. I've bought many bags for that price range from these places. Or go outlet shopping. It should be a fun experience and if you go in person you can ensure the size is just right! The only bad thing with this is it will truly be hit or miss depending on what is in stock, but you are not against a deadline, right?

One of my favorite classy and minimalist plus not too expensive bag brand is FURLA. I feel they are quite indestructible and I like their clean look for a school or work type function. (Also material isn't too soft like lambskin which will be tore up if handled more roughly) I have a nice leather crocodile embossed tote which is really functional and I get many compliments on it. It was under 200 on sale. Maybe originally 500, made in Europe.

Otherwise a brand that I know about from a 6 degrees of separation connection (long story but I know the company is pretty dedicated to working with local craftspeople) is Billy Kirk. I don't own one of their bags (only bc I prefer to see merchandise in person), but I feel like for a bag that gets better with age and that can withstand being manhandled a bit with work/school supplies, these bags would be very useful. A bit more masculine, but well constructed at least and pretty minimalist, such as this black leather tote or others might be down your alley.

Lastly, DKNY is always a place to look for something minimalist but still sleekly feminine & urban. I've had good experience with their bags for durability as well even though my purses were lambskin they still held up pretty well. For you though I'd probably recommend cow's hide if possible since you are looking for a more functional/robust bag.

.
I didn't even consider the possibility of resale but this definitely opens up a lot more doors for me. I would love to own a Billy Kirk bag but I think for my first, I want something a bit more overtly feminine with more structure. Those FURLA bags are gorgeous as well, I spent ten minutes drooling. Thank you also for reminding me about DKNY!

Seconding this. Longchamp is cheapish and good for school. It's pretty much indestructible unless you take a pair of scissors to it. Mine has held up well over 4+ years of abuse. Not the most stylish... but does what it needs. The only thing that drove me crazy was the lack of interior pockets (I had to carry my laptop & misc power cords daily for school).
This internal pocket conundrum...I'm seconding it. I didn't even realize this should be a factor I take into consideration until I realized I don't really want my work laptop, in a case or otherwise, bouncing around against my makeup, keys, etc. that being said, these bags are the most easily attainable. But when I find myself thinking I should alter it and add some internal organization I have to step back and NOT do that, haha.

Hm similar to Longchamp in terms of practicality but imo nicer aesthetically is Goyard – pricier though but I think you can probably find resold ones online for much cheaper? I just did a one minute search and here's one for 900. I think it almost pays for itself – I've been carrying the same black one every single school day/many non school days for 5 years now because it fits everything/goes with everything but it still looks almost new :nervous:
This sounds divine!! The upfront cost frightens me, but maybe I can find one in a resale situation. I'll research them now!

Thank you all!!
 

elleblass

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This bag is fucking amazing and will change your life

https://tilkah.com.au/product/marguerite-tote-licorice/

It has a long shoulder strap and the small handles are removable, it's reasonably cheap and can all of my uni stuff without a problem. It's beautifully made, minimal and definitely chic :flower: The little trinket that hangs off the front is removable and there is a sneaky pocket underneath the flap at the front for a phone
 
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Xsmall

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I just purchased this Marc Jacobs Nylon tote, due to my work supplying me with a heftier than I'm used to laptop. With this, I also carry around an expanding folder, a large company folder, a notebook and various other random things. I needed something LARGE and that would hold everything I needed. I didn't want to buy a nice leather designer bag due to the potential breakdown of the bag over time. This bag has gone above and beyond that; I absolutely love it! I love the 2 side pockets for my phones and writing needs.. and then there is a large pocket inside for keys, little things, etc.
I also love the bag for travel. It makes a great carry-on since its HUGE.
 

angelalamode

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I agree that a Longchamp bag sounds good for your situation. They are relatively cheap, a well-respected classic brand, and perfect for busy girls because you can lug them to work/college, knock them around, whatever, and you don't have to cry about little scratches! Coated canvas bags like Goyard or the Louis Vuitton Neverfull are sure to last a long time, too.
If you're looking to invest in a bag with higher resale value, I would probably go with a Givenchy Antigona. Kind of last season, but it's still a minimalist silhoutte! And I've definitely seen them in the hundreds of dollars, not thousands, at consignment etc- you just need to find the right deal.
Also the Phillip Lim Pashli is a popular choice for a leather bag at a more medium price point.
Good luck!
 

lechatnoir

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maybe Rebecca Minkoff..? I think her products are in that price range.
 

vbambi

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I recently bought a Falabella bag from Stella McCartney, it was about 10.000 sek (1,110 usd) and I love it, fits my macbook and other school stuff... But now I'm trying to save up for a Saint Laurent's 'Sac De Jour' tote... Wish me luck ..
 
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Xsmall

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maybe Rebecca Minkoff..? I think her products are in that price range.
I have the RM Bowery tote and it was awesome for books, etc. Not big enough for my needs specifically but a great tote
 

Valiant

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If you want something that is Longchamp-esque maybe look at Tumi? They're known for luggage but have amazing nylon totes as well. With pockets, which sold it for me. I have the voyageur Q-tote, but I don't think they sell it in stores anymore. This one is similar:
http://www.tumi.com/p/m-tote-0494766D

And this is the amazon link to the one I have:
https://www.amazon.com/Tumi-494796-Voyageur-Q-Tote/dp/B00Q2QKJIY

It's so so so sturdy, holds my macbook as well as notebooks, waterbottle etc. without a problem.
 

vie

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I think the Nylon Longchamps are great student bag - I have the smaller one, which is sturdy and good for books/tablets, but a large/xl would fit laptops and everything - without being too 'art student'. But if you're looking for your first 'real' bag not just a backpack replacement, I consider Tory Burch a good brand with an affordable price range and 'admirable' :)

Maybe this Tory Burch tote? https://www.toryburch.com/ella-packable-tote/41159800.html?cgid=handbags-totes&dwvar_41159800_color=040&start=42 I
t's nylon with leather accents and collapsable, fits a laptop like Longchamps and this version
https://www.toryburch.com/ella-canvas-leather-tote/41159500.html?cgid=handbags-totes&dwvar_41159500_color=009&start=47 has more interior pockets if you want those

This brand looks really nice, I'm sad it's Australian :(
 

Serea

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Hm, sorry to be reviving a (perhaps not) dead (just temporarily unconscious) thread, but what do you ladies think about Dooney and Bourke? I probably should have asked this earlier today, as it won't make much difference now since I purchased it online, earlier this morning:



I just thought it was soooo pretty. It's coated leather and canvas; it was originally $228 but I got it on sale for $119 (here's the link, in case any of y'all find it pretty, too!). This is the first "expensive-ish" bag that I've ever bought, so I'm hoping that it will last far longer than my previously-bought and (shortly thereafter) discarded $30 JC Penney ones.

Thoughts? Am I in for something good, or should I start working on my return postage right now? ;)