New Favorite: The Perfect Tote Bag from AWbyAndreaWong
I have been on the hunt for a new purse pretty much for the past year. I knew I wanted something big enough to hold my laptop (a 11″ MacBook Air) plus a TON of other office stuff, and I wanted it to work as my carry-on purse with all my long-flight necessities. I also knew, through trial and error, that it needed to zip up so stuff wouldn’t be constantly spilling everywhere, and it needed to look like an actual purse, not a messenger bag or nylon briefcase. I have backpacks for that—this, I wanted to look *nice.* I wanted to be comfortable at brunch or at a cyclocross race.
And, since I’m me, I knew I wanted it to be gray and black.
So, after tons and tons of searching, I found the AWbyAndreaWong Slate Ciabatta Bag, a waxed leather and canvas tote with a burly zipper and straps that were just the right length to hold and not have it hit the ground, or hoist up on my shoulder. Plus, it was made in Vancouver with recycled fabrics, which I thought was pretty rad.
I’ve had it for a couple months, and it’s survived -15 degrees at Cyclocross Nationals, a month-long trip that included Belgium, Spain, Italy and The Netherlands (so, a lot of rain), a 24-hour haul to get to California, and now, everyday life in SoCal for the next few weeks before we drive back. The thin straps are surprisingly hearty, and I’ve been stuffing it full half the time (overstuffing, if I’m being honest), but when we are going nicer places, it fits right in.
The zipper isn’t the easiest to work, but I’m slowly breaking it in, and it has two small inside pockets that are just right for phone, pens and sunglasses. It’s not what I would have called a statement bag in the past, but I’ve fallen absolutely in love with the minimalist vibe that it gives off.
It’s got a heftier pricetag than most of the cheap, fashion-y purses I’ve bought in the past ($140) but so far, it’s been well worth the cost, so far. I’m just so freaking happy to have finally found a bag that works for almost every occasion! (The exception, obviously, is that it doesn’t work for a fancy dinner or going to a wedding or something, but for those, I usually just skip the purse altogether.)
I will definitely say this is one of the best buys I’ve made as I’ve shifted into a slightly more grown up wardrobe in the last year!