Q I’m too lazy to switch handbags—is there one shape and color that works for everything? Or at least some kind of bare-bones-yet-fabulous handbag wardrobe that’s foolproof? —Julie
A Dear Julie,
Accessories editor Melissa Lum was a little … aghast at the idea of a single bag. “A single bag for day and night?!”
It quickly became apparent that Melissa’s question was rhetorical.
Rhetorical, but not unreasonable: Melissa thinks you can get by with two bags—plus a clutch. “The clutch is where you put your phone and your wallet,” she says. “Then you put the clutch in your big day tote on your way to work. At lunch, you throw the clutch in a little top-handled day bag and out you go.” Melissa paused. “For evening, you just take the clutch!” For its eventual-evening purposes, the clutch should be evening-ish—dark or, Melissa suggests, metallic.
In practice, I have a top-handled semi-tote-ish-size bag that I carry to work and out to lunch—and out in the evening. Who cares? I think to myself. Until, on a recent evening, I was walking down a picturesque East Village street with a date, my unsexy, clearly-day bag clonking at my hip, when Melissa happened to glide past, clutching a sleek clutch and making her point abundantly clear, about a thousand times over.