Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reader Request: Impossible Bag Wishlist.

My friend Wren recently emailed me the following request:

My beloved taupe leather hobo recently experienced fatal hardware failure, and I haven't been able to find anything to replace it. Help me before I go out and buy a cotton tote bag and give up forever! I'm a one-bag girl, which makes it extra difficult. I'm looking for something that works every day with an army jacket and casual black moto boots -- but will also work if I'm wearing a cocktail dress with heels. And in a neutral color that goes with everything!

Material: Leather, but not suede. Something durable but also soft. Not a fan of pebbled leather. Shape: I usually gravitate towards a hobo style with 2 pockets on the outside. I like a kind of cool, slouchy vibe. No fold-overs -- that just gets in my way. And I want to be able to carry it over my shoulder.

Size: Can it be sized for a normal human? I don't need to carry luggage around on my arm every day. (This is the thing that eliminates the most bags from my search)

Color: Taupe, greige, red, eggplant or burgundy -- those are the colors I gravitate towards. Something I can wear with black and brown shoes. But, I'm open to blue or teal or green or something else bright.

Price range: Less than $500. I'll carry this for years and cost per wear will be fractional, but I'm the girl who throws her bag down on the restaurant floor so it can't be too precious. If anyone can help me, I know it's you!

You guys know I am NOT a one-bag kinda girl, but if I was forced to only have one, it would absolutely be my MBMJ Hillier Hobo, which is the first bag I thought to recommend. The Hillier is a comfortable bag to carry, works as a crossbody in a pinch, and the size is perfect for every day.

I really like some of the current colors, like this purply brown:

And MJ does taupe-y colors like no one else:

If the Hillier is too pebbly, the Too Hot to Handle bag is a dressier alternative:

Oooh, teal! And bonus, it's on sale. Another bag that immediately came to mind is handmade and only available on Etsy. The Opelle Ballet gets high praise and it's easy to see why:

That leather! So beautiful. (It might skew slightly too far into pebbled territory, but I love it.) It comes in a couple different colors (and sizes!) but I think the grey is the most interesting.

Those are my top picks, but I also found a few other strong contenders. The studs on this Loeffler Randall Hobo give the simple shape a little edge:

This one might be a little too delicate for her needs, but I love the streamlined quality of this Botkier Valentina Hobo:

The Kooba Jonnie hobo looks like the perfect every-day option and I LOVE this wine color:

The tough details are the best thing about this Milly Riley Bucket hobo:

I do wish it came in more interesting colors, though. Finally, this cobalt blue Linea Pelle hobo is the prettiest thing I've seen in a while:

A bag that color is never a mistake! Gorgeous.

Alright, that's what I have! With any luck, one of these will find it's way into Wren's arms but I'm hoping you guys will have some great suggestions too.


  1. I love all of these picks, and I especially love that you included a handmade Etsy option! Even if they're all too rich for my blood. . .

  2. As soon as I saw that beautiful bordeaux Hillier, I knew it had to be mine. Did a quick search...and found it ON SALE at Zappos, $80 less than Barney's. Plus free two-day shipping? Hello, Lover.