FASHION HONESTLY

How one little bag caused a morning meltdown 

Photo: Getty Images

When Stacey Duguid bought a mini bag, a series of disastrous events unfolded. However, after a lie down, she’s discovered a way to make it work

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By Stacey Duguid on

I just bought a microscopic bag to transport general crap to the office *canned laughter* It fits, what, a lipstick plus a pen? I already own a perfectly good work bag – a nylon tote that fits my diary, computer, plus all the usual debris one gathers throughout an average working day (baby wipes, a half-eaten cake, an emergency box of Tampax). It’s so huge, in fact, I can squeeze a midweek shop in beside my computer, so why oh why swap it for something so small and so pointless? 

Small bags have been fashionable for ages, but I’ve ignored them – mainly because they’re utterly ludicrous, especially the ones that look like pets. A cross-body Furby isn’t on my wish list but, after seeing a woman in the office wearing a small jewel-green bag slung over a navy blue blazer, bag envy kicked in. So I made up an excuse to buy one: my everyday shoulder bag is practical and fits everything, but the chain-strap sits on my shoulder, meaning my tote handle slides off and it’s hard to carry my computer. #madeupproblems

Maybe, just maybe, there’s a place in a woman’s world for the Stupidly Small Bag

Excitement soon turned to dismay the morning I tried my new micro bag. My bloody iPhone 6 (large) wouldn’t fit without removing its protective cover. My keys only fit when I removed the keyring. My inhaler fit, but only the small blue one, not the larger one I use every day (hello, is that the NHS? Could you possibly make a smaller inhaler to fit my micro bag?). Rammed to the zip, the first day I wore it I threw it across my body in a huff, stuck my computer in my tote and trundled off to work feeling a bit daft. First stop: Pret. Ordered my usual coffee, reached into my bag, fumbled for money, discovered there was none – no money, no cards, no, erm, purse. I’d left the whole lot at home. Editing out "because none of it fit in my new it’s-a-bit-bollocks micro bag", I called in sick and drove home to lie down.  

Once I’d decanted money and cards from my purse to my mini bag, I realised, maybe, just maybe, there’s a place in a woman’s world for the Stupidly Small Bag. Like at the pub or on a posh night out, when you can’t be bothered to lug a clutch around the dancefloor. Or pushing a pram, when you need easy access to money and keys. Or when travelling, when you need to grab train tickets, Oyster cards or passports, and keep things safe and close to your body. Or when you work in fashion and want to update your look with something highly impractical all because it’s the colour of the season. 

In the days since buying the small bag with big attitude (it gets a lot of attention and loves being the star of the outfit show), I’ve realised the only way to cope with carrying one is to view it as a purse with a long strap. You wouldn’t attempt to shove a brush, iPad, or make-up bag into your purse, would you? No. When viewed as "just a purse with a long strap", it’s tempting to go mad with colour and embellishment (or even fuzzy faux fur and large, googly eyes). The best thing about viewing it as a purse, instead of a bag, is you won’t chastise yourself for shoving it inside your actual work bag. Consider it a zooped-up purse and the possibilities are endless. A word to the wise: don’t wear fun-fur bags in the rain. You know what happened to Gizmo…

Click here for Stacey's small bag edit

@StaceyDuguid

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