I tend to leave the shoulder strap attached on this one--I usually don't, on bags that have a detachable strap, but this bag is so much the "go-to" bag for me that keeping the long strap it it all the time maximizes the bag's usefulness.
I mostly carry it with the two permanent straps in the crook of my arm, but to free my hands I'll hike it up onto my shoulder. And if I'm really getting into something, I'll slip into the long shoulder strap.
I've seen some of the other complaints about the leather and don't really get it. It's a little different, certainly not -weird- and definitely not cheap-looking or -feeling. All four of my Be & Ds have unique leather, and each skin is perfectly suited for the bag and its style.
So... I love my Stella and it continues to get a lot of use from me (from winter through summer!). I hope you get a chance to see one in person to find out if it does anything for you. Or take a chance on one. ;-)
They had several of the BE & D bags at the Neiman Marcus Last Call in Atlanta. They had them an extra 40% off the end of May-so you could get the green one in the photo above for about $250. I bought a Mulberry-so I had to pass on this bag even though it was a beauty!
To Desert Diva, I take your words, give a try and finally order it from NM. I hope when I get it, I will love it immediately as you are. Thanks for your kind information, it let me want to have it. To JNH14, also thanks for your lowest price infrom in NM last call. I did the order from their website, it only $278, not bad deal. Right? BTW, mine is dark brown. Hope it's good color.