Giant Handbags Are Getting Bigger *pics*

  1. Extreme Baggage
    Giant handbags are getting bigger -- and are a growing concern​

    January 5, 2008​

    One of the biggest fashion trends of 2007, giant handbags are going even more extreme in 2008. Some of the largest bags, shown by everyone from Louis Vuitton to Chanel and Prada, now measure up to nearly 2 feet in length, the size of a small garbage can.

    Women might want to start adding aspirin bottles to the enormous bags. Karen Erickson, a chiropractor in New York and a spokeswoman for the American Chiropractic Association, estimates that the number of purse-related injuries and sprains she treats has risen 30% in the past year. "When people come into my office complaining of neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches, I go over and pick up their handbag and give it a weigh test," she says. "It is amazing how heavy they get."

    Research on kids who carry backpacks suggests they should lug amounts that are no heavier than 10% of body weight. Doctors say the recommended total weight for handbags is far less because of the pressure the bags can cause on one shoulder. Dr. Erickson tells her patients that their fully loaded handbags should weigh no more than 1 or 2 pounds -- although she sees many women who regularly carry 10 to 15 pounds.

    "The issue with some of the largest purses is their capacity," says Leon Benson, an orthopedic surgeon in Evanston, Ill., who is also a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

    Dr. Benson says he sees lots of women come in with a particular type of tendonitis that causes pain in their shoulders. The remedy typically is labor-intensive physical therapy to rebalance the muscles and reduce inflammation of the tendons, "but the patients don't like it," he says.

    Kathleen Henson, in Wheaton, Ill., says she's been carrying increasingly larger handbags. In the past year, Ms. Henson, who is 36, noticed that her back was starting to hurt. She began getting muscle stimulation treatments at a local chiropractor and then resorted to visiting a local pain clinic. There, an anesthesiologist gave her five cortisone shots in her shoulders and upper back and told her to lay off carrying heavy purses.

    Despite this, says Ms. Henson, she's having trouble abandoning the huge bags. She recently bought herself a large red Balenciaga Office bag, which she describes as "very chic and functional because you can fit a lot of stuff in it." She often carries her laptop and a notebook, as well as her BlackBerry, wallet, sunglasses, shoes, hairbrush, makeup, a can of Diet Coke and items for her four kids. Even without the laptop and Diet Coke, the bag can weigh 7 pounds.

    Kelly Cook, a Los Angeles blogger for Bagsnob.com2, a bag-review site, finds her Yves Saint Laurent Large Downtown bag -- 17 inches high by 11 inches wide -- perfect for toting all her stuff. She fills it up with diapers and formula for her kids, in addition to her wallet, cellphone, charger, camera and makeup. When full, the bag weighs in at about 17 pounds and Ms. Cook, who suffers from chronic back pain, says that's "a big problem." She tries to avoid carrying it by hooking it on the stroller. The bag is so heavy that the stroller tips over if a kid isn't sitting inside it.

    Kari Schlegel admits to suffering sharp pain in her shoulder from her habitual use. Her new handbag, the YSL Muse, measures 14 inches high and almost 18 inches wide. It gives the 23-year-old Dallas resident enough room to carry everything she needs for the day -- a 20-ounce water bottle, cosmetics, a sweater, a daily planner, an iPhone, a digital camera, three tangerines, a wallet and sunglasses -- but the bag can weigh about 15 pounds. When Ms. Schlegel goes to a chiropractor, once a month or so, the practitioner "gets mad at me whenever I walk in there with my big purse."

  2. If I lived in the city still I KNOW I would have a problem. Thankfully driving all over I can keep things pretty light.
  3. Toting everything I own in one large bag just doesn't work for me. If I'm going to the gym, I carry those items in a bag separate from my City bag. I otherwise just carry one medium-sized bag and I STILL have pain!
  4. (1) LADIES! Just because you CAN fit lots of stuff in it, doesn't mean you HAVE TO put lots of stuff in it!
    (2) LOL at "the size of a small garbage can". Are garbage cans the new "it" bag????
  5. ^^^ too funny! My friend and I went out last night and laughed because we both showed up carrying large, slouchy tote bags! It is pretty ridiculous, but I don't think I can go back. When I shop now, I never think the bag is big enough or the heel high enough. I always joke that I'll be in traction by the time I'm 40! My cellphone message used to say, "I can't find my phone because it's at the bottom of my enormous purse. You know I like a big bag!" :p
  6. I would say there is a point where too big is...too big, but really I don't think so. I look back at the purses I carried just a few years ago and think "how in the world did I manage all my stuff in that tiny thing..."

    For me the bigger the better, and I don't see myself going small anytime soon. I even take my large bags with me when I go out now. Funny huh?
  7. I think they look good on other people, and even though I am on the taller side, I have a small frame and can't pull them off really well. Furthermore, I hate carrying around something so huge. They overwhelm me.
  8. I LOVE bigger size bags but nowhere near the "nearly two feet" quoted in the article.

    I've never had a problem with pain associated with a heavy bag. I attribute that to living in the suburbs. I don't have to carry my bag for extended periods of time nor do I have to really carry a lot of "heavy" items...i.e. laptops, water bottles, etc. I would guess, on an average day, I actually "carry" my bag about an hour.

    I do feel for those tPF'ers who, out of necessity, have to carry their "life".
  9. It has gotten to ginormous proportions. I went to NMs about 2 weeks ago and there was a bag - gosh, I don't remember if was Miu Miu, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana - one of those up-there bags, and I swear, it was as long as a small child! I've never seen anything like it!
    I think it was ALSO like $2K!!!!!!
    Be still my beating heart.....:confused1:
  10. The huge size of bags is a problem for me. Large bags simply overwhelm my body type and I look silly wearing them. When I received my MAB, it looked as if I was carrying a piece of luggage!! Back it went. I also have chronic back problems and I can't handle these big bags. I recently got the LP Piper Speedy. It's about 14" long by 10" high. This is the max I can do on this type of bag. I loved the Piper Speedy [in Sherry], so I kept her. On an east-west bag, I can carry more length, but the height needs to be shorter. Oh...I need lightweight leather, or the whole thing doesn't work at all!
  11. i don't remember which designer it was, but a few weeks ago i saw a HUGE leather tote and just for fun, "tried it on", so to speak. it looked ridiculous. i'm 5'4" and on the chubby side, and the bag looked like it was going to swallow me. i love big handbags, but not to the point where i could easily fit into them as well. :lol:
  12. I have to admit I am one of those ladies who seriously uses every inch of space in a handbag. In fact, I usually end up carrying a large handbag plus my LV Carryall or my Prada nylon tote in addition. I have no idea why I need so much stuff with me, but I do. LOL!
  13. If it looks large enough for a weekend get-away then, in my opinion, it's too big for daily use. I don't want my handbag being mistaken for luggage.

    I think proportion is important too - sometimes I see these little tiny Hollywood actresses with gigantic handbags and I think it looks very odd.
  14. I love a big bag, especially for traveling.
  15. I can get away with a large bag. I'm 5'8" and can pull it off, but those huge bags would give me a reason to stuff non essential items in them. My bags are medium sized (vintage LV Speedy, about 30 size), or tiny (LV monogram Pochette Marly bandoulière).