Anyone ever NOT use a handbag?


Jul 29, 2009
I just read 'Deluxe - How Luxury Lost It's Luster' and was fascinated to learn that 'handbags' are such a recent development (about 100 years ago, before that women had servants or only carried very small amounts of stuff in their pockets).

There was also an interesting story in the book about an editor in the 1930s (of Vogue or some such, sorry I loaned the book to someone and don't have the exact details) who suggested that women's clothes should be made with pockets like men's clothes because she hated carrying a handbag - she was quickly put off the idea because of the amount of handbag advertising the magazine wanted to sell!

I wish I could get by without one or at least with just a wristlet but every time I try I only get to the end of my street before I need several things I don't have with me.

Anyone done it successfully?


Living Hard
Nov 25, 2008
In White Noise and on Whitewater
First off, I'd like to say that I'm with that '30s editor except the bit about hating to carry a handbag.

I never carried handbags during my life only before I was working in mid 2007! Even in high school and college afterwards, I never even thought about wearing a purse to carry my things after school for play or just in addition to my books and so forth. Instead I used my jacket, pant, and top pockets, and I would wear just unisex clothes for this purpose! The female clothing pockets were almost always either too tiny or nonexistent. I was just never interested in purses besides their use.

After a few months at my first job in mid 2007- a few months out of junior college, I started with a no-name organizer work tote from K-Mart and an incredibly frumpy no-name messenger bag from New York Chinatown (eek) and used these throughout the rest of my employment ending in late 2008. This was because I simply went for function and practical value for the money. Then, in very late 2008, I bought a super, super frumpy Buxton shoulder organizer (remember that?) in black because, but unlike the first two, it was just shockingly atrocious all-around. Then, just a few weeks later, when I was shopping for Christmas presents for my guy via television shopping networks (ShopNBC, HSN, and QVC), I gradually but rapidly grew interested in purses to the point where I would even compromise their function for their beauty. This was over the course of just another few weeks. This was also around the time I had joined TPF.

I used to wear and use these bags while my passion was still very new every chance I would get even when I knew I didn't need to at all. Nowadays, I have neglected to use any of my purses on numerous occasions and just grabbed the wallet from them when I would have a big enough pocket in my clothing available. I still always carry a bag or two to work everyday without fail and to my boyfriend's place every other weekend or so without fail, I just only sometimes use them when they're there. So, I have not successfully gone without a handbag for the long term after I got my first purse.
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Emma 4ever in my <3
May 23, 2009
The only time I didn't wear a handbag was in elementary school and other than that if I went to Splish Splash (a water park).

ms p

so blessed
Jan 9, 2007
recently i'm wearing my cargo pants more so i can carry my keys, mini wallet, mobile phone easily with me for quick errand without using a bag. it does feels good to be bag-less sometimes but i still love to carry my bags when i dress up :smile:


Feb 23, 2008
I wish. Even if all I needed was my wallet, keys, and phone I'd still need something to put them in...rarely wear anything with pockets or secure pockets. Envy how men don't need to at all!


Aug 22, 2006
In college all I used was a card case in my back jeans pocket; school ID, driver's license and some cash. This was for going out after classes. For the school day I wore an old-fashioned Jantzen backpack. This was the ancient 1970's and we did not wear makeup, no cell phones, etc. Simpler life back then...

Now there is no way I can go w/o a handbag. Glasses, sunglasses, agenda, wallet, cellphone, makeup bag and probably other stuff I can't recall right now. Sigh what a pain.


Nov 7, 2007
occasionally. when i go to hi-traffic urban areas, like our local flea markets and bargain centers, where pickpocketers and bag-snatchers are considered "normal"!


Jan 12, 2009
Nope. I don't think I can. I live in a city and haul stuff back and forth from work to home and back. I don't drive so I don't have the car=purse option.


Nov 18, 2010
Where heaven meets earth
I hate putting things (loose change, pens, etc) in my pockets. So the answer would be no...even if I'm going somewhere really close by, I have at least a wristlet for my cash and keys.


Jan 20, 2006
I always carried everything in my pant pockets. I remember the first time I carried a friends thought it was the strangest and funniest thing they had ever seen.


Happy Chrissy!
May 11, 2009
I've been doing this a lot lately especially in crowded places as I got traumatised after the contents of my purse got nicked a few months ago. I only carry bags (designer or not) when I know the place is relatively safe. I attended a concert a few weeks ago and didn't bring anything not even a cellphone. Felt so relaxed about not having to worry about my things getting stolen!


Jan 30, 2008
Melbourne, Australia
I find it difficult to get out of the house without a handbag. Seriously, when will I keep my wallet, house keys, lip gloss, mobile phone etc etc. As long as I remember, I've always been obsessed with bags. Buying bags is fun & I enjoy doing it. It used to be high street brands like Guess when I was younger. Now I saved up & could afford a few designer ones that I love.

When I went to concerts, I used to struggle a lot because it simply wasn't practical to carry a bag with me. Now, I can do it if I have to and find it indeed liberating to just carry yourself.


Jun 30, 2010
I like using my coat pockets to hold my phone, car keys, and ID/money. Its so much easier to get at the stuff. I do carry my purse if I want to take my sunglasses or other awkward to carry things. Its kind of annoying to always be holding onto it though.