Best bags for urban life? What's YOUR favorite?

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  1. What is your FAVE bag for urban life? The go-to bag that does everything, holds up well, has some attitude, and looks great wherever you wear it? Share your favorites here - mod shots, whats-in-my-bag shots, and in-action shots. Help me find my urban HG!!!

    I am a few weeks away from a move to city living, public transport, and quest for the perfect bag. Need to be able to access cards (transit card, ZipCard, assorted keycards...) from outer pockets without digging around or opening the whole bag; without worrying that they will fall OUT; while keeping contents zipped securely inside.

    For me, the perfect urban bag would be leather, and would include
    Main compartment should zip closed
    Outside pockets - some secured, some slip pockets
    Carrying options: shoulder, crossbody, maybe backpack. Bonus for a short satchel-handle or armpit-length shoulder strap to grab on to even when wearing crossbody
    Metal zippers (not nylon)
    Big enough to swallow work stuff, yet flatten out when less full

    I have no shortage of bags that can and do work - just have not yet found the PERFECT, do-everything bag.
    I already have:
    Anya Hindmarch MaxiZip satchel - has great features, but too small to hold my work stuff. Would hit ALL criteria if it was a bit larger.

    Givenchy Pandora - had a medium in black goatskin. Loved it - and sold it, no regrets. Medium a bit small for work; large is ginormous. I used it on weekends/nights out, but only need so many of those...

    Salvatore Ferragamo Large Sofia: Large enough, meets zip and pocket criteria. Holds work stuff, but is TOO briefcase-ish for more flexible use. Also on the heavy side for crossbody wear. Its beautiful and elegant, but not edgy, you know?

    Rebecca Minkoff MABs: Have a couple of these that work pretty well - they hold plenty - but a little awkward to wear crossbody. Less elegant, more edgy, still not QUITE perfect.

    RM MAMs (same as above, but on the small size for me)

    RM Cupids - these work well enough - a teeny bit small for work, but can work well on light days. Definitely edgy, with all the pockets, handle options, and big beefy zippers. Straps have never failed me, but I know they have failed other TPFers. so I am a bit reluctant to really test their limits.

    Jerome Dreyfuss Etienne - great, and comfy, nice outside pockets, great handle options, but no zip top. Definite winner on ability to expand to swallow a TON, then flatten out beautifully when less full. Bubble-lambskin is delicious, but a bit delicate for heavy everyday use.

    I just ordered a Minkoff Zach convertible crossbody/backpack -- looks like a new style for Spring 2014 (from what I can tell). Arrives Monday - will check that out and report back here.

    What are YOUR favorites?
     
  2. Congrats on your move to the city! I live in Chicago and also favor crossbody styles so I can keep my hands free! I don't think I have the silver bullet type of bag that covers all the functions that you want but I'm happy with the four that I wear more regularly -

    For work I have a large structured bag - Marc Jacobs Stella - have had it almost 10yrs, it's perfect, lots of pockets, keep my phone & transit pass/cards in the two front pockets, zip top, fits a laptop, good shoulder drop on the handles so it's comfortable to carry. Dark navy/purple color with dark pink stitching so it's responsible enough for work but fun enough to wear out. But it is heavy so so I supplement with my crossbody styles if I don't want to take a huge bag.

    My 3 favs for running around town are a basic black Prada nylon crossbody - not leather, but especially with the weather being so unpredictable this winter I never have to worry about whether a blizzard is starting for no reason. Or if I'm somewhere crowded like a train or a concert if someone spills coffee or a cocktail on it bc it's super easy to take care of. It has a huge interior pouch and fits all my essentials except a laptop and has a good interior zip pocket as well. I also have a Tory Burch foldover which can be worn as a large clutch (no strap), underarm like a hobo (shortened strap) or crossbody (long strap). And, there's two places where you can hook the strap (the fold and at the mouth of the bag) so you can make it larger if you need. Mine is purple leather, definitely a funkier piece, but I get lots of compliments on it. Oh and my 3d fav is a LV Manhattan PM - designed by Marc Jacobs so it has the two handy exterior pockets for phone, transit pass, etc plus a zip pouch on the front and the inside is not super large but it's wide enough to comfortably fit an envelope style wallet, sunglass case, reuseable bags if I'm out running errands, etc. I bought a shoulder strap for it so I can wear it crossbody but it has top handles. It's monogram print so those three crossbodies cover black, brown and more whimsical color palettes.

    I also find myself using tiny crossbody and pochette/wristlet style bags a lot when I just need to take the essentials out on the town. Hope that helps!!
     

  3. Ha - I am moving to Chicago - too funny.

    And yes, this helps a lot. Thank you for taking the time to share - it is especially helpful to learn that my instincts about what I will need are right. Love your bag choices - especially the purples! Great way to add some edge and surprise to a city-friendly black-brown-gray-blue wardrobe!

    Crossing fingers for a break in the cold before I get there in the next few weeks - ack! Hope you are staying warm and safe. And again - thanks!
     
  4. Update: Rebecca Minkoff Zach does ALL the things:

    Backpack, crossbody, shoulder, and small grab-handle on top. Four outside pockets (three open, one zip, and top-zip lid).

    Its butter-soft bubble-leather, which makes it lightweight despite all the material involved in this bag. Ordered in blue ("denim") - now contemplating a second one in black. Camel is beautiful, but impractical - would be grimed-up in no time.

    Now to see whether I can make myself part with all the others. I just LOVE them so. All of them!
     
  5. I've been eyeing the Frye Cameron Satchel in the small size. I feel like this would make a great urban bag with the back zipped pocket and a smaller pocket in front covered by a easy to open flap, and 3 different sections in the large area, with the middle one zipped. Also a back tiny pocket zipped as well - i wonder if it will fit a passport.

    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Frye-Cameron-Small-Satchel-Bag-Burnt-Red/prod167570038/p.prod?eVar4=You%20May%20Also%20Like

    It's really casual though, but i really like the vintage distressed leather look.
     
  6. My vintage Chanel messenger bag - it's light, big enough to carry the essentials, and stylish enough to go from day to night and back again x
     
  7. Ooohh - what a gorgeous red that is! And it comes with "free" truffles Must love Neiman Marcus! Sooooo tempting - thanks for this!