The Beater Bag / Carefree Bag Conundrum

Do you keep beater / carefree bags?

  • Yes! I have several bags I only use when I can't carry my "regular" bags.

    Votes: 31 70.5%
  • Yes! I have one bag I keep "just in case"

    Votes: 2 4.5%
  • Yes! All my bags are beaters / carefree. I don't care if they get well loved

    Votes: 6 13.6%
  • No! I take my best bags everywhere.

    Votes: 4 9.1%
  • What's a beater / carefree bag???

    Votes: 1 2.3%

  • Total voters
    44

Sparkletastic

Member
Jun 18, 2012
9,895
30,558
Qo'noS
I'm curious about beater / carefree bags:

• How many do you have (if any)?
• Why do you keep them / how do you use them?
• Are they really "beat up" or do you make a point to have them be "nice" bags?
• Do you count them in your collection?

I'd love to get input and advice on the best approaches for these bags.

I used to have several cheap "beaters" for times I didn't want to baby a bag (like at ballparks) or didn't want to be seen wearing premier. But, I want to be in love all my bags so I've been replacing them with upgraded bags that are sturdy and / or vintage so I won't worry about them getting a (tiny) scratch. Now I call them carefree instead of beater. :lol:

But I wonder. What is the best approach for beater / carefree bags? Do I need something decent looking but cheap and "disposable" in my closet for TBD situations?

I know some people enjoy taking their most expensive and delicate bags everywhere. This question isn't for those folks. LOL! I'm really trying to understand how others of us best ensure we have bags in the closet for situations that are messy, brand conscious, dangerous, super casual, etc.
 

remainsilly

bye-bye
Aug 15, 2014
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9,544
Own a diesel reboot leather tote:
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=102273354
Probably what you consider, "beater" bag.
Stuff with candy floss & adhesive bandages--then scream on carnival rides. In pouring rain.

Also have campomaggi messenger. Is "distressed leather," so more distress looks just fine. Great for grubby domestic travel & photographing street graffiti.
https://www.marcopoloni.com/images/...Small-Leather-Messenger-Bag-VLC5-main-320.jpg

However, also use what you might consider "regular" bags. To scream on carnival rides & stuff with assorted debris.
Strawberry jam wipes from mulberry leather.
And accidentally slamming hermes bag into dashboard doesn't end universe.

My guideline is discreet & practical bags.
Which few recognize as specific brands. So go about anywhere.
And I can use happily.
Then hose all with collonil leather protection products.

Ironically, my campomaggi gets noticed more than my chanel flap.
Because life enjoys keeping us humble & laughing.

Hope helps.
 

Sparkletastic

Member
Jun 18, 2012
9,895
30,558
Qo'noS
Own a diesel reboot leather tote:
http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=102273354
Probably what you consider, "beater" bag.
Stuff with candy floss & adhesive bandages--then scream on carnival rides. In pouring rain.

Also have campomaggi messenger. Is "distressed leather," so more distress looks just fine. Great for grubby domestic travel & photographing street graffiti.
https://www.marcopoloni.com/images/...Small-Leather-Messenger-Bag-VLC5-main-320.jpg

However, also use what you might consider "regular" bags. To scream on carnival rides & stuff with assorted debris.
Strawberry jam wipes from mulberry leather.
And accidentally slamming hermes bag into dashboard doesn't end universe.

My guideline is discreet & practical bags.
Which few recognize as specific brands. So go about anywhere.
And I can use happily.
Then hose all with collonil leather protection products.

Ironically, my campomaggi gets noticed more than my chanel flap.
Because life enjoys keeping us humble & laughing.

Hope helps.
Very interesting! Your Diesel bag is pure fun. :smile: I really love it.

Did you pick your beater / carefree bags because you love them and they happened to fall into beater carefree category? Or because you needed carefree bags and they were the ones in that "category" that you like best? I think I want to try to do the former.

In general I don't like my bags looking less than pristine. I don't really have to baby them. I don't really get in situations where they'd be banged up. So I'm just careful. But I'm not taking lamb anything to a ball game. :lol:

P.S. Like you, I find my most interesting / most colorldul bags get most notice in real life. But at work the more expensive the bag, the more trouble. :annoyed:
 
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remainsilly

bye-bye
Aug 15, 2014
6,470
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Did you pick your beater / carefree bags because you love them and they happened to fall into beater carefree category? Or because you needed carefree bags and they were the ones in that "category" that you like best?
Bit of both.
I don't own bags which "fit category," if don't like their look.
They'd become closet ornaments.
Diesel has useful attached pouch inside, plus liked all the patches. Make bag thicker/more durable.
Campomaggi chosen for size, organization pockets & distressed quality.

To answer your other ?, I do count them in my collection total.
 
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leechiyong

Member
Sep 3, 2013
10,505
14,273
I have a few bags that have lost that "new purse, I must carry it everywhere" appeal and are more casual, so don't fall into the high-end occasion category. But every time I contemplate selling them, I remember why they did have that "new purse, I must carry it everywhere appeal" and don't want to let them go. Because they tend to be more durable too, I keep them as bags to take to events where beer or nacho cheese have a higher than normal likelihood of getting on them and where I won't have to care if the bag is breathed on.

I know that inevitably, I'll need something for one of these events, I like having a couple of options, and the sell/regaining closet space profit isn't enough to compensate for the original price plus finding something I like as much to replace it when I need one. I don't buy beater bags with the intention of them becoming a beater bag though unless it's to fit a specific need. I'd rather take bags I love just don't wear as often as I ought to that can take a beating.

They consist of about 10% of my collection at any given time and they do count towards my total.
 
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dhfwu

Member
May 17, 2014
344
189
I carry my premier designer handbags to work and my carefree bags on the weekends. I have four of the latter, and they are all from contemporary designers - Massimo Dutti, Kate Spade, Cole Haan, and Coach. The leather on each of these is decent enough to keep my outfits reasonably put together, but also inexpensive enough that I wouldn't be too upset if someone spilled a drink on me. I don't really "beat up" my bags, so they usually remain presentable.

Also, I stick to classic styles for the premier designers and trends for the contemporary ones. The contemporary brands scratch that fashion itch, and because they won't have a long-term place in my closet anyway, I don't think or worry too much when using them.
 
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Mar 31, 2009
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I suppose I have two, a Burberry Buckleigh tote and a Helen Kaminski raffia tote. I definitely didn't buy them with the idea of beater bag in mind. I bought the Burberry tote before I got into luxe bags and it fell into that role over the years. I bought the Kaminski more recently and love it, but I reach for it when I'm going to festivals etc. because I won't fret too much if it gets messed up--it wouldn't be that expensive to replace. Plus, both of these work with very casual outfits.

I think there is a spectrum, really. There are bags in my collection that I'll carry in the rain and snow (Proenza Schouler PS1, Mulberry Alexa) and those I won't (my Celines and Gucci Marmont). I don't consider these bags to be beaters, but I've had them for a while and they have more wear than my newer bags, so I tend to reach for them on rougher/messier days.
 
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Minty Tea

Member
Jun 14, 2015
671
384
I have a few beater/carefree cross body bags that I use mostly for rugged activities locally or when traveling. The leather on the bags are soft and thick, the rest are nylon. They are Roots, DerekAlexander, Fossils, Longchamp, Tumi, Lesportsac. They have gone through several water baths to clean them from the various dirt, spilled soft drink, cookies crumbles, sticky rice cakes, etc. I think I have more trouble letting one of these go as I love the faded colour that it has taken on. Several times I considered recolouring it back to its original red (Fossil) but I can't seem to do it. I did it to another bag and I misses the rugged worn and faded look of that one. Soon one of my LC cuir will be in this category. It is showing it's age and travel scars quite nicely.

I don't count some of them in my bag count. A few are stored in my suitcase permanently until their "tour of duty".

The rest of my bags are also fairly carefree (I don't stress out if I get a scratch on them or if they tumble around the car when I make a make a sudden stop.) Maybe its because I get enough gray hair from my kids that I don't my bags to be a source of added stress. :biggrin:
 
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MokeyLV

Member
Mar 6, 2013
1,182
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I love this thread. I used to be obsessed with finding a beater bag. I have a decent size collection of canvas LV bags and wanted to dedicate one to being a beater, but it's hard because I just naturally am pretty careful with my bags. And I hate keeping around a bag I'm not in love with just to use as a beater. As you said, I want to love all my bags! I've decided I'll make my monogram Neverfull my travel bag, but just for car trips. For plane trips (where I have to shove my bag under the seat in front of me) and other messy activities like theme parks, I need something that zips and can be washed, so I use my Longchamps for that. I do actually like my Le Pliages so I'm ok with keeping those around for when I really need them. Maybe when my Neverfull gets a good patina, I'll be more carefree with it and can use it for the messier stuff.
 

Annabel Lee

Member
Dec 27, 2013
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2,569
I have two bags I'd consider "beaters."
  1. One is an unknown brand with really thick nice leather that I bought secondhand. I carried it for awhile, then tried to spruce it up a little and actually made it worse. I paid so little for it that it's not worth sending to a spa service, but I like the organization and pockets of the bag a lot, so now I use it for concerts, theme parks, and the movie theater (I once had a mishap with popcorn butter and have been paranoid about movie theaters ever since).

  2. The other is a tote by Melie Bianco I use a lot for traveling. It's colorblocked with black and two shades of brown, so it's really easy to match. Plus, it has a top handle and a shoulder/crossbody strap and is lightweight but holds a lot. I like the look of it a lot, and I used to use it more before I started getting so into designer bags. I still wear it every once in awhile, but I'm not so concerned about what might happen to it.
I do have a few more under-the-radar bags, but they're not in the beater category yet. I also have an inclement weather bag, but it's also not a beater--it's a Furla Candy bag in Ink, and since it's PVC, it's impervious to bad weather. I include all of these in my handbag tally.
 
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mary79

Member
Jun 17, 2011
790
71
I have one at the moment: a John Lewis leather tote in silver. It was cheap. I Love the colour and the fact it is so light! I am carrying it to work every day, and even after work too. Don't worry about it at all because I can replace with the next beater bag when needed. I put it on the floor, pack it full of books and heavy things, and really throw it around. It's lovely not to worry at all about a bag :smile:
 
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