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style + fashion

the art of getting dressed.

bag lady: adventures in toting brains & style

Caitlin Surakitbanharn

life is defined by the people in my tribe.  and the shoes on my feet.  and the bag on arm.  right?

going back to school to get my PhD is happening within the next 12 months for me - as i've discussed.  now, i know you've all been thinking...oh my god what kind of bag will she carry while sitting through a Stochastic Process and Simulation Lecture?  and hey..trust me...this has been stressing me out too.

going back into academia poses a LOT of sartorial problems, for me anyways.  first of all, hello? despite being 25 - i'm a 'baby face' and can, without a problem, pass for being 20, 21 at the oldest, so the choice of what bag i will carry my TI-89 and MacBook Air around in must be carefully considered.  no Longchamp tote bag or printed nylon Marc by Marc Jacobs bag is acceptable...as i'm no longer an undergraduate sorority girl.  i must send the signal to the frat boys that, hey..i may look young enough to be on your level..but just if you notice my bag...you'll know to just move it along.

naturally, as i'm a complete and total Proenza Schouler slut, my first inclination is the PS1 Tote.

beautiful, isn't it?  it's a great size, obvi matches my black PS1 medium that i carry on the reg, and is perfect to sling crossbody and just causally roll into graduate level engineering lectures while wearing my favorite J Brands, my camel leather bomber jacket, Celine sunnies, and a messy topknot.  and Miu Miu heels.  

another option... the Balenciaga Arena Day Bag...
it's a great shape and total classic, but i'm not totally positive textbooks or a binder would fit in it.  but the mirror that all Balenciaga bags come with..total bonus points.  then i wouldn't spend 3 minutes in each lecture using the reverse camera function on my iPhone to reapply my lipstick.  (that's what that reverse camera function is for, right?  on-the-go make-up mirror?)

okay so if i end up not being able to drop a cool 4 figures....this Kate Spade Cooper Square Katarina is pretty chic...
i really love Kate Spade - always full of whimsy and a sense of humor and this bag is a great shape with bonus points coming in the form of a shoulder strap.  i wish it came in like...bright red though.  it's such a classic shape, i want more POP!

another wallet friendly option, the Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote...
Michael Kors accessories always look super luxe..great leather, great color, super chic shape.  the chain for the shoulder strap is an extra rich touch, and the ostrich embossing is SUPER chic.  it's a really great option that would look amazing with my Kors riding boots on cool fall days.

and finally, back to 4-figure reality (aka inching closer to the edge of out of control)..the YSL Muse Bag
an obvious classic.  the bowler shape may impede zipping when i have a binder or my laptop in there, but god i think i'd survive.  i'm imagining this with my Giambattista Valli leopard print dress, Wolford stockings, black leather bomber with fur collar, a really glam blowout, black patent Loubs and cat-eye The Row sunnies.  the engineering department wouldn't even know what hit 'em.

what do you guys think?  PS1 Tote?  YSL Muse? Kate? Michael? Balenciaga?  any other suggestions?

this is obviously a huge point of stress for my PhD adventure (besides taking the GRE, writing amazing statements of intent, and getting accepted...natch).