Monday, June 25, 2012 want a hands-free bag for summer.

One of our readers asked us this question:

"I headed to the Museum of Science today - the perfect escape from the heat and the summer crowds weren't there yet! I grabbed a trusty Coach backpack I've had for years and realized I didn't like the styling or size at all anymore. For one, now that my kids are older, I don't need to carry as much. I ended up grabbing my pre-teen's cross-body purse (or mini-messenger bag, not quite sure what to call it). Although the size and wear of the purse was great I knew it looked lousy. Any advise for small, hands-free bags/purses when running around with a family this summer?"

We always love a hunt!  Here are a couple of things we gravitate towards when looking for a hands-free bag.

I think number one on the list has to be the Longchamp Pliage backpack.  Lightweight, not too big, folds into a square for packing, and somewhat water-proof, comes in a rainbow of colors (visit a Longchamp store for the largest selection; in Boston, it's on Newbury Street) it's a great option for summer museum trips or mini-golf.  It's a classic that will never go out of style, and at $118, not a huge investment.  (Hint!  Summer colors are on sale at $97 at Longchamp stores and online right now!)
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If you are looking for leather, I really like the look of the Marketplace Day Bag from Madewell.  The english tan color is so versatile and the cross-body look is in.  It's $168, but it's something I'd watch to go on sale.  And, it has a TASSEL!  (You know how we go nuts for tassels!)
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If you want more of an investment bag, the Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q - Hillier Hobo bag is it.  At $428, it's one you'll have to fall in love with, but the super soft leather and hidden magnetic closure make it stylish and easy to carry.  Comes in several colors (and sold in many places), so you can go neutral or get that pop of color you might be looking for.  
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Let's go back in time to the late 70s and early 80s to LeSportsac!  They are still around, and some of their designs are fun, affordable, and completely wearable for summer.  (Lisa has one that she uses on serious shopping trips.) I found a large selection on Zappos (free shipping!) and some of their neutral cross-body bags are just what we're looking for!  This Shellie Crossbody is $42.
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If you are looking for more of a tote, Lisa found this neat one on Piperlime.  By KDNY by Kelsi Dagger, the Jaycee Dome Tote can be both hand-held and over the shoulder.  At $95, it looks like a good deal.
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Finally, one more cross-body bag from Lisa.  Love the lines of this 'saddlebag' by Lauren by Ralph Lauren.  Hands free, and neutral to go with everything!
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Hope that helps solve the hands-free problem.  You are now free to move around the museum! ~ LB & JH


  1. Love, love the Ralph Lauren saddle bag! The colors and styling are so clean and classic. I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks!