Since so many stores are in the midst of major online markdowns, I thought I'd scour the 'Net for one of my favorite items, something I call the "daybag," or the bag a woman takes with her to work each morning. Though primarily used during the work week for functional purposes, the daybag is hardly limited to the suit scene. A vibrant bag complements a neutral weekend jeans/boots/sweater ensemble quite nicely, and can even make for a useful gym bag. The more worn and weathered a daybag gets, they better it looks, so feel free to beat yours up with nights on the Big Hunt's sticky floor with your sweaty running shoes hanging off the straps.
My current daybag of choice is a black studded Almas number I picked up on a whim from Betsy Fisher (1224 ConnAve) one Friday afternoon this summer on my way up to New York. Each morning, you'll find it stuffed full with a random permutation of my laptop, wallet, travel makeup bag, 2 sets of keys, a book (a Hardcover one at present), iPod, Treo, a journal, and a well-balanced lunch. All of that, and I somehow manage to transport my fruit from home to work bruise-free.
I have 3 criteria when choosing a daybag:
size -- it must be big enough not only for the aforementioned items but a change of clothing, eye makeup remover, face wash, eye/face lotion, and a toothbrush "just in case"
comfort -- it must have comfortable straps (after I pinched a nerve in my neck, I learned my lesson)
quality leather -- a grown-up woman should not be carrying shiny pleather or canvas
Of the hundreds of daybags I spotted today, these were the best in show in the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, white, black and brown color categories.
Red: Large Saratoga satchel by Monsac ($288.95 at zappos.com)
Orange: St. Barts shopper by BCBGirls ($135.95 at zappos.com)
Yellow: Maddox handbag by Kate Spade ($228 at bluefly.com)
Green: First-class carry-on ($329.95 at anthropologie.com)
Blue: Lola bag by Temma Dahan ($216.79 at bluefly.com)
White: Bedford satchel ($248 at bananarepublic.com)
Black: Faux-croc tote by Isaac Mizrahi ($24.49 at target.com)