My job at the moment is being a substitute teacher, and I've been looking for a bag that would work well as my subbing bag. I bring a lot of stuff with me - a folder with info about the school, paper, writing utensils, books to keep me occupied during free time, and my lunch.
In my searches on the internet, I stumbled across the shop Kinies on Etsy. If you are unfamiliar with Etsy, it is a website that allows sellers to set up shops for homemade items. It is a really fun site to explore if you have some free time.
I picked up Kinies classic single strap bag/cross-body messenger bag. You can find it here. It sells for $55, and I believe shipping was $15. The shipping might seem high, but it was being shipped from Malaysia, and it was sent through FedEx express shipping. When I purchased mine, they were having a 10% off sale. Since I just discovered this shop, I don't know how often they do sales.
Here's a closer look at the bag:
My original plan for this bag was to keep my subbing items and my lunch bag in it. Instead, I am using it as my purse and to hold my subbing stuff. I carry my lunch bag separately.
I chose the dark turquoise color because I love jewel tones. They work well with my skin tone. I wear a lot of teal, purple, and deep pink clothes. I also switch between black and brown shoes regularly, but I hate switching my purse all the time. This way, it works no matter what.
As you can see, this purse carries a ton of stuff, but, somehow, it doesn't feel like a gigantic purse when I carry it. The material is a really sturdy canvas, and the quality of the construction seems to be really nice. I love all of the pockets. You can see my purple lanyard hanging out of an outside pocket. It makes it really easy for me to put my keys away and put them back. My cell phone sits in another outside pocket (it's the bit of blue in the front). Again, I can grab it with ease. (Please note: I live in a rural area, so I'm not overly concerned with someone swiping these important items out of my purse. I plan on relocating these things to the interior of the purse when I go to more populous areas.) The larger interior pockets fit my Kindle perfectly and work well for other items, like my wallet.
The one thing I'm not really liking about this bag is the flap that folds over the top. It makes it more challenging to dig into the bulk of the purse if I'm on the move. The shoulder strap also seems a bit short for the flap design. The strap gets in the way a little bit.
I think eventually I might order this bag from Kinies. It's a little smaller than my current one, which is why I didn't get it to begin with. I think I would miss the exterior pockets, but I would really like the double-strap, open top features.
What do you look for in a purse? Do you carry a lot of stuff in your purse like I do, or do you go for the minimalist approach?