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Fashion by Felicia: Satchels

Felicia Caponigri | Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Every morning when I awake I am besieged by many thoughts—what is my schedule again, where am I going, what am I doing, etc, etc. All these questions I affront with ease: with my trusty agenda by my side I laugh in the face of disorganization. However, without fail every morning there arrives that one moment when I must draw upon every ounce of zeal I posses to answer that one question which trounces all the others in its complexity — how in the world am I going to fit all of today’s precious necessities into one fashionable, style worthy bag?

I know I am not alone in this style challenge. Everywhere I go I see enormous backpacks, purses bursting at the seams, ready to give in at a moment’s notice to the physical pressure of that all-important Calculus book stuffed in between notebooks and binders (know that I myself have been the victim of the bag-breaking scenario, and let me just say, one does not know the meaning of mortification until one sees the contents of one’s purse fall in an awesome heap down the steps of the Louvre, obscuring the movements of some very large groups of Japanese tourists and eliciting the French tirades of some very persnickety museum personnel).  However, I have yet to see one of our European counterparts fall prey to this daily accessory dilemma. And yet, I know they have just as much work as we do: they accomplish the same things we do in a day (all right, perhaps with more coffee breaks and long leisurely lunches, but still). How do they do it — how do they write that research paper, present that thesis, for heaven’s sake even run errands, without a severely oversized, heavy, arm-numbing bag?

The answer I have discovered lies in the all-forgiving leather satchel. I have seen countless Parisian women biking on their Velibs (that wonderful chic public bike system) with this accessory in the front basket. I’ve seen self-possessed Italian businessmen carrying it with pride to their board meetings, and students effortlessly lifting the hallmarks of their trade — those previously pesky books — on their way to class.  The leather satchel, unlike its fabric counterparts, has a natural give which allows the bag to contour itself to fit all those indispensable daily necessities, allowing one also to fit the various wallet and/or makeup bag into its nooks and crannies. Ingeniously, the satchel can be worn by both men and women — a truly democratic fashion statement.

The satchel comes in a variety of styles, but the shape remains the same: a large, roomy sack with comfortable handles and strap to accommodate every possible manner of portability. Note that while you might spend a bit more for a leather satchel, the daily return on it is more than worth it — just ask the many students returning from Study Abroad Programs with said satchel in hand.  No more mid-morning panic as you try to stuff that last notebook into an un-pliable purse, no more awkward niceties when you try to explain why your backpack keeps bumping people behind you in line at Subway!  Topshop currently has the answer for an investment of $65.00: all hail freedom from the stress of books! Well, at least until one reaches the sanctuary of the library.