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Feminspire | April 17, 2014

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Beware of the Big (Hand)Bag

Beware of the Big (Hand)Bag

It’s time to surrender your precious flea-infested jumper to the flames and have a serious think about rebooting your image for 2K13. But in these delicate economic times, we cannot simply replace every sock with a sparklier, fluffier upgrade. We must instead invest money on sensible items that can be exposed to the world on a daily basis. So if you only intend to purchase a single item in the January sales, make sure that it’s a new handbag. It is, after all, important to own something sturdy to store all those New Year’s resolutions in.

Unfortunately, choosing the perfect bag can be trickier than playing a game of blindfolded chess. How on earth does one choose from all the many enticing options out there? Fear not, my simpleton readers. I have done excessive research (ie. a quick google) and it turns out that the most fashionable handbag of the minute is the supersized handbag. Style bloggers around the world are weeping over the beautiful reunion between fashion and practicality. It’s been a while since the pair has been seen out together, and don’t they make such a fetching couple?

But hang on a moment – are giant bags really practical? The fashion world says so, but it is not renowned for having the brightest of brains. Pause and listen to my modest pearls of wisdom before you flush your clutches down the toilet. We are going to take a brief trip down memory lane.

About a year ago I fell in love. Not with a mortal, but with a giant fluffy handbag. The bag was a real boost to my self esteem: I began to envision myself as a post-modern Mary Poppins. The world outside my house was a bundle of opportunities, and I ensured that I was prepared for every one of these opportunities by packing a load of arbitrary stuff into my bag every morning. At first, I enjoyed the weightiness of my handbag. But then strange things started happening. I missed seven buses in a row whilst trying to locate my bus pass, which I eventually found tangled up in load of comedy false moustaches. When rifling for my lipstick on a night out I accidentally pulled out my angry neighbour Jimmy, who claimed that I had thrown him in there when he was innocently weeding his garden. I started being followed by a mob of ‘friends,’ who only really desired my company due to my endless supplies of painkillers, tissues and assorted snacks.

One day, as I curled up inside my giant handbag, I realised that I’d never find a bag big enough to encompass my inner me. I don’t mean my innards, I mean my spirit and general charm. Just because I could use my bag as a giant human handbag, it didn’t mean that I should.

Even after this epiphany I held onto my giant bag for a while. When friends gently asked me why I still insisted on carrying something that made me routinely fall sideways, I used the excuse of my studies.

“It’s the only bag that will hold the complete works of Kant and Kierkegaard without splitting,” I said loftily. But deep down I knew that I was only carrying around these books to be pretentious. As hard as I tried, I could not read 23 books in a single day, even when I was wearing my special philosophy reading hat (something I once knitted using velvet and tweed).

So this year, I suggest that you refuse to live like the overburdened snail and instead go for something that is both practical and sensibly proportioned. Maybe a 40cm satchel, or a modest backpack. To retain your fashionable allure, go for one of the ‘in’ colours- further googling tells me that green is bang on trend. Just make sure your green-carrying-contraption is closer in size to the humble toad than the scaly dinosaur.

What do you think of the giant handbag trend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Written by Phoebe Eccles