5 Bags Every Minimalist Should Have

We’re now a month into the capsule wardrobe experiment! Summer has been made a lot easier with a limited wardrobe and I’m happy to report that I feel like I’m wearing different looks and branching out of my usual uniform of skinny jeans, a t-shirt, and ankle booties. But Summer dressing for the most part is pretty easy. It’s all about keeping cool with loose tees and flowy dresses. Now that Fall is just around the corner (well sorta for us here in sunny LA), I’m curious to see how I’ll fair. But more about that when it actually cools down (which might not be until November)…

Today I wanted to talk about my favorite accessory to invest in: handbags.

Even though your handbags don’t count towards your item count in your capsule wardrobe, I still want to apply the same intentionality when it comes to my accessories. I don’t buy handbags too often, but when I do, it’s an intentional and well-researched, over-pondered-on purchase. When it comes to bags, I’m that annoying girl who visits it in stores multiple times before making a decision (Yes, I did this even while we were in Paris). Ever since I got my first designer handbag (which was a Marc Jacobs crossbody while I was an undergraduate), I’ve never looked at purses the same way. Personally, I think classic ones are the best to go designer because they will last the test of time. As you will see, for some of the more “trendy” items, I didn’t go designer because they’re more for occasions where I don’t want to wear the best (i.e. the beach and music festivals).



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Madewell Lorimer Leather Backpack  //  Zara Mini Backpack (similar)

Even though I’m way past my days as a student, I still love having a backpack for when I’m traveling and for those adventure days when I’m exploring a new city or listening to my favorite artists at Coachella or screaming my lungs out at Disneyland. A backpack allows your hands to be free for you to maximize the fun on these days and lets you carry all the things you need while you’re out and about. I have two backpacks: a bigger leather one from Madewell which I use as one my carry-on bags for traveling and also for days when I need to work remotely. I also have a smaller backpack for music festivals and Disneyland days. I got this one from Zara and love its crochet detailing. Both backpacks have multiple compartments so that I can organize my belongings and have easy access to my phone, keys, and wallet.


Processed with VSCO with v5 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetMadewell Transport Tote // Free People Marrakech Basket Bag (similar)

A tote bag is probably the one that I use the most. It’s the bag that I take with me to work everyday, and it’s the bag that I take when I need to carry my life and the kitchen sink around town. My Madewell Transport Tote is one of the oldest and most-loved bag in my collection. Before I got my backpack, this was what I used as one of my carry-on items. I’ve had this since 2011 and it’s still going strong. It’s come with me on so many adventures. It’s aged well and I know that it’ll be there to carry me through for years to come. This Summer, I’ve also invested in a basket bag for beach days and to complete my summer outfits for years to come.


Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetMansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Bag

A bucket bag, for me, has the convenience of a tote bag, but the ease and look of a crossbody bag. It’s for those days when I don’t need to bring the kitchen sink. My bucket bag has become my everyday bag for the past 3 years. It’s my most expensive bag, but it’s definitely gotten the best cost-per-wear. This is my most favorite bag ever, and if my apartment were burning down, I’d definitely grab this one.

It’s big enough for me to carry my camera, wallet, phone, keys and a water bottle. I love that I can just chuck things into it throughout the day, and my hands stay free to hold things (like coffee and I guess Brandon’s hand). The only drawback to it is that it doesn’t close all the way, which makes me nervous when we’re in new cities and when we’re on rollercoasters at Disneyland. Which brings me to…


Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_5539Madewell Libson O-Ring Saddle Bag (similar) // Marc Jacobs Classic Q Natasha Bag (similar)

Crossbody bags have to be my favorite type of bag. They’re the most practical AND nowadays there’s loads of cute ones to choose from. I also love that they can transition from day-to-night easily. Everyone I know has the Marc Jacobs Natasha bag, and with good reason! This too is one of my oldest bags (I bought it during graduate school) and has been the perfect bag for nights out, for Disneyland days, and for the every day. It has aged well and I know that it will serve me well in years to come. This mini-crossbody from Madewell has come with me to many weddings and nights for when I just need my phone, my ID, and my keys.


Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetAPC Half Moon Bag

The last bag that I think every minimalist needs in their wardrobe is some sort of structured bag–a boss lady bag–that makes them feel powerful and put-together for those meetings when you need to impress. This bag is probably different for every girl, but for me, I knew I wanted a structured satchel. All my other bags mentioned above are great because they’re slouchy and are versatile for my casual lifestyle. This bag makes me feel put together and I just love its shape–even though I can’t stuff a huge amount of things into it.


For now, I am quite content with my handbag collection. For once, I’m not lusting after a certain bag that other bloggers have. For once, I don’t know which bag I’m going to get next. And for now, I’m more than okay with that. Hopefully, it’ll stay this way for years to come so that I can invest in some good basics and shoes.

What are you must-have handbags?

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