Quest for Perfection.

I expect, even up until the last years of my life, I will be still be on the search for the perfect Everyday Carry bag.

Brace yourself. This entire post is about purses/bags. Yes. It’s silly and mundane but I am on the constant verge of an existential crisis overwhelmed with dread and despair and so silly and mundane is a good thing to focus on sometimes.

I have been on the search for the perfect Everyday Carry bag my entire life. Sometimes I have purses I use for a long time, but not because they’re perfect. Just because they are close to perfect and I haven’t stumbled upon a new one to try yet. But I am still always on the quest.

The most consistent requirement is that the bag be Hands Free. Most of the time, since I was 16, I opt for crossbody bags. BUT. I also like a bag with structure so that when I sent it down it just stays upright. Unfortunately, that is rarely possible with the crossbodies I tend to like and so…I lower the priority for structure most of the time. Sometimes, though, I’ll try a handbag or a tote with some form for awhile just to enjoy having some structure, but then I regret it because I DO NOT LIKE MY HANDS/ARMS BEING REQUIRED.

But, the fact that I haven’t found the perfect bag yet means I actually always regret something so mainly it’s just trying to fine one that I can use until I find one that may come closer to perfection.

The last time I wrote about this somewhere, someone suggested a backpack purse. So, I’ve been on the lookout for those – but I struggled because I also need the purse to fit my vibe and a lot of them are just…too nice? Like…I like a little bit of a hippie/boho/rugged look to all of my bags because that’s kinda how the rest of me usually looks and most of the backpack purses I find at Target (always my first stop on the quest) were just too sleek and glossy.

OR…they looked too much like they belonged on teenagers which…honestly…I don’t mind in all situations but this particular style was too much teen and not enough Kim.

Recently I found one at Target that I liked pretty much. It had decent structure. BUT….it was a bit too stiff and so it actually didn’t stay upright when you set it down unless it had something behind it. Otherwise, it would tip over. It is the one I’ve been carrying for awhile though and I do think I like the backpack after all. Except, of course, the kids make fun of me constantly saying I look like I’m going off to my first day of Kindergarten.

Whatever, I think I’m adorable.

BUT. Like I said, it is a little stiff. And it doesn’t really look like a backpack because the shape is so stiff. And the strap you throw over your arm if you are not carrying it like a backpack is a little small. And the straps don’t stay tight. And there’s really not enough outside pockets. And…

Do you see why the quest is never ending?

I did decide to start looking or more backpack purses though. I like that I can carry water bottles (truth: Diet Cokes) and a spare book and my bullet journal etc. I like that even with all of that it can still be hands-free.

Luckily all of my social apps know I’m always on the search for the perfect bag so I get advertisements all the time and so I just click and window shop from my phone constantly. Some of the times they’re too pricey, sometimes too fancy, sometimes no water bottle side pockets, sometimes not long enough straps. Last week I found this one so it is going to be my next try. It even has potential for me to buy a fun longer strap on etsy and test it as a cross body for one more variation in carrying style!

I usually aim for under $50 because I do seem to try new bags every 3-6 months. BUT, I’d pay $100 if it met all of my requirements. However, I’m about 95% sure that’s not possible because some of them conflict with each other and others change periodically. While I believe I could find the perfect bag for that moment, I’m not sure the perfect bag for forever actually exists.

  • some sort of tough fabric that won’t be stained/ruined if it gets wet/rained on. I really like coated/waxed canvas.
  • hands free
  • structure
  • 2+ outside pockets
  • boho/hippie
  • side pocket for water bottle
  • big enough to hold my bullet journal + pen pouch + other purse basics

We’ll see if this newest packback fits the bill.

One note: As I’ve been using bigger bags the last years I find that sometimes I don’t grab the bag at all and just leave with my wallet and my phone. You know, when I’m just running errands and don’t need my bullet journal. Which, inevitably means I’ve forgotten something. Like, a mask, or my ibuprofen or chapstick. So I have considered having a smaller bag as a “backup” to the big bag so that, if I only want to carry my wallet, I can grab the smaller one which will also have masks, ibuprofen, chapstick and a pen in there. You know…the basics.

Which would make me a two purse girl. And that just feels silly. Like…would they both stay at the ready and I just throw my wallet between the two? Maybe? Sometimes I do feel like if I had two purses to go between for when I do want my bullet journal (and sometimes a book) or when I don’t….that could be sustainable. Maybe sometimes my problem is trying to find ONE purse for every day without acknowledging that I don’t leave my house with the same purpose every time so maybe there is no perfect bag?

And now I’m having another existential crisis.

4 thoughts on “Quest for Perfection.”

  1. I use the two bag option, BUT bag one is more like a wallet/purse and then I throw that one into the big one when I need more space. It’s big enough for my phone, masks, lipstick, cash, credit/membership cards but not big enough for too much else. This way I’m not transferring things between bags, which is a guarantee that I’ll forget something.

  2. Oooh, purses! It sounds like we have similar requirements. This summer I had a purse breakthrough. I bought a larger than usual for me bag for a trip that I could pack with snacks, water, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, kid entertainment stuff etc… And it was perfect. I loved it so much, that when I got home, I ordered it in a smaller size/different color for everyday use. Travelon Crossbody bags on Amazon. Not stupidly expensive, sturdy, waterproof, lots of colors and styles to choose from.

    And your backpack IS pretty cute 🙂

  3. The past couple of years, I have been appreciating my simple Jansport fanny pack. It’s just big enough to carry my (small) wallet, keys, phone, hand sanitizer, and spare mask. The one drawback is that it doesn’t have a spot for a water bottle. So I usually just carry that in my hand. I may eventually go for a bigger one, but for now, when I want to be hands-free and carry my water bottle, I can throw the fanny pack in a tote, along with a water bottle and any larger items I might need.

  4. Oh, yes! My current purse fills almost all my requirements, but not quite. It does give me the outside pockets I need, for keys, sunglasses, and phone: I do not want to be digging around for those. And inside it has useful pockets and enough room for my wallet and small knitting project bag and a light shawl. But it only kind of stands up on its own, It doesn’t have the kind of strap I prefer, and it is terribly boring to look at (I’d like something prettier). So far, though, I haven’t found the elusive white whale. So frustrating.

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