On the hunt for a feminine business bag.
For business women who carry all their belongings to the office, to client meetings or on the plane, finding a great work bag can feel life-saving. It needs to be robust and practical, but equally chic and elegant. Preferably in a color that matches all our typical work wear outfits.
One type of bag I’ve stopped buying entirely is large totes that have absolutely no inside pockets or dividers. I prefer having several compartments so I can easily find my keys, AirPods, entry badge, lipgloss, … During the weekend, all I need is my cellphone, a lipbalm, a small hairbrush, some money and a credit card. All of that easily fits into any cross-body. Monday to Friday, it feels like I’m carrying half of my household – so I usually carry two bags, a handbag and a laptop bag. I know that some women prefer to buy a bigger handbag and throw in their laptop, but personally, I just can’t stand having all that weight on just one handle.
In my handbag, you’ll usually find my wallet, small makeup bag, glasses and sunglasses, tissues, hand lotion, earplugs, a pen and a marker (or two), my keys, some hair ties and, unfortunately, some other stuff that I should just clear out more often…
Finding elegant, business-appropriate handbags has never been a problem of mine – there are rather too many to choose from (find a selection of favorites below) and I tend to buy new ones even though I am often too lazy to switch bags at all in the morning.
What really bothers me, though, is how difficult it seems to be to find an equally elegant and feminine briefcase slash laptop bag for all my electronic devices, cables and documents.
Although seeing women in business is hardly exotic these days, briefcases and laptop bags are nowhere to be found in most of the commonly known online shops or brand collections. At least not in the women’s section. They don’t even care to place a link to the same page – you literally have to click “MEN” first and then “Handbags” and then “Briefcases” to come anywhere close. Excuse me? You don’t need to be a hardcore feminist to find that repelling. Plus, the results that show up in said men’s section are hardly fashionable. It’s a lot of black, navy and brown with silver hardware and an altogether masculine look to it. Would I carry a bag like these with my shift dress and heels? Nope…
In the age of consumerism and luxury overflow, is there not even one designer brand wanting to secure the buying power of all those many women who’d gladly carry their laptops in style?
When you google “feminine briefcase” or “feminine laptop bag”, there are some promising results, especially via Pinterest. You can find some examples below, to see what I’m going for. Don’t get too excited though – most of these were one-time pieces in collections long gone.
Above (clockwise starting with the top right): Tumi, Valextra, Serapian, J. Crew, Henri Bendel, Kate Spade
My favorite of the above is the red Serapian one. Once they remake this one in a cool color (preferably blush pink) and with gold hardware, I’m definitely splurging on that one.
So anyways, in the meantime of writing this article, I took a flight to Germany for a business meeting. As it happens, my old Longchamp laptop bag that I’ve been carrying around since forever (while searching for a new one) suddenly broke just after I passed airport security in Zurich. Thankfully, there’s a Grieder shop right around the corner – and they had this black leather laptop bag with super-practical compartments and – tadaa – at least gold hardware, making it somewhat chic.
Despite the black color, I’m pretty happy with this purchase so far and might just stick with it – at least until I find the perfect feminine briefcase. Let’s see what the new collections bring us!