Here is your weekly update on NO SHOPPING MAY: it still sucks.
Thankfully, though, I have been given a distraction. My dear pal and favorite Rabbi Ms. Elianna emailed me to say that she was proud of me for staying strong throughout NO SHOPPING MAY but wondered if I would be interested in spending all my newfound free time helping her with a fashion-related conundrum.
I wrote her back and told her I would love to help her – I might as well put my shopping expertise to good use for SOMEONE, even if it’s not me! Plus I love projects and I love Elianna, so I immediately got to work after receiving my assignment:
“Here is the project: I need a proper professional bag for work stuff. I would be looking for something that can protect an ipad/or Macbook Air and has space for personal items (wallet, kippah, cell phone, makeup, etc) as well as a note pad and paper for teaching and a book or two. So it can't be tiny but it shouldn't be too large. I am thinking leather but open. I am thinking black or brown but also open. It needs to look nice but can't be ridiculously priced. Oh, and very important for the subway, it has to be able to close via zipper or clasp but really there has to be at least one internal pocket that seals up. And I don't really like bags with only one compartment. What do you think?”
What do I think? I think that the Queen is nothing if not well-equipped to search the world wide interwebs to help a Rabbi out. So I did my job and went through my favorite websites and came up with a few options that I think might do the trick:
This Ralph Lauren tote is one of the first ones I came across that I thought might fit the bill. It’s a nylon and leather blend, which would make it very durable and easy to clean, and it’s got tons of inside pockets for all of Elianna’s stuff. Plus, at $168, the price is right – elegant but not insanely expensive.
I’ve seen this bag in stores and have swooned over it many times. It’s not cheap - $445 – but it’s Kate Spade and they frequently go on sale, so it might be worth holding out for. I love the quilted leather – this is a bag that can go from day to night very easily!
This bag is not my typical style, but I’m drawn to how classy the crocodile textured leather looks. Again, this one comes standard with a ton of pockets, including a cell phone pocket, and a key ring. For $225, very businesswoman (or rabbi) chic!
I have always been a fan of the large Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag – lots of my friends from school and AEPhi used it as their schoolbag, so I know that it absolutely can fit a notepad and a laptop or iPad. The black and chocolate are simple and clean colors, but I also think the graphite, slate, and bilberry shades are pretty too. At under $150, I can totally see Elianna toting this around the city!
Here’s another bag you might have seen around stores – the Marc by Marc Jacobs nylon tote ($158). It comes in a million colors and patterns, including black, fudge, and quartz, which is a pretty grey. I love the graphic print inside and the side pockets too – perfect for a water bottle or snack!
I cannot tell a lie, this one is my favorite, but at $550 it IS slightly ridiculous. However, as someone who owns several Tory Burch bags, I can vouch for their quality, and I think this one is absolutely gorgeous and timeless. This one can be the one we dream about, E!
J.Crew also makes a nice bag – the leather is always soft and supple and I think they’re always worth the money. This Jericho tote is $258 and comes with a TON of pockets – inside, outside, hidden, all over. I like all three colors it comes in and I’m particularly drawn to its huge inside pocket – perfect for important Rabbi papers :)
So? What do you think of these choices for Elianna? Which one is your favorite? E, I hope you like at least ONE of these… and if not, you know I’m happy to go back to the drawing board for you.
And of course, if any of you ever have a shopping or fashion-related question, I am more than happy to help. ESPECIALLY during NO SHOPPING MAY!