The 8 Bags Every Woman Has Owned

Illustrated by Meg O'Donnell
Dear handbag,
I know, it’s been a while. I just wanted to say...I’m sorry. I’m sorry for calling you 'a timeless investment buy' then filling you with furry old lip balms and gum spat into receipts. I’m sorry for abandoning you at the back of my wardrobe the minute your strap started peeling. I’m especially sorry for that 'hungover and couldn’t find a bin' incident we no longer speak of. I may not always have shown it but I just want you to know that I did love you once. Deeply.
P.S. Don’t suppose you have a spare tampon in that side pocket?
 
Perhaps not until this year, when lockdown made them virtually redundant overnight, did we truly appreciate the power of a great bag. They’re outfit completers. Life enablers. The tireless pack ponies of the wardrobe. More than just arm candy, a good bag can be a personal assistant, an artistic statement and a Big Yellow storage unit all rolled into one. With them by our side – or on our shoulder, or the least sticky part of the pub floor – we feel complete.
 
So it’s time to pay tribute: to all the bags that punctuated our past, the bags that grew up with us, that helped us get our shit together. Some might think we carried them. But the truth is, they carried us.

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