Quest for the Perfect Purse

I am on a quest for the perfect purse, which would include all these features. Because, you know, it would then be perfect.

  • All sturdy leather. No soft leather, which wears out so quickly. I want a purse that is as durable as a saddle.
  • No liner. I don’t care if the inside of said sturdy leather purse feels icky. I DON’T want a liner. They tear so easily, especially when surrounded by sturdy leather. If the liner is something sturdy itself, like canvas, then I’d consider it.
  • A long shoulder strap. Purses slide right off my shoulder. I need to be able to fling it around my head when my hands are full.
  • A short handle, by which I can grab the purse. I love purses that have a long strap and a short handle. But this is optional.
  • A front zipper pocket. This is for my badge.
  • Two gadget pouches. They can be on the inside or the outside, but if they are on the outside, they need some way to close.
  • Three separate interior compartments. Not one huge pouch with three separate liner compartments. That’s really only one compartment. The compartments are for:
    • Wallet
    • Notebook and pen
    • Glasses, business card case, pill bottle bookmarks and assorted other things of varying sizes
  • At least two inside pockets. These are for:
    • Business cards, reward program cards, membership cards
    • Small tubes of chapstick, Burt’s Bees, hand sanitizer and lotion
  • A back pocket. This is for my keys. Its optional, because I can make do with one of the compartments. A zipper is even more optional.
  • Not huge. Yes, I know that this is tough when I’m asking for so much. But the purse cannot be one of those huge old lady purses. I’d rather have a fat purse than a wide purse.
  • Less than $200. Such a purse as described above might be 500. But then, it would no longer be the perfect purse. The perfect purse would be reasonably affordable. I think being willing to go up to 200 dollars is reasonable. I’m not looking for a designer purse, here. Just a practical one to last me about 2 years.

I won’t buy a Relic purse, because I thought I had a perfect sturdy leather one, but the strap fell off within a year. This is my number one problem with purses. Got any recommendations?

12 thoughts on “Quest for the Perfect Purse

  1. I wish you luck in finding a purse. {Smile}

    Although… if the _only_ problem with a purse is that the strap fell off, I’d be tempted to make a new strap for it. Because it isn’t easy to find a decent purse. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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    • The thingy that the strap hooks onto is usually the part that falls to pieces. Or it simply breaks because it is synthetic material.

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  2. Good luck. 🙂 Knowing exactly what you’re looking for should help. And you’re right that `too expensive’ instantly moves it out of the `perfect purse’ category.

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  3. Well! After Taryn left her comment (and tweet!), I bundled my daughter up and RUSHED to the factory outlet shops 25 miles away. I went to the Coach store and found a purse that was almost perfect, except it had one huge central pouch that I knew I would hate, and it was 165 dollars. I could not justify spending that much money on something I knew I would eventually not like.

    I asked a salesgirl if they had any more crossbody bags, and she mentioned this duffel purse that was out of stock. Wouldn’t you know, it sounded perfect for me. But I needed a purse right then, and I didn’t want to make the 25 mile trip back home empty-handed. So I left in order to think about that too-big bag.

    I was driving out of the shopping center when I found a Guess accessories store. So I found a parking place. I am SO not into designer stuff, so I was bracing myself for a three-digit price tag of unknown magnitude when I was relieved to see a two-digit tag. Imagine my delight!

    I found a box purse, on the small side but nice and fat. I would rather have a purse that is small enough for everything to stay in its place, you see. I’m the type of person who can reach into her purse and pull out what she needs without looking. Plus, I’ll be able to throw my glass case on top of everything for when I’m going back and forth to work.

    As an added bonus, since it’s a box purse, it stands up on its own! I may never buy another type of purse again.

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  4. I can’t bring myself to spend that much on a purse…but it sounds cool. Pictures? (With stuff, please, so we can see how it works.)

    And why the purse emergency?

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    • I forgot to say I spent 63 dollars on this purse. It is incredibly cute. I’ll post pictures tomorrow.

      As for the emergency–the old purse was about to break. The strap was starting to come loose and there would have been no way to repair it without a leatherworker’s awl. And leatherworking skill. 🙂

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  5. Hi Tia, I’m glad you found one! I also am really picky about purses. Since we live in the same town, I’ll tell you where I shop for purses: The Coach outlet (which you mentioned), the Talbots store and outlet, and the Dooney & Bourke outlet (across the highway from Coach). The last one I bought last year at D&B after needing something for my Kindle to fit in. I use it all the time and it looks and feels the same as when I bought it. I will show you next time we get together.

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  6. Congratulation! I’m so glad your quest was successful. The purse sounds adorable. Looking forward to seeing the pictures. 🙂

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  7. Congratulations on finding a purse! I believe you can never have too many;^)

    You want a sturdy purse? You need to go here: http://www.americanwest.cc/ Granted, they’re western-themed, but even though they’re lined, they won’t fall apart. Ever. I couldn’t even make mine fall apart, although the hardware did scratch the paint on my new truck:^/ I also like the Ameribag Healthy Back something-or-other I got. It’s lasted for years, as well. It’s not pretty, but it is sturdy. My current favorite, that has lasted as long as anything I’ve owned, is one I got at Cabela’s. It’s small, has 2 outside pockets for my cell phone,etc., and is also an organizer. I don’t know if they make it any more, sadly.

    The perfect purse is quite a holy-grail-quest, isn’t it!

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