Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | April 14, 2009

Big handbag, Little Handbag, It’s All About the Handbag

How to Use the “Bag Inside the Bag” Concept

Have you ever stood patiently (or not in my case) behind a woman at the checkout stand while she rifles through her purse desperately seeking her wallet, or seen a woman dig through her purse for a business card, phone, etc, etc, etc. Been there – Annoying as it can be I feel like pulling her aside and saying “bag inside bag, lady!” What does this mean you ask? Well, since we women have a penchant for carrying fabulous bags that sometimes happen to be the size of trash bags, well then you must find an efficient form of organization to make that bag work it! So, my recommendation is the “bag inside the bag”. Anything smaller than a book, needs a bag is the basic theory.

Empty everything out of your big purse (handbag) and see what needs to be organized. Ever lose your keys in your purse? Well, if your bag doesn’t have key hooks or key clips (which the best ones in my opinion are Bartucci and JAMAH), then either always place your keys into the small zipper pocket or designate another small bag for the keys. Make this a habit and you’ll never dig for your key, which by the way is one of the first things a mugger looks for when a woman is walking through a parking lot, oh and long hair. I know, sad, but I guess it’s easier to hold a woman by her pony tail when mugging her.  I digress. Back to bags. Need cool key holders? Check out the Monogram Vernis at Luis Vuitton-the Red is HOT.

JAMAH Interior w/2 large side pockets & key ring

JAMAH Interior w/2 large side pockets & key ring

Next, what else do you have roaming around in your bag? Your iPhone? Your Blackberry? Darling, if it’s not a vintage bag it should, I repeat, should have designated pockets for these life treasures (the iPhone and Crackberry that is). Now if you happen to have a fabulous bag from the eighties you are out of luck and what I’d recommend is that you protect your iPhone and Crackberry with a nice (I mean not Barbie glitter-studded) protective cover or phone case to keep it from getting ravaged as it free flows through your purse. Most high-end designers have a multitude of phone cases to choose from as do the manufacturers themselves.

Cosmetics – Time to update your cosmetics bag. First, make sure that it has plastic lining so that when makeup splatters, spills, etc. (because you know it does) then it doesn’t ruin everything in your bag. Every high-end handbag designer line has a multitude of cosmetics bags. Want a Recessionista tip? Scan the cosmetics departments for the gift with purchase promotions.  Everything is on sale these days so charm one of the cosmetics girls and get yourself a lovely free or practically-free cosmetics bag. Can’t be bothered to go into the department store? Hit up your local Riteaid or SaveOn. They’ve a ton of cheap and functional cosmetic bags. Personally I like the heavy duty see-through SOHO acrylic bags because they are awesome for travel.

Loose change – I’m going to go loose-change Nazi on you. For goodness sakes, get a little change bag.

Michael Kors Coin Purse

Michael Kors Coin Purse

You know you need it. Especially if you live in the Westside of Los Angeles and you are often caught digging at the bottom of your car floor for change in order to avoid the Republic of Santa Monica meter maid. In fact, purchase at least three cute little coin purses. One for the car, one for the handbag and one for when you forget those two – Michael Kors has some really cute ones for the summer.

Other loose “stuff” – Again, if it’s smaller than a book then it needs a bag! One thing that will help you is to find a cute leather envelope. That’s a bag that acts like an envelope and is chic. If I catch you walking around with a regular envelope in your handbag, we’re gonna fight (love you, mean it). These my children are very hard to find I admit. Look for them at high-end leather goods stores and at stationary stores. Luis Vuitton has a gorgeous paper parcel but it’s too big for a handbag. Still I mention it because it’s a chic alternative to carrying an ugly file folder. Another cool thing to look for is the “Market Purse” that you’ll find in most MZ Wallace bags. This little pouch fits a Crackberry and other “little” items.

MZ Wallace Clara Bag & Market Bag

MZ Wallace Clara Bag & Market Bag

Pens – A woman should never be without a pen and a pen should never be without a pen case – and I mean NEVER. Pen cases, carriers, bags, etc also act as a great lipstick holder.

Last but not least, try to find designers that have lighter interiors to their purses.  Oh yes, if your mother was from the Depression era she would have instilled in you a desire to buy all black interiors because they don’t show dirt or wear as much.   Good point, but if you can’t see inside your bag….well then you may as well leave the recession and head to depression because how will you find your wallet to pay the bill?  If you are following the basic tenets of the “bag inside the bag” concept then your bag won’t be getting sullied because anything that can cause that is safely ensconced inside another bag. And the lighter the interior, the more you can find things!  Voila!  My favorites for this sort of thing include JAMAH (all their bags are lined with luscious pastel blue suede), and Bally (lighter fabric interiors).  If you can’t find a bag that you like with a lighter-colored interior then buy a bag with lighting.  That’s right, Solas Fashion makes bags with interior lighting.  Great for when you need to look for stuff at night, not so great if you open it up in the movie theatre…trust me on this.

Next time you’re behind the “slowing me down because you’re digging in your purse lady”, send her this blog.

Ciao Bellas!



  1. I love handbags.
    More fun stuff:

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