Big-bag girl in a little-bag world

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Fashion blogger Nkgabiseng Motau discusses how her love for big bags is struggling in a world where mini bags are trending.
When it comes to handbags, bigger has always been better for fashion blogger Nkgabiseng Motau. But as she discovers, the allure of the compact bag trend is just too tempting to resist!
There’s a stylish new trend in town and, to paraphrase Queen Bey, I don’t know whether it’s a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare. The cutest little bags in all sorts of whimsical designs that make any outfit look darling have popped up everywhere. Who wouldn’t want that in their life, right? Well, me, I guess. The trouble, you see, is that I like to haul it all, tote the boat, lug the rug. What I’m saying is that I like big bags and I cannot lie.

I’m the sort of person who takes everything everywhere, just in case. Even if I have reinforcements at the office or in my car. To me, it’s completely rational to plan for a sudden invitation to the town’s most glam event. Not that such a thing has ever happened to me, but I just can’t bear to be unprepared should the possibility arise. What if there is an emergency party at the office? What if BeyoncĂ© visits a shopping centre near me and I’m in frumpy flats? I need a back-up plan for even the most far-fetched scenarios. I kind of see myself as a transformer – always ready to take it up a notch.
Christian Dior handbag

Perfectly practical

Of course, there are the more practical reasons for my big-bag penchant. For example, I like a bag that is spacious enough for my laptop, especially on days when I have meetings all over town. I don’t want to bore you with the details but the list of practical must-haves includes wet wipes, hand cream, a few lipstick options, sunglasses, perfume and sometimes even the book I’m reading. It’s not totally insane. I just like to be prepared.

This brings me to the problem with which I am confronted. And this is how it all goes down in my head: I need all the stuff I lug around, or at least I think I do. I can just hear Erykah Badu judging me with the words from ‘Bag Lady’, one of her sweet classics: ‘Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back, carrying all them bags like that’. Well Erykah, I have a lot of stuff, okay!

Alright, I know it’s not okay. Especially not if I want to get my hands on one of those fabulously compact bags. I love them wholeheartedly but the truth, I fear, is that they’re just not the right match for me. 


Mini-bag trend

Three-item girl

When I first saw one, I fell in love so hard that even I toyed with the fantasy of becoming a three-item girl. You know? The only three items in her bag are lipstick, cellphone and bank card… maybe a tiny perfume or hand cream, if it’s going to be a long day. The thought made me shudder. I literally had a fashion meltdown. I began to have visions of myself stranded and without a pair of high heels in a queue for an important event with the bouncer giving me the eye of disapproval. Or in a meeting scratching inside my tiny bag for a notepad and pen. Or anywhere needing anything and not having it because I had to pack lightly. The thought sent chills down my spine. 

It was in this moment that I realised: wait a minute, I’m a lugger! Quick diversion: A lugger is what I call a handbag hoarder or someone who lugs around things they don’t need. I’ve been calling one of my relatives a lugger for years. Back to my moment of clarity: I realised right then and there that the tiny-bag trend might just be a divine intervention. A sign sent to save me from myself. Maybe Erykah is right. I am gon’ hurt my back and I do need to pack lightly. And so, tiny bag, I say to you, challenge accepted. 
cross-over body bag

Just a little magic

After much pondering, I came to the following liberating resolution. When it comes down to it, a bag should match the occasion as much as it does the outfit. What was I doing taking a laptop to a horse-racing event, anyway?

Perhaps the time had come for me to redefine what I saw as everyday essentials. It was almost like a trade-off with myself. If I want a pretty little bag to freshen up my look, then I’ll have to let go of a few things to freshen up my life.
Tote bags

Time to let go

There’s a little magic to these tiny beauties: they offer a chance to let go of things like that old lipstick that’s been sitting at the bottom of your tote for a year, a chance to be nimble and light. Nimble and light? That sounds like a version of me I could get behind – so in control, yet so easy-going. I love it. I’m changing my Twitter bio as we speak to include the above adjectives. What’s even more magical is that I have a feeling the literal letting go might come with some figurative letting go too, which is always a breath of fresh air.

Whether you’re a big-tote fan or a mini-bag collector, Edgars has the one for you.

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