Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What's In My Bag: Work Edition

Consider this post an early preview of my monthly shopping post, because that there is definitely a new bag, and not the Mansur Gavriel large tote (similar) I was planning on, nor one that fits the associated criteria. This "What's In My Bag" post was inspired by Michelle's recent post.

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This may be a rather boring "What's In My Bag" post, because I really don't need much during my average work day. I keep things like hand cream, lip balm, or an extra hairbrush at my desk because I never need them while out and about. I don't wear makeup except on court or client meeting days, so no need for a makeup bag. Even when I do, I generally don't touch up during the day, so the only item I need is blotting paper, currently the Too Cool for School brand with handy case and applicator. Because I generally never carry around a laptop for work any more, I could make do with a much smaller bag, though I typically still prefer large totes like the Longchamp Neo or Everlane Petra Market

My current bag is a slight break in tradition, as it's a hair too small for letter-sized folders and notebooks. It's the Coach Rogue, in last season's "dark denim" color, no longer available new online, though they had several in stock and on sale at the Soho store as of two weeks ago. I'll save the waxing poetic over it for a future date. Even though a lot of Coach's updated styles under Stuart Vevers are distinctly not my thing (though they can be quite snazzy), I love this bag. There's something about the shape, when worn as a tote with the top handles tucked away, that I find magical. The color works well with all of my coats, even the harder to match oxblood or bright orange. The Rogue is noticeably heavier than my usual work bags, though not enough to dissuade me from carrying it every weekday since I got it. I even admire it out of the corner of my eye every time I pass a reflective surface while carrying it. 

1. Wallet - This Kate Spade Saturday (R.I.P.) card case is great. With two card slots (each holding two to three cards) and one large button-flap compartment to hold cash and some coins (but not many), it's roomier than most card cases out there, and just the right size for me. I always carry three credit cards, each for different purposes and rewards, as well as my driver's license and primary debit card. I only rarely see similar card cases, and believe me, I'm constantly on the lookout. The Dagne Dover Card Case, Dagne Dover Accordion Card Case and Coach Card Pouch are some of the only visually similar ones I've seen, but none of them seem to have quite the same capacity as my trusty card case. 

2. Cough Drops - This isn't something I normally carry around, but we had a brutal cold snap in January that left my immune system more vulnerable than normal. I woke up most mornings with a scratchy throat that never quite developed into a full-blown cold. 

3. Notebook - This is a Leuchtturm1917 medium dotted journal, which is roughly A5 size. I use a variant of the bullet journal system to keep track of my daily to-do lists, for both work and personal matters. It's a fairly new system for me, and it's been a helpful one that I've stuck to consistently for a few months now. 

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4. Keys and Metrocard(s) - I always think about getting a bigger, more colorful keychain that would be easier to find in my larger bags, but I never do. I usually have more than one Metrocard on hand because of how my work handles pre-tax public transit benefits. The best option was for me to buy a  new ~$60 Metrocard every month. I walk to work, though, so I've accumulated a backlog of unused Metrocards in my desk at the office. 

5. Pencil Bag - I bought this while in Seoul a few years ago. They have the cutest stationary and other small items there. 

6. Gloves - These are the cheap-y Uniqlo Heattech tech-friendly gloves, in a men's size medium (sized just fine for my hands, which I assume are average as far as women's hands go) because that was all they had left when I bought them a few years ago. While these are tech-friendly, I can't wake up my current phone while wearing them, so I've since switched to these now sold out cashmere ones from Bloomingdales.

7. Reusable Bag - Now that my handbag doesn't accommodate unfolded letter-sized paper, I keep a second bag around in case I need to carry home some notebooks or papers from work. Even when I'm carrying a larger tote, I generally always brought this with me in case I decided to make a quick stop for groceries on my way home from the office, though I never actually do that. 

8. Phone and Headphones - This is my work phone, and I also have a personal phone that is not pictured. Biglaw firms don't always provide work phones anymore (if they don't, it saves them money, as their data plan and phone purchase stipends are usually stingy), though my new workplace does. Most of my friends and I prefer to keep separate personal and work devices if possible. 

Not pictured are my personal phone and work I.D. badge. And that's it! The only other item I would think of adding to my current rotation would be my e-reader, a Kindle Paperwhite, but because I  walk to work, I never have the opportunity to read during my commute anymore. What's in your work bag? Do you favor a small or large wallet? 

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