Reed Krakoff Soft Boxer Tote in coral or black, $1295 via Neiman Marcus

With my first six months in New York coming to a close, I’ve done lots of thinking about how clothes, shoes and accessories play into the very unique New York City lifestyle. For as long as I can remember, a handbag’s structure didn’t really matter to me; I could carry almost anything from a day clutch to a huge hobo rather happily because I always, without fail, had a car with me. Now that I don’t, my preferences have changed drastically.

That’s one of the reasons that I’m excited for the debut of the Reed Krakoff Soft Boxer tote, or the Shoulder Boxer, as I like to call it. I’ve been an enormous fan of the regular Boxer since its debut, but I simply can no longer justify buying a bag that doesn’t have an option for shoulder carry. This modified version of the Boxer design completely solves that problem.

When I laid eyes on this bag, the first thing I thought was, “Oh, sort of like a Shoulder Birkin!” Although the modifications aren’t identical to the Jean Paul Gaultier-redesigned Hermes bag, the spirit is similar. Not only were the shoulder straps lengthened to accomodate a woman’s shoulder like the JPG Birkin, but they were also flattened, which is a huge advantage in a shoulder tote and something all designers should consider when adapting designs for shoulder carry. Double rolled handles always slip off, and they’re really only appropriate for bags carried in the crook of the arm.

The body of the Boxer was also shortened, just like the Shoulder Birkin. This helps lessen the bulk under the arm and the likelihood that you’re going to have all of your belongings banging against your hip all day, which is essential in a structured tote meant to be carried this way. I’ll have to reserve judgment until I can try out the bag in person and see how it feels (I like a very long tote strap), but my hopes for this extension of the Boxer line are high. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1295 in black or coral.

  • Kat

    I really like it, but I still worry about those handles. They don’t look long enough to make carrying the bag on the shoulder perfectly comfortable. And from the photo, I can’t tell how thick the bag is from the side, which, for me, is a big factor for carry-ability (is there such a word) for shoulder bags.

    I hope you report back once you’ve given one a test run, Amanda.

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

  • mochababe73

    Those bags are pretty stiff to me. I agree with Kat that it just doesn’t look as though it would be comfortable. It also doesn’t appear to be able to go over a coat.

  • Amy

    Very cute, but those straps don’t look long enough to fit over a winter coat.

  • suz

    Well..it’s nice designers are realizing women want a bag they can carry on their shoulder. But, in NYC (and for traveling) really the only way to go is with a cross-body….particularly in the winter when coat shoulders tend to get bulky……

    Cute bag though….

  • marinaharbour

    Loving Reed Krakoff!!

    I really want to buy the Gym Bag , tan and black that has a removable crossbody strap! which makes it more comfortable!

  • klynneann

    I have the Boxer II and in a pinch, I can actually carry it on my shoulder (over a wool coat!). It’s definitely a little awkward, but completely doable for those occasions when you really just need both hands for a few minutes. These straps don’t look shorter than the Boxer II straps, but would really need to be at least an inch or so longer to be comfortable enough to wear on your shoulder for a long period of time. And while the bags are very structured, they do soften pretty quickly, especially the front flap side. I really like mine and I’m loving the coral one above!

  • Sandra Rowley

    I agree that the bag looks very nice. The saturated colors that are coming out for spring, stunning. The tri colored option of the Boxer, Nordstrom.com, is fabulous. I am still not a fan of purchasing a bag at this price that is made in China.

  • Amy

    Hmmm… wondering if it zips at the top, magnetic closure, or none?

  • Jackie

    I’ll also have to reserve judgment until seeing it in person and take it for a little walk. So far so good from what I see but I also wonder the same things as everyone else… the shoulder straps and how big/small the bag actually is.

  • KoutureCrochet

    I have to wonder about getting in and out do the bag? I feel like others, I want to see it in person because I have to wonder how practicle it really is if you have to a 3 step process to get your belongings

    KC
    Luxury Cashmere, Alpaca, Camel, and Merino Scarves & more.
    http://www.kouturecrochet.com

  • Elyse Greenberg

    i love that tangerine color

  • Shirley J

    the coral boxer is definitely a fun option :)

  • Alice

    Love the coral! The details stand out so much more and after so many dark bags, a little pop of color never hurts!