My mother is a woman with very specific requirements for a bag. It has to be soft, it has to fit over her shoulder, it has to zip or otherwise fasten at the top, the inside has to be divided into at least two large compartments (the more the better), and there have to be outside pockets. Bags that do not have all of these characteristics, no matter how awesome or attractive or drool-worthy they may be, shall not be considered. As such, it takes my mother about eight years to pick out a new bag.

A brand that mom mother has had an oddly high amount of luck with, however, is Marc by Marc Jacobs. I say that this is odd for one reason – MbyMJ simply does not consider her part of their target demographic. If you were to ask anyone in their marketing department who their customer was, they would tell you that it’s a young, hip 20-something with a slightly odd (but not too odd) aesthetic and possibly a newly-gotten degree in a creative field. In short, they want ME to buy their bags, and they don’t give a whole lot of thought to my mom. Being the awesome lady that she is, however (I mean, she did beget yours truly, after all), my mom does not believe that she is not cool enough for these bags (because she obviously is), and she just bought her second Marc by Marc Jacobs bag – the Totally Turnlock Teri.

Hers is in the undeniably great smoky purple called Elderberry, which is now basically impossible to find online in this particular bag, but Saks has a beautiful bright red available for preorder that’s worth a look as well. The bag has two big outside pockets, three even bigger inside compartments (one which zips fully), handles long enough to easily fit over the shoulder, and the same soft, thick, squishy leather that is the trademark of the Turnlock line. When my mom ran in to this bag a few weeks back while shopping, she impulse-bought it immediately, and Momma Mull is not an impulse-buyer, folks. Buy through Saks for $438.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Catalina

    I’m not surprised your mom bought the Turnlock Teri – it is a very classic bag in many ways, with some nice details to make it up-to-date. The leather on the MbyMJ line is very good, the colors are great – I think your mom made a wise choice.

  • Thistle

    I’m in the MbMJ demographic, and your mother’s requirements are almost identical to mine. ;)

  • Anilu Magloire

    Cute bag, but not my cup of tea.

  • Ellen

    Your mom should get a mj blake, it fits all her requirements and it’s classic and cute!! I prefer it over the teri, i’m just not a huge fan of tote’s in general, but elderberry is a gorgeous shade of purple!

  • dyjann

    OMG! And I thought I was the only one with all these handbag requirements! It takes me ages too to find the perfect handbag. (Got another criteria…it can’t be heavy! Paddingtons are a no-no for me!)) Mmm…maybe I shud check out this MJ.

  • Tracey Baruch

    I too have the same requirements as your mom. I would love to hear of other handbags she has bought/wanted that fit the bill. I have my eye on the Rebecca Minkoff MAB – but not sure if this fits all your mom/my requirements.

  • jacquelyn

    while i love some of the bags marc jacobs creates for his marc line, i’m always saddened to find that he uses the absolute worst zippers for his bags. they’re awful. i compare them to scraping my knuckles along shark’s teeth. while i’m not familiar with what that might actually feel like, i’m confident that my comparison is headed in the right direction.

  • Mama M

    Yes, it’s Mama Mull. I do love my Totally Turnlock Teri and the Elderberry color is so nice for fall. I don’t care for the red one, but, last spring, I almost bought the hot pink one! This bag totally fulfills my requirements: soft, supple leather, two handles, zip top and outside zip or otherwise fastened pockets. And I really like a zip top with a full middle zip compartment inside. I also considered the Totally Turnlock Faridah, but it didn’t have the middle zip compartment. Neither one was too heavy, dyjann.
    Last summer I bought a MbMJ bag similar to the Totally Turnlock Lady L (in cream), except that it has a full outside zip pocket. Amanda got a hobo in cream (no outside pocket, no zipper, one handle — ugh).
    Ellen – I almost bought a Blake several years ago after seeing a young lady with one. Amanda hadn’t completed my handbag education yet, so I had no idea what it was, I just knew that I liked it. I commented on it and the young lady was more than happy to show me hers. I checked it out in the store, but it wasn’t quite squishy enough. I wound up buying a black Aerin by Cole Haan (zip top AND the full middle zip compartment), and I love it.
    This year, I also considered the Women’s Spring Street Quilted Leather Satchel by Marc Jacobs until I saw it in person. Not soft enough and not enough compartments. Oh well. I kind of like the Ines Shoulder Bag, though.
    Jacquelyn — the zippers on my bags are not too bad. But they aren’t limited to the MbMJ line. Some of the MJ bags have the same ones.

  • LILI

    Appreciate it. Yet one more great picture, it is the reason why My spouse and I returned to the site quite often!

  • vee

    I am the same as your mother! I bought this in 2010 and would like to replace it with the exact same bag. Alas, fashion people do not cater to the folks who want something from 5 years ago. What you do you recommend that is similar that you have seen lately?

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