Opinion

Practical Design Choices We Need to See More Of

It’s all in the details...

“Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable.” – Donna Karen

It’s always a sad moment when you realize a bag you’d previously really wanted isn’t that comfortable to use. You try to ignore that nagging feeling of having purchased something that, while totally the cutest thing you’d ever seen, is actually pretty cumbersome to carry or was only good for a season and now doesn’t fit your current needs.

It sucks, but it’s ok. It happens to the best of us. That’s what reputable reseller sites are for; They’re all just catalogs of people’s former must-haves’ Ones they also spent hours of research on before making the final purchase.

Unfortunately, some bags are just too heavy, with handles too stiff, or are just plain awkward to dig around in. Their beauty was enough to initially draw us in, but their lack of practicality always leaves us with a wandering eye.

I believe many more bags could’ve had more staying power if only the brand had considered making more functional design choices. Not big changes necessarily, just adding a few elements here and there that would’ve made carrying the bag look and feel more effortless.

I love a bag that feels like the designer put a little extra thought into it. It’s what takes a bag from being ordinary to extraordinary.

Are you listening, creative directors?

There are some bags I think have hit the mark. So using them as examples, here are a few functional design choices I think we need to see more of:

Exterior Pockets

If a bag has a secure closure, there should be at least one exterior pocket. If the bag is hard to get into (which could actually be a positive) the wearer still needs to be able to quickly access their phone, metro card, or other little important things.

The Hermès Her Bag and the Louis Vuitton Ebene Totally bag are both great examples of secure bags that still leave a way for the wearer to slip their hand in.

Hermes Herbag 1

Hook for Sunglasses

“In the case or on your face,” I hear my optometrist repeating in my head.

Sorry but sometimes we don’t have time to fish around in our purses for our glasses case. Especially if we only removed our sunnies momentarily but still need to keep our hands free. We’ve probably already got keys or a water bottle in one hand and now need to sign or pay for something. I need somewhere to put my sunglasses.

As far as I know, only the Celine Luggage Tote has this little detail, but having a place to hang your sunglasses should be a must to be considered truly on-the-go!

Celine Luggage Tote

Celine Nano Luggage Tote
via Fashionphile

Shape Shifters

The quickest way for a bag to develop staying power is to be adaptable to the wearer’s needs throughout different stages of life. That designer tote you bought for school becomes a travel tote or a diaper bag, and you can count on it as your handy sidekick for many years to come.

Up until this point, big open totes have been the most adaptable, but I’m intrigued by shape-shifting silhouettes like the Loewe Hammock bag and think they should become more commonplace. Not exactly like the hammock bag, but designs that are a bit more ingenious.

Loewe Hammock Bag 1
Loewe Hammock Bag 2

What do you all think?

guest

9 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Suzie
Suzie
1 year ago

OMG, yes to that! I feel so seen 🙂 I felt I might be the only person who is bothered by things like the lack of external pockets.
I feel that especially higher end designers are extremely bad at that. I really want to love the Mulberry Alexa and Lilly for example, but have sod off both due to the lack of exterior pockets. Same with quite a few other designer bags.
Furthermore, I don’t do heavy bags and handheld-only bags. This tends to narrow down my bags-to-consider to an actual minimum, unfortunately. However, you really put the Celine Nano Luggage on my radar now…
Thank you again for seeing us, the ones who need to quickly access mobiles, underground tickets, have their hands free, have problems with their backs or need to commute!

spoiledinseattle
spoiledinseattle
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzie

I’ve had a Celine Nano Luggage for 7+ years now and it is still one of my favorite and most reached for bags in my collection – super practical size and shape, not heavy, and it gets loads of compliments 🙂

Amy
Amy
1 year ago

A zipper on totes, adjustable cross body straps are definitely my 2 most wished features!

Tokyo
Tokyo
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Ugh, yes! No open top bags! If it can’t seal, it’s a security issue for me.

Kat
Kat
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Can’t agree more. At minimum, hidden D-rings or something similar so I have the option to snap on a cross body strap. Oh, and make the strap detachable so you can change it out.

kemilia
kemilia
1 year ago

The old Bal Moto bags had the same hook for sunglasses.

I’ve never used it because my sunglasses usually cost a fortune (prescription bi-focal) and letting them hang even for a moment and risk scratching is a huge no-no. But it is a great feature, none of my other bags have it.

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago

The Hermes Herbag may be secure and have an outside pocket, but it is very cumbersome to get in and out of. So much, that my own Hermes S.A. talked me out of purchasing. 🤷‍♀️

Ambrosia
Ambrosia
1 year ago

I want function and floss. I would specifically like a travel crossbody purse with pockets inside and out.

techNix
techNix
1 year ago

Donna Karan*

And yes to exterior pockets!