You never know how your circumstances are going to change your perspective. When I lived in Atlanta, I hated bags with extra shoulder straps because their necessity didn’t make sense in my car-centric life, and without an appreciation for their functionality, they just looked like clutter to me. Five years ago, I moved to New York City and all of that changed.
In a city where I spend a great deal of time traipsing around on my own two feet (or standing in a crowded subway car), an optional shoulder strap looks like an oasis in a desert. What I once loathed as unnecessary has suddenly become the only thing that’s a true dealbreaker for me when it comes to deciding on a new bag.
And not only does a bag have to have a shoulder strap, but if it’s not at least convertible to a crossbody, the bag probably won’t make my cut, either. Size isn’t that big of an issue for me–anything that can fit sunglasses, keys, a card case and an iPhone can find a home in my closet. I love bags both neutral and bright, solid-color and patterned, leather and woven. I’ve spent too long in the industry to be much of a brand snob, as long as I like the bag and it looks well-made. No shoulder strap, though? No thanks.
Because personal shopping dealbreakers are so situational and depend on all of our very different daily circumstances, we want to hear what totally rules out a bag for you: chain straps? tiny size? back-breaking weight? Let us know in the comments.