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.

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

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