The obvious answer: A lot! Here’s why…

The Fendi 2Jours, the Hermès Birkin, the Lady Dior, and the Saint Laurent Sac de Jour all have one thing in common: No. Top. Zipper. And if that doesn’t make your anxiety soar, I’m not sure what will.

In the past few years, dozens of the world’s most recognized designers have unveiled purses of all shapes, styles, and kinds (Crossbodys! Shoulder bags! Totes! Minis!)—and unfortunately, many of them have left out the crucial component of a top zipper.

You may be wondering why this is such a big deal to me. Well, the reality is, when you’re about to spend a couple hundred (or thousand!) dollars on designer wear, shouldn’t it be practical? If you can’t get your money’s worth, what’s the point? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I just can’t fathom the functionality behind a bag that doesn’t close at the top, even if it includes some sort of clasp or button (which most of the time doesn’t do a whole lot anyways).

I’m not necessarily worried someone will reach inside and take one of my valuables, but a bag without proper closure just seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Think about it: Someone accidentally knocks into you on the street and you’re adorable Sac de Jour flips around, and boom! Your phone and wallet go flying! I understand this doesn’t happen as often with larger totes, such as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull or the Fendi Canvas Shopper, but this scenario seems quite likely for a smaller bag without top closure.

One of the first (and so far, only) designer bags I purchased on a whim and without much research was in Italy. I came across a heavily discounted (more than 50 percent off!) Fendi 2Jours in baby blue. I couldn’t help myself; I had to have it. To this day, it’s one of my most gorgeous purses in my collection, and I don’t regret the purchase for a second. But, if I’m being honest, it doesn’t get the kind of usage it deserves. Why? No. Top. Zipper! It’s seriously that simple. I’ve taken it out here and there, but I find myself clutching it tightly toward my body in an almost unnatural and uncomfortable way. Because the crossbody strap is slightly long, it’s easy for the bag to swing from side to side, moving my keys, credit cards, and other essentials up, down, and all around. Has anyone else felt the same sensation?

I guess the real questions is: Should style sacrifice comfort? Are these bags not meant to be used on an everyday basis? Regardless, I still wonder why some brands default to leaving the top of a bag wide open instead of finding unique ways to add just a bit more security. Clearly they don’t have a problem innovating new styles, so why not incorporate this, too?

Maybe top zippers are seen as less attractive? There are tons of bags that pull it off though, like the Givenchy Antigona, the Prada Promenade, and virtually every camera case out on the market right now. What do you think? Would you still purchase a top-zipper-less bag?

original illustration by Kat J. Weiss

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