PurseBlog Asks

What’s Your Go-to Going-Out Bag?

Whether grabbing drinks at a cocktail bar or hitting the club, I keep coming back to one sleek silhouette

When you’re young, single, and living in a big city/any combination of the three, going out on the town becomes almost a ritualistic sport. There’s the classic text you receive in the group chat (you know, the one: “What are you wearing?!”), the carefully curated getting-ready playlist is second-most important to the carefully curated itinerary for the evening, and don’t forget the final step: the thoughtfully-chosen going-out bag.

The Makings of the Ideal Night-Out Bag

There are a few elements to consider when opting for the perfect going-out bag, which we need to discuss first. I’ll start out by stating the obvious; it must go well with your outfit. We’re not talking matchy/matchy, but rather the overall vibe of your bag should match the overall vibe of your outfit. That’s a given.

However, the most important, and I repeat, the most important, element to consider is comfort. As I said, going out, especially in major cities (though I personally can only speak to New York), can be a marathon, not a sprint. That being said, you want to make sure your bag can withstand being carried comfortably from quite possibly 9pm to 4am or, truthfully, even later. However, I’m not 25 anymore, so I try to block out the many afters I’ve attended (shutters with PTSD). Comfort is key.

To expand upon the marathon, not a sprint mentality, you want to ensure that your bag can hold the essentials, but just the essentials; you don’t want it to weigh you down. For me, that means my phone, a small card case with my ID/debit card, a mini Laura Mercier translucent power, a lip gloss, chapstick, hand sanitizer, and a hair clip. Not much more and not much less.

The Sleek Shoulder Bag

Recently, my views on the perfect bag to carry out and about have changed, which is what inspired me to write this post. In my early-mid-twenties, I preferred to be hands-free and strictly opted for a crossbody bag—Gucci’s SoHo Chain Disco and Marmont, both I’ve since sold, were some of my go-tos.

These days I find that I’m only opting for slim shoulder bags that sit nicely under my arm, though I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it’s age (I find shoulder bags to be a bit sleeker), or maybe I feel more responsible with my belongings when I’m out, but I digress. The small silhouette holds my essentials but is too small that it can’t be stuffed and won’t weigh me down. Even though some of my shoulder bags don’t have a zip or flap, they sit close enough to my body that I feel secure wearing them because it would be impossible for someone to stick their hand inside. Conversely, my iPhone was swiped from my bag once wearing the Gucci Marmont in a crowded Brooklyn bar.

I’ve been favoring my Prada Cleo, Saint Laurent Le 5 à 7, and Louis Vuitton x Urs Fischer Pochette Accessoires. Still, if I were in the market for another shoulder bag to add to my going-out rotation, I would opt for one of the below.

What’s your go-to for a night out?

Bottega Veneta Cassette Shoulder Bag

The Row Hald Moon Bag

Coach Demi Shouler Bag

Saint Laurent Purple Le 5 a 7

Gucci Aphrodite Small Shoulder Bag Black

STAUD Tommy Bag

Saint Laurent Suzanne Bag

Jacquemus Le Bambino Long

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King Charles' Inkpot
King Charles' Inkpot
11 months ago

a really, really OLD Coach legacy whiskey small hobo. It’s scrapped the bottom of floors in pubs and at concerts, so I feel she’s earned the right to go everywhere I go…

Carrie K
Carrie K
11 months ago

My go to is a Chanel WOC in black caviar leather. When I go out all I bring is a credit card, ID, phone, & a lipstick and they fit into the WOC perfectly. I love that there are multiple ways to wear the Chanel WOC so I never get tired of using it!

HotSundae
HotSundae
11 months ago

I still think the By Far Rachel is the platonic ideal of a going out bag: incredibly light, patent finish so easy to deal with spilled or sloshed cocktails, zipper to keep things secure, no flashy logo to attract would-be pickpockets or muggers. But I’m considering a Fendi Baguette for the first time, just wish I had done so a few years ago before all the recent price increases.

Tiffany
Tiffany
11 months ago
Reply to  HotSundae

I’m a fan of the Rachel for all of the reasons you mentioned.

Elizabeth Uy
Elizabeth Uy
11 months ago

Anything crossbody! You never have to put it down!

Bitter Than You
Bitter Than You
11 months ago

I use a vintage Louis Vuitton Pochette Montaigne in cuir épi.

Lola
Lola
11 months ago

my YSL baby niki, though I’m in the market for a clutch

Summerstorm
Summerstorm
11 months ago

…my Fendi Baguette in pink

Playboy Mommy
Playboy Mommy
11 months ago

Mine’s the Staud Kaia shoulder bag.

NED
NED
11 months ago

Prada re-edition but with the gold chain

Sue
Sue
11 months ago

I personally like the Wanders Travel Company crossbody bag my daughter gave me for Christmas last year. I actually like it because it easily converts to a shoulder bag.

Chrys
Chrys
11 months ago

My LV Loop garden party, 2 strap, small enough but can take all essentiels for night out
My alma bb in epi: small, cute, handheld or as shoulder bag &x-body at end of the night
My mulberry small darley – à wallet on chain on stéroïds
My mulberry small amberley: classy, easy to use and not seen everywhere

Lupita
Lupita
11 months ago

For me is nothing like the GUCCI Marmont mini shoulder in black; goes with most of my outfits, is hands free, easygoing, lightweight and carry all my trinkets. Is truly my ride or die🖤

Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty
11 months ago

Do you ever worry about sweat stains with this shape?

Passerine
Passerine
11 months ago

It depends on what I’m going out for, but the usual suspects are: Polene Numero Deux in black moc croc. Gucci Boston “wave” bag in genuine croc (from Tom Ford’s last collection there). Gucci Blondie (aka Disco). Jimmy Choo Sweetie. Or my near-vintage Louis Vuitton Trevi PM. On my shopping list for autumn is the LV Petite Malle in reverse mono and that will definitely be in the “going out” lineup!

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
11 months ago

I have a patent handheld clutch from Michael Kors that I like to carry for things like luncheons sometimes cocktail parties. For balls and galas, I carry a petite malle dupe that I got from Amazon or my grandmother’s beaded bags that I inherited from her when she died in 2021 at the age of 90. Those are my treasures.

Terri
Terri
11 months ago

Mine would be Primo Atelier’s Monte Carlo bag as it can be used as a shoulder bag and as a clutch when you remove the strap!

Alex
Alex
11 months ago

I probably reach for my Fendi embossed mini camera bag the most… it’s black and taupe so it goes with a lot, and the crossbody strap makes it less fussy.

WineCountryLisa
WineCountryLisa
11 months ago

I love Le Patou Bag. Holds everything I need, and it’s so sleek and elegant.


kateholli
kateholli
11 months ago

Stella McCartney mini Falabella in Black – end of story

Mandi
Mandi
11 months ago

I’m surprised to not see the Fendi baguette here!

Moppetage
Moppetage
11 months ago

I’m surprised so many like a shoulder bag. I always find they constantly slip off my shoulder and I finish up having to hold it or slip my arm through the handle. I’m now older (50) and the idea of wearing any of my carefully collected bags to a pub or gig scares me, but I no longer have “lesser” every day bags. Doesn’t anyone worry about the spills of drinks, waiters carrying trays of food and wine being poured from above? I recently went to a wedding that ended up in a very crowded bar when the soccer was on and decided it was time for my handbag and I (a LV Pochette Metis in embossed black leather) to go home.

Adangerousbeauti
Adangerousbeauti
10 months ago

fendi peekaboo men’s clutch; just fits phone, cards and keys and can be worn crossbody

LuBR
LuBR
10 months ago

I love my Lady Dior pouch. I can use it as a crossbody or shoulder bag, we see it much less than Chanel WOC, no logos, quite a low profile bag.

Lisa Szunyog
Lisa Szunyog
10 months ago

I consider ALL of my bags “going out” bags. Just depends on what I’m doing and where I’m going, but literally every single one of my bags could be worn as a daily bag or going out back. I love all of them equally for different reasons.

Laura W
Laura W
10 months ago

I have a little Ferragamo Vara Bow crossbody bag. Its leather stands up to pretty much everything, is dark navy and is crossbody so I don’t risk lose it by putting it down somewhere. And the dark navy bow doesn’t stand out, but gives it just enough to make it a touch dressier than my normal leather crossbodies. Didn’t cost me the earth either.