Reed Krakoff Soft Boxer Tote in coral or black, $1295 via Neiman Marcus

With my first six months in New York coming to a close, I’ve done lots of thinking about how clothes, shoes and accessories play into the very unique New York City lifestyle. For as long as I can remember, a handbag’s structure didn’t really matter to me; I could carry almost anything from a day clutch to a huge hobo rather happily because I always, without fail, had a car with me. Now that I don’t, my preferences have changed drastically.

That’s one of the reasons that I’m excited for the debut of the Reed Krakoff Soft Boxer tote, or the Shoulder Boxer, as I like to call it. I’ve been an enormous fan of the regular Boxer since its debut, but I simply can no longer justify buying a bag that doesn’t have an option for shoulder carry. This modified version of the Boxer design completely solves that problem.

When I laid eyes on this bag, the first thing I thought was, “Oh, sort of like a Shoulder Birkin!” Although the modifications aren’t identical to the Jean Paul Gaultier-redesigned Hermes bag, the spirit is similar. Not only were the shoulder straps lengthened to accomodate a woman’s shoulder like the JPG Birkin, but they were also flattened, which is a huge advantage in a shoulder tote and something all designers should consider when adapting designs for shoulder carry. Double rolled handles always slip off, and they’re really only appropriate for bags carried in the crook of the arm.

The body of the Boxer was also shortened, just like the Shoulder Birkin. This helps lessen the bulk under the arm and the likelihood that you’re going to have all of your belongings banging against your hip all day, which is essential in a structured tote meant to be carried this way. I’ll have to reserve judgment until I can try out the bag in person and see how it feels (I like a very long tote strap), but my hopes for this extension of the Boxer line are high. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1295 in black or coral.

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