Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 51
Like Tree177Likes

Thread: "purse issues" and questions from a fashion failure

  1. #1
    Amy
    Amy is offline
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    49

    "purse issues" and questions from a fashion failure

    This is my first post about my first Tom Bihn product! To preface this, I've never been good at fashion, despite the fact I live in Dallas, Texas and have spent most of my life surrounded by fashion-conscious people whose tastes and interests you would think I would have at least partially absorbed. I think I lack the gene that allows me to find fashion fun. Fashion trends are about as interesting as carburetors to me. To make things worse, I also have an obsessive interest in clever travel supplies, and have lately been on a mission to downsize everything I own. (I've been out of the country twice in the past 6 months, with a carry-on only, everything in my bag meticulously miniaturized). My husband quietly tolerates my obsessions, but we've been together for so long that maybe he just sees it as an illness.

    I ended up ordering my very first Tom Bihn product this morning: an aubergine/wasabi Side Effect. This was to combat a problem I've been having for months since I started having to lug a spine-crushing 25 lbs of laptops, tablets and gear to the office every day (I use an ebags TLS Mother Lode Jr for that purpose, and I like everything about that bag, except how much I am forced to carry in it).

    My problem is that I had stopped carrying a regular purse altogether, since I didn't want to haul around a second bag, or stow it in my already-full backpack. My attempts to downsize/lighten my "purse" have been compete fashion failures: a few times I used a vinyl lunch bag, just so I'd have a container for my personal stuff, and my latest "purse" has been a chicobag grocery bag. My coworkers shake their heads in pity when they watch me go out for lunch carrying my personal effects in whatever random lightweight container I happen to have brought that day. In the winter, this was not a problem according to me, because I carried all my daily detritus in the many pockets of my Scottevest trench coat. Most of my friends considered my Scottevest to be the biggest fashion disaster of all, although I thought it looked pretty good.

    So I was pretty proud of myself when I discovered the Side Effect, which is a) purple (which means cute, according to what I've read) and b) large enough to hold my Galaxy Note 2, keys, wallet, receipts, lipstick, sunscreen and all the other junk that I haul around.

    I told my friend triumphantly today, "I think I've solved my purse issue!" and she told me, "You can't solve a 'purse issue' without a PURSE."

    That cracked me up all day. But it also made me wonder if I've gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. So here's my question:

    Have I lost all perspective on what looks good because of my fixation with Tom Bihn's usability and build quality? Is there actually enough fashion in the Side Effect that will allow me to take it proudly to a Girls' Night Out in Dallas, Texas without being ridiculed, like the time they laughed at my black leather "George Costanza wallet" sitting frumpily amongst their Vera Bradleys? Or is this bag dooming me again to nerd-dom? (Side note: I have no intention of letting ANYONE know that this bag can also be worn around the waist. That would be social suicide.)

    Opinions appreciated. My bag is on backorder so I have several weeks to obsess about it.

  2. #2
    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Puget Sound region
    Posts
    761
    If your co-workers think your SE is nerd-dom, then you should move to another state and leave them to their Texas fashionness. Just wrap your brain around this: NO ONE in the Seattle area carries a Vera Bradley bag unless they're over 50. Coach, yes, Kate Spade, alas yes, TB SE yes, yes, yes. It's small and unassuming. Your co-workers might not even notice you have it. The aubergine is GORGEOUS. I LOVE your sense of humor!
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

  3. #3
    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    53
    Okay, I'll shoot.

    Do You.

    If you think the SE solves your purse-less problems, GREAT. Rock your SE wherever and however you please and don't even give one moments thought to what anybody else might think of it. All that matters is that it will hopefully work for YOU not THEM.
    so far: small clear OP (steel), small padded OP, small and medium DOP (burnt orange), Side Effect (black/steel), Synapse 19 (burnt orange/steel), Synapse 25 (burnt orange/steel)

    want: Aeronaut 30 (black/steel), more BURNT ORANGE: OPs, keystraps, Side Effect, Ballistic Nylon, 200d Dyneema

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    241
    Heh, heh, heh.

    So you think you are starting with an unassuming "fashionable" side effect.
    Just think of the side effect like jacks magic beans,
    you know where that left him.

    Let's see,
    I'm just now looking into my crystal ball.
    I see Amy now obsessing over her next order of
    Swift,
    Side effect número two.
    Western flyer,
    And various pouches just for starters.
    ;-)

    .

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    -5 GMT EST/EDT
    Posts
    72
    I just received my first SE (likely not my last) yesterday and I am /delighted/. I'm really not a "purse" woman, I collect "gear bags". What I like about the Tom Bihn stuff are the organizing possibilities. The side effect is not fashionable by any stretch, but its also not going to get you jeers either. Its in that niche of unnoticeable-ness: nice enough to fit i and not peg you as a total dork (certainly better than a grocery bag ), but still having that practical bent that many of us who purchase TB products have. But keep in mind, I'm not a fashion follower either (though I do own a Coach purse that I bought at a consignment shop- a older classic one not the ones they make today which have to have the logo pasted all over the fabric). Mine is black, and I think I could pull off bringing it to a restaurant where I would wear a dress (as opposed to a restaurant I'd wear jeans too). If I put a sparkly costume jewelry pin on it somewhere , it'd be dressed up even more.

    Tell us more about your miniaturization of items. What kinds of things have you miniaturized? I'm asking as someone who wants to have everything I could possibly need with me, but be able to keep all that stuff in a normal sized "purse" or tote bag.

  6. #6
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    544
    The Side Effect is a perfect bag to put your wallet and phone in, when you go to lunch. That's exactly why I bought it. I also 'wear' it on the plane, so that in the unlikely event I got separated from my under-seat bag, I would have my essentials with me. (It is small enough to stay on during takeoff and landing.)

    So I think it fits its intended purpose for you, and you will probably find that you like it as a travel accessory as well.

    It isn't really a 'purse'--particularly in the fashion sense, but it is small and nondescript enough to be acceptable in almost any situation. If you are already carrying a backpack, a full-sized purse is kind of superfluous, in my mind, and two bags are hard to manage.

    I work in an academic environment, and so people carry whatever they want. But even so, coworkers will sometimes tease me if I have a very large bag, and no one has ever given me a hard time when I had the Side Effect.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 05-20-2014 at 05:48 PM.
    ----
    Please bring back the Portable Culture patch!

  7. #7
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Posts
    174
    Speaking as a charter member of the utterly-unfashionable-and-oblivious-and-fine-with-that school of thought, I'm pretty sure that the SE will fly completely under the radar. I often wear mine cross-body with both ends of the strap hooked on to one o-ring so that the bag hangs vertically (call me crazy, I like vertical better than horizontal). Sometimes I just use it as a clutch. But it's a dark colour (navy ballistic) so it automatically looks subtle and sophisticated to my eye; it's definitely not flashy.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    159
    Amy,
    Let me just say that first off, who the heck cares what they think? You're the one who has to like what you carry. Second of all I AM a purse girl. Very much so. I'm not a fan of Vera because, as monkeylady said, their not really for my age group but I am a fan of Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors etc and have quite a few of those bags that I swap out as the whim strikes me. I'm also a big fan of functional but fashionable products like scottevest (and will buy that trench as soon as they add a hood). The aubergine/wasabi Side Effect is gorgeous and I don't see anything "not fashionable" about it. In fact I was spring purse shopping on Sunday, didn't find anything I liked at Coach/Kate/Dooney then came home and ordered a MCB and SE myself

  9. #9
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    GMT +1 (+1 Summertime) - Germany, North
    Posts
    754
    Here are my two cents: I had to google Vera Bradleys. Before I found them I thougt in terms of Louis Vuitton and no way would a Louis Vuitton-wearer be quit about a Tom Bihn SE. Not that anything she might have to say bother me the least bit. But this Vera Bradleys is very girlish and "cute", it is not in anyway something I would call fashionable. NO Side Effect looks anything out of place next to this bags. And the color-combo you ordered looks classy but unobtrusive. I no people by there bags. Means I see and remember the bags they carry and I think something about this bags (I only share the good thoughts thou). If I would see a group of girls say in a restaurant or club with five of them carrying something colourfull and wit flowers all over and one with a discred Side Effect I'd think: she is the one with the good tast. I even do not get, what to wear next to these Vera Bradleys. Your SE is much easier to pick the right clothes for.

    BUT you need at least a second one. What if you want to wear something red or in a not fitting kind of purple?

    Just for the record: I do not think that a woman with a Louis Vuitton is right to look down her nose at any TB-Bag BUT they do and I think they even have to if you think about what they payed for a bag with no practical value what so ever and very doubtful "optical" value.

    Ilkyway

  10. #10
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    775
    Hi Amy! I'm another female Bihnion who's been drawn to TB bags because they are incredibly practical whilst looking unassumingly stylish.

    I think you'll love your Side Effect - I have an aubergine/wasabi one on backorder too*, having fallen in love with the colour after buying my Swift in the same combo. It's a lovely rich reddish-purple, and the ballistic nylon has a subtle sheen to it that makes it look classy. Definitely smart enough for a girls' night out - and if your friends mock it, ignore them. Not everyone wants to be a girly-girl with flowery prints and bows on everything!

    Oh yes, and do share your miniaturisation secrets! We have a whole forum section for travel tips where we debate the best clothing, toiletries, etc - you don't have to worry about feeling nerdy here, as you'll be in good company!


    (* This will be my third SE - I already have an olive/UV one as my workday EDC (like you, I carry a backpack full of tech stuff) and a black/iberian one for dressier occasions.)
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, CP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, LSS, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs)
    On their way: DLBP, 3DFOCs, another YSS!
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

  11. #11
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    GMT +1 (+1 Summertime) - Germany, North
    Posts
    754
    Quote Originally Posted by scribe View Post
    Hi Amy! I'm another female Bihnion who's been drawn to TB bags because they are incredibly practical whilst looking unassumingly stylish.

    Not everyone wants to be a girly-girl with flowery prints and bows on everything!
    I drink to that! Maybe this time you teach them a fashion-lesson.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    445
    Hope you don't mind a little 2 cents from a male who's just as if not worse in terms of fashion sense.
    From your post, it seems that your friends are just teasing you (in a harmless way?) and not really condemning you on your fashion sense?
    I work in a job where I have to deal with hundreds of people in a day, so I think I've seen plenty in the last ten years or so. The saying " The clothes do not make the man (lady in your case)" will probably best summarize everything, I've seen people who can make burlap sacks look good, and people who can make a $6000 bag look sad, it all depends on the individual and how they carry themselves. From your post, I'd say you sound like you have enough sensibility and humor to pull off most things. But please do not rush out to get a burlap sack just because I said so :P

    Back to your Side Effect, I think the 2 of you will get along just fine, it's definitely good looking and it's small enough that you can stash it comfortably in your bag without it getting in the way. And the organization it offers is another big plus factor, it's highly unlikely you'll be one of those girls who have to spend 15 mins hunting through their purse everytime they want something

    Last thing, if you ever decide you would like to replace your eBags Mother Lode Jr (it looks pretty hefty, if you don't mind my saying so) with something from Tom Bihn, there's plenty of us here who would be more than happy to help you select something suitable. ^.^

  13. #13
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Downeast Maine
    Posts
    860
    Quote Originally Posted by icebeng View Post
    Last thing, if you ever decide you would like to replace your eBags Mother Lode Jr (it looks pretty hefty, if you don't mind my saying so) with something from Tom Bihn, there's plenty of us here who would be more than happy to help you select something suitable. ^.^
    Icebeng, well done. I'm giving you ten enabling points for the subtle offer. I see what you did, enabling well disguised as an offer to be helpful.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  14. #14
    Registered User adalangdon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by icebeng View Post
    I've seen people who can make burlap sacks look good, and people who can make a $6000 bag look sad, it all depends on the individual and how they carry themselves.
    The truth of this ... cannot be overemphasised. In my neck of the woods, people carry Chanel, Prada, Hermes as if it's the magic bullet to looking good. It's really not. The worst thing one can do, sartorially, is to wear something that doesn't go with one's personal "style" (defined broadly to mean both style or the lack thereof). Wear what suits you with confidence, and you're good to go.

    Taste is such a subjective thing (I feel like I'm spouting cliches here- apologies!) that you shouldn't feel bad that they're Vera and you're TB. When I towed my old VB tote to class, I was laughed at for carrying a quilt. From my POV, it's adorably tacky, but my friends thought it was plain tacky. It was really big in the northeast when I went to college there, though. Go figure!
    Last edited by adalangdon; 05-21-2014 at 05:53 AM.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    445
    @Moose
    What? Enabling? Who? Me?
    <cough><cough> I'm just trying to keep up the spirit of the forums! we're all enab... <cough> very helpful people here

    And it has just occurred to me that Amy joined in at just the right time. There's a thread about Frank's Carryology interview that derailed (sorry Frank, we still love you!) into a discussion about suitable colors and dressing.
    Frank II's interview over at Carryology
    The discussions about colors will continue here
    Seasonal Color Analysis

    So Amy, the ladies above who gave you assurance that the Side Effect looks good are all credible fashionistas in their own right as well, and they know what they're saying ^.^
    Color matching different TB bags, down to the combination of exterior and interior colors, is also a big favorite topic here, so if you ever decide to get more TB stuff, we can also help advise what goes well with your Side Effect <cough!cough!cough!> (How horribly unsubtle!lol)

    Enabling jokes aside, welcome to the Forums, Amy, I hope you have as much fun as I do with all these awesome people here!
    eWalker likes this.

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0