guest blog: the mini in me

Fashion Minimalism

guest blog: the mini in me

August 16, 2016
skeletons in the closet
basically, be basic

A guest blog by PR powerhouse, Vogue veteran, Anti-supporter and dear friend, Elissa Lumley. 

I have a sudden “thing” for tiny handbags.  After 20 years hauling oversized designer totes filled with 30 pounds of stuff to a daily job in public relations, it’s time to lighten the load.  My “What’s in your bag?” inventory remains the same:  a MacBook, a day planner (I’m so old school, I write down my appointments in a calendar), a Moleskine, a makeup bag of emergency essentials, sunglasses in a case, a continental-style wallet, a magazine or two, and usually a bottle of water.  All combined, this is some heavy shit, making the right side of my body exponentially stronger than my left.  Not to mention totally out of alignment.

Despite investing in the lightest laptop Apple provides, and giving up on the idea of storing my schedule on personal devices (I’m tired of living in my phone) there is not much else I can do other than choose a lighter bag.  But it must still hold up to the stress of my impedimenta.  More on that later.

How did I let years of baggage literally drag me down for so long?  It has to do with my body image.

I don’t think of myself as a particularly dainty person.  First, I am a heavy walker.  You can hear me thudding down a hallway miles away. I spent over six years at a fashion magazine and I still don’t know how to elegantly maneuver in heels. Second, I have a tall, lanky frame about as curvy as an ironing board. Though I find a streak of confidence once in a blue moon, I’m not a flaunter and prefer to obscure my teenage-boy-body.  This means an aversion to flirty dresses.  And dresses in general.  Third, I’ve already spent more time in an office hunched in front of a computer than should be considered legal for the good of human engineering.  It takes so much physical effort to throw back my shoulders and function at my real height.  So all of my adult life I have tended to my awkward self by hiding behind enormous, overbearing, ridiculously large shoulder bags.  And I always had enough working-girl gear in tow to justify it.

The women I see running around with diminutive accessories seem to float along their course. Let’s face it: Suffering across midtown in uncomfortable stilettos with a heavy bucket bag is not a good look.  Hustling to and fro in feather-light flats with a secure crossbody? Yes. I recently moved out of the city (hey commuters, the struggle is real) and found myself tossing even more junk in my Gucci-satchel-trunk.  Something had to give.

Early this summer for a work meeting downtown at an outdoor café, my good friend and colleague casually strolled up with a petite, pale pink calf leather backpack on her arm.  While I had coveted the designer’s full-size (of course) stunner but never pulled the trigger, here my friend was with the mini version. And she made it look so easy.  I glanced over at my bulging carryall.  “This is why I walk heavy,” I thought.  “This is why I can’t get my shoulders square,” I scolded myself.  “This is why I can’t stand upright,” I finally screamed inside my head.  Maybe if I start investing in smaller handbags, I’ll be elegant and feminine, too.

One week later, I became the proud owner of a miniature Chloe that I had shunned for so long, discriminated against for its size, or lack thereof.  Enthusiastically, the new, pint-size-loving me had visions of tossing it on for errands, or a dinner out, and not feeling insecure about more body, less bag.  Still, it took me four days to remove my purchase from the box.  It stared at me for another three before tagging along for a weekend at the beach, where it remained slung across the back of a chair.  I do love it, and I look forward to giving it a spin.

In the meantime, I still have my computer and desk diary and other signs of a mobile office tethered to my body. Until I retire, I will never have the luxury of totally abandoning my handled bins.  But I’m anxious to pare down and walk with a spring in my step.  And for those days that I have to haul around the goods?  Uber.

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Shop Elissa’s Look Here!

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This blog was chosen by Independent Fashion Bloggers for their weekly blog roundup, Links A La Mode!

Links à la Mode, August 18th

SPONSOR: Shopbop ZAC Zac Posen, Commando Lingerie, Stuart Weitzman Boots, No.6, GUM, Bag Studio, Floral Dresses, Wide Leg Pants, Low Heel Booties, Men’s Club Monaco

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