The Directrice Needs

I admit that any sentence that begins “The Directrice needs . . .” needs to be examined carefully from all angles. Here is the complete sentence: The Directrice needs a black handbag.
It’s true. (C’est vrai.) You may be thinking, Directrice, you have a million handbags and we’ve all seen them. That also is true. But I need a very particular type of black bag to replace an excellent bag that has done long service and seems to be disintegrating.

The retiring bag is a Coach Mercer bag and the genius of it is two-fold: (1) it sits snugly on my shoulder (a short drop on the strap) and (2) it is made of a microfiber fabric that enables it to go from day to night very easily. When I say night I don’t mean clubbing — I just mean that it’s smaller and dressier than a satchel full of papers, and I could carry it with a cocktail dress after work.

Unfortunately some type of glue appears to have been used in its construction and . . . after 10+ years, the glue is rising to the surface.

On the off-chance that you, too, may be looking for a versatile, compact, black shoulder bag, I am sharing my contemplations with you.

Cambridge Satchel Company Small Cloud Bag
Cambridge Satchel Company Small Cloud Bag; not satchel-ly at all
Chloe Faye Shoulder Bag
Chloe Faye Shoulder Bag; so beautiful but terribly expensive
Furla Metropolis
Furla Metropolis; this one may be just right

Marni Trunk Bag
Marni Trunk Bag; so beautiful but also terribly expensive
Coach Chelsea Cross Body
Coach Chelsea Cross Body; would use the shoulder strap, not the cross-body one
Sophie Hulme
Sophie Hulme; very smart, but can that cross-body strap be shortened?

Here are my criteria for the day-to-night bag: relatively compact (e.g., in the range of 6-8 inches high and 9-12 inches wide); hands-free (i.e., shoulder strap) but not cross-body; glossy calf-skin or slippery fabric; and a structured, boxy shape. I welcome your recommendations because the hunt is on!
One word of caution: While I readily embrace almost any clothing alteration challenge, modifying a handbag is a different proposition. Some straps simply cannot be altered; those that can should only be handled by the most skilled leather workers. Do not let just any man with a hole puncher and an industrial sewing machine monkey with your handbags. The results may be displeasing.

5 thoughts on “The Directrice Needs”

  1. Definitely the Coach Chelsea Cross Body. And I would most probably carry it cross body. I love bags designed to be used cross-body – much more comfortable (for me) and they cause less hunching of the carrying shoulder. But I love backpacks best (which are not considered on your list) – who is to say you cannot wear a small elegant backpack to a smartish after-work event? Oh well, perhaps not with a cocktail dress …

  2. If you like the structured/boxy look, consider the Everlane Petra cross body. The strap could easily be shortened (I own it) and even comes off if you like. It looks more expensive than it is and is very understated.

    • Thank you so much for hot tip, Sara! It is a beautiful bag. I’ve been reading the name Everlane in so many places, but hadn’t bothered to investigate; now I know what the company is and is doing.

  3. I have some Everlane modern loafers and like them a lot. They are a tad masculine, but the leather is perfect, they lining is leather and they are devoid of any kind of logo.
    I like the Coach bag and suspect it’s within what I’d consider a reasonable price range for a nice bag, but I don’t like the logo. Why do they insist on doing that?


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