Nikki’s Inbox: Bag Dilemmas

Hi Nikki! I’m a junior in high school and I wear lot of clothes from YesStyle and I really like them. However, I have just one problem with being a student: clothes get worn out and ruined by the backpack. It’s essential for us students but it ruins our clothes faster. I don’t know what to do. My backpack makes the clothes get more lint, etc. Are there any ways to prevent this from happening or to reduce it? Because honestly, some backpacks don’t even go with my style. Thanks!

Daniel, 17/Arizona, USA

April is the month of college decisions in the US, and I thought why not get a headstart on my college style before September. It was all going well until I got to my bag. I wanted something practical because it doesn’t seem like fun walking around New York City with a bunch of textbooks in my arm or a laptop just because they wouldn’t fit. The only problem is that anything that could fit my massive 15-inch laptop and other things are all super plain.

I know there has to be some type of bag that can hold everything and still switch between school and hanging out, but there are so many different types of bags that I’m not even sure what half of them mean. If it helps, I’m about 5’5, an hourglass, a little tan, and usually dress in darker colors and neutrals. Help a girl who has only ever had backpacks?

Camille, 17/New York, USA

I know it’s summer or nearly summer for many of my readers but it does pay to get a headstart on preparations, as Camille smartly put it. Plus, it’s always good to have an excuse to go shopping for a new bag, even if it’s for school!

Like you, Camille, I’ve yet to find a bag that looks good, won’t break my back and my bank account, and fits the kitchen sink and my daily essentials. It’s hard to believe but the quest for a bag that ticks all those boxes is an ongoing saga for many women, not just us. When it comes to marrying fashion and function in a bag, it’s still basically unchartered waters. The same goes for finding a backpack or just any bag that will go well with an outfit, Daniel. See if my suggestions will work for both of you.

Leather Backpacks: Classy Carryalls
The easiest solution would be to use a backpack, Camille. If you want to take it a step further, you can go for a genuine or faux leather backpack instead. Leather usually has a smoother finish and, depending on its construction, is less likely to snag on clothing than other materials. The material also makes the bag look more refined in contrast to the usual rugged vibe of backpacks. Additional details like studs, zips, buckles and pockets make the bag look more visually interesting and functional despite its bulk or neutral hue. Camille, since not many leather backpacks offer protection for electronics, keep your laptop in a padded sleeve as a precaution. When you’re scouting for a good backpack (extra tip: check the men’s bags too!), just make sure to keep the dimensions of your items in mind to ensure it can store everything you want.

Satchels: Preppy Traditions
Satchels might not offer as much room as backpacks but they sure look classically preppy and cool. I was lucky enough to find a genuine leather satchel that fits my 15-inch laptop. Because of its structured shape, the satchel makes even the most casual outfits look more dressy and really looks awesome with ankle trousers and a button-down shirt. You do have to make some judicious packing decisions on what to bring as there’s limited space compared to backpacks.

Daniel, this might be something more up your alley as traditionally, satchels have longer, adjustable shoulder straps similar to messenger bags so they hit the hips or thighs. You can sling them diagonally across your body or just on one side. Some satchels also have wrapped straps to avoid chafing. These days, leather satchels come in a whole spectrum of solid colors as well as two-tones so there are plenty to choose from!

Totes: Easy On the Eyes
Last but not the least, I would also suggest tote bags as an option. Compared to satchels and backpacks, tote bags look more versatile and are able to strike a good balance between sophisticated and casual. And yes, Daniel, guys can pull off tote bags too. You just have to find a design and size that works for your school needs and your personal style. Large totes usually have ample room and pockets so space is never really an issue. Some bags are also convertible, having removable shoulder straps that let you wear them like satchels.

I hope my advice will help with your shopping decisions!


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