I’m an admitted handbag junkie. I own probably fifty, with ten or so being heirloom bags that I’ll pass on to my daughter. Unfortunately I hate them all. For years I let fashion determine what type of bag I carried and presently I have a closet full of very nice bags that I refuse to use. Now I’m searching for the perfect bag, and so far have been completely stymied.

My wants are simple. No double straps that leave one strap constantly sliding down. No closure other than a zipper that completely closes the bag because I’m over having my stuff fall out when the bag happens to tip over. No satchels or clutches that can only be hand carried, and on that note, no “shoulder bags” that have such a short strap drop that they sit right in my armpit. Ugh. I don’t want a fat, bulky, bag or too much organization. Stiff, structured bags are out, fragile bags are out, as well as bags that are too small or too huge. I can’t justify buying overpriced designer bags that cost as much as I pay for my house every month.

Also, no boring bags. I have them in all colors, the wilder the better. If there are rhinestones or oversize bows or multicolor paint I want it. My kid says I should just have a rodeo clown follow me around and carry all my stuff.

What does that leave? It sounds simple. I want a single strap purse with an adjustable handle that can either be worn as a shoulder bag or cross-body. It has to be large enough to carry all my stuff, unstructured, and with some panache, casual but nice enough to wear to work. So why have I been searching for months? All the decorated bags are satchels, all the crossbody bags are too small or too huge, all the shoulder bags have straps that are too short, or they’re all just boring, boring, boring – or priced exhorbitantly.

I finally found one bag that is ideal except for the material from which its made, and I’ve been negotiating with leather artisans online to copy it for me. That’s been an adventure. One sells her much more elaborate bags for half of what she wants for making mine. Another says she’ll make custom bags, but keeps trying to sell me bags she’s already made that don’t fit the bill or I would have bought one in the first place. A third keeps saying she never got my email with the specs.

I’m about one step away from taking a class and making my own damn bag.

What’s your perfect bag? Do you own it? If so, did you have trouble finding it?

Wendy Clyde