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Best Professional Handbag?

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Going into graduate school where I will be traveling around from school to the hospital etc, I'm looking for a good study professional bag to tote my stuff around in. Anyone have any input or bags you love?

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I love my Swiss Gear laptop backpack! If you're okay with a backpack vs a handbag this is definitely the one I'd recommend. I have it in gray so it's a neutral professional color and the design is pretty sleek so it doesn't look like a bag highschoolers carry. It has a doctor bag style hinged opening which makes it very easy to fill with textbooks, a change of clothes, or anything else. I know three other people who have the same bag and we all love it!

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I've gone through soooooooo many iterations of bags.

Currently, I'm finding that I prefer backpacks. They're easier on my back and shoulders (which have chronic pain), and they leave my hands free if I need to do other things. I'm currently using the Everlane Modern Snap Backpack, which is reasonably priced ($68), durable, water-resistant, and spacious enough to carry all the stuff I need for work every day. It has just enough pockets. (Actually, I would argue that it has one too few pockets.)

Before I started carrying this, I had the Knomo Beauchamp ($179) I LOVE it - durable, water-resistant, with the perfect number of pockets - but it's small. It was absolutely perfect for my work stuff before, but I recently acquired some wireless headphones (Christmas gift) and they stretch the limits of the bookbag. Knomo does sell a bigger one - the Beaufort ($199) - but it's still smaller than my Everlane one and I don't think it would've comfortably fit everything. Plus I liked the price of the Everlane one more.

When I was doing messenger style bags, I really liked the Lo & Sons Brookline ($198). Durable, water-resistant...are you sensing a theme here?...lots of pockets. It's not lightweight, though - it's relatively heavy even when empty. I also found that the jacquard lining inside got dirty very quickly, and it had too many pockets, if such a think is possible. It encouraged me to stuff it. The T.T. is another laptop tote.

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I recommend opting in for a backpack rather than an actual purse. You would be surprised how much heavier everything is when you need to carry your life with you for an entire day. I love my Thule 23L Accent backpack. It's sleek enough that it looks professional and compact without feeling like you have added dimensions. Its the right amount of storage without wasting space, you have space for both a laptop and tablet. There are a few quick access pockets which makes it ideal and when it is overly stuffed it doesn't look like it due to the construction and some crush pockets for items like eyeglasses. If you get a backpack, also get a small crossbody that you can tuck into the bag. It ensures that I'm not always transferring the essentials and nothing is forgotten. It also makes it easier if you have a professional meeting, lunch with an adviser or mentor to look more put together. Make it small and sleek for the essentials if you need to run errands or what you need for a normal weekend. I've lived out of this bag for an entire day (all meals, work & personal laptop, tablet, gym clothing, notebooks and quick change for dinner out), and comfortable enough due to the construction that when stuffed it doesnt feel like it is pulling back on you.

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For a shoulder bag, I really love my longchamp. It's sturdy and roomy. But backpacks are certainly better on the neck/back.

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