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By XO JANE/Amber Rambharose
May 03, 2016 @ 11:30 am
Courtesy Moleskin

I've been carrying the same once-actually-very-nice-but-now-incredibly-dingy leather tote bag for a long, long time. It's not because I especially love this bag above all others or because it has some deep sentimental value. No, I've slammed this poor thing around for two years simply because it can hold all my crap. 


I shouldn't speak ill of the dead (and this is bag is so very dead) because being my “work bag” is no easy feat. I went to Nordstrom Rack several months ago and bought a gorgeous Steve Madden leather backpack and you know what happened? It lasted two weeks and then snapped like the protagonist of a particularly heinous Lifetime Original TV Movie. After that, it was right back to ye ole faithful tote which carries, with neither complaint nor torn strap, the following daily haul:

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My laptop,
My pencil case,
Books I am reading,
Books I am writing in (one leather bound journal, two spiral college ruled notebook, two purple Moleskines, and one day planner)
Two cell phone chargers (because if I lose one, I'm screwed okay?!), 
Innumerable half-empty Altoids tins (at last count, four), 
However many pens do not fit into my pencil case, and 
Three different post-it notepads in different colors 

Listen, I've been looking. I've been putting myself out there emotionally. I'm ready for a new bag, I'm available, I'm not the problem. The problem is that any bag cavernous enough to hold all of the above daily necessities, is either ugly canvas or shiny patent leather or extremely heavy or monstrously expensive. 

Thanks, but no thanks. 

I would rather pluck the lining off the straps of my pale, blown out tote than carry something plasticine or canvas or stupid heavy. Also, I resent tassels and I don't care what the surging tide of fashion dictates, I will not embrace fringe. My arms are wide open to other 70's inspired looks, but I will never, ever abide by fringe.  I should be less picky. If I wasn't stubbornly entrenched in writing everything down and writing it in coded color and having something to read at all times, I wouldn't still be dragging the same thrashed tote around, but when what you carry defines who you are, when the tools for doing who you're passionate about rest on shoulders, you're not going to dump them into just anything right? You're going to want options. And secret inner compartments. 

(Priorities, babes.)

Which brings me to this field of tulips. 


I am carrying a new tote bag — through a field of tulips that I am perfectly color coordinated with, totally on accident and not at all on purpose — and will probably be carrying this tote until it's as trashed as its predecessor because it's made by Moleskine and is made like a Moleskine


On Wednesday, Tynan — using absolutely flawless logic — revealed to the world that he is Taylor Swift because Taylor's favorite candle is made by his favorite perfumer in that very Tynan way he has of making me want to buy luxury goods. I want that tree house candle real bad and I'm not even sure how to pronounce Breydo. I won't buy brand name cereal, but I'll spend $80 on a candle or $20 on a notebook. Seeing something new made by one of your favorite brands is exciting, especially when said new thing is filled with little cues to its heritage. 


The bags in Moleskine's brand new Lineage Line — that's what it's called. As fancy as acid-free paper, no? — all have the quiet, minimal details that the brand's notebooks are so famous for: smooth exterior, delicate pale stitching, clean lines and functionality, and AGAIN, ICYMI, DID YOU SEE THE IN CASE OF LOSS LABEL ON THE INSIDE?! 

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When it comes to a leather bag made by the brand that makes my favorite $20 notebooks, I'm willing to throw some cash money at the situation. These are luxury bags, mind you, and I have a weird sense of self-worth wrapped up in luxury things. Plus, the smell of good leather makes me swoon (literally, my eyes flutter a bit and Dan has given me “that look.” It happened on Facebook Live once) and this bag — the Leather Lineage Tote ($190) — is good leather.


Do me a favor and glance back up at that monster list of “stuff-I-can't-leave-the-house-without-because-I'm-anachronistically-neurotic,” and then tell me you are not surprised that I can fit ALL THAT NOISE into this slim, not-at-all-bulging bag. 


This tote is good leather, but not heavy leather so you can throw a ton of stuff into it without extra-tweaking your back. If you're smarter than I am and don't lug your whole life around in a tote bag, Moleskine's Lineage Line also makes a messenger bag, reporter bag, backpack, and briefcase (but, honestly, if you're not murdering women and getting incredibly homoerotic-rage-y about your business cards, then you probably don't carry a briefcase) all in leather, all with the best-loved, “In case of loss, please return to” label inside which breaks your heart just a tiny bit, doesn't it? 

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Because it's like the smallest little plea of a poem? 

Yeah, me too.