Bags

The Ironic Boat and Tote

I never get tired of looking at pictures of L.L.Bean’s iconic Boat and Tote. I take notice when I see them out in public. When I’m home, I conduct my search for vintage and one-of-a-kind totes via the #boatandtote Instagram feed. (Apparently, they are a hot commodity in Japan.) But these days, I’ve been gravitating to another hashtag. Scrolling through the #ironicboatandtote feed has proven therapeutic. I don’t believe in trends, but there’s a way to turn this one classic.

Although Air-Mail-writer Gracie Wiener wasn’t the first person to have her Boat and Totes monogrammed with text other than her name, she has made the trend viral. I wouldn’t be so bold as to emblazon The Heiress or PRADA on a timeless accessory, but I don’t see anything wrong with requesting a non-name monogram that is equally as timeless. The text should be carefully selected. Does this monogram have personal meaning? Will I tote it around next year? What about the year after? Is it crass? (A winning answer key: yes; yes; yes; no.)

Opting again for the Editrix monogram, I finally purchased the L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles. You may recall that I had my eyes on it in April 2021. This is my second Boat and Tote with this monogram (the extra-large tote being the first). I have a few other classic monograms in mind, but this one means the most.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean medium Boat and Tote with long handles

The Bigger Carry-On by AWAY

Further Reading

The Boat and Tote and Me (Air Mail)

A Preppy Staple Got an Ironic Makeover This Summer (Vogue)

The Rise of the Ironic Boat and Tote (Harper’s Bazaar)

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote: Art Supplies Repository

An extra-large L.L.Bean boat and tote

It’s official: I now own at least one L.L.Bean Boat and Tote in all four sizes. The extra-large tote (my first) has arrived to help me return to my creative roots. As a child, I was fortunate to have a playroom that encouraged my artistic expression. I painted on paper affixed to my easel but also on the walls—only on the walls of the playroom, not on walls in any other part of the house. I don’t have a room set aside for the purpose of art now, and, until recently, my supplies were stowed out of sight in closets and woven seagrass baskets. Out of sight, out of mind. Eventually, I realized that my art supplies needed to be stored in a highly-visible place if I wanted to use them more often. The extra-large Boat and Tote personalized with Editrix provided a viable solution.

The dimensions of the extra-large tote are 17″H x 19″W x 10″D; it’s imposing as totes are concerned. Its capacity is 56 liters, substantial enough to hold an array of watercolors, watercolor pencils, sketching pencils, colored pencils, pens, Sharpies, pads of paper, a calligraphy instruction book, a Paris-themed coloring book, and whatever non-art-related book I am currently reading. The tote, filled to the brim, sits beside one of my bookshelves. It’s impossible to ignore. The title, Editrix, embroidered on the front reminds me daily of my artistic purpose and encourages me to fulfill it.

Works Sighted

L.L.Bean Boat and Tote

The Leatherology Edit

Leather keychain

My urgent need for a new keychain led me to Leatherology. I’d included some of the company’s products in past collages on the blog but only recently made my first purchase—the circle keychain. I decided to order it in electric blue with light gold hardware and a gold monogram. When it comes to style, no detail is too small to overlook.

As I perused other products on the site, it became clear that Leatherology’s design team prioritizes functionality. Founders Rae and David Liu “draw inspiration from [their] daily routines to design fresh and familiar pieces to enhance [the] everyday.” I can’t think of anywhere else to buy a sophisticated, travel-sized tissue holder. The website is incredibly user-friendly and allows customers to preview their monogram on item(s) of their choice prior to purchasing. Personalized purchases aren’t returnable, but the preview feature will allow you to add your initials to any product with confidence.

Works Sighted

cirlce keychain // lipstick case // small tech bag

small accessories pouch // passport holder // small crossbody

tissue holder // belt bag // cord wrap set

The Neely & Chloe Edit

Leather goods by Neely and Chloe Burch

Although I can’t recall when I first became acquainted with Neely & Chloe, I remember that it was the mini lady bag that sold me. It reminded me of the Mark Cross overnight case that Lisa Carol Fremont (played by Grace Kelly) carries in Rear Window (1954). The lady bag and the overnight case differ in size and price, but they both embody the same classic spirit.

Sisters Neely and Chloe Burch established their brand in 2015. One of the founders stated the following in a behind-the-scenes video: “The product should be more about you than it is about us. That’s why the logos are all on the inside of the bag.” In a society ruled by consumerism and fast fashion, it takes some effort on the part of the consumer to seek out designers with this mindset. The products in this edit speak for themselves:

mini lady bag // Out to lunch at La Grande Boucherie.

laptop sleeve // Working remotely from Ralph’s.

billfold // Picking up a book at Albertine.

small vanity case // Montauk for the weekend.

ring tab // Home sweet home.

large vanity case // Disconnecting in Tahiti.

Further Reading

New York Guide

Get to Know Neely & Chloe Burch, the Sister’s Behind the Chic & Affordable Accessories Line (Making it in Manhattan)

Tory Burch’s nieces have a collection of cool handbags that won’t break the millennial wallet (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

My Modern Picnic Edit

Top-handle lunch bags by Modern Picnic

Although returning to in-person work isn’t without its challenges, packing a lunch shouldn’t be one of them. The first step to planning my midday meal is to acquire a bag in which to carry it. I’ve been eyeing the stylish offerings at Modern Picnic for months. Videos of chic New Yorkers filling their bags with food are available to watch on the website as well as on YouTube. The MP models seem to glide through their day without a hair out of place. Perhaps I can do the same. I’m hoping that a stylish lunch bag filled with food and sparkling water will make it easier for me to adjust to office life again. I’ve narrowed down my selection. Now I just have to choose three two one.

Works Sighted

luncher (black bamboo) // large luncher (cream) // luncher (navy)

pouch (black faux crocodile) // luncher (blush) // large luncher (black faux crocodile)

Kayu Edit # 2

straw totes and sandals

My Kayu journey began last spring when I purchased a tote named Behati (since sold out). Although I’m not in the market for anther straw tote right now, I check the website periodically to update my wish list. Keeping my lists current for all of my favorite brands is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job as a blogger. Four of the items I’ve rounded up are sold out at the moment, but I reckon they’ll be restocked. I realized in my stalking of the Arianne clutch that items disappear and reappear online like the California tide. You simply have to keep a watchful eye.

Works Sighted

St. Tropez tote (black) // mini Sur tote + mini tote liner (cream) // Athena sandal (gold)

St. Tropez tote (cream) // Athena sandal (black) // mini St. Tropez tote (cream)

Athena sandal (natural) // Sur tote // mini St. Tropez tote (black)