Size Matters

October 7, 2010 at 7:46 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 9 Comments
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some from my collection


We all know that women have love affairs with their purses.  They can’t get enough of them.  Purses are like crack, covered in peanut butter, then dipped in chocolate, and then fried to perfection.  You can tell a lot about a woman by her purse, and by the contents of her purse.  I’ve recently found that you can even tell the age range of a woman by one particular aspect of her purse — it’s size.

Now, I want to make this clear. I’m not talking about the clutch she takes for a night out on the town, or her hoe bag that she keeps in the trunk of her car for if she doesn’t plan on going home.  I’m talking about the every day, “I need to carry my life in a bag” purse.  Every girl has one.  You may switch it up a bit, but there is that one purse that gets more lovin’ than others. And of course, there are exceptions to the rule.

I first started carrying a purse regularly when I was in 7th or 8th grade.  At that point, they were small, plastic, square-like things.  What did I really have to carry with me everyday?  Nothing really.  Maybe some lip gloss and a few bucks (this was way before pre-teens had cell phones).  I really carried a purse just to feel more grown up.

As I’ve gotten older, my purse has gotten bigger and more purposeful.  You require more and more things to be with you all day long.  Today, my purse holds my wallet, my change purse, my ipod, my phone, my blackberry (yes, two different things for me), my lip gloss, and my keys.

I have taken my belief to the streets.  Every day on the subway, I examine the purses around me.  I guess the age of the owner of the purse, and then I look to her face for validation (interesting way to make my commute go by, I know).  I can tell if a woman is in her 30s, 40s, or 50s just by the size of her purse.  I haven’t been keeping score, but I bet I have been pretty accurate (it’s not like I can actually go up to these women and ask how old they are. That would be really rude).

I’m currently in the market for a new purse, having worn my other daily purse out (RIP dark pink Dana Buchman).  When I shop for a new purse, I do what every girl does — I try it on.  It has to feel just right and look just right on my arm.   If it looks too big, it’s a goner.  I shop all over the place for purses — Kohl’s, Annie Sez, Aldo, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, DSW, Nine West.  I saw an ad the other day for Tiffany & Co, now selling purses!  I’ll search the world for just the right purse and the right size (and well, the right price kind of matters).

The brand of a purse may tell you how high or low maintenance a woman is, or how much money she makes.  The color of a purse may tell you that she is adventurous, or conservative.  The detail of a purse may tell you that she’s artistic, classic, gothic, or divalicious.  But it’s the size of the purse that matters when it comes to age.


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  1. great post! I have a constant ‘hoe bag’. Shoes, food, make-up, extra clothes, workout clothes, first aid kit, books, water bottle, wallet, ipod, phone keys.

    I kept a usual ‘hoe bag’ in my early 20’s, I loved to couch surf (not bed hop, there’s a difference). But in my late 20’s, I’m having a hard time letting go of my wild ways. I do use everything in my bag, every day. I think I’ve only had 2 impromptu sleepovers (at JANES) this year. I do have an insane amount of purses, but my favorite is my big giant black hobo knock off from Canal St. But I never want to carry more than one bag at a time, so everything better fit. I see these older women carrying 3 or 4 at a time, get a hoe bag girrrrl!

    How old do you think someone is with a giant bag?

    • LOL, You are so wild! A giant bag? It depends on how old the bag is, but typically speaking, I’d say 50s.

      • 50?? well, yeah. That’s about right 😉

  2. […] Dana at Pushing Thirtyy on that that most sacred female domain: the purse. […]

  3. I only bring out my huge purse when I need to do a full day of shopping and I don’t want to carry reusable bags.

    Other than that, I prefer no purse to a medium-sized purse.

    Small purses don’t do it for me unless I’m going to an event because it’s either I go minimalist or I need room in my purse to find what the heck I need. I hate squishing things in and then pulling out my wallet and seeing everything explode like in a cartoon.

  4. I’m like the above commenter. Constantly have a huge hoe bag because it just fits so much! It’s perfect. (And I’m in my 20s.)

    • it’s perfectly acceptable for your daily bag to actually be a hoe bag, as long as it is defined as such 🙂

  5. Seriously LOVE this post!!! My purses *are* getting bigger! And I think I will forgo buying a diaper bag when the next baby comes and just buy a REALLY big purse! CUTE blog!!!

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