My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

14/08/2014 16:32 | Updated 22 May 2015

You've got your handbag and then your OTHER bag - the one that carries all the practical stuff and never moans a jot. Anna Hart on the rise of the overflow handbag and what it says about you...

The modern woman is too much for just one handbag. In 2013, most of us carry "overflow bags" as well as our "primary" handbags, something that would baffle our mums and grandmothers. We are officially bag ladies.

And what's in our second bags? It might be a gymkit, lunch, laptop, work documents, books, a spare outfit (we're staying at our boyfriend's), essential new Topshop purchases or a spare pair of crippling/comfy shoes (whatever we're not wearing) for after hours.

For urban women with extracurricular (yoga, travel, er, going to the pub), it's now normal to cart around up to 19 hours worth of ladystuff on her person at all times. With our two bags, we are ready for anything.

The overflow bag comes into its own in cities too big for us to "nip home" after work before going to the gym or out for dinner. In cities, nobody "nips" or "pops" anywhere, and we have the second bags to show for it. Obviously if you have a car you can get away with one bag, but that's cheating, because you're using your car essentially as a huge metal second bag anyway.

The overflow handbag is here to stay, so here's our rundown of the second bags currently dominating the high street...

My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

The Longchamp Le Pliage

Smart, affordable, indestructible and officially hip in a "nineties mum" way, these as ubiquitous as Kettle crisps. In Milan even men carry them in jaunty shades of lemon and coral. It's a good look.

My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

The Vuitton Tote

Ooh! Check you! Your second bag is a Ferrari. We are DESPERATE to catch a glimpse of your first...

My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

Canvas Daunt Books

You're no book-reader. You're a Sartorialist reader, channelling model Anouck Lepere, who was snapped alongside then-fiance Jefferson Hack outside the Tuileries, a Daunt cloth book bag dangling nonchalantly from one wrist. Still the second bag of choice for celebs and fashionistas determined to out-cool their friends with Vuitton Totes.

My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

Marni for H&M bag

...or any other H&M designer collaboration bag, because this is second bag heaven for organised fashion obsessives. It tells people you know your designer shizz and will get up at 7am to join a disorderly queue on Regent Street, but you're too down to earth a gal to spend more than £75 on a bag for sweaty Reeboks.

My Other Bag: The Rise Of The Overflow Handbag

Vintage leather backpack from Urban Outfitters

You bought this for Latitude, inspired by pics of Coachella, and just haven't been able to give it up. You can walk in a straight line! You feel symmetrical for the first time in years! Shopping now feels like physio. You secretly wish this was your primary bag. We get it.

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