It’s only when you’ve had children that you realise just how unnecessary most of the kit is that accompanies the contemporary infant. And among the most unnecessary of all are the special baby bags that every new mother feels obliged to own, with a space for a changing mat and pockets to hold bottles and room for nappies. I can rarely see the things without wanting to accost the women who carry them and hiss: you do realise you don’t need this? Because you don’t.
What you need is a bag big enough to hold two or three nappies and a packet of wipes, a couple of bottles and a folded changing mat. And you know what? A big handbag will do the job perfectly well, even the changing mat. There is nothing cooler than accommodating a baby into your everyday wardrobe and one thing most of us possess is a big bag. Make it generous enough, and it’ll not only fit the baby, it’ll stand you in perfectly good stead for civilian life, post-infancy.
Whether you go down the canvas or leather route can depend on the season. Summer is the time you can unleash breezy cottons into your wardrobes and bags are no different in this respect. Leather, as used by IKKS for its capacious handbag, will see you through the seasons but fare less well on the beach (you’ll be hoovering sand from its depths well into autumn) unless your name is Marc Jacobs and a) you won’t go anywhere without your Hermes Birkin and b) someone else will do your bag-hoovering for you. The answer is probably to own a selection. Okay, it means getting a bit of a work-out if you forget the golden rule – just because it will fit in, doesn’t mean that it should fit in – and you overstuff your gorgeous bag, but what is all that gym work for anyway?
The benefits of big bag really show themselves in the summer months. What we all need is a holdall that will masquerade as a handbag when it comes to check-in – especially if you entire mini-break can fit into your hand luggage. It is also a way to combine a summer shopping bag (practical) with a shape and colour that fits right in with your outfit rather than simply going along with it (fashion hit).