The worst purse I ever owned was a cute plaid number with wood handles across the top. I thought the handles would mean that my light, cute purse would be even easier to hold than a version with straps. I was so, so wrong. The handles required me to dedicate one hand solely to holding my dumb bag, instead of using it to carry other things, push elevator buttons, shake hands, dance, or basically do anything at all. I became the Jim Abbott of trying to get through my day. It was a nightmare.
If I could do it over again I'd pick up a Baliloca bag instead. Houston-based Baliloca started when founders Loreto Calderon and David Vuelta-Mitchell were vacationing in Bali and trying to fit the essentials for their day into a bulky bag. The problem was that a bag big enough to hold everything was also annoying to carry around all day.
Their solution is a clever handbag design that slips over the shoulders and hugs the torso like a gun holster. The structure gives the Baliloca bags a bit of a Lara Croft vibe, but you don't have to be a pistol-wielding archaeologist to appreciate them.
The patent-pending design leaves hands free to shop, explore, or just double-fist tropical drinks, and the purse is both secure enough to take on a run and easily accessible to grab something out of the pockets. The double strap means that thieves won't be able to snip them free or pull them off your body, and the leather body and simple look means that the purse, unlike a fanny pack, is stylish enough to go from a day of adventure to a night on the town.
I can picture using it for backpacking abroad but also when biking, at music festivals or on an antiquing trip to Round Top. Bargaining is probably easy when you're feeling a bit like Tomb Raider.