Hooked on my new fashion statement

By Andy Winemiller - awinemiller@civitasmedia.com

I’ve never been one for accessorizing. I don’t much care what I look like, and I can’t stand wearing jewelry. However, I recently picked up an accessory I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Women’s purses, pocketbooks or handbags — whatever we are calling them these days — have always mystified me. There’s such a variance in the sizes, colors and other attributes from what one woman might carry to the next.

Admittedly, I look at purses and think that’s pretty or that’s horrendous. I’m comfortable enough with myself to proclaim that I admire a nice purse. They can be an eye-catcher.

I only carried a purse once, with the exception of the occasions on which I hold my wife’s, but her taste and mine in purses differs greatly. That stated, prior to about two weeks ago we would have agreed on one thing — nobody wants to lug around a huge purse.

In 2014, I carried a purse for the Pirate Pub Crawl in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a good time. The pre-game for the event began quite early at a friend’s house. It was during that mimosa-filled breakfast that the idea was hatched. I would dress as a pirate wench.

Friends, I make a huge woman. My broad shoulders just don’t look right in spaghetti straps. At the time, my calves were quite muscular too. From head to toe, I’d say a short dress and fishnet stockings aren’t exactly my look. I did get a compliment on my hair, which, of course, wasn’t actually mine.

I carried a purse too. After all, I would need identification and a debit card for a pub crawl. I went with small and a simple black. Eventually, I ditched the purse and kept the cards in my underwear.

Back to my new fashion accessory. The woman carrying a huge purse always befuddled me. I wondered, Why lug such a thing around? Does she request an extra seat on the plane for that thing? What could she possibly have in there?

I never understood a big purse, but my eyes have been opened. I’ve seen the light. I now understand why granny goes nowhere without that purse which rivals my Army rucksack in size.

It’s extremely convenient.

The latest addition to my wardrobe is a bag very similar to a large purse. I’m happy to say almost everywhere I go I now sport a diaper bag, and it’s opened my eyes to just how handy a large purse could be.

I really do love my diaper bag. Whoever got it for me, really knows me. They went with nice natural colors. I’m no fashion expert, but I’m pretty sure the gray and off-white zig-zag pattern matches just about everything.

At first, I had concerns regarding where I’d put the bag, the possibility of leaving the bag behind somewhere and whether it would weigh me down in the case of an emergency.

They’ve all been over-shadowed, however, by the bag’s usefulness.

Men are playing from behind the eight-ball when it comes to this. We get a wallet and some pockets. What can one really fit in there? The answer is not much, and a good man-purse can cost hundreds of dollars.

The new addition to my wardrobe, however, is a game-changer. In the abyss of that diaper bag one can store so many things. Of course, there’s room for diapers, baby wipes and an extra outfit, but there’s room for so much more.

I find myself putting my wallet in there. It’s nice to sit in a chair without three inches of credit, membership and gift cards and old receipts jabbing into my buttocks. There’s also room for my phone, which never seems to have a convenient home in the four pockets offered by my slacks.

I put my swim suit in it last week when my parents were visiting. How handy that was to have somewhere to stick an article of clothing that would have otherwise removed one of my hands from use.

A bottle of wine and a picnic lunch would fit nicely in the bag. For more discreet occasions, like the family outing nobody actually wants to be at, my diaper bag has a perfect pocket for a pint of cheap vodka.

Many other uses come to mind. For a concealed-carry permit holder the bag could be a perfect place to tote one’s manner of personal protection.

I could put my Yorkie in there when she tags along for a journey.

Now, back to the gist of this whole piece. I really have become a fan of my diaper bag. I used to poke fun at the woman with a handbag the size of a small child, and the dad toting a diaper bag and chasing three kids around Wal-Mart. I get it now, and I’ll go nowhere without my diaper bag for the next couple of years. After that, I may have to fork over the coin for one of those fancy man-purses.

And by the way, the baby that came with the bag is pretty cool, too.


By Andy Winemiller


Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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