The Emerald City definitely has a Bag Culture. I was chatting with a friend at work about it, and we agreed that it has something to do with not having a car. Back in the day, I could keep a spare sweater, some snacks, a change of shoes, some groceries, and a small child in the car. Now, sans car, everything goes in The Bag, which is now considerably larger than my formerly famously small bags.
And, perhaps because it's a fairly important piece of gear, perhaps because it's a rather prominent accoutrement, perhaps just because, bags tend to be, well, Bags. Flashy name, to-die-for leather, high fashion or total classic or all of the above, a Bag is an Investment. Or something.
Anyway, as implied above, I've been an abnormally-small bag woman most of my life, and also Cheap. I'd maybe bought a total of what, 10? 8? purses in my life before moving here. In other words, really not at all equipped or trained for buying Bags. I bought a very basic, not very expensive, predictably black bag when we first arrived and have carried it nearly daily since, but it's beginning to show some wear and tear, and not showing them well. I've also discovered that I'm not a bucket-bag person--I want dividers, I want pockets, and I'm not taking no for an answer. The Beginners Black bag (not quite deserving of the Bag label) has an interior pocket, but no real dividers, and I've spent hours and hours fishing around in the bottom of my bag, shoving shoes and scarves and snacks out of the way, searching for whatever smallish item I need that's lurking in the bottom, hiding with its friends.
So I bought a Bag. Or TFL gave me a Bag for Valentine's Day. Not sure which, but anyway, the Bag arrived via Zappos. It has dividers, and to-die-for leather, and just barely qualifies as a Bag if we're going to be honest about it. (Oh, let's be honest.) Weirdly, the word that comes to mind when you see this Bag isn't elegant or professional or luxurious or even fun--it's "edgy." Which is not actually what I was going for, but I think it works. When in doubt, I'll just pet the oh-so-soft leather.