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Avoiding looking like I have the kitchen sink in my bag

(16 Posts)
vvviola Wed 23-Apr-14 08:32:49

New job started today (hurray!)
Smart casual dress code (less of the hurrays but getting my head around it)

Realised another issue:
I get the bus to work, then walk along a wooden walkway which looks like it has the potential to be slippy when wet (heading for a NZ winter, wet weather will be pretty common). I also have a 10 minute walk to the bus. My feet are cut to pieces after doing that in heels today.

So will probably want to commit what I am sure is a massive fashion faux pas and wear runners until I get to work. So shoes will need to fit in bag. Plus book and occasionally knitting for the commute. And most days a packed lunch too.

Even the biggest bag I have will just look overstuffed and dreadful with all that in it. Is my only option a rucksack?

I am attempting to look a bit more put together and groomed, but all my nice handbags are just too small.

singaporeswing Wed 23-Apr-14 08:54:03

Are you able to leave shoes in the office? Half of my shoes live under my desk at work!

That would immediately cut down on quite a bit of room. Maybe you need a different style of bag? I have a tote and it holds a lot of stuff.

My DSis bought a really cute lunchbox from ASOS that has different storage compartments but doesn't take up much room.

Congrats on the new job!

AmberNectarine Wed 23-Apr-14 08:57:58

I usually do small bag and rucksack. Pretty common here in London.

specialsubject Wed 23-Apr-14 12:29:02

leave the fluffy shoes at work and travel in trainers. Anyone who isn't a fashion victim does that. Carry a rucksack, better for your back.

I thought Kiwis dressed for the conditions? Don't be a JAFA... :-)

HellonHeels Wed 23-Apr-14 12:39:49

I go to work in trainers. Selection of heels / boots in desk drawer or under the desk.

I have a large-ish handbag that will fit a sandwich box, piece of fruit, book plus usual necessary stuff without looking overstuffed, but most days I am carrying a gym bag and don't bother with a handbag as well.

If I'm not going to the gym but have lots of stuff to carry, I usually go with AmberNectarine's plan of handbag + backpack (or, actually in my case one of those scruffy cotton promotional bags from a conference or something blush )

HellonHeels Wed 23-Apr-14 12:43:31

oh vvv just seen it's you!

What are you wearing?

Artandco Wed 23-Apr-14 12:48:43

I would just scrap the heels tbh. Smart casual you can wear boots/ flats etc

I wearing smart casual for meeting soon and it's light grey silk blouse tucked into cream pencil skirt, with light grey leather moccasins. I have a white blazer also as chilly.

In winter I will offer wear smart skirt/ dress with knee high boots. Usually only small heel as also wear running after my children.

A regular large bag is fine. I like mine to be split into two sections inside soni can put laptop ( small 11'')/ work stuff in one half and personal in other. Get a large but thin lunch box rather than small but square. Most Tupperware types ie siestma sell

letsgetfreshbaby Wed 23-Apr-14 12:59:56

Ok, you have options. BTW, I always did trainers or flat winter boots to work and then heels in the office.

Back Pack and bag - good for your back
Back pack and leave hand bag at work - take wallet out of back pack and put in bag when you get to work.
Tote bag - you can get some lovely really fashionable ones. that might fit everything you want and leave room to spare.

I have to tell you that I quite regularly seen with a Lap top bag (on wheeles) sort of like this one but not pink and a small handbag. Result I don�t have to carry the big bag on my back and I can fit everything in it. Double bonus that I can take the wheels off if I need to cart a load of stuff between offices or boardrooms etc.

Best option for shoes is often to leave them in your draw at work. Get to work take trainers off and put work shoes on.

I leave heels at work, and travel in Converse or boots.
I have a small (tiny) handbag and then either a leather tote or fabric shopper for the other stuff (marking, lunch box etc).

I'm not 100% taken with this though tbh, and have been wondering about trying to find a nice fabric tote bag with lots of pockets and a big inner section - the leather one is just too heavy. No joy so far though - the only one I've found akin to what is in my head was a Kipling one, but it was very ugly.

unintentionalthreadkiller Wed 23-Apr-14 13:52:02

I have a humungous tote bag from Joules - fits everything including my laptop, but I leave my shoes in the office. I have an archive box next to my desk full of shoes that I never wear

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 23-Apr-14 13:56:53

Don't be a JAFA

What's that? Is it rude ?

HellonHeels Wed 23-Apr-14 14:59:28

JAFA = pejorative term for person from Auckland (New Zealand's largest, brashest city)

Just another fucking Aucklander grin

vvviola Wed 23-Apr-14 17:46:09

Specialsubject - I have found that Kiwis dress excellently for the conditions when it comes to outdoor activities. Work clothes, not as much. And the amount of my friends that do not actually own a coat is astounding (they figure it doesn't get cold enough). I don't think I count as a JAFA anyway, being Irish and all grin

Thanks for all the suggestions. Shall look through them and have a think.

Artandco - I have a few pairs of flat-ish shoes (and none of my shoes are sky high, I'm just not very coordinated), but most of my smart shoes have heels of some sort and there's no potential to buy more at the moment, so I need to work with what I have.

HellOnHeels - thanks for remembering me (spotted you on the other thread and then promptly forgot to reply). I wore the red top/skirt suit combo yesterday and today will wear one of the long sleeve jersey dresses (hurray for the weather turning colder!). Totally threw me when I went into the office yesterday and all of them (including she of the stunning shift dress) were in jeans!! But I think it was because it's a 2 day week, there's no students around and half the staff are away.

vvviola Thu 24-Apr-14 08:41:25

Ok, going through the various options (and honestly not trying to be difficult, just thinking them through):

Large tote bag: possibility I suppose. Especially if I pick up a thin lunch box. Cons: stuff getting lost/crushed down the bottom/never being able to find my phone/keys. Pros: one bag

Handbag + backpack: I'm congenitally clumsy. Having to manage handbag/backpack/travel card/possibly coffee while I get on the bus is a recipe for disaster and dropped things.

Handbag at work: I will inevitably leave wallet/keys/something crucial in the bag

Leave shoes at work: possible. Did it in my old job. To the extent that I discovered shoes in my office when I left that I thought had been lost 2 years previously. But would certainly be an option if I remembered to take them home occasionally.

Maybe the option is to leave some shoes at work (maybe my standard black court shoes) and then bring in shoes if I need something different for a specific outfit. And then use a (pretty?) backpack with some kind of handbag organiser/clutch bag that I can take in and out, drop into other bags at the weekend, or use on its own when going to meetings/running out for lunch or something.

I know I'm probably over thinking all this, but I ended up getting into a rut and being quite scruffy in my last job and I don't want to get like that this time around (partly because I'm older now and I don't think I can get away with it£

Re the stuff getting lost in bag thing - buy clear cases from Muji and have one for purse and keys / one for make up / one for pens etc.

Artandco Thu 24-Apr-14 10:21:00

Large tote as you suggested but use smaller organiser/ bag inside. Ie a wash bag would be fine to keep keys/ money/ phone easy to find. And a canvas material light bag to put shoes in so dirt doesn't go on anything

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