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Nice one champ

The perfect travelling companion

When I was in New York, my suitcase broke. It wasn’t anything majorly expensive, just a $65 Kmart run of the mill black suitcase but it had been with me to Europe and Asia so it felt like an old travelling friend. It broke as I was leaving my accomodation to head to JFK airport and my flight home. I had carefully jammed an enormous amount of stuff into it, sweated through panic attacks that there was too much and it would be too heavy to take on, and finally managed to zip it up without having it burst at the seams. I’m standing at the top of the stair case when all of a sudden the screws come loose and I’m left with barely any way to pick it up, as it has no side handle.

I have about four hours before I’m due on plane but barely any idea where to buy a new one so quickly. Every bag I was carrying was absolutely jammed to the hilt – the suitcase, my LV Speedy and this ghastly orange and white striped flimsy Mimco tote that had come free with some magazine at one time. Elegant I was not. My every day preference for smaller handbags was not helping me out here and the vinyl seams of the Mimco bag were straining under the weight of various magazines, journals and other things I just couldn’t leave behind. I was a mess.

Over the previous three weeks I had seen tens of girls around NYC carrying the fold up Longchamp bags in every possible shade and size. I’d really never given them much thought before, nylon bags really weren’t my style. But I was constantly blown away by just how many ladies had one and I even took to counting them when I was on a bus trip around the city. I must have got well over a dozen in just a couple of hours. When I saw some bright young thing carrying a khaki version somewhere on the Upper West Side, that did it for me. I wanted one.

I made the mistake of not purchasing one at Bloomingdales when I was there and then I couldn’t buy one duty free at JFK because I had a stop over in Los Angeles. I kept thinking about the bags though and for my birthday a few days after my return, I got my parents to buy me one (except I went and bought it and they gave me the money. That’s how birthdays work when you get old). David Jones stocks them but they had a limited range and the khaki I wanted wasn’t in stock in the larger size with the longer leather handles. For me the long handle is crucial because i wanted a bag I could sling over my shoulder, not just cradle heavily in the crook of my arm.

The lovely sales assistant at DJs took pity on me and told me they actually source their Longchamp bags from Hunt Leather in Melbourne, as they are the official importer. So I headed on over to Collins Street and lo and behold, they had the exact one I wanted. They also had a navy version that tempted me but ultimately I’m happy I went with the green because it works well with the colours I mostly wear.

The Longchamp Le Pliage tote is hands down one of the best purchases I have ever made and something that has already made the trips I’ve undertaken since returning from New York easier and more chic. Firstly it folds up into almost nothing so if you don’t take much in the way of carry on when you are flying to somewhere, you can easily throw it in your suitcase then load up for the return trip. The bags are exceptionally roomy, very light and have a zip closure meaning your stuff is secure. The nylon makes it easy to clean and the leather handles add that something special to the look. The bag is just quality all round and the absolute perfect travelling companion – mine has been stuffed full of books and magazines and it still has plenty of space free.

For years I dismissed these types of bags but I’m very glad I re-thought it. From memory mine was about $160 which may seem expensive but I assure you, worth every single cent. I’ve used and abused plenty of those magazine freebies before but there really is something to be said for making an investment purchase on an item you know you will get plenty of use out of. I’m already planning on buying my mum one for her birthday as they are just so damn handy. Owning one of these earlier probably wouldn’t have saved me from thre indignity of my cheap suitcase coming to bits but geez, I would have looked a whole lot smarter watching it happen.

The BEST holidays

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