Girls live in so much fear already; their bag shouldn’t create more.

– Melissa Shin, Co-Founder of Dagne Dover

Look in a woman’s bag and you will know her life story. Growing up my mum always had the largest, most simple bags around. She’d wear them out to the point she’d find wads of money hidden in the ripped lined pockets. Money that she was positive must have slipped out or gotten lost doing her many errands. Everything was inside that bag, and I feared if she ever got mugged our life would be gone with it. Handwritten address books, house keys, briefcase keys, garage opener, days old mail, coupons, old birthday cards, a wallet, lipstick, and other knick knacks that seemed unnecessary but once removed you suddenly needed it. Eversince, I’ve vowed never to own a large bag. Well, if you’ve ever met me you’d know I never kept that vow.

In the time we live in we have to carry so much more than before – laptops, reusable shopping bags, phone, writing utensils, books, magazines, extra clothes. With the necessities list growing, for some reason our handbags have just gotten prettier but not more practical. Recently I chatted with Dagne Dover Co-Founder, Melissa Shin [the other founders include Jessica Dover (hence the DOVER in Dagne) and Deepa Gandhi] on the evolution of the bag, or lack thereof, “Bags still have those same, stupid three pockets that were there in the 1920s that do nothing for us. Everything needs to adapt to women’s modern lifestyle.”

Why? That question has a loaded response, but simply put, the world seems to think that they know exactly what women want and need, without asking. And when they do ask, they don’t seem to listen. Dagne Dover on the other hand not only asked, but listened. The brand, comprised of smart, creative women understand the woes of a daily handbag – weight, design, comfort, quality – took the research process outside of their comfort zone. By creating focus groups comprised of diverse women, they discovered other problems that these fancy schmancy bags weren’t addressing. “We really wanted to solve that one major problem a first, which is that us, and every girl that we knew, just needed a go-to bag that we could wear every day. That they could wear in the rain and could carry their laptop in,” Melissa said. “Speaking with a lot of people first hand they said, “I carry a Longchamp because it’s really big. It’s lightweight. It’s the right price. But I kind of feel I look really juvenile when I wear it around.” Or other times they’d tell us that their bag is making too much of a statement, and want something I know looks good and can rely on.”

And those Dagne Dover totes look damn good, besides their many other pros. Like a detachable strap for your keys, so you always know where they are. Cushioned sleeve for your laptop AND tablet. Cell phone slot. Pen slots. A coated canvas for easy cleaning.  Removable water bottle or umbrella holder. Sleek yet heavy duty hardware that zips close rather than busts even when there is clearly too much inside. Use up the roughly a 10” drop for your extras, or keep that space empty if you like to see the bottom of your handbag. But the best part of owning a Dagne Dover “The Tote” (besides it being able to hold your entire life and then some) are the compliments. Even when you are looking your worst (which I do more times than anyone should ever admit to), your tote will still reign in all the compliments.

Don’t believe me, get a tote and experience the power of Dagne Dover for yourself.