Nobody knows us better than our bags. They are what we make of them and furthermore, what we put in them. This is why countless types of bags exist — because there are countless types of bag ladies. If clothes maketh the man, than the bag maketh the lady.
  1. The Clutch
    This girl is put together, the right dose of fashionably late and always the one to have the last word in a conversation over farmed fish. She is poised, responsible, and smart enough to know the difference between butter and margarine. She also knows that the only thing a woman needs to bring to dinner is a form of identification, a credit card, Advil, and her keys. She doesn’t need Tide to Go because she’s probably dressed in black. Verdict: She’s Batman.
  2. The Trendy Tote
    The trendy tote-bearer wants you and your grandmother’s mother to know that she purchases all of her books at the Strand. Her idea of a perfect date night is Scrabble and red wine. Ira Glass is her dream man, and of course, she believes that vinyl is the only way to listen to music. Verdict: She leads the Bushwick Community Board.
  3. The Incognito Bag
    She’s convinced that she was the inspiration for the Olympia Le-Tan clutch and is one of the last people on earth to have been seen carrying a money clip. Tony Soprano (RIP) was the other. The Incognito Bag girl has used everything from an empty gum pack to a banana peel for carrying quarters. Verdict: You see a cereal aisle, she sees wall-to-wall accessories.
  4. The Overnight Bag Lady
    This is the friend who hobbles into the restaurant thirty minutes late and proceeds to ask the waiter if she can have an extra chair for her bag. Also, Can he pleaaaaase plug her phone into the nearest outlet? She flew over — probably on a razor scooter — from a 6:30 PM gym class, as evidenced by the overwhelming stench emanating from her bag. She’s also “crashing at your place again,” but she promises to water the plants this time. Verdict: She’s homeless. You love her for it.
  5. The Fanny Pack
    She’s either an American Apparel employee, at a rave, or a tourist in the big city. There are no other options. Verdict: She’s you at ages 19, 20, 21 and 85 respectively.
  6. The Backpack
    The Backpack girl is trendy, and most probably has a creative job that requires her to bring her own laptop to work. She condemns the messenger bag for its contribution to Scoliosis but favors the one-strap backpack look. What gives? Verdict: She used a purse instead of a backpack throughout high school and college and is making up now for lost time.
  7. The Shapeless Satchel
    Between yoga classes during her lunch break, emergency protein bars and a frayed copy of Anna Karenina, the bohemian yet fashion-forward satchel is this woman’s best friend. Her bag may resemble a black hole to the untrained eye, but to fellow shapeless satchel bearers it’s the carrier of all that is good and necessary. She frequents brunch on Sundays but she promises that she’s in it for the food. Verdict: She’s not in it for the food.
  8. The Mod-ish Briefcase
    Contrary to popular belief, the woman toting the mod-ish briefcase is not a lawyer, for they carry clutches (see above description). This girl has a penchant for vintage finds and boasts a costumer plaque hung on a wall within the Warby Parker headquarters. Once a year — usually during the onset of fall — she inspires you to get a pixie cut. And then you remember that you don’t have her quirky flare, doe-eyes, or button nose. Verdict: She is Carey Mulligan.
  9. The It Bag
    This girl believes — and rightfully so — that a bag and good shoes are all one needs to tie an outfit together. All of her advice ends with a Sex and the City quote, and she doesn’t mind taking out a home mortgage in the name of fashion. The verdict: She’s one of us.
  10. The Hands Free
    The “bra-as-bag” wearer is as savvy as Dora the Explorer with a map and a backpack. She knows that cleavage is best put to use while holding a piece of Orbit gum in its midst. She never loses her clutch while out because she doesn’t carry one. She is bound to get far in life, as is anyone with enough confidence to wedge her debit card where the sun don’t shine. Verdict: Either she’ll make the best Maid of Honor — or — she will one day lead the nationwide search for Waldo.