I am a newbie at the whole commuting thing. Up until moving to SF I had always just hopped in the car and driven to work.  I love the fact that I can take public transportation.  It is so much less stress (despite the sometimes unpleasant odors) and it frees up time in my day to read. Pretty much a win-win in my book.  But it appears that my day-day routine requires a large amount of “stuff”.

Maybe requires isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s that I’ve accumulated a weird attachment to a great deal of stuff that has found a home in my handbag. Either way, I find myself toting two bags back and forth with me twice a day.

Bag one, my handbag. It should be noted that this is the largest handbag I can recall carrying.  And it’s pretty full.   Some might refer to it as luggage. Inside is my wallet, a cosmetics pouch, sunglasses, an umbrella, hairbrush, handsanitizer, a fold up wholefoods reusable bag (in case I stop someplace for grocerys).  None of this seems particularly excessive, although I could cut down on a few of the lip glosses, in all honesty it’s not like they are taking up a ton of room.

The next bag contains my lunch, my nalgene, a book or kindle, and my ipod. Some days I bring shoes with me to work, if the heels I’m wearing aren’t comfortable enough for the walk to the BART. Yes, that is a lot of crap. But it appears to be NECESSARY crap.  Two bags feels like a lot to be carting around.

I’m looking for a new spring/summer everyday bag. I would rather not carry a huge bag.  My boyfriend suggested a messenger bag or a backpack, but to be honest with you I always associate those with laptops, college classes and bike messengers.  The other problem? I’m not sure how comfortable I would feel about not carrying a handbag to work.  So I need your help!

Where can I find a nice bag that I could carry to work that still looks professional and chic (it would help if it didn’t break the bank either)?  Should I just bite the bullet and continue to carry big purses, or get a small purse and up the size of my lunch bag? Am I totally misguided in my distaste for the messenger bag? I’m hoping there are some public transit pros out there who can lead me in the right direction!