At Home Column #7: Super Mums Secret Weapon

Superman had his cape, Catwoman had her rubber body suit and Wonder Woman had her boots, but the accessory for the modern day superhero is the handbag! From Margaret Thatcher to Victoria Beckham, women everywhere know what power a good bag yields, and the added bonus is that no-one else knows what you carry in it.

Emptying out my handbag, I have the usual purse, make up bag, diary, mobile phone and keys. Then I have more, ahem, ‘essential' items. My husband would call it “crap” but I know that if I have a couple of bottles of Fruit Shoot and two Wagon Wheels, the kids will be happy - plus, I have their DS consoles which are perfect in case we get delayed anywhere!). I also have a ‘bag for life’ in case I do any shopping (got to do your bit haven’t you?!), a pack of wet wipes, my hand cream, a couple of pens, a ‘Go Outdoors’ catalogue (don’t ask!) and a tape measure, just in case! In case of what I haven’t figured out yet, but I’m hoping that one day I will happen upon a piece of furniture on 90% off in an antique store and whip out my measuring tape to find that it fits exactly into my home. Then I will be able to justify carrying it round, but until then it snuggles in the bottom of my bag just waiting for its day in the spotlight like Handy Manny and his toolbox.

When you run a business as well as the daily juggle with kids and home life, you need a bag that fits all purposes – to look as great in your meeting as it does by the school gate, and I haven’t found one that does it better than Knomo. I discovered the company a couple of years ago when I was looking for a trendy but businesslike laptop case, and at the start of every season I go through their ‘look book’ like a child at Christmas with the Argos catalogue! My most recent bag is a snakeskin tote called Valetta which is roomy inside with plenty of sections to stay organised and even comes with a fur lined laptop case! Pure luxury!

The best thing about a good bag is that it pulls your look together when you are going straight to a meeting from the school run. This is a God send when you have survived on just a few hours’ kip the night before and haven’t got the energy to think about how you look, but you still need to appear professional and ‘together’. Plus, have you ever pulled on some trousers and found they are a bit tight round the waistband and had it ruin your day? A bag always fits and you can never have a ‘bad bag day’ – a bag will never let you down. Every Jugglista should have one!

Like many women I do love my bags and shoes, but if I had to choose between them then I’d go barefoot so I could keep my bag collection. If I got cold feet then I could reach into my bag for the socks I put there ‘just in case’ or I could use my tape measure to measure my chilblains!

What can I say, I’m a bag lady! Is there any fashion item in particular that you couldn’t be without? Tell me below!

I write a fortnightly column for At Home - the Premier UK celebrity and lifestyle magazine, and this one appeared on their site a month ago. Do visit their website and leave me a comment on the post at this address so they get to see your opinions too!
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