If you run your own business, consult or work with many different people on any given day, like me, you often find yourself running across the city from location to location, meeting to meeting.
By investing in lightweight, high quality and stylish accessories, you’ll be able to run your whole business on the go – and look like the pro you are.
All Day Everything Bag
Depending on the day’s schedule, I’ll often leave the house with any or all of the following:
- work items (laptop, hard drive, cell)
- food (packed lunch, healthy snacks if on-site with a client, water)
- workout clothes (trainers, leggings, warm but lightweight items)
- formal items for evening events (heels, formal jacket)
- bicycle accessories (bike lock, helmet)
- personal items (sunblock, lippie)
And all of this needs to fit into one bag!
If you don’t already have a sturdy ‘all day everything’ bag, invest in a nondescript, high quality piece (with a thick strap that won’t make your arm go numb), that can take you from meeting clients to running out the door to yoga.
Bags like this are worth the investment:
- Saccoo – my All Day Everything came from a boutique in Amsterdam and I had a leathermaker alter the straps to fit. It has a key ring attached inside, two separated compartments and a smaller pocket inside for wallet, notepad and cell. Small compartments make it easy to find everything.
- Kikki K travel bags: this Australian retailer, founded by a Swede, does a small range of travel bags for laptop users on the go, suitable for laptop + accessories (canvas base; anything heavier and you might want to go for full leather).
- incase: well designed backpacks; perfect for those using larger, high value equipment such as cameras, lenses, external hard drives.
- If you travel light (iPad, notepad), Nordstrom have some very stylish smaller backpacks.
- Mens ‘travel’ section of any major retailer: for some bizarre reason, many retailers put the best travel accessories in the mens section. If you’re after leather, nondescript and logo-less bags, head to the mens section of your fave retailer.
- The accessories section of Amsterdam boutiques – The Netherlands have a great reputation for style and most small boutiques, particularly in the Negen Straatjes district.
- Zambesi travel bags: this beautiful label from New Zealand make high quality leather bags. If you can afford it, and they’re still available, their line of travel bags are small enough to pass as day packs for busy freelancers / business owners! Alternatively American Apparel has a smaller option.
Batch your items
The trick to having a well-organised bag is putting each activities’ items into different sections. Buy mini bags which fit into your carry all and batch your items into different sections. Here’s a few examples:
- Laptop bags: grab a case that has room for cords and notepads in addition to the computer, so you can fit more inside. American Apparel make reasonably priced ‘carry all’ pouches in leather and a variety of colours. I have a black leather American Apparel leather pouch which stores notepads, cords as well as laptop and iPad when on the go – it’s also perfect for taking to meetings.
- Stuff sacks: adventure shops actually have great laundry and travel bags (often called ‘stuff sacks’) which are perfect for workout clothes or lunch snacks and come in a variety of colours and sizes. I have two in black, different sizes: one for workout gear, one for snacks. Try Kathmandu or Sea to Summit (avail in black).
- Cosmetic cases: many retailers have great little make up bags which are perfectly sized for additional cords, special lenses or hard drives; in addition to being great for personal and make up items. I picked up a few different sizes at Forever 21 in NYC last year and I use them almost every day. The men’s sections of retailers call this a ‘wet pack’ and Country Road have some plain high-quality items worth a look.
- Bento lunch boxes are small and perfect to fit in a packed lunch and snacks. Bento&co have a great range.
Warm light wear
If you’re out and about all day, you need to leave the house knowing your outfit will keep you warm, stylish and good to go until late. Pack a back ups to be prepared:
- Uniclo HeatTech tops (great for wearing underneath, very fitted and thin so don’t add bulk to your already fabulous outfit.
- Silk slips from NZ Nature – this kiwi adventure company creates incredibly thin, warm silk slips which are perfect for slipping under your outfit if it gets chilly.
- Seamless underwear – you never know when you’ll be able to fit in a workout between meetings, end up having an impromptu night out, or, be caught out when your favourite trousers give way and you have to pick up something quick. Seamless works with every outfit. (Lululemon are perfect).
- Leather gloves – a great way to formalise an outfit and even better for bicycling. You’ll find these at almost any major department store. (They keep your hands warm and you can clip them together so they don’t get lost in your bag.)
- Possum anything: you can get high quality possum items like scarves and beanies from NZ Nature – crucial for surviving any winter on the go.