19 March 2012

The Quest for the Perfect Schoolbag

Throughout the years, I have tried out many different waysto haul my stuff: tote bags, ye olde messenger bag, my own two arms(ouch)...but since the beginning of Spring semester 2012, I continued to use mynow broken-in H&M tote that I purchased last Fall.
 Last semester this bag did just fine, which is definitely due to the fact that I parked very close to the building where my classes took place, so I did not have to walk very far. However, this Spring I began attending a different campus of my college, with a humongous parking lot and multiple floors, so more walking to do. Which I don't mind at all. What I do mind is when I'm walking and this bag continues to slip off my shoulder, which is actually radiating with pain at that point because the silly thing is not very good for haulage of books and a laptop and my wallet, etc. So, similar to when you trade out your sexy stilettos for your mid-day ballet flats, I came to the conclusion that I was in dire need of a practical bag to carry my stuff; so....that's right (damn you if you knew the above option would fail)! - I was in the market for a backpack, baby!
So would you like a side of lame sauce with that?? Observe the above cliche' college students. It cannot get much worse than that girl on the left's mahoosive blue book bag. Jeez...I mean I know that's the norm and all, but what's wrong with injecting a little style into life? It doesn't have to be that costly, you in-debt-for-life college kids! Just keep an eye out for deals and save that other stuff for the hiking trails. This is the reason I abandoned backpacks in the first place, and have not owned one since I was about...hmmm...twelve. 

But there must be good backpacks out there that are the perfect marriage of style and comfort! And so began my quest. Here are some of the best options that I considered:
 1. The Baggu canvas backpack at Urban Outfitters, which I was and still am in love with. Pros: less than $40, simply chic; Cons: dimensions are waaay too small to fit my stuff, no shoulder strap padding for comfort purposes.
 2. This adorable canvas bag from the Ebay seller aumusic. Pros: less than thirty bucks (woah), looks exactly like the crappier version Urban sells at an extremely marked up price; Cons: no reviews, so I can't really know what the bag is like as far as durability and whatnot, and still no shoulder padding.
3. And then I thought I'd found my backpack soul-mate - the "City Backpack" by HangaBag on Etsy. So fresh and androgynous! But alas, this is still not the option I went for. Pros: it's o.g. as they say, a one-of-a-kind piece, and it really stands out; Cons: the $76 price tag (really, just go for it if you can afford it, please, and send me pictures of yourself wearing it so I can live vicariously through you!), still no damn shoulder pads. I mean, I'm adamant about this one. I'm transferring to a four year legit university this coming Fall and need those forgiving straps!
 I don't want to end up like this poor child...that's going to result in some serious back problems, but I bet she at least has padded straps to lessen the pain.
At this point I was getting a bit fed up, until I remembered American Apparel. Ahh American Apparel, the beautiful wondrous gem of a store that would drain my bank account if I let it (and I would still only be able to purchase like four things, I guarantee). So I hopped on over to their store (err, cyber-hopped) and took a look at their bags only to find this plain yet hipster-fabulous + also durable creation:
4. The best college-student bag that doesn't look like a tired college-student bag: the American Apparel Nylon Cordura School Bag, $42 at American Apparel.
So I understand, it's a little typical, not much of a shocker - but in the end I knew this backpack would satisfy my every need: durability, stylishness, functionality, easy integration into my wardrobe, and comfort! And I definitely tried it on in-store before I got it, which was not even a possibility with the former three options I found. So hooray for my practical new bag! Which, by the way, I did not get in the "Office" shade. I just like "Office"...the color as well as the connotations of the name of the color. Anyway, picking the color of my new bag is another story in itself. Below is the one I chose, knowing that it would fulfill that "easy integration into my wardrobe" qualification I mentioned a second ago.


  1. What a funny entry. I like some of the other bags you came across in your search, but definitely think the one from American Apparel was the best option. There price for it is not unreasonable at all. Very entertaining, keep going with it.