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A Love Letter To My Giant Handbag

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A Love Letter To My Giant Handbag

Around three years ago, I developed a sharp pain just below my shoulder. When I visited my GP on my way home from work, he immediately picked up my rather large and heavy handbag off the floor and said "this could be the problem".

It was a pretty bad day to be bag shamed - I'd taken breakfast and lunch to work - which meant two lunch boxes spilling out all over the surgery floor.

As I grappled with them, I was astounded - how could my handbag be causing me so much trouble? I resolved to sort through it, and downsize immediately.

According to research, people are ditching large handbags (Credit: Shutterstock)
According to research, people are ditching large handbags (Credit: Shutterstock)
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But when I got home, I realised it wasn't so straightforward. While many of the contents were non negotiables - lunch, notebook, water bottle - others (some would argue) were probably not.

One section of my handbag could pass as a first aid kit, with plasters, Savlon, pain killers, Vicks first defence spray, hand gel and a rogue bandage - and that was before Covid. Meanwhile my purse was bursting at the seams with multiple loyalty cards and heaps of loose change.

I probably didn't need the banana which was well past its peak, multiple bits of make up I never wore, two bottles of hand cream, a broken pen, a working pen, a stapler and more tampons than anyone would require in a day.

Shamefully, I even had my 10-year-old university student card in there.

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I love an oversized handbag and everything in it (Credit: Shutterstock)
I love an oversized handbag and everything in it (Credit: Shutterstock)

But I'm just going to say it - I love having a giant, unnecessarily large handbag - and all the stuff that goes in it. In fact, every time I've tried to downsize, I've always regretted it. You just never know when you're going to need a loyalty card you haven't used for three years, or a lip balm you bought in 2018.

When I heard this week that large handbags are about to become a thing of the past, I felt sad. Apparently, they are another victim of the pandemic, with research by Nectar revealing they've been used 50 per cent less in the last year, because Brits want to carry less.

Having all my bits and bobs on hand is a burden, sure, but there's an air of security that comes with having a large Mary Poppins-style bag.

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Sudden blister? Yep, got a plaster for that. Tickly throat? Strepsil. Spilt my coffee on the train? Yep, got my pack of tissues. Missed breakfast? Cereal bar is on hand.

People are ditching large bags for digital apps (Credit: Shutterstock)
People are ditching large bags for digital apps (Credit: Shutterstock)

It seems I'm not alone, with the average handbag getting emptied less than once a year, and one in 10 revealing they'd never cleared theirs out.

In fact, the study revealed 12 per cent of people would be embarrassed to let someone else rifle through their handbag due to some describing theirs as a 'mobile rubbish bin'. I can certainly relate to this.

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It also found that a quarter of the population are now trying to carry less, leaving physical items such as loyalty cards and loose change at home, by switching to digital apps instead.

But as I dug out my oversized bag this week, having not used it once since working from home, all I could think was how excited I was to sling it on my shoulder again...

If you need a plaster/painkiller/tampon or pretty much anything else - I'm your gal. Large handbag, never change.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life News, Coronavirus, Fashion

Lucy Devine
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