I went through Take Ivy a few times yesterday, first for reference and subsequently to make sure I was right. I counted zero bags, for men anyway. Stacks of books for sure, bike baskets, but no bags. This of course does not rule out bags being Ivy, they are, but it does put forward two important arguments.
Exhibit A: Because a thing is not in Take Ivy does not mean it is not Ivy. Bags aren’t. If you find a picture of a bag in Take Ivy that I have overlooked please do let me know but I can tell you, if you find one or two, there are only one or two. I’ve been messing with the idea of a series about things that would have been Ivy had they been invented (or more prominent) in the heyday, travel mugs for example, beer cozies, etc.
Exhibit B: There is a conundrum not evolving Ivy Style, and it starts with the fact that we are dressing like college kids even though we are not college kids. There’s that saying: Prep is what you wore to high school, Ivy is what you wore to college, and Trad is what you wear to work. That’s a misclassification to be sure, but whatever. The point is that, assuming you graduate or even if you didn’t go, at some point you moved on to a full time job and simultaneously love the classics and need a bag because your pockets can’t hold a laptop.
In grad school, I carried a briefcase. This was the era of Arnie from LA Law and his aluminum briefcase, thankfully I was going to school up town and avoided this mishap however:
There were advantages to the briefcase. It locked, which was cool. That sound, when you move the slide and the latch pops up. Cocked and loaded, that sound said. They all smelled good, they had that silicone bag in them even then which I still do not understand. And the file sleeves. Those were great except for the fact that anything smaller than a regular piece of paper slid down and you forgot you had it. This was late 80’s early 90’s, and paper was the only trail you could leave back then. Best to know where everything was.
Most of us have moved on, but I miss that latch sound. While I missed that mistake though, I did not miss this mistake:
This is a Timbuk2 messenger bag. Great company, and they have a lot of my money. You cannot beat them for functionality. I need pockets for things as nothing is more annoying than fumbling around in the bottom of a mailbag for your fountain pen only to accidentally uncap it and then get distracted and come back a few minutes later to find the bottom of your J. Peterman Counterfeit Mailbag was now tattooed. As was everything inside it. The Timbuk2 messenger bag solved that for me, depending on the model there are pockets and straps everywhere. Most of them, and I have owned most of them, have a waist strap too, a seat belt that I have never used. Have you?
Totes. I SO WANT to carry a tote in the summer. I have 6 of them, easy. When I took the train into town every day, there was a guy at the station who carried a tote and put his NY Times (paper) in it – that was so Old School, I loved that. So I tried. First, you cannot put a tote on your shoulder for any length of time without feeling like you are at a bazaar. Second, that fountain pen thing? Times 300. Everything flops around, you cannot find anything, and while carrying a tote is cool fishing in one is certainly not.
So we have crossed out the tote, the Velcro anything, and the hard shell briefcase (There are those of you who can still pull off the hard shell briefcase. Announce yourselves. I want to be friends.) Tomorrow we can cover what works, and if you leave me a note in the comments I will work in what works for you, too.
Hint: The J Peterman Counterfeit Mailbag does not work. And it still makes sense to carry. My sister went so far as to get me a bag organizer that pilots use, and it still doesn’t work. And it still makes sense to carry. It is counterfeit, says so right in the name, and it still makes sense. Also, there are messenger bags that do work, of course, we will show some of those. Lastly, and I know I am going to eat it for this, backpacks work. Why? First, Ivy pedigree. Backpacks are academia. Second, posture. Third, I need my hands free for taking off and putting on glasses all day long.
Thanks for all the kind notes about the contest.