When I was first got pregnant with my oldest, Parker, the diaper bag was the very first baby thing we bought. Yes, he was going to need a place to sleep, clothes, a changing table, blankets, bottles, actual diapers, and bibs, but before I got to any of that I had to work out the ever-important diaper bag. I have a long-standing love affair with all things handbags, and, if the diaper bag was going to replace my purse for the next year or two, I wanted to make sure it was a good one.
That was a little more than five years ago, and, at the time, I had no clue as to how many options there truly are in this department. I ended up getting a great black and white dot Kate Spade diaper bag that was tote-esque. It had a portable changing pad, plus a few pockets to organize, and I was absolutely in love with it. I used that bag exclusively, but somewhere around his first birthday I got antsy and started looking for something new. There was nothing wrong with what I had, but, truthfully, I was bored of carrying the same bag and wanted a change. (Hopefully, I’m not the only who’s guilty of this.)
After spending hours looking at options online, I decided on the relatively unknown Jon Hart “Left Bank tote.” This bag was ideal because it was a big, sturdy tote that was going to be able to take a beating and look good doing it. There are a few pockets for storing some easy-access items, but I fell in love with the openness of it. Pockets are great, but, for me, it becomes all too easy to lose track of what I’ve put in them. For example, I was cleaning out another bag of Charlotte's last month and found some old Annie’s gummy bunnies tucked away, like they expired in 2014 kind of old... whoops!
I wish I could tell you that once I started using the left bank, I never looked back, but that’s not exactly how it went down. I’m a bit of a handbag hoarder, and I picked up some other options along the way. Again, I started to feel like something else would be “better," more fun, more practical - who knows. Though I am super impressed with what is on the market (Ju-Ju-Be, in particular, is pretty great and we use their "Be Quick" pouches for everything!), I’m a classic tote girl at heart, and the Left Bank is my go-to bag. So much so that I’ve sold the others and have been carrying this guy for the last nine months - exclusively!
The older I get, the more I seem to want high quality, well-designed, versatile pieces that grow with me. It’s not exactly the “less is more” philosophy, but it’s close. One of the reasons I love my left bank so much is that it fits right into this mentality, and I’ve used it for luggage, picnics, a briefcase, and a grocery bag.
- Giant open interior - I like to add a couple of pouches, one for me and one for snacks, but most everything is out and visible.
- An interior zippered pocket - Perfect for hiding your keys.
- Two exterior pockets - These are handy for easy-access items, and I keep my phone in one and a pen in the other.
- Sturdy metal feet on the bottom - I think all ladies will appreciate this and these, in particular, are quite durable.
- Thick leather handles - Initially I was worried about using untreated leather, but I’ve come like how the patina has changed over time and I don’t think it’s possible for these to break, ever.
- Customization - This is where it gets lots of fun because they have a ton of options for fabric, monograms, etc. Jon Hart has done a good job of updating their website recently so have fun playing around!
Currently, my only diaper bag concerns are related to cleaning out the old burp cloths and bibs, making sure there are snacks, stocking LOTS of wipes and maybe (maybe) picking up another Left Bank in pink. Every so often we’re able to find just the right balance of “what I need” and “what I want.” The Left Bank has become my sweet spot for the kids - it’s a great workhorse bag. I highly recommend you check it out, but I’d love to hear from you! Does anyone else share my diaper bag obsession? What did you choose and why? Please feel free to leave your comments!