Snob Essentials

Ask the Snob: Need New Bag, Keep the Boyfriend


Dear Bag Snob,

I am sure you get lots of messages, but I was hoping you could briefly help me. My girlfriend wants to get a nice handbag and her birthday is coming up, I was hoping to get one as a gift. She likes her current bag which has enough room to hold her laptop, while at the same time is not an absolutely gigantic. She also like that it has outside pockets that she can easily slip her phone inside. I would like to get her something that is similar but with a more updated look. I would like to keep it around $500 but can go up to $1000 if it is a really great bag. Could you name a few?

Thanks for your help,


Dear Ernie,

I love getting emails like this – I love helping out awesome boyfriends (and husbands!). Here are 3 bags that fit her lifestyle needs as well as your budget.

The Botkier James Hoboicon is a cool young updated everyday bag with a lot of exterior pockets, zipper embellishments are very current and the price fits nicely within your budget at $595.

Another option with outer zippers is the Leola Zip Hobo from Marc by Marc Jacobs for $498, it is edgy, uber functional and will actually fit a laptop.

Of course, I have to try and push your limit with the much coveted Givenchy Messenger, $1575. This can be worn cross body, definitely can fit all her work stuff and that outer pouch pocket is perfect for keeping the phone within reach.

I hope she will love one of these bags!


Bag Snob Kelly

Go to jump page for the happy ending!

Hi Kelly,

Thank you so much for all your help. Not that I plan to buy many bags in my future, but I learned a lot. Now I know that the upscale department stores like Saks are a great place to start shopping for bags. I went with the Botkier in taupe and gave it to my girlfriend, Karyn, Wednesday night. She absolutely loves the bag. Many of her friends and colleagues commented how much they liked it yesterday.

In the process, I also consulted some of my colleagues who are women, and they asked me how I found the bag. I told them about your website, which they said they needed to definitely check out. I hope you are able to gain some more traffic from them and there friends.

Thanks again!




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  1. Just as an FYI – I ordered the Leola MBMJ bag from Neimans in nude leather and returned it immediately. It looked NOTHING like it did in the picture – it actually had a very odd, uncomfortable shape in person. Also – and much, much more importantly – it stunk to the high heavens. I was in a Nordstroms a few weeks ago and they had the bag in stock and theirs smelled bad too. Some bad processing going on or something.

  2. Can I get this guy’s information. Maybe he could talk to my husband. My main squeeze would never buy a handbag for me much less pay that much money. He thinks that I have too many.

  3. I like the fact that he gave some good info on what his girl likes in a bag. Not only does it show that he pays attention to his girlfriend, but that he takes note that a purse isnt just some weird girly thing but is an essential for hauling about a laptop, cell phone, etc etc. I hate when men dismiss purses as frivolous!

    He also picked the bag I liked best 🙂

  4. What a fantastic BF and great choice of bags! I actually have the MbyMJ Leola Hobo in Black and have been carrying it non-stop since buying it last month. I absolutely LOVE this bag! As for the comments from “Anonymous”, yes, the bag does have an unusual odor (which I suspect is from whatever processing went into the bag to achieve the look of the leather), but this quickly dissipated, after using a leather conditioner/lotion on it once and carrying it regularly & now it smells like leather. As for the shape of the bag, it’s actually the perfect shape and style for a shoulder bag. The leather is super soft and the bag has the perfect amount of slouch, and the more you use it, the softer and slouchier it becomes. One thing to note altho there are several zippers on the outside of the bag, NONE of them are pockets. They are “faux” zippers which can be zipped, unzipped or partially zipped to achieve the look you want (I find the bag slouches better if you leave them all fully unzipped)