She has 21 designer bags and always has one with her … So what happened when Liz Jones turned cold turkey?

She has 21 designer bags and always has one in her pouches … so what happened when Liz Jones turned cold turkey?

Here’s a list of what’s in my purse: Wallet. Keys. Makeup bag. Passport. High heels. Emery board. Filofax. Checkbook. Blackberry. Bluetooth. Airmen Stella McCartney. Notebook. Tape recorder. Wet wipes. Breath freshener. Spare panties. Apple (fruit). Apple laptop. Charger. iPod. A to Z. Roman. Small bottle of Evian.

When I change my handbag (which is done with alarming frequency depending on what I’m wearing, whether it’s daytime or evening, or if I’m about to get on a plane), it is decanted.

I’m never, ever without my purse. Here is a list of the places my purse has been: an earthquake area in Pakistan; the ring at a dog show (my border collie won the prize for best rescue); trekking in the Himalayas; ski on the side of a mountain; on my racehorse; the Glastonbury Festival, where it was placed on a trash bag and looked at it more closely (in case it was stolen or trampled) than the deeds.

Bags of fun: But Liz Jones undertook an experiment by going out bagless

He is my constant companion, my best friend.

I have 21 bags: six Pradas, two Gucci, three Bottega Venetas, one Mulberry, one YSL, two Miu Mius, one Chanel, one Jaeger, one Stella, one Dior, two Tods – not as crazy and useless as the collection of Victoria Beckham, which was revealed last week to include 100 Hermes Birkins, worth a total of £ 1.5million.

I bought my first status bag in 1997 – a nylon backpack released by Prada in an attempt to resurrect a struggling brand. Other big names have followed suit.

The bags were no longer for life, they were thrown away every season. They were given names – the Marc Jacobs Stam, the Louis Vuitton Tribute – as if they were pets.

Aided by the lead role they played in Sex And The City, it-bags have become the ultimate must-haves.

More Liz Jones for The Mail on Sunday …

The average price of a designer bag, according to Selfridges, is £ 850. But he got out of hand with the £ 13,000 Burberry’s Warrior.

Given the current economic climate, a status appendix looks unpleasant. It’s so last season of carrying my Mulberry Roxanne, it doesn’t matter that it has so many pockets that I never find my Blackberry ringing on time and I’m starting to have a sore shoulder. And so I decide to see if I can live without my bag for a week.

My first outing is a trip to Dorset for lunch with friends. I feel terribly exposed and naked: what if tragedy happens?

I’m wearing skinny jeans so I can’t put anything other than a £ 20 bill in the back pocket. I carry my Blackberry and keys, and leave the rest behind.

When I arrive, I have a lurching feeling in my stomach when I momentarily think that my bag has been stolen from its usual place in the front seat of my car. I put my lifebuoys in the trunk and realize that my car has just become a big purse.

Then I meet a friend for dinner and when I take a few notes out of my bra she wonders what I’m doing.

She carries two bags: a tiny one and a tote containing a sweater, books, a gym kit, sneakers, knitting, heels, makeup, a laptop, toffees and an umbrella. “Did you just go to the gym?” ” I ask. “No, it’s just in case,” she replies.

I spend the rest of the week in chaos: shopping is aborted when I find I forgot my credit card at home; a date is canceled when I have to go home to check that there is nothing between my teeth; I drive halfway to a meeting before realizing the address is back home in my Filofax.

But I’m starting to feel empowered, edited, minimal, light. On Friday, at a party, I dance for the very first time without putting my bag at my feet or leaving it on a chair and looking at it longingly.

Having money and keys hidden on my person, like a man, feels safe, even though there have been times (like taking a night train) where I put my money, my ticket, my book. , my magazine and my water in a carry bag (oh, shame).

I carry less: no passport, iPod, cards, makeup bag, wet wipes or laptop. I ask people if I can borrow a pen.

I’m also more inclined to sit on a train and look out the window. I stopped looking at my face in a mirror and looking for lip gloss, which a lot of people said was what they found most annoying about me.

Without a handbag, I became more carefree.


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