What I love this week: a lightweight & practical bag

If you’re looking for a lightweight bag for travel or everyday use, here’s a stylish and practical crossbody bag I found…

The Big Shlep: a stylish & practical crossbody bag

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for a larger bag for those days when I’m carrying more than just wallet-keys-phone-lipstick. But I still needed something that a) had a hands-free crossbody option and b) wasn’t bulky or heavy. And yes, I wanted it to have some style.

Susan B. wears a navy cotton sweater, slim leg jeans, an MZ Wallace quilted crossbody hobo bag, gold platform loafers.
My sizes: Small sweater, 28 jeans. I’m 5’1″, shortened the jeans by about 1.5″

Budget-friendy outfit options: sweater | jeans | shoes

I’ve never understood the “micro bag” trend, and am happy to see that bigger bags are back. But bigger bags often mean negotiating a balancing act between structure and weight. Sure, a simple nylon shopping bag is lightweight but who wants to have to go digging around for smaller items?

On the other hand, while I love some structure and organization, they can add a lot of weight. I tried out several bags from totes to backpacks, but this MZ Wallace hobo was the one that finally ticked all of the boxes.

What's in my bag...contents of MZ Wallace Crosby quilted hobo bag
Everything here fits easily in the bag with LOTS of room to spare! (As the Tom Wambsgans character from Succession might say, “it’s capacious.” 😆)

What I love about this crossbody bag:

  • It’s really lightweight. The (removable) yellow chain detail handle adds a few ounces, but I love how it looks, so am willing to make the tradeoff.
  • Comfortable to wear. It lays nicely against the body and doesn’t get in the way. And the canvas crossbody strap is wide enough to not dig into my shoulder.
  • LOTS of compartments and organization.
  • The logo is pretty unobtrusive, but you flip the bag around and wear toward the inside if it bothers you.

If you prefer a darker color, it’s also available in Black and Navy.

What are some of the features you look for in an everyday bag?

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  1. Love this bag! I recently invested in a Cuyana recycled fabric bag (dark green with thick shoulder strap) for a trip and now I use it everyday. It is lightweight, stylish (zipper and buckle are gold, which adds a nice touch), and actually looks better the more it holds. Enjoy yours!

  2. Looks like a Stylish travel bag. I have a large MZ Wallace carryon that I love. My small Travelon bag has been good but not stylish. Think I need an upgrade!

  3. I have a pale blue very light-weight puffer bag by Mads Nørgaard, a Scandinavian bag. It has short handles and long handles. You can fold the handles you don’t use inside and out of sight. I don’t know whether you can wear it crossbody. For structure I use my Very Intelligent Pocket (a nylon inside bag with loads of pockets).

  4. looks like the perfect size and style, but my one hesitation is the webbing strap — I find that these tend to make my tops pill and/or wear out faster in that spot. a smooth nylon or leather (real or vegan) is preferable to me.

  5. Hi I just wanted to ask you where you got your “Ringmaster..” bag. My daughter and I both have the socks! thanks for all you do.

    1. Hi carol, I found it at the gift shop at Nepenthe in Big Sur. They had a fun selection of these little pouches.

  6. Off topic, here, but you have such a nice collection of shoes. Have you done a post on “essential footwear”? I’d love to see a current one. I have fussy feet, so it seems like I keep wearing the same shoes, but would like at least a small wardrobe of basics. It’s easier to find sandals that fit, so I have only one pair of closed in shoes that aren’t even very comfortable. (I usually wear boots if I need a closed in shoe). I **tried** to find loafers in the last 6 mos. or so, but was unsuccessful. Thx!

  7. I am a recent convert to MZ Wallace – I love the Sutton Tote in Medium for travel, because it’s got outside pockets to make it super easy to slip in a cell phone or sunglasses. They are so cute and so lightweight! And the crossbody in black lacquer is fancy enough for evening.

  8. I was smitten by the Longchamp straw cross-body bag from the moment I saw it online — I purchased the black version a few months ago as my “new bag of the season,” and then returned it the moment I saw its true size. It is minuscule! In fact, when the box arrived by UPS, I was initially mad because I assumed they’d folded the bag — the box was that small. Hahaha. Disappointing! If anyone else loves it online and wonders about size, please know, it’s tiny!

  9. Your bag is very chic, but I don’t have enough willpower aka common sense, not to over fill it and it would end up weighing a ton. I did buy a leather (medium) Longchamp box trot bag which is cross body and structured, but is a perfect size for me.

  10. I love this bag, but haven’t bought it because I have their Metro Quatro Tote, which has the same dimensions and functionality. This one is a little more elegant that my tote, but I can’t justify having both of them! I prefer larger bags for my everyday bag, not because I carry a lot, but because I hate having to dig around in a bag that is packed tightly. When I pull my wallet out, I don’t want 5 other things coming out with it.

  11. Susan, is this the MZ Wallace that you wrote about in February or did you trade over to this one? If so, any pro/con we should know about? Thanks!

    1. This is a different one, and yes, I returned the other. The first bag was a 3-compartment style, and while I liked the look of it, it was bulkier when loaded up than this one. What I prefer about this hobo bag is that it lays pretty flat against the body.

  12. My requirements in handbags: room for a paperback book. 2 or 3 pairs of glasses, usable pockets. It HAS to hold that book.

  13. I love MZ Wallace bags. They are perfect for fun and travel. Could you tell us what are the little things you carry in it?

  14. I love the bags from uashmama.com/collections They are super stylish and affordable. I have 4!

  15. I love MZ Wallace handbags because of the organizational options, they are lightweight and the durability factor offsets the price. I’ve been eyeing the Crosby Hobo, but I’m leaning more towards shoulder bags (with shorter straps) because of my pear shape body. I no longer believe crossbody bags are flattering on me, but it’s a fabulous look for you. The hunt continues. 🙂

  16. I bought an MZ Wallace bag for travel, the small Sutton. So light weight, if it gets heavy it is because you put too much in it! I just got home from a trip to the Amalfi Coast and it worked out perfectly. It held everything I needed on the 10 hour plane ride then was ample for what I need to carry around during the day. I previously used a Pearl from Lo & Sons, also an excellent bag, but it was a tight fit for both my reading glasses and sunglasses which is why I decided to try the MZ Wallace bag.

  17. I have a couple of MZ Wallace bags, and I decided to pick up this one for my recent week long trip to New York. It’s definitely stylish enough to take anywhere…but I really did NOT like this bag. First of all, if has SO MANY compartments that I was constantly searching for items, forgetting which zippered pocket I’d used. There’s such a thing as too many little compartments! My sister was making fun of me by the end of the week, because it took me so long to locate room keys, lipsticks, sunglasses…and the second problem was that the lining got stuck in the zipper of both outside pockets – took me ages to unstick it and then those pockets were unusable.
    I much prefer the MZ Wallace Sutton Deluxe Medium tote.