I read an article recently suggesting that women should ditch their handbags. Why be shackled by all that dead weight, it asked. The average handbag is the size of a small dog, it said ( although obviously far less wriggly). Make like a man – go with your pockets instead.

This idea appealed to me. After twenty years of motherhood, I have become the one who carries everything that might possibly be required in any given situation. Whatever is needed, panic not because Mum will have it covered. But now that my children are big enough to think things through for themselves, perhaps I no longer need to lug all those ‘necessities’ round with me? Also, I’m told by a chiropractor friend of mine that carrying a bag on one shoulder is terribly bad for our posture and can lead to back pain issues. Well who wants that?

So I watched my daughters for a while, clandestinely. They seem to function perfectly well without handbags. Instead they have those zip-up purses into which they slip bank card, key and phone and then they are ready to go without being weighed down by pointless clutter.

This is a genius idea, I decided. What’s not to love?

So I set out to town….. without my bag. Once I’d shaken off the feeling of having forgotten something, it felt liberating. Yes, my purse was too big for a pocket so I had to carry it in my hand and I wasn’t sure what do with my sunglasses case but basically it was great. Until I got to the shops…..

Then my newly-found sense of freedom deserted me. I had nowhere to put anything. Having my purse in my hand was all very well but how did I hold the basket and still have a hand free to pluck items from the shelf? I put the purse in the basket and immediately became suspicious of  anyone who came within ten feet of me. And where was my bag for life?!

So I have returned to my handbag. Ok, it means that I carry around endless stuff that I might not need ( umbrella, notebook and pen, plasters, hairbrush, Swiss army credit card, tissues, hand cream, lipstick, phone charge booster, good luck charm) but at least they are there, just in case. The clutter, it seems, is actually useful, vital even to my day.

I did love the idea of no bag but in the end I just couldn’t carry it off (so to speak!) I have concluded that I NEED one in my life!

What about you? Could you ditch your handbag???

Imogen x