June 1, 2012

Simple, Chic & Functional

Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Hope you all are having a good week. If you are in the US, I hope you had a nice long Memorial Day Weekend. I had an extended weekend that began last Wednesday. I spent the weekend in Cambridge and Boston with my family attending and celebrating my brother’s graduation from HBS- we’re all so proud of him. It was a lovely weekend indeed.

In my mind, nothing signifies the return of Summer Hours and quick weekend getaways like the classic L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. Originally designed to haul ice “from the car to the ice chest” when block ice was used to keep food fresh in an icebox. There’s comfort in knowing that after more than sixty-five years; the design, construction and notion of functionality remain. 

The heavy-duty cotton canvas just gets better with wear. The reinforced bottom allows me to haul clothes (and more importantly shoes), p├ętanque sets, picnic supplies and mounds of library books. The extra-large tote is larger than I am, but the long handles make it easy to manage. After years of use, there’s a worn in perfection. 

I unearthed one of my totes this past weekend. I love travel and all of its’ accoutrements- functional and chic luggage, trunks and train cases. Yet, my favorite summer getaways to Sag Harbor, Oak Bluffs and Charlottesville, Virginia call for the ease of a simple but elegant tote. Precious luggage just won’t do when you’re hoping on the jitney or a ferry. The classic monogram is essential to insure that there are no bag mix-ups.

The classic tote is a reminder of just how fleeting summer is with its Kinfolk-like gatherings and days spent by the sea. There’s not much spontaneity to my life at the moment, but hopefully we’ll get there one day.

PS- Here’s a short little video on the handcrafted tote.

18 comments:

  1. I used to have one and left it behind in NZ when I moved here. Mind you, I've used it so much it was far better if I'd just replaced it. Thank you for the reminder. It's the perfect tote for summer.

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    1. Chocolate, Cookies & Candies- I know exactly what you mean about using something so much that it's time for it to be replaced. The good thing is how wonderfully chic and cheap they are. So perfect in NZ and anywhere near water. It's the only tote I've found that miraculously keeps everything dry even in an unexpected downpour.

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  2. I love L.L. Bean totes! They're so sturdy and reliable and I had a great time carrying one until I spilled bright pink ink all over it it *sigh.* That's the problem with me and clothes--it's not that they don't last, it's that I'm clumsy as all hell! A getaway to Charlottesville sounds fantastic. As bizarre as it seems, I haven't been back to UVA since I graduated. I keep wanting to go back in spring to catch the blossoming of flowers in the gardens (my favorite time of the year as an undergrad) as well as a quick drink at one of the bars on the corner, but something always comes up!

    Ah, now I am all nostalgic about UVA during the summer: the sudden rainstorms, living near the train tracks on JPA--so close that everything shook when a train rolled by, and drinking with a lover next to the Rotunda and being asked to guess how many leaves were on some ancient tree that's probably been around since Jefferson's time! Ahhhhhh youth!

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    1. 0000- They really are the best totes. Sturdy and reliable is right. That's too bad about yours:( That's always the worst feeling.

      Charlottesville really is the most charming in the Spring or Fall. I haven't met anyone who wasn't charmed. It's just perfect for a weekend away. It's always more a matter of making it happen. Life gets so busy. I was talking to a colleague of mine about how getting out to the Hamptons a few times is a must this summer.

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  3. So simple and elegant. And I love the monogram. I love totes - from the zipped Longchamp style tote to the nylon grocery bag style tote - for carting my food and water supplies to work. So convenient.

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    1. Ammu- I really love the monogram- they do such a good job with them & it makes it less ubiquitous. Totes are such a necessity for work, since I'm always carrying snacks and gym clothes to work.

      The Longchamp tote really do come in handy for carrying extra items to work:)

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  4. Oh I found myself nodding along to everything you mentioned. Such an appropriate bag for all of the wonderful destinations you mentioned. Sag Harbor is my favorite part of the Hamptons- so unspoiled and breathtakingly beautiful.

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    1. Mira- Thanks! Yes, it really is the perfect bag for summers spent on those wonderful islands. Sag Harbor is such a lovely part of the Hamptons- I love it.

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  5. Love how it's monogrammed!

    http://initialed.blogspot.com

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    1. t- Me too. They have so many elegant monogram options:)

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    1. Le dressing de Francis- Merci! Such a great chic (and cheap) option for a weekender.

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  7. I love your blog! This post is awesome!
    Check out my blog, write your opinion and maybe...follow?
    Where are you from?

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    1. Ionela- Thank you! That's incredibly kind and sweet of you.

      I will definitely take a look at your blog. Whenever someone comments, I make it a point to look at their blog- it's one of the best ways to discover new ones:)

      I'm from NYC.

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  8. What a beautiful writing style you have - you can tell you put a lot of thought and effort in to your topics and chose your words perfectly. I so agree with sandals though, they almost feel gypsy to me in Summer (I live in heels in Winter and at work) so love when the warmer weather rolls around and I can slip on my favourite pairs - great choice above :)

    Anna xo
    http://www.lifesshinyprettythings.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Anna- Thank you. That's such a lovely compliment- I really appreciate it. Even more so coming from you- I love the joie de vivre in your writing and find your blog really inspiring.

      I live in heels too and I think that's part of why I love sandals. They remind me to be carefree. Glad you liked a few of my favorites too.

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  9. Your family is so precious- hope you had fun at Harvard. Love the monogramed L.L Bean tote- such a chic way to travel for the weekend. Love you!

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    1. Renata- Aww- thanks! It was a really nice time indeed. The L.L. Bean totes are so perfect for our Hamptons weekends:) Hope to see you soon.

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