In honor of my upcoming 30th birthday, I’ve researched countless “things to do before 30” lists. And while there are plenty to choose from, I kept coming back to “Thirty Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30.”
The List was originally published in Glamour by columnist Pamela Redmond Satran in 1997. Over the next 30 weeks, I’ll be tackling each item on The List and reflecting about it here… publicly (gulp). I hope you enjoy and we can grow together. After all, turning older is a privilege denied to many.
By 30, you should have…
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you aren’t ashamed to be seen carrying.
It wasn’t until I moved to New York that I realized how valuable it is to have at least one quality purse, suitcase and umbrella each in my collection.
Despite the Louis Vuitton resurgence during my high school years, plus plenty of travel and thunderstorms in college and beyond, it hit me the night I landed in New York. Yet another Target purse ripped, my suitcase handle came clean off the rails and a Walgreens umbrella failed me in the falling snow.
In the four years — and one day — since I moved to NYC (and now San Francisco), I’ve invested carefully in some quality pieces.
I waited for a handbag sale at Macy’s and used multiple coupons (plus my corporate discount) to treat myself to this Vince Camuto beauty last year. I don’t use it every day, or even every week; but I always receive compliments and am proud of this stylish, yet practical purchase.
The luggage I’ve coveted for years finally became mine after I signed my relocation paperwork for San Francisco. Again, I waited for a Macy’s sale and piled on promos with my discount to save a considerable amount of money. The Samsonite spinner set has served me well over thousands of miles, and it’s always easy to spot at baggage claim. My only regret is not adding on a carry-on size at the time, but I’ve got about 26 weeks to do so before my birthday comes 😉
Finally, the ubiquitous umbrella… such a seemingly simple item, but a puzzling purchase nonetheless. Get one too big, and it’s a pain to lug around — remember, I don’t have a car anymore. Get one too small, and it’s pointless during a downpour. I eventually ditched the last of my $5 drugstore umbrellas, and went with a not-much-more-expensive Totes option. It opens and closes with the push of a button, and it provides enough coverage without breaking my back to carry to and fro. Bonus: It comes in plenty of colors and patterns, so you’ve got endless options to style your stormy day.
I’ve never been big on designer labels, and certainly not logos associated with top-name brands. The Louis Vuitton and Dooney & Bourke craze that hit my hometown around high school was met with my eye rolls and scowls.
But moving to the city means high fashion is inescapable, particularly with handbags (because who wants to hoof it 30 blocks in killer heels?).
While I still don’t dream of products smattered with branding, I can appreciate the beauty of a well-made bag. And if it’s equal parts fashionable and functional, well that’s a win-win-win.
These are my latest loves for any budget. Any I missed? Let me know in the comments!
*But I got this one in Gunmetal at her booth on W. 38th for less than $50!