Tote Bags, Hair Help, & Heat Clothing

January 27, 2011 14:04:23 Posted at January 27, 2011 14:04:23
Lainey Posted by Lainey

Written by Sasha


Sasha, I'm starting a new job this week, and though I'm all for reusable grocery bags, I've decided that I want something cuter (and that closes!) to take things like my notebook, files, kindle, shoes and lunch to work. General consensus is that a briefcase is lame and particularly manly - which is something I am compulsive about avoiding thanks to my incredible man-shoulders. I might be able to do the one-time splurge of a few hundred if it is the only option (sweet sweet vacation payout). I really just can't get behind using those bags as a tote on the TTC anymore! Thanks a bunch! CJ

CJ this question excites me on a couple levels. One, because I’m that dirty Sherpa you feel sad for on the street. At any given time I’m carrying at least three bags, each bag as equally butt as the other - so I’m hoping this search will also inspire me. Secondly, Duana sent me an email over the weekend taunting me to make mention of a product. So Duana, suck it, I’m about to pimp the link.

We’ll start with Du’s pick, which is basically a glorified lunch box. And to be honest it’s pretty freaking awesome and perfect for what you need. It looks great, has a bunch of zippers, and has enough room for: a lap top, wallet, shoes, various pharmaceuticals and all the random loose paper we like to hoard. And ta-da! It has an insulated compartment for your lunch along with two re-usable hot and cold packs. Like, that’s some future sh-t right there. Oh and if you’re not an animal sporting kind of girl, they have vegan options as well.

Continuing with the all-in-one theme – this Marc Jacobs tote is perfect! If for any reason I was in the corporate world this would be my take on the brief case. And yes, it’s on the pricier side of things, but if it’s going to be your everyday go-to bag I think it’s worth it. You’ll definitely have enough room for everything you need and come on; did you see the polka dots? I’m in love.

Now, if you’re looking for something a lot less casual and something that’s separate from your purse then I’d go for this DVF canvas tote. I don’t know about you, but two bags balance me out better; if I carried everything I have in one bag I’d be a gimp by the end of the week.

Another option in the mid-range price point is this nylon Marc Jacobs tote. This one’s a no brainer.

Lastly, there’s this black patent Le SportSac– my winner out of the bunch. The brand’s been a staple for years and oh, Anna Wintour gave her whole staff this exact one, so there’s that.

CJ, hopefully one of these bags speak to you, if not; continue the search with MO851, Matt and Nat, Kate Spade, and J Crew.



Hi Sasha. About 6 months ago, I was the recipient of one of the worst hack jobs in my hair history. I had been trying for ages to keep that soft, baby blonde look a la Gwyneth Paltrow and the days of my youth but for some reason, my hair kept fading to a brassy blonde that bordered on green. I had been seeing the stylist for about three months and when I met with her in August, she agreed that something needed to be done. I asked that I return to something more natural like that trendy "bronde" colouring while she suggested that only an all over colour would fix the problem indefinitely. Of course, I trusted her to proceed and the results of both the cut and colour were horrendous. Picture Granny Freeze's awful strawberry blonde combined with Kristen Stewart's mid-grow out mullet and you have a fairly accurate representation of the horror I've been left with. I tried to rock the look for a week but couldn't muster the courage to keep it and so returned to the stylist asking for her to at least fix the colour damage. After some totally unprofessional arguing on her part, she agreed to give me low lights which would hopefully break up the blonde. What resulted was completely over processed hair that is so dry and brittle it breaks at even the slightest pull. Fast forward to 6 months later and I'm still dealing with the aftermath. So, here's my question, because I don't have the balls to chop it all off, and am now only beginning to be able to work with all the crazy-ass layers in my fine hair, do you know of any hair products that are miracle workers for extremely damaged hair? Alternatively, if you've happened to stumble upon a product the promotes fast, healthy hair growth, I'd be eternally thankful for any suggestions. I'm in hair hell, please, help a girl out! A

Maybe it’s time to find a new hairdresser? Yikes. A, this situation sucks major balls but lucky for you I just got my hair did on Tuesday and I asked my stylist for the 411 on the products you need for your dying ‘do.

Major praise is always given to Kerastase and my stylist agrees. She says you need to apply the hair mask once a week and on top of that use their leave-in-conditioner called Ciment Thermique. She knows what’s up so definitely try these two products out.

As far as my two cents I’m a big fan of Pureology. The whole line is vegan and 100% free of toxic sh-t, so give it a whirl. During the summer my hair turned into a pile of hay and after using their Essential Repair: RestorativeHairMasque I felt human again. Pick that up as well as their InstantRepair.

Now that I’ve shared, it’s time for you to share. Can you please send me a picture of your mop? I don’t want to laugh at it but I kind of do.


Hi Sasha,I'm planning a 3-week trip to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in February. A trip of a lifetime. Having mostly made the transition from college casual wardrobe to business-like adult (I work as a teacher/manager at my university), my old backpacker travel wardrobe seems lacking. I'm all flash-packer now (on a backpacker budget). I'm not into ethnic batik-y garb, but I don't want to look like I stepped out of an African safari in head-to-toe Tilley, either. I'd like that effortless, jet-setter, chic look. Can you suggest travel gear for a young-ish (32), single woman so that I won't be looking like a bum? I like to travel light (i.e. I can run to catch a bus carrying all my worldly possessions), so minimal is the key. I may need to avail myself of left-luggage facilities. NB: Shopping will be undertaken in Busan, Seoul, KL and Singapore as needed.I do hope you can help. Many thanks.

A, I hate packing. A lot. But packing for the heat is pretty simple, so here are some clothing musts for your trip.

Right off the bat I think you’re going to need some shorts. So find yourself a pair of utility ones like these from J Crew as well as a cute pair of jeans shorts. If you have time, cut up an old pair of jeans, if not, it should be easy enough to find a cheap pair to do the trick – try the Gap. (Style note: no one wants to look up your uterine walls so keep them mid-thigh)

Moving onto tops. Bring about 10 jersey v-neck loose tees and tanks– you don’t want anything too tight because lord knows pit stains aren’t chic. There are so many brands out there that this should be an easy find. But labels to look out for are Alternative Apparel, Wildfox, American Apparel and hell, even go to Forever 21 and shop like a tween. And to add a little flava, I like shoving a lacy cropped bra underneath a loose tank - it’s breezy but it also ups the skank level (the good kind). In my opinion, Cosabella make the best ones but you can hit up any department store– go for nude or black. Also in the mix, pack a couple of denim or linen button up shirts. This will come in handy as a cover-up for a dress or buttoned up and tucked into your shorts.

Now dresses are going save your life. I would pack about 5-6 dresses that you can rotate through your travels. There is currently a line that I’m obsessed with called Nor Black Nor White and if I was travelling, this is how I’d like to dress. Their collection is so airy and straight up cute. But if the patterns are too bold or too bright then how about something like this simple sailor inspired dress? It would be great for walking around in the day with a pair of flip flops while also being practical for a drug induced dance party on the beach (safety note: double up on the underwear – I hear those things get corazy). And of course pack one or two long maxi dress – they’re so versatile – here’s one really casual look and another that’s a bit dressier.

The key is to pack really simple pieces that you can accessorize. So add some thin belts, fun earrings and necklaces into your suitcase. And if you really don’t want to cough up much dough at all, then hit up Old Navy. I just looked through their spring collection and they really have some great separates and dresses on the cheap.

Oh and one more thing. Embrace your inner Diane Kruger and pack a straw hat - it really makes any outfit exponentially cuter. This one from Roxy is good choice and I love this fedora from Urban Outfitters.

So there you have it! I hope this helps – now please take me with you.

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