The question of where to stash my fancy handbag while eating in a restaurant has plagued me for years. I’m constantly finding myself in places where the chairs have those dreadful rounded backs, and I’m never going to be someone who puts my bag on the floor, ever. (Those of you whose default move is to stash your purse on the floor had better not do one iota of research about how many germs are on the bottom of the average handbag.) Those purse hooks that use a pendulum and the law of gravity tend to be gaudy, tip over easily, and only work on flat surfaces. After much careful consideration, I thought I’d hit upon the best two options available: either never carry any purse you can’t sling across your body (which is horribly uncomfortable), or never be afraid to ask your waiter to bring a spare chair to the table.
But this was all before I found the Clipa 2 bag hanger, a sleek, simple, ring-shaped device with a grippy, padded opening that cleverly holds even heavy handbags on the edge of a table, door of a bathroom stall, back of a chair, or any teensy-tiny available ledge you can find. It popped up in the “Inspired by your browsing history” section on Amazon one day (as the author of a forthcoming accessory book, it’s my professional duty to look at these things), and since it had 1,200 five-star reviews, I decided to take a chance on it. I’m glad I did, because it works exactly as promised.
It’s small enough to stash anywhere, is easy to open and deploy (because calling attention to yourself as you fuss with your purse is not chill), and takes up almost zero room at the table. Every time I pull it out, waiters and people at the table next to me are always leaning over and asking me where the hell I got it. I leave it attached to any bag loop or strap to break it out as needed. It’s actually big enough to wear as a bangle bracelet if you choose, and even though I live in L.A. and have no need for heavy coats, its 33-pound carrying capacity would come in handy for stowing a down parka, too. It changes everything. Never again will I set my designer bag — that thing that costs as much as a studio apartment — on a dirty floor.
Another Strat-approved bag protector:
Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent Conditioner
Our colleague senior market editor Diana Tsui over at the Cut swears by this stain repellent for leather bags: “You’ll still need to use an umbrella but on drizzly days (or when I find myself under a disgusting, drippy air conditioner), the water rolls off easily, without staining. I once even spilled half an iced coffee down the front, without leaving a mark. Two years and many wears later, my beloved Céline bag looks almost as good as the day I bought it — and it would be pristine, were I more diligent with the reapplication process. I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend.”
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