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3 May

Have Awesome Bag, Will Travel

Rule number one for the social media mother, unhealthy or any mother, order or anyone, who carries a lot of stuff: learn how to accessorize. No, not with purses and handbags. With bags for tech gear, and everything else that you carry that won’t fit into your knock-off Fendi clutch. (Ha. You’re a mother. Like you carry a clutch.)

I travel, a lot. And when I travel, I tend to bring a lot of gear with me, because I’m usually working when I travel, and my work involves words and pictures and video, and in a computer age that means using devices that capture photos and video and that put words onto the Internet, which is to say – camera, video camera and laptop. But the problem has always been this: there are plenty of bags on the market that are designed for toting those things around, but they are all – what’s the word? – UGLY.

They’re all man-bags. Made of canvas, usually, or maybe some fancy waterproofed fabric that is nonetheless hideous for being waterproofed. Sometimes they come in leather, but then only in black, usually. Otherwise, they’re gray or brown or khaki with lots of Velcro and buckles. They are HIDEOUS. So what’s a techie girl to do?

For a long time I just hacked my diaper bags. Diaper bags actually make excellent gear bags, because they’re sturdy and roomy and have lots of compartments and if you have decent little camera bag (Golla makes some cute ones) you can tuck it right in there alongside your laptop in a padded sleeve and have lots of room left over. And diaper bags are pretty cute these days – if you made the sensible decision to invest in a nice one – or even two – when your baby came along – you’ll have something nice to work with, and all the more justification for that investment. So, yeah. Diaper bags! Not just for diapers!

I mentioned Golla bags; these are cute, non-man-baggy camera bags, but they don’t make a style that can accommodate a camera and lenses and a laptop or netbook or tablet, and mama’s got a lot of gear. So I was thrilled when Maile Wilson of Epiphanie Bags recently sent me one of her latest designs – the Clover – which is a gorgeous camera bag slash laptop bag slash purse. It’s everything that the man-bag is not, and I love it, and I want ten of them, just because (or, at least, one of the Paris, which also holds laptop and camera and more). On my recent trip to Disney World – during which I was, of course, taking lots of pictures and video and uploading it all to my computer for posting on the Interwebs – the bag accommodated my laptop, my camera, two extra lenses, a large Moleskine notebook, my wallet, my iPhone, an iTouch for the kids, a small make-up bag, some diapers, two sets of Skullcandy headphones for the kids, a copy of the New Yorker, and a book, with room to spare for boarding gate snacks. WIN.


It’s my number one favorite tech AND style accessory. Yes, I love it more than shoes, and my tripod.

What’s your favorite tech accessory? It doesn’t have to be a style-related accessory (although, since we’re on the topic, I should also mention my Kate Spade iPhone case, and my Karim Rashid netbook, which isn’t so much a tech accessory as a piece of tech in itself, but it’s so stylin’ that I have to mention it whenever I combine the words ‘tech’ and ‘pretty’ in a post.) (In the ugly-but-beloved tech accessory category: my DSLR lenses, the aforementioned tripod, back-up hard drives – there’s a whole ‘nother post to written on how I came to learn to love those beastly things – and the docking-slash-stereo station for our iPad.)

Share your favorites here or join the discussion at the Intel Canada page on Facebook, where we’re talking about accessorizing your techie life in style, or at least style-adjacent.