Marketing to Women: At Work and At Home
Marketing to Women: Sexy or Not Sexy?

Ergonomics: Why Are the Ladies Always Left Out?

This post is categorized under Female-Friendly although it should be in the decidely NOT female-friendly category. I don't have one of those...maybe I'll start one.

I'm writing today about ladies' handbags. Purses. Those tiny, or mid-sized, or enormous things we Womans_purse women carry around on our forearms or shoulders all day long. I've carried a handbag for - I don't know, a hundred years? My back thinks it's a hundred years. My shoulders feel as if I've dragged handbag weight around that long. My legs and hips are whining constantly about it - but, the world is oblivious.

A couple of weeks ago, when our God Spare Life, Oprah book author (see more about her at the WME website) flew in to Rochester to help with the final edits on her outstanding autobiography, we got to talking about the ways women suffer, in fashion, specifically. Claudia wants to design better under garments - bras that fasten ONLY in the front, which I am in complete agreement with. There was also talk of women's suitcoats with inside pockets, like men's suitcoats have. I'm all for that, too.

But, the most intriguing thing for me was our discussion on handbags. Blue_clutchClaudia did not carry a handbag. I was surprised by that. She's a very feminine woman, she wore a dress to her reception... but no handbag.

Apparently she does not like to be tied down by the unwieldiness of a handbag, a purse, or a clutch... see example here.

More power to her! I say.

However, I'm pretty much wedded to my handbag(s). My kids tease me about them all the time. I have a few, scattered about the shelves in my closet. The thing is - I don't have so many because I love handbags, not the way I love shoes! I have so many because... I'm searching for just the right one.

I want a handbag that won't hurt my back.

I want a handbag that's attractive and won't hurt my back.

I want a handbag that's attractive, big enough to carry all my stuff (including pics of my granddaughter), and won't hurt my back.

I want a handbag that's attractive, sturdy - able to last more than one season, big enough to carry all my stuff, and won't hurt my back.

I want a handbag that is attractive, big enough for all my stuff, able to transcend winter, spring, summer and fall, and won't hurt my back.

I don't want a handbad like the ones I see here. Or, here. Or, here. (don't blame the blogs or websites, they're just reporting on what's out there)

I want an ergonomically designed handbag! But, I don't want to have to make it myself!

Is that too much to ask? When you're busy with your marketing to women campaigns... think about partnering with a company that can create a handbag with all the specs I've noted here. Millions of women will thank you.


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Yvonne DiVita

Mary, I so relate - what good is a purse you can't put over your shoulder? And, why can't they be comfortable, too? When I see young girls with backpacks instead of purses, I pause and think, "hmmm...maybe that is the answer." It's just that backpacks are... so unattractive!


I hear ya. I remember standing with two other women at a purse rack during the shorter handle era last year. All of us tried to find one that we could put over our shoulder. All of us wanted our hands free to do other things. All of us walked away empty handed. Style means nothing when it flat out doesn't function.

Yvonne DiVita

Bonnie, I so envy you! I've tried and tried the wallet option, or no purse thing. I always gravitate back to those really big handbags that you can put a watermelon in! And, then ... I fill'em up! I don't want a briefcase, although maybe a more feminine one would work... maybe softer, with places to put my 'stuff'... Ah, if only I could do it your way.


Have you checked out the ergonomically designed bag here?|732034370

I haven't tried it... I'm in Claudia's camp. I hate lugging around a purse, or even a small clutch (afraid I'll lay it down and forget it!)

I found myself a very slim wallet that holds my ID & a couple of credit cards, and has a money clip for a few folded bucks. I just slip that into my back pocket. I put my keys in another pocket. That's all I need. Of course, this only works when I'm dressed in jeans... which is 99% of the time when I'm out and about away from work. (I do take a purse to work; a small one.)

I've been doing this for years, since I asked myself, "Why am I carrying this purse everwhere I go? It's such a pain in the ass!" (Or shoulder, or back.) At the same time, I decided I didn't care if my lipstick or nose powder needed touching up while I was "off duty" -- so no need to carry my make-up bag inside my purse... and with a wallet/billfold, no need for a purse at all! (I also refuse to carry a cell phone at all times.)

You should try going bagless... it's very LIBERATING! :-)

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