Mama always said: You can never have too many handbags. Ok, my mother never actually said that, but she had quite the collection when I was growing up so I’m blaming her for my raging handbag habit. One of my current favorites is this preppy-tastic Bermuda bag I scored on a trip a while back to the Atlantic isle for which the bag is named.
There I was, strolling along Hamilton’s Front Street, minding my own business, when I happened upon The Island Shop. At first glance it looks like one of those boutiques I often come across that have a lot of “nice enough” merch but nothing I really have to have. But less than five minutes in I spied their selection of Bermuda bags and knew I wouldn’t be leaving without one.
For the uninitiated, a Bermuda (aka Pappagallo) bag is a hand-held tote that comes with interchangeable and reversible fabric covers that button onto its wooden (traditionally cedar) handles. A country club staple in the ‘60s, the bags were the ultimate in preppy fashion in the ‘80s, a must-have for every Muffy.
I snagged mine for about $60, and it’s plenty large enough for my iPhone, keys, lipgloss and other random essentials. It’s a versatile vacay bag, that, depending on the cover you choose, can be as appropriate with shorts and a T-shirt as it is with a fancy maxi dress. But apart from vintage listings on eBay and at limited editions at Lily Pulitzer, you really don’t see Bermuda bags much these days. Which just may be what makes a decidedly un-preppy bagaholic like me love mine even more.