You guys know that I love purses. I mean, I LOVE them. I will shop for them, look at them, and talk about them all day. Having a cute purse makes me happy! When I get questions about purses, I rub my hands together and dive into shopping mode, I mean, research mode. Recently, I have been getting this question a lot: Are backpacks appropriate for women business travelers?
Here’s the deal. I’m not really a backpack person. While shopping for a new purse, it wouldn’t even occur to me to look at the backpacks. Not that I have anything against them. Both of my sisters have very cute leather backpacks that they use as purses, and whenever I’m up there I think, maybe I should get one. But they live in Chicago, have to walk to work, and work in non-traditional fields. So my reference point for backpacks is not exactly crystal clear. Many consider traveling to be a special situation, where practicality sometimes supersedes traditional rules. It would certainly be better for your back and shoulders to distribute the weight of your laptop instead of carrying it on one arm. But would people subconsciously associate school, and therefore immaturity and youthfulness, with your backpack and possibly you?
Let me be clear. I’m not talking about that canvas Jansport you had in college. I’m talking about a sleek leather backpack, similar to the one pictured above from Le Donne.
For the most conservative offices, backpacks are probably not appropriate, and people who work there are pretty aware of who they are. For the rest of us, I wanted to get my readers’ opinions. What do you think?
ETA: Let me rephrase the question. Are they appropriate in a professional setting, like as a purse? During actual travel, I guess it really doesn’t matter what your bags look like. At some point, though, someone you work with is going to see at least one of your bags. So is it appropriate to use a backpack as a purse once you get to the office?