Privilege Blog

A Frank Clegg Tote, Or, Saturday Morning at 6:36am

I have found my cognac bag. Remember this post? I looked at several possibilities.

But I chose the Frank Clegg Handbag Tote. Below you see it closed by the internal buckled strap, which folds the sides in, and then fastened a little more by the short top strap.

I ordered two sizes, the Large and the Medium; I find that Medium is plenty big enough so I will return the Large. I even considered returning both and getting the Small, but, in this size I can fit a laptop which is useful for travel and trips to SF, so I’m staying with what I’ve got. Here they are both fully opened. And stuffed with paper for that matter.

The leather is absolutely spectacular. Soft to the hand, smelled of saddles when I first took them out of the box.


This bag will live on my kitchen counter, to be put into my car on the passenger seat, from whence to be carried into providers of necessities and back out again. A limited set of use cases. Should I go to the city, I will carry a crossbody. Should I go on foot to our main streets, I’ll wear a backpack. Should I learn to fly I’ll hide my wallet in my feathers. I’ve been using my Bottega Veneta for what, five years? I expect this may last twice as long.

The Sturdy Gal approves, the Grande Dame inclines her head ever so slightly in agreement, the Artsy Cousin pays it never no mind but if asked will splatter with paint so all will be well. Besides, she’s so glad I am wearing my Timberlands that she’s giving me a pass on bourgeoiserie for today.

Have a beautiful weekend.


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30 Responses

  1. Lisa, That is a seriously beautiful tote and reminds me a bit of some of the vintage tote bags. I bet it will serve you well. I might even be tempted!


  2. The leather looks sumptuous and the cognac is the perfect color. Seems a very reasonable price point, too. It reminds me of Lotuff in quality and style. I think you will enjoy this tote for many years. I’m sure it will continue to get even better with age. Well done!

    1. @Jane, Thank you! And yes, for the years I expect of it, and given the cost of Bottega Veneta and Celine, my current bags, it’s super reasonable!

  3. Nice bag!
    It reminds me a my Coach Hamptons tote. It was a gift from my employer in the early 00s when I hit some kind of milestone.
    My use case is similar to yours, it’s more bag then I want for everyday and if I’m really going someplace I go with a lightweight nylon tote that’s waterproof.
    Which means with a little loving care and some neutral polish it looks pretty good many years later.
    I recently took it to a wedding. I had my comfortable shoes and a pashima stashed in it for the reception and stashed it under the table.
    It’s worth the space it takes up in my closest.

  4. Looks sumptuous and I love the colour.
    I have never heard of the maker before your post. So many wonderful craftspeople out there creating beautiful necessities.

  5. I love that colour. I remember back in the seventies when we only carried bags that looked like real leather, suitably battered, with that lived in look. This is like those… without the battered bit. You’ll be carrying this one and loving it for years, I imagine.

  6. I must know – is this bag heavy? (The medium) I have to be really careful with the weight of things I carry. If you happen to have a kitchen scale – and 5 minutes sometime – would you be willing to weigh it empty? (I know – this is a crazy request.)

    1. @K-Line,

      That’s amazing. I did go onto the website to look further but I totally didn’t notice that. Thank you for the intel…

  7. beautiful tote!! and thank you for the introduction to frank clegg: i am searching for a nicely made zip pouch to toss my phone, lipstick, aleve ;) and credit card into when i don’t want to carry a tote. and it’s harder than you think to find such an item. (oh yes, a wrist strap is essential so it can dangle hands-free when needed.)

    i like how you think and how you approach purchases.

    1. @jane, Thank you. Overthinking processes since 1974, at a guess;). I am not at all surprised that you’d like Clegg, their stuff is absolutely simple+pretty.

  8. Your bag is perfect – really gorgeous. I have a large cognac leather tote and carry it everywhere. I can layer and inlayer (a common thing in California weather) and shove it in my bag.

    I’m glad you kept the medium, rather than ordering the small. There’s something very cool about an oversized bag I think.

    1. @KSL, I hadn’t even thought of that, but yes! A place for my big scarves! My lightweight jackets!

      And you’ve articulated something I was feeling. The oversized thing, maybe started by the LV Neverfulls?, is something I’ve liked the look of for a while.

  9. Love the bag and the look of it being carried. I think there is something nice about a nice sized tote that is also handsome. And I was admiring your timberland boots and how perfect you looked.


  10. That’s a great bag, although it wouldn’t work for me — I appreciate your description of the “use cases.” It took me a while to understand my own use cases, but I’m finally understanding that I can’t/don’t do the tote to the car anymore, and even the cross-body barely works these days. The kind of errand/city walking that I do seems to mean I’m always reaching for my lightweight leather backpack/bag (M0851). . . So pardon me while I drool in the windows here. . . ;-)

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