Everyone’s favorite down-to-earth celebrity mom, Jennifer Garner, went viral recently for a very relatable “what’s in my bag” video she posted on Instagram. Typically I find these types of videos kind of boring and unrelatable. Celebs and other famous people share the pristine contents of their $3,500 Chanel purse, and it’s always something unrealistically aspirational, like a thermos filled with a homemade smoothie, a pair of designer sunglasses, a healthy breakfast bar made from scratch that very morning, an unused journal, etc.
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I’m sorry, but nobody’s tote bag actually looks like that all the time. And Garner knows it. After getting back from a road trip with her kids, the actress posted a “what’s in my bag?” video, but this one is actually realistic. It's what all of our bags look like. She sifts through her bag revealing its contents: A Twix bar, multiple tangled chargers, drugstore reading glasses, a bra(?), a single plastic fork, a pencil sharpener, and finally, a bunch of loose M&Ms—which her pal Reese Witherspoon especially liked, and commented “It’s the random M&Ms for me.”
And while, sure, the contents are fun and funny—Garner’s particular brand of “relatable mom”—it was her quilted black bag that immediately grabbed my eye. It’s exactly the kind of roomy tote bag that I need, especially in time for holiday travel. Jennifer doesn’t mention the brand by name, but I hopped on to Google and did some internet sleuthing and found it: It's the Medium Metro Deluxe Tote by MZ Wallace, and it’s $275 on Nordstrom.com.
It’s made of lightweight quilted nylon (aka, easy to clean!), and comes in seven different colors—but I prefer the classic black (also Jen’s choice). I love that the material is soft, because it makes it easy to fold and pack in your suitcase. Purses are notoriously one of the hardest items to pack because they take up so much real estate. And I love that there’s tons of inside pockets and a removable inside pouch.
One Nordstrom reviewer raved, “I love this bag, especially for traveling. It weighs almost nothing and has multiple pockets for organization, including a handy one on the outside designed to hold your phone.” Which makes me wonder, why don’t more bags have a pocket on the outside to hold your phone? It makes it so much easier to access instead of having to dig through your purse.
Another reviewer also loved how roomy it is. “I love it—it’s light, spacious, has plenty of pockets, and holds everything I need: from a large notebook to an umbrella.” A lot of reviewers also love that it has an optional crossbody strap, which I also love in a travel tote because you want to have free hands when lugging your suitcase.
Also, the phrase “mom bag” gets a bad rap, but really it just means a roomy tote bag big enough to hold your life. And we’ve all got full lives, whether we’re moms or not, so everyone can use a mom bag.
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