Coffee Break: City Tote

Lipault Paris City ToteWe have a lot of favorite products on this blog, and this new tote bag reminds me of two of them.  One is a big, durable tote bag that has very little in terms of interior organization, but is very light weight and easy to carry — and the other is a big, durable tote bag that has TONS of organization and travel sleeves (to fit on your rolling bag), but can be a bit overwhelming in size to some people.  This smaller tote bag, from new-to-me brand Lipault, looks promising.  It’s smaller than both of the other two products, but still lightweight.  It has zippered outside compartments (one of which converts to a “slip through pocket” for a rolling bag), as well as one interior pocket.  I like that it has a flat bottom (no feet, alas, but it’s better than a bag that doesn’t stand up at all) and a zipper on the top.  And for $89, it’s pretty affordable.  It’s available in purple and black at Zappos.  Lipault Paris City Tote

Update: Wow, Amazon has it in a zillion colors!



  1. What is Express sizing in relation to say, J.Crew?

    • size up at express :

      I wear an XS-S at Express (5’3, 110 lbs), and XXS petite at J Crew. I would say Express is more TTS. It used to be owned by the same owners as The Limited, so those sizes will be similar, but Express fits more snugly.

  2. New Tampanian :

    Immediate TJ

    I have been wanting to try boxing workouts for a long time so I bought a groupon for 10 classes today. Questions for the Hive:

    A) Any Tampanians ever go to the local boxing clubs/gyms? The groupon was for Legends.

    B) How do I figure out my glove size so that I can buy gloves tonight? I’m going to my first class tomorrow. It’s a very old school type boxing club.

    C) If anyone has boxed, any advice for a newbie?


    • I’d check first to see if you need to buy gloves. They probably have gloves you can use and can best advise you on what size to buy.

    • Boxing is about leveraging your body weight, not brute strength. You will get bruised, no way to avoid it. Otherwise have fun!

    • I would call the gym and ask them if they sell gloves. If they do, wait and buy them there. If they don’t, honestly, I would not start tomorrow. The boxing gloves you can buy at sporting goods stores are garbage. Seriously, bad quality. You want to order good quality gloves and also handwraps. I am partial to Title, but there are lots of brands you can try. Call customer service and ask them for help on sizing – they can tell you what the rough guidelines are for measurement. I only get 16oz gloves for boxing/kickboxing.

      Have someone at the gym show you how to wrap your hands. If they say it isn’t necessary for newbies, have them show you anyway.

      Buy a mouthpiece. You should not be sparring for a LONG time (and if they suggest it after only a few classes, then the gym is terrible and you should GTFO). However, you may be hitting mitt drills with other relatively inexperienced people, and I will tell you that I’ve been smacked in the face frequently (and completely accidentally) by people who don’t know what they are doing. I always wear a mouthpiece, even when I’m just holding mitts and not striking myself.

      Hydrate beforehand. Bring water and a small towel.

      Have fun!

  3. Hi all, I’m looking for a recommendation for COMFORTABLE booties with a low heel (between 1.5 and 2.5 inches). There are so many options out there and I’m a little overwhelmed. I tried the Sam Edelson Petty booties and liked them, but I’m very short so ideally I want something with a little more of a heel. And yet that I can still walk for hours in. Perhaps this is an impossible quest :) I’m open to pretty much any shade in the brown/taupe/cognac/tan family (so basically any neutral that is not black or grey). I would like to spend under $150, ideally under $100 but happy to shell out more for something I’ll wear for a long time. Anyone have a pair that they love?

    • espresso bean :

      I have a recommendation — the DSW Crown Vintage Sandy ankle boot is amazing! I have them in black and absolutely love them. People have stopped me on the street to ask what brand they are (I think because they have, IMO, the perfect heel. Just high enough, but still comfortable). And they’re only $70.

      I do need inserts with them, but I think that’s pretty standard with ankle boots.

      Good luck!

      • +1 on the Crown Vintage Sandy, which I also have in black but they offer a Dark Taupe. I wore them almost nonstop last winter and broke them out again last week–I walked for 2+ hours sightseeing at 30 weeks pregnant and my feet didn’t hurt a bit! They’re really comfortable and the shape works well with pants or tights.

    • I LOVE my Franco Sarto Granite booties! I recently wore them for pretty much a week straight while traveling and they were super comfortable. I’ve worn them with dresses, skirts, skinny jeans, leggings, and even under dress pants and they look good with everything. And they have some colors in wide width, which is hard to find in cute booties!

    • Anonymous :

      Clarks Gelata Freeza. I just got them. 2 inch heel and incredibly comfortable.

  4. Speaking of totes . . .

    Pumping moms: What kind of bag do you use to carry your pump parts and your cooler bag? I’m thinking I’m going to use my work bag for my laptop and work related items (wallet, keys, makeup, etc.) and then I need a separate tote or bag to carry my pump parts and my little cooler for milk storage. Interested to hear what kind of storage/bag systems work for you.

    • DianaBarry :

      I had 2 pumps and kept one at home and one at work. I only carried the cooler (eg my lunchbox) and washable parts back and forth in my regular work tote, which also holds my files. (I have a separate purse for wallet, water bottle, phone, and sunglasses.) I would trade my lunch for milk in the cooler. I also used envelopes from the office supply to store milk in the fridge if I hadn’t had lunch yet – would put the bottle inside the envelope and then transfer to the lunchbox when there was room.

  5. I feel like I would want to see this material in person – it looks a little too much like fabric to me.

    On another note, does anyone have recommendations for what to get a good colleague/friend who just suffered a miscarriage? I would like to cheer her up and am unsure of the approach… thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      For the friend: I’ve always sent (and gotten) flowers. And a card with a short note.

    • Show up with a six pack of really good beer and a funny TV show (Modern Family worked for me – hadn’t watched it before but it was just right).

      • This is a good idea, if she does drink beer, that is. The event can be quite tramatic, as my freind, Lori, had 2 miscarrage’s before she was abel to have kids, but the first she got when riding a horse, and she then learned that it could have been directley related to that so she stopped riding during her pregenancy.

        My idea would be to take her shoppeing and give her a $500 AMEX gift card to spend anywhere she wanted. Just forceing her to shop will make her feel alot better, and if she want’s to buy food, so be it, and if she want’s clotheing, so be it. It is better then cash, which we often do NOT spend. A gift card is an incentive to spend, and these day’s the economy needs us to spend. That is my big arguement with dad. FOOEY b/c he says save more and I say the economy needs for me and everyone to SPEND more and increase the GDP. I learned that year’s ago at GW when I took the intro to Economic’s course, which I got a B in. YAY!!!

    • TravelAnon :

      RoleReboot just featured greeting cards that actually are for this. They’re pretty raw, but so is losing a pregnancy.

  6. family TJ :

    I’m caught in the middle of some family drama, and I don’t know what to do. Without going into too much detail, one of my aunts often lashes out at my mom, especially over email and text (but is very nice to me and my siblings, always. In fact, she’s even nicer to us immediately after she does this).

    I’ve tried to maintain a good relationship with her in spite of this and just not get involved, but it’s getting harder and harder to stay impartial when I see my mom getting upset by her (the aunt’s) actions. Siblings and I are all on our mom’s side; the aunt is unstable and has anger issues.

    • family TJ :

      Hit post too soon. Anyway, just looking for advice about how to handle this. I’m really struggling with remaining on good terms with a relative who is so mean to my mom. It feels like a betrayal, even though I know it isn’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d do nothing except be ultra nice to your mother.

      More family drama is not the answer to family drama.

    • I would do a slow fade. I don’t particularly think a big blowout confrontation would be useful if your aunt is unstable. Just kind of pull back on your relationship with her. Be pleasant but distant. I would have a really hard time wanting to continue a relationship with anyone who treated my mother like your aunt is treating your mother. If your aunt calls you on the slow fade, say something then.

    • lawsuited :

      I have an aunt who does this to my mum. I try to be a sounding board for my mum when she’s upset about it (the problem aunt is my dad’s brother’s wife, so mum tries not to complain about it to my dad because she doesn’t want it to sour his relationship with his brother), and support her when she occasionally decides not to schedule a get-together with that family because she’s not up for the nastiness. But, admittedly, my relationship with the problem aunt has cooled. My mum is the sweetest, warmest, kindest, most generous person I know, and it’s sort of hard for me to have a close relationship with someone who treats her so badly.

  7. Anonymous :

    Has anyone done acupuncture for severe allergies? (By “severe” I mean recurring monthly sinus infections, with already getting injections for 10+ years, daily antihistamines + sudafed, daily nasal spray, etc). Particularly curious if anyone who didn’t have much success with shots has gone this route with any luck.

    • Anonymous :

      I did this before I tried immunotherapy. Immunotherapy worked for me. But it was helpful with sinus headahces (to treat and prevent– a little), but I didn’t deal with sinus infections.

    • Anonymous :

      This may be too late for you to see, but seriously consider getting sinus surgery. Nothing worked for me until I bit the bullet and did it. Even if you weren’t eligible a few years ago, repeated infections narrow your passages making it worse.

  8. Treasure & Bond? :

    Anyone familiar with this brand? It seems like a Nordstrom house brand, maybe. Is it good quality?

  9. Does anyone want to do some vicarious shopping for me?

    I’m going to a wedding near Mobile Bay, Alabama in early November. Unclear yet whether it’s cocktail attire or black tie optional (same thing anyway?) but let’s just assume I need a cocktail dress, knee length or shorter. I’m in my late 20s and my best features are my legs and chest- less so my hips/abdomen area. I’d like to spend less than $200 (I’m open to using RTR but would also love to get a dress I can wear again). Would prefer not to wear black since I’ve heard that’s a no-no in the south. I haven’t been feeling great about myself lately so I’d really like to get a fabulous dress. I’m 5’4 so somewhere between petite and regular sizes, and somewhere around a size 4/6.


    • lawsuited :

      I recently got this dress for a wedding and think it is fabulous! The weight of the beading means it doesn’t cling to the mid-section.

  10. Pretty Primadonna :

    FYI, Saks Off Fifth has DVF wrap dresses on sale for 159.99 right now. Enjoy!

  11. Threadjack. I will be attending a seminar in Las Vegas next week and am looking for comfortable walking shoes to wear for non-seminar events (Elton John concert, etc.!) I am a jeans and sneakers type but want something more dressy than typical sneakers, maybe nice loafers or more stylish sneakers. Help! Also, I am very petite, and I tried Supergas, but they looked like I was in my dad’s shoes.

  12. I am so seriously effin psyched that high-rise flares are back. I never really liked skinny jeans.

    So, anyone got a great pair recently? I’m short and hourglassy. Special interest in non-traditionally colored denim, or casual pants that are high-waisted flares but not denim.

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