I do not travel light. Leaving the house without water, an umbrella, sunglasses and an extra sweater makes me feel unprepared and vulnerable. My wallet is usually stuffed with receipts, coffee shop loyalty cards and really random mementos (never cash though). I never know when I might need dance shoes. And although I chose my own laptop because it was lightweight, Burson-Marsteller did not take this into consideration when they chose my work computer.
So I tend to lug a lot of stuff around back and forth between the office, dance class and home. Several well-meaning adults have told me I should trade my shoulder-bags and briefcases for a backpack. But backpacks make me feel like a tourist, or a little girl on her way to school or someone who thinks they’re going hiking when really they’re just taking the tram to the office. I see those people every day, with their water-proof jackets and sensible shoes, dressing like their children. We call them “allværsjakker” in Norwegian, those unnaturally colorful, weatherproof tents that some people just wear with everything – and wearing a big backpack feels like a few steps away from joining the allværsjakke-enthusiasts.
I’ve blogged in Norwegian about the allværsjakke style rules
Call me a vain, superficial person, and I will respond that I actually need to look like an adult when I’m so often the youngest person in a meeting. And feeling like an adult on my way to the meeting helps.
Enter Moselle, the backpack my dad got me for Christmas last year, and which I still take to work every day. It is to a standard backpack what my white trench coat is to other people’s “allværsjakker” – the fancy, professional, feminine, French version.
Côte&Ciel / Moselle Backpack / Paris from Côte&Ciel on Vimeo.
This is what I love about it:
– It has room for a laptop (in an inner pocket designed for 11” to 13” computers), my dance shoes, and all the other things I think I might need during the day
– It doesn’t make me look like a hiker or a tourist – although the jury is still out on whether I look like a little girl going to school
– It’s lightweight, small and fits close to my back, so I can turn around on public transportation without hitting someone in the face. Just look at how flat it is when it’s empty:
– The color goes with everything I own
– The zipper is positioned to be slightly more of a challenge for pick-pockets, compared to most backpacks
– After spraying it with the same protection spray I use on my shoes, it has stayed water-proof for the past seven months – although I plan on respraying after this week’s downpour.
– My dad was really excited about giving it to me, so I think he put a lot of thought into it, and it’s feels good to really, really appreciate a gift
One drawback so far: the zipper is a bit weak.
Moselle is from the French company Côte et Ciel. They make other backpacks and bags that look nice too. They didn’t pay me to write this, and they have no idea I am doing so. I just want to spread the word about something I like – and answer the “Where did you get that?” question once and for all.
I won’t be offended if we match, but you could always get the black version.
Related post: Dressed for anything
Update: Well Dressed Dad appreciates stylish backpacks as well and has plenty of recommendations on his blog. One post mentions Côte et Ciel and includes a photo of the boring backpack look.