Walk Like a Lady: The San Francisco Version

I’m reading an autobiography D.V. ~ Diana Vreeland, perhaps one of the 20th century’s greatest tastemakers.  In Chapter 13, she makes a declaration to ” Eliminate all handbags….what do I want with a bloody old handbag that one leaves in taxis and so on? It should all go into pockets. Real pockets, like a man has, for goodness sake.” But Diana had remarked more insightfully, “… the silhouette is improved and so on, and also one’s walk — there’s nothing that limits a woman’s walk like a pocketbook.”

I think this is quite true. I wonder how much my history of heavy bag carrying has effected my carriage without myself noticing. I can trace this back to heavy backpack days during middle school and University. And fast forward to the present, carrying a pair of heels in my mid-size handbag to change into after I make the 15 minute+ walk in my ballet flats to wherever in the City center for an evening out with the gals. (Sometimes I have steep hills to contend with, just think 45 degree incline.) The “heels-in-handbag” is a common practice by style-consious ladies here. Those tiny ladies-who-lunch handbags just don’t work unless you have the disposal of a Driver (aka dedicated boyfriend/spouse) or if YOU just LOVE to drive-and-park-in-San Francisco. If I’m walking and don’t need to change footwear the cross-body style is probably the best since it complements the lifestyle here, especially if you’re walking home with two bags of groceries from Cala Foods.  It does make sense though. The less you’re weighed down the more freedom and opportunity to walk effortlessly.

I think Sade summarized it well in her tune Jezebel:

But when she knew how to walk she knew
How to bring the house down
Can’t blame her for her beauty
She wins with her hands down 

So ladies, be very conscious of your handbag choices if you want to be noticed.


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