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I am one of those fairly rare breeds of women in that I am not really into bags and don't often carry one - I find it much easier to give everything to my husband to carry! Having said that, when I went to New York the year before last, i had in my mind that I wanted a 'brown bag' from Bloomingdales, the department store that is based over there. I saw it more as getting a souvenir of my visit rather than buying a bag as such, so it was different in my eyes, which is how I came to own the zip top version of their Medium Brown Bag.
There is a complete range that includes lap top bags, purses, make up bags and indeed small, medium and large brown bags. They are all brown of course, although they do a pink range too which I think is to do with breast cancer awareness and so some of the profits go to that. The bags are PVC and the medium one is about 16 inches by 12 inches in size. They are traditionally open shopping style bags, although the one I have is the much more useful zip top version.
I really like the bag actually because it is a decent size which means that I can use it a lot more. i use it as a hand luggage bag when I go travelling because it is big enough that it can hold all the things I need to entertain me on a long flight and the things that I don't want to risk leaving in checked in luggage. To give you some idea of the size, on my last trip I fit my iPad, Kindle, camera, tickets, passports, money wallet, a magazine, a newspaper, my purse, an untold amount of pens, my diary, a pad of paper, my phone and several packets of sweets. It all fit comfortably even though it was ridiuclously heavy.
It is pretty simple in that there are no internal pockets or anything, which offer both pros and cons - pros in that you can fit all the aforementioned items in, cons in that it is a real pain to find anything, especially the smaller items, once everything is packed in.
The zip is essential for me because it offers more security and means that everything doesn't fall out when I put it down. To be honest, I am not sure why anyone would bother buying the one without a zip because I don't know what you would use it for.
The handles are pretty sturdy and they bag is quite clearly well made. The fact that I cart that much stuff around in it is testament to that. The only issue I have with it is that the handles are very narrow so that when you do fill it up, they can did in a bit. The handles are long enough that you can use it as an over the shoulder bag, but short enough that you can carry it over your wrist too in that show offy kind of way that celebrities carry their latest 'it' bag.
Other benefits of the bag are that it lasts well - I have used and abused mine for three years now and it still looks as good as the day that I bought it. The fact that it is PVC means that it is also easy to clean (should you feel the need to) and that it is also OK to use in the great British weather (ie rain!).
I got my bag for $30.00 in New York although it is available online at www.bloomingdales.com for just under £30 at the time of writing. There is a shipping cost to add to that if you don't spend £100 in one transaction (when you qualify for free shipping - it is an American site after all, so your bag won't be delivered!) and the website advises that it'll be 'shipped' in two days. It is obviously better to get one in the US if you are there, but the UK price is pretty good value for money too as far as I am concerned because it is roomy, looks pretty good and lasts well. Recommended.
On a recent trip to New York my very lovely friend bought me one of these bags - I had owned one of the standard 'Little Brown Bag's' for a number of years and had wanted to get the next size up as they are simply so durable, strong and useful. This size is $35 (so approximately £20 at the current exchange rate) and is identical to the Little version, just big enough to carry over your shoulder instead.
These bags have been iconic for quite some time now and the small ones are quite often bought as souvenirs of a trip to New York as the image of them is so intrinsically linked with the store (Bloomingdales) and the City as a whole.
Just like with the small one (and there is a apparently a 'Large' version of this bag too) this bag is made of a strong plastic resin which is wipe clean and flexible whilst being very sturdy. The handles are very strong and this bag will handle quite a bit of weight - I tend to use it as a supplementary bag for work which carries my iPad, files and folders (whatever I am currently working on as I frequently am away from my desk).
It is just a nice size to hold all the bits I need to have with me and keep them in some kind of order whilst being quite stylish and durable. The measurements of this bag are as follows: width 13.5", height 12.25", depth 6". The handles are 11" long so you have plenty of room to get them over your shoulder.
I like the way this bag is slightly shiny and patent, mine has sustained a couple of marks from where it has rubbed against hard surfaces on occasion but nothing major and most things just wipe off. As all of the different sizes of bags look the same in terms of style (a beige background with 'little/medium/large brown bag' written in chocolate coloured letters) this is a very eye catching and instantly recognizable bag which for the money is a lovely piece to own and a useful item to boot.
The only downside of this item is that Bloomingdales is based in the USA, you can, however, order from their website and have them shipped although you will pay a bit more for this service. The medium bag is also available in a slightly different shape with a zip top.
When I found out I was pregnant I realised there was loads I still wanted to do and having my daughter I was still determined to do them all! It was always my desire to go to New York and get one of the famous "brown bags" (I put it down to watching too many episodes of friends!) and so a month after my daughter was born I was off to the travel agent and we booked our 5 day trip to New York for 2010 excited and raring to go!
As we got to New York with a 10 month old in tow I was determined to hit the shops and Bloomingdales was my top destination. Getting there I got carried away and bought the little brown cosmetic bag and this medium brown bag.
Costing $35 (don't forget adding Tax!) It was a steal for me and an ideal token for me to bring back from trip! The bag is a tan/beige colour, a shiny patent tote bag with straps long enough to go over shoulder and sit comfortably.
The bag has so much use and I like using it as a casual day bag. It can fit all my daily "necessities" that I like to carry like my hard back book I'm curently reading, an umbrella, purse, phone, keys etc with lots of space so it doesn't feel overloaded.
The exterior of the bag is a smooth surface so easy to wipe clean and maintain it's appearance. My only qualms with this bag are that firstly, it has quite sharp corners so can sometimes stab an unexpecting passer by and I've often grazed myself a couple times! Secondly it is an open bag so it cannot be zipped or popped closed. Ideally I don't like these type of bags as I get the tube to work where we are packed like sardines and I feel like I am an easy target for pick pockets, but otherwise I love using it just hold on tight!
I would definitely recommend this bag as a great souvenir to bring back from the Big Apple and as a fashion forward bag statement! It's durable as I have had it now 2 years and I know it won't be going out of style anytime soon. If your in New York its a must buy!
I went to New York four years ago now for my first wedding anniversary and had an absolutely amazing time, what a great city and what a great holiday. I think we practically walked the whole of Manhattan but no visit to New York would be complete in my eyes without a trip to Bloomingdales (of course, we did all the touristy sights too, I loved the Statue of Liberty, but I also love to shop and Bloomingdales in a shopping mecca).
Bloomingdale's is an upscale American department store owned by Macy's, Inc. WIth its floors and floors of great shopping and cafes its such a fun place to browse and also bring home some souvenirs. We went around Christmas time so they had some lovely Christmas decorations which now adorn our tree but the one souvenir I wanted to take home from their shop was one of their medium brown bags.
The brown bags that you can buy are replicas of their famous paper shopping bags which look exactly the same however the only difference is that this bag is made out of vinyl. The bag is a tote bag and I have found it very handy indeed. When I took my trip to New York I was still working in London so I knew it would come in handy for carrying my lunch, newspaper etc in and this is exactly what I used it for. It's not a tremendously big bag but its big enough to house these items in and keep them safe. I used to use little paper bags, like this but made out of thick paper to toe my lunch around but the English weather would often ruin them so a vinyl one is great.
The bag is open topped which makes it easy to put things in and out of it and I found this especially handy when I was commenting to keep putting my paper in and being able to get to it quickly. Now, I have changed the usage of my bag and use it as a baby bag, I carry a few nappies and a bag of wipes as well as two drinks cups and a couple of snacks in it and its really handy to just be able to hang it on the pushchair and be able to get to these items quickly for my kids.
The bag is light brown and has the words Medium brown bag written on it in darker brown letters. It also has Bloomingdales written up the side of it in the same darker brown letters. Its quite a stylish looking bag in my opinion even if everybody knows where you got it from! What I like about it is that even though its a tote bag its straps are long enough to be able to carry over your shoulder and its not just a bag that you carry with your hands.
The measurements are given as: 12.25" W x 13.5"H x 6"D; 11"Drop from shoulder. I can't remember how much I paid for it in New York but a quick search on the website now shows me that it will cost you £28.60 as it looks like they have a UK site and will ship here so you don't have to go all the way to New York to get one although its a much more fun idea to do that and bring this home as a souvenir!
I've had a couple of the Bloomingdale's 'little brown bags' over the years, and when we were in New York earlier this year I decided to buy myself a 'medium brown bag' along with a new 'little brown bag'. To be honest I probably wouldn't have even looked at the 'medium brown bags' if I didn't have to buy one for a friend that had requested one as her birthday gift.
The 'medium brown bag' is modeled on the famous Bloomingdale's paper carrier bags, which come in 'little brown bag' size, 'medium brown bag' size, and 'large brown bag' size. I'm sure that most people have seen someone carrying around the popular shiny plastic Bloomingdale's souvenir 'little brown bags', well the 'medium brown bag' is just a bigger version of this.
The 'medium brown bags' are $35.00 plus tax in Bloomingdale's, I have to admit that I didn't think that they would be this much, and I also think that the 'little brown bags' have increased in price too (these are $20.00 plus tax, I'm fairly sure that when I bought my 'last little brown bag' around 5 years ago I only paid around $12.00 - I guess that everything goes up though hey!).
So what do you get for your $35.00 (plus tax)?
The Bloomingdale's 'medium brown bag is a shiny patent tote bag resembling the medium size Bloomingdale's carrier bag. The only difference being that it has shoulder straps rather than just carry handles. It's just made of a shiny vinyl which is waterproof, and so the rain just runs off and any spills will also just easily wipe off. It's open top though so if you get caught in a rain shower than the rain will get in the top of the bag if you don't have a brolly. Another thing to consider with the open top is the safety aspect, I always make sure to put my valuables in the bottom of the bag with the rest of my junk on the top of them, this then makes things harder and slower to find, but I think that it keeps them safer and so I'm happy to spend the extra few minutes scrabbling around to find something as it means that they aren't just sitting there waiting for some opportunistic thief to lift them off the top.
Most of the time though I will use this alongside a smaller handbag, I will normally use this for my laptop and work folders as opposed to using this as my main handbag. I think that it's slightly too big to use as a day to day handbag, it's much more suited to toting lots of stuff around. So I use it for work, and I also find that it's a good size to stay overnight at a friends - I can throw a change of clothes and some toiletries in here and it's the perfect size to hold these, it then doesn't look out of place if we go for a quick drink in a pub beforehand.
The bag itself is a light brown colour, with 'medium brown bag' written on both the front and the back in chocolate brown, it also has 'bloomingdales' written on each of the two sides of the bag. The two shoulder straps are chocolate brown, they are a fairly decent length and I can easily carry this over my sholuder and the bag hangs at a comfortable length. My only gripe with the bag is that the corners of the bag are actually quite sharp and can give you a nasty bruise if you catch yourself with a corner of the bag, I've had many a bruise from knocking myself with the corners of my bag.
The bag stands on a flat base so that you can put it on the floor or on a chair without worrying about it toppling over. The bag is 12.5'' wide, 13.5'' high, and 6'' deep, so it's a fairly decent size and will hold quite a lot of stuff, or 'junk' as my husband calls everything that I stuff in here! It's really durable and easy to clean, both inside and out, as any spills just wipe off. Mine does have a few slight scratches on the bottom from placing it on the ground but not too many that it looks tatty. The handles are securely attached, I've carried tonnes of stuff around in this and the handles are still perfectly attached to the bag. The shoulder straps are quite wide so that even if you have the bag jam packed full, as I normally do, then they don't cut into your shoulder.
I think that the Bloomingdale's bags make a perfect little souvenir of a trip to the US as they are exclusive to Bloomingdale's. I guess that the size you choose depends on both your budget and what you intend to use the bag for. I've had a lot of use out of my 'medium brown bag', and I probably would purchase another one, however I do think that I use my 'little brown bag' more as it's a more practical size. I would certainly recommend the 'medium brown bag' though if you feel that you would use the bigger sized shoulder bag.
WHAT IS IT?
One of a set of open top shopping bags from American department store Bloomingdales. There are three bags in the set and this is the middle size one measuring 13.5" by 12.5", it opens out to a width of about 6".
The bag is made from vinyl and has handles long enough that I can wear it over my shoulder. The bag has been given a shiny coating and has the words Medium Brown Bag printed on it, the bag is a light coffee coloured shade of brown and the text is a chocolate brown. It is an updated shopping bag and even though this is only the medium one it's quite large so will carry a lot if shopping.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
I dislike plastic carrier bags so always use this kind of shopping bag whenever I go grocery shopping, my friend bought me this when she went on her holidays to America but you can purchase it in the UK too. I only use it for grocery shopping because there is no fastener on the bag so it makes you vulnerable to thieves, I never put my purse or carry anything of value in this bag for that reason.
It's a strong bag and the handles are securely attached to the top of the bag, that means you can carry quite heavy loads in it without the worry of stretching the bag or handles. I avoid putting lots of tins in it because I don't want to spoil the shape of the bag but when I carried our weekly supply of vegetables yesterday they didn't turn out to be too heavy even though I had bought potatoes and butternut squash. I have also used it to transport newspapers and magazines to my daughters nursery school when they have asked for them for craft work.
The straps are quite thin and that can make it uncomfortable to carry on my shoulder when it is full but if you alter the way the straps are sitting on your shoulder then you can make it more comfortable, it also helps to make sure the weight of whatever is in the bag is evenly distributed.
I've used this Bloomingdales Medium Brown Bag for two years and it is still in good condition with only a little of the shiny coating peeling off the bottom corners. That doesn't make it look very tatty though because it is such a tiny portion of the bag and is not in a place where you'd notice this damage.
4 Dooyoo Stars.
Bloomingdale's is a department store which originated in New York City. The store has a wide range of designed bags but also have their own exclusive range of bags known as "Brown Bags".
The Brown Bag range includes the well known "Little Brown Bag", some canvas type bags and even a laptop bag. My review however, discusses the "Medium Brown Bag".
~Medium Brown Bag~
The Medium Brown Bag is said to be the ideal souvenir bag from NYC and is a size up from the Little Brown Bag. The bag itself is a tote shopping bag which is patent and made of vinyl. It is an open top bag which measures 12.25 x 13.5 x 6inches and has an 11inch drop from the shoulder.
The bag is of course brown in colour with black handles. A genuine Bloomingdale's bag features "medium brown bag" on the front and back in black writing. The sides of the bag feature more black writing stating "bloomingdale's".
To guarantee authenticity, I would recommend purchasing direct from www.bloomingdales.com. They ship to the United Kingdom and have this particular bag priced at £27.59. A hand bag style, medium bag with a zip top is the same price.
A replica can be purchased from Amazon and other stores for under £8.00.
I can only ever dream of visiting New York and Bloomingdale's! Until such time, I will just need to use my "Medium Brown Bag" and make everyone thing I have visited there. Whilst this is available for delivery, my bag was purchased from the actual department store. My best friend had visited NYC for a shopping break with her partner earlier this year and this was my gift..how wonderful! I personally wouldn't have got much use from the smaller bag so this one is perfect for me.
~Design and Comfort~
The design isn't exactly complicated and does look like any other shopper tote. Although brown isn't my favourite colour for a bag, it works with this one and is very distinctive. I do think it is worth investing in a genuine bag as it has a higher quality finish than the knock off bags (a local shop sells the knock off bags). The bag is quite sleek and has a glossy, patent finish which is attractive.
The bag is well made. The stitching is neat and creates a secure seal around the vinyl material. The vinyl is very easy to wipe down with a cloth if needed and there is a vinyl layer inside too so nowhere for stains or marks to breed. The writing on the bag has never faded in the time I have used it. There are no scratches or marks on the bag and it looks as good as the day I received it. The handles are made of a thick material and are well stitched. They are secure and overall the bag is high quality in design.
The bag is reasonably large and not one you would want to take out on a night out or anything. I don't find it comfortable to have this bag sitting on my shoulder. Whilst the handles are fairly long, I find the top of the bag sits just underneath my underarm. This may not be an issue for some as it means the open top is secure and there is less chance of anyone pinching anything! The edges of the bag are rather "jaggy" and this doesn't bode well with my arms.
I find it best to place the handles over my arm and raise the bag a bit. It could be simply carried like a shopping bag but if you bump into someone, you may do them damage with the sharpish edges! The tote bag is rather sturdy due to the vinyl material. This has positive and negative points in my opinion. The negative being that it doesn't have as much give as a canvas or other material bag so does appear a bit too "solid" and difficult to manipulate!
~Just Give It Some Space...~
This bag is so versatile and I only wish I had received this when at college! Being an open top affair, this is no good to use when it is peeing from the heavens! It is very spacious though not entirely light weight. This is my bag of choice whenever I go shopping and I feel happy and content about using it. Due to the thickness of the bag, I have never had any sharp objects puncture through it.
This bag would be ideal for transporting reasonably bulky books to and from university or college. It has a good with and can stretch out ever so slightly to resemble a box type shape! It doesn't lose its original shape but can accommodate wide books. It also a great depth and there is plenty of room to play tetris and fit lots into the bag. A bulky Argos book can fit either way in the bag with room around the sides. I often carry my A4 notebook around and it slips in with easy and looks a little lost to be honest!
To give an idea of what can fit in this bag, I will tell you what I have carried around in it on 2 recent occasions. Last week I managed to fit in a pack of pull ups for my son, 2 packs of baby wipes, my purse, A4 notebook, a magazine, a change of clothes for my son and 2 bottles of juice with sufficient space remaining at the top. A trip to Tesco yesterday resulted in me needing extra bag space for groceries. This time I managed to fill this bag up with a punnet of strawberries, a pack of bananas, a 1l carton of juice, 2 packs of fromage frais and my purse. Neither occasion has caused the bag to appear strained and there is no fear of overfilling as the front and back of the bag simply wouldn't allow for it.
Regardless of how much or how little (or how much weight) is in this bag, it holds it well and keeps its shape and looks the part. It is too big if you are simply planning or carting a purse and mobile around but is perfect if you want to fit various shopping bits in and don't want to carry too many individual bags. I think it makes the perfect bag for carting essentials about during the Summer. I used it then for when we went on picnics as it was ideal for storing drinks, food, suncream, baby wipes etc and if I had a leakage, it was no problem to wipe up.
I love my Bloomingdale's Medium Brown Bag. It is versatile and I have had plenty of use from it during the past 10months. It might not be to everyones tastes but I find it to be the perfect little shopper tote. Over £27.00 may seem expensive for a vinyl material product but its durability and stability have drawn me to the conclusion that this is very much worth its high price tag. Whilst it is far from a Prada or Gucci bag in the style stakes, it is practical and stylish enough for day time shopping.
I would recommend that you treat yourself to one of these shopper bags even if it does mean getting it imported. It is such a great investment and i am so pleased that my friend chose this for me.