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Your Accessories Communicate Your Brand: What Does Your Work Bag Say About You?

by Debra Bednar-Clark

Style matters when it comes to making a first impression in business — yes, I know I’ve said this before! — and your accessories play a huge part in developing your personal brand.

For example, your work bag is an opportunity to reflect who you are to the world, which makes you wonder, what is your work bag saying about you? Is it bright and patterned showing off your creativity? Is it made from sustainable materials, showing you care for the environment? Is it structured and free of logos, showing you value simplicity and subtlety? (Confession: That last one is me.)

Any opportunity to showcase your personality — even with something as seemingly everyday as a work bag — is something I take seriously. When I buy one, I spend months researching what I want. In fact, my work bag has to satisfy a certain set of criteria — which can evolve as your interests change and career evolves — before I hand over the credit card. Here is my “Should I Buy This Bag” checklist, feel free to take it and make it your own:

The last time I pulled the trigger on a bag was about a year ago, when I purchased a lovely slate and powder blue Celine bucket bag with a camel and red-orange strap. (When I find one that’s perfect for me, I really invest in it financially.) It checked off every box on my “Should I Buy It” checklist — which is no easy feat! — and I had the gotta-have-it feeling as soon as I tested it in the store. Of course, I had to make sure it was functional — and, yes, I put my laptop in it to make sure!

And I still love it. It communicates exactly what I want it to say about myself and my brand: It shows the unique and sophisticated side of my personality through the color choice, the fact that I prioritize quality over quantity in terms of its long-lasting materials and that I value simplicity and subtlety. All of these things lend to the impression I’m making on those who I meet with — and more importantly, how I want to feel about myself.

It’s been a year since I’ve said yes to the bag and I’m still obsessed with it, with no cravings for something new. Like the look? Mine’s sold out, but below are a few more I love (but they won’t last long).

1.Mansur Gavriel Large Tote  2. Saint Laurent Tote  3. Rag & Bone Convertible Leather Tote 4. Danse Lente Tote

So, I challenge you to take a look at your bag right now. Is it communicating what you want it to communicate about your personality? Is it serving the purpose you need it to serve? Does it match your personal brand? I take this seriously because it matters. Only you have the power to communicate the uniqueness of who you are — and your bag is one way of doing that, so don’t hesitate to embrace the opportunity.

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