Down with the Ugly Diaper Bags!

The diaper bag is arguably the most essential accessory for every mom on-the-go. As a busy mom of an infant and toddler in New York City’s Upper East Side, I know first-hand the importance of having a fully stocked diaper bag with me during every outing with my kids. Leaving home without a diaper bag is very much like a handyman arriving without his tools – extremely unprepared and amateur. A diaper bag contains all items needed for emergency diaper changes, spills on clothing, sanitizing of toys/dropped pacifiers, or any other unforeseen predicament. But let’s face it, most diaper bags are ugly. Rather than selecting a bag based on style or color, many moms choose diaper bags featuring the same pastel-colored zoo animals that often adorn the walls of their baby’s nursery. While it may momentarily seem like a cute idea, what woman really wants to tote around a bag covered in purple elephants? The diaper bags below are proof that moms’ most important accessory can be both practical and fashionable.  At many different price points, there is something for everyone.

     1.  The Thea Thea Indigo Diaper Bag in Navy – $145 at Thea Thea

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The Indigo diaper bag by Thea Thea features a chic quilted design with whimsy bow detailing. With 4 inner pockets and 2 outside pockets, this bag is roomy enough for all of your new-mom essentials. As an urban mom, I appreciate the value of rain-resistant accessories, especially when schlepping little ones to school and classes in the stroller. The denim-like fabric of the Indigo bag is water repellent, which will keep baby’s diapers, clothes and other contents protected from rain and snow. With it’s versatile design and removable stroller straps, this bag can also be used as a tote. And did I mention it’s only $145?

     2.  Rebecca Minkoff “Marissa” Studded Diaper Bag – $345 at Nordstrom

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Rebecca Minkoff really hit it out of the park with her “Marissa” diaper bag. Its quilted nylon exterior is gorgeously accented with golden studded hardware making this bag the perfect mix of femme and fierce. The nylon interior makes for an easy clean-up of any mess and multiple exterior and interior pockets make this bag  equal parts fashion and function. With stroller straps, removable tassel bag charm and a leather trimmed changing pad, this bag is a smart choice for trendsetting moms everywhere.
     3.  Timi & Leslie “Marie Antoinette” Diaper Bag – $139.99 (marked down from $169.99) at Timi & Leslie

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Exhausted? Scatterbrained? Running on only 4 hours of sleep yet desperately trying to appear sophisticated and fashionable? Enter: Timi & Leslie’s “Marie Antoinette” diaper bag.  This bag will keep even the most disorganized mom prepared for the whirlwind of parenthood, and she will even look chic changing diapers! This bag truly has it all. An insulated bottle tote, zippered pouch for wet clothes and changing pad with mesh pockets are just some of the features that differentiate this diaper bag from most others.  With interior credit card slots, key ring, matching clutch for Mom’s own small items, and detachable strap for cross-body usage, this bag eliminates the need to carry an additional purse. Is it just me, or does the Marie Antoinette diaper bag bear a striking resemblance to Miu Miu’s signature Matelassé nappa leather bags? See for yourself. 

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      4.  Storksak “Bobby” Quilted Diaper Bag – $195 at Storksak

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Also available in black, the Storksak “Bobby” diaper bag has a durable wipe-clean quilted exterior adorned with delicate bows that add subtle femininity. With four interior slip pockets, an interior pacifier case and detachable insulated storage bag for bottles and snacks, this bag is equally stylish and practical. The “Bobby” can be worn as a cross-body bag and comes with a luxury changing pad. 

      5.  Gucci “Original GG” Diaper Bag – $1150 at Gucci

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The Gucci “Original GG” diaper bag is absolutely fabulous and has been photographed on the shoulders of celebrities like Halle Berry and Nicole Richie. Made of durable GG monogrammed canvas and trimmed in leather, this bag is timeless and built to last. In addition to the tan/pink color, Gucci also offers the bag in a tan/blue combination as well as tan/brown and basic black. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, this diaper bag is a great investment for babies and future siblings to come.  I should know – I bought it (in black) when I was pregnant with my son and now I use it for my infant daughter. 

     6.  Kate Spade “Hildy” Baby Bag  – $189 (marked down from $378) at Kate Spade

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The “Hildy” is a diaper bag masquerading as a chic everyday tote bag.  Once a little one outgrows his/her need for a diaper bag, the Hildy easily transitions to an every day bag. Its classic silhouette and 14-karat gold-plated hardware exude understated elegance that make it a perfect choice for the posh mom on-the-go. It’s equally practical as it is polished with its wipe-clean nylon exterior, several interior pockets; two elastic bottle holders and adjustable stroller straps. Unique to this bag are metal feet on the bottom exterior that prevent scuffing on the underside of the bag. Marked down from $378 to $189, this bag is a steal and I anticipate it will sell out quickly.

      7.  Prada “Vela” Nylon Baby Bag – $1360 at Saks Fifth Avenue 6ab

Move over, ladies! This diaper bag indulgence is crafted from Prada’s durable classic nylon and is adorned with the brand’s signature triangle logo plate. With front and back zip pockets, large center pouch and interior zip and slip pockets, there is plenty of room to stash all of your necessities and signature jacquard fabric lines the bag’s interior and envelops your little one’s most shabby chic accessories. Fashion-forward meets functional with a washable changing pad, adjustable shoulder strap, and metal feet to protect the bottom. While this is the most expensive diaper bag on the list, it’s also a versatile option that even Dad would feel comfortable carrying. An instant classic, you’ll keep using it long after your baby is out of diapers.

     8.  Henri Bendel “West 57th” Baby Bag – $199 (marked down from $398) at Henri Bendel

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Henri Bendel is the quintessential playground of Manhattan’s modern woman, but who knew that Bendel’s also designs handbags for trendsetting tots? Meet the luxurious West 57th Baby Bag, Bendel’s tres chic diaper bag creation. The West 57th bag oozes high-fashion appeal and will add instant glam to any ensemble. The sophisticated silhouette is constructed from both Saffiano leather and water-resistant nylon, a combination that distinguishes this bag from most others. The purple sateen interior lining is fit for the most regal little darlings and the bag can also be monogrammed at no additional charge. With all of these lavish features people won’t even believe this is a diaper bag!

     9.  Mia Bossi “Tabitha” Diaper Bag – $280 at Mia Bossi

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Looking for something smaller? This petite diaper bag is perfect for moms of older babies who may not need to carry so many necessities. Its black quilted exterior (made from vegan-friendly faux leather) is embellished with gold chain link hardware reminiscent of vintage Chanel and its design is similarly sophisticated and timeless. A detachable shoulder strap makes this bag a wardrobe staple by allowing for it to be worn messenger style or carried as a satchel, à la the Louis Vuitton Speedy. With this diaper bag in tow, your baby will be only your second best accessory!

     10.  Nest Designs “Keira” Clutch – $85 at Nest Designs

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Who said that diaper bags have to be of mammoth proportions?  The “Keira” clutch is a refreshing departure from the cumbersome design of traditional diaper bags. On days when all you need are a few diapers and wipes, this bag’s got you covered. Made from genuine leather, this compact clutch surprisingly unfolds flat to reveal a full-size changing pad, making it possible to change your baby absolutely anywhere. With an enclosed wet wipes pocket and removable diaper pouch, the “Keira” is diaper bag simplicity at its best.  Wondering where you will stash your keys and cell phone? Fear not, for there is also a small pocket designed to hold some of Mom’s personal items.

 

Manhattan Mommy Spring Essentials

Just as we thought we were out of the woods, yesterday New York City received a Winter reality check in the form of a snow and ice storm, transforming the streets of Manhattan into a near ghost town. As my toddler and I baked cookies, I watched the layers of freezing rain accumulate on our kitchen windows, and my mind drifted to lazy Spring afternoons in Central Park and meandering through street fairs on warm days. Although this weather is no indicator, Monday marks the official start to Spring. As the warmer weather approaches and dreams of sipping Chardonnay (I mean sparkling water, ahem) in the park become a reality, there are certain seasonal accessories that Manhattan moms should be adding to their online shopping carts.

      1. The Save My Bag Handbag 

 

The Save MY Bag handbag line was developed to provide women with stylish protective covers for their expensive designer handbags. Ingenious, really, as unpredictable weather conditions can really wreak havoc on suede, fabrics and exotic skins. Made from a spongy Lycra blend, these bags are waterproof and hand-washable with cold water. The Save My Bag designs mimic the iconic silhouettes of designer bags and are fitted with a hard removable base to support heavy contents. These bags are so classic and versatile that they’ve become a favorite among celebrities and retailers can’t keep them on the shelves. As the days get longer, the temperatures get warmer, and New York moms spend more hours outdoors and away from home. As all moms can attest, this means heavier bags stocked with an abundant supply of diapers, wipes, snacks, and other necessities, and that’s just for the babies! Not only are the Save My Bags large enough to fit all of your diaper bag contents and personal items, but they’re also affordable and weigh less than most traditional diaper bags. This Spring, be the most glamorous Mom at the playground with these trend setting totes. Buy yours at Bloomingdales or directly from the Save My Bag online shop.

      2. Flipsters Foldable Sandal

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We’ve all been there – we leave our apartments dressed for comfortable Spring weather and by the end of the afternoon we’re tired, shvitzing, and wishing we could just kick off our shoes and socks. . .  Well now you can.  Introducing Flipsters, the foldable flip-flops you can conveniently tuck into your bag for these “emergency” occasions. Although available in a wide assortment of colors, I prefer the “champagne,” which most closely resembles nude and would match practically any ensemble. On weekends we often take our kids out for brunch followed by impromptu play dates in the park or fun field trips to other destinations around the city. Rather than chasing my toddler around in my red soles I slip into my Flipsters and put the Louboutins away for safe keeping. I love the convenience of always having an alternative footwear option inside my bag. On sale for $27.95, hurry up and buy yours before they’re gone. 

      3.  JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket

 

Large enough for the whole family, this multi-purpose JJ Cole outdoor blanket is the perfect companion for picnic lunches with my infant and toddler. Manufactured from water-resistant material, this blanket can be used on damp grass or muddy ground and will protect your clothes from the elements and keep them looking pristine. The blanket wipes clean and can even be machine washed should your little ones have a penchant for messy eating. In addition to picnic lunches, this lightly padded blanket also provides the perfect accommodations for you and your little ones at the many music classes held in the Upper East Side’s neighborhood parks. Easily folded and adorned with a convenient carry strap, toting this blanket is truly effortless. Theses are available in both 5′ x 5′ and 5′ x 7′ at Amazon

       4.  Kovot 9-Piece Wine Travel Bag

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For wine enthusiasts and parents of toddlers alike, a compact wine tote is an essential component for transforming a lackluster play date in the park into a “mocktail hour” fit for even the most fabulous moms. The Kovot 9-piece wine travel bag is like having your very own wine bar right at your fingertips. The insulated wine tote is compact in design and comes fully stocked with unbreakable glasses, napkins and corkscrew. Nervous about the kiddos knocking over your drinks? No worries – the set also includes stakes that stick right into the ground and keep your glasses safe and upright. Weighing in at less than two pounds, this is a staple item in my stroller’s storage basket. Don’t wait until the next warm weekend – buy it at Amazon now. 

      5.  Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Mist 

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I was first introduced to Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Mist in Riviera Maya, Mexico, where our resort provided individual bottles to guests on the pool deck. Evian is widely known for their bottled water, but surprisingly their facial mist has flown under the radar for years. Evian Natural Mineral Water Facial Mist rehydrates dry skin and provides an instant refreshing pick-me-up for worn-out moms everywhere. Packaged in a leak-proof canister and small enough to keep inside your purse or diaper bag, its micro-droplets are formulated to freshen up makeup throughout the day. Available at Sephora, just one little spritz of this facial mist is all you need to cool off on a warm Spring day.

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