The Parisian and her handbag…a love story over the centuries. It can be mini, just enough for a phone and a credit card although very often huge, heavy and an annex to our home. We love it. During a well-filled day, it even turns into a set of matryoshkas, the Balenciaga shopping bag housing a Fendi evening bag and, of course, a makeup bag, not forgetting the shoulder bag for things that have to be found quickly…

In fact, the Parisian is a “practical” woman who, to limit the number of trips between home, work, school and children, a drink at Café Flore, a private showing in the Marais and diner rue Saint Dominique… is equipped with a real suitcase she calls her “handbag”. Certainly its function as a container is primordial. However, choice of THE bag is also and above all a result of the style and the way it’s carried, a Gap tote bag isn’t carried in the same way as a Lady Dior! It’s complicated…borsa L-950x684
During the week, the children’s report cards, fashion magazines, an umbrella, shopping lists, iPhone charger, catalogue from the last exhibit, three packs of tissues all of which have been opened, shoes to repair, mail and bills, not to mention oversize glasses and the accessory for our small Agnès B jacket in case the evening turns out to be more glamorous than planned…

But, how to choose a bag?

The choice first depends on its function, whether it is or isn’t a container, day or evening, both, only for Paris or for travel… and then on our way of carrying it. The Parisian adores carrying her It bag on the crook of her elbow, less casual than on the shoulder and So chic!

1. ON THE CROOK OF THE ELBOWa971d623c51e0111ef8d47f462e8afd5

Although the Japanese started this trend, Victoria Beckham turned it into a world fad! It’s adored in Paris, this super glamour, very 50’s, Grace Kelly style! However, the bag shouldn’t be too heavy as this may cause shoulder or neck pain… Which bags: for example the Kelly by Hermès as well as the Speedy by Louis Vuitton, the Flower Bag by Tod’s, the City by Balenciaga, the Sunny by Zadig & Voltaire, the French Flair by Lancel, the Cabas New York by Agnès B and, of course, the Pliage by Longchamp...


eac40e34f1ec9433813bbcf767579d08Indispensable for any accomplished fashionista, an essential item for the well-dressed Parisian! We love it because it makes you look really classy and a great many types of bags can be used, from a briefcase with two handles, a duffel bag or even a basket. But here too you have to be careful about weight. Don’t end up with one arm longer than the other! Which bags: the highly chic Lady by Dior, the Rebelle by Gérard Darel, the Paraty by Chloé or even the City bag by Zara.


A world classic! The shoulder bag is the feminine bag par excellence, always in fashion and eternal. The Parisian likes it to be classic and of good quality. Often it’s black, brown or neutral to match everything. It’s a basic. If you’re petite, beware of large shoulder bags that don’t show you to advantage.


Borsa ByredoWhatever the size, it’s the most practical bag since your hands are free! It resisted the handbag fad and the fad of wearing a bag on the crook of the arm and certain stars advocate it because it’s better for your posture and health… But beware, choose your bag carefully if you don’t want to look like a student at the Sorbonne and still benefit from its cool, elegant attitude. Which bags: the small Marcie crossbody bag by Chloé, the black crossbodies by Céline, the Lipp Léopard by Gérard Darel or even the smallest but most practical, the pouch with a flap by Comptoir des Cotonniers.


The Parisian stores it in her big bag and takes it out for the evening or a preview since it’s really cute and feminine.ClioMakeUp-investire-risparmiare-capi-abbigliamento-cappotto-collana-borsa-scarpe-jeans-maglietta-8 It doesn’t hold very much and men don’t really like it because it can’t contain their iPhone or their driver’s license. It’s tragic! However, we really love it and it’s so easy to put away in the closet. It’s the glamorous accessory and comes in all materials, from python to vinyl and all colors, from black to iridescent bleu or orange. Personally, I adooooore it!  Be careful if you’re really tall, avoid choosing one that’s too mini since it may look ridiculous on you.

390090d7daa00be3bda4bda3b5c9fc70Why do French women on vacation carry backpacks while in Paris they don’t dare face the criticism? O.K. it’s practical although what about trying to fish your iPhone out of your backpack? In short, I’d rather not continue the topic. 







Copyright outside photo: Jacquemus;

Copyrignt inside photo:

1. Internet;

2. Bottega Veneta;

3. Internet;

4. Byredo bag;

5. Interenet;

6. Internet;



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Charlotte - Style & fashion

Bonsoir, my name is Charlotte. My mother, ex-model for Saint-Laurent, is American but I’ve lived in Paris since I was 4 years old. Since my mother was often abroad for fashion shows, my French grandmother, a dressmaker for Chanel, taught me the way to become a real Parisian. Today, I’m a wedding-planner and my husband directs a famous fashion magazine. I don’t have to tell you that I have a front seat at all of the fashion shows and I’ve developed a good general culture about fashion. Although I’m the personal shopper for my friends, my strong points are marriage and elegance.

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Edizione Italiana

Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.


English Edition

Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

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