A Budget Bag for the Budding Minimalist

"The little things are what make me excited to wear a piece,
and I wanted to want to wear this backpack - not just grab something that works."
- /u/only2learn

Be sure to check out /u/only2learn on Reddit and Instagram!

"Why Do I Need A Backpack?" - you, probably

Fall has come, and many have started university for the year. The fits are fire, but just feel unfinished, and you realize the small details are what sets an outfit apart. It’s time to complete the look with a killer bag, but you've already blown your budget on a pair of all white sneakers that the internet said YOU MUST HAVE. The internet was right - those sneakers are great. But this time, lets try and pick a piece that everyone reading this hasn’t already purchased or set their eyes on, and let’s make sure you don’t have to eat saltines and peanut butter for a month to afford it.

Available Here


For the sake of full disclosure, I was given a budget of about $75 US to make any purchase I wanted in exchange for this review, and at the point of writing it, I have only had this Herschel Reid Select Bag in Caramel for about two weeks. I will be writing a review of the backpack a couple of months in, and will be writing about a project that I have in store to make it slightly more unique a bit down the line. With that out of the way, lets get started.

I had a few things in mind when choosing this backpack. First, the color had to easily fit anything in my wardrobe, and since I already own a grey bag, it couldn’t be grey. This left me with white, black, some variation of brown, and all of the shades in between. Second, I didn’t want a bunch of straps, lines, or patterns. I treat the things I carry like an accessory, and, to me, they should add to the outfit without drawing too much attention. Third, I wanted to find a bag that I didn’t see around me, and that includes in the online fashion communities I frequent. Sure, Herschel backpacks are popular, but I haven’t seen one like this posted about too often. Finally, I wanted some fun details. The little things are what make me excited to wear a piece, and I wanted to want to wear this backpack - not just grab something that works.

handle-body connections

On the color. I went with this caramel color for it’s relative versatility. It will add contrast to those all black fits, work wonderfully with the creams, greys, and whites of a minimalist outfit, and pairs perfectly with navy. I can pick it up with almost any outfit I put on. It is not bright and distracting, but it’s not washed out and bland either. The bag really is the color of a store bought caramel, but without the shine. Yum!

handle-body connections

The shape is nice too. It’s inoffensive and clean. It looks like a rucksack. It’s not a fancy technical piece, but it’s not the bag you left the house with in kindergarten. It fills the function of a minimalist bag perfectly, and honestly, I wouldn’t ask for anything more. There are other bags out with sharper lines (take a look at some of those other herschels), but the organic shape softens the visual weight of the bag, which is nice since the color already contrasts with much of what I wear. The bag is suprisingly large too! I can fit a change of clothes, including shoes, into the bag, and not even fill it half way! And the small pocket is great for things like headphones, keys, wallets, and any other knick-knacks you might otherwise carry in your pocket.

The best part of this bag though, is the number of little details. The backpack closure is a simple drawstring, but it’s held tight by a vegtan leather slide, and the top folds over and holds easily with a magnetic snap that also has vegtan detailing! A final bit of vegtan detailing is found on the shoulder strap, and completes the bag. I love that the only places with visual branding are the snap, inside the bag, and a tiny black tag on the side of the bag that says Herschel. It keeps the bag clean, and keeps me from being a walking advertisement (I save that role for the internet).

handle-body connections
"I can 'pick it up' with almost any outfit I put on" - HAha get it guys?? Get it?

Two weeks in, and I am very pleased with this bag. Are there more expensive bags out there? Yes. Are there fancier bags out there? Yes. But it’d be tough to find something that functions finer as a no thoughts, pick-me-up and go pack, that is this fun, and looks this good, for less than $100. There are a few colors to choose from, and it’s easy to wear with a number of outfits. It’s simple, inoffensive, and still interesting. It hits all the marks for me.

Available Here

This was just a first impression - want to hear the rest?

Stick around, it'll be done soon. In the meantime, check out the 13 completed posts at the top of this page.
Or, put your internet-digits in the box below and hold tight. I'll let you know when it's ready.