Beauty And The Briefcase — On A Budget

November 15, 2008 • Magazine

Beauty And The Briefcase — On A Budget

Beauty And The Briefcase — On A Budget

Sat, 2008-11-15 16:00

Rachel Yeomans

We working women spend quite a bit of money on fashion in general; but we spend at times even more on our work ensembles. Those of us who attend presentations, network and schmooze clients and colleagues all know that the initial impression can make all the difference. With that being said, why is it that we tote around clunky briefcases that arrive with our laptops toting the name of our computer, and not a designer? We spend so much money in looking professional and put-together, but we somehow forget about our most constant fashion accessory.

This is where I insert the caveat — I may invest in my work wardrobe, so the more pennies I can pinch to save up for that suit, the happier I would be. And in this economy, I want to be careful where I invest. So with that in mind, I decided to see what my options were to not only accessorize my work ensemble, but accessorize my laptop. Luckily for all of us fashion-savvy entrepreneurs, we do indeed have some options—stylish options.

The first thought that came to me when trying to replace my briefcase was, why not just buy a large purse? As the tote is all the rage these days, they aren’t too difficult to find. Unfortunately the lining of colored silk doesn’t offer as much laptop protection as that of my less-lined briefcase. Then I discovered the ingenious — and much less expensive—solution to this dilemma: the notebook sleeve.

Notebook sleeves range in price from the low $20s to the upper $30s, and they offer the necessary computer protection within that fantastic handbag. Even better, they’re cute! Many companies not only offer the solid-colored sleek options for those of us trying to maintain a certain level of professionalism, but they also offer the fun bright patterns ideal for stepping outside the corporate umbrella.

LeSportsac has recently revamped itself to showcase highly functional storage options with very fashionable designs. They not only feature the notebook sleeve and various styles of briefcases, but they do so in an almost personalized way. When visiting their website, you don’t select a finished product but rather the preferred style and one of at least a dozen colors and patterns. Then they ship the finished selection to your door!

As far as briefcases go, I was delighted to discover that some could challenge the status of my favorite handbags. Clark & Mayfield and McKlein stand out as favorites who offer styles and colors that will surely demand any client’s respect, not to mention admiration. And the best part, their price tag totals half that of that my favorite handbag.

So from here on out, I can walk into my next board meeting with confidence, smarts and style from my suit to my shoes, and of course, to my briefcase.

1. LeSportsac Lexie Tech Tote $120
2. LeSportsac Eunice Convertible Tote/Back Pack $108
3. LeSportsac Laptop Sleeve Medium $34
4. Unlisted by Kenneth Cole $70
5. Clark & Mayfield Parkside Leather Laptop Brief $159
6. Case Logic Laptop Sleeve $23.99
7. Built NY Laptop Sleeve $39.95
8. McKlein Glen Ellyn Ladies’ Briefcase $214.95
9. McKlein Winnetka Leather Ladies’ Briefcase w/ Removable Sleeve $159.99

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