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Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

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Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I have been reading the pickpocket-related threads. Purses are my one indulgence. I was about to buy a Marc Jacobs nylon crossbody, but now I am looking at PacSafes.I don't like the styles too much, but they certainly seem to have a lot of safety features. Do I really need to be concerned about slashing, for instance? I am just wondering what you experienced travelers carry - size - style - color- knowing that you will be out and about a lot of the day. Do you have a casual bag for day and an elegant bag for night - or - do you just carry the same one all the time? I am interested in everyone's input on this topic. Just asking...

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1. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

You need an over the shoulder purse that has a zippered pocket inside and a different zipper to zip up the purse.

Can't be too careful.

Chicago, Illinois
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2. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I don't carry a purse; I buy Magellan or Scottevest clothing with hidden pockets; it is remarkably freeing not to have to lug a bunch of stuff everywhere --

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3. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

Wherever we go, I carry a L/V Epi Leather Noe Purse. It is a leather shoulder bag that I carry UNDER MY ARM - and the leather is thick enough so that it is pretty much non-slashable. Trust me, with my type of bag, if they are stupid enough to try to slash it, I'll know right away, and can yell immediately.

Street thieves tend to go for "easy pickings," so I urge you to not carry ANY sort of light-weight Nylon bag

Kaua'i, HI
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4. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I now carry a single zip (on top) black leather Italian purse than I bought at a vintage shop in the Marais last year. It was all of about 20 euro. I can keep my finger on the actual tag of the zipper and pull it to my front if I am in a crowded Metro or elsewhere and be able to tell if someone is getting into it, since there is only one entrance. It also has a zippered compartment towards the bottom inside.

I had a messenger style, cross body style purse on my first visit to Paris - I wore it pulled to my chest and had a good grip on it on the Metro one day when I saw a hand coming out of it with a zippered clutch that was inside of it a minute ago. I never felt it, but the flap covered her hand that was skillful enough to unzip it with me never knowing. This was in a VERY crowded Metro where there was zero personal space.

So I go with simple, simple - carry as little as possible, keep my finger on that zipper tag when in a crowd, and don't worry about it. Paris may have clever pickpockets - but it is still the most wonderful city I've ever visited in my life and I can't wait to get back in September!

Malama Pono (take care)


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5. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I have used a nylon cross chest bag on all of my trips to Paris, as well as several to Germany and Italy, and have never had a problem with slashing or any other kind of issue. More than what kind of bag one carries, the most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings. I also don't carry anything in my purse I cannot afford to lose, so I don't have a paranoid expression on my face.

Choose the bag you want to use, be aware, and enjoy Paris.

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6. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I carry the same purse day and night, and have had various experiences in various cities in Europe - from very expensive designer handbags to cheap canvas "sac". Various colors too - bright blue (current favorite), pink, red, tan, beige...

NEver had a single problem.

Oh, not true - once there was an issue...In a store in London, I was kindly made aware that my handbag was open. (it's because my DSLR camera didn't fit all the way so I couldn't close it)

I know pickpocketers do exist, but I think it's more important to be confident and aware so that the pickpocketers don't identify you as a target in the first place.

Edit: Nancyleemo, at the same time and on the same page :-D

Edited: 18 May 2012, 09:56
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7. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I carry a leather crossbody bag to free up my hands (unstylishly slung toward the front much of the time, so I can keep a good eye on it). In crowded places, my hand is on it, as mentioned by some of the others. I do take along a clutch for dressier evenings, but mostly for going back and forth to dinner and not so much to carry around if walking a lot at night. I've never felt the need for anything slashproof.

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8. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

Koloagirl, I had almost the same experience in Lisbon on a tram. Had the purse tucked under my arm and felt some guy's hand on the purse. I elbowed him in the ribs, told him to get away and he did. I looked down and saw my purse fully zipped so figured I foiled the attempt. Not so, when I got off the tram, my wallet was gone -- he was zipping the purse back closed when I felt him. I have traveled all around the world and always considered myself to be alert and aware of my belongings and environment. But that day I felt like a fool - esp. since there was a sign just above my head that said Beware of Pickpockets!

Back to the question at hand. I too have looked at the PacSafe purses but think they are a bit of overkill -- I don't really worry about the slashing in Paris although maybe I should. I guess I would be more concerned if I was carrying a backpack as someone could slash the bottom from behind. I don't know how many straps get slashed in Paris because those actions go far beyond what I consider to be ordinary pickpocket activities. So my focus in looking at a bag is how to secure the main zipper opening where most of my things will be stored.

I found a couple of interesting cross body bags by Eagle Creek. www.eaglecreek.com They have a toggle on the end of the zipper which hooks into a metal ring at the end. I'm seriously considering one of those. Baggalini also has some nice crossbody bags but I'm not sure if they come with some type of closure for the zipper.

I keep my money/credit card in the small inside zippered compartment of a purse if it has such a compartment. I've also rigged a more secure closure for a zipper by using a small carabiner (if the zipper pull will allow it) and hooking it to the ring holding the strap. I've even used a big diaper pin to secure the zipper as well.

Again the best advice is carry as little as possible, keep your belongings close to you, and stay aware of your surroundings.

And back to your question if we use the same purse day and night. My daytime and nighttime activities are not much different so I tend to use the same purse day and night when traveling. However on my upcoming trip to Paris this fall, I may want to have a smaller dressier shoulder bag (like a clutch with a strap) if I get tickets for the opera and ballet. That will be on my shopping quest upon arrival. However, I will probably wear that bag under my coat and just keep my metro pass in the coat pocket.

Edited: 18 May 2012, 10:29
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9. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I use a Lesportsac bag.....the everyday deluxe model. I also take a slightly dressier leather bag with me in case I want to switch for evenings, but quite often, I stick to the Lesportsac bag, especially if it's raining and I prefer not to get my leather bag wet.

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10. Re: Purse Question: What Style of Purse Do You Carry in Paris?

I won't waste my funds on a Pac safe. Ugly and uncomfortable. Not to mention poorly designed.

I just carry a normal purse, don't put anything valuable in it besides my camera (which will not fit in the 'secure' purse) and pay attention. In lots of trips that has worked just fine