Arrive in Style: Luggage as a Fashion Statement

By Gretchen Kelly

OK, we all know that check in bags are being lost in record numbers. Heightened security measures and long, long lines mean that if you check your big old bag, you might never see your Blahniks again. Solution? Find a carry on bag that has room for everything you need and doesit in style.

I recently traveled with the amazingly compact but roomy Skyroll bag on a train trip through France on the TGV which has very limited room for luggage. My traveling companions were awed at how much I got into the bag (a garment bag wraps around the carry on — elegant solution to space!) and at how easily it’s slim shape got through those narrow corridors. The top opens up and makes a great cosmetics bag. If you put your liquids into one quart sized bag and limit them to 3 oz. a piece (yes, we all know how silly this is!) you can just doff the top, show the bag, clear security and stick it back in. Voila, no confiscated lip glosses and body cremes (do remember that 3 oz. limit though!).

You can get the Skyroll on wheels bag from the company website (www.skyroll.com) for $199.00.

When thinking carry on, size does matter. So does shape.

Check out this underseat rollaway from TravelSmith (www.travelsmith.com). What I like about this bag is that it will actually go under your seat, so if you’ve booked on one of those tiny, tiny little jets that have zero overhead space, your companions will have to check their bags at the plane door while you’ll get to shove your little gem under the seat and sit on it till you arrive.

Eagle Creek® Hovercraft Series Wheeled Under-Seat Tote, $150.00

Size matters but so does style.

pic1Check out this retro cool bag from Samsonite. They used to advertise this stuff with footage of gorillas throwing them around to prove their durability. If gorillas couldn’t spring them open the baggage handlers at JFK might not be able to either. I like the two-toned look and the roomy shape, big enough for a handbag. REMEMBER THIS MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CARRY ON TRAVEL RULE: If you’re traveling through any United Kingdom Airport (Healthrow, Stanstead), you’ll be asked to get your handbag INTO your carry on. No it’s not fair, but it’s the rule and woe to the singlemindedwoman traveler who can’t fuse the two. One will have to go.

Samsonite Vintage, $350.00  www.samsonite.com

And finally, in the who-cares-how functional its bitching looking department, the Roxy Hella Cool bag, just small enough for most carry ons but a bit big for those little jets (see the rollaway right).

This black and grey back with shocking pink ROXY detail comes with its own tote, cosmetic bag and pillow so if it’s too big for the carry on bin you can put your essentials in the tote and check it at the plane door.

Roxy Hella Cool Travel Bag, includes cosmetics case and pillow.  www.tactics.com, $161

Additional SMW Travel Reading:

Arrive in Style: Five Easy Pieces

Arrive in Style: Scents of Place

God is in the Amenities