I Cross My Body

My first purse was a green pebbled “leather” crossbody with ESPRIT embossed across the front in brown leather. I tied its thin strap into a knot at the top of my shoulder. Oh, how I loved that purse. Even though it could not hold much more than my Lip Smackers tin, a scented eraser, and a box of Tic Tacs, I loved how it crossed my body to rest on my hip leaving my arms free to carry my stack of school books around as no one carried a backpack then.

Over the years, I gradually moved on to the slightly larger Liz Claiborne raised logo crossbody, to the Kate Spade original nylon bag, obviously; from the Louis Vuitton backpack purse to Prada’s pebbled leather hobo; from the Gigi structured leather work tote with handles that rested in the crook of my arm to the wristlet and lululemon shopping bag….record scratch!  What? My latest “it” bag had become a shopping bag I carried around most days? How did that even happen?

When I left the private sector four years ago to become a SAHB (Thanks to Ali Helmuth for coining Stay At Home Boss!), I pretty much stopped carrying a purse because I was walking all over Old Town running errands, picking up my kids, and meeting friends for lunch – and a heavy leather work tote simply was not conducive to my active lifestyle. With restaurant and coffee shop apps on my iPhone for mobile ordering, I rarely needed much with me beyond my Kelly Wynne or Prada wristlet, and it felt liberating to be so untethered.

But what to do with my keys, lip gloss, sunglasses, bottle of water, and latest book club selection? After juggling all of these items in my hands for a bit, one day I smartly popped it all into a lululemon shopping bag, and after I wore that out, I transitioned to a free canvas tote bag I received from Old Town Books. I remained rather proud of myself that I still did not have the need to carry a purse on the daily.

With the addition of a new baby to the family, I bought a diaper bag, a diaper bag that was billed as one that could double as a purse. I must confess I tried that on as a purse option for a bit, but what did that say about me to carry a diaper bag as a purse? I may as well have bought a minivan to go with it. And I know, I know, #sorrynotsorry if I offended here as I know drivers of minivans swear by them, and they come with that button you can push on the key fob to automatically slide the double doors open so a dolphin can jump through while you are parked on a boardwalk — you know the commercial I am talking about – but it’s just not me.

It was time for a self-intervention, and my hunt for the perfect crossbody for my active, SAHB lifestyle commenced.

Think Royln’s Bum Bag/Cross Body comes with two adjustable web straps, so it can be worn around your waist or across your body. The Bum Bag is light-weight, hands-free, and truly embodies Think Royln’s slogan, #lifeonthefly. One of my friends wears hers as a Bum Bag when she takes her family’s new puppy out for a walk and she has it filled with treats and plastic bags for easy clean-up. Another friend showed up at a party recently wearing hers as a high crossbody, and she looked effortlessly chic all night long. The Bum Bag/Cross Body even comes with a “cheat sheet” illustrating five different ways in which the bag can be worn. I’m in!

The Parker Thatch Lee Crossbody is the perfect size for an everyday purse. The 2-inch-wide web strap can be removed to transition this bag from a crossbody by day into a clutch by night. The Lee comes in a variety of colors and fabrics — denim, suede, pebbled leather, and calf-hair — plus you can customize your bag by changing out the web strap. Yes, please!

My new crossbodies may now hold my Becca lip gloss and Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick instead, but I am so happy to have channeled my inner middle school girl and returned to my footloose and hands-free ways.


  • The latest from Sheila
Sheila, a transplant from the Mississippi Delta, accidentally became a resident of Old Town 22 years ago when her marketing internship turned into a real job. Since most everyone assumed Sheila was actually working on Capitol Hill, she decided not to disappoint them and found a job there spending the next ten years scheduling for two U.S. Senators followed by a short stint at one of D.C.’s top lobbying firms. Seeking a change of pace, Sheila traded in her suits for athleisure wear to better focus on rearing her two bigs, Joe and Crosby. Sheila and her husband, Clete, also welcomed a new baby girl, Lady Eugenia, to their family earlier this year. In order to escape the chaos and have the perfect excuse to get dressed up again, she recently joined Elizabeth and Co. at The Hive. When not working at The Hive, Sheila can usually be found running late, pushing a baby stroller, driving carpool or volunteering at the school.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.


The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

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