Off the peg Want to have bags of style? Think big, says Rebecca Lowthorpe

Small bags. I hate them. No, I loathe them. Small bags are the most useless, irritating things in the world. Who needs to carry a "Croissant", after all, when you can eat one? And what possible good is a bag the size of an (admittedly delicious) French snack anyway? A lipstick, comb and a credit card might fit at a push. Big deal.

They say you can tell a person by their shoes. I say you can tell a person by their bag, especially if you weigh it. Take the woman who trots (presumably since she has been relieved of a great load) around with a bag containing nothing but cosmetics and a packet of cigarettes. Life must be so serenely lightweight, but surely an empty bag means an empty mind, and a small bag a small mind, for that matter.

Then take the woman who heaves (lurches?) about with her whole world inside her BIG bag: diary, Psion organiser, address book, camera, Walkman, spare pairs of stockings and knickers, tampon holder (Gucci, of course), manicure set, pedicure set, portfolio, files, papers, magazines, mobile phone (or phones - why have one when you can have three), cuddly toy, or real pooch (in the case of certain deliciously doting fashion editors). She might well suffer from a spot of lumbago, but, hell, her big bag shows a big mind, a busy schedule - so much to do, so little time.

There's good news for the big bag lover. For every Fendi Croissant there's a Comme des Garcons bucket - pounds 60 for the small version (still big enough to hold a compact microwave) and pounds 210 for the biggest bucket of them all (capable of holding an oven or indeed a kitchen sink - and then some).

Even greater (and bigger) things come to those who wait. Marc Jacobs, the American hotshot who has taken over as design chief at Louis Vuitton, is always clever at concocting new trends and implementing them with gusto. For autumn/winter (I'm afraid you will have to wait until August) he is advocating the hip-high duffle carrier in tomato or purple patent, monogrammed, leather, along with backpacks for fashionable mountaineers complete with their own cashmere sleeping bags rolled up beneath, as well as what can only be described as shopping trolleys - ideal for those already suffering slipped discs

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