The removable nylon strap is as carefully crafted as the rest. Almost every handbag I own, regardless of style, has similar straps: thin and uncomfortable, usually made of some type of faux leather that eventually cracks. This one, however, is sewn into a padded tube. It’s functional, so it doesn’t dig painfully into your shoulder, but also adds an extra element to an otherwise simple design: it looks sporty, but also like a nice woven element. It also looks like it can hold a good amount of weight and pull without breaking.
When fully extended it is long enough to be worn over the shoulder, but I wish it were slightly shorter in its smallest dimension. I was hoping for a bag to fit directly under my arm, and this one is just a bit longer than that. (Reviews Editor Adrienne So replaces her handbag straps with guitar straps from Etsybut it’s more of a daytime look.)
At each end of this strap, metal clasps are secured using faux leather made from nopal cactus. The rest of the bag is also made from sustainable materials. The exterior and strap are made from recycled nylon and the lining is made from recycled polyester with a hummingbird jacquard print. Like a bird lover, I appreciate this little detail every time I open the bag. The zipper pulls also feature the same hummingbird print.
The Nouvelle comes in a few colors, but I particularly like that there are three black options: one with gunmetal accents, one with silver, and one with gold that also has lining violet. The other colors (navy, beige and ivory) have gold details.
I’ve never tried the brand before, but other WIRED writers have loved and recommended Lo & Sons bags for years, including the Hannover 2 backpack And Pearl shoulder bag. Regardless of size or style, each element of the design is designed to function both beautifully And function. This doesn’t work if it’s pretty but unbearable to carry around all day, or if it holds a weekend’s worth of items but looks like a bag.
Lo & Sons is a family brand created by, you guessed it, two sons, who partnered with their retired mother in a try to make him the perfect bag. She wanted something that would travel well without being shabby, heavy, or as they perfectly describe it, a “pocketless black hole” (also known as the purse where your stuff goes to die). Several prototypes later, the O.G.. was born. We haven’t tried it or it’s second iterationbut it has a similar shape and design to the Nouvelle without the unique strap, in a larger size intended for travel.
As a TJ Maxx girl, I normally avoid accessories that cost even close to three figures. It feels good to save money, but I end up with cheap bags that don’t last long. The search for the perfect bag may be futile. I’m not sure that one handbag will suit all situations, needs and styles, but for me, the Lo & Sons Nouvelle comes close.