An Open Letter to Girls who Bring Purses to School

Dear teenage girls who seriously believe they are “stylish,”

I’ve noticed that a lot of you guys carry your school books in purses, as opposed to a traditional backpack.

I have one important question for you: how?

At my high school, whether you’re an AP student or not, you always have lots of homework, studying, papers, and projects.

Having a lot of work means carrying a lot of books, right?

How the hell is a tiny purse going to carry all of your books. How?

Instead of embarrassing people like you by putting them on the spot and asking them how they carry purses, I spared your embarrassment and decided to test purses out myself.

I gathered four common, unconventional school bags and everything currently in my backpack. I wanted to see how much of my supplies fit in each type of bag.


All of my backpack’s contents. No, my blue binder is not bleeding.

 Bag #1: The Leather Satchel 

This was the smallest bag of the four, but the faux leather, two-pocket model is very popular in the hallways of my school.

Dimensions (excluding strap): 11 x 10 inches

What fit:

Planner, AP Euro book, composition book, my two required reading books, hairbrush, mascara.

 As you can tell, only 5 of my smallest school supplies (and my beauty essentials) fit in this bag. My large ones were too big and tall. Also, it only zipped a fraction of the way, since I had to pack everything in there. The pockets were completely for decoration and couldn’t even fit my mascara.

Bag #2: The Slouchy Hobo


This is the type of bag that that one artsy girl whose parents own a bead company would pare with her worn-out flared jeans.

Dimensions (excluding strap): approximately 9.5 x 15 inches

What fit:

Red binder, blue binder, purple textbook, mascara.


This bag was the exact opposite of the satchel: it fit only my large supplies. But by the time I tried to put my smaller things in, there wasn’t even enough room for my brush. There is no way all of my stuff can fit in this. Also, the top has a tie, instead of a zipper, so smaller things can easily fall out.

Bag #3: The Knapsack 

 “But this isn’t a purse, it’s a backpack!” No, it’s actually a knapsack. “Same thing!” No, they are two very different things. Anyways, this is another common bag used by male and female students alike.

Dimensions (excluding strap): 8 x 11.5

What fit: Red binder, blue binder, purple textbook, polka dot textbook, planner, Julius Caesar, brush, mascara.

To be honest, this bag pleasantly surprised me. It fit almost everything except for three of my smaller things. However, it still did not fit everything. Also, the front has snaps that hold everything together. The snaps did not stay put, since everything was crammed in so tightly.

Bag #4: The Large Tote

 This is probably my favorite bag in my wardrobe. I always use it for day trips and travel because it holds so much. I was expecting a lot from this one.

Dimensions (excluding strap): 9 x 11

What fit: Red binder, blue binder, European history book, purple book, polka dot book, mascara

A lot was able to fit in here, but not as much as I thought. The bag closes by snaps, and it took me a full minute to get them closed. Also, the bag was very heavy on my shoulders and body.

Bonus Bag: The Actual Backpack 


What it fit: everything, and there was extra room.

Need I say more?

The verdict is that the best thin for carrying your school books is a traditional backpack.

Before you go on to say that backpacks are ugly, dropping all of your books while your tiny satchel awkwardly swings off your shoulder is even uglier.


A girl who PURSEnally feels that you shouldn’t bring purses to school.