I was an Alien

Recently, Katherine Summer the blogger behind Not Dressed as Lamb wrote a post about what bag an Alien would choose. She started out with the thought that a wardrobe would have to be started totally from scratch.

As an immigrant to the US, I have been an Alien for more than five years. Well, I did not start my wardrobe totally from scratch, but of course like many immigrants I left a lot of things behind as it was cheaper to buy them new than to have them flown over. The costs for moving by air are a complicated formula of volume and weight. And yes, I left a lot of shoes and bags behind. Or let’s rephrase this, I left the “cheap trend/fashion bags” behind.

The photos below show two of the bags that made the cut. Another one was a large day clutch. Unfortunately, it got an ink spot as an old fashioned ink-pen had leaked. The spot was big and not removable. Thus, I had to toss that clutch here 🙁 .

#styleover40 woman with Esprit bag and Victoria Victoria Beckham Cat dress Esprit leather bag paired with Victoria Victoria Beckham cat dress and GNW cardigan (all own). The bucket style Esprit bag picks up the black of the outfit and plays well with the girly dress and cardigan to give the outfit a grownup vibe
#streetstyleover40 woman in cargo pants with a bucket style shoulder bag Vintage Camel bag. The Camel collection was named after the cigarette and had a casual slightly outdoorsy vibe. In this street style outfit, the bag plays well with the motorcycle leather vest, Tee, camouflage cargo pants, leather baseball cap and lace-up strappy sandals

The first bag I bought in Alaska was a tote like-bag as the small bags I used to wear and of which I had kept my favorites (which interestingly were the highest quality ones) were unsuitable for the office here in Alaska in winter. If you wear faux fur lined boots with two pairs of socks to stay warm outside, you have to switch shoes at the office. Otherwise your feet will sweat. If you then would go outside the sweat would cool and your feet get cold.

If you are a stylista or fashionista like me, you understand that shoes may make or break an outfit. Thus, settling for a pair of house shoes at the office was no option for the Alien, i.e. me. Not to mention that it looks unprofessional wearing slippers at the office. To carry the right shoes to and back from the office every day the bag had to be large enough to hold my pumps plus what else is inside a bag.

The Alien bought a tote

Thus, the first bag the Alien bought was a cheap tote. Why cheap and not an investment like the bags I had brought over when I immigrated? Well, at that time, even I was still converting every price into DM – a currency that does not exist anymore – and after that math exercise, even a cheap item was pretty expensive. It took about a year to loose this habit and accept the devalue.

Obviously, the choice was related to the place where the Alien landed – one of the colder ones on planet Earth. Now what if the Alien had landed in a warmer place than Alaska? The bag would have been a structured smaller one like a satchel bag, bucket bag (see entry photo and below) or a chain bag.

#fashionover50 mature woman in military inspired shirt dress with camouflage hat
LV bucket bag with military shirt dress, Great Northwest suede utility jacket, Hermes collier de chien bangle,  and LeatherCoatsEtc camouflage leather bucket hat


Today the Alien is no Alien anymore. I wear smaller, neutral bags in summer (see photos above) in summer, and larger, pop of color ones in winter (see photos below). The former Alien also has (re)learned that spending a little bit more upfront on a classic bag is in the end the cheaper way. A higher quality bag just looks great so much longer than a cheap bag does. Do I have to mention that the bag the Alien bought in the first winter saw the transfer site a long while ago?

#advancedstyle woman in all neutral look with fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim tote The fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim tote adds a pop of color to the white-gray-black winter outfit. When aliens were to be gray like in the movie Independence day this tote would be perfect with their bio suits

#CelineBag mature woman with red Celine bag The red Celine tote with red ethnic belt, red gloves makes this winter outfit look fun. A red tote would be a great match for the “green Martians” that I remember from my childhood Disney comics.

.See you and stay in style.

Nicole xo

Photos: G. Kramm

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