Side by Side Tote
Discontinuing the Side by Side is a Mistake
Just recently (I write this review in June 2013), I became acquainted with the Side by Side tote when I rushed to buy up as many items in Very Berry Paisley (my favorite pattern in about 6 years) as possible before it was gone forever. I have more than 10 Vera handbags/totes, and I love all of them. The Side by Side is THE one. I'm a "carry the big purse" kind of handbag girl. I have loved the Large Hobo (also discontinued style), the Laura, and the Eloise (though Eloise comes very close to being too small for me to use).
The Side by Side is a large handbag. It is not a giant suitcase of a handbag, but this is not a small or even medium sized purse. It does not stay closed very well, but I like open bags. In addition and in fairness to the design, I have never had trouble closing the Side by Side when I made an effort to close it--even with my normal daily items inside. If you stuff it, which I do pretty frequently, it will not stay closed, but the magnet is powerful and will close if you have a reasonable amount of items inside.
The outside pockets accommodate keys, water bottles, medium lattes or drinks from the drive-through window, sandwiches in a ziploc or breakfast burritos on the way out (hey, I eat in my car...the side pockets are perfect for this). I typically carry a clutch wallet, a large clamshell with my sunglasses inside, a VB cosmetic bag of some kind (right now, it's the newer Mirror Cosmetic in Tutti Frutti--will post a review), a tape measure, a slim case full of pencils, a Kindle, a phone, container of mints/candies, and a variety of loose odds and ends. I carry all of these items in the main compartment, and the purse stays closed when I carry it just fine. I don't usually close it, though. I like it open.
Think of the Side by Side as a great big flexible basket to carry your things in. It's the carter canasta (basket purse). I love it, and I would buy one in all of the fabulous new patterns...but VB has decided to discontinue it. Makes no sense. I love this handbag and will buy up as many as I can from eBay and the like. I'm only sorry that I didn't discover the style a long time ago.
June 9, 2013
Bag Won't Stay Closed
The bag can be completely empty and it won't stay closed. The magnet is just not strong enough. I'm afraid my valuables will fall out. Other than that I love the roominess. I've had other Vera bags with magnetic closures and they stay tightly closed. I was very disappointed with this one.
June 7, 2013
Great tote or purse
I purchased this bag as a purse because I tend to haul allot of stuff around. I absolutely love this bag. I love the two deep pockets on the outside. You can put anything in them and there is no chance it will fall out. I have allot of stuff packed in and I have not had the magnetic closure fail to close or open on it's own. I have a Kindle Fire, a opera wallet, a small cosmetic bag and a checkbook in the main compartment. I love the extra 4 slip pockets and one zip pocket. I can fit everything inside and have room to put extra's like a small umbrella or a book. I would recommend this bag as either a larger purse or a small tote.
May 22, 2013
great multi use bag
just rcvd my 2nd of this style purse today in the mail. the color me coral is a beautiful print. much more vibrant than the pic shows. i wanted 1 that had more summery colors. my other 1 is the brown/blue discontinued pattern. i can put so much in this purse w/out it bulging or being uncomfortable. never know when ur going to need to have the xtra space to put kids/husband's things. this purse has the room to hold it. just love it! the only thing i wld change about it is it wld b nice if the straps were a bit longer. but that's not stopping me from buying this style purse/tote bag!
May 15, 2013
I know you have read in the other reviews how this bag won't stay closed....SO WHAT! I love this bag. I load it up during the day as a work bag carrying out going mail to the post office and picking up mail or shopping or the bank. The bag is roomy and easy to see inside because of the wide opening, BUT at the end of the day when i have lightened it up it is a really cute bag. Everyone comments on it and the fabric. So if you are looking for something unique and a good multi task bag look no further. Thanks VB you have done it again!
May 13, 2013
I just purchased this and agree with the reviews saying it won't stay closed. You need to put additional magnets in the top and then perhaps it would work. Basically, I'd rather have a zipper and would not recommend this particular bag.
April 21, 2013
PERFECT for Everyday!
This bag is the perfect size. The outer pockets hold my keys and iPhone for quick retrieval. The magnetic closure is strong, but does stay open if overstuffed. I love it in my 30's and my mom in her 70's loves hers, too. I get more compliments on this bag than any of my other VB bags.
March 30, 2013
This is a fantastic bag! I use it as my purse instead of a 'tote'. Ive seen some reviews with customers complaining that the bag doesn't stay closed, but Ive packed mine full and Ive not had a problem with it closing! The shape of this bag fits perfectly under your arm and even though it is a bigger bag it does not feel bulky at all! I have a lot of Vera purses but this style is the one i always keep coming back too! Love it!
March 30, 2013
I bought this bag and wasn't quite sure about it when it arrived. The shape is eye catching and I love all the inside and outside pockets. Like others have said.... It doesn't close perfectly if you have too much in it (I'm an over packer) and it seems that the handles would sit so much better if they were rolled. I may even attempt to fix that somehow on my own. that being said... The bag has grown on me and with stuff in it, stays upright and carries everything I need for my day at work.
March 5, 2013
Love this bag
I received alot of VB bags for Christmas, and I love all of them. This was one of the bags I got from my sister and I also bought this bag for my mom.
I love the outside pockets for my phone, keys, chapstick, etc. The inside pockets are great for all of the other things that mom and I want to have a specific home so we're not digging around for them.
Hers came in Night and Day, mine came in Rhythm and Blues. Both patterns rock, and the bag itself it awesome.
January 27, 2013