The Sack that has My Back

There are days that I’m so bummed out I hate to leave the house.

It takes every ounce of energy I can muster to shower, let alone get dressed when I hate myself and every single thing in my closet.

Nothing looks good. I’m no good. There’s just no use.

Last week I had one of those days where I had no choice but to go out and function like a normal human being. Thank god for sunglasses as I didn’t want the pain in my eyes to tag me as someone fishing for a “you okay?” “rough day?” or “it will get better” act of kindness I wasn’t in the mood to accept or answer.

But I made one fatal mistake.

I carried this bag. This wonderful, moon-faced, cat-face bag.

mousse cat bag blankstareblink

When I passed children in West Portal they would yank their mom’s shirt-hems and point and smile. Never mind that it’s impolite to point.

When I passed tweeting teens on the T they’d glance up from their phones and nod. Even heard a “that’s so fleek” from one.

When I passed lunching construction workers they’d angle their sandwich towards the bag and offer the occasional thumbs-up.

paula mangin cat bag

For someone who wanted to remain invisible, the Cat Bag blew my cover.

And for someone who was a sad sack, this cat sack was the best antidepressant ever.

Which just goes to show the power that fashion has on our moods, and those around us, good and bad.

Do you have that magic coat that hides the hurt or a pair of boots that parts the shit sea — anything that is your version of the cat bag? Do yourself a favor and move those items to the front of your closet immediately. Even if they are fancy or “occasion” clothing that you save for special moments. Everyday is a special moment! And even if they are goofy. Goofy is good!

And if you don’t have anything that makes you high-five yourself in your full-length mirror, go forth and find it now. We all need apparel ammunition to fight life’s bumps and bruises. And the world around us can always use a good laugh. Or at least an unexpected smile.

edgy cool happy outfit

1. Christopher Raeburn shark clutch, Matches. 2. Federica Moretti satin baseball hat with ears, luisaviaroma. 3. Chiara Ferragni blink-eye faux leather backpack, Bagheera Boutique. 4. Jeremy Scott X Linda Farrow sunglasses, Luisaviaroma. 5. Irregular Choice Roarsum boots, Solestruck. 6. Moschino teddy bear collar dress, Farfetch.

Note: I purchased the Cat Bag above from the Azalea Boutique in Hayes Valley (they appear to be sold-out). The brand is Mousse, and can be found here (I paid roughly $40.) Reminds me of the hyper-expensive Givenchy graphic animal face bags that sold for 100 times this amount. Even more to make me happy!

4 Responses


    You give some good advice here, Paula. I must find those items and WEAR them or USE them on those “I’d rather stay home and watch reruns of 3rd Rock from the Sun on Netflix instead of dealing with the world” days (which I have had PLENTY of this summer).

    I had a pair of boots like that. Wore them two seasons too long (they got ratty and the heels eventually died). And I have a pair of platform sandals with vertical stripes that make me look so tall. Guess what I’ll be wearing today!

    1. Paula

      Hi Petra! I’m so glad you found this post helpful! It sounds so counter-intuitive to wear something brash when one feels bad and wants to remain invisible, but boy it really helps! There is nothing like wearing something that makes you, and everyone you see, smile. Have a great day in those platforms. xoxo

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