When I was in college, one of my sorority sisters had a saying that went “Purse on the floor, always poor.” While I used to snicker every time I heard her say that, I just loathed setting my bag any place on the floor where it could be easily kicked, stolen, or worse. I’ll never forget the time that my brand new Louis Vuitton Ellipse sat steeping in a puddle of water on a restaurant’s seemingly clean floor before I realized what was happening. Even though it was just water and my purse dried without any problems (or ugly stains), it was still upsetting.
Of course there are many things worse than just water which can get on a bag. Depending upon where your purse is routinely set, it may be picking up harmful germs, microbes, and bacteria. If your bag is sitting on the floor anywhere, it is picking up stuff you don’t want to touch, much less inadvertently transfer to your mouth or eyes.
When dining out I have gotten into the habit of placing my bag next to me on the chair, hanging it off the back of my chair, or giving it its own seat at the table. Unfortunately, none of these is always the perfect solution. Every now and then my bag will still wind up on the floor, and every time I’ll inwardly wince as I set it there.
As some of you will recall, Allen recently found a product called Movie Billboard Bag, which is a simple device designed to hang your bag from the ledge of a table instead of sitting on the floor. There are other similar devices with much more elaborately styled table grippers, but I happen to like the clean, non-kitschy style provided by The Purse Hook.
The Purse Hook measures 3.5″ tall x 2.25″ wide, and it weighs 2.5 ounces. It is composed of metal with either a platinum or gold finish, and it comes with a velvet satchel for storage. Those of you who carry heavy bags will be happy to know that according to their site, the Purse Hook can hold up to 34 pounds. But if you are toting that heavy of a bag, where to place it is probably the least of your worries.
I was sent both the gold and platinum versions; I kept the silver and sent the gold version to Kelly so she could also try it and share her impressions.
photo courtesy of The Purse Hook site
The Purse Hook can fit on any table with a ledge – as long as it doesn’t have a baseboard running too close to that edge. A ball-swivel built into the hook which connects to the padded base allows the Purse Hook to turn and twist, which allows it to accommodate many different table ledge types.
The back side of the Purse Hook is lined with a 1.25″ diameter rubberized grippy pad which will help keep it from sliding from of a table’s ledge. The ball-swivel allows the Purse Hook to fold flat for storage – whether in the included satchel or one of the bag’s pockets.
A ball on the end of the hook helps keep bag straps from escaping, and it can hold two approximately inch wide straps, one on top of another, or it can hold rolled straps in a staggered position.
This is The Purse Hook on the edge of my breakfast table. As you can see, this table ledge would not cooperate: its edge is beveled and there is a baseboard which interferes with allowing the hook to go far enough back to get a good grip.
However, my desk has a perfect ledge, and I have been using the hook with a variety of bags – everything from this one-of-a-kind The Purse Hook Movie Billboard Bag to a Chloe Edith. There is just enough clearance from the top of my desk to the floor to hang a Louis Vuitton Alto, even with it’s longer shoulder straps. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I really appreciate having a place to stick my bag that isn’t on the floor, is out of the way – and isn’t on top of the fax / printer to my right.
I tried The Purse Hook at a couple of local restaurants, and the only issue I ran into was that in a booth, when there are several people sitting next to each other, the bag almost had to hang on the end…and I wasn’t comfortable with that. At a restaurant table, the bag could hang to my right or left, whichever was more convenient. I liked that I didn’t need an extra chair to hold my bag, but I’ll admit to feeling a bit self-conscious every time I pulled out The Purse Hook. I eventually discarded its satchel, because that just felt too fussy.
The Purse Hook doesn’t just work with handbags: it can also be used to hold anything with a strap – such as an umbrella, shopping bag, plastic sack…use your imagination.
These were Kelly’s impressions after using The Purse Hook for a few days:
Over the past few weeks, I tested out the Purse Hook with the gold finish. I was a little embarrassed pulling it out in public, but that was primarily due to the finish. It just looked less trendy than the silver one, plus I’m not a fan of gold/brass. Nevertheless, I took it with me to a couple of places, including my favorite bison place Ted’s Montana Grill. While there, I attempted to use the Purse Hook. Unfortunately, it would not work over the tablecloth or the thick tabletop. The tablecloth was made of a hard vinyl, so it would not even give in to the Purse Hook. The tabletop was so high that the hook would not fit over it. I did not give up there, so I tried a couple other places. The next stop was a bar, but it was also too deep and beveled for the Purse Hook. It was unable to fit due to this. After having no luck here, I moved on to other places.
It was great in the food court at the mall, since the tables were less deep. I also was able to hook my purse close to me and in direct view. It was as if it provided a little extra security, where hanging a purse on the back of my chair makes me feel it will get stolen. I also liked having it off the ground, since you never know what has been dropped on the floor! While in the food court, I tested the Purse Hook’s ability to hold up to 34 lbs. That was a success. I provided a huge diaper bag (I know, it is not as sexy as Judie’s Louis Vuitton) and placed it next to Jason. The cutie yanked on the bag and the hook, but the hook did not budge. That was impressive!
The most use of the gadget was at home. Alyssa loves this thing, since it holds her little clutch perfectly. She has carried her clutch with the Purse Hook everywhere she even took it to Show ‘n Tell this week. She has used it next to her computer, placed it on her dresses, and even at the dinner table. She thinks this is the coolest thing of the week. As for me, I liked the concept, but I just would not use it at this stage in my life. If I was still partying in college and the USAF, it probably would have gotten some use.
If you have been looking for a way to keep your bag next to you and off the floor when sitting at a table or bar, then The Purse Hook may be the solution you’ve needed. You’ll just have to keep an eye on what type table ledge you’ve got to work with, and what type of room you have to hang the bag. As long as the table is right, your bag will be kept safe, dry and clean.
The Purse Hook is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $19.99 for one, but substantial discounts are available when 20 or more are ordered at once.
What I Like: Easy to use, folds flat, keeps bag off the floor, works with many different types of tables
What Needs Improvement: It’s hard to say – as long as the table ledge is right (not too beveled) and there isn’t a baseboard to close to the edge, you should be in business.