This weekend, my Dooney & Burke Clayton satchel did double duty as a… picnic basket!

DOONEY AND BURKE CLAYTON SATCHELI spent this weekend on the banks of the beautiful Charles River in Boston watching my daughter row in the Head of the Charles regatta. The two day event is the largest in the world – hundreds of boats from all over the world compete on the twisting, turning river. As I stood on the Weeks Bridge at Harvard, I was awed by the stunning spectacle!

Since the course is so large and there’s so much to do, I had to be prepared for all eventualities. And, my new Dooney & Burke Clayton Satchel came to the rescue!

I have long extolled the virtues and versatility of a classic leather satchel (see my post from January 2011). So, this weekend I put my new must-have handbag to the test. Could it all fit?

Makeup, hairbrush, sunscreen? Check. Wallet, directions, keys, and phone? Got it. Extra windbreaker, camera, program book? OK. But… my water bottle and lunch? Why not!

The Clayton Satchel was roomy enough to fit it all — comfortably and stylishly. I simply used the detachable leather strap and turned it into a cross-body bag to keep my hands free to take pictures (and of course, clap and cheer like a mad woman as my daughter’s boat left the competition in its wake!).

Of course, I’m not advocating that you replace your thermal lunch bag with a leather satchel. But, for an all-day event, I must admit, I had the best looking picnic basket at the regatta! 

While you’re here, don’t forget to enter our Bra-Zing decorative bra strap cover giveaway. Retail $28. Ends 10-31!

Susan Conforte McNeill is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur, Harper’s BAZAAR Style Ambassador, and the co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! In addition to Susan Said… WHAT?! Susan also writes for It’s how you play the game! the corporate website of the award-winning You’ve been Sentenced! word game.

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