I have longed to walk around town with my hands-free for the longest time. I’ve always been envious of our male counterparts wandering around town with nothing in their hands. No giant cumbersome handbags on their shoulders or even a small shopping tote in their hands. I thought to myself… I couldn’t do that because I needed my sunglasses, hair bands, pens, scarf, eye-drop, moisturizer, Kleenex, notebook and handbag hook! You get where I’m going… My handbag must weigh at least two pounds! Most of the time I’m already exhausted before arriving at my destination from the weight on my shoulder. Women are so accustomed to carrying a handbag that it’s become a part of our extended outfit, and we feel naked without it!
So I set out to conduct an experiment on my little “Hands-Free” project. The more I thought about it the more I felt it was achievable. All I really needed for a shopping day out were a couple of credit cards, an ID, some cash for snacks, a house and/or car key, sunglasses and a lip balm! Personally, I can’t go without my lip balm J. I used to carry so many keys; the closet key, the room key, the security cabinet key and even the keys for my luggage bag locks! ‘Good grief!’ as Charlie Brown would say. Then the logical side of my brain kicked in and advised that I really didn’t need all those things. I dropped the unnecessary keys, and separated my car key from the bundle of house keys; concluding that if I lost one, I would still have the other. As for my sunglasses, if I didn’t need them, I could leave it in my car or hang it around my neck with a cord.
Also let’s not forget our cell phone. It is a must, a necessity and functioning as an extension of our brain to store extended information of our daily lives. Additionally, many of us use our cell phone as an organizer for our schedules and appointments. We just can’t live without it!
The Day Before
The day before the experiment, I searched my closet for a pair of pants that had a little more depth in the pockets. Sure enough, there wasn’t a pair of women’s pants that had functional yet sturdy pockets. Fortunately, I found a pair of men’s pants that I purchased in Tokyo with deep front pockets. One caveat with these pants, they didn’t have back pockets. Deep front pockets would suffice for this initial experiment. Let’s face it; most women’s pants aren’t made with functional pockets in mind, because why bother? All women carry a handbag!
The Day Of
The day arrived. Below were the items I whittled down to carry with me:
- My ID card
- Two credit cards
- A few business cards
- Two of my house keys
- A car key
- My precious lip balm
- Cell phone
All the cards and cash were placed in my right pocket since I am right handed. It would be easier for me to reach for them. The rest of the items were in my left pocket.
As I walked around, in and out of the stores, I felt absolute freedom, which I thought could only exist in my imagination. I was shopping with my hands-free! My shoulders felt incredible without all that weight, and my body felt light as if I was gliding on my feet when I walked. However, I did feel a little uncomfortable as though I had left my handbag somewhere and forgotten to take it with me. But as time passed, I got used to it.
I did wish, though, the pants had back pockets. I’d have slipped my cell phone in the right rear pocket. I felt the phone weighed too heavily in the front and made it a little cumbersome to walk. This was just my personal preference.
As I experienced the world of lightness, I also discovered many unexpected things on that day. I went about my daily routine faster than I normally would. I walked faster, paid faster, grabbed my car key and reached for my house keys faster. Getting the keys from my handbag was something I dreaded the most. Usually, it would take me a good 10-20 seconds to fish them out from my large tote bag but on this ‘celebrated’ day, I reached for them in a second. Revelation!
Moreover, I was able to hear my phone ring clearly, and answer it quickly. Normally, when it was in my bag, I could hardly hear the muffled ring. By the time I heard it and reached for the phone, I would have missed the call. Another great experience!
My hands were free, so was my mind. I had less to worry about because I wasn’t carrying so much nonsense with me. As a result, I was more focused, and surprisingly enough more approachable to others. A few people even came up to me and inquired about my awesome pants! Amazing!
I further experimented during two separate business trips to New York City and Hong Kong. On these occasions, I wore pants with back pockets so I could slip my cell phone in the back. It definitely felt less cumbersome to walk. I added the subway ride MetroCard or Octopus card (Hong Kong equivalent) and hotel key card to the carry list but removed the car key, house keys and even sunglasses from it. Sunglasses weren’t a necessity in either city even when the sun was out shining. To my delight, there were even fewer items to carry when traveling.
I enjoyed every moment of it, whether it was for a business or leisure outing in both cities. I especially enjoyed it in subway stations. I would challenge myself to see how quickly I could walk through the gates without slip-ups. As I approached the turnstile, I would have already reached for my MetroCard in my front pocket. I swiped it swiftly through the reader, and went past the gate in two seconds! I didn’t have to search for the card in my bag. It saved me the time and hassle of looking. I did even better in Hong Kong. Instead of taking out the Octopus card, I left it in my pocket, approached the turnstile reader so close till it read the card and passed through the gates in no time!
A note though when I travel abroad, I carry only a copy of my passport as my ID, and not the actual passport. Unless I know I am doing a whole lot of shopping that day for tax refunds.
A Happy and Healthy Life
Now every opportunity I get, I will go hands-free. I encourage all women to give hands-free a try and let your free hands and mind empower you in the most unexpected way. I am not suggesting throwing out your prized collections of Chanel handbags; however, there are times you can do without a handbag such as running errands, walking around town, city sightseeing or socializing at an event.
This isn’t just about the optional items we place in our handbags. It is about getting rid of the unnecessary things in our lives. We ought to edit out the irksome baggage and negativities that impede us from living a happy and healthy life.
Go ahead, try it and have fun!
Click here to see our tailored pants, which were functionally designed as a result of this experiment and enable you to enjoy an edited and healthy lifestyle.