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December 03, 2012

Guest Post: Lisa Rowan from DC Goodwill Fashionista

My favorite thing (from Goodwill): Military Messenger Bag

As the holidays approach, I’ve been focusing on some favorite frugal finds over on the DC Goodwill Fashionista. Much like Oprah’s Favorite Things, I’m showing off my own favorites hoping that others will be inspired in their savvy holiday shopping.

One of my favorites has been right under my nose for months—or should I say, right over my shoulder? I picked up this olive-green messenger bag at one of our Arlington stores last spring and started using it immediately. This $5 bag quickly became my go-to carry-all for school books, CVS and farmer’s market hauls, and all my essentials.

For a while I thought that this bag might be a vintage government-issued bag for military personnel. But close examination of the stamp inside the top flap proves that idea wrong…the text is in German. So, not an American bag, but maybe someone’s trusty old bag from Europe?

Research of the words I could make out didn’t offer much, although there is a “Sporthaus Moller” in Hameln, Germany that could be the maker. Maybe a sporting goods-slash-military surplus shop? The stamp doesn’t provide any clue to the bag’s age. Despite some throwback buttons on a slim outside compartment, there aren’t many other clues. (If you know German and can glean anything from the stamp on this bag, do leave a comment. I’m itching to know more!)

Even though I’m still in the dark about the origins of this bag, I know it will be a frequently used favorite of mine for years to come. The roomy interior and long strap (long enough to go cross-body!) make it more versatile than I could have guessed when I purchased it at Goodwill. In fact, I didn’t “change purses” once during all of spring and summer, and even took this little green bag out for a Black Friday shopping trip.

A sturdy favorite for just $5? That’s living the good life, for sure.

Here’s wishing you happy gifting this holiday season!

Lisa Rowan is the DC Goodwill Fashionista for Goodwill of Greater Washington. When she’s not lurking in the racks at her local Goodwill stores, she’s a writer, vintage reseller, and graduate student.