The elusive “perfect” handbag is a treasure hunt that never seems to end. I need a bag that goes with everything, a bag that can go from to office to a party and something that can fit all your daily stuff – your phone, your tablet, you wallet, makeup pouch, an umbrella, random pens, notepads, a coin purse maybe, a laptop computer sometimes, a change of shoes, various bills, a scarf, and goodness knows what else.

On top of this, the bag has to look good; it has to match my outfits, my personal style, and since I’m not into lots of labels or bling, I’m looking for something that’s minimal, sleek and free of logos.

For years I’ve been looking for the perfect bag, and I’m not alone. Any number of my friends and colleagues – men and women both – agree with me, the search for the perfect bag is never ending.

Well, maybe not now. American fashion designer Phillip Lim has just released what could possibly be the answer to this vexing search, the 31 Hour bag.

The three 31 hour bags by 3.1 Phillip Lim

Created around the idea of providing a bag to keep up with the frenetic pace of modern life, that there are never enough hours in the day and we store all the bits and pieces needed for whatever comes up in our bags, the 31 Hour bag looks like a classic tote bag, but it’s so much more.

There are three versions of the bag – the 31 Hour Bag, the 31 Minute portfolio and 31 Second cosmetic zip pouch; and they all fit into each other.

Because it has two handles, the 31 Hour Bag can be used as a tote bag but the handles are long enough to also work over your shoulder. There’s a zip all the way across the top to make sure nothing falls out, and you can unfold the bag and carry it under your arm if you’ve something really long in it.

The 31 Minute portfolio is sort of like a cross between a large clutch, a document holder and a laptop or tablet case. You can pack it full of stuff or fold over the top half for a super-sleek clutch for evening.

And the 31 Second cosmetic zip pouch fits inside neatly. It’s also super handy as a kind of office carry-around, for meetings or popping out for lunch.

Made of nappa leather and available in a range of colours, including classic black, white and nude, with pops of cobalt blue, softened gold, the 31 Hour bags have simple silver zips with metal zip-pulls. There are a number of two-tone versions too which make the bags even more versatile, and there are even versions in denim trimmed with leather.

The shape is an amazing blend of classic and modern; the 31 Hour bags are accessories that will only get better with time, something designer Phillip Lim aimed for in its creation.

“I didn’t want to put another bag on the market which looked great but didn’t really work with the lives we all lead,” said Lim in an interview with Barneys.com blog, The Window. “The leather is a full-grain unlined calf skin which wears so beautifully with time.”

Will the 31 Hour bag work with my busy life? Absolutely.

All I have to decide on now is which colour and which version I’ll choose. I wonder if I can afford one each of the 31 Hour bag, the 31 Minute portfolio and the 31 Second cosmetic zip pouch?

The 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 Hour bags will be available from February at the 3.1 Phillip Lim boutique in the Hilton Shopping Arcade, #02-05/06 on Orchard Road.

Check out the bag in action in the video below and see all the various versions available in the photo gallery.