I can carry this as a regular purse and keep my knitting in a separate pouch - works great for me that way. The bag doesn't' stand up on its own but will stand up when you have a few things in it. There are outer slip pockets on each side that are great for keys, papers, etc. and an inner zip pocket. I have the brown bag and the interior contrasting fabric with blues, greens, yellows on white is very nice. There is a hook where you can hook the back together across the top - or use that hook to snap in a pouch or keys on the inside. I am really pleased with this bag!