Handbags Over $1000

[Editor's Note: This week, the PurseBlog staff is out of the office to enjoy the last little bit of summer. We'll return after Labor Day, but in the meantime, we'll be running both new posts and a few of our favorites from the past few months to get you ready for fall.]

Sticker shock from friends and family members has probably happened to anyone with an interest in fashion or high-end handbags. They ask about your new purchase, they sheepishly ask how much it cost and then they shame you in some way for having the gall to be so extravagant, even if they aren’t blunt enough to put it in those words. Not only are we here to assure you that it’s okay, but we’re here to explain exactly why.

Even for those of us who are somewhat desensitized to fashion prices, handbag prices can sometimes seem a little bit silly. We’re nothing if not professional enablers, though, so if you’re doubting a future purchase or need to convince someone who has his or her nose in your business, we have some arguments that might come in handy.

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  • Nívia

    These are very good reasons!
    Great!

  • Brittany

    Number 8 all day. I hate having to justify big purchases to other people. I like nice bags and that’s that.

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  • Thais Araujo

    The only rule that really matter: 8. Because it’s your money and you want to. :)

  • http://www.jetsetheart.com jetsetheart

    I love every reason in this article and find them all to be true! Wonder if I reposted this if my family and friends would finally “get it”…

  • Georgina W

    It only really needed one reason – #8. I don’t need to explain to anyone my hobby or taste, so it’s my money and I do what I want! :)

  • ellavanw

    …because it is better to have a $3,000 bag that you wear practically every day for years than a $500 bag that you use a few times and then takes up space in your closet. I find that the cost-per-use is vastly lower for my more expensive bags.

    Also . . . because, unlike a $1,000 suit jacket or a $300 pair of jeans — or even a $600 pair of shoes — a $3,000 bag can be worn constantly for years on end, and no one will give you a funny look.

  • Marie

    Back in the 80′s I bought a Gucci bag for $250 ( a lot at the time) . I carried that bag for 5 years. How’s that for getting your monies worth! I was sold on good quality bags right then.

  • Tortoisescam

    I had never considered #4. Considering inflation, I wonder what one could have expected to pay for a leather handbag in the ’40s or ’50s? One factor that I HAD taken into account is that the higher price tag accounts for an artisan making the bag, not slave labor. But of course that doesn’t apply to every brand.

  • ellavanw

    Oh wait, I just thought of another one . . . because a great bag can upgrade your whole outfit. My clothes range from expensive to not expensive at all – but the Chanel or Hermes bag can take the J. Crew dress to a completely different level. Shoes and coats have the same effect. If you carry a great bag it is quite likely that no one will know your dress was inexpensive – but a cheap or worn-out bag (or shoes) can drag down an expensive suit.

  • Rashmi

    Great Article Amanda! All Valid reasons!!

  • Guest

    I think #8 is the only valid reason here. As Henry Ford II once said (long before Kate Moss was even a gleam in her father’s eye): “never complain, never explain.”

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  • shueaddict

    I do emply #5 quite a lot in my work life but I have to be very discreet about my work bags … and then in my off-time #8 comes into play big time. All of my friends get shocked regularly – but then, I work very hard and I think I deserve it.

  • http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    Yep, #8 is the only reason we all ever need.

    Also, I wonder when how and why it has been acceptable to ask people how much their things are? Unless it’s someone I know who is really knowledgeable about luxury handbags or shoes (and I know won’t judge me for the purchase), I try not to answer the question. I purchased a Givenchy Pandora as a favor for a friend, and my best friend who I was traveling with was just so shocked by the price of it and even enumerated what could be bought for that money. Her boyfriend even made a comment that we’re all paid too much in the company we work for. I bought my Balenciaga the same day, and of course refused to answer when they asked me how much my bag was. No way I was going to answer after their reaction to the Pandora. Why has it become ok to ask? I’m pretty positive that was a taboo question during our grandmothers’ heydays.

    • shueaddict

      Ruuuude and judgemental but sadly there’s a lot of that out there. One of my hubby’s friends has made a similar comment on my Valentino and I promptly pointed out that his membership in one golf club alone is 6.5k and that he only ever goes there for the bar in the country club.

    • Shel

      I completely agree! I have yet for anyone to ever ask me how much my bags are, except my mom. and better yet, I have yet to tell anyone how much they cost. (even her) The purse forum has some great answers to questions like this. My personal fav.. Why are you going to buy me one? hehe

    • Shel

      oh and too, you don’t want people to ask.. shop alone. No need to shop with people who would never purchase the same items.

    • Saymama

      When I do my ‘expensive’ shopping for bags, I tend to do it alone, or with a ‘kindred spirit’ – but even so. I prefer not to be asked or glared at by someone who can’t understand why I made such a purchase. Takes the joy out of it for me!

  • Mia

    I like how H&M fashion looks, but the production is a truly horrible story. From the toxins, cheap materials to the unfair wages and working conditions :(

  • Michelle Lim

    I feel SO much better!!

  • eyda

    i pay my bills, my car, my daughter’s school fees, provide allowances for my parents so i think i deserve a nice bag once in awhile. it is what motivates me to work even harder. i feel proud to being able to buy it with own hard earned money. of course it’d be really nice if my husband can spoil me with designer bags but in reality, not many of us are that fortunate to have rich, wealthy husbands. i don’t mind as i love the satisfaction of working towards my hobby :)

    • shueaddict

      atta’ girl. As far as husbands and designer bags are concerned sometimes what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

      • Lydia

        My husband has an expensive hobby too and that’s collecting watches so he never says anything about how much money I spend on a bag. Lol he always encourages me and asks me what my next bag will be:)

    • Lydia

      Totally agree with you here!

  • Chahoofin

    Easy, I love high-end handbags and if cared for they will not depreciate in value. .when you buy a car and drive it off the lot….the value of your purchase depreciates immediately. However, my bags increase in value; so, I think of it this way…. every new bag is an investment! My hubby can’t figure out my logic on this….LOL

  • juliet

    I agree, buying better quality is a better deal in the long run. If only we were talking about bags costing $1K-3K! The high end brands now seem to start at $3.5K. Price increases (20% a year!) have been so put of proportion with inflation. Prices go up while quality goes down. I am happy to pay a fair price, one that which recognizes the brand, talent of the designer, craftsmanship and materials, but it seems that’s not what we’re paying for these days. It is status. On the other hand, I will say that a fine bag is a better investment than the stock market. The perceived value goes up every season.

  • Guest

    eh….are we REALLY paying makers of designer handbags “fair wages”…?

  • Rashida

    Here here!

  • Dolce Givenchy

    What a stupid article. I could really care less how much you spent on your bag, if you are dumb enough to spend a ton of money on a bag that probably cost 1/10 of what you spent on it to make, then so be it.

    • bag lady

      not true, it is the retail shop that makes the most markup.

    • Bag it up

      This kind of feels like you’re on the wrong website, if that’s your opinion.

  • bag lady

    did you know that the price of leather is around 100 dollars a square meter for luxury italian tanned skins, and going up everyday as people eat less meat!

  • http://www.visualimaginings.com MrMotivations

    “The Old Guy at the other end of the leash claims to have paid over $1,000 for me (whatever that means), but I keep reminding him I was TOTALLY worth it! (Thinking of selling my fur after hair cuts….)”

  • Venessa

    Love this article. Definitely a share with my hubby.

  • Iconicfashions

    Great article and am sending to my hubby too. He’s always asks “how much” and I don’t ever tell him. It’s my hard earned money, not his :))

  • Kakra

    I agree with this article. I dont care how much my clothes are as long as they are comfortable, and/or I will wear for a long time. but I will splurge on a nice designer bag that’ll last me forever. So Louis, Balenciaga, Chanel, etc. I’ll splurge. If people ask how much it is depending on who it is, I don’t tell. Why? None of your business! And if I worked hard for it, I am allowed to splurged.

  • Beautyishername

    I have to totally agree with the Brittany!!!!

  • Tamara Bennett

    I say #2 all the time. Everyone has something they are willing to pay more for, and this one is mine!

  • Jacqueline

    I just love number 6! I love the moderate style of the bag. ??

  • Alex1956

    If you can afford it, go for it! Life is short, enjoy!

  • Dj M

    Oh my God, this is hysterical. I have spent more than my share on
    gorgeous bags, but this just made me laugh. I hope my husband doesn’t
    see it…he’ll be making bag jokes all week.
    Just go buy your bag and don’t try to rationalize it. Oh course they are absurd. But we love them.

  • Bjorn

    Statement #4, “paying fair wages”, is about as condescending as it gets and when Prada, Celine, Coach, Reed K., et al scout countries like China, Vietnam, Romania, Turkey, Cambodia, etc., and build their factories to produce their handbags which sell for over $1000, do you really think that those children that work in those grimy factories 18 hours a day are going to be paid a fair wage? How ridiculous and idiotic is this article? I enjoy good quality as much as the next person but I also have made a concerted effort to boycott the likes of Prada because of their greed and the notion that they have gone to the above countries to make their products. They DO NOT PAY A FAIR WAGE! Your journalistic code of conduct is appalling!

  • Danica

    All the answers are correct even for the quality and i tend to care more for the things that have worth but in the end of the day it is #8 i don’t have a debt and i work so there is no shame in putting my money to what i want. And i help my family when they need me. And i always take into consideration my sons and husband before i buy. But the others i don’t mind. Its not like i’m asking for their money. Even though they talk behind my back about my spending. They are just jealous. Bad for them.

  • Tracy

    I have been collecting bags for some time now. I’m fortunate that my husband is truly the person who fuels my obsession. I’m not one to spend money on myself. I have had only one really uncomfortable encounter. I was absolutely over the moon. After a two year wait, I finally received a call from Hermés telling me that my Berkin had arrived! Two days after bringing my new addition home, I brought “her” to a jewelry home show that my friend was sponsoring. A woman at this event grabbed my Berkin and literally “man handled” my bag. She stretched it open like she was ripping open a candy bar. My eyes bugged out of head! She started to judge me the second she saw it. I almost felt ashamed. Why should I feel bad? But….. I did! Why??? I will NEVER feel bad again!

    • ElainePG

      That woman was unbelievably rude… I had to reread your post to see if I had somehow missed something, but nope! This TOTAL stranger ripped YOUR handbag out of your hands? And then started LECTURING you about it??? Honey, what she did was SO out of line, I don’t know where to file it… I’m gonna have to put it under “Miscellaneous” until I can catch my breath. You have nothing to feel guilty about. This woman has a problem. You have a Birkin. Case closed

  • Elena

    The only people who are laughing all the way to the bank are the designers who pay other people to write articles like this one , while the designer bag lovers who work hard , very hard most of the time to be able to afford these bags become slaves who will work until they drop dead. I am not talking about very small group of very wealthy people. People are paying 1k and more not for the quality of the bag but for the feeling of being special, successful, etc.

  • Elena

    The only people who are laughing all the way to the bank are the designers who pay other people to write articles like this one , while the designer bag lovers who work hard , very hard most of the time to be able to afford these bags become slaves who will work until they drop dead. I am not talking about very small group of very wealthy people. People are paying 1k and more not for the quality of the bag but for the feeling of being special, successful, etc.

  • Zairna

    Amazing!! Love you for posting this, it’s my first time posting but avid reader. I have a deep collection and my sister gives me so much grief for it! To the point I wear nothing new around her. Thank you for this, truly.

  • Livo

    Of the eight reason I use the first one, I am lucky that my friends has learned that I have an expensive taste, my husband never complain, because “it looks good on you baby” and because its my money, I work for it and I do what I want with it.

  • MTJC

    Its oke to pleasure ourself with a pretty bag… We deserve it after all..

  • Melinda Deyhle

    love this. thanks :)

  • Pathetic

    You claim it’s quality, I call bullshit.
    My sister has a 25 dollar bag from the 70′s. Used in the hottest day of sommer to the coldest day of winter. That’s temperatures ranging between + and – 30 degrees celsius. Barely any wear and tear.

    The reason so-called high quality bags that goes for insane prices is because people are generally more careful with them. But my sisters bag has been dragged through the dirt. Used in harsh conditions, and it’s not been “taken care of” well, but then again, it doesn’t have to. Because it’s quality.

    Not to mention. The higher the price, the worse they look. As the price nears the 1000 dollar range the bags generally looks either hideous, or like something made by a kid in arts and crafts. Or sewing class, or any class really which is thought by a drunk enough teacher. But to be fair, those too are hideous.

    And just because other expensive hobbies exist, doesn’t make them anymore acceptable. Wasted money is wasted money. Money which could be used to actually help someone. Someone who needs it.

    But money > greed > a dying earth, dying race… Disgusting really.

  • Jill

    Those who have mentioned jealousy may have a point. My sister yelled at me in a restaurant after seeing my new Gucci bag my husband bought me after grieving from a miscarriage, only to purchase her own that very same night. =/

  • Iréne Shûkriya-Dutta Scharief

    Yes to everything!!!!

  • Hasan Akdo?an Favori Çanta

    Also shopping bags and nice bags… http://www.favoricanta.com/

  • Maynadekyaw

    Marketing strategy! The original prices of making those bages are not that expensive and people added value to those bags. I would rather spend my valuable money for people in need than spending on materials that will one day become bad cuz nothing lasts forever. Stupid reasons

  • Mary

    At the end of the day it is your money .. You can spend it as you want ..as long As you don’t get into debts , provide well for yourself and secure your future , you have the right to spend as you would love to ..i personally love diamond jewelry..I get happiness when I see it and wear it .. So you buy and 3000$ purse and enjoy using it all the time, then in my opinion you get the value of the money

  • ALICE

    I don’t see where the problem is. You don’t want to spend your money on bags? It’s ok for me, spend them on what YOU like and what makes YOU happy. That’s the point for me: it makes me HAPPY and so I do it. My money my business, my happiness my joy

  • Sandy

    This my be my favorite article yet, number 8 is my mantra!!

  • Gia

    Damn right….#8

  • http://www.favoricanta.com Hasan

    woow. also my site http://www.favoricanta.com

  • Amelie

    Those bags are not just bags.
    Some may say they’re art.
    It might not be objectively true when you’re not into luxury bags – I know I am, but we’re all different!
    What’s totally true though is that it IS a smart investment that can actually be even lucrative – Hermès and Chanel for instance, are very famous for that. Check out this website for more info on the actual price of second hand luxury bags, you might be surprised: bit.ly/1lxWUBs

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