The Bag Wall

I feel like a hypocrite, because when anyone asks me about carrying something fragile or light-colored, I always tell them that bags are meant to be worn – and they are. But I have to be honest, when it comes to some of my favorite luxury bags, I’m afraid to carry them. It’s not every bag in my collection, but there are a few special ones that I tend to hold off on carrying for what I deem “special occasions.” They’re bags I’d never take on a plane or to run errands or for any form of everyday use. I tuck these bags into their dust bags and boxes after I use them and only turn to them when I think I can carry them and treat them nicely.

These bags include: my Hermes Birkins, my calfhair Celine bag, an exotic bag from The Row, my pristine Chanel 2.55 and more. These are bags I treasure, each has its own story, and I never want to treat them poorly. But carrying a bag shouldn’t equate with treating it poorly, so why do I end up feeling that way? Part of it is the price of these bags. The more a bag costs, the more likely I am to baby it. Another factor is the materials used; when it comes to my Celine Trapeze, I worry about ruining the calf hair as it rubs against my body. If you pair my trepidations with living in a busy city, where birds are flying around, rain seems to come without notice and millions of people are around you at all times, it sort of makes sense why I worry a bit.

In the past few months, I’ve forced myself to use my “nice bags” more frequently and with more ease. I’ve been doing a good job at it, though when a scuff ends up on my bag, I find myself cringing (which is an entirely different post). I think much of this reaction comes down to how I was taught to treat the things I own; my parents instilled a level of appreciation and respect for items that we had. Plus, I’m really anal about keeping my bags looking good.

I must not be alone in this, there must be plenty of you who buy certain items and save them for special occasions, or maybe you saved up for months to buy a certain bag, and now it rarely leaves the comfort of its dust bag. I can tell you that I sympathize with you, and I struggle with the same thing at times. I still end up putting my nice bags away and get a little skittish over the thought of anything happening to them, but like I always tell others (and myself), bags are meant to be carried and loved.

Do any of you have similar experiences? Share with me below!

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  • Mya

    I think any bag loving girl can definitely relate. Especially as you say, when the bag was really expensive. I cringe at marks too and because of how I baby most of my bags, I don’t loan them to friends, because I know they wont treat it as well as I would (I don’t borrow either).
    Now, having said that, I have decided to carry all my bags on a rotational basis. I realise I have to use them dammit!!! Life is short and yes they were expensive but you gotta enjoy them right? so come on Megs, get carrying. lol.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I have to remind myself to rotate my bags too (which is a great post idea, it will come!). I am carrying, just with trepidation at times!!!! I even put my Celine on the cab seat :)

  • John

    Usually during the first few weeks after buying a new bag, I tend to baby it a lot and be all paranoid. But the moment it gets it’s first scuff, I go all crazy for a day or two (even a week), then afterwards relax and just enjoy using it (since it’s no longer pristine. Lol.) But like you said, bags are meant to be carried and loved, and I try to remember every time I’m carrying my bags. :)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      YES! I do that too, it’s the first scuff that breaks it in and finally lets me calm down about it a bit

  • lavinia

    yes I agree with you 100%. Would you image me on a tube with a birkin? Should I be worried? Should I be calm and happy? I think I must feel comfortable with my stylish bag on my shoulder. If not it seems this bag is not really bringing me JOY which is the first reason why I buy it. I buy them to fell happier I buy them because I love them and treat them well. But (I live in a big city as well) at the same time I must feel safe taking them and in the middle of my busy crowded city not always I do. Love my chanel 2.55 and use it on special occasions to point out its value. An emotional value mostly.:)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      You and I are on the same page!!

  • ellavanwainwright

    I don’t really feel this way. I tend not to buy bags that are super delicate, but I use and enjoy the ones I do buy, and if they get scuffed, that’s life. I have a box Constance that is quickly getting scratched, but I figure that someday (when I hand it down to one of my daughters) it will have a beautiful patina.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      You are right – I think there is a big step between the first few scratches to where the bag looks worn beautifully. That is the transition period I don’t like

  • Amanda Jean Corvini

    I can most certainly relate. If someone you are on a plane with, or on the subway sitting next to isn’t a ‘bag-aholic’ they don’t understand why you keep your purse in your lap (as opposed to under the seat, or in between your feet on the gross floor!). My poor Louis Vuittons, Chanel, and others sit in the closet growing dust (or what I think is dust) during the work week. However, when the sun is shining and I don’t have to commute with thousands of others my beautiful purse will see the light of day.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Yep, I always look outside, decide what I’m doing for the day, then decide that it’s a good time to carry my nice bags!

  • emogen_indie

    Guess everyone is the same when it comes to your favorite bags.. I forced myself to use it more often and not get all teary every time a scratch add up.. Reminding myself that these bags might be a great legacy for my kids or niece.. But of course I am not about to go around walking swinging my mini luggage like I was holding my longchamp planetes 1899.. I will take considerate steps..

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      HAHA! Yes, I totally feel you!

  • tbestes

    I am super particular about my bags (and shoes for that matter), and am tempted to take action when wear begins to appear (incessant attempts to “fix”it, or in some cases, contemplate replacement). Depending on the nature of the wear, however, some markings give a bag (and the wearer) character. I know there’s something comforting about seeing a well-known celeb in a photograph with a Birkin that has some light scuffing on the corners. The myth of perfection is shattered, and your thoughts begin to shift to where that person has traveled, what they’ve done in their lives, how they’ve lived, what they’ve seen, etc. (and just what kind of adventure were they on when they acquired that scuff?).

  • Sandy

    The only time that I will not carry a particular bag is when flying, certain structured bags or certain colors will never be put on floor under the seat in front of me. With that said, the bag I usually use is not exactly a cheap one…my Givenchy Pandora is black and smooshes nicely under the seat without problem. I have a pink Chanel WOC that because it will sit against my body at all times…I will pick out my outfit around the bag, light colors that will not transfer to the bag. Other than that I carry all my bags no matter the color or price in rotation and a lot. I would cry like a baby if any were scratched…I guess I am so particular that way.

  • Cait

    I have an entire closet of bags I absolutely love but am too scared to use! I only use the bags that I am not totally in love with.

  • Patricia Ríos

    im the same with my so loved bags!

  • pe.riche.

    I often find myself in a conundrum, because I never purchase bags that I don’t absolutely love, yet, I am hesitant/nervous about carrying those precious bags anywhere.

    But in addition to being fearful of damaging my beloved purses in anyway, I am scared to carry them because of the judgement factor. When you have bags that cost a certain amount, I feel like others think a) I am a quick and easy target to purchase something expensive (this happens in boutiques and department stores) or when I am out and about, people assume that you have money to burn if you’re out grocery shopping with a member of your collection.

    For these reasons, I have refrained from carrying my more expensive bags, some for a year or two. Maybe as I mature I will be more comfortable, but right now, I tend to stick to my not quite as expensive bags.

    • Guest

      I completely understand your feelings. I am currently searching for a birthday present for myself and I want to buy a luxury handbag but I’m worried that when I bring it to work all of my co-workers will judge me. Of course, they probably won’t recognize the bag but if they ask me the designer’s name, they’ll recognize it and I can already feel judgement.

      • Pam McArdle

        Carry those bags proudly girl! You earned it and desearve it just as much as anyone. People who judge are just jealeous. :)

      • babette

        Let them judge. You have a nice bag, carry it.

    • Tinker’s Realm!

      This is the other/same issue that I have too- family looks at my 2k plus bags w/scorn and living in the city makes me feel more obvious/ noticeable target to thieves. I have started wearing more messenger style bags that are mostly free from logos ect.

  • Marg

    Omg this looks written by me!!!!

  • Donna Palmieri

    I can totally relate. I do have a rotation system with low-end bags like Coach, but my coveted Chanel 2.55 classic flap barely sees the light of day. Every now and again, I break it out of its pristine dust cover in its original box, but not nearly as much as I should. Trying to force myself to use this gorgeous bag more often, but I’m certainly not going to place it on a grimy restaurant floor when going out to dinner, etc. What a conundrum!

  • Zezza

    Great article Megs ….. And I thought I was the only one out there who thought that way…. Yes, there are others….

  • Smooth Caramel

    rotation is the trick. i learned the hard way and wore out a Valentino bag by using it daily for months. i got a suede LV runway bag dirty by rubbing on my jeans while using it and now i am scared to use that with dark pants :(

  • Miel

    I’m totally with you! I don’t even put any of my bags on the floor. Even if my room is carpeted, I have something on the bottom (at least a sheet of paper) just so it’s not on the ground. I hate seeing a small scratch on my handbags which is another reason why I have NEVER bought a white purse. I just don’t like seeing dirty bags.

    • Mya

      I am with you about the floor!! My bags DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT go on the floor. I cringe so bad when I see people put the designer bags on the floor in public places. I have bag hooks and I always carry them in my bag.

  • Krysie

    My main concern is not so much that it will get worn or damaged, but how can I travel with it? I travel so much, often to remote locations. What if it gets stolen? I’ve had much less expensive things stolen before while traveling, not only could they take the bag, its kind of like a walking billboard saying “rob me!” But at the same time, how can i spend that much on a bag and never wear it?

  • Megami

    Oh yes, I have one. I love to use almost all of my bags often. Except one. It’s my handbag from Lock & Co. Hatters on St. James in London. They only make hats. Except this once. They made a handbag that looks like a smaller version of their iconic hatboxes. Stretched white leather? Yeah, it only comes out for special reasons. Plus, the significance of the bag is lost on everyone I’ve met outside of London. The best comment I’ve ever heard is, “Oh, it’s a circle.” Insert eye roll.

  • V

    And I thought I was the only one. I feel like a crazy person. I have all of these beautiful handbags but I’m afraid to carry them. So they live their life inside of dust bags. I love them but I don’t want anything to happen to them. So I only use them when I can really protect them. Which is not a lot.

  • MACourt

    I could have sworn I wrote this article! This is totally how I am with a number of bags in my collection. One example: I have a beautiful Gucci bag that I picked up in Florence 2 years ago that I have never carried, for fear of scripting the insanely butter-soft light leather. I love the bag, it even has my initials embossed on the strap by a leather specialist at the Gucci Museum, but I am too chicken to actually carry it!

  • seres

    I use that old gem where you divide the cost of the item over the number of times you wear it to rationalise buying something v.expensive. Hence, I feel guilt about not using my expensive bags! Nevertheless, some don’t get much use because they were impulse purchases for a novelty feature and don’t match my my day to day outfits much ;P

  • Chicagoshopper

    Absolutely! I have a nude patent leather Valentino that I’m petrified of using. I don’t want a stain on it!! Also have the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis patent leather bag and after seeing how my speedy leather has darkened from skin oils, I’m so scared that the beautiful perfect pale leather will do the same… sad.

  • Liz

    Totally can relate to this article. My bags are so precious to me. I rotate them and after using I clean them before putting back to the dust bag. I go crazy when I see scratches or dirt on it. Some of my bags only see the light once a year but depending on the weather I definitely wear them out. And regarding the comments about people judging you coz of your designer bags, pls. don’t fret on it. You splurged so much money on them so they deserved to be used. Besides, I don’t buy a designer bag to show off but to keep myself happy (of course, aside from the fact that I need/want them). I think we can use and take care of our expensive bags at the same time.

  • Vbogaert

    Yep, I bought a Valentino Va Va Voom bag and got a tiny scratch on the gold hardware and almost contemplated getting a second one to use! I just try to remember how the Japanese believe flaws actually make an item more beautiful and will myself to use it. After all, beautiful bags come out every season!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I didn’t know the Japanese said that, but I really like it!

  • eyda

    this is why i tend to have so many black / navy / dark brown bags in my collection. black 2.55, black herbag, black 2jours, black coach. navy loewe, navy chanel, brown dior, brown gucci. its a tad boring i guess but at least i dont need to worry too much about maintaining them especially after spending so much on them. but my husband now says all my bags look the same to him :/ what do men know eh?

  • Kett

    I saw the title to this article and thought to myself, why the hell would you own a bag that you are afraid to use?! What is wrong with people!??!? And then as I read on, I kept thinking: oh yeah. I do that too.

    I won’t carry my Celine in the rain or my silk Prada clutch that took me forever to hunt down to basically anywhere but a very clean party. So… you know. I take back my initial indignation.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      When I thought about writing this piece, it was a different take too – that I tell people to carry their bags and use them often. But then I realized that I do that with some bags and not others, so I wanted to share that struggle I sometimes face, conscious or not.

    • babette

      The only time I hate carrying my Prada bags is when someone doesn’t just compliment but carries on about it and draws unwanted attention.

  • Wilma

    I echo your sentiments Megs. I only carry my beloved Hermes Jypsiere
    when the weather is dry–and living in the Pacific Northwest, that means
    rarely! I did challenge myself to take it as my only bag on a recent
    week-long vacation (to a dry climate) and it returned in perfect
    condition–let’s face it Hermes leather is pretty tough! That said, I
    enjoy seeing my bags neatly lined up in my closet ALMOST as much as I
    enjoy wearing them.
    PS–Love your bookshelf display. I,too, proudly display my Hermes box (only have one) on a shelf in my walk-in closet.

  • buffmom33

    I am the same:) I have special occassion bags and everyday bags!! I guess all bag girls are alike!!

  • ami

    I only use my Chanel flap bag during my birthday and to weddings. I also have a Bottega Veneta bag that I rarely use because it feels fragile because of the very soft leather and since its color is very pale pink I worry that I might stain it.

  • Maya

    I agree on the “they’re bags, they’re meant to be worn”…I go by that rule at all times because yes, in the end, they’re just bags:))) I love rotating them and of course matching them with what I wear. It’s really my accessory of choice, in my view, it can totally make (or break) an outfit. I just really enjoy carying them around! On the other hand, I don’t get confortable carrying them around in certain cities, while I feel totally confortable in London, Geneva or any major U.S. city, I will refrain from carrying anything nice in Paris (I know, huge paradox!), I just don’t feel confortable riding the subway or walking around in certain districts with a nice bag, so I go for raggedy when I’m there!!

  • Michelle Lim

    Boy do I hear you. I’m babying my lambskin Givenchy Pandora and my PS1 Keep All. Only cause both can’t seem to stand up to tropical torrential rain that comes without warning and every time I get on a crowded subway, I’m like creating an imaginary forcefield around me and my bag.

  • Joan

    I totally relate megs. I never use my precious beauties to run errands or to go
    out with my 4 year old daughter to playgrounds or play dates. My worst
    nightmares include spilling berry juice inside my Chanel tote and finding large oily remains of chips inside my Speedy!

    But I have to say that as long as these expensive designer handbags with
    superb quality are out of the reach of toddlers :) , they are usually “resistant”
    to other kinds of damage. I seriously don’t think it possible that your beloved
    Trapeze will be easily damaged just by rubbing against your coat. I mean, a
    cheap of-the-rack bag would most likely be discoloured (if not completely
    tarnished) in a few weeks. But not a Celine bag, no! Highly unlikely!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I worry about the pony hair on the bag – if you touch it a bit, some of the hair starts to look weird. That is what I don’t want to rub on my coat etc.

      I don’t have kids yet, but I am sure I’ll have to get much more lax with my bags when I do because we all know kids are a tad messy :)

  • Sara

    I use my bags to the fullest. I baby them for a month or two and then I realize I love walking with them and using them. They aren’t fulfilling their destiny in the closet so they gotta come out :) if I think I wouldn’t take it out I don’t buy it. Exceptions made for dressy bags because they are occasion specific.

  • Pam McArdle

    Oh yes, absolutely!! I am very anal about my bags as well. When we spend a good chunk of change on our bags and want to keep them perfect. I carry it like a newborn babe, for goodness sake, but will use them as much as I can. You are not alone.

  • Heather Larkins Riddle

    This post is soooo true! I am so careful which bag i choose each and every day. There are times when I have up to 3 bags in my car and decide right before I get out which one I will carry based on weather, location, crowd….I accidentally got a small pen mark on the front of my Celine Trapeze. Every time I look at it I cringe. I haven’t carried it in months because it bothers me. I also have to force myself to use my most expensive bags. I have found my Hermes Evelyne is my go to bag that I am not afraid to carry.

  • Cookiesncream

    Exactly why I’m trying to get rid of my most expensive bag – it never gets the use it deserves with me. It’s too small to carry for work, and in my free time I either travel, go on adventure walks or go shopping/out for dinner with my friends. Travel is a big no-no for a small-ish bag with a lot of hardware to get scratched and scuffed, plus I don’t want to look like I have money when I travel. Adventure walks are a good place for my less expensive designer bags, and going out with friends usually involves those too since I hate having to be constantly worried about me or someone else spilling something on my bag or the purse hook failing and the bag ending up on the floor or someone stealing my precious bag…soo many things I learned only after I purchased an over 1,100 euro bag. And carrying it less than 5 times in 2 years.

    If I was filthy rich, as in millionaire, and didn’t have to care about money at all, I’d probably have a dozen Chanel GST’s and every Mulberry and Hermés possible and I’d use them as I use a Hilfiger bag now – since that’s not a likely vision to become reality, I’ll just stick with my <500 € bags and be happy.

  • Karinbag4bag

    I feel like this too about some bags. I will have the everydays which I change around based on the seasons but if I am going out carrying a special bag, I don’t want to put it on the floor in the restaurant (even if it is a pristine carpeted dining area). I sort of worry about it. LOL That is something only other bag lovers can understand. Well the little evening clutches can easily sit on your lap but the bigger ones can’t. Good article Megs.

  • Ana

    I think all of us go through this situation. But I did brave it once and travel with my Large patent Lady Dior.

  • Katie

    I have a lizard Chanel I need to use much much more often. Sometimes I feel it is just too nice for everyday wear.

  • JoannaM

    If I’m taking public transportation or going to a seedy neighborhood, I’m always afraid to carry my nice LV bags and instead, opt to carry a less ostentatious bag. I also take into account the weather/if it’ll rain, and save some bags for “special occasions.”

  • babette

    One of the only reasons I worry about carrying my better bags, is theft. I feel that it marks me as having money or something valuable in the bag and when I am walking alone in a big city, I don’t want to draw that sort of attention to me.

    • Sonia

      I am in 100% agreement about babying my nicer bags. I got tired of trying to baby my Celine Trapeze while commuting in NYC that I finally sold it to someone who would use it. I loved that bag so much but couldn’t deal with spending my entire daily life protecting it and basically hiding it from public view.

  • Scottsdale Kim

    Super hot topic based on all the comments! I am a neat freak to begin with so I carry a nylon foldable tote that I keep in the bag so that if I go to the hair salon, grocery store, etc. I can open it and store the bag in it while I’m there. One of the things that I love about Phoenix is that you do not have to worry about the rain and you can usually get a larger table when you dine out so that your bag can be on the chair instead of the floor. I still have challenges with denim transference especially now that I carry cross body bags most of the time. Hermes is the best quality for sure. My gently used Chanel Cerf Tote needed to be sent away because the dye was wearing away on the corners. Have not had that problem with Hermes. I do have one bag that I love and never carry – a Louboutin bag with the lining signed by Christian Louboutin. He came to Neimans years ago and I wear the shoes that he signed regularly but the bag I worry too much about.

  • RBC

    Hello! I am relieved to read all your comments as I feel the same as the writer! I am very careful due to the value of the bag but I am trying to use my birkins more and more. I try to do a one month rotation. What I try to think about is that if ever something happens there is always Claude at Hermes on 63rd St! You can bring it in and he’ll try to repair, fix or if it’s that bad send to Paris it may come at a price but when I have gone to have white spots (aaaarghhh on a black leather) removed there was no charge.

    Chanel also has a hardware specialist for plating etc… just call one of the stores and they will give you the name and number. Another thing is that these bags get more beautiful as they age and as they are used (not abused). Good luck ladies!

  • Jaime Rydman

    A few years ago I was carrying my Floral canvas Gucci Pelham at Saks when the gal at the Gucci counter exclaimed “I can’t believe you are carrying that! It’s a limited edition”. I thought…..”why wouldn’t I be carrying it? It’s a purse and I like it! I’ve always been a believer that nice things are meant to be used and loved…..what’s the point of having it? If you keep it in a bag,inside a box in a dark closet, then why even have it? Same goes with jewelry and china and stemware and beautiful clothes! Use them! Enjoy them! Love them! And let others get joy and inspiration out of seeing something so beautiful on the street!!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      It seems many of us feel this way and I’m guessing it goes back to our parents and their parents and so on. We are mostly taught to treat very nice things with super care, and that ends up making it hard to carry/use

  • Tinker’s Realm!

    I finally grew weary of too many bags that were deemed “special” & that I could never replace again should something happen to them and sold most of my fussy bags & vowed on the bags I kept to use them regularly as the guilt of all of that $$$ just sitting in a Dustbag seemed ridiculous!
    I like you still have a few that are slotted for run around days though and keep trying to work the prettier ones into my average day so that I can see them more often :-)

  • Stephanie aka Pointie

    I used to feel like this… and the SA that I befriended many years ago at Vuitton told me to give my bags the life they deserve. There is no point in having a beautiful Epi carry-on if it stays in the closet, or a Balenciaga that isn’t ending up at a groovy loft party or a private club. that’s not to say I beat the stuffing out of my bags. but our precious handbags are utilitarian objects with finite lifespans. Have a fun, stylish life, not one full of worry and fuss.

  • http://www.visualimaginings.com MrMotivations

    “The ‘Guy’ at the other end of the leash walking us, likes to take his good leather bags thorough the parks, woods, and other adventures. Like some of the cameras he uses for us, they are older, maybe collectible, still gorgeous and worth flaunting, like that 120mm Pentax on the top shelf. Would you hide your pretty face away from the world because of fear of being hit by a meteorite?” – Shiloh (Princess-Poo)

  • http://www.larkieatlarge.com Larkie

    I totally relate to this dilemma. I have a soft spot for exotic bags and the first crease/scratch always cuts the deepest, but I have to remind myself to use and enjoy them to justify the cost! And most of all, I tell myself that crocs, gators, and ostriches live out in the wild for years wearing no special coating spray and survive battle scars, so I should be able to carry these bags in the concrete jungle just as fearlessly :). Enjoy your hard-earned bags, Megs!!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      One time, I was carrying my alligator Hermes wallet and I spilled water on it. Somehow I cared less about water on that than on my leather bags because I kept thinking of how alligators live in the water :)

  • Socklady

    I can join the club..so many bags don’t see the light of day because they don’t look right going to the supermarket..the Chanel cocoons are fantastic cause they don’t destruct..i always wipe the bottom of all my bags with the cleansing cloths at the supermarkets..

  • AllyGirl

    I go through the same thing! How about when you have a bag so expensive that people assume its a fake?

    • SusieVL

      Hi AllyGirl – I actually don’t mind if people think my bags are fake. I know they’re real and that’s all that matters. I live in an area where I KNOW most think my LV’s are fake. Repeating myself here – I’m fine with that!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I know it’s nuts, but I had a Prada messenger bag in college and EVERYONE thought it was fake. I got it for my graduation from high school gift and I was so proud of it, it really hurt when I felt judged for it.

  • LVoe Louis

    Megs I’m showing this to my hubby to prove I’m not the only one, lol!!! I’m terrible for babying my bags, however, accidents do happen like the time my son spilled apple juice and stained the vachetta leather on one of my LVs! Thankfully I love my son way more than my bags so I was surprisingly calm – or was it just because it was not a particularly special bag to me, a frequently carried black MC Speedy that I had owned for several years and specifically felt it was not too precious to be around a toddler! I certainly agree re the safety aspect and do worry about attracting unwanted attention from potential thieves so will always consider this when going certain places.
    My hair stylist says I crack him up! I nagged him for ages to get proper bag hooks installed as I hated the fact that even although I would leave my bag safely at the station, I would return from the wash area and one of the staff would have moved it onto the floor nine times out of ten. I ended up supplying lovely hooks from him to install at each hair station to end my worries as I hated my bags ending up on the floor, I even offered to fit them which shows how keen I was as I’m lethal with power tools! He thinks I’m crazy though does admit loads of clients have commented they love them and think they’re a great idea, lol!

  • janels1

    My trepidations started with my first lamb Chanel bag. It was so easy to scratch, and really nothing could be done. Then I worried about the natural calf straps on LV bags. My Goyard St. Louis had fragile straps, and my Birkin–heaven forbid I should even scuff this icon!

    I found resolutions for most of these “phobias”, and started wearing my bags again. But let me say that the most important is the attitude that “it’s mine, I love it, I will wear it”.

    As to my fixes for each of the above. I gave up my lamb Chanels in favor of caviar or calf Chanel bags. Any Chanel bag is a good investment, so I sold them. With the caviar or calf, they don’t require the TLC as much.

    I spend a lot of time in Paris, so speak to the original boutiques a lot. Someone at LV told me that if you apply mink oil (a waxy substance available at most pharmacies in shoe dept) to brand new natural leather on mostly LV monogram models. This ensures that they likely won’t stain or shoe hand grease–or even rain spotting. It works incredibly well! Bu I also started buyinmodels with

  • BeyondTheGlitter1

    I only feel that way about one of my bags. I have a lambskin Prada that my husband bought me for our anniversary in Italy. It gets rub marks easily and I’ve already spilled ink on the back (yes, I’m one of THOSE people) so I usually like to stick LV because all of my LVs can take my lifestyle and remain looking nice (not pristine, but I think they look good “used”). And as far as leather goes, I’ll stick to a leather that looks cool all beat up. No more lambskin for me.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Ohhh, ink in a bag must have made your heart sink for a minute

      • BeyondTheGlitter1

        Oh yes! I was at my parents-in-law’s house at the time and I think I ran to the bathroom and cried for a bit. I was able to get most of it out but not all of it. :(

  • Courthousecouture

    I agree with this post. The Burberry bag and Prada bags I wanted stay on dust bags as does my patent Longchamp bag. Here I was blaming my mother, lol, who does the same thing when others share my pain. I know several great places that can restore bags and that has freed me some. Now if only we can do a post about not carrying bags because we don’t want people to judge our expensive purchases.

    • SusieVL

      Oh, love – who cares what they think? It’s your money and your choice! I carry LV’s everywhere – sometimes more than one at a time! I could care less what anyone thinks!

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

        :)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      That can def be a post! Will work on it!

  • kemilia

    Oh boy, I must be the only one that doesn’t feel this way …
    First off, if I had a Birkin (which I do not), I could carry it ANYWHERE and no one would notice (I live in the land of Coach, it seems). I have multiple Bals that are old and totally broken in–those are the bags that get the compliments, if any, and it is generally about their colors.
    And I have a few BVs and the only worry I have with them is I don’t carry the light camel one if I know I will be in a situation where it may get dirty–garden walks, for instance. I guess there is a positive side to being poor–no one would ever guess what my bags cost and then judge me. I save up for them and they make me so happy. Really, the only people who have a clue about my bags are the SAs at Neiman’s, Nordies, etc., and then they treat me so nicely.
    Oh, and my bags never go on the floor, not ever.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      BV is really really nice though! But I think they make their bags so well and the leather is so nice that they don’t show wear as much as some others.

      Bals age super well with time, which is why I love carrying mine!

  • Pradameinhofgang

    Have a hermes Jypsiere ( cream toile and natural barenia ) which I love – gift from DH a few years ago – which I love but 2 kids, shoving my bag in gym lockers, school run etc doesn’t mean I use this lovely bag as much as I’d like! You have def encouraged me to try and banish the fear factor ….,,

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      We can all encourage one another!

  • Tonimichelle

    I learnt my lesson on this one thanks to a pair of shoes! They were Prada white patent (sounds a bit grim now but this was quite a few years ago). Anyway, I thought they were far too nice to get scuffed/scratched even the soft leather soles messed up so the first summer I had them I wore them twice, then put them back in their little dust covers until the next year. The following year I did the same. On the third year I took them out to wear and one was white patent, one was yellow patent! I wore those shoes four times and they were ruined anyway! My next big purchase was a Gucci Indy bag… That I used pretty much everyday for the next four years and got every pennies worth out of it!!! These days I’m afraid that if it doesn’t look built to last I simply don’t buy it…what’s the point of a bag you can’t use? I may feel differently if I owned a beautiful vintage Hermes/Chanel that was irreplaceable however!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Oh man, that would have been so upsetting to find one shoe yellow! I have a similar story, which will be a post on PB soon!

      Buying something built to last is very important – some bags simply aren’t that practical and that can be an issue when it comes to using them.

  • Jerseygirl

    Thank you so much for this article! It’s great to know I’m not alone. I remember walking up to the baseball field for my son’s game and women casually sitting in their lawn chairs with their very designer bags on the wet grass! (If you could only see the horror in my face as I post that last sentence) Meanwhile, I’m sitting there freezing because I lay my sweatshirt down on the bleachers so I can place my bag on top of it, not on the bleachers . And, I don’t even have very high end designer bags. I have bags I paid a couple hundred dollars for, but I love them and I love to treat my things well. I do sometimes wish I could be that “casual” with my bags,but I really don’t think that’s happening anytime soon.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      Ha! I feel you on this, I sit down on wet grass and put my bag on my legs or on something to protect it as well

  • Bipasha

    I can relate to your thoughts and to the many comments. I guess I have to have really expensive designer bags to feel that way. I work for a company that is a more “affordable luxury” so there is no shortage of bags in my closet. That having been said, I used to save my bags for that “special occasion”. But when the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys never called, I figured whatever. Every day that I wake up alive and healthy and feeling good about myself is occasion enough. So I grab my fave for the day and go for it. I don’t care how fancy it looks or how light the color is; I just carry it. At the end of the day you’ve carried and enjoyed it and that is why you spent the big bucks, isn’t it? We work and work for things and buy them and then save them. Doesn’t that seem strange when you think about it?

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      It is strange! I guess a lot of it has to do with the price of bags, the saving we do to get those bags, and the yearning to keep them in the best condition possible.

      Also, this line “But when the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Emmys never called, I figured whatever.” made me LOL!

  • SusieVL

    I use my LV’s daily, but will admit if it’s inclement weather, I carry a non designer handbag. I don’t think it’s being crazy – I think we appreciate having nice things and prefer to keep them nice! I’m in Michigan so rain, sleet and snow could take a huge toll on some of my bags! I keep a large plastic shopper IN my LV’s just in case I’m caught unprepared. (of course it’s folded very neatly and placed at the bottom of my bag). I’ve even learned to carry ONE ink pen IN my wallet so to avoid ink marks on the interior of my bags. Live and learn – but do whatever you’re comfortable with. I’ve seen some designer handbags completely ruined and then I cringe! When I’m not using mine, they are in a humidity free space in their dust bags often in the box, too!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I try to bring a plastic bag in my handbag when I think it might rain or snow to wrap my bag in it. I’ve gotten caught in bad weather and ended up putting my bag under my shirt to protect it! Ha!

  • http://www.decorgirl.net Lisa M Smith

    You are totally not alone. Not even close. We covet, we love and take care of our prized bags and are mindful when using them. The weather, the location or what I’m doing all factor into the bag choice for the occasion. The other part of the equation is safety. Is a LV Alma the best bag for NYC, London, Paris, Milan or other busy locals where crowds make easy hiding spot for someone looking to steal a bag? I prefer not to chance it and go with a shoulder or cross-body in a big city. The 2.55 converts to a easy to carry cross-body when needed. I do use the nice bags but choose wisely. Rotation is important as are having repairs made as soon as observed. Chanel is awesome when even a small thread comes loose, they repair it no questions, sending it overseas takes time but I’d rather have the perfect repair done by a craftsman than let some local hack work on a good bag. Great bags are artwork in their own right but are infinitely more enjoyable when used. :) Great post.

  • FlightyTwilighty

    I just love my vintage Enid Collins Box bags, but they’re definitely special occasion only. They are FRAGILE – and they definitely have a certain “look” anyway that only goes with certain kinds of outfits.

  • Kate

    I remember someone saying they wanted a Chanel classic flap to use as their everyday bag and I thought “What?!!, I would never use my classics as an everyday bag”. And because of that thinking, I recently sold my 3 classic flaps because they sat in their dust bag in the Chanel box and never worn. I would take them out to look at them. And I live in a rural area where nobody really carries high end bags, except for LV. I recently purchased a lovely Hermes Kelly 32 and I am determined to use that bag, but definitely not as an everyday bag. My everyday bags are Bottega Veneta bags.

  • C St James

    Yes I was the same way with a closet full of designer bags until my 58 year old sister was diagnosed with cancer and died 3 weeks later. My new philosophy – that special day may never come so carry the bag, scuff it, enjoy it and when its worn out buy a new one to love!

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Megs Mahoney Dusil

      I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. Life is short, you are right.

      • http://www.heygirlfriend.com C St James

        Thanks so much. That is really sweet of you.

    • Topazz

      I stand with you. You bought them, enjoy them. Let them come out and play. A bag is never really happy unless it is out and about. It wants to see new things, not just the inside of a dust bag in a closet.

    • http://www.visualimaginings.com MrMotivations

      “Gets my vote!” – Shiloh

    • joanheminway

      I am sorry to hear about your sister. I had a similar reaction when my mother died and we found unused things among her possessions. But I need to remember that every day! Thanks for reminding me.

  • Pradameinhofgang

    I thought I once read on the Hermes subforum that Hermes had to virtually remake a birkin after it’s owner took it on Safari and it got trampled by an elephant????! (I am
    Sure I cannot have made that up!)

  • JennieC

    I used to feel the same way but when I was celebrating a birthday with my new Chanel tote, I ended up at a dive bar in the West Village and someone dumped a pitcher of beer in it! I was horrified but the next morning you literally could not tell it had happened; it didn’t even smell like beer. I realized that the Caviar bags are built to last and that I didn’t have to be so afraid of using it. It is now almost 10 years old andis still in great condition.

  • Natalia

    Does anybody wrap handles of the bag with scarves (e.g. Celine luggage or Birkin)? I wouldn’t do, it’s like wearing covers on tires of your car (you bought it to ride, didn’t you), but I know some people do.

    • http://www.larkieatlarge.com Larkie

      i used to hate seeing twillys on the handles of Birkins and Kellys, but after some long lectures from the H salespeople, I caved in and wrapped the handles of my exotic bags to preserve them! It would cost too much and take too long to replace the handles on these h bags. i don’t think i’d wrap the handles though if they were non-exotic bags…

    • Natalia

      I stopped buying python or light suede for that reason, my gorgeous tangerine python bag and rainbow python heels are still sitting in closet (never wore them).

  • Vidalila

    I happens to be one that dont agree! I had a Chanel classic lambskin flap bag and a Balenciaga city. I used them both daily, on the playgrounds, in the grocerystore etc. I did not worry too much when my 3 year old putted his halfeaten sandwich in my Balenciaga or his fruit. Also he used to model with my Chanel. But once a month a cleaned them with perfection (using only Apple leather care) and wiped the insides.

    I just sold them, beacuse I thought it was ridicoulos to have that much money worth in two purses. Me and my family could do so much fun for it instead of me having these, so I sold them. It’s not that we we’re in great need of the money, but I sold them and bought us a 2 weeks holiday to Thailand instead, the bags paying for half of the total cost.

    Now we are going on a trip to New York (it’s kind of a biggie since we live in Sweden) and I have decided to buy myself Marc by marc Jacobs ukita bag, it feels like a reasonably classic nice bag that I can use everyday and fit everything in.

  • Kaly

    I’m reading this while waiting on line in the Starbucks drive-thru and I look over at my Birkin, ON THE FLOOR of the passenger side, and I had to chime in!! I used to be afraid to carry my bags but the more I do, the more I fall in love with them. I’m older (53), life is short and it goes by quickly so use what you love and look fantastic doing it!! Enjoy what you’ve aquired! ????

    • LuxeDesigners

      So true!

      • joanheminway

        Agreed.

  • tstarkyy

    I have a few nicer bags, I usually carry them everyday. It is cruel to leave them all alone in the closet!! They need to see the world! Though if I know I’m going to be walking in a dark parking lot like going to a concert or the movies, I will not carry my Chloe Marcie for fear it will be stolen!!

  • B

    I “only have a Chanel jumbo” and a Chanel wallet on chain but I use/abuse both. Even when I was rocking LV more I couldn’t understand people’s fascination with not letting the vachetta get dark. To me, the patinas, the scratches, the wear and tear shows an ease that comes with knowing there’s more imp things to life than possessions, no matter the cost. It also shows fashion history. “Yes my LV or Vacche natural Birkin is dark … I’ve been a fashionista forever.”

    So … My jumbo is my everyday bag when not with my son. Keys get thrown in there. I don’t put it on the floor but that’s for cleanliness not babying a purse. I hope to heaven when I build my H collection I’ll feel the same. But I do believe I will.

  • Bagaramaglama

    I don’t worry half as much as to what treatment my nice bags get as much as the fear of someone mugging me for it. I don’t wear any logo designer bags anymore, and have opted for ones that have very little designer insignias on them. I know of several people who’ve been mugged just for their designer logo bags instead of what’s in them. Different worry, but still a big worry!

  • http://www.bowsandbunnies.wordpress.com/ LadyxBec

    I only buy bags that are tough enough to use everyday. If I have to baby it too much I wouldn’t buy it.
    Normally whenever I get a new one I get super excited and use it daily for a month or so, then go back to rotating among my other bags depending in what I’m wearing, how much I need to carry and the weather.

    • Chanel Sophia

      Dear Cheap Luxury Bags on sale, lowest price, free shipping on all orders, look at my name ^ ^

  • erica

    From my priciest bags to my more budget friendly bag, I baby all of them! Each one needs its own seat at restaurants and I even try to place a napkin under it if available. That being said, although I get upset if my bag gets scuffed, scratched or messed up, but I get over it fairly quickly. They are just things after all. :)

  • Baci

    I agree with all these ladies. Our bags are beautiful and special to us. Like anything special, we want to protect them. The older I get the more special they are. I recently went through my closet and realize how many great bags I have. I too have brought them out of the darkness. Now I select outfits to wear my bags with rather than the other way around. Ya know what, I really love wearing my bags. Enjoy them ladies!!

  • Anna

    My Celine Trapeze has seen better days; imagine a French woman’s designer bag – overstuffed, a little wrinkled, lost its shape a bit. That’s my bag. I love it and I wear it like I love it. Actually, we’ve been inseparable for almost two years now.

    I love the look of a well worn bag; if you don’t use yours to its fullest extent then honestly, you’re just vapid.

  • Ann

    I am still hesitant to use my new LV Stresa in Damier Azure…..

  • ChanelAddict

    Bag is just a bag, expensive or cheap it meant to be worn . Otherwise just buy a JeanSport backpack.
    Any expensive bag can be cleaned and refurbished . It will look new again. I spilled hot coffee on my lambskin white Chanel . Guess what? It came back from the spa looking better then new one. Do enjoy!

  • Giules

    As i m reading this i can totally relate. I m one of those lunatics that tries their best to take care of my bags. All of them from the most expensive to the more reasonable bags I own. I always have been like that but it got worst when I went the LV factorie as saw the craftsman making the bag and how much pride they have of this piece of art they created. After that I respect my bags even more. And I always tell my friends to do the same. Respect their work and respect your investment. But also enjoy it.

  • Giules

    As i m reading this i can totally relate. I m one of those lunatics that tries their best to take care of my bags. All of them from the most expensive to the more reasonable bags I own. I always have been like that but it got worst when I went the LV factorie as saw the craftsman making the bag and how much pride they have of this piece of art they created. After that I respect my bags even more. And I always tell my friends to do the same. Respect their work and respect your investment. But also enjoy it.

  • giulianna bluhm

    As i m reading this i can totally relate. I m one of those lunatics that tries their best to take care of my bags. All of them from the most expensive to the more reasonable bags I own. I always have been like that but it got worst when I went the LV factorie as saw the craftsman making the bag and how much pride they have of this piece of art they created. After that I respect my bags even more. And I always tell my friends to do the same. Respect their work and respect your investment. But also enjoy it.

  • Giules

    As i m reading this i can totally relate. I m one of those lunatics that tries their best to take care of my bags. All of them from the most expensive to the more reasonable bags I own. I always have been like that but it got worst when I went the LV factorie as saw the craftsman making the bag and how much pride they have of this piece of art they created. After that I respect my bags even more. And I always tell my friends to do the same. Respect their work and respect your investment. But also enjoy it.

  • Giules

    As i m reading this i can totally relate. I m one of those lunatics that tries their best to take care of my bags. All of them from the most expensive to the more reasonable bags I own. I always have been like that but it got worst when I went the LV factorie as saw the craftsman making the bag and how much pride they have of this piece of art they created. After that I respect my bags even more. And I always tell my friends to do the same. Respect their work and respect your investment. But also enjoy it.

  • Sara Morgan

    Oh pleeze! Life is much to uncertain to hide your handbags away to wait for some “special day” that may never come!! Hopefully you selected your handbags because you love them—for the look, the colour, the fabric? Take them out of their sleepers and enjoy them NOW!!! Birkins of course come with their own little raincoats so that you have no excuse about not using them on rainy days! I even use the raincoat when I go to have my hair coloured at the salon! And when I travel by train (which is most of the time) I use my handbags because I want to look chic and feel good about myself! Most good quality leathers actually get better with wear and age! The enemies of most handbags are ball point pens and sharp instruments—use a makeup case inside your handbags and ask a leather specialist about any oils or creams that will help you care for your handbags. My mother had the horrible habit of keeping things hidden away and died without using many of her beautiful things which is sad! On the other hand, I use my handbags on a daily basis but not on the beach or at a chlorine pool! But then again I use my silver flatware daily and not just on Christmas too! And I have trained my two dogs well so that anytime they see an orange box on my bed or on the floor they do not touch it or even sniff it!!! So enjoy every single day of your life and every handbag you have bought!!!

  • jen d

    I feel the same way with my LV. but life is too short and we should enjoy our bags. love them, carry them! thanks for writing this and sharing. LIfe is too short and we are lucky! We should enjoy them as though it may sound materialistic, we enjoy nice things. Whether they were a gift or we spent our own hard earned money to purchase, we should be happy and enjoy the happiness they bring.

  • Natalie

    I’m a bit younger than most ladies here and although I haven’t truly started a covetable worthy bag collection, I have to say I struggle with this too! I think the same mentality can be placed upon other items as well (jewelry, fine china, luxury perfume, etc). I try to use all of my belongings as much as I can while still taking excellent care of them. I think it is very luxurious to use these “special” items on a regular basis. The mindset of everyday luxury can have profound effects on your mood! Now back to bags! I always attempt to avoid putting them on the floor unless they have little feet. I buy the best quality I can afford and I try to be realistic about my purchases. For example, the Coach bag I just bought for university won’t look pristine after a few months, but that’s perfectly fine because it will only look better once its worn in. Using my nicer things on a regular basis adds a little luxury to my life, and worrying about scuffs or scratches only dims the light of these beautiful pieces.

  • Mo

    This post made me feel better that other people feel the same way! I don’t buy or carry many patent bags because of color transfer, and the few I have sit alone in their dust bags other than on rare occasions. And I am beyond paranoid about denim staining my bags…I will only carry a dark bag if it will rub in any way on my jeans. I have ruined a handful of bags over the years, even trying to be careful with them (stuck in the rain, etc), and I think that has made me even more protective. But I love all the comments, and I will try to use them all more!

  • Tortoisescam

    I just bought my first really nice bag since my LV Speedy 8 years ago. It’s this gorgeous iridescent Pashli and I’m obsessed with it. At the same time, I’m the kind of person who can’t even wear white without spilling on myself so I’m terrified of dropping it on asphalt or scraping it on something :/ But at the same time I agree with other comments that I bought this to be used and I know that scuffs will be inevitable. Does anyone have any experience with black leather? Or the Pashli?

  • Kate

    Hi Megs, thank you so much for this article. I loved it! And here’s why…. I only own 2 designer bags and one designer wallet. I have the LV Monogram Eva Clutch and the small zip wallet and the Mulberry Bryn. My mother bought the Eva Clutch (which is nothing compared to your lovely Birkin or Chanel) for me for my birthday in 2011 and to be honest, it has caused more pain, headache, trouble than pleasure. First, my mother wouldn’t let me carry it just anywhere, fearing the LV would caused me to be robbed. Second, the strap was so long that my mother decided to “butcher” it by DIY shortening of the strap (ie, cut, stitch, and Elmer glue it together). Third, when we moved to Chicago, my mother feared that the movers would steal my LV Eva Clutch, not the TV, the electronics, the other expensive jewelry. No, she freaked out about the LV which cost about $650 the time she bought it for me. I suggested that she put the damn thing in a Brinks Security truck and have it driven to Chicago from San Francisco with armed guards. Finally, I decided to sell it. My mother threw a fit, cried, yelled, said she’d use it (yeah, right, she can’t carry anything smaller than a large diaper bag size tote) and refused to let me sell it. So now I’m stuck with a bag I’m not allowed to use, I can’t fit anything in, and can’t sell thanks to my mom’s hatchet job. And I believe this bag secretly demands my mother to worship it! LOL. Megs, I want to set the damn thing on fire and be rid of it! It’s too small to carry anything but my LV zip coin purse, a cell phone and keys. I can’t even carry a small pair of glasses in the darn thing. It’s so small, it won’t fit! So… if you can afford to buy the bag, carry it. You’re right. If the bag is too expensive to get dirty or to be used comfortably, next time, I might think thrice about buying it. Not that the bag is not worth it. The bag is not worth the anxiety and the fear and it’s too expensive to just sit on the shelf. Now, due to my lifestyle, I need to carry a Kipling satchel. It’s ugly. I hate it. I love designer bags. But my nylon Kipling satchel has not caused one argument, not one tear, not one nightmare and does not require special permission to be used! Most importantly, I’m pretty sure when I move to Los Angeles later this year, my mother will not demand it be moved under armed guards. :D

    • cat

      if you’re ever free to sell one day, please let me know. i’ll buy without the strap. =P

  • Gina

    I try to rotate my bags and remember the conditions under which they are more likely to acquire scratches or marks.

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