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In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we’re dipping into the submission archives to bring you this confessional from last summer, coming to us from across the pond. This smart shopper is a one woman show who works hard for her bags, which makes her very proud to both own and wear them. As she’s often saved up for months to be able to afford certain bags, each one means something to her and she has amassed a collection of some pretty impressive styles. A smart shopper who plans her purchases, this confessor makes sure to pay herself first, contributing to her future before she splurges on a new designer bag. One of her most special pieces is the trusty (and practical!) Louis Vuitton Neverfull that she was gifted by her Mum as a birthday gift when the pair spent the day together in London. CC 113, do let us know if you finally snagged that Loewe Puzzle bag!

Read the full CC now and don’t forget to sumbit your own!

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The Basics

Age: 36
Gender Identity: Female
Location: London
Occupation: Executive Assistant
Industry: Financial Services
Salary: $40,000
Household Income: $40,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? No

How many bags do you own? 11

What bags are in your collection?

Chanel black Classic Flap with silver hardware
Chanel maroon chevron Boy Bag with silver hardware
Chanel black Grand Shopper with silver hardware
Chanel blue Cerf Tote
Mulberry black Iris bag
Louis Vuitton monogram 25 Speedy with initials painted on
Louis Vuitton damier ebene 30 Speedy Bandouliere
Louis Vuitton damier ebene Neverfull MM
Louis Vuitton Alma damier ebene BB
Dior little black shoulder bag- don’t know the name
Gucci tote- don’t know the name

How much is your collection worth? £17,500?

What is your most expensive bag? My Chanel Chevron Boy bag was the most I paid for a bag. I think the classic Chanel flap would be more expensive though if you were to compare the retail value now but I bought the classic flap a few years before the Boy bag when the prices were still ‘reasonable’.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I love the Chanel Boy bag- the maroon is such a beautiful colour and it really jazzes up each outfit. I saved up for ages for this bag and knew I wanted a boy in either a red/purple or grey colour so waited months until I found one. When I did I had the money put aside so I pounced on it. You have to move quickly with seasonal colours!

In terms of practical use I love my Speedy Bandouliere which is my everyday Winter bag and my Neverfull which is my everyday Summer bag. They are both great work horse bags.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? Age 22 and it was the little black Dior shoulder bag that I got as a gift from an ex. I can’t remember the name of it and it has long since been discontinued. I keep it in my collection even though I haven’t used it for years just, well, I guess I am sentimental because it was the first ‘expensive’ item I ever owned.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I would love another Chanel Boy in a different colour but I honestly think I am not prepared to part with that much money on a bag anymore. I got my maroon one in 2017 was it? I think prices have reached ridiculous heights now and I can’t justify them. I am fairly sensible financially and think I would prioritise a mortgage overpayment than a £4k bag!

Saying that, I am very much open minded towards splurging on a bag around the £2k mark and have been eyeing up the Loewe Puzzle bag for a few months. I have done some research (Youtube reviews mainly haha) and think one would make a good addition to my collection. They look like they’d function well as an everyday work bag and I would get the small size in a multi colour model. It would jazz up my collection which is mostly quite neutral.

Also, the Louis Vuitton Onthe go bags have recently grabbed my attention- I didn’t like them at first but they have really grown on me so I might give that some thought as well…

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Neverfull. My Mum bought it for me as a birthday present and we had a great day in London together going for lunch and then to the store on Bond Street. She bought herself an Alma BB in Monogram at the same time. I always think of that nice day out whenever I look at it.

Most of my bags I have saved up for myself and it can take months to save up for one so I do have, not sentiment exactly but a sense of pride when I use them knowing that I paid for them myself.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I think certain areas of London can be quite snobbish so in stores like Harrods and Selfridges maybe you are treated better if you ‘look the part’ and have a Chanel on your arm. But in the City and Canary Wharf Neverfulls. Speedys and Mulberry bags are so common that it is the norm and people don’t give it a second thought.

My friends know that bags are ‘my thing’ and I have always liked them so they might say ‘oh is that a Louis Vuitton?’ but conversation never goes further as they aren’t really bothered. I haven’t really ever given this issue much thought to be honest? I think someone’s perception of you is formed quickly on how you speak to them so if you are well spoken and friendly that probably carries more weight than the bag on your arm. There are literally thousands of designer bags these days so if you are not really ‘into’ bags then you’d probably base your perception on someone based on their overall appearance and not single out one factor.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Now maybe once a year or so? This year it was the Mulberry Iris which I got in February.

I recently got my yearly bonus and it was a little more than I was anticipating so I think I will siphon off a portion of it towards a bag, probably the Loewe bag, which I might get early next year. If things cool off with Covid19 then Mum and I are planning a trip to Paris next Spring so it would be nice to buy it then. I have been working from home since March 2020 and am likely to for the rest of the year so it’s not like any of my bags are getting much use at the moment!

Which stores do you frequent the most? Louis Vuitton, I find the staff much more approachable than Chanel. I am a fan of their small leather goods and scarves as well and all my accessories come from there. I got a shawl in Pomme d’Amour for my birthday in the summer from LV.
Also, I like wandering around the bag hall in Selfridges just to get a general overview of all the brands and what they have in stock.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? No I haven’t. Not against it though but it’s just not something I have ever done.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Very occasionally. My step sister recently sold on EBAY for me my old LV Hampstead MM that I hardly ever used. It was a gift from an ex but it’s a top handle and I have learned that I am definitely more of a tote/shoulder bag girl so I was never reaching for it. I gave her a cut of the profit for doing so. A few years ago she also sold an old Mulberry Bayswater for me as well. In general though no I don’t as now I am older (and prices more expensive) I tend to think more carefully before purchasing a bag.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not pressure from society but I often browse the new collections and think ‘oh I love that, I’d really like to buy it’ but I have a strict disposable income to go towards bags so I am forced to think carefully and make informed choices.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? That isn’t ever a consideration for me. I buy bags because I like them and will use them not because I want to flip them and make money. I did make money on the Hampstead bag that was recently EBAYed though but that was just lucky.

Who influences your buying decisions? My Mum likes bags as well and we might occasionally send each other links of styles we think the other may like. Otherwise I guess I just see nice bags when PurseBlog showcases new collections or I browse on the websites and something catches my eye.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not at all. Since I only buy a new bag once a year or so there is never any consistency with who my SA is. I find them all friendly in general but to be honest I don’t think any SA is sincere since it’s their job to encourage you to spend money in the store. That doesn’t put me off though since I do my research ahead of time and generally go into the store with a specific purpose of buying a particular item and their opinion doesn’t sway me.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? Is it shallow to say it’s nice to have nice things? If you work hard for your money I think it’s fair to say that.
I don’t go shopping very often but when I do it tends to be with my Mum and we make a day of it (she doesn’t live in London so I only see her a couple of times a year) and have lunch etc. I find dealing with the crowds tedious though and my tolerance has lowered as I’ve gotten older so I don’t shop that much anymore. I am trying to avoid busy places while Covid19 is still raging on.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Luckily no!

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me mostly. My Mum bought me my Neverfull as a gift and an ex bought me a couple of bags I had in the past that are not part of my current collection.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? This depends. In recent years I have put aside, say, £100 a month for a bag and topped it up by a few hundred more pounds if I get a bonus and then splurge when I find the right bag. My approach tends to be more measured now that I have a mortgage to pay for. In the past I was more impulsive when my financial commitments were smaller.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No. I think most counterfeit items look fake.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nope as I am single currently. When I was younger my Dad used to balk at the cost of some of my items so I gave up telling him. But he is very tight with spending money on absolutely anything, even if a bag was £20 he’d grumble that I could find one for less. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I spend my money on- that’s money in the bank, not on the credit card and I have other savings so if I want to splurge my free cash on something extravagent then I will.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Er nothing really? Sorry no scandal here.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No. I think I am sensible. I have a six month emergency fund and am putting a decent chunk into my pension every month and have made a mortgage overpayment this year thanks to no travel costs due to working at home (silver lining of Covid19) so I feel things are good financially and I can justify a new bag if I save for it.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? No not really- bags are my only passion. I used to like shoes as well and have a fair few designer pairs but haven’t bought any in years since I look after them and they are all in good condition. It’s all boots in London in the winter anyway.

Anything else you would like to include? Just to look after your purchases and to think carefully before splurging. Really think about how much you will use the item and don’t feel pressured into buying it unless you are 100% sure you love it. And remember if you miss out on a bag you had your eye on there will be something next season!

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