In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we meet a handbag lover by way of BC, Canada whose love for bags began with her very first B-Bag back in high school. It was then that she was gifted a chic City bag for her 18th birthday, and from there her love for bags only intensified. Enviably, this confessor has yet to resell a bag from her collection, as she still gets use out of them all to this day, rotating her collection from time to time. Though she has yet to resell a bag, this confessor is no stranger to the secondary market, often buying pre-loved pretties once or twice a year while methodically building out her collection based on what she loves and knows she will use. Though she’s not typically influenced by influencers her husband does sometimes lend an opinion on her bag buying as he often contributes to the purchases. Get a candid look into the bag-buying habits of this early-thirties caregiver now and don’t forget to submit your own to see your CC published next!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Industry: Early Childhood Education
Household Income: $375,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 14
What bags are in your collection?
Balenciaga Mini City
Balenciaga City with giant hardware
Balenciaga Papier City A4
Balenciaga Cushion Square crossbody
Balenciaga Papier Ledger Tote python
Valentino Rockstud small
Louis Vuitton mini Palm Springs reverse monogram
Louis Vuitton large Kirigami pochette pastel
Louis Vuitton Keepall 55
Proenza Schouler PS1 tiny
YSL College medium
YSL Camouflage Pouch
Goyard St Louis PM
Chloé Faye mini backpack
How much is your collection worth? $15,000-ish
What is your most expensive bag? The bag I personally paid the most for was the Balenciaga mini City. I bought it brand new on a girls’ trip to Arizona when the Canadian dollar wasn’t doing very well. I would assume the one worth the most brand new would be the python Balenciaga tote, but I bought it secondhand for much less.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I’ve loved Balenciaga since I was in high school and the motorcycle bags were in all the tabloid magazines. My parents bought me the City with giant hardware for my 18th birthday. The Goyard bag is also very special to me. I am a huge Oakland Athletics baseball fan. My husband (boyfriend at the time) bought me that bag on our first trip to the Bay Area together to watch the A’s play.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My parents (really my mom, my dad would have never went along with it if he knew the price) bought me a red Balenciaga City with giant gold hardware for my 18th birthday. I cried because I was so excited and grateful.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’m not looking for anything specific, but really want a denim bag. Maybe a YSL wallet on a chain. Or if I find the perfect neon bag because I have been looking for one for a long time. I don’t quite know what that perfect neon bag looks like yet!
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? The white Balenciaga mini City. I was on a girls’ trip to watch spring training baseball in Arizona. It was after my first serious breakup (even though we ended up back together, and gettting married). It was also my first “big” purchase for myself for a want, not a need. I love that bag more every time I wear it. The goat leather is just so smushy and squishy. It also reigns supreme in the closet by having the best and most visible spot.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I think it depends on the bag. I use one of my mini backpacks most of the time while working. Leaves extra hands to wrangle the kids. I know I have for sure gone to school pickup/drop off and had assumptions bags were fake. I don’t really bring my bag out of the car anymore at places like that. I’m a jeans and tshirt kind of girl, so I’m sure that doesn’t help with the narrative people like to spin in their own heads about my bags/shoes/clothes. The older I get though, the less I care about what other people think. On the opposite end of that spectrum, when I carry lesser known bags in my area around, like Balenciaga or Proenza Schouler, I sometimes get a knowing look or double take by people who know. I live in an area where lots of athletes spend their summers, and a place well known for wine. There are always a few nice bags around that I tend to notice, and the people carrying them tend to notice too.
How often do you buy new bags? I would say around 2-4 a year.
Which stores do you frequent the most? There are no stores that sell bags for me where I live, but Vancouver is about 4 hours away. They have Holt Refrew, Neiman Marcus, and all the boutique stores. My husband is working in the Bay Area right now, so I always browse when I am there visiting him
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I buy second-hand bags at least once or twice a year. I have only bought from Fashionphile so far. I’ve had great luck and quick shipping with them. I have bought shoes from TheRealReal, but haven’t pulled the pin on a bag from them yet.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I haven’t had to sell any bags yet. I do rotate through my collection on a semi-regular basis, so I haven’t felt the need to sell anything yet.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No I don’t. My friends and husband all think I’m crazy for buying expensive bags. I’m not really a person to follow trends either. I buy what I like and what I know I will use.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I don’t consider my purchases to be financial investments. I do consider them to be investments in my happiness. I love hanging out in my closet with a glass of wine playing with my bags. I reorganize my purse area frequently. It also makes me happy carrying my bags or having them sit beside me in the car.
Who influences your buying decisions? I really only buy bags I’m interested in. I don’t have social media, so I don’t really pay attention to influencers. My husband does have a say though, since he is paying for the majority of my purchases! He hates when I get bags that “look like a bag I already have”.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I don’t have relationships with any SAs. I wouldn’t be against it, but I just don’t frequent the stores enough.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. When I’m looking for something specific that is second hand, I enjoy perusing websites and trying to find the best deal. I also like waiting to see if the price will drop, and if I will click buy for anyone else.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No, actually the opposite. I am white, and there have been times where I see people who are seriously shopping with different ethnicities ignored while I browse. It has frustrated me to the point I have left a certain store because I was constantly being offered help, while other where left to their own devices.
Who pays for your bags? My husband pays for my bags 90% of the time.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? We have a general budget for fun purchases that we follow. I know that if I want to buy a bag for a brand new cost of over $3,000 that it is going to count as my birthday, anniversary and Christmas present for the year. Luckily all three of those events are in the fourth quarter, so I can get a few extra secondhand purchases in the first 3/4 of the year.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No I have never bought a counterfeit item
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I hide some purchases. Nothing crazy expensive. Maybe not so much hide, more not point out the fact that I bought a new pair of jeans or case of wine or whatever. My husband is very budget conscious to the point where even he admits he needs to loosen up a bit about the small things.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I’ve never really done anything too crazy. Im boring.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I have a bit of a book buying problem. I love buying and reading books. I’ve found a really good outlet website now though, so the cost has gone way down to about $75-100 a month.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love buying shoes. I don’t really get the chance to wear heels often. I buy a lot of flat espadrilles and YSL makes a rubber soled flat skater style shoe. I am obsessed with buying those in as many patterns as I can. They are so comfortable.