In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a healthcare worker whose love of bags is truly innate. Though she can’t exactly pinpoint where her love of bags began, this classic bag lover got her very first pretty little Prada once she was fully established in her career and able to afford it. Her collection is streamlined, yet well-thought out, featuring covetable bags and brands from Fendi, Prada, Givenchy and more.

This collector is incredibly wise and down to earth, budgeting for her bags and saving carefully for months in order to make a purchase. Though she admits to sometimes seeing bags on others and having them catch her eye, this confessor isn’t easily influenced, rather she thoroughly thinks each purchase through instead of impulsively buying anything. Read the full CC now and don’t forget to submit your own!

Submit Your Own Bag Story

The Basics

Age: 37
Gender Identity: Female
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Occupation: Nurse Practitioner
Industry: Healthcare
Salary: $100,000
Household Income: $200,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 14

What bags are in your collection?

  • Prada Crossbody Bag
  • Prada Wallet on Chain
  • Prada Satin Clutch
  • Fendi Zucca Crossbody
  • Fendi By the Way small (cream)
  • Fendi By the Way small (blue)
  • YSL Camera Bag
  • Givenchy Cross 3
  • Louis Vuitton SLG

Contemporary brands

  • Kate Spade top handle bag
  • Tory Burch nylon crossbody
  • Rebecca Minkoff clutch
  • Marc Jacobs mini backpack
  • Longchamp Le Pliage (small)

sorry I don’t remember the exact names of most of my bags, I just remember the designer

How much is your collection worth? Hard to say because they were purchased at various time points but based on retail value at time of purchase, approximately $9,000.

What is your most expensive bag? Fendi By The Way, and I have two of them. They are great bags!

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Prada crossbody, my first designer bag. I don’t even remember if it had a specific name but it’s my favorite bag hands down.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 23, I’ve loved handbags since middle school, but waited until I was fully established in my career before shopping designer brands.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Not a specific bag. I love classic bags so maybe a mini Lady Dior in matte black with black hardware or Chanel reissue with all black hardware.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My Prada crossbody as mentioned above, but also my Fendi crossbody in zucca print. My sister loves that bag so I consider it half hers, we share the love of bags so that makes sentimental to me.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? In certain circles yes, when I’m around other people who wear designer brands I feel like it does, but around those who doesn’t know designer fashion houses then no. I feel more comfortable around those who doesn’t recognize my bags though cause there are no judgments. At work I don’t ever see designer labels so I just happily carry my Longchamp tote.

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Not really, I tend to carry a bag for months before changing out of them so the few places that I do go out to, I just carry whatever bag I’m currently use, if that makes sense.

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? About once a year, though for all of 2020 I didn’t buy a bag.

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Yes and no; the pandemic shows us that life is too short and we should enjoy the little things. But at the same time, so many people are suffering financially due to loss of jobs, medical bills, etc. It puts things in perspective for sure.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Neiman Marcus for designer bags. I live in Oklahoma, not much of a fashion capital. There aren’t many luxury shops around here. I mainly order online.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes I have, I like the sustainability aspect of it, plus saving money is always a plus. Just have to be careful to ensure you get an authentic piece. I like Fashionphile because they have good service and willing to provide additional pictures and information.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Not for the purpose of buying a new bag, but have certainly sold bags that I don’t use anymore. No point in a bag sitting around collecting dust. I’ve sold on Poshmark and Fashionphile.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Every now and then, I get influenced by certain people who have fancy things and I want to keep up, but most of the time I take a step back and remind myself I should only do what I’m comfortable with, plus I shouldn’t care what others think! I love bags for the bags, not for what others may think about me

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Only an investment in my wardrobe and happiness. I don’t think bags should be considered financial investments.

Who influences your buying decisions? Mostly myself. I see what others wear and I may like them but I only purchase what I truly like. From my list of bags you can see I don’t really have the “It” bags. I like classic styles. My rule for buying is that I have to really like a bag for at least 6 months before buying, that way I know I actually like the bag and it’s not an “in the moment” purchase

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? I think they can be, but I do most of my shopping online. I did have a Prada SA in Dallas who was helpful in locating the clutch that I eventually purchased. She knew I lived out of state but was still helpful in tracking down the exact one I wanted.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I have always loved bags, I can’t really pinpoint why bags specifically, but I do think they are wearable art. I do partake in retail therapy every now and then.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Not really, but I do dress very plain and one time I walked in a boutique and was ignored. I wore a crossbody bag and it happened to be turned away from them. I tested them by turning it the other way around so as soon as they saw the label they came to greet me.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Me. I’m married so technically he could buy me bags, but I like that I am able to get what I want because I work hard. It’s my way of rewarding myself.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Yes, and if I go over budget then I will hold off on another bag for a while.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No, the idea of carrying a fake makes me cringe. Others may not know but deep down I do and what’s the point of carrying a fake? It’s better to wear a decent looking, non designer bag then to wear a fake designer bag

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, we have the agreement that we both work so we should be able to buy things we like. Obviously if I’m buying at the level of Hermès Birkin, then we would probably discuss it first. I like what I like and fortunately, for the luxury world, I feel like my taste isn’t that expensive.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I’m a bit boring, never really done anything outrageous for a bag. I save for months before buying any bags.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Sometimes I think I may have an addiction problem with the amount of time I spend watching handbag videos and reading The PurseBlog haha. However, I don’t buy frequently enough for it to be an actual problem.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I would love to travel. I also play piano and my dream would be to have a Steinway & Sons grand piano; those are definitely not cheap, but so beautiful. I just appreciate fine craftsmanship, be it a musical instrument or a handbag.

Anything else you would like to include? Thanks for reading, I love that we share the commonality of bags. Nowadays people disagree too much about politics and public health, it’s nice to escape to a world of handbags for a moment where we can all agree on our common interest.

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Elle
Elle
1 year ago

Why such negativity here? I enjoy these CC’s and read them when I can. Thank you for putting them together!

lalarey
lalarey
1 year ago
Reply to  Elle

agree! No need to be nasty! There are features I like more and less than others, and that’s fine to say, but I do enjoy these. No need for all the negative drama people are bringing to this.

Vee
Vee
1 year ago

I LOVE THESE SEGMENTS. IGNORE THE NAYSAYERS. I don’t need pictures or links and I don’t want to see these women. IT’S ANONYMOUS. That’s the freaking point.

Suri
Suri
1 year ago
Reply to  Vee

AGREED!

avocado1
avocado1
1 year ago

Really funny how the SA came around after you turned the bag the other way. Though I believe that such selective assistance is horrible, I would still expect an SA to know a bag by its shape though, if they wanted to scrutinize a customer!

Passerine
Passerine
1 year ago

I read almost all the confessionals, some resonate more than others, but still find them interesting. I do admit to being slightly put off by those who have or grew up with wealth and who have relatives, spouses, whoever, raining designer goods down on them, sometimes from a very young age. It makes me laugh when I see someone lament that they didn’t get their first premium designer bag until age 25 or so. Oh, the horror.

Aspen
Aspen
1 year ago

“The idea of carrying a fake makes me cringe. Others may not know but deep down I do and what’s the point of carrying a fake? It’s better to wear a decent looking, non designer bag then to wear a fake designer bag“

YES ??

scbarragan
scbarragan
1 year ago

I also enjoy this section but I think that there are some questions that could be reconsidered based on the changes in our society and therefore the handbag´s enthusiasts that are the writers here.

For example, many money sections are a bit “old-fashioned” under my point of view. It is very difficult to make calculation of salaries or prices if we live in EU or any country outside US. Moreover the salary range could be different for a position and it not easy to interpret in an US context. If the salary question is information to understand the social status is not very useful outside USA context. The most difficult should be the calculation of handbag prices in US dollars because your collection of bags used to be acquired along decades with different exchange currency every year. Then, the question about who pays for your handbag, I would almost take as borderline offensive in a modern society of working people paying for your consumptions. I think that we need to move away from those formulations if we, mainly women, here are asking to get a gender unbiased vision of our capability to pay for our bags.

I wish to recommend another section that would include new questions more connect to art, design and the aspects that are drivers of the collection. I think that collectors or handbag enthusiasts are not just focused on consumption or trends or what others would think about you. I guess that that many readers and writers of this section would like to hear more about what are the drivers and/ or principles of the collections; why are you collecting handbags is essential question; what is giving more pleasure when you are carrying a handbag, maybe the leather and touch, or the visual aspects, or the effects enhancing your outfit or many other possibilities… I wish to see some implementations in the section and it is truly lovely and sincere, I think.

Tana
Tana
1 year ago
Reply to  scbarragan

I always find it hard to understand the salary in the US. Sometimes a young person just start to work earn like $80000 per year. Is that net income or include taxes? We in Europe have very different number.

J J
J J
1 year ago
Reply to  Tana

I, who live in the US, sometimes also puzzle how on earth a 21 years old earn $80,000 a year. I guess I am in the wrong career. Maybe, they are youtuber or insta-blogger which are careers that didn’t exist back in the day when I was in my 20s

I would say here are the rough estimates on average:
– Fresh 4 years college graduates income are around $30,000 to $50,000
– Those with fresh graduate degrees: ~ $60,000 to $80,000
– Then the high incomes: $100,000 – $150,000. Then the 150,000 – 250,000. Then the 300,000, so on and so forth. Each high income categories, the tax bracket increases

Don’t quote me on this. Kind of making it up as I go. But, hope this helps

Suri
Suri
1 year ago
Reply to  J J

I think that the young people making $80,000/year fresh out of college are usually working in finance (at a hedgefund) or tech and probably in a more expensive city like Manhattan. It’s definitely not the norm even in those fields though.

E C
E C
1 year ago
Reply to  Tana

When people in the US look at income it’s pre-tax. So net income will be lower after taxes. How much lower depends on a lot of factors, if you’re married, what your household income is, if your income is freelance work or salary, etc.

lalarey
lalarey
1 year ago
Reply to  scbarragan

I agree with you- more design related questions would be fun but also I think the $ aspect is interesting- but I also agree with ILP, below. As a mother with a daughter, I love sharing (certain) accessories with her already and reading about people’s relationships with their family’s collections and gifts from them etc is good food for thought about how I want to raise MY kid, in terms of teaching her to appreciate and enjoy beautiful things but not put too much value on them.

ILP
ILP
1 year ago
Reply to  scbarragan

I like those parts the most (salary and who pays for bags)). I see people who spend modestly although they can easily afford pricier bags and I see people who have a very expensive collection but based one their salaries, i questions how they can afford these bags. I am a stay-at-home mom so, technically, my husband pays for everything even though I may physically make the purchase. I think the whole idea of the CCs is to read about other lifestyles and spending habits and purchasing experiences. The only change I would like to see is the addition of photos (either the CC’s photos or stock photos).

E C
E C
1 year ago
Reply to  ILP

Absolutely agree with you, reading about other lifestyles and how they purchase/make decisions about bags is super interesting and the main reason i read these.

Laila
Laila
1 year ago

Honestly, I love these CC. Love the fact that it is almost anonymous too. You get a sneak peek into their lives and the love for the bags. Maybe even the fact that it’s only reading, there are enough photo’s/video’s on Instagram etc. Has always been one of my favorite things to read here on TPB, please continue with them!

Amy
Amy
1 year ago

I remember one of your past CCs was a female CFO who collected Hermes bags and you had some beautiful high quality professional pictures of her colourful collection. That was definitely one of my fave confessionals. Personal opinion is good quality professional photos add to the CC but low quality photos detract. I don’t think every CC needs photos, I like to let my imagination fill in the blanks sometimes, that’s also part of the charm of the CC segment!

Irene
Irene
1 year ago

These segments are the worst. No one cares

J J
J J
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

I find the CC very humbling and interesting to read. It gives a break from thousands of pictures of celebrities with their it bags. It is about a person’s love for their bags. Each bag has its stories of how the person “met” their bag, fall in love, and work hard to get it. Unlike us mere mortals, celebrities don’t have to afford those bag. Most are given to them. Even if they purchase it, they get them way easier than any of us.
It breaks the stereotype that those who collect designer bags are stupid, spoiled, rich kids. A lot of the people who are feature in this come a long way. Not easy to earn $100k ++ a year. Even with that, they still have to save wisely to afford it.

Carolina
Carolina
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

why do you think the world revolves around your personal opinion lol. these segments are my personal favorite part of purseblog. im so glad i’m no one

Laura Shape
Laura Shape
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

Actually, I love these segments. Though I may read them for a different reason than you do. I’m a luxury bag maker and I find these very helpful to understand my potential clients. I especially love the comments on these and all the PB articles.

Also, in defense of these interviews, the comments on most of them are pretty positive. So, it seems other people like them as well.

Stella
Stella
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

Wrong

Last edited 1 year ago by itchybits
Nyp1217
Nyp1217
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

Omg I agree these segments are the absolute worst – I have no idea why purseblog content has gone so downhill – maybe it’s all these new writers – I miss the days when you did more of this Meg

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Nyp1217

I will be trying to get back to writing more myself – life has been a little crazy. I think everyone has different writers or posts they are drawn to, which is ok too!

Amy
Amy
1 year ago
Reply to  Nyp1217

How can you say these are the worst when you’ve never read them?

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

The CCs actually attract a decent readership and we will continue to post them and evolve them over time. Do you have suggestions on how to improve them?

Amanda
Amanda
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Dusil

It would be awesome if you could link to some / all of the bags listed.

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Amanda

Great idea, we can do this going forward!

Irene
Irene
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Dusil

Where to even begin? Photos of the bags would be a good start and maybe a little more about the person being interviewed. Their identities are more hidden than most FBI informants. Why? Let’s see the person with some shots of their bags in real life. If they want their privacy hidden then maybe reach out to someone who doesn’t? Also the content is too much to READ. This blog is best when there is more visual content.

Mari
Mari
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

If you’ve been reading PB for awhile you may have seen some unnecessarily mean and personal comments. For that reason, not knowing who these people are I think it’s ok to maintain anonymity. Also, if I had a very, very expensive bag I wouldn’t want to advertise it here or anywhere.

ILP
ILP
1 year ago
Reply to  Irene

Anonymity is important when revealing your salary, whether you hide purchases from SO, shopping addiction, value of handbags sitting in your home. And it gives people the freedom to be completely honest.

Stella
Stella
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Dusil

I like the segments although some of the questions can go. I do think a visual of the bags in the collection would be good similar to what you do with the purse forum round ups. Or pics of the person with all their bags like into the gloss does with their top shelfie series.

Last edited 1 year ago by itchybits
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Stella

We can add an area for people to upload photos if they have any for sure! We do have photos when we cover Purse People or What’s In Her Bag. Some series are easier to add photos for than others!

E C
E C
1 year ago

I personally love this segment and I agree it could be improved with pictures! Pictures would add a lot. If the interviewee can’t provide their own pictures, perhaps we PF could put in stock photos of the bags mentioned.

Nyp1217
Nyp1217
1 year ago
Reply to  Vlad Dusil

Maybe add photos of the stuff – I’ve never read any of these CC

A Prada Holiday