Closet Confessionals

CC 173: The Rookie

"Since I own so little, all of my purchases have been very intentional, and I value all of them!"

In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a rookie handbag collector new to the world of adult employment. CC 173 began collecting handbags when she was gifted a Saint Laurent Cassandra bag for her 19th Birthday. Since then, she has made a few very intentional purchases, with a Louis Vuitton Onthego being her most expensive piece.

This newbie is enamored by the world of designer goods and enjoys it for the entire experience, not just getting the bag itself. Though she’s new to the collecting journey, CC 173 has a great attitude towards bags and shopping, setting aside a budget for “fun” purchases. She admits to dreaming of one day owning a Chanel or Hermès bag and does feel a bit of pressure to get them now because of the never-ending price increases,

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


The Basics

Age: 22
Gender Identity: Female
Location: San Francisco, CA
Occupation: Software Engineer
Industry: Software
Salary: $120,000
Household Income: $120,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

How many bags do you own? 3

What bags are in your collection?

Saint Laurent Cassandra

How much is your collection worth? $7,000

What is your most expensive bag? LV OnTheGo

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Since I own so little, all of my purchases have been very intentional, and I value all of them!

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 19 — my YSL Cassandra, it was a gift for my 19th birthday.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Probably the Goyard Saigon PM in yellow — beautiful bag; I’m really into bags with some structure to them.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? My YSL Cassandra, for sure, it was the first bag in my collection and a bag that I adored. She’s high maintenance since it’s smooth leather, but I hugged that bag for an hour when I got it.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? In college, yes. Not a lot of people carried designer bags around, and my bag wasn’t purchased by myself either. I felt a little embarrassed to carry it around. It also changes the way I’m perceived in stores as well. If I walk in with no designer bags I feel like most SAs write me off as someone young with no money (which is partially true).

Have your bag-carrying habits changed since Covid? Nope — I have always bought bags that I love. I love it when the leather patinas and shows love. I adore seeing people carrying around used designer bags — I keep it as a note in my mind that someone in the world has loved it very much, and maybe I should do some research on it to see if I will love it too!

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Around once a year, maybe twice if I feel impulsive.

Has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your shopping habits or overall attitude towards luxury? Maybe a little bit — since Covid, many of the bag prices have inflated. I dream of owning Chanel or Hermès one day, and sometimes I feel like I need to buy those bags *now* or else I will end up having to spend insane amounts in the future.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Dior, Prada, Goyard

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Nope, I’m very strict about my spending money, so I think I would be heartbroken to spend all of that on a bag for it to turn out to be fake! But I browse around from time to time to see what’s on the market.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Nope, I considered selling my Versace Hobo since it’s not a very structured bag, and it was more of an impulsive purchase, but I haven’t gotten great quotes on it. Plus, I don’t really regret buying the bag. It’s just in a color that only fits the spring/summer seasons. I think I might derive greater happiness if I use it for a couple years and give it to a friend for free 🙂

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Sometimes. There are a lot of early 20s influencers online that practice a lot of handbag consumption. I know I’m decently paid for my age, so sometimes in my head, I think: “I tried really hard in university to get this salary, why can’t I afford half of these things that these girls own?” I really try to resist the urge to buy something, but it’s hard when I open social media and see someone my age who says that they have boughten this and that.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No, I consider them as gifts for myself for working hard.

Who influences your buying decisions? My family, boyfriend, and friends. I generally run my purchase through an entire gauntlet of people before I commit.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not really; I do a lot of searching on my own beforehand. I’ve been trying to form relationships with SAs, but sometimes I feel like I need to do a lot of purchasing for them to think that I’m “worthy” of their time. I simply don’t have the money to make consistent purchasing right now, but I really try to be friendly and get as many business cards as I can. I know a lot about different fashion houses, and I’m really invested in the process of falling in love with a bag, but sometimes I simply don’t have the money to buy. It makes me feel like I’m leading the SAs on sometimes, which makes me feel bad.

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? It’s a symbol of my own success! I studied really hard in college to get my degrees, and I love upgrading different parts of my life. I’m also very obsessed with the idea of creating my perfect closet. I despise having repeat items (like two sweaters that are the same color with the same cut…), and I enjoy the hunt of finding the perfect item, no matter the price. I do think I’m a bit of a shopaholic; it’s really easy for me to convince myself that I need an item, especially if it’s something along the lines of “oh, but I don’t have this in my closet yet.”

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes, it’s usually my age. Not only am I young, but I also look very young. I don’t blame the SAs. I look like I have no money, and I, well, actually have no money either. I really enjoy the act of walking into the store and admiring all the RTW and bags — they’re like works of art to me. I know that they’re trying to make a sale, so sometimes I just wander on my own because I don’t want to waste their time.

Louis Vuitton Onthego

The Money

Who pays for your bags? Myself and my parents.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Not specifically for a bag, but I set a budget for all of my “fun” purchases. This section can include RTW and SLGs and also that one cute candle from Target I’ve been eyeing for the past week. It’s usually a varied amount of money but usually at least 500$ a month.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Nope! I love designer for the whole experience. I love talking to knowledgeable SAs, I love admiring the store setups, and seeing what other customers are wearing. I buy designer for the joy of everything, not just for the bag.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nope, my boyfriend trusts me to make smart financial decisions. Plus, I run all purchases through him, too, since he has a great sense of style!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Nothing yet…. but sometimes, when I feel like I need to celebrate myself or need a pick-me-up, I will move my budget around to afford it.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yes, I use it as a reward system for myself. Graduation? Maybe I should buy something for myself. New job? Maybe I should buy something for myself. But sometimes I feel like I’m too hard on myself — I create strict budgets for the luxury hobby. I watch budgeting/money-saving/generating retirement influencers, and they will say that buying luxury goods is a huge sink of money. I understand, but I derive so much joy from using my bags, and they make me feel so confident. I love every single purchase I have.

But the more I say this, the more I feel like I don’t have a shopping addiction. Sometimes I feel like I have a shopping addiction because I’d rather spend my money on bags than experiences. But I have a budget, and most of my money goes towards a retirement account… so I can’t be that bad, right? I don’t know where my friends’ money goes, nor do I ask, but I label myself as a shopping addict because I clearly do more high-end shopping than my friends do, and compared to them, I feel like a shopping addict. I fight with myself a lot on this. I see that enjoying designer at my age is clearly a privilege — I turn to online forums to be in a community where I feel less judged.

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Oil painting — those supplies get pricey! And snowboarding, which I’m horrible at, but I love the process of learning. And I love expensive food.

Anything else you would like to include? I’m still trying to find my own identity with luxury. I’m very grateful to my parents, who are able to purchase me some items. I know I have worked hard for my salary, and I’m trying to budget myself to afford these goods, but sometimes I feel both pressures from social media to purchase and judgment from my peers to not purchase. It’s a strange feeling — I feel both stingy and frivolous in one go.


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