Closet Confessionals

CC 186: The Whimsical Collector

"My bags are an extension of my already eccentric style, and I tend to enjoy very sculptural bag styles"

In today’s new installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a collector hailing from Switzerland whose unique love for bags runs deep. At 24, CC 186 was finally living within the means to buy her first designer bag, the Chloé Tess, after lusting for it for a few years. As she’s grown and her style has evolved, this collector eventually realized that very first bag no longer suited her style, but like many of us, she didn’t hold onto it for sentimental reasons.

CC 186 has since sold that Chloé bag, along with other bags that no longer fit her changing sense of style. Along the way, she’s realized that her style is more eclectic, and she gravitates towards bags that are more whimsical and sculptural. Now, six years after she first began collecting designer bags, CC 186 believes she’s closer to purse peace than ever before.

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


Basic Bio

Your Age? 30
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? Switzerland
What is your occupation? Designer
What industry do you work in? Marketing
Your annual salary? $88,000
Total Household Income? $88,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 18

What bags are in your collection?

Loewe Puzzle Bag

How much is your collection worth? 38000 Euros

What is your most expensive bag? [Discontinued] Bottega Veneta Medium Padded Jodie (Brownie)- 5700 Euros

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? I’m in a fortunate position right now that I don’t have any bags in my collection I regret. The ones I did regret have gone on to be sold. I used to have the large Chloé Tess bag, Bottega Veneta small Beak bag in yellow, and an Off-White nailed camera bag in black.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My first designer bag was at 24, and it was the Chloé Tess in a large size and Black in color. I’d loved it since I was a teenager but sold it on a few years ago as I felt my taste had changed by the time I could actually afford it. I managed to buy a different bag with the sale of that Chloé bag; namely the Acne Studios Musubi bag, which fits much better with my style.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’m looking at purchasing the Giorgio Armani Palmetto bag by the end of the year. I tried it out in the store about a year ago, and I love how sleek and elegant it is whilst still being very practical. Alternatively, I also have the Vivan bag from Objets Daso in the back of my mind to purchase.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? The beautiful padded woven Bottega Veneta Tosca bag in white with the gold ball closure is the bag of my dreams—I love Matthieu Blazy’s work with Bottega. And if I can in my lifetime own a Schiaparelli bag, specifically the nose bag, then I’ll be happy…I hope.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? At this moment, I don’t have any bags that hold any sentimental value.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? My bags are an extension of my already eccentric style, and I tend to enjoy very sculptural bag styles (i.e my Loewe Flamenco Ondas is definitely an attention grabber, as well as the Acne Studios Mini Musubi). I find that strangers approach me more when I’m wearing my more whimsical pieces. I have also noticed a generational split in recent years. Younger girls/teens, say 15-20-ish tend to compliment me on my bags and style a lot. I wonder if the younger generation with the increased style consumption on social media look out for items like bags and shoes more than my generation (?). It’s in any case very fun. My colleagues at work love trying on my bags too, I haven’t quite worked up the courage to lend out my bags yet!
How do you take care of your handbags?

How do you take care of your bags? I rotate between my bags pretty much every day, and not all of them require the same amount of care. I use Saphir Renovateur on all my luxury leather goods and buff out scratches if and when it’s needed. Cleaning, steaming, and taking care of my things are very therapeutic to me and remind me to appreciate the things I have.

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? It’s definitely slowed down in the last couple of years as I’m reaching “purse peace”. I’d say I buy a new bag around once a year—swapping out old ones by selling on as needed.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? I prefer shopping online because the city I live in doesn’t have very many of my favorite brands and even if they do, they don’t tend to carry all the styles I like. I also love finding discounts for my bags which is more likely when you purchase online.

Which stores do you frequent the most? When I go abroad, I make a beeline for Loewe—I love their ready-to-wear, specifically denim and outerwear. I also love visiting the Celine store; they’ve been the most accommodating in allowing me to try on things without pushing me to buy anything.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? No, I have never returned a bag.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Yes! I do buy second-hand bags—mostly from Fashionphile as their customer service is top-tier, and their selection tends to be varied. They are on the pricier side of preloved, but I think it tends to be worth it for the condition that their bags tend to be in.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Absolutely! I’m not looking to have more than 20 bags at a time, and if I want to continue buying bags, I’m going to have to let some things go. Financially it also makes me think twice if I want to go through the hassle of selling a bag (with loss as is often the case with selling luxury bags) before buying another one.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? So far, I haven’t donated any old bags.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not at all, I don’t work a job, nor live in a place where fancy bags are necessary. And when I do attend elaborate events, I’m definitely fully stocked!

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Not at all.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I do love trends—but I don’t engage with them deeply if they don’t already fit my style. I love the current moon bag trend that’s going on (think Songmont or Louis Vuitton’s version). I have the Loewe Luna bag in Ash Grey, and it’s one of my favorite bags to wear, but I still feel quite trendy when I wear it.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? It depends on how badly I want the bag, but typically if I have a hard time with a SA, I won’t purchase with them.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? Actually, I don’t enjoy shopping at all—I just want the things to use! If I could afford a personal shopper, I’d probably go that route for most of my possessions except for grocery shopping—that I love, and need to do myself.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes, I have been discriminated against in quite a fair few luxury stores, which is why I abstain from purchasing anything from that brand or prefer shopping online. I largely stick to Loewe, Acne Studios, Celine, and Bottega Veneta for their lovely services.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? My phone! If my phone doesn’t fit, it’s a no-no. I don’t use my phone very often so it needs to be tucked away in my bag somewhere. Also, I love the look of shearling bags, but I can imagine it looking raggedy after some time.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? Balenciaga: having felt their bags in person, with the thin leathers and poor construction, I wouldn’t spend my money there.

Tom Ford: There is little brand cohesiveness within their designs, and I fear a lack of timelessness due to this.

Versace: Just taste! Not my taste

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? I pay for my own bags.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? Ask me again in a year, lol. Hopefully, I’ll have gotten it down pat. For what it’s worth, bags need to be on my wishlist for at least 1-2 years before I purchase them. In the case of my Chloé Tess, I waited before I purchased it, but it ended up not working out for me. Whereas the Bottega Veneta Mini Desiree, I purchased it impulsively without waiting, and it’s now my most worn bag.

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No never. There are so many beautiful contemporary brands like Yvonne Kone or Aesther Ekme that create quality products that I’d rather my money go there.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? My partner and I just read this question and had a laughing fit…uh no comment.

Don’t tell him I just bought a Celine Triomphe bag from Vestiaire Collective…

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? No, they haven’t.

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? No, I haven’t.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? It definitely has been in the past, especially the guilt associated with having nice things coming from a lower-class background. But I’ve been able to balance the addiction out with having structures around my desires, such as excel spreadsheets for wishlists (rather than Pinterest, because that app sucks you into other things to buy!), as well as a close analysis of my style and *shocker* therapy lol.

Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? Nope 🙂

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Carrie S
Carrie S
1 year ago

I love her collection,different whimsical, and not super expensive. Not the typical Chanel, LV, Hermes you usually see.

1 year ago

Reading with this entry resonated with me to much! Your style is and outlook are so similar to mine and I’m happy to find someone else who like styles that are more niche like the GA bag!

1 year ago
Reply to  FFW

Reading this entry resonated with me so much*

1 year ago

You know what they say about buying bags you can barely afford with your $ 88,000 salary! 😀

11 months ago

What in the USA is this comment? 😂 This salary is perfectly normal for someone of that age, working in design (of course, cost of living Switzerland is more expensive than that in neighbouring countries, but the salary and lifestyle still adds up — if you don’t have kids and other expenses, which I assume this person doesn’t, it’s perfectly typical to be treat yourself without living beyond your means).

Laura W
Laura W
1 year ago

Ahhh… judgement at its finest.

Person on the Internet
Person on the Internet
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura W

It’s about having different priorities in life. How ironic that you hate elitists… practice what you preach.

Darvionne Givhan
Darvionne Givhan
1 year ago

I like that you buy what you like and don’t feel pressured to have a certain amount or type of bag in your collection. The Loewe Ondas bag is super cute!

1 year ago

Your username makes so much sense.