Closet Confessionals

CC 190: The Traveler

"I have purchased almost all of my bags while traveling, so they all remind me of the place where I purchased them. "

In today’s fresh new CC, we meet a handbag lover in her early fifties who has been collecting bags since she was 22. It was then, 30 years ago, that she purchased her very first bag, a Prada bag while traveling in Italy. Unfortunately, that bag was later stolen, but CC 190 still finds joy in buying bags when she is traveling, and most of her purchases have been made on trips, which creates some beautiful memories and attaches sentimental value to each bag!

A true handbag lover, CC 190 has learned a lot in her three decades of collecting. She states that while in her younger years, she had to dig herself out of some financial holes, these days, she only shops within her means. She states that shopping is so much more than just buying new things. Rather her bag-buying is a true hobby that brings so much joy.

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

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Basic Bio

Your Age? 52
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? Naples, Florida
What is your occupation? Entrepreneur
What industry do you work in? Marketing
Your annual salary? $150,000
Total Household Income? $300,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 12

What bags are in your collection?

  • Valentino
  • Chanel
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Dior
  • 2 Bottega
  • Fendi
  • Prada
  • Chloe
  • YSL
  • Louboutin
  • and a Roberto Cavalli

CC 190 Chanel

How much is your collection worth? Approx $35,000.

What is your most expensive bag? Chanel & Dior around $4,200 each.

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? Bottega Cassette bag in white. It is impossible to wear without getting dirty.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was 22 and bought a black leather Prada shoulder bag on my first trip to Italy. I loved it so much. It was stolen out of my luggage years later, and I still miss it.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I would like to add something classic from The Row or Khaite to my collection.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? I actually love the Hermès Constance bag. I know every girl wants a Birkin, but that’s never been my dream. I am also always on the hunt for vintage Fendi Baguettes.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I have purchased almost all of my bags while traveling, so they all remind me of the place where I purchased them. A few of them were exclusive to the country in which I bought them. I was once torn between a Valentino and a Dolce & Gabbana in Milan. I chose the Valentino and felt great about my decision, but when I got back to Chicago (where I lived at the time), I couldn’t resist going into the D&G boutique to “visit” the bag that got away. As I was in the store, my husband was calling to find the bag to try and surprise me. While I had one salesperson looking for the bag, the other person was on the phone with him, looking for the same one. We eventually realized what was happening, and I felt so bad for ruining his sweet surprise that I left the store immediately. I played it off perfectly, but about 6 months later my sister unknowingly spilled the beans. I don’t really use the bag much because it’s pretty large, but I always remember the story when I look at it.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I can thankfully say that the only time I’ve experienced this is in stores. I believe some salespeople treat you better when they see you have a good bag. It makes them think that they have better odds of selling you another one.

How do you take care of your bags? I always empty my bags and put them back on my shelves after using them. I treasure my bags because they all have meaning to me so I treat them with care and love.

CC 190 Valentino

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? 1-2 per year but there have been years where I’ve purchased more or less. It’s usually when I travel to Europe that I make my purchases.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? In store! I want to see, feel, touch, smell, hold, play…,

Which stores do you frequent the most? I live in Naples Florida now so I’m limited but we have one of the best Saks I’ve ever been to so I can get my fix whenever I need one.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? Nope

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I have not, but I am open to it for the right bag.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I recently sold a Gucci bag I’d had for years on Poshmark.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? I have not. I have a daughter who I hope will use all my bags one day!

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I never feel societal pressure, but my own irrational wants can be way worse 🙂

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I usually go with classic purchases but lately I’ve been thinking that I want my next bag to be something wild and crazy like a great, impractical print or sequin.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? I absolutely think of shopping as a hobby. It’s educational, I’m good at it, and it brings me so much joy.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? I definitely feel a difference in service when I am put together as opposed to coming from the gym. I don’t let it bother me, but I will always remember the people who act this way and be sure to never shop with them in the future.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? After my white Bottega issue, I am much more aware of color and leather when making a purchase. I am careful with my bags but they also need to serve a purpose. I don’t want to be afraid to use them.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? Balenciaga. Their latest controversy turned me off to the entire brand, and I found their explanation 100% unbelievable.

Dior Lady DJoy

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? Me or my husband

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No, but I do sell a lot of things on Poshmark. All my earnings are like free money (in my head, anyway) and I will use it for bags or shoes exclusively.

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Absolutely not. I personally will never buy or use a fake bag. I buy bags I love and they have meaning to me. I’m not buying or wearing them for anyone else. I buy and wear them for the experience, the investment and the love I have for them. If I can’t afford a bag (and there are many, many times I can’t), I don’t buy one. Wearing a fake bag would feel fraudulent to me. I would feel as though I’m trying to show off or be something I’m not.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Small ones like Amazon purchases but never large purchases like bags.

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? No. They accept me for who I am. Lol

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? No.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? When I was younger I definitely shopped beyond my means. I had to dig myself out of a few financial holes, but now I am smart enough to only spend what I can feel good about.

Let’s get personal…

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Travel

What is your greatest fear? Losing someone I love.

Which living person do you most admire? IRL – My father who gave me my work ethic and taught me to always treat people fairly.

Celeb/famous – Reese Witherspoon. I admire what she has built professionally and how she did it by telling women’s stories.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My husband and daughter

What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? My daughter got married in Rome last August and it was the most magical time. The journey in planning it with her and experiencing it!

Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? I’m not the wealthiest person who will submit an application (not even close) but I love fashion and bags are my absolute favorite accessory. I love the way they can change a look, a feeling an experience for the better.

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N R
N R
10 months ago

Enjoyed reading this. My souvenir bags also hold a special place in my collection.

J B
J B
10 months ago

Love the Dior woven bag. Ive been in the Saks you mentioned …it is a great store.

Jeanine
Jeanine
10 months ago

Reading this was like reading something I wrote myself. Right down to our age. Enjoy your bags and best of health and happiness in your future travel and purchases!