Closet Confessionals

CC 220: The Finance Associate

" I really don't want to play the Hermès game so I'll have to either pay resale or hopefully find a new holy grail"

Today, our confessional brings us to New York, where we meet a finance associate in her mid-twenties who has been collecting bags since falling in love with a Phillip Lim Pashli bag when she was in high school. That bag remains in her collection still to this day, serving as a reminder of where her bag love began.

These days, CC 220 has a nice collection of bags ranging from Chanel to Bottega Veneta, and this confessor was lucky enough to snag a Chanel Classic Flap right before the big 2020 price hike. That bag is now worth almost double, and it has taught this newbie about resale value and investing in bags that are classic and not overly trendy.

While today’s confessor would love to own a Kelly one day, she doesn’t want to engage in the big H game and would likely go the resale route. She does state that maybe she will have to set her sights on a different Holy Grail! Read the full CC below, and don’t forget to share your own!

Basic Bio

Your Age? 26
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? New York, NY
What is your occupation? Associate
What industry do you work in? Finance
Your annual salary? $150,000
Total Household Income?$150,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 6

What bags are in your collection?

How much is your collection worth? Around $12k resale? Besides my Chanel bags I’m aware the rest haven’t held their value.

What is your most expensive bag? My medium Classic Flap. I purchased it in 2020 right before the price increase, I want to say it has almost doubled since then and still looks brand new.

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? My Chloé Drew. The chain ended up breaking and the hardware has tarnished. Because of the quality issues I don’t think I’ll be purchasing any more Chloé bags, even though I usually baby my bags.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I saw a picture of the Phillip Lim Pashli on Tumblr in high school and became obsessed. I saved up for years and even though I don’t wear it frequently now, it will always stay in my collection.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I’ve had my eye on the Loewe Flamenco in Warm Desert for a while, I need less gray bags but still want to stick to neutrals.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? My dream is a Kelly sellier 28 or 32 in gold epsom leather with gold hardware. I really don’t want to play the Hermès game so I’ll have to either pay resale or hopefully find a new holy grail.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? The Pashli will always be my first, I don’t think I’ve ever had my eye on a bag for so long nor had that much of a fixation.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Personally I don’t think so. I’ve always received fine to poor service in stores, and I usually have to flag someone down to help me. I like to do a lot of research before I make a big purchase, so I will walk in and know exactly what I want instead of browsing. I’m sure it has to do with my age, which I understand, but from my own experience working in retail when I was younger – sometimes the people who spend the most are the least assuming.

How do you take care of your bags? I watch the weather meticulously and make sure I don’t carry them when there’s any chance of rain. Besides that I keep them on a shelf sitting out on top of their dust bags.

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? As of late it has been once every 10 months to a year.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? Online for sure! I don’t like to spend a lot of time with sales associates, I’ll always be friendly and nice but I know that at the end of the day they just want to make a sale and I hate being pushed to purchase anything.

Which stores do you frequent the most? I’ve been wandering into Loewe and Bottega every time I’m in the area.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? I’ve considered it but never pulled the trigger.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? The Chanel Trendy was second hand from Fashionphile. I wouldn’t consider purchasing from somewhere else but I felt comforted by their guarantee. Even now with super fakes I still want to get it authenticated.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? I haven’t yet but would definitely be open to it in the future

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Not pressure necessarily but I do see designer bags on the street a lot and get inspiration from strangers. This happens far more often than I’d like to admit

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Absolutely. My style has changed a lot over the years and I’m sure it will continue to change.

My heart says to go buy what I want but I definitely consider resale value when I’m making a large purchase. It’s comforting to know that if I change my mind one day, I’m not losing that much.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I lean towards classics, I just can’t shake the resale value out of my head. My style is on the simple side but I also can’t justify the price of bags for something that I know I might look back on and regret in just a couple years. I also think I get fatigue from it bags.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? I love to browse but I am so cautious with my purchases that I rarely buy things on a whim anymore. At this point it’s not even for saving money, I’m so afraid of having a ton of belongings in a NYC sized apartment that I tend to be really particular about what I let take up space

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity, or gender? Besides being or looking young, I’ve noticed that I receive far better service when I’m with a man/boyfriend than shopping with a female friend. I’m not sure if they assume he’s buying something for me but it’s been frustrating since I value my friends’ style opinions far more than any guy’s.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? I’ve avoided bags that I see too often or that are frequently replicated (besides the Chanel Classic Flap). I’ve seen so many Foyards that I’d be afraid of carrying the real thing and having everyone assume it’s fake.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? I tend to avoid brands that are known for being on the more flashy side (Versace, Balenciaga, Gucci) but the only one I’d completely avoid for moral issues would be Balenciaga.

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? I do!

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I haven’t but I’ve considered it. I think I would end up buying more if I allowed myself to do this, I prefer using bag purchases to treat myself whenever I have a big achievement and feel like I’ve earned it

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Never

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I’m single but I hope that I wouldn’t! Bags are one of the few things I really like to splurge on and I think I’m good about balance in other areas of my life. I’d hope that any significant other of mine can respect that I work hard for my bags, have purchased them on my own, and am living within my means.

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? Absolutely, I have younger sisters who both carry fakes. They make comments but at the end of the day I’m happy to brush it all off. I work hard and know that I’ve earned them

Have you ever made a significant sacrifice to afford a bag? If so, what was it? I have not.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Nope! I tend to be super meticulous about what I buy.


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