Closet Confessionals

CC 224: The Beginner

"Enjoy the process! The anticipation is such a big part of the fun."

In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals, we meet a newbie who is currently in her residency in Seattle. CC 224 has been collecting bags since she was 28, and it was just before the pandemic that she got her first designer bag—a Louis Vuitton Neverfull. She states that even though it’s a bag so many people have, it’s one she loves (and uses often).

Though this collector has a small collection, she’s worked hard for what she has and really loves each piece. Because of the work to get them, CC 224 used to baby her bags but has since realized that the whole point of collecting is to use, wear, and love them.

An incredibly smart shopper, this beginner is not able to buy bags on a whim, but she states that the entire process of saving and the anticipation is all so worth it. Read the full CC now, and don’t forget to submit your own!

Basic Bio

Your Age? 33
Your Gender Identity? Female
Where do you live? Seattle, WA
What is your occupation? Resident Physician Surgeon
What industry do you work in? Healthcare
Your annual salary? $76,000
Total Household Income? $140,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No

Onto The Bags

How many bags do you own? 3

What bags are in your collection?

I have a very small beginner collection, not like the other collectors with amazing collections I see on this site. But I’m very happy with it.

How much is your collection worth? Using their original purchase prices, $5,600 USD. Using current pricing, $6,170 USD.

What is your most expensive bag? Celine Mini Belt Bag, currently $2,450.

Do you ever regret any of your bag purchases? If so, which ones and why? Nope! For where I am in life and my career right now, I’m very happy with my collection of 3 bags. They all serve a need in my life.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? At 28 years old (in 2019) I got my LV Neverfull MM in Damier Ebene. It was my first designer bag purchase. I saved up for a year to get it. It was $1,320 at the time. I felt crazy buying it, I had never spent so much money on a material item before. It was my reward to myself for finishing my intern year of surgical residency.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Gucci Jackie in brown leather. I don’t have anything in that shape or size yet. I don’t know when I’ll buy it though. Perhaps when I graduate from my training.

Do you have a ‘holy grail’ dream bag you’ve always wanted to own? I love the shape and style of the Fendi Peekaboo but it’s out of my price range and budget right now.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Probably my LV Neverfull. It’s a basic bag that “everyone has” but I worked hard to get it and it was my reward at the end of a very tough year. I use it so much.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Sort of. For awhile I babied my bags and almost never took them out and about because I was worried about them getting dinged up or the social context not being right. Then I was like, what’s the point of buying them if I don’t use them?

So I started bringing them to the trauma hospital I was working at. One of the other female resident physicians noticed my LV and said “wow, that’s a beautiful bag.” I said “yeah, I feel a little silly bringing it to work when I am in my scrubs and Dansko shoes pretty much looking like crap, but I work 100 hours a week so when else do I have a chance to use it?” And it gives me a little pep in an otherwise overwhelming time.

How do you take care of your bags? I put them back in their dust bags in my closet when I’m not using them.

CC 224 1

On Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Since I started, I have only bought 3 bags in 5 years.

Do you prefer shopping for bags online or in-store? Why? In store. Definitely need to hold and feel it and see how it looks with my proportions.

Which stores do you frequent the most? Nordstrom. Bought my YSL and Celine there.

Have you ever returned a bag after purchasing it? Why did you make that decision? Nope. I research and agonize for months before I make a final decision to purchase. It’s part of the experience for me. So I don’t make any mistakes.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I have not.

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I sold my old Tory Burch once online for $200 but that was just because I didn’t use it anymore, not specifically to fund a new purchase.

Do you ever donate or gift your old bags? If so, to whom? Nope.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Sometimes. But I’m very frugal and budget conscious so it doesn’t get to me.

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Yes. I do now seeing how the pricing has gone up.

Do you follow the latest fashion trends when deciding on your next purchase, or do you prefer classic styles? I like classic, useful styles. Eventually when I have a larger collection I may try something more fun.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? They haven’t been, no. But I haven’t been trying to get holy grail items like a Birkin or anything.

Do you enjoy shopping beyond just acquiring something new? Yes. The whole research, decision making process is part of the experience for me. I watch YouTube reviews and read online reviews, and check out the PurseBlog forums. I only buy a bag like every 1.5 years so it’s a long term process for me to get a new item.

Have you ever felt you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity, or gender? I don’t think so.

What are some factors that may dissuade you from buying a bag, even if you like it? Hm, if reviews online have said things about poor construction or bad longevity. I want my things to last forever.

Is there a brand you outright refuse to buy? Why? Nope.

On Budgeting & Perceptions

Who pays for your bags? Just me.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I save up every month for a purchase. I identify the bag I want ahead of time and make a budget goal and contribute every month to that goal. I am not able at this time in my life to buy a bag on a whim. It took me a year in 2019 to save up for my LV Neverfull, so I saved a little over $100 a month that year for the bag.

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Nope. It wouldn’t have the same experience and excitement for me. I don’t feel the need to have the bag to impress others, it’s only for me, so I get the real thing. Most people in my life don’t recognize or understand designer items.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Nope. My husband is well aware and it’s part of our budgeting.

Have your friends or family ever criticized your bag-buying habits? If so, how did you respond? Some friends have been shocked to learn the price when they ask me and I tell them. My friends aren’t designer people. But it’s fine. Everyone has their hobbies. I think my research and acquisition of bags is a hobby.

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

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? No. I think very clearly before my purchases. I enjoy that part of it. I wouldn’t enjoy bags and they would lose their meaning for me if I was buying new ones all the time.

Let’s get personal…

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? My other intense hobby is reading and that is free. I read 60 books per year.

What is your greatest fear? My husband or daughter becoming very sick or dying.

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

What is your favorite journey you have taken so far? I went to Jordan in 2017 for a friend’s wedding. We visited Petra and Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. Jordan is a beautiful country with very nice people. It was my first time in the Middle East. I didn’t have any designer bags then. In 2021 I took my Celine Nano belt bag to Greece and it was the perfect summer vacation bag. It fit a small Nalgene water bottle, hand sanitizer, wallet, and sunglasses, and my kindle perfectly.

Any parting words you would like to share with our readers? Don’t be intimidated by big expensive collections! It’s ok if you’re not rich, as long as you’re smart. Enjoy the process! The anticipation is such a big part of the fun.


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1 month ago

“I think my research and acquisition of bags is a hobby.” She’s my kind of girl. Non-purse people will never understand

Kaitlin Serio
Kaitlin Serio
1 month ago
Reply to  lalarey

I know – love her!

1 month ago

Reading through, I’m loving this girl. The smart girl type. I agree, anticipation is part of the experience.

1 month ago

The belt bag looks like a micro or nano.

24 days ago
Reply to  J B

It’s a mini. I’m 5’10”.

24 days ago
Reply to  Cc224

Whoops I meant to type nano! In my actual confession (under the travel question) I call it the Celine Nano belt bag, don’t know why purse blog linked to the mini.

Laura W
Laura W
1 month ago

This lady has the absolute smarts. I love that each bag is enjoyably researched and has meaning at the end result. Considered purchases where the journey is as much as the experience. Bravo.

24 days ago

It’s a mini. I’m 5’10”.