In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we meet a city gal from New York who isn’t afraid of her nice bags. She believes that her bags are meant to be loved and used and gallivanting around NYC definitely has taken its toll on her bags. That being said, she doesn’t purchase bags for investments, rather she purchases them out of a true want and need for them. This confessor is at a point in her life where she’s over the push of influencer and celeb style and takes a step back to assess her feelings if she finds herself lusting after a bag seen on a pop culture figure. Sometimes it’s not the bag that’s tugging at her per se, but rather the dream of stepping into another’s life for a moment or two. Her candid and honest view is incredibly relatable, as is her approach to bag buying in general. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own.
Gender Identity: Female
Location: New York City
Household Income: $120,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 5
What bags are in your collection?
Gucci Disco Soho
LV Speedy Bandouliere 30 in Damier Ebene
Saint Laurent East West Tote
Prada Leather Shoulder Bag
Chanel Quilted Boy WOC
How much is your collection worth? About $6,700
What is your most expensive bag? Definitely my Chanel WOC. I fell in love with it while searching for a small, versatile bag I could dress up or down. I was worried about spending that amount on such a tiny bag (this was obviously before the tiny bag frenzy – now it seems spacious in comparison) but after a very patient SA let me spend time playing Tetris with the essential items I planned to carry I was sold! I guarded the shopping bag like my own personal Holy Grail on the subway ride home.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? Probably my LV Speedy. It’s a work horse and I find myself reaching for it almost every day. It’s been to the bag hospital twice because I am unfortunately not someone who babies her belongings and whenever it’s gone I can’t wait to have it back again.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was a freshman in college when my parents gifted me a pink Dooney & Bourke rainbow logo shoulder bag. I loved everything about it, including the rainbow zipper. I felt immeasurably cool at the time.
However, the first designer bag to make a lasting impression on me was the Fendi Spy Bag. That bag ignited my obsession and I am STILL sad I didn’t have the funds to purchase one at the height of their popularity. Here’s to hoping they come back around!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Hermes Evelyne III 29, preferably in Vert Cypres but any dark green or blue will do. I almost purchased one in Vert Cypres that popped up on the Hermes website a few months ago but I have some saving goals I’m prioritizing right now. It hurt to close the browser and walk away but if it’s meant to be it will.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Probably my Gucci Disco Soho. I knew I wanted to invest in a nicer bag that I could use for running errands as much as going out with friends (are you seeing a theme here LOL). I spent months researching options, watching YouTube reviews of various bags, and reading the PurseForum but I didn’t feel ready to commit. I finally decided to pull the trigger while on my honeymoon in Aruba, definitely after several tiki drinks. We were shopping for a gift for my mother, who was the best unpaid wedding planner, when I saw it in the window of the Gucci store. Now it always reminds me of that trip.
I’d also like to state that we did purchase a nice LV wallet for my mother!
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes and no. New York is such a fashionable place that designer anything is par for the course. However, I do think wearing a nice bag does sometimes make salespeople aa bit more attentive. My office has many employees who carry designer bags but they get treated the same as everyone else.
How often do you buy new bags? This varies wildly. I’m in a bag drought currently – I haven’t purchased a new bag since my Chanel WOC 2 years ago. I’ve been trying to cut back on impulse purchases and be more thoughtful about the items I buy, especially given the pandemic.
Which stores do you frequent the most? Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman for accessories. I tend to not spend much on clothes – I buy basics from J Crew and Old Navy. If I see a particular item I like from a designer, like a Burberry swimsuit or Self-Portrait dress, I will buy it.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I haven’t yet but I’ve been thinking about it as I mull over the Hermes Evelyne. Hermes stores intimidate me and I have no patience for snooty sales people, which are major factors in my consideration.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No and I don’t think I would. My bags are all tied to memories for me, which seems a little sad now that I’m typing it out. I’m more inclined to gift old bags to my mother or younger cousins, as I know they’ll be in good hands.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I used to but not anymore. Seeing every influencer under the sun carrying the Dior Saddlebag as if a corporate memo was sent opened my eyes somewhat. Now when I like a bag that a celebrity/influencer is carrying I try to ask myself if I like the bag because it fits my style and lifestyle or because of who’s carrying it. If it’s the latter I move on, mostly because in those cases what I really want is to step into that persons’ shoes for a day and a bag unfortunately can’t do that.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Nope. I’m extremely hard on my bags – ripped zippers, torn linings, scratches, etc. I buy things to use them and accidents happen when you’re running around a crowded city largely by public transportation. For me to consider them an investment I would have to keep them tucked away in my closet. Where’s the fun in that?
Who influences your buying decisions? I think myself mostly now. While I enjoy talking about bags with some of my friends I don’t ask for opinions when I like something. I used to really look to influencers and celebrities for inspiration but I’ve got a finite budget and need to focus on things that work for my life.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not at all. I wish I had better relationships with SA’s but I haven’t found that yet.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? There’s something so exciting to me about the possibility that new items bring. It’s fun to fantasize about where I’m going to wear my new bag or all the ways I can style it.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Yes. My weight has fluctuated by quite a bit throughout the years due to health issues and various treatments. I’ve definitely noticed better treatment as a thinner person than a heavier one – Saks is the worst offender for this in my experience. A particularly rude sales person made put me off shopping there for a few years. These interactions used to bother me but now I just take my money and shop places where I’ve felt welcome at any size.
Who pays for your bags? Mostly me. My husband did purchase my Saint Laurent tote as an anniversary gift and contributed a portion of the money for my Chanel WOC as a birthday gift though.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I don’t necessarily budget. If I fall in love with a bag I run the numbers and see if I can afford it with upcoming expenses.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? It was a right of passage for high school girls to hit Canal Street looking for good fakes. I purchased a terrible Louis Vuitton tote in high school and haven’t gone back since. Now if I can’t find afford a specific item I try to drill down what I like about it and find something with that element in my price range.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No, we live in a one bedroom apartment – not much room to hide! I love showing my husband what I buy and running options by him. He knows how much I spend and it doesn’t bother him.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? Does trying to convince my husband to take a trip to Paris just so I can get back VAT on any bag purchases count? I was unsuccessful.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? In the past I would say yes. I spent without thinking and made purchases that I regretted afterwards. I really refocused my priorities last year and am now more interested in saving and planning for the future while making meaningful purchases.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I love shoes, Louboutins, Jimmy Choo, and sneakers specifically. I love elaborate nail art and spend more than the average person on gel manicures. My husband and I love to travel and try new restaurants.
My most expensive hobby for sure is my senior rescue chiweenie who we adopted 2 years ago at 8 years old. He’s already had surgery for a luxating patella and recently tore his ACL, which likely means another surgery, but I wouldn’t give him up for anything.
Anything else you would like to include? There’s no wrong or right way to shop for, wear, or appreciate handbags. What works for me may not for you and that’s what I love about this community. We’re all very different but something so simple brings us together.