In today’s installment of closet confessionals we’re introducing you to an attorney in her early forties hailing from Texas. This attorney’s love for bags began like so many of ours, with her very first Coach C logo bag. However these days this handbag lover has moved away from monograms as she’s not a huge fan of logos, instead opting for bags that are a bit more nondescript, like Loewe’s Puzzle bag, which she sites as one of her favorites, and other picks from Marni, Chloé, Celine and more. In her early days of collecting, this confessor was sometimes influenced by trends or bags that everyone else had, but with time came knowledge, and now she sticks to the classics mostly with the occasional “just for fun” buy. Though she’s got her sights set on Chanel, this bag lover hasn’t pulled the trigger just yet, rather she’s smartly assessing her reasoning behind wanting a Chanel bag in first place, something most of us can aim to be better at. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Female
Household Income: $350,000
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 12
What bags are in your collection?
Fendi By the Way
Tom Ford Alix
Philip Lim Pashli
Stella McCartney Falabella Mini
Saint Laurent Toy Loulou
Saint Laurent Toy Tote
Celine Trifold Tote
Bottega Venetta Napa Intrecciato Tote
Louis Vuitton Neverfull
How much is your collection worth? $14,000
What is your most expensive bag? Loewe Puzzle
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I appreciate the quality and design of the Puzzle bag. I love that is not readily identifiable and that the design is still unique even though it came out quite a while ago.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? My first designer bag was a Coach bag, that my Mom’s boss bought me as a gift for my 18th birthday, I think. I carried it everywhere. It was the Coach with the classic Cs all over it. It doesn’t match my style now, as I’m not a huge fan of logos.
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Currently, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Chanel bag, but I’m concerned that I’d be getting it because of the esteem in which Chanel is held and not because I actually like the bag. The design of the classic flap, etc. doesn’t really appeal to me and I don’t know if I’d be comfortable wearing it or have that many occasions to wear it, so for those reasons, I have not pulled the trigger on it.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? The piece that has the most meaning to me would have to be the Pashli. My fiancé got it as a surprise for me when I got a job I really wanted. So while, I may not wear it as often anymore, I will never part with it.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Day to day, not so much. The bags in my collection aren’t heavily branded so I don’t think most people have any idea what I’m carrying. It can have an effect in certain stores, but the same is true of clothes or jewelry. Some of my friends are into bags as much as I am, so they may comment but it’s usually just to observe that it is new. I try not to purchase a bag because of how someone else may perceive it which is why I have held off on the Chanel purchase, that and honestly I think they’re too expensive.
How often do you buy new bags? Not too often. I bought two new bags this year, which is probably excessive, but I think some of it was self soothing (it’s been a tough year and shopping is something that I turn to when things get tough, which wasn’t at all helpful when I was younger and my income smaller). Ordinarily, I try to limit it to one bag a year, if that.
Which stores do you frequent the most? I do most of my shopping, including clothes, shoes, etc. online. For dept stores I like Nordstrom and Saks; online / Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, but I also like a bargain so I usually start at the Outnet, Nordstrom Rack, and TJ Maxx-Runway and work my way up from there.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I would say at least half of my collection was at one time second hand. I recently sold a few so that is no longer the case. I frequent the real real and fashionphile.
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? I don’t do it specifically to pay for new purchases, but if I’m not wearing something I will not hesitate to sell it and allocate that money to something equally as frivolous. I sell them to the same places I buy them.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? I am not on social media so I don’t have that pressure, but I do follow fashion so I see things that I like and like anyone, the more I see them the more I want them, so yes, I have to actively work against that.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? No.
Who influences your buying decisions? When I first started buying bags I was influenced by what was trending, but I’ve tried to move away from that over the years. A lot of it was because I didn’t have experience buying designer bags so I bought what everyone had. These bags are expensive, so after a few mistake purchases, I had to reconsider my approach. Now I try to stick to what I consider classic styles that I can wear for a while. I will try to throw in something fun from time to time, but I no longer buy it because it is an it bag.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? No. I actually don’t like forging relationships with sales associates or any one store. I enjoy the solitary experience of shopping. Also, I don’t tend to frequent stores for which those relationships make a difference.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? My mother has an appreciation for all things new, pretty and shiny and she passed it on to me at a very young age. She always experienced it as an escape and so do I.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? As I said above, I try not to frequent stores that make a habit of making such distinctions, but I’m a black woman so I’d be lying if I said it never happened. However, it’s not exclusive to high end stores. I remember walking into an Abercrombie store when I was in college and being completely ignored and a white woman walking in a few seconds after me and getting full attention. I left and never went in one again. That kind of bias happens everyday at multiple levels. I don’t know what makes me sadder, that it happens or that I’m used to it.
Who pays for your bags? I do, with the exception of a few bags that were gifts from my fiancé or my mom.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No. Even if no one else could tell, I would know.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? I discuss my purchases with him before I make them. We don’t currently share a bank account but if the purchase is more than $1,000 I like to talk it through and make sure it makes sense for what we have planned for that year.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I don’t think I’ve ever done anything particularly crazy to buy a bag.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Yes. I do. As I mentioned I can be a stress shopper, which can be a recipe for disaster; and when I was younger it most definitely was. While I still sometimes give in to the impulse, I set certain parameters or checks for myself: One is discussing it with my fiancé (does this make sense in relation to what else I have going on); the other, is it returnable/refundable (I DO NOT DO FINAL SALE)? That last one is key because usually by the time it arrives (since I do must of my shopping online) the stressor has passed and what I had to have at that moment I no longer need and back it goes.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? I like watches and jewelry and shoes and clothes. The usuals.
Anything else you would like to include? I very much believe in not settling, so if you want something you should get it (of course there are limits to that). The key, like most things, is to plan for it. If you do that, and do it right, you get all the joy (which is really the point) without any of the guilt.