In today’s installment of CC we meet a Southerner in his early-thirties with a love for bags of all kinds! This confessor believes in buying what he wants versus what’s “meant for him”, choosing to look beyond just the men’s bag department. Though he enjoys trends, this confessor is more interested in buying what he naturally gravitates towards instead. This bag lover does admit to being incredibly indecisive when it comes to purchases. He states that his friends are some of the biggest influences on his purchasing patterns, and often will consult the opinions of friends on social media to help decide what his next bag buy will be. A believer in purchasing bags to commemorate milestones, this confessor doesn’t budget specifically for bags per se, but is considering a side hustle strictly for a bag fund alone. Read the full confessional now and don’t forget to submit your own!
Gender Identity: Male
Occupation: Manager of a Cafe and Grocery
Industry: Food Service
Household Income: $42,000
Are you a PurseForum member? Yes
How many bags do you own? 20
What bags are in your collection?
Alexander Wang-Genesis Hobo-Oxblood
Alexander McQueen- Flower Card Case
Balenciaga- Motorcycle Work Bag-Truffle
Balenciaga-XS Bazar- Red White Green Blue
Bottega Veneta-Nappa Hobo Maxi-Clay Red
Celine- Luggage Phantom Tote- Royal Blue
Celine- Vintage Macadam Bag
Givenchy-Pandora (Sugar Leather)-Black
Givenchy-Night Pansies Pouch
Kenzo- Eye Pouch- Silver
Madewell- Camo Rabbit Canvas Travel Tote
Medea- Venti Tote- Light Brown
Mulberry-Bayswater Tote Medium-Black Embossed Crocodile
Missoni- Travel Tote
Marc Jacobs- Canvas Tote-Purple
Prada- Galleria Medium-Brunt Orange
Stella McCartney -Fold-over tote- Metallic Black
How much is your collection worth? I’m not really sure, more money then I really want to admit I spent on them but I love my bags.
What is your most expensive bag? My Celine Phantom. Most of my bags are consignment or bought on mega sale. (I used to work in a luxury department store so I got all the discounts) My Celine was the most expensive bag I’ve bought. I was graduating from grad school and wanted to buy a milestone present for myself. It was the first time I had spent this kind of money and like Kim Petras, I had to close my eyes and swipe it.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? As I mentioned above my Celine Phantom. The other one would be my Balenciaga Motorcycle Work Bag. I’ve always loved the City bag. There is just something effortlessly chic and wonderful about a bag that gets more beautiful as it ages. I also love how it doesn’t scream what it is, if you know, then you know. When I saw the bigger Work Bag I knew I had to have it. It was my first dream bag and will always stay in my bag rotation.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was 28 and working at a luxury department store. The last part of the designer sale was happening and I had my eye on an Alexander McQueen card case. I bought the last one in the company and it had to come from Hawaii. It was 50 bucks down from 250! What a steal!
Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? I really want a Loewe Puzzle bag. I’ve been dying for one! The leather, the quality, the shape, I love it! My lust for it has increased even more after reading Sajid Bin Mohammad’s article Is the Puzzle Bag For Men? Give it a read if you’re a guy curious about the iconic Loewe bag.
Besides the Puzzle, I’ve also been looking into some younger brands like Mietis, a brand out of Barcelona. I love their dreamy colors and unique shapes I have my eye on the Tatu bag in Khaki.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? Besides my Celine and the Balenciaga that I mentioned above my Prada Galleria was a gift from my darling roommate who I love. She spent way too much money on me and I told her she never needs to buy me another present ever which she ignored and is currently pestering me about what I want for my birthday.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? It depends on where you are and the people I think. In Miami, everyone was very conscious about who and what they were wearing. It was important to dress well and carry prestigious brands. Being able to afford luxury brands does not equal taste (and trust me as a sales associate I’ve seen plenty of people with all of the money and none of the taste), however, when I moved to the deep south most people don’t know luxury brands. I asked a co-worker if he knew Fendi and he said “Should I?” I was shocked! Not that you need to know designer brands but I do like it when people know what I’m carrying. Especially when they also have an appreciation for designer. However, sometimes you live somewhere where most people only know Michael Kors or Brahmin.
How often do you buy new bags? I believe in milestone gifts like graduations, big number birthdays, promotions etc. Usually about one a year.
Which stores do you frequent the most? Nordstrom is my go to but sometimes Neiman Marcus and Saks.
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? Absolutely, most of my bags are consignment. Rebag, and Fashionphile are my go to websites. I also like to visit smaller antique or consignment stores.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? No never, I only purchase new bags when I can afford them. I like trends but I usually just buy whatever I gravitate towards.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I haven’t moved into the stage of my life where I can afford investment pieces but I hope to in the future. I will say these bags have invested happiness in me though.
Who influences your buying decisions? I’m influenced by a lot of different things when making bag decisions. My friends are my biggest influencers. I’m incredibly indecisive about everything and to make me pick between bags is the worst. I usually put polls up on my Instagram and have people vote. Sometimes it helps other times not. There are a few purchases that I regret because I was swayed by a popular vote and ended up not loving them as much as I thought. Youtube and PurseBlog also help a great deal because there is so much information/videos about bags!
I’m someone who does his research before I buy anything. What are the sizes, leather options, colors, what kind of people wear it, what’s the creation influence (did you know the Givenchy Pandora was named after the Bandora, a Ukrainian instrument, and subsequently called the Pandora because of the box shape when it’s fully stuffed?) what are the hardware combinations, how does it wear over time? Also, I’m a big guy so I have to see bags on other people to make sure the proportions are going to make sense for me.
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not really, I mostly shop online. Still, it’s good to have someone who knows what your taste is especially when you have a busy life where you can’t spend hours in the store figuring out what to buy. Also to tell you when the sales are happening.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? Retail therapy I’d say. It’s fun for me to walk around window shopping even if I’m not buying anything. I especially like doing it with friends.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? Absolutely! I’ve seen it a million times but sales associates will usually pay more attention to people that wear designer. Recently, I was in Charleston and went to the Gucci boutique there. They were only letting a few people in at the time because of COVID. The party in front of me had money, I noticed a YSL Niki bag in brown on one of the girls and some Gucci clothes on another. They let me go ahead of them because they were waiting for their friends. When the sales associate saw me he looked annoyed. I admit I was dressed rather comfortably compared to the designer-heavy girls behind me but that should not effect his customer service. He clearly didn’t know his brands though because I was wearing a Bottega Nappa Hobo. Also I was shopping. I had just went on a spree at Scotch and Soda, which is not cheap, and had two big shopping bags.
I was coming in because I was thinking about splurging on the Super Mini Gucci Denim Dionysus. I saw it on a PurseBlog article and fell in love. The Super tiny one was only $850. Very reasonable for a wallet on a chain. I was in the market for a teeny tiny bag because I thought it would be a great contrast to my big guy body. However, the sales associate was making me regret coming in. He kept sighing, looking at his watch, and barely answered my questions. I felt so awkward that I left promptly after seeing the bag didn’t fit my phone. Which was probably better because I spent way too much on that trip. When I was a sales associate I learned to approach and treat everyone well no matter what they looked like. You can’t judge a book by its cover right? One of my best customers was a famous brain surgeon who would only wear a black shirt, black sweatpants, and sneakers. She looked like a crazy lady who owned like 30 cats but she would spend thousands on bags and even more on jewelry.
Who pays for your bags? Me, Myself and apparently my sweet roommate.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? No, I should though, I mostly use Affirm. I have been considering what one of the other closet confessors did and getting a part time job to just to pay for bags.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? Never, but I’ve thought about it. Particularly those open totes that everyone has like the Goyard St. Louis or the LV Neverfull. Still I would never…probably.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? Probably not, but I’ve been on the single train for a looooong time toot toot! 🙁
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I’ve never done anything crazy. Like I said I only buy if I can afford them or their payments.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? Nope never, I have many interests outside of shopping.
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) it’s fun, relaxing and lets me use my creativity. I’d love to teach it in the future but the licenses are expensive and buying flowers to practice is not cheap.
Anything else you would like to include? Don’t feel restricted in your bag purchases. I know a lot of guys that will only buy from “Men’s” bags. “Men’s” bags are usually restricted into a few silhouettes like the weekender, backpack, portfolio pouch, briefcase, and a stoic crossbody. That’s why I buy bags from the “Women’s” section. They usually have the more interesting silhouettes and are where all the classics are. I mean what “It” bag in history was a “Men’s bag”? Luckily, recently “Men’s” bags have been getting more creative and interesting.
What I’m trying to say is buy what you like even if it’s not “meant” for you. Fashion is about freedom and expression. So bag freedom for all!