In today’s installment of Closet Confessionals we meet a young handbag lover who first began dabbling in bags when they needed a good professional work bag. A self-proclaimed recovering shopaholic, this confessor owns around 40 handbags and particularly loves to collect Coach bags. Recently, this luxury lover fell hard for Tod’s and is looking to snag a pre-loved Tod’s D-Cube Shopper next! Working in the luxury beauty industry for a high-end salon/spa, this collector often feels the pressures of looking the part, though they try to consistently remember that it’s not always all about having “the look”. While they admit to shopping mostly online nowadays, this shopper used to value SA relationships in the past, though they’ve also been the victim of inferior service, which is the sad reality for many and an important topic to discuss. Overall this confessional gives a candid look into the shopping habits of a self-proclaimed recovering shopping addict. Read the full CC below and don’t forget to submit your own!

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The Basics

Age: 27
Gender Identity: Gender Fluid
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Occupation: Head of Guest Relations for a Luxury Salon/Spa
Industry: Consumer Services
Salary: $50,000
Household Income: $200,000

The Bags

Are you a PurseForum member? No

How many bags do you own? 40 the last time I counted

What bags are in your collection?

I have lost track, but I will highlight some favorites:

-Tod’s Large Cape Bag
-Tod’s Medium Oboe Bag
-Coach 1941 Rogue 31 w/ Rivets
-Michael Kors Collection Crocodile Miranda Tote
-Fendi Selleria Large Linda Bag

How much is your collection worth? I think somewhere within the $30,000-$35,000 range.

What is your most expensive bag? My most expensive piece would be my Michael Kors Collection Crocodile Miranda Tote. I was lucky enough to find it pre-loved, but the retail price on her was around $8,000.

What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? I am an avid collector of Coach 1941 collection pieces. The term “affordable luxury” may really turn some people off, but the quality and durability of these pieces is very hard to match. Coach Glovetanned Leather has such a luxurious feel to it that I can’t seem to find in many premium designer brands. I have also recently started collecting Tod’s bags for many of the same reasons as Coach 1941.

What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? I was around 19 years old when I needed a professional work bag that exuded class. I went to my local Nordstrom and perused the handbag section, looking at everything from Rebecca Minkoff to Valentino. I settled on a Tory Burch Large Robinson Double Zip Tote in the color black. I found the price point to be extremely agreeable at $598 and it checked all the boxes for both usability and style. I didn’t have the money to spend on a Prada Saffiano Luxe Tote at the time, so I found this bag to be an extremely chic alternative.

Is there a specific bag you are looking to purchase next? Since I am having such a huge love affair with Tod’s as of late, I am trying to find a Tod’s D-Cube Shopper on the pre-loved market.

Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I have a Coach Turnlock Tote in cross-grain leather that my husband bought me one year for our anniversary. I think I have only used it a handful of times because I want to preserve its shape for as long as possible and I never want it to show any wear.

Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? I definitely think so. In my particular field of work, being on the cusp of fashion and style is extremely important. I also work in a very chic, wealthy, and cosmopolitan area of Saint Louis City. I don’t necessarily seek people’s approval of my personal style, but sometimes the approval feels good!

The Shopping

How often do you buy new bags? Recently I have been buying quite frequently. When I see something I really like at a good price, I feel compelled to snag it before anyone else has the opportunity. Is it impulsive? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not!

Which stores do you frequent the most? In-person shopping has been something that I have hardly done during these crazy times. In the “days of old”, I would frequent Nordstrom, Saks, and Neiman Marcus for in-store purchases. Nowadays I turn to their respective websites or the websites of the brands themselves.

Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? I buy second-hand all the time! It is the only way I can afford most of the premium designer bags that I currently own. The RealReal is the place I always look to first and foremost. Their selection is updated every 24 hours and I check in on my favorite brands almost every day to see if a “unicorn bag” has popped up. I also visit my local Clothes Mentor to peruse their selection of pre-loved bags. You never know what you’ll find!

Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? Yes. I used to believe that the bigger the collection, the happier I will feel. When the pandemic happened, my husband and I had to change our lifestyle extremely quickly. I ended up purging about a third of my collection because I adopted a new less-is-more mentality. Now I have a revolving bag fund that is funded by the sales of my “bags of yesteryear.” I take them mostly to Clothes Mentor or another local consignment store in my area.

Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? There is definitely a sense of pressure in my work field and in the area in which I work. Women walk down the street in the latest fashions carrying bags straight from the runway. I have to remind myself that having “the look” is not everything!

Do you consider your bag purchases investments? I think of them as personal investments and indulgences more than monetary investments. Most of the brands I collect generally do not hold their value well on the resale market, but each piece carries a personal memory and I feel those memories when I carry them. Oh the stories my bags could tell!

Who influences your buying decisions? Me. I make the decision for myself despite my husband being in my ear and asking “don’t you have enough bags?” One can never be too stylish.

Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Not anymore, no. I used to have associates at a couple department stores and at all the boutiques that I would frequent and I was very loyal to them. Nowadays I rarely leave the house unless it is to go to work or to the supermarket, so shopping online is my only option and there are no SA’s with that!

Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? I consider myself a “recovering shopaholic”. There was a point where I had to read self-help literature in order to curb a pretty big shopping problem. I think I am on the upswing right now, but sometimes I hit some speed bumps and I binge shop. My husband “coaches” me in fiscal responsibility which keeps me on the right path.

Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? It has happened countless times in the past. Being a person of color is one thing, but being a person of color AND being queer can be a big disadvantage at times. I’ve been followed in luxury stores by staff because they think I may steal something; I have been in a store and sales associates pretend I don’t exist and ignore me. The list can go on and on.

The Money

Who pays for your bags? That would be me. My husband has bought a couple for me as gifts, but I am the primary financier for my bag purchases.

Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I certainly do now! My bag fund is integral to the purchase of new pieces.

The Taboo Topics

Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? I think lots of people have considered doing such at one time or another (I know I have). There was a time where I purchased a replica Goyard St. Louis PM because I could not afford the real thing. I was uneducated at the time about the sinister side of fake designer items, so I didn’t think too much about it. It fell apart after about 3 uses and I threw it away. Never again will I compromise on quality for the sake of style.

Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? It has happened in the past. I would leave purchases in the car and then if he would leave to run an errand, I would make a mad dash for the car trunk and bring everything inside and hide them among my collection. He rarely pays attention to what is new or not, but he will definitely recognize the sight of a Neiman’s shopping bag or a box from UPS!

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I drove through an ice storm to pick up a bag I had on hold somewhere. I wanted the instant gratification of this new bag and I didn’t want to wait until the next day when the weather cleared up.

Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction? I’m recovering from one right now. I have slip ups every now and then, but things are definitely looking up right now!

The Rest Of It

Any other expensive hobbies or passions? My husband and I love to travel across America. Right now we are planning a road trip to Montana. I also love to indulge in fine wines and champagnes.

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Jerri R
Jerri R
1 year ago

I love the honesty of this person.

Ripley
Ripley
1 year ago
Reply to  Jerri R

Me too!

ladyet
ladyet
1 year ago

It’s interesting that many who indulge in a shopping bag habit insist they pay for their own bags, but usually contribute a smaller portion of their household income. For this person, they make only a quarter of their household income. No acknowledgement that the ability to have 40 designer bags (and constantly be adding to their collection) on a 50K/year salary is most likely possible bc their husband’s salary covers everything else (housing, bills, etc.)

It’s just really fascinating the way ppl who have some money or are supported in some way talk about themselves.

Passerine
Passerine
1 year ago
Reply to  ladyet

You raise a fair point and I was thinking along the same lines.

Suppose the author of this post was a single person paying all costs of living themselves on a 50k per year salary (before taxes!): would they have amassed a $35k bag collection even buying the bags second hand? Highly unlikely. Esp if the person also likes to travel and drink fine wines and champagne. The numbers just wouldn’t add up. I wouldn’t call the author dishonest but I would add the caveat: DON’T try this at home unless your home has someone in it who makes a lot more than than you and is willing to defray the costs of your lifestyle.

Megan
Megan
1 year ago
Reply to  ladyet

I think this is a fair observation that relates to privilege and each of our own blind spots. If I pay for something out of my bank account, I can answer truthfully that I’ve paid for it with my own money. However, I can also acknowledge that I have more free money in my bank account because I am part of a DINK household.

RKS
RKS
1 year ago
Reply to  ladyet

What difference does any of this make to you? Why do you care enough to make such a mean comment? You don’t know anything about this person or how they spend their funds or who contributes what. You’re cruel in your assumptions and judgment.

JKL
JKL
1 year ago
Reply to  RKS

Calm down…You are getting carried away on your moral high horse. It’s basic math. Ladyet was not criticizing how this person spends their money. The criticism was toward CC’s represention of how those bags are afforded. It seems dishonest. If CC said that spouse supports the household and CC’s money was for splurges, that would be fine. Or maybe that income was combined and money was from joint account. It just seems phony for CC to say they pay for their own bags given the value of the handbags and CC’s salary. It’s an anonymous confessional. Just be honest.

RKS
RKS
1 year ago
Reply to  JKL

No, I’m no getting carried away…. I cringe when things like this are written because it’s unnecessarily mean. Also, most married couples share their funds & when CC writes that it’s “his” money “he’s” actually correct.

Also, what do you mean “just be honest? About what? If you are implying that I’m the CC I’m not. I would never write a CC and expose myself to the personal, hateful things written about every CC that posts. People write despicable things because they feel empowered as “keyboard warriors” and hide behind their computers. Would you or Ladyet say these things to the CC’s face? No, I doubt that you would. Anyway, I’m done here. Have a blessed day.

Mjm7848
Mjm7848
1 year ago
Reply to  RKS

RKS thank you for sticking up for OP, who just so happens to be me. I don’t need to justify who pays the bills and where my money goes to whatsoever. Clearly Ladyet and JKL fail to realize that I purchase almost all of my bags on the secondhand market via TRR where I can find pieces for an eighth of retail cost. I have been amassing my collection for almost 8 years and I have worked very hard to be able to purchase the pieces that I have. Does my husband make more money than me? Absolutely he does. Does he allow me to be able to express myself through my fashion and style? You bet he does, but I also pay my share of our bills and I contribute to my household. To say that I have been dishonest is a gross inaccuracy and I implore anyone who thinks so to say it directly to my face. I almost chose not to say anything at all, but I feel like I need to stick up for myself. I feel sorry for those who choose to be vile and nasty because it shows a lot about someone’s character and integrity. I would hope that members of a community such as this would be extremely supportive of one another, and it is disheartening to see quite the opposite. It is quite shameful, actually.

76ersgurl14
76ersgurl14
5 months ago
Reply to  Mjm7848

On a lighter note, (because people forget this is a PURSE forum where we all delight in handbags!) If you ever decide to part with your MK miranda to fund another putchase. ill gladly take her off your hands!

RipAttack
RipAttack
1 year ago
Reply to  ladyet

Wow, there are a lot of gross assumptions in this response. You don’t know what their (OP) monthly expenses are or how they split the bills with their husband. OP has used their own money to pay for their own bags, so, they’re comment is factually correct. They have paid for their own bags. Their husband’s income does not matter. You don’t know how OP splits the bills or what bills they even have.

You also completely missed that they purchased their first TB bag when they were 19, I think it’s safe to assume they weren’t married at 19. Meaning their collection probably accumulated pre-marriage. There is so much more I could say but really, your comment was unnecessary and reeks of jealousy and resentment at best, or just being a miserable person at worst.

Lauren
Lauren
1 year ago
Reply to  ladyet

Completely agree, I chuckled when I read that she thinks she pays for her own bags!

Megan
Megan
1 year ago
Reply to  Lauren

CC99 is gender fluid. Unless otherwise indicated, the correct pronoun is they.

Naomi
Naomi
1 year ago
Reply to  Lauren

Another gross and unnecessarily snarky comment about someone you have hardly any knowledge about. And you assume that this person is a “she” when it’s stated otherwise.

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