Talking about how you spend money on the internet makes people mad, no matter how it is you spend it or how much of it you do or do not have. There’s no way for someone’s private finances to satisfy everyone’s public idea of good and healthy financial responsibility, and odds are that anyone inclined to comment on it probably has some financial skeletons in their own closet. But that’s the reality of shopping, and of loving fashion—sometimes you buy a bag you don’t have the money for just yet, or you put off other responsibilities that you should ideally be taking care of first. Those are extremely human choices.
That’s also the reality of being young, which is something I personally identify with a lot. The subject of this week’s edition of Closet Confessionals is 26 and living in New York City, making a good salary but surrounded by a lot of people with a lot money who are having a lot of fun. She indulges instead of saving, and when I was in my mid-20s, that’s exactly what I did, too. Go easy on her—you were young once, too. And who doesn’t want to buy Chanel instead of a Roth IRA, really?
As always, we can’t publish these little peeks into people’s private shopping lives without help from you. All you have to do for the chance to be featured (anonymous, of course) is fill out the questionnaire below and give us as much detail as possible!
Gender Identity: Female
Location: New York City
Occupation: Policy analyst
Income: $70,000 year salary
Are you a PurseForum member? No
How many bags do you own? 7
How much is your collection worth? $15,500 in bags, approximately $7,000 in small leather goods (SLGs)
What is your most expensive bag? Chanel Mini Rectangular Flap Bag in quilted caviar leather
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection? My Chanel Iridescent Wallet on Chain, because I love its subtle shimmer. I pretty much love things that sparkle and indulged in as many iridescent SLGs: card holder, card holder with snap, coin case, cosmetic case, etc.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it? 21. I bought the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in Damier Ebene. I had just graduated and started my new job. I felt like I needed an “adult” bag now that I was no longer in school, and this particular bag was within my price range and big enough for me to carry everything I needed to for work.
Any particular bag that holds a special sentimental value? I will forever love my Chanel black iridescent WOC. I cannot say how much I love the sparkle and glitter look. I was on vacation in Paris with my boyfriend during Christmas. The weather was absolutely lovely and we were browsing around and exploring the area. I honestly had no intention of buying anything, much less a bag, but as soon as I stepped in the boutique and saw the bag, my heart melted. Without even thinking, I bought it and have used this bag a often as possible since. It’s simple and versatile.
Do you feel like your bags change people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated? Yes and no. I work in the Financial District in New York. Everyone I work with is a lot older than I am, generally they’re a lot more experienced than I am at work, too. I feel like I’m most likely judged for being a millennial, but not so much on the bags I have. I think they judge me based on the choices I make. I’m pretty young and I don’t have a kid, so I splurge most of my paycheck on either bags or SLGs, after rent. Most of my colleagues advise me to constantly save or put the money in ROTH/IRA account (still don’t know what any of that means). I have neither created an account nor contributed yet, and I’ve been working for 5 years now, almost 6. My work mom nags me about my recklessness, although she does admire the bags. I don’t think this changes how they treat me at work at all, just that they see me as a 20-something spending a lot on luxury items rather than preparing for the future.
How often do you buy new bags? I am a little more crazy with buying SLGs than bags because they’re small and interchangeable, in the sense that I can always swap out SLGs in my bag. But I buy bags only when something really catches my eye. It’d have to melt my heart like the iridescent WOC, but that’s very, very rare. Right now, I am content with the bags I have and don’t feel the need for one.
Which stores do you frequent the most? Chanel
Do you ever buy second-hand bags? Where do you buy used? No. I’m picky. I like my bags to be new and in mint condition, so I just buy them from the boutique. Most of the items off the consignment stores retail higher than what’s actually sold at the boutique, as well…
Do you sell old bags to pay for new purchases? No. I gave away two old bags (Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30 and a light gold Chanel Mini Rectangular Flap Bag) and a few SLGs to my friends. I’m just super lazy to deal with the shenanigans of selling online and packaging it.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to purchase more bags? Nope. I only buy what I like. I’m not a fan of buying something just because it’s all over Instagram.
Do you consider your bag purchases investments? Sure?
Who influences your buying decisions? My boyfriend. He’s the responsible one and manages my monthly spending to ensure that I’ll still have enough to pay rent and groceries. I’m all for buying bags, but he influences me to not…
Are sales associate relationships instrumental to your shopping? Yes. I think I’m fortunate to have a down-to-earth SA at Chanel. She’s not judgey and not pushy. She’s always informing me what’s new and reserves items for me when I am getting off work late.
Why do you enjoy shopping, beyond just acquiring something new? It satisfies an addiction for me. I always have the impulse to shop, even if I don’t need anything. I just enjoy the activity. I consider it a workout, walking all around the city browsing and buying things.
Have you ever felt like you received inferior service at a store or boutique due to your appearance, ethnicity or gender? No.
Who pays for your bags? I do. I’ve paid for all my bags and SLGs.
Do you set aside a budget for your bag purchases? I have to. When I bought my iridescent WOC in Paris, that purchase set me back a couple months worth of shopping because I didn’t set aside a budget for it. That bag purchase wasn’t planned, and the vacation to Paris was costly. I don’t have buyer’s remorse at all, but I just couldn’t afford to buy other nice things for myself since I didn’t budget that purchase. That was actually my most recent bag purchase. I normally set aside 30% of what’s left in my paycheck towards my luxury indulgences every month. I don’t spend it on a bag every month because I don’t buy bags unless it’s something I really want/need.
The Taboo Topics
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item? No.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other? No. We live together and share a closet. He sees all my bags in its glory.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to afford a bag? I ate ramen for a month to buy my iridescent Mini Rectangular Flap. I was saving up for the bag and tried to reduce my living expenses as much as I could…
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? No…
The Rest Of It
Any other expensive hobbies or passions? Traveling!