Opinion    PurseBlog Asks

Do You Shop for Fashion or Function?

I have a lot of thoughts on this...

One of the major points of contention when discussing a new bag or reviewing a new purchase is how functional it is. Will it fit my phone? Does the shoulder strap slide off of your shoulder? Will the cross-body strap fit over my heavy puffer jacket on a cold winter day? Does the interior have any pockets? And the list goes on…

Let me preface this by saying this may be a controversial take, but I must admit; a bag’s functionality is typically not on the top of my list when considering whether or not to make a purchase.

Does Fashion Trump Function?

Whether it be because of changing trends, changing times, the pandemic, or a little bit of everything, many of us have slimmed down what it is that we deem necessary to tote around with us. Our bags, which once were the place where we carried our entire lives, have drastically changed to become more than a functional item, but an extension and expression of ourselves. As fashion lovers, it’s not uncommon to give up something in the name of a good outfit, and for me personally, I care more about the style of a bag and how it looks than anything else.

I can’t be the only one, can I?

I feel like I’m letting you all in on some irresponsible, dirty little secret of mine, but to be one hundred percent truthful, functionality (unless I’m purchasing specifically with vacation travel in mind) has never been at the forefront of my consideration when I’m adding a new bag to my collection, This pre-dates even my first designer bag, as I can trace this mindset back to 7th grade when I begged my mom for a Coach logo wristlet in baby blue instead of getting a new school bag that year.

I didn’t care about a receptacle to tote my belongings in from class to class. Rather, I cared about being fashionable and on-trend. Sure, my biceps were sore from carrying a stack of textbooks in my arms, but it didn’t matter. I had that wristlet hanging off my forearm, and that was all that mattered. Now, 20 years later, my purchasing patterns haven’t really changed.

Aesthetics, for me, have always beat out functionality, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. Do you shop for fashion first and function second? Let’s chat!

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Niki
Niki
10 months ago

For me, needs to at least fit my phone.

Steffi
Steffi
10 months ago
Reply to  Niki

Same here, this is my only rule as well. 😉

Mia
Mia
10 months ago

Must have both! Gorgeous but uncomfortable shoes will sit in my closet as will beautiful bags that are too small, too precious or too heavy.

charlottawill
charlottawill
10 months ago

Mostly function these days. I already have too many bag regrets in my closet. But that tiny green Dior is adorable.

lalarey
lalarey
10 months ago

Your coach wristlet story spoke to me- my single dad sent me to the mall before my freshman year of HS with my neighbor friend and her mom, and a wad of cash, expecting me to come home with a practical assortment of back to school clothes. I blew it all on a Ralph Lauren tote. I had just moved to town so no one had seen my “old” clothes. I was literally the only kid in my school without a backpack all year. Poor Dad was shocked, it never occurred to him that a girl would do such a thing, he assumed I would just use my 8th grade Jansport for books and stuff. As if!

poleneceline
poleneceline
10 months ago

Just to save money: fashion AND function. Otherwise, I would have too many bags and zero money.

Carol Laveau
Carol Laveau
10 months ago

I am new here. I have carried a vintage Chanel 1996-97 season. It is black jersey with a strap of same material. It fits on my shoulder and tucks under my arm. It’s only gold hardware is its turn key lock. I bought it 3 years ago this September used for 900.00 dollars. It has an inside like the classic Chanel. It took me till I was 65 to find the perfect handbag and I have carried it everyday since purchase. I want to be buried with it LOL

Beth
Beth
10 months ago

A bit of both really. Never entirely just for fashion, like I have no use for a micro bag that barely fits AirPods, adorable as some are. A mini bag is pushing it for me but I love a little top handle that can fit my wallet, keys and a few little bits.

Sandy
Sandy
10 months ago

I have to love the look, it has to fit my needs, and be user friendly. Gone are the days when I purchased on impulse and regretted it! I think we all need bags that fit certain needs, mini bags that are crossbody for hands free occasions, totes for work – vacation etc…

Londoncalling
Londoncalling
10 months ago

Function.
If it doesn’t suit my needs, I won’t buy it regardless of price

Terri
Terri
10 months ago

Admittedly fashion first! But what I do is I tell the atelier that I want a nano bag with shoulder strap that fits my cards with 1 external card slot and 2 internal compartments, send them my car key dimensions so that it would fit perfectly and hand hold my phone instead.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
10 months ago

Both. I want a bag to be functional and cute for everyday. At a minimum, I need it to fit my phone, key fob, wallet, lipstick, mirror, and readers. For fancy events, I cute clutch that may or may not fit my phone. I don’t to carry anything big to a gala.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
10 months ago

Do not understand these mini bags. I think they look ridiculous and holding that teeny handle would drive me crazy in less then 2 minutes and what a waste of money! Reminds me of myself as a very little girl having a tiny purse

AdGuru
AdGuru
10 months ago
Reply to  Elizabeth

Trend or no trend, tiny purses always look like doll’s clothes to me. As most have said, I need my bags to be functional (hold at least my keys, iPhone, compact wallet, credit card case and a lipstick), relatively easy to carry and get in/out of, not too heavy, and still be chic with something interesting about the design and workmanship that appeals to me.

I’m not sure I have one single bag in my collection that checks all the boxes, but what a luxury to have different bags for different needs!

bir
bir
10 months ago

both, i was lucky and got a mini kelly from Hermes and then two weeks later a Birkin 35 from TRR,I think I buy based on how the bag looks the material the color, not so much conditioning it to function weight or capacity ………

bir
bir
10 months ago

note i mention kelly and birkin because they are sister bags and both were bought in the same period ….. i had the same thing happen to me with two speedy bags last year come to think about it it happens a lot for me i buy the large and small version of a bag in short time periods because it was the same with my evelynes.

Kristina
Kristina
10 months ago

100% function first. Has to fit essentials, be easy to carry, well made, and unique. There’s enough fish in the sea that you’ll always be able to find something that checks all the boxes and is still cute. I don’t want to carry something thats a burden just for the aesthetics.

Black
Black
10 months ago

Would be interesting to hear the same question before Christmas 2023. I wish shophoric will soon wake up.

Jaime
Jaime
10 months ago

I am a little of both. Fashion for specific moments and functionality for my everyday bags. I recently purchased a Goyard minaudiere. This purse has very limited functionality. Barely fits lip gloss, small wallet, and key. Definitely no phone but I love it for fashion only.

Beryl
Beryl
10 months ago

Both. If it’s not functional I won’t use it, and I don’t see the point in spending money so something that isn’t attractive/interesting.

Laura W
Laura W
10 months ago

A bag needs to fit my phone, cards and lip gloss and car key bare minimum and if it’s gorgeous i’ll seriously consider it. Less size than that it’s a waste of money to me. On the whole I prefer a bag that fits a little more than that and is more functional. It’s nice to have a couple of cute relatively less functional bags and a coupe of bigger more functional bags to chop and change as needed. A sort of best of both worlds situation.

Chrys
Chrys
10 months ago

Depends on use for my bag…work bag have to be functional, everyday or travel bag need to have certain features, other use bags are chosen based on aesthetic/appeal