I have a major purse pet peeve: I loathe seeing bags that were originally structured break down into sad mushy messes, whether the leather used was soft or not.
“But Alejandra, slouchy leather is so buttery and luxurious!”
Yeah yeah, I know. And I do agree with that sentiment, but only if the bag was intentionally made to be that way. Let me explain:
On my most recent handbag-buying journey, I continuously went back and forth between a few different options that interested me. While each of these choices all appealed to me in different ways, there were two specifications that any potential purchase had to have: the bag had to be black (or at least mostly black) and it had to be structured. I originally had my eye on a micro Celine luggage tote but I was open to alternatives.
Over the course of several weeks, I flipped through dozens of resale web pages, wish-listing the most promising items so I could keep track of them for future reference. Somewhere along the way, I kept noticing how frequently I saw listings for once structured bags appear stretched, overstuffed, or outright mishandled still going to market for rather exorbitant amounts.
“WHY????” I continuously whined to my husband and friends.
Like most of you, I am no stranger to paying a pretty penny for a purse. I can also accept that buying things secondhand means that the item will have some imperfections; that’s just the name of the game. But the increasing regularity in which I saw formally beautiful totes collapsed into themselves made me outright reconsider the styles I actually yearned for.
“Well, I guess some leathers are just softer so they will do that even if the bags are well taken care of,” I thought to myself. “I can’t bring myself to pay leather prices for a bag made of anything but, so I might as well jump on the soft leather-loving bandwagon.”
Honestly, I figured if I was going to spend the big bucks on a purse I might as well go for something that was already squishy and yielding in an attempt to make myself feel better about the whole situation.
I found some really cute ones too: a used Gucci 1970 hobo, the soft medium Givenchy Antigona, a new Cuyana classic tote, etc. I even spent a prolonged amount of time considering various Mansur Gavriel styles because at least then I could blame any droopiness on the leather’s natural aging process.
And of course, all of the bags claimed to be the softest, the supplest, the doughiest. They were all so buttery! So lightweight! They would form a natural patina!
I heard it all but I still wasn’t convinced. No matter how nice the Nappa or the full-grain or whatever other ultra-luxe material a soft bag was made of, I just couldn’t bring myself to get one. Deep down, I knew I needed something tough and durable, something with those ultra-clean lines and near-perfect symmetry that science claims we crave. I wanted thick calfskin. I wanted patent. I wanted croc. Dang it, I wanted a (seemingly) bulletproof bag that stands up on its own!
Luckily for me, the universe eventually heard my cries and it delivered tenfold. Now I can’t get enough of my ultra-chic and super structured Sac Du Jour.
I still do appreciate sassy hobo bags and adventurous satchels but I guess it’s true – the handbag-obsessed heart really just wants what it wants.
But with all of my pointless complaining out of the way, what about y’all? Do you prefer soft rich leathers or do you like your bags to be tough as nails? Do you have a mix in your collection or do you gravitate towards one or the other? Let me know in the comments!