If you’re a normal human who likes fashion and occasionally buys something nice for yourself, you’ve probably been shamed for it at some point, by someone. Friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, parents, coworkers, the parents of your kids’ friends–everyone’s got an opinion about how other people should spend their money. As it turns out, not even the rich and famous are immune from that kind of judgment; in her recent New York magazine cover profile, Joni Mitchell recounted being bag-shamed by Warren Beatty.

Mitchell, legendary folk music goddess and among the stars of a new Saint Laurent campaign, talks at some length in the profile about how famous men used her fashion choices as a way to criticize or belittle her, but the most specific story is about a Chanel bag (which sounds like it was a Chanel Classic Flap, based on her description) she carried in the 70s. Beatty, apparently unprompted, told her that such a bag was “an unbecoming purse for an artist”–that she was somehow undermining her own talent by owning and carrying a bag that she liked and could obviously afford.

The implication, as it so often is, is that only silly girls would find value or pleasure in fashion, and that silly girls are unable to have serious thoughts or interests or make serious art; that fashion devalues those associated with it. Unfortunately, that’s a familiar battle for most of us.

One of the upsides of working at PurseBlog is that I’m rarely bag-shamed anymore; people understand that my personal taste is part of my job, and they usually leave me alone about it. Living in New York City helps, too, because expensive bags are status symbols here in the way that cars are in most other cities. It wasn’t always that way, though; I can remember coworkers at previous jobs pestering me to tell them how much my bags cost even though I obviously didn’t want to, as well as well-meaning friends who were a little too interested in my spending habits.

Most memorable, though, was my college boyfriend. I found the PurseForum while we were dating and took a particular interest in Balenciaga bags. I bought a couple of pre-owned bags on eBay after careful research and saving as much cash as I could from my part-time job at Best Buy, and despite having expensive hobbies of his own, he thought that was frivolous and maybe dangerous. One day, he DVR’d an episode of Oprah that included a segment on compulsive spending and asked that I watch it.

I did watch it, even though I knew that a couple pre-owned bags did not a compulsion make. The show reinforced my belief that I wasn’t doing anything wrong, of course, and that my then-boyfriend was overreacting because I was interested in something that he thought was stupid. The other segment on that episode of Oprah featured the author of a book called Getting The Love You Want: A Guide for Couples; I ordered it on Amazon and had it delivered to his house. I’m sure it will shock you to hear that we eventually broke up.

That’s my worst tale of bag-shaming by far, and we’d like to hear yours in the comments.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Futuredesignerbagowner

    Everyone has something they’re into, expensive bags, gaming consoles, etc. I’m always irritated by people overly concerned with how other people spend their money. Or the, “OMG, you spent THAT on whatever item, you could have given that to the poor!” comments. Not the same thing and very inappropriate.

    • I find the “you could have given that to charity!” comments particularly annoying because they’re so disingenuous. They never come from people I know who actually do meaningful volunteer work, and they make a lot of totally false assumptions about how people spend money in general in order to make someone feel bad for doing something that is totally within their rights with the money they worked for.

  • Ellejays11

    Yes! On the lighter side, some friends and family will laugh off my bag collection as frivolous or silly. On the heavier side, I’ve had people remark that they could absolutely never fathom spending that amount of money on a bag, as though they were/are above that type of thing. Interestingly, it was one of the latter who changed her tune when her income allowed her to purchase such a bag. Then it wasn’t so unfathomable. So, perhaps a type of jealousy? I try to shrug it off; to each their own.

  • Name

    I really appreciate this post. I am often bag-shamed. I think the natural assumption is that if you carry a luxury handbag– or any luxury item for that matter– and you are a certain age you are materialistic, frivolous and/or broke. In my case, none of these assumptions accurately describe me or my financial situtation. What I have come to understand is that bag-shamers are more than likely one part jealous, and one part overly judgmental individuals. Just as I don’t concern myself with how they spend their money, they should not be concerned with how I spend mine. As long as my bills are paid, my committments to my church and community are taken care of (i.e. tithes and charitable contributions) and I am not a detriment to myself, my family or my financial future, I shoudl be able to carry a designer handbag in peace. Sadly, “haters are gonna hate”; but, (cue Taylor Swift) I plan on shakin’ those bage-shamers off.

    • Anon

      Well said.

    • Liza

      *applause*

      • FrenchBulldog

        Bravo!

    • buffmom33

      Agree!!

    • Amarie

      Very well said! It should be each to their own!

    • Ghanima

      Totally agree ! It’s a choice that we made… our own choice , some people spend their money on electronics, cars Etc.. But nobody judge them.
      For me it’s shoes and bags ????.
      And I belive they last more than gadgets ????.

    • Adrianne

      Hana! That last line was so funny! Well said!

    • Kelly Rae

      completely agree

    • Mina

      The best part is that if you really percieve it as shaming it means that there is some truth in it!

  • Wonah

    Yes, hate those people who make comments about how expensive my bag is or how they make fun of me for buying a Chanel or whatever designer bag I’m carrying.

    Well first of all, it’s my money that I spend and not yours. Secondly, wherever I spend my money whether it’s an expensive bag or not is none of your business. And last, buying an expensive bag does not make me stupid just because you think it is stupid.

    • Maya

      Agreed!!

      • Amazona

        Totally agreed! You have the right to enjoy your earnings the way you like to, even if it’s something – like a handbag/many handbags – that everyone else won’t be able to understand.

        In the end, it doesn’t matter whose money you spend just as long as you own up to it. If you make your own, you spend your own the way you like. If you marry money and spend it, please feel free to do so in the way you like, just own up to it. It’s not bad, it’s not something to be ashamed of, unless you tell lies about it.
        I’ve seen SO many women on blogs and YouTube showing off their bags – honestly, who makes 25 “What’s in my bag?” videos with exactly the same contents, only with a new designer bag every time if they’re NOT attempting to show off – and aggressively raving on about how they make their own money and it’s their business how they spend it. Only to follow it with “My spouse got me this bag”. o_O

  • DanaS

    Thank you. This is a recurring topic with friends and family.

  • Rosa Lily

    What ticks me off more after getting bag-shamed is asking if it can be borrowed. I get the full satisfaction of denying that request!

    • Averil

      Oooh, outwardly they chastise you, but it’s all seething jealousy on the inside! What hypocrites!!!

  • Runswithscissors

    I have left a friendship because the person commented harshly on how I spent my own money. Somehow, to her, it became a moral choice that I would choose an LV bag over just getting something cheap at Khols…

    • Sofia

      Morally, I’d say it’s better to buy LV than a bag at Kohls, because the bags at Kohls are for sure made in horrible sweatshops.

      • Rachel

        This is what I think. The ethical and moral cost of buying something that has been made in a sweatshop is far greater than the monetary cost of an expensive designer product.

    • Trying to be a better person

      Five years ago I lost a life long friend because I made one stupid, wrong, insensitive comment about her choice of purses and the way she chose to spend her hard earned money. No matter how many times I have apologized, my poor choice of comments made so long ago stays with her. She came to be with me during a very hard time, due to a dumb man, my bad. And I hurt her to the core with my again stupid insensitive comment. To this day she has not let it go. I morn the loss of our friendship but mostly I wish she would let it go for her own well being, whether she speaks to me or not. We all say the wrong thing sometimes, thats what being human is but also being human is learning, forgiving and loving. Running with scissors, which I hope you don’t do. Forgive your friend for yourself. you don’t ever need to speak with her again, but forgiving her will help you. Best of luck and all my love. – Trying to be a better person every day.

    • Immodest Goddess

      I have a friend that has gone through dozens of Guess and Coach bags over the years and judges me for my luxury bags. At any given time she will have at least a dozen cheap bags bought on sale and I believe in having a few classic pieces that I know I can use for years. To me what she does is madness because her pieces do not last.

      • iNeedCoffee

        See, now you are bag shaming her for her choices. And since when is Coach “cheap”?Just because they don’t cost $2,000? I realize they aren’t a premier designer, but they ARE good quality. They are not “cheap” bags.
        As for them not lasting, I’ve got Coach bags that are 20, 19, and 12 years old, and they still look great-and I still carry them.
        We carry what we love, whether it be luxury..or “cheap” bags. No one should shame ANYONE’S choice of bags.

      • Immodest Goddess

        You clearly misunderstood me. I also have a Coach bag that I love. The point I was making is that she has a problem with the few bags I have while she has dozens of bags that she has spent good money on but has not taken care of so they have to be replaced often. ALSO, she believes in having lots and lots of bags and prefers to have lots of cheap bags NOT NECESSARILY Guess or Coach. Do not read my poss for the purpose of being personally insulted because that is NOT what I meant. You simply could have asked for clarification.

  • Nancy

    When bag shaming is done by a man, especially one with whom you are in a relationship, it is usually done to keep the “little lady” in her place and is a reminder that she is not worthy in his eyes. This is a control issue. When it is done by a female friend, it’s usually out of jealousy. Both instances signify that the relationships is one-sided.

    • Totally agreed. There is definitely a paternalistic motivation to bag-shaming done by men; us lil ladies are too stupid to know how to spend our money, so they have to step in to make sure that the evil fashion industry doesn’t steal more of our dollars that we’re too dim to protect.

      Meanwhile, they have golf clubs and video game systems and fancy cars, all of which are totally rational purchases because they work hard and earned their money and can make decisions about it that apparently their wives, girlfriends and daughters are incapable of.

      The only people who will make you feel bad for doing something nice for yourself are those who don’t want you to feel like you deserve it.

      I could rant about this subject for a long time.

      • Immodest Goddess

        “The only people who will make you feel bad for doing something nice for yourself are those who don’t want you to feel like you deserve it.”

        This is an excellent point.

      • Amanda I don’t exactly believe that men think us lil ladies toostupid to know how to spend our money. I think they are intimidated by our monkey making. An expensive luxury item like a designer handbag is a piece of power statement. And a woman that carries one, moreover a woman that can afford it herself, is a huge discrepancy in our Patriarchal society. The majority of men can’t stand the fact that there are a lot of women out there that make good money, often even more money than they make. That is not something to be taken lightly. And I believe that is the cause of all the bag shaming, coming both from men and women (women that have succumbed to Patriarchy).

      • mrfixit123

        Bs. They just show bad judgment. Most women who buy these bags are not millionaires and if they rely on their husband for living costs, do they even care about blowing his hard earned money?

      • mrfixit123

        A video game system is a few hundred bucks. How can you compare that to a leather bag made to hold makeup and serves no real useful purpose. You can get a one dollar bag that does the same thing. You cannot buy a one dollar car.

      • Mark McCarrion

        The golf clubs, video game systems and fancy cars ALL have multiple uses and can be SHARED with others. Your dumb bag is only for you. And to most men it represents a waste of money. Even if it’s your money. When you buy a $4000 bag, you better not expect your man to like it. It is ONLY a bag. That’s it. A bag.

        Ever notice how men do not care about or appreciate any of your purses, shoes or jewelry? We are not the targets of such useless luxury branding of clothing items. Men buy quality and fit, not names. A man wearing a $1200 suit is different than one with a $1200 wallet. If any man bought a $4000 briefcase, his man card would be revoked.

    • Gia

      Here’s how to know he is a keeper….he buys you a luxury bag you want.
      If a man bad mouths me about my bag or negative about what I own or how I look…he can suck it! He can hit the road, cuz I deserve a man who encourages and thinks the world of me, if not…see ya.

      • bongkibongki

        well, my partner bought me all my hermes and my chopard watch. She paid my credit card bill too for my jimmy choo. but often times she get mad when the bills is quite high and she told me to sell those hermes I never worn. and I get shamed for my love keeping those purses inside my closet.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Here’s how I know when to dump her – when she thinks that spending $1000 on a bag to carry tampons and gum and has no job or education. Usually they are young and pretty and naive. And lack any common sense.

    • Rumbabird

      I totally agree. You don’t hear men shaming other men for their choice of luxury timepieces or automobiles. Instead, they are usually awestruck and envious; but you don’t hear them poo-pooing other men’s high dollar purchases, do you? What gives? Incidentally, my husband wouldn’t dream of criticizing my decision to purchase designer bags – he enjoys his own luxuries after a life of hard work, and understands my enjoyment of same. I wonder if there is a comperable article in a men’s luxury watch blog – “do people criticize you for wearing a Rolex?” That would be too funny!!

      • Mark McCarrion

        Men do not waste money on useless clothing items or accessories. Men buy nice cars, yes. And that car has an engine, can carry passengers, can take you across the country and can in a pinch, be slept in or had sex in. For many many years that car will continue to provide measurable benefits for it’s owner and passengers. Your dumb bag does no more than a paper bag. You can literally dump 100% of the contents of your $1000 bag into a canvas grocery bag and lose no functionality whatsoever.

        The designers have tried many times to get men to start buying bags and dumb expensive accessories, but we just know better. Many women are frivolous when it comes to buying things. For rich guys, this might not be a problem, but many rich men would rather his money not be thrown away into a dumb bag that only other women will know what it is or how much it cost.

      • Rumbabird

        A more apt analogy to your “canvas grocery bag” example would be someone who loves luxury sports cars settling for a 1970 Toyota Corolla. Nothing wrong with driving a 1970 Corolla – but a certain population would yearn for something a little fancier – just as some people yearn for nice bags.

      • Mark McCarrion

        I drive a Mercedes Benz, but I have been able to use it to move bikes, appliances, carry tools and materials, camp with it, and carry other people in it to faraway places where it will also be valet parked and carry elegantly dressed passengers to elegant venues.

        A bag is a bag. It cannot be anything more than a bag. And it serves only the spendthrift, materialistic woman who purchased it. It does not impress men (except in a negative way), and most women too. If any woman tells me she spent $4000 on a bag, that is a dealbreaker. The cow it came from is more useful and costs only $2500.00

      • Rumbabird

        All the things you list doing with your expensive Mercedes can also be done with a 1970 Corolla. Get it?

      • Mark McCarrion

        But that is not true. How many Toyotas can go zero to 60 in 5 seconds? How many can hold 6 passengers in complete leather lined comfort, and also be proudly parked in front of a venue instead of in the back? Your bag is not going to give you any prestige amongst men. Only women, and only those who are impressed by expensive bags. If impressing others is not the reason, then buying one is even more stupid. It can only be a bag. It can’t be luggage, or convert into a tent ot a parachute or an inflatable boat.

      • Rumbabird

        Ah, not sure why you’re on this blog, the reason for existence of which is for people who enjoy handbags to communicate with each other? Obviously you have a visceral distaste for the subject.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Honestly? I just broke up with my girlfriend over a $475.00 bag she bought with my credit card. That is the reason for my angst. I am on the computer (my computer) she used to shop for her bags and post pictures of her with them on Facebook. This blog is a bookmark. I clicked it and got pissed at the comments of those who think it’s perfectly okay to waste somebody’s money on a dumb bag. I applaud the women on here who spend their own money on them, even if I still think the bag is dumb.

        Because of her, now I will notice if a woman has a bag that costs more than $200.00 or looks like it does. I will actually ask her now, instead if ignoring it. Expensive bags are just a red flag. With that comes dumb expensive accessories to match the bag, and $100.00 nylon shorts and $500.00 sneakers.

        You are right, I don’t belong on this blog.

      • Rumbabird

        Ah, the root of the problem – using your credit card without your permission. Now it’s clear. Many of us women can actually afford to buy our own nice things, believe it or not. I think your anger may be a little misdirected. If my boyfriend used my credit card to go out and buy a nice car (get it) I’d be mad too. But I wouldn’t say buying a nice car is inherently dumb.

      • Mark McCarrion

        That is not the same. Be mad if he spends $100.00 on a screwdriver which is no different than a Craftsman screwdriver found in Home Depot for $6.00. That would be the comparison. The $1000 designer purse can not carry any more than a bag of the same size and color bought for $50.00 at Kohls.

      • Shhhh

        It’s also an art form which you fail to see (fashion in general). Beauty enriches our lives which you may not understand and the craftsmanship is on par with your car. Having someone rather than something (machine) produce a product speaks more to me. Moreover, if we ever tire of them many are classics and can be resold. As an economist I personally prefer this over mass produced products that waste our (scarce) resources and end up in landfills in 2 months due to poor quality. What do I know though I’m only a woman who hasn’t a clue about how to spend money or understand its value.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Um no. No sewn product of any type is remotely close to the engineering and craftsmanship of even the simplest car. Even a go-kart. And the leather is not going to explain it away either. It takes more craftsmanship to create a tent than a purse.

        The cold hard reality of designer bags is marketing genius and women duped by it. A $10,000.00 Birkin does no more than a canvas shopping bag and that bag only holds your stuff.

        You gave the same lame justification that my now ex girlfriend gave me for buying her dumb bag. Suggestion: NEVER try and get your husband or boyfriend to “appreciate” your expensive bag. We just don’t want to know how much you wasted on it.

      • Shhhh

        I don’t have to try, he does appreciate them as I appreciate the things that he loves. He would never think to belittle the things I enjoy. That is incredibly disrespectful to your partner.

        Moreover, creating the design for a bag is the same as painting or sculpting. I doubt you’d share the same sentiments for valued pieces of art work. The price of art is determined by the market for them and their rarity which holds true for designer purses as well. This isn’t the case for all of them but true for many. Too many people value utility over beauty in our society today which is a shame. Architecture is a great example of this. When things are valued solely for their function then it’s easy to dispose of them and again waste those resources.

        You value different things which is fine. However, I find it unsettling how you belittle the things that are viewed in our society as “feminine” in nature as frivolous and place more value to those interests which are typically “male”. You don’t realize that you are doing it but you are and it’s a problem because such views tend to translate into other facets of society. We do not need to masculinize our identity, interests, desires or characteristics in order to be respected or viewed as rationale and productive members of society. I’m speaking from what is common in gender roles at the moment for there
        are many men who enjoy a good designer purse and other inherently
        “female” interests. So really, such views limit both men and women.

        It’s a hobby and yes an expensive one but there are many other expensive things and hobbies people use their money for. You’re upset because someone used your money in a way you didn’t agree with. The reality is when you are in a relationship where real love is present there is no mine or yours. Instead everything becomes ours but you also need trust.

        Perhaps these passages from Thich Nhat Hanh in How to Love may help…

        “In a deep relationship, there’s no longer a boundary
        between you and the other person. You are her and she is you. Your
        suffering is her suffering. Your understanding of your own suffering
        helps your loved one to suffer less. Suffering and happiness are no
        longer individual matters. What happens to your loved one happens to
        you. What happens to you happens to your loved one.

        In true love, there’s no more separation or discrimination. His
        happiness is your happiness. Your suffering is his suffering. You can no
        longer say, “That’s your problem.”

        When you love someone, you have to have trust and confidence. Love
        without trust is not yet love. Of course, first you have to have trust,
        respect, and confidence in yourself. Trust that you have a good and
        compassionate nature.

        True love cannot be without trust and respect for oneself and for the other person.”

        It seems that she did not have respect for you but it is clear that you did not have any for her.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Other than your unhealthy spending perspective when it comes to not-unique “designer bags” which are sold in retail for “X” amount of dollars, you seem like a fascinating woman.

        I love art. Adore it. Appreciate it. And designer bags are not art. Their designers are artists, to be sure. But these artists are designing a PRODUCT which is made expressly to be sold at a ridiculously inflated profit. All luxury items (or objets d’ art if you prefer), are carefully marketed to exclusive critics, vendors and marketers after a construct has elevated it’s desirability to it’s highest level. This involves placing it in the hands of the wealthy and powerful for free, publishing models carrying them in elegant venues, entering and exiting premium automobiles and hotels, wearing furs and bedecked with jewelry, etc etc etc. Women who buy these bags are victims. And most are seen as naive and/or materialistic. Just the facts.

        When the woman I love spends the equivalent of two weeks salary on a bag, that really makes a bad impression. Even if I were a very wealthy man, which I am not, I would not appreciate this at all. Why just tell you? How about the next time you get a chance, don the most expensive bag you can find in your collection and go to the wealthiest waterhole you can enter. Observe and remember what you see the MEN do. Are they comparing their cars? Some are most are not. What type of men are comparing their cars or even playing the one up game at all? What type does not? Your choices are yours and I cannot shame you for any of them. What I have done is start noticing the type of women who buy these bags and I do not like what I see. Many will actually change which arm the bag is on so that her competitor can clearly see it and be put in her place. Amiright?

        Carry your bags proudly.

    • mrfixit123

      Thats bullcrap. It means you have questionable character because you think its reasonable to spend an outrageous amount of money on what is just a bag. You cant compare a car to a bag. A bag is just a wired up piece of leather cloth there is no workmanship in it and no need to fork $4000 for one even more. especially when you cant afford it. $400 maybe is resonable. Its the same as idiot guys buying 3 rolls royces. If they are not bananas wealthy….then those guys are losers.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Big bro hug there for your comment. These women must be super victims. $4000 for a bag! That is just dumb. For that, you can hire a valet or an assistant to carry your stuff for you. Plus have money to fly coast to coast round trip PLUS the hotel.

  • Jess

    Love that topic.
    Apart from my boyfriend nobody knows exactly how much money I spend on bags. My colleagues know that my bags are expensive, but they think they cost $500 or so and I am glad that they are not into fashion and have no idea about the real price tags.
    For most people who I know it is absolutely ok to spend $30K on a car, but when I would tell them that I have spent $4K on a bag, they would think I am totally mad.
    This is not fair. One of my friends has asked me how much my Chanel bag has cost. I didn’t want to tell him, but I said that it was less than a regular smoker would spend on cigarettes within 4 years.
    Yes, I love bags and I spend a lot of money on them. It is my money and I have worked for it. I don’t own a car, I don’t smoke and for more than 10 years I am even sponsoring a child in Chad. So where is the problem?

    • Amanda

      I like how you compared it to the cost of smoking. Very smart! I’d rather have a nice bag.

      • soph

        and bags don’t give you health problems! win win ;)

    • You love beautiful handbags and you don’t own a car. You are my hero!

    • Mark McCarrion

      $4000 on a bag to carry tampons and lipstick and keys? DUMB. $4000. Even though I make enough to buy such a bag for my girlfriend, if she tried to get me to buy it I would dump her for being dumb and clueless. $4000? For an effing BAG?

  • Y Ajayi

    I had a friend ask me this weekend if my chanel jumbo required an entire cow for it’s creation??!!! Confused? I was. I am constantly bag shamed by my friends. Thankfully my husband understands the bag purchasing.

  • jersing

    My bag-shaming is more often than not because of the opposite issue—running in fashion circles yet not having a high enough disposable income to buy/carry luxury bags. I’m a Jack Spade messenger I got on sale for $100 in a sea of Proenza PS1s.

    • tess

      I am with you being made to feel bad because I cant afford a couture bag.

      • Mark McCarrion

        Why? Even when you can afford them, why buy it? It is foolish.

    • Amazona

      I’ve experienced the same – my bad for taking a Mulberry bag to a meeting with 7 Chanels, a McQueen, a Ferragamo and 2 Celines around the table. I was SO overlooked by some of them. I’d call them bitches but I’m too well raised to do that. :P
      It might be difficult to see it, but actually many fashionable and stylish people carry cheap bags. You just don’t notice it because their style usually is so out of the ordinary that you might not pay attention to their bag. The people I respect are the ones that do their own thing, their own way, without having the need to blend or fit in by wearing really original and unique clothing and then ruining it all with an It bag…

      • Monaco

        Wow, maybe they just have an ego? Mulberry’s are not cheap bags and cost just as much as a McQueen or a Ferragamo depending on the style.

        I’m saving up for the Alexa and they cost about $1800 USD in my country.

      • Mark McCarrion

        OMG. What. A. Waste.

  • Sandy

    I have heard the comments but I choose to ignore them. I simply do not let it bother me.

  • Sunna

    I do own several designer bags. I work hard and can afford to splurge on bags of excellent quality.
    I recently bought a vintage Chanel Jumbo flap, after working a lot of overtime to save up for it. I´ve been wanting that bag for years! I really didn´t want to tell anybody the price of it, except from those who I know share my passion. My best friend and her husband are struggling with their economy at the moment, so when she asked my how much I paid for “a bag that´s not even new”(her words), I really felt very uncomfortable. But I told her, and she said that was madness and she would never ever spend that much on such a silly little thing! Her reaction sort of spoiled the joy of getting the bag I had been saving up for for a very long time.. So if somebody else ask me how much it was, I will just start talking about something else!

    • Immodest Goddess

      This reminds me a bit of my sister. My passion is jewellery but I also love bags and shoes. I’ve worked consistently since I was 18, put myself through college three times, have good savings and excellent career prospects. I believe in making yourself happy and spending money on yourself to do so. I love when I have to go out and I have the perfect jewellery/outfit and accessories on hand. My sister choose to get married right out of school and start having children, a choice I didn’t agree with but I respect it’s her choice. Money is always very tight for them and she doesn’t take care of herself the way she should. I eventually got tired of her going around without a good bag and bought her a good workbag and a good everyday shopper’s bag. She feels very good when she gets complimented about them and is proud when people comment on the brand but still says she will never spend her money like that. It’s hurtful but I’m learning to ignore and keep them out my business.

      • I love everything about this comment. It was generous of you buying her a good workbag but she shouldn’t be making those little comments about how she wouldn’t spend her money like that. Because she’s your sister you can’t clapback.

        I always have responses in my head to what people say to me about money. The best hypothetical idea I have in my head to the ”I would never spend my money like that” is a sarcastic ”yeah but if you don’t have it, you can’t spend it” :) clapback!

      • Immodest Goddess

        I love my sister but we have very different personalities. She spends a great deal of money on things like toys for her daughters and lots of groceries. I’m not married and I don’t have kids so of course I have no experience but the kids’ toys take up an entire room. Every few months they give away to other kids who are less fortunate. And they often end up throwing away food that has spoilt before they can use it. Our parents gave us limited toys but toys we loved and used often. The difference is I wouldn’t dare tell her I think she sometimes wastes money because it is her money. I wish she’d show me the same respect because you’re right. I wouldn’t dare respond in case I offend.

      • And honestly, I don’t think people take it well if you mention money spent on kids. Although most kids are happier with the simplest things and couldn’t care less!

      • Ouch but so true. I spent the money because I have it. And if I didn’t, I wouldn’t.

    • Pamela

      Sounds like jealousy! I have very rich friends and I love their bags. Someday I’ll get my own bags but I wouldn’t shame them. I am always encouraging and happy for them. Why hate? It’s silly!! One lady even offered me her Hermes after I complimented it. She said didn’t care for bags! Lol

  • beluga

    Thank you for a wonderful article! I’m afraid to carry my bags to work (mostly LVs epis, but a Chanel every now and then) because I’m afraid of people judging me. My job doesn’t pay very well, but I have independent money (but people at work don’t know that). I feel like I’m being more “fake” by buying cheaper/no-name bags and using those for work instead of using my designer handbags. I once brought my red epi LV to work and people asked me if it was fake. I really felt like if I lied and said that it was fake, it would make it seem better because then I wouldn’t be judged on how I spend my money. I usually just smile and change the subject. I use my Chanel large zip wallet at work, but when I pull it out, I try to cover the Chanel “C”s with my finger. I wish I could work in a place where people would just not judge and just like me because I’m cute from the inside out.

    • Averil

      Oh my goodness, I’m in exactly the same boat as you. I’ve been at this job for a year now, and the last few month’s I have just stopped bothering to hide, and now take all my favourite bags to work. Once they first found out where I lived (an upscale neighbourhood in Singapore), that I came from private schools, drove to work in a European car (when they all take public transport) and am able to buy whatever I want, they called me “Rich Girl” and told me my opinion on certain matters weren’t from a place of knowledge because I live a different lifestyle to theirs. It did upset me and I did feel a bit of shame and guilt for not having the same financial restrictions as they did, but they have all come to see I am equally hard-working and have no qualms about getting stuck in when the need arises. So they still rib me about me carrying all my branded bags and shoes, but it’s all good natured, more or less. I am not going to keep all my beautiful bags at home in a cupboard to placate anyone’s jealousy or resentment, and I have proved that I’m no princess when it comes to doing my job so I have every right to do whatever I want!

  • I bought myself an LV Neverfull MM in Damier Azur in 2011 to celebrate being accepted into nursing school. I had been saving money for a long time and wanted the bag to commemorate a very special moment in my life. For awhile, people would totally look at me judgmentally and it does suck, especially when family members or friends make snide comments. I figure, I don’t have a fancy car or super expensive hobbies, so I will just rock my beautiful bag :)

  • T Tara Bagnista

    I’ve been accused of being a shopaholic by someone who buys more expensive bags than I do. I just ignore such comments. I work hard for my money and have no guilt about treating myself periodically. I love the response from my 13-year-old nephew who’s vice is video games. My sister was giving him grief about another video game he wanted (he beats them in 1-2 days; at least bags usage last much longer) and he said “you have more than one handbag.” With my collection, I certainly wouldn’t insert myself in that argument.

  • Lori

    This is such a great topic Amanda. I find the bag shaming has turned more to cost curiosity, for me at least. Sometimes people see a new bag and then try to guess the cost (shockingly low, I might add) and I just tell them I would rather not say. So many people have very expensive hobbies, skiing, golf, traveling, etc. that nobody bats a lash at, I really don’t understand why purchasing something you love, that is beautiful and is super high quality (not to mention can be sold in ebay if need be) should be an issue to anyone. When a man buys a boat do his friends tell him he should have given that money to charity? Or do they break a bottle of champagne on it and hope for a ride! Like one other poster said, my bills are paid, so why knock me for my bag?

  • Purse

    All the time!! Growing up I always had the best of everything because my parents worked hard and wanted to give us the best. I’ve always been a lover of purses and when I started earning and buying purses, my mom would always chide me that I should be saving and not squandering. I kinda got where she was coming from but I was never spending more than I could afford. I’m Married and she still chides me. As much as I would love my husband to get my love for purses, and I know he’s not doing it to belittle me, he doesn’t fully get my love for bags. It’s not the amount I spend that he cares about, he thinks I have too many and should buy other items instead lol.

    I will purposefully not carry my expensive bags when I meet friends who i know would make comments/think I’m some sort of materialistic spoilt person. Last time I carried my prada with friends I had it turned the other side the entire time so they wouldn’t see the logo!! I absolutely love my ps1/mulberry because I can freely carry them around without being judged etc. people really shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions about my money habits and lifestyle but sadly in reality even good friends and family are not immune from committing that crime. I also will never ever divulge the price of my bag(s).

    I must admit there are times when I think $2000 would do the world a lot of good rather than being spent on a bag.

  • Rachel

    I don’t have the disposable income to buy myself my dream bags, but I did buy myself a nice bag that was made in NY for about 450$. I told this to someone and he thought that was loads of money to spend on a bag, and though he didn’t out right shame me for it I did end up feeling embarrassed by his reaction. Just recently though I found out that he is planning to spend 5000 on a chair. So that’s that!

  • Amazona

    Some people have tried to bag-shame me, but luckily I’m not easily hurt and always have a way of returning the favor whenever someone tries to criticize my bag purchases. I do it in the most loving way possible, of course. I never kill without apologizing. :P
    To have a love of bags is not strange, it doesn’t make me any less intelligent, any less on top of my field as a professional or a free target for anyone. If someone thinks that and is stupid enough to articulate it, then the shame’s on them, not me. Years of being viciously bullied from pre school to senior high has made me pretty much bullet proof.

    Bags are my passion, my friends have come to understand this over the years and many times ask for my advice and/or recommendations when on the lookout for a new bag. My relationship is relatively new and I know le BF didn’t really understand this whole handbag thing in the beginning. Now he doesn’t really care, as long as I invest wisely – which is what I do. I make my own money and I when I buy something I never pay full price, that’s something he appreciates. Also, I think he is a keeper since he’s always talking about how he wants to get me a Birkin some day…despite my attitude of probably not wanting to own one. He just wants me to have the best. It’s kinda scary to think over the course of 17 mths he’s gone from “OMG, over 100 euros for a handbag?!” to “Yeah, a Birkin’s okay”. :D

    • shueaddict

      Honey, he’s a keeper !

      • Amazona

        Oh you are so right! Not planning on letting this one slip through my fingers… =)

  • AAAA

    I won’t carry my expensive bags to work, nor to certain places. This helps to avoid some of the shaming. I do get shamed by some friends, but I also tend to just give my old bags to friends/family. This cuts down on the amount of shaming I experience because as much as they want to judge me, they want a free designer bag more.

    • qaddict

      Lol this is funny! That is so true…I’m sure I have friends/acquaintances that raise and eyebrow but don’t shame me verbally…but I’m also positive none of them will turn down a designer hand-me-down bag!

    • marey

      This wins!!!

    • Pamela

      Who cares what people think? It’s yours!!

      • Mark McCarrion

        You care. That is why you bought it, because you are insecure and you want to impress other women. Men don’t give two poops what your bag is.

      • Pamela

        I disagree. Some of us like things because we like them not to impress others and it’s not mutually exclusive. Who are we to judge? Let people be happy and if a bag makes them, great! Nothing wrong with also getting compliments

  • Tiffany H

    It was a gift. I always say it was a gift. Because even if I bought for myself or my hubby bought it for me, it was a gift. That normally stops them dead in their tracks. That goes for shoes too, namely the Louboutins because that is the only shoes that are very recognizable.

  • Vbogaert

    I’ve been thinking of getting a chanel flap bag, but I hesitate because my relatives would raise their eyebrows. Most of my bags are designers they wouldn’t know (Louboutin, Fendi, Proenza Schouler, Chloe, Lanvin, Saint Laurent) so I’ve avoided it. But I know a Chanel or LV would draw comments.

  • FashionableLena

    I am mostly bag shamed by my relatives-sister, cousins, grandmother, aunts. They think that spending that much on handbags is a complete waste of money. They’re always asking about cost. I just don’t even acknowledge it anymore, and eventually they stopped asking and commenting. But, when I’m ready to get rid of them, they’re the first ones with their hands out.

    I don’t say anything about their expensive footwear. I wouldn’t dare spend hundreds of dollars on heels. My husband makes fun of my mostly black footwear along with way too many Chuck Taylors. Nothing wrong with rocking my Chucks with a Gucci bag.

    I’m just not sure why anyone would shame anyone about anything as frivolous as shoes and handbags. Fashion is supposed to be fun. Lighten up.

  • Baglover

    Bag shamers are everywhere. In your office, school, and even at home. Unfortunately, many people are quick to judge a woman with a pricey luxury bag — this is why I now refrain from carrying them at work and at any job interviews or meetings. Its sad that we can’t commend a woman for buying a luxury bag because of her age. Everyone spends their money differently — a concept many have not yet understood.

  • shueaddict

    Oh by golly, does this strike a cord with hardworking women!!!

    Last year, at a Christmas dinner at the golf club, one of my hubby’s buddies got a look at my brand new Valentino box and said, “My goodness, John, have you any idea how much your wife spent on that bag?’.

    Awkward pause, I had 200 clever replies, one more venomous than the next, but my hubby, to his credit, said “ No clue, mate, all I know is that she got her Christmas bonus, went bonkers on a shopping spree and still managed to pay for my next year golf membership”.

    • qaddict

      You are a lucky woman! Give your guy a huge Valentine’s something something. :)

      • shueaddict

        ha ha … I think I catch your drift ;-)

      • shueaddict

        Here’s the Valentine card I got from him ;-)))

    • Liza

      Good for your husband!!!
      Arggh. People like that drive me mad! Mind your own business!!!

    • OMG KEEPER

      • shueaddict

        We’ve been married 14 years, I am a lucky girl to have him; he never asks how much my things cost – he just rolls his eyes and smiles indulgently ‘whatever makes you happy, honey’ – and I take that as my cue to cool off my spending jets.

      • angie

        My hubby does the same thing…he loves cars. our mutual agreement is i buy purses since thats my thing and he buys car stuff since thats his thing!!! I make my own money so i can spend it as i wish…i pay the bills, make sure all 3 of my babies are taken care of then i get what i want. I dare anyone to give me crap about my purses…i will not bite my tongue.

      • A’mum

        Well said!!! :)

    • ellavanw

      Definitely a keeper.

    • Amarie

      OMG I want one! Definitely a keeper. More men need to take note

    • Ghanima

      Lucky youuuuu ! ????

  • LUNA

    This is a great article! The love i have for bags is no longer a fascination into the world of fashion or luxury. I am truly obsessed with the smell of leather (in which I often choose to purchase leather bags over anything else) and bags with interesting/ unique designs which covers widely from contemporary designers to luxury designers. The quality is indispensable in comparison to what certain friends would call affordable! I truly believe in paying for a quality bag that I will treasure for a long time as compared to something i will probably throw 6-12months down the road! I’ve tried to explain over and over again to bag-shaming friends that I go for aesthetic & quality/ durability, alas, they just think I am into expensive bags!

  • AV

    I love bags. And pouches. And card holders. And just generally anything that let’s you carry something else around inside it. My fiance gets it – we shop together, he tells me when he thinks a bag isn’t right for me (ohh how I wish I’d listened before I bought that burned orange Celine Box bag…) and he buys me fancy bags once in a while too. I get his love for tattoos and vinyls. It works. My Dad, on the other hand, likes to sigh and laments over the fact that, “you just spent £1.2k on a piece of plastic with leather trim? Ughh…” (it’s Goyard. I regret nothing!) The men in my old job assumed my Dad bought them for me and that I was a brat (so, so couldn’t-be-further-from-the-truth wrong!). You can’t win ’em all! But I earned this money. I work hard for it every day. I don’t blow it all on Chanel and Saint Laurent but if I want to use some of it for that reason – that’s my choice and I’m totally at peace with it. Everyone has different priorities; I don’t judge anyone else’s even if they choose to (misguidedly) judge mine. Life is too short to listen to hateful assumptions that are probably merely internal projections of other people’s issues.

    • Winn

      I think your burnt orange box sounds brilliant…

    • This!

  • Yinkus

    My bag-shaming experiences are the worst, I went from a private school where everyone could afford everything I had, to uni where most of my classmates where on student loans and could possibly understand why anyone will spend £200 on a bag talk less of £2000!! Luckily for me, most of them could not recognise my bags, only if it was an LV neverful or something. But for those who did, I made it simply clear to them that as long as they don’t see me struggling financially they should then assume that I can afford the clothes, bag and shoes I wore and should therefore mind their own business.
    Now for men who thing bags are a waste of money, Ladies I think it’s important to remind them that the moment to they start driving their new car, it depreciates to almost half the price, however, a good chanel bag, especially a classic will most likely appreciate as the years go on.

    • uncertain

      I’m completely in the same boat!! I’m currently in my first year of uni and my roommate is always commenting “I wouldn’t pay that price for that bag.” And she has four very similar tall brown boots only one of which she wears everyday.

  • maria

    I´d like to share the story of a female politician who is well known in Sweden. Some years ago she was bag shamed in media. Her bag was spotted in a group photo with other politicians. The bag was a bright color and stood out in the photo. Some people thought it was bad that she had such an as they put it expensive bag and compared it to the salary of some women. Others thought she had the right to have any bag she liked and could afford and compared it to the exclusive watches of her male colleagues. The bag was as I recall a LV Cabas, a gift for her fiftieth birthday from a friend, and at the time cost about 1000 dollars. Media interviewed her female colleagues about their handbags and they all answered that they had a simple cheap bag.

    • This reminds me of when Martha Stewart was on trial. She carried a Birkin to court one day–not exotic, not in hot pink, just a regular leather Birkin that thousands of successful businesswomen carry regularly–and it was a scandal. Somehow she was FLAUNTING her money. Yet, men who pull up to court in $5,000 suits never are. They’re just successful businessmen, dressed professionally.

      • Jess85

        On this point I will have to disagree. Martha Stewart wasn’t simply going into court with a Birkin, she was on trial for something illegal that directly relates to money and greed. That would be more akin to Bernie Madoff pulling up to his trial in an Aston Martin or sporting a Patek Philippe – it’s just bad taste not to mention potentially incriminating. I don’t think anyone should be shamed for their purchases but sometimes there’s an appropriate time and place…

      • I understand your point but disagree; Martha did something illegal, sure, but she did it well after making a mountain of money the good ol’ fashioned way. For someone of her stature, I don’t think a Birkin is a flashy or show-y bag in regular leather. Men who commit financial crimes show up to court in chauffeured cars and $5,000 suits every day. I think that, for people with that kind of money, that’s just…normal for them.

      • Mark McCarrion

        A car carries people and things. A car can carry several people across the country. A car has from 2 to 4 seats to 8. Plus their luggage and yes, your bag. But what does a Birkin do? It’s functionality is outdone by a larger canvas bag. You cannot compare a dumb bag to a car or a suit.

  • Maya

    I have a lot of designers bags and I truly don’t care what people think, I didn’t steal anything from anyone, I worked to pay for those bags so….I basically don’t feel the need to justifiy myself to anyone. Bags are my thing (amongst other things), I thouroughly enjoy them, end of story:)

  • Giselle

    I’ve been quite self-conscious about the bags & leather goods I carry. But now I feel that I deserve them, I didn’t steal them, I worked hard and I don’t have any debt.
    Btw, the first time I met my future husband, he thought I was a high maintenance gf, because I spent $200 on shoes. Even though the majority is paid with my own money, he likes the idea that people think that he bought them for me:)

  • Liza

    This article was perfection. I am constantly bag shamed by friends. At least some of them admit that they would purchase designer bags if they could. My colleagues are worse (even though they all make great money). That is why I don’t carry my designer bags to work. I made the mistake of carrying a monogram speedy b once and a colleague proceeded to tell me how dumb it was of me to spend that much money on a bag, let alone on one that wasn’t even made of leather. Could you imagine his reaction is I showed up with a classic flap? Might give him an aneurysm.

    Another colleague once told me that my burberry scarf could buy a month’s groceries for his family. The comments I get are endless………………….. Shame.

  • ellavanw

    Yes, absolutely. Never by friends, never by my family, and certainly never by my husband — but it happens all the time at work. Which is odd, because I pay for the bags from the rather large salary that I earn by being extremely good at my job and working hard – which my colleagues obviously know. I decided a while ago that I just don’t care and I don’t respond to snarky remarks. Which often come from men who own $100k sports cars.

  • Nappy

    I always get bag shamed because i’m the type of person who buys high street clothes and then spend on my bags.. Because my logic is, my clothes become ratty after a few washes and the trends will come and go, but a beautifully made bag will last forever..

    My friends always comment whenever i spend on a new bag that there are more ways to spend it blah blah blah. But i always tell them that my bags have resale value and whenever i may have the need for money, i could always resell my bags at a good price. Some might even appreciate.

    I even go as far as telling them that. Their shiny new gadgets may be so expensive right now, but give or take a few months, it will hardly cost any. Who’s the wiser one now, huh. Hahaha

  • Kiddo

    It is no different from other objects that most people buy…such as shoes, vehicles, drugs and so on. As long as one doesn’t hurt another then go for it. I can understand if one was to buy one and the world would soon come to end then that would be a different story. With that being said…go and buy that handbag! There is nothing to be ashamed of!

    • jax’s mom

      I’ve been bag shamed at work..this was my old job. When I first started out, no one said anything when I wore my Banana Republic work bag – which lasted 6 months. Piece of crap.

      So then I upgraded to Longchamp and bought a shiny leather work tote in a gorgeous plum color. Only costed me about $250 usd at the time (this was many years ago). Because the brand still produced in France etc, the bag lasted for more than 5 years. I was a lowly analyst working my way up in my cube like the other minions but that didn’t stop a male director from making snarky comments about my bag. Wth? Let’s just say Karma rewarded him.

      Later I had a cube mate who had wierd self esteem issues and would literally price my outfit everyday. wth? I swear I meet the oddest ducks at work. And she felt the need to chastise me when she herself had a severe shopping/hoarding addiction. Yes folks, her home looked like an episode from “Hoarders” in real life.

  • Smithy

    I shame MYSELF about my bags. I started my designer bag addiction many years ago. I don’t have anything to show for it because I sell them on eBay when I’ve had enough. I’ve tried going the low end ($300-$400) and just can’t do it for very long. I can’t afford these bags and have to work to pay them off….but there is something about a good bag that just makes me feel good. No logos necessary. Right now I’m carrying a Roger Vivier U Shopping Tote and I have 2 sling bags from The Row.

    It’s just what I do.

  • Finem Lauda

    I hate when men do that. They’re allowed to have cars, power, anything they want, but heaven help if a femme person likes something they don’t.

  • Yoshi1296

    I get bag shamed all the time. Mainly because I’m a guy that carries women’s bags, and also because of my young age. I’ve actually been bag shamed on The PurseForum by a few members in a thread because of my age.

    I don’t really care though, because I know I can rock their bags better than them. :D

    • Amazona

      Well, if they can’t judge you for your hobby (would be pretty hard since it’s the same for everyone’s thing on tPF), sex (more and more men are joining us all the time) then they gotta find something else to pick on. Just rock your bags like you mean it, I think it’s fab when I see a man carry a cool bag!

  • Cara in NYC

    What a terrific post and so true. And funny how you seldom hear of a man being shamed for an expensive “toy” (a car or rolex watch, etc etc). And I love that Joni Mitchell w her Chanel bag- a true feminist for you!

    Just discovered this blog- it is wonderfully done and I will be back often. Thanks!

  • Jo

    I can totally relate to this topic! Yes, from time to time that I get all these shocking facial expressions from my colleagues about all different designer bags I carry to work. They must think for such a piece of accessory why I would spend that much money on. Oh well, I never have to explain myself as I don’t need to, too much explanation is not gonna help these people who never understand, right? I choose to live my lifestyle, as long as I am sensible about my spending. More importantly, I worked hard for those bags, and not buy them once in a while!

  • FrenchBulldog

    I love, love, love, this topic. My husband thinks I have gone mad. My family just does not understand. My friends are both perplexed and I believe a bit envious. Nonetheless, if I have to get up and work every day, then the devil may care how I choose to spend my money. BTW, I just bought my first Balenciaga City Bag today in a beautiful steel blue color and I could not be happier. Who needs flowers, when there are Designer Handbags!

  • Roxane Belaya

    Once I was shoe shamed very Carrie Bradshaw style… I bought Balenciaga shoes for my birthday. It was super sale- 70% off. And group of my female collegues shamed me for being *immature and giddy*. Using argument that money Just for a pair of shoes. Well… Still love my Balenciaga #sorrynotsorry

  • Amanda

    These comments are gold. Now I want to go shopping.

    • Immodest Goddess

      Me too!

  • babette

    Warren Beatty was a male whore and anything he would say I would dismiss.ba

  • hanzi

    This post is so true! I can relate to so many of your comments, too, ladies.
    Yet, I think it probably won’t get worse than this: My best friend (?) has been commenting on my spending habits ever since we first met at boarding school and actually even refers back to items that I brought back to school after shopping over the holidays with my father. (He paid for everything then obviously.)
    My father passed away five years ago so ever since that, I have to work to support myself through uni, yet I still safe up and buy things that will last me for years – in other words, I buy Balenciaga and the like. The other day she had the nerve to say this: My father would turn around in his grave if he saw how I was spending his money.
    What the actual…? I haven’t touched a cent of what he left, not even for uni. I’ll graduate from my masters (with five majors) in October and I work for a very reputable company up to 105 hours per week! I’m literally busting my ass and out of jealousy she gives me that! This is taking bag-shaming to a whole other level…
    Each and every time she sees me, she mocks my bags, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s cruel. Ever since that remark, I can’t even look at her the same way…

    • soph

      true jealousy

    • Rose

      That really is not a friend. Friends make you feel good and do not belittle you. Your father would be happy in what you are doing with your life and even if it had been his money he would have loved seeing you with something that made you happy and would have reminded you of him.

      • hanzi

        Thank you for your kind words, Rose! That really means a lot.

    • Liz

      How horrible some people can be,. My father died almost 5 yrs ago also and I would have replyed to such a comment with ” your right my fathers rolling around in his grave cause hes happy to see me happy”!

    • shueaddict

      Honey, dump her! You cannot choose your family but you can choose your friends; and people like her will only bring more negativism later in life. Now it is bags, next thing will be your boyfriend, later on – criticizing how you raise your kid (trust me, that hurts a lot more than anything else).

      You should be very proud of what you are achieving on your own. I have been there with the studying and the long hours. I have a lot of respect for that. It got me very far from where I have started. And despite the fact that I am a 38 year old successful woman – my father loves to give me money. He said he would have loved to buy me nice things when I was young but he could afford it then.

      I am sure your dad is smiling back at you and is very proud of how you make your own way in life; and if he is anything like most men – he probably would not even notice your handbag.

      • mrfixit123

        Um no. It is pretty disrespectful pissing away your hard earned inheritance

  • soph

    My mother is the worst for shaming me..because she never owned anything expensive and grew up relatively poor, I don’t think she gets it.

    I believe that as long as you’re not spending more than you can afford to, it’s fine. Even better if you earnt the money yourself, you don’t feel guilt at all.

  • Rose

    I get so annoyed when work mates comment on my bags. The mad thing is until the last few years I never really bothered about bags but them I found EBay and Purse Forum. Started off with Linea Pelle, Lockheart and Isabella Fiore then started spending a little more. The thing is once you have a quality bag you can never go back. I actually started to feel guilty for a while until a male friend pointed out to me that a bag I had been after for a while cost no more than many of them spend in three months on cigarettes. Really put things in perspective to me. I only work in a small shop but I don’t smoke, rarely drink and love to get bargain clothes on EBay mostly Next and French Connection. I love wearing high street clothes with a lovely bag. I almost have a uniform of jumper and jeans with Tods or Tamari flats With polished nails, simple make up and my signature silver jewellery that I treat myself to on my annual holiday I now have no problem dressing each day as each piece works with all the others. Luckily some of my favourites bags are American brands like Thomas Wylde and Derek Lam and not so well known in UK so can pick up some bargains on EBay. I can’t delve in the realm of Chanel bags but happy with the ones I have and they suit my style. Unfortunately so many fake bags on there but always do my research and am confident of the ones I had. Those bags along with my much loved Vivienne Westwood and my gorgeous small collection of Victoria Beckham bags will be worn to death. Why save your loved possessions for best? Wear them daily and enjoy them. I know I do :)

  • mort

    It’s actually almost funny how some people are able to distinguish between good and bad expenditure without any proper arguments…
    My own mother and sisters called me a money-hungry whore (excuse the expression, not my own words!) for buying expensive bags. The funny thing is, they all live off my dad’s money and have a higher total cost for shopping tons and tons of high street brands than me who only goes for a few pieces but always designer stuff. On top of that, I don’t accept money from my dad but work very hard.
    Apparently, there is something about buying designer bags, that gets people really angry, name calling, etc.

  • Karolyn Couch

    We were robbed on New Year’s Even and they stole all of my LV bags (except a Lockit that does not scream LV) including a brand new LV Zephyr suitcase. Total replacement cost of $30,000 for the purses/suicase. Thankfully they left Valentino, Gucci, Ferragamo and Tom Ford bags. When the police came and a report was filled out I feel like I was shamed saying that they stole 10 bags worth about $30k. You could see the look on the cops face of 1) disbelief and 2) judgement. And I felt guilty telling a detective that probably makes $30k a year!

    • Winn

      I had a similar experience with a customs officer and a celine. Yes, sir, I spent $X,000 in Europe on “A PURSE??!?”

  • #SorryNotSorry

    i just bought a Coach bag last week, and have been hiding the label every time I’ve worn it while out with my boyfriend because i don’t want him to think i spent our bill money on it. I patiently waited and planned on purchasing a designer bag for a while now, and got an incredible deal because it was an eBay purchase. So what should’ve been $350+, turned out to only be $130! What a steal I thought, and its brand new–not pre-owned. However, i can totally relate to the shame being placed on women in these instances, and even though I work in the fashion industry, i still feel the pressure of being on trend, but under a certain dollar amount. I even felt uncomfortable telling my coworker what i spent because there’s a thin line one has to walk–spend too much and look like an irresponsible child. Spend too little, and people think you’re cheap or your item is a knock off. What is more disturbing are the people who think its ok to ask how much you’ve spent, its honestly nobody’s business, and rude. As a woman who not only works in fashion, but is so passionate that it literally gives me life to see new collections for upcoming seasons in my inbox or news of a sample sale for one of my fav brands, I shouldn’t have to feel “bad” for spending my hard earned money on something that is a reflective of such a huge aspect of who I am and what I love.

  • Amarie

    I’ve been bag shamed on numerous occasions. The most recent incident happened when I got back from America in the new year. After spending my birthday, Christmas and new year there and my guy had Louis Vuitton gifts delivered to my house. My sister asked me what I got and when I showed her she said her boyfriend offered to buy her a new bag but she told him not to because she knew he’d buy her an expensive one. She said didn’t want an expensive bag because she’s not materialistic and thinks its a waste of money and she can buy more things for the price of one bag

  • Sonia

    I too get bag shamed for my bags whenever I carry them to work. I work in a small office where there are more men than women, and the women have their own cliques, none of which I partake. I have all kinds of bags from my Celine down to my Kate Spades. Each time I carry one they have never seen before, someone makes a point to bring it up as a topic of conversation. I tend to keep it short and sweet avoiding price points. I don’t make a point of flaunting it nor displaying it either. I have a small slide-in/slide-out large shoebox beneath my desk that my bags are placed on not only for safe keeping but for proper out of the way storage. I don’t feel I should have to avoid carrying them but, at the same time, hide them either.

  • 787878781

    Money has to be spent somewhere to keep the economy going. if you can afford it, you should spend it on big ticket items as it keeps those people (most of which most likely not rich, just earning a living feeding their families) that made that bag or item employed. Better spending money on things (private business’) than taxes where money only goes to already whealthy elites on useless programs that never reach those who need it. One should never feel ashamed for owning anything nice. Its nobody’s business and it takes all kinds to make the world go around. We cannot all like th esame things. It would make a very boring world. No one can make you feel ashamed, only you can react to a stupid comment from someone uneducated in economics 101.

  • mkdallas

    I’m middle-aged and have collected quite a few nice bags over the years. I used to get bag shamed, but now that I’m retired from my job, I dress as a total slob (gym pants 24-7) and even though I still use the good handbags, people seem way less judgy…maybe they think they’re fakes (since nothing else I wear looks spendy) or I’m just eccentric. Case in point; I’m off to see “American Sniper” with the Mr. today, wearing Old Navy yoga pants, a t-shirt, flip-flops and a Lady Dior Soft Shopper.

  • Scottsdale Kim

    My boyfriend 13 years ago thought it irresponsible that a friend wasted money on a Kate Spade diaper bag. I thought “this is not going to work”. 13 years later we are married and he supports my love of bags. When we discuss vacations he will say stuff like “I know that you will want to go to Hermes while we are there”. It is matter of fact, no judgment. People do judge in the beginning but once they get to know you and that you work hard and pay your bills, it becomes a non issue.

  • Guest

    What blows my mind is how many people just go around asking how much bags cost. Who does that?! It has to be a REALLY good friend for me to ask. And if it is obvious they have tons more $ than I do, its safe to assume it is plenty. The world will always be filled with jealousy. Its about the art and design to me, not to mention craftsmenship. Thats what Im paying for. My husband has teased me about it before but bought me a lovely(not cheap) Gucci last year. I guess he’s ok with it now. ????

  • 6ftblondie

    I had a guy I was dating ask if I had a sugar daddy. I asked him why he thought that and his reply was “Well you have a Louis bag”…..I had to just laugh in amazement. Thank God he wasn’t around long enough to see the rest of my bag collection. I can only imagine what he would have thought. LOL

  • Chanel Lover

    Love this article and all the responses!!! I have purchased every Chanel bag I own by working hard and saving. I don’t need a husband, boyfriend or jealous friend to tell me how I can spend my hard earned dollars. People don’t understand that most expensive bags actually can increase in value, unlike the newest i phone or set of golf clubs. No matter what you spend your money on, in the end it’s YOUR Money!

  • Adrianne

    Ughhhhh!!! I love this post….so glad I’m not alone! I’ve been bag shamed my whole life! By my mother in high school when I religiously saved MY MONEY from my job to buy my first coach bag…which I think was about $300. Not a lot in the bag world these days but quite a bit of money for a part time high schooler back then! She told me I was going to take it back….I told her that’s not going to happen. (Grant you she now uses the bag and I don’t hear her complaining) Another time by an aunt who said what I spent on a purse I could buy plane tickets for my whole family. <<<insert eye roll!!! And I could lump my husband into this group as well!!! He doesn't understand my love relationships with bags! I compared it to his golf habit and he kinda got it! He always rolls his eyes…although he does indulge me to a point…I will be getting an LV Neverfull next month. I don't own any Chanel or Valentino– I think he would have a small heart attack! But since my bags don't equal to the cost of his country club membership or dues I think I still have some leverage! ?????????? And our bills are paid, kids are spoiled and we take two-three vacations a year! So haters can hate!!!

    • Adrianne

      Why did my post come out this way????

      • Sonia

        Adrianne, it may be related to the emoticons you added.

  • Susannah

    I love you! Great post!

  • Rumbabird

    Here are some stock answers you can use when somone makes a comment about your bag, and you don’t feel inclined to share personal information (which it is):

    1. “It was a gift” [which it was… to yourself] and
    2. “I don’t know much about it, I just like it” or
    3. “Aunt Gertrude willed it to me when she died, sob!” or
    4. “Gee, do you think it might be a fake?”

    ????

  • Hilary

    YES YES YES. A few months ago I was flying through Amsterdam (Schiphol) with my aunt. She was kind enough to let me use one of her Birkins for the trip… what a treat right? The most expensive bag I have personally is a Chanel 2.55 re-issue – probably the most money I’ve ever spent on anything – which is still probably half the price of a Birkin. But hey – my aunt has a successful business, makes a 6 figure salary and can afford to spend her money the way she likes. Her purse collection would probably rival some celebrities!

    Anyway, while passing through airport security, I placed the Birkin down to be screened along with all the other carry-on baggage. When it emerged on the other side, one of the female security officers made a comment to a male colleague while pointing at the Birkin. The look on his face can only be described as incredulous. He looked at her… the bag… me… the bag. Then, to my surprise, he picked up the bag and held it about 3 inches from his face while inspecting it throughly from top to bottom. He placed it back down and rolled his eyes… not very impressed apparently. I don’t speak Dutch, but I suspect his female colleague told him what it was worth (ball park) and he was overwhelmed with my frivolous spending *my turn to roll my eyes*

    • shueaddict

      Oh, the Dutch would have a field day with that. I have 2 Dutch girlfriends – thighter than the Scotts they are – splitting each restaurant bill down to second decimal, taking home leftover casserole that they brought to my party … and I can go on. But I love them and I respect their upbringing – and in return – they never ever said anything bad about my bags or shoes.

  • Celine

    People in college judge me all the time, even though they are the ones spending hundreds of dollars on pot and alcohol that won’t last them more than a week. So how is my buying a purse a waste when it lasts a lifetime? I wish they wouldn’t give me those judging eyes like I’m dumb for buying something I enjoy and saved up for.

  • Livo

    For me is simple, and I am glad my future husband understand. I work, I pay what it has to be paid, what is left is mine, and I can do wherever I want with my money, the same rule apply to him and everyone is happy, what other says about my expensive taste I don’t care.

  • Halim Amin

    Well nothing could be worst then bag shamers who nick your bag thinking that they are fakes and it would not matter! Sneaky because you can’t really blame anyone. You just come back from the office and discover having placed your bag properly on another chair while working, and it still gets mysteriously scratched. That is not to say of other things people do, the price they ask, the taunts, the stares and the smug feeling that you get when you missed one day of your daily latte. OMIGOD! see the bag crazed person has run out of money!

    • Sonia

      Unbelievable! I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior from anyone, let alone the haters at work! That is why I keep my bag under my desk, on my special box, away from prying eyes and sticky fingers.

  • Aoedele

    I love this blog and come here often to drool bags I can’t afford now, but hope to one day. My thing is great books and music, I never pay full price for those. I hunt used books/music stores and on the net. Funny enough, I get shamed for those too. Lol. I’m told by friends and family all the time that I read too much, I have enough books and music. What??!! There is no such thing as reading too much and owning too many records. Just like fashion, there’s no such thing!!

  • Pam

    At 65 years of age & collecting luxury bags for a long time, I no longer care what anyone thinks. I love my furs too! Getting older has its benefits!

    • Winn

      I want to be you. Mature women are the chicest.

      • Pam

        Winn…no matter what you do, what you wear, what you say…there’s always going to be someone…usually jealous of what you have. I worked for 25 years before I married my husband when I was 43 years old and have paid off two homes by saving. So, if I want to buy another Chanel, I will. I figure I’ll enjoy them now and then along the road my three daughters can have them…or sell them. No matter what age you are, walk tall, dress the best you can and be good to yourself. Heck…I’ve found St. John clothing at my thrift store. Just love yourself first.

  • Glow on

    Hmmm only by my husband…. But mostly in jest. http://Www.getchaglowon.com

  • Winn

    Sounds like I’m the only one, but I have definitely not experienced bag shaming. All of my bags are discreet, understated designs and lack logos or monograms, which is probably the reason. The vast majority of people have no idea how expensive they are. Those that do know are people with a knowledge and appreciation of quality bags who either have the same or aspire to. If I ran around with a logo, I’d fully expect some comments- but isn’t that precisely why people go for logos?

  • vipergirl

    I have a girlfriend who thinks my handbag/shoe purchases are over the top. She has a horse and I asked her how much she spent every month on care for it…nuff said.

  • Havesomedecency

    I love this post because it’s so true, I’m a teenager but every time I buy any bag, designer label or not, I’ll be shamed for it, generally by men. How much do they spend on cigars exactly? Probably far far more than I have ever spent on any bag. Recently I bought two new beautiful bags and the first thing I was asked when I carried one of them was how much did it cost and why I spent so much on something as frivolous as a bag? I think some people really need a wake up call and realise that things that are important to one person may not be what’s important to them. One of my friends made me do an online shopaholic test because she genuinely thought I had a problem, even after the test came back negative, she was still convinced. Sorry that was a bit of a rant but it really does frustrate me as some people can’t mind their own business.

    Keep shopping girls and never mind the haters x

  • K.

    I’ve been waiting for a post like this, and thankful it has come! I’m in my early twenties, and because of my age I get bag shamed quite a lot! I recently made a big break for myself six months ago in my job (which came with a pay rise that was very very nice). Since then, I have been indulging my whims and bought myself the bags that I have been coveting for a long time. However, I’ve noticed out of all my bags (ysl, Céline, balenciaga, Givenchy) my lavender chanel jumbo double flap has garnered the most attention (positive and otherwise). So many people assume my parents bought it for me, I have a sugar daddy or that it’s fake, which greatly upsets me. Then I get bugged over how much it cost me, and what a silly girl I am for spending so much on the bag. I work so hard to earn my own things, and to be made to feel bad because of earning something is incredibly upsetting!

  • Silvana

    Amanda, thank you so much for this article. I’m more of a clothes-lover than bag-lover (but in luxury I believe they go hand-in-hand), and I always feel guilty after making an expensive purchase, and ashamed of answering a designer name if anyone asks where I got my clothing (I usually answer “eBay” lol which is true like 95% of the time). To be honest at first I kept my love for fashion a secret from my boyfriend because I didn’t want him to come to conclusions that I was superficial and frivolous. Fortunately, when he found out, he didn’t care at all; he makes great jokes about Chanel and even got me a hair brooch from the Dubai collection! But with other people I have to say that that feeling of shame still lingers and when I buy something (on eBay haha) I definitely think of its “reselling value”, which is a shame because it takes the fun out of getting something nice for yourself! Anyways, just wanted to thank you for the article and for reminding all your readers that no one should be bag-shamed, shoe-shamed, dress-shamed!

  • Not directly, but I’ve definitely been “money-shamed.” I don’t really understand this – I mean, who cares what I spend my money on? And how does one know I bought it (or in their words, “wasted money”) it was purchased by ME or something I’m borrowing from a friend or family? Or perhaps rented? It’s mostly coming from the same sort – social workers, people who are so-called “uber-liberals” and the like. I’ve been private school (alum) shamed too.

  • I have designer bags which sits in the cupboard. The reason is that l cannot use them everyday. A very simple to use bag is ok.

  • Kyle Riggs

    Reverse bag shamming on “crappy” bags is worse than the other way a round…