I have an embarrassing confession: I don’t remember the last time I used my Prada top handle. Or my large Fendi tote. Or my medium Chanel flap. (I’m actually too scared to use the Chanel, but that’s a story for another day.) My point is, I have many bags that I, regretfully, hardly take out into the world.

It’s not because I fell out of love with them, or they’ve gone out of style. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I love them each so much, and I can’t imagine parting with any of them. However, I have come to learn that there is a big difference between a bag that is a beautiful to look at, and a bag that has real potential for daily use.

I’ll be honest: When I first started my handbag collection, I was focused on acquiring as many classic and signature pieces as possible. I didn’t put much thought into how often I would actually use any of them, which, looking back, was incredibly shortsighted.

Take my Prada Galleria Medium Saffiano Leather Bag. I bought it a few years ago in Italy after spending months staring at it online, completely mesmerized by it.

To this day, I have maybe used it a dozen times. I’ve come to realize it’s a little big for my frame and slightly too stiff for everyday use (at least for me). I also don’t appreciate the fact that it is open at the top, with zippers limited to each side of the bag. I probably could have figured all of this out if I did some research before my purchase.

However, at the time, the only Googling I did was whether or not this was a “smart” “starter bag” for someone who was interested in beginning their own “luxury handbag collection.” I use the quotation marks because, in reality, buying handbags is such a subjective experience. Those words likely mean something different to everyone.

Just because something works for me does not mean it will work for you. Think about a Birkin: They’re beautiful, but I truly don’t know how I would incorporate a top-handle-only bag into my daily rotation, no matter the cost.

I don’t regret any of my purchases. (I’ve build a pretty cool handbag wall which I get a kick out of looking at.) However, I definitely think I could have been more sensible with each addition.

Consequently, within the last few months, I have taken a hard look at my collection and decided I would only purchase a bag after extensive research to determine whether or not it would actually blend into my life.

Though ogling at bags all day long is fun, I want my purchases to work for me. I don’t want to be concerned with buying a handbag that everyone lusts after, whether a classic staple or a trendy newcomer, that ultimately would end up collecting dust on a shelf.

I must ask: How often do you use your own bags? Do you wish you used some of them more than you actually do? If we’re being honest, I’m sure I’m not alone – and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve all gotten carried away at one point or another. That’s part of the fun anyway.

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