I’ve loved fashion, and handbags in particular, for as long as I can remember. My love for putting together outfits and pulling together a look is truly something that I was born with. Even my mother loves to tell stories about my passion for clothes and accessories as a child, fondly remembering when I would insist on matching my hair ties to my clothes. If she changed my shirt after a spill or mess, I promptly reminded her that my bow needed to be changed as well (I guess I’ve always been a bit extra).
Unsurprisingly, my passion continued to blossom during my pre-teen and teen years, and I knew what Prada was and what LV stood for before I even made it to middle school. I didn’t grow up around designer handbags or luxury goods, rather it was just something I was innately drawn to, and my parents and siblings would always joke that they didn’t know where I came from (side note: we’re still not sure!).
By the time I got to middle school, my bedroom walls were papered with pages from Vogue and Harper’s Baazar, and I had a wishlist full of It-bags that was just that, a wish. Other girls were carrying Prada Nylon Backpacks and Louis Vuitton Pochettes to class, but I was lucky enough to convince my mother to buy me a Coach wristlet. I was thankful, but I still wanted more.
Thus, my quest for a designer bag began, and at 13, I started saving for a Dior Saddle Bag. Saving for the Saddle Bag seemed impossible, so I settled on the mini version and was thrilled the day I had stowed away enough to make the purchase. My mother drove me to the boutique to purchase it, and over a decade and a half later, I’m still collecting.
Quality Over Quantity
I’ve learned a lot about collecting designer bags since that very first purchase at the tender age of 13. Many of my lessons have to do with saving, budgeting, and shopping within my means, but by far, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is choosing quality over quantity. And no, I don’t mean the quality of the bags or the designer, but rather I mean how YOU define quality.
When I was younger, I was obsessed with the number of bags I owned, and well into my late 20s, I avoided selling any bags because I didn’t want my collection to go down in size. Each year I would pick up a new bag or two, and I would get a thrill that I had over a handful of bags, and then I hit two handfuls, which was an even bigger rush.
My collection hit its peak around 5 years ago when I owned well into the double digits. I had a slew of bags that I no longer loved (or used), yet that greedy little green-eyed monster deep inside of me still wanted to hoard every piece in my collection. Slowly though, I began to realize that it isn’t about the quantity, it’s about the quality, and that’s when I finally was able to let go of some of the bags I own. With age, I realized that the number of bags is really just that, a number; it’s more important to be happy with what you own and truly love each piece.
I’ve let go of around 5 bags over the years; currently, my collection hovers right around the double-digit mark, and I’m completely at purse peace with that. I would rather have a solid collection of bags that I adore and use than a stuffed closet full of bags I don’t even really like anymore.