Once a year, I like to treat myself to one big luxury item and what better time to splurge on myself than when celebrating my quarter-century milestone this past Monday? One year, I bought the Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag, another year I bought my first pair of Christian Louboutin So Kate Pumps and last year, you all helped me decide between the Saint Laurent Monogram Satchel and the Chanel Wallet on Chain bag. Today I come to you for more advice.

When I first started at PurseBlog I was a handbag girl through and through (naturally), but while writing about shoes over the years, I began to love and appreciate beautiful footwear as much as handbags. For my birthday, my boyfriend surprised me with Valentino Rockstud flip-flops to wear during our upcoming trip to Cancun. I love the flip-flops, but I’m also proud of the fact that I can go out and buy myself something nice, so I wanted to splurge.

I’ve always loved Valentino Rockstud pumps (which is among the reason they were first up in our Ultimate Shoe Guide), and I’ve always had a soft spot for them in white. They’re crisp, clean, classic and everything I’ve been looking for in a neutral pump. I tried them on at Saks this weekend, and I loved the way they looked and how comfortable they were (although I knew that already from our TalkShoes Testimonials); I purchased them right on the spot. This is where things get interesting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Rockstud pumps, but I didn’t quite get the adrenaline rush that I usually get when I add something I love to my wardrobe. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t more excited for the Rockstud of my dreams, but I think I’ve solved the mystery. For a while now, I’ve been on a Céline kick, and I really want the Céline Phantom Luggage Tote. I know the popularity of the Luggage Tote has slowed down drastically since its debut, and many of you have even questioned the staying power of the bag’s design, but I don’t care about all of that. I love everything about the Phantom Luggage, no matter what.

The answer may seem obvious as to which one I love more, but hear me out. I have a lot of other things coming up that I need to seriously start saving for, because you and I both know we live in an expensive world. The Céline is over $3,000, and that’s lot of money for me to invest right now. My other concern with the Céline bag is I currently don’t own any everyday top handle bags, and for the money, I’m worried how I will feel about carrying a bag in the crook of my arm everyday.

Do I keep the shoes and forget about the bag? Or, do I return the shoes and put the money toward the bag. In the long run, is it better to invest a large sum of money into a luxury bag or shoes? Now, if only buying both was an option…

I would love to hear your thoughts and input in the comments!

[You can purchase the above Céline via TheRealReal].

Valentino Patent Leather Rockstud Slingback Pumps
$995 via Saks

Valentino Rockstud Pumps

Céline Medium Phantom Luggage Tote
$3,250 via Céline

Celine Phantom Luggage Tote
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Rada
Rada
6 years ago

I think the Luggage and Phantom Luggage are handbag classics. The croc stamped one in particular is so handsome and chic that it feels like it will withstand trends, if it hasn’t already IMHO. I guess I prefer bags over shoes just because of their higher resalability. The only issue I can see is one you pointed out, how comfortable will you be carrying a top handle bag should you choose to use it regularly and will you be alright with not using it as regularly should you find carrying top handle bags more cumbersome. I say go for the bag!

Lily
Lily
6 years ago

Neither…. both the shoes and the bag are played out.

Smithy
Smithy
6 years ago
Reply to  Lily

I hate to say it — I’m going to go with neither as well. Those shoes are so overdone and so overly copied that whenever I see someone wearing them, I assume they’re quite possibly knock-offs. The bag is fine, but for the price, I’d invest in something else.

MichelleKW
MichelleKW
6 years ago
Reply to  Smithy

I was in two department stores yesterday and so many people were trying those shoes on that I was over them by the time I left, until I saw a woman walking in them. They are beautiful, but shoes don’t last the way handbags do. It’s so easy to take one misstep and you have a scuff or heel mark. Sigh. I wouldn’t be able to handle the top handle bag in the crook of my arm for very long. It’s pretty, but if it is going to end up sitting in your closet, you might regret the decision and end up longing for another bag that you love that you can get full use from.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago
Reply to  Lily

Except the writer specifically acknowledges that the bag is no longer as popular as it once was and may not have “staying power,” and she states that this doesn’t matter to her. Since it’s not important to her whether she’s sporting the latest trend, I doubt either item’s being “played out” would sway her. Reading comprehension skills are important.

T Tara Bagnista
T Tara Bagnista
6 years ago
Reply to  Kate

She also expressed concern about the lack of a shoulder strap, which is unrelated to the bag being “played out” or not.

JHH
JHH
6 years ago
Reply to  Lily

Oh my, I was going to say the same thing.

Jen
Jen
6 years ago
Reply to  Lily

Exactly.

laura
laura
6 years ago
Reply to  Jen

That’s exactly what I was going to say. Get a Valentino Rockstud bag instead.

Lily
Lily
6 years ago
Reply to  laura

I would stay away from the Rockstud bags, as most are just plain tacky.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago
Reply to  Lily

I love the Rockstud bags. To each his own. Fashion, like all art, is subjective, and in particular it’s a matter of self-expression.

Katherine Callaghan
Katherine Callaghan
6 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Absolutely! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Andrea Barraco
Andrea Barraco
6 years ago

I love the shoes. I have two pair and I wear them all the time. They are so comfortable, I could run in them! well-not far but i could..haha
The purse- I’m wondering if it is going to go out soon. I thought that maybe about the shoes but they keep coming out with more colors and styles so I say keep the shoes. If you are going to invest in a bag get a chanel, because that will never go out. but you can get that at your next splurge…

Lisa
Lisa
6 years ago

If you are feeling “meh” over the shoes, then your heart has already told you which item you really want. If you can afford the purse and it will make you happy, I say go for it.

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

The Celine luggage and phantom bags are on the precipice of being totally over, but that doesn’t matter to the writer. (Nor should it. I think you should buy what you love, regardless of trends.) I bought the Phantom in antique blue and sold it after a few months because it was so heavy, even when it was empty. I find it to be a woefully impractical bag – utterly huge and heavy and almost impossible to carry when filled due to the lack of a shoulder strap. The handles would leave deep marks on the skin of my forearms whenever I carried it. No matter how much I removed from the bag in an attempt to make it lighter, after a little while of carrying it my shoulder would inevitably start to hurt. Now that I really think about it, God I hated that bag! I found it unusable. (I should also add that I’m a petite 5’2″ who wears a size 0, so I probably had no business trying to carry a bag of that size in the first place!) On the other hand, I think the writer loves it and already has her mind made up and just wants reassurance. So, if the shoes aren’t giving you that sense of euphoria you want from the purchase of your one major luxury item this year, then buy the bag. I like the Rockstud pumps quite a lot, but I do find them over-priced. I find all of Celine’s bags overpriced as well, but over-paying for a great handbag is more palatable to me personally than over-paying for shoes.

Alice
Alice
6 years ago

I am a handbag person through and through. I don’t like spending a large sum of money on shoes that get dirty with each wearing. I don’t have many shoes over 5-6 years old except for special occasion shoes that have barely been worn. I do have purses that I still love that are much, much older than that. Also, I live in Los Angeles and prefer top handle bags that I can slip on my forearm. Early in my career I carried a briefcase that had a shoulder strap and the weight soon became an issue. And, in Los Angeles most of us drive except for exercise walks. I definitely would buy the Celine Phantom Luggage tote.

cbl
cbl
6 years ago

BAGS ALL DAY!!!

T Tara Bagnista
T Tara Bagnista
6 years ago

Only once a year? 🙂 Ditto on none of the above. For that price for the shoes, I’d have to be able to wear them more often than I suspect you’ll wear those. The bag is not fresh; however, I would go with a bag, though. Why not something newer? I don’t know how new it is; however, the Diorever looks slick and classic such that you can wear it for years (amortizing the cost!). Plus, it has a shoulder strap.

Tank Diaz
Tank Diaz
6 years ago

The bag, I have it, exactly the same, I too was reserved about a top handle so big for everyday use, let me tell you it is one of my most used bags, it is the perfect useful size for regular use and it looks fantastic. I don’t worry about trends especially when dropping such a large amount on a bag, it simple has to meet my criteria- do I like it? Will I use it regularly? If it’s an everyday bag is it too heavy and will it fit water bottle in it. If you’re still unsure wait, it will still be there and you’ll make sure you love it no matter what anyone else says

AAAA
AAAA
6 years ago

To be honest, it doesn’t sound like you love either option. You have mentioned drawbacks to both. For that kind of money, I feel like you should LOVE it with no hesitation.

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