Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bags, Bags, Bags

Back in 2010, I posted about my then-collection of 7 bags. Fast forward three years to present day and my love for bags has not waned. During this time, I've sold some, donated others, bought more, and now am the happy owner of 11 bags in my possession. At around the #8 mark, I told myself to employ a one-in-and-one-out rule to keep my materialistic side in check. Umm... yeah, so much for that. My willpower was no match for my greediness.

I thought it'd be fun to do a bag collection update. I'll also take this opportunity to reflect on shopping lessons learned, regrets, and share any other thoughts in general. Here we go...
Bags (December 2013)

1) Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote (c. 2013, paid $154 / buy at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, NM) - I don't know how I've lived without a large, dark-colored throw-around bag before this year. It easily tops my bag list and is the one I reach for the most often. I should've known an ubiquitous bag like the Le Pliage is popular for a reason! I could've waited for a F&F 20-25% sale, but was impatient and paid full price instead. No biggie. I've made up for the lost savings in the number of uses since.

2) Longchamp LM Metal Medium Tote (c. 2011, paid $108 / buy at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Selfridges, Saks) - I'm normally not a fan of bags with signature logos plastered all over, but figured Longchamp's horse and rider isn't as well-known (not sure if my perception is accurate or delusional?) I used to reach for this white tote more often, but ever since the black Le Pliage was added into the rotation, this one has been mainly relegated to pairings with preppy-casual outfits. I can't definitively comment on my bag's condition without seeing it next to a brand new version. But from my observations, it looks like there's been minimal creasing on the canvas, the corners have held up well, the silver handles haven't lost luster, but the white color has most likely yellowed over time. This is after two years of abuse in all types of weather and travel conditions.

3) Jenny Yuen Cleo (c. 2008, paid $65) - This bag was bought during a phase where I snubbed all the "popular" brands in favor of up-and-comers or brands that flew under the radar instead. Ha! How times have changed (ahem Longchamp, Chanel). The clutch is actually quite roomy and fits all the essentials. I just don't use it as often because of the metallic pink color -- which I love but is just harder to pair with outfits.

4) Marc Jacobs Large Single (c. 2012, gift from aunt / buy at Nordstrom) - Before receiving this bag as a wedding gift from one of my aunts, I was actually considering the MJ small single (eventually bought the Chanel Camellia WOC instead). My aunt and SIL (whose help was enlisted to pick out the color) must've been reading my mind with this choice. I've still yet to figure out how they sensed that I'd prefer a bag over jewelry (which is what everyone else gave).

5) Chanel M/L Classic Flap (c. 2010, paid $2730 / buy pre-owned at Vestiaire) - Hindsight is 20/20 and I'm so glad I bought my flap when I did (1-2 weeks prior to prices increasing from $2600 to $3400). I regret not giving the reissue more consideration because the longer strap can double as a crossbody bag. At the time, I was worried that the all-metal chain on the reissue would pose a problem on hot summer days against bare skin. LOL at me. Most recently, I've briefly considered selling my classic flap to buy a Boy flap, which may suit my casual lifestyle better (and can be worn crossbody!), but I don't think I can bring myself to pay the price difference.

6) H&M Snakeskin Envelope Clutch (c. 2011, paid $19) - This bag is the least functional due to its flat shape and envelope style. I really can only fit my keys and a few credit cards (forget about my phone, iPod) before the clasp wouldn't snap shut. Sometimes an outfit just calls for a smaller brown bag, so that's when I'd use this clutch. It actually doubles as a crossbody, so that's another plus. I think eventually I'd want to replace this with a similar sized brown bag that has more depth.

7) Chanel Camellia WOC (c. 2012, paid $1785 / buy pre-owned at Vestiaire) - I seriously thought my black flap would be my one and only Chanel. Riiiiight, who're you trying to fool? I've expressed the exact thoughts when others tell me they'll stop once they own just one Chanel. Now I'm the recipient of my own snarky thoughts, so laugh away! This bag fills my bright and feminine bag void due to the color and camellia embossing. The only regret is with the Chanel brand and their yearly price increases. If only I had bought it earlier when prices were lower. Should've, could've, would've...

8) Sole Society Shay Textured Vegan Satchel (c. 2013, paid $47 / buy here) - My newest addition to the bag family (literally a few days old), so I don't have many comments thus far. I bought it to replace my H&M bag because this one is more structured and less pink in color. It also comes with an adjustable shoulder/crossbody strap (not shown in photo above).

9) agnes b Nylon Tote (c. 2005, gift from cousin) - I've admitted to myself that the only reason I still have this bag is due to sentimental reasons. The fact that it was my first "adult" bag and a gift makes it twice as hard to let go. In all honesty, this bag is sorta redundant now that I own the black Le Pliage, which is roomier and the longer handles make it easier to throw over (and stay on) the shoulder.

10) Ann Taylor Tweed Clutch (c. 2013, paid $68 / buy here) - The second-most recent acquisition, so I don't have a whole lot of thoughts on this clutch yet either. Bigger than typical minaudieres I've seen, I love how the size fits all the essentials, plus shows off the pretty (and semi-sparkly) tweed pattern. So far, I've only used the clutch with casual outfits, but can see this tweed pattern pairing well with dressy outfits as well.

11) Balenciaga City (c. 2009, paid $1152 / buy at NM, Barneys) - This bag was my first foray into the designer bag realm. You know that saying, once you go designer, you can't go back? Well, I was afraid that would happen to me, but thank goodness, it hasn't (knock on wood). Of all my bags, if there is one that needs to be babied, this would be it. The lambskin leather plus light color have potential disaster written all over it if not treated with care. I don't handle this bag like fragile china, but nor do I toss it around like my nylon bags. After three years of use, the corners and handles are showing wear and tear as well as denim color transfer. I personally think that fits with the bag's casual moto style and adds "character" rather than detracts.

Looking over my entire collection as a whole, it's easy to see what types of bags work for me, and the ones that don't. Satchels with only top handles are not my friend. I need the option of a long shoulder strap. I value versatility -- the more ways to wear a bag, the better. I gravitate towards bigger bags in neutral colors, and save the fun colors/patterns for smaller bags.

In the back of my mind, I've always known the ballpark figure of what I've spent on this bag "hobby" of mine. I've just never actually totaled up the cost... until now. $6,128. Yikes! Well, I'll just hope my "shoe collection" never gets to this point ;)

Whew, that was long-winded. Thanks for reading!

13 comments:

  1. We have a similar bags collection :) I also have a large longchamp (most practical bag!), chanel flap (but jumbo size), chanel WOC, and a Balenciaga City. Love them all :) These are the ones that I'd never sell :)

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    1. I've learned my lesson, so I know better than to say I'd never sell my Chanel/Bal bags ;) IF the time ever comes, I hope to make a return on these so-called "investments." That'd probably be the only way to make selling the bags bearable.

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  2. A girl (and post) after my heart because I'm all about a good bag. I love how you buy with a purpose and have a nice curated selection. I'm well above your 11 and sometimes think about selling some of them just so I can have a smaller selection of bags that I love and use all of the time, but it's hard for me. Although Chanel is my ultimate wishlist purchase, I have my eye on getting a Proenza Schouler PS11 bag as my next big buy. It would be by far the most I've ever spent on a bag but I've been loving it too long not to buy it. I say I'll be done for awhile after that, but I just know it probably isn't true lol.

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    1. I think selling your bags is like ripping off a band-aid. The first one is usually the hardest, but learning to let gets easier over time. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that these bags are just things but yet I treat them like they're my babies, haha. I'm going to reach out on a limb and say that if you ever decide to buy the PS1, it may be easier to let go of some of your other bags because they'll just be sitting in the closet untouched :)

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  3. Love the snakeskin envelope clutch. Thanks for posting all these great bags. If you're stuck in your Christmas shopping or want an idea for an inexpensive stocking stuffer, check out Dorco's holiday bundle packs. We're a shaving company and our razors cost 30-70% less than leading brands. See our prices for yourself and read what others have to say about our products at DorcoUSA.com. Thank you again for this post and Happy Holidays!

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  4. You've got a great collection. I love the Longchamp totes - I have one Le Pliage and one canvas one and love them for all they can hold and their packability.

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  5. Thanks for the peek at your collections. I have to admit, I don't "get" the obsession with expensive bags. I take my purse everywhere, and it gets beat up. So I'm never going to spend more than a couple hundred bucks. (Right now I'm carrying a black JCrew Edie, which I got on sale.)

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    1. Haha, it's completely okay! There are many hobbies of other people's that I don't "get" either. I'm also of the school of thought that bags should be used, beat up (to an extent), regardless of the price paid. Speaking of which, I also don't get why some people pay $$$ for bags only to leave it in their closet. They're meant to be used and loved!

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  6. Chanel is definitely on my wishlist! I've been thinking of either getting the Chanel M/L Classic Flap or a Chanel WOC. However, I haven't been able to justify the price.

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    1. Unfortunately at the rate Chanel is increasing prices, being able to justify the price might just not be possible =/ WOC is a good deal cheaper than the flap, so I'd recommend that if price is a big factor. Also, have you considered pre-owned Chanels through reputable online sellers or consignment shops? I'm not sure how much $ you'd be able to save... probably depends on on luck/patience.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your collection! I love the Red Camellia you purchased, and am kicking myself I didn't buy it a couple of years ago when the price was much lower.

    By the way, how did you take the photo? Was it through a piece of glass? It looks really cool. :)

    Jen
    www.lifeunrefined.com

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    1. I wish! I took photos of a few bags at a time on top of a white table. Then I lightened the background to pure white via Adobe Lightroom, then pieced the images together in Photoshop. It sounds more complicated than it really is!

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I'd love to hear from you. Constructive criticisms welcome!

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