12 September 2011

Confessions of a Bag Snob: Fall Handbag Splurges

First of all, I am not a snob.  Yet somehow I have managed to become a bag snob. Maybe it's because I spent nearly a year of my post-college life selling handbags in a high-end department store. Unfortunately, teaching rich ladies the difference between a hobo and a satchel, educating them on embossed leather versus calfskin, does not supply a person with the money she needs to be a bona fide bag snob... even if she's working on commission.

I have not always been a bag snob.  I entered college carrying a knock-off Balenciaga Motorcycle bag, purchased from Target.  I remember receiving my first "designer handbag" as a gift, and experiencing sheer disbelief that I could carry my stuff around in something as fancy as Juicy Couture.  Even though I've always loved fashion and been able to spout off endless trivia on designers, models, etc., I've never been able to afford fashion.  (Of course no amount of money can buy personal style. I'm referring to "fashion" as what's on the runways, in the magazines.) But gradually, over the years, I guess you can say that I have shifted my fashion philosophy.  I no longer view my wardrobe as temporary, individual items, but as a permanent collection.  By no means am I the type of person who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on clothes.  But I would rather spend $500-$1000 on a bag I will carry forever than spend $50-$100 on ten separate bags I will carry for six months, when they'll begin to fall apart. Quality over quantity.

Since making this shift, I find myself unable to enjoy the cheaper bags sold at stores like Target in the same way that my blissfully naive college freshman self once did. (In no way do I state this as a judgment on people who approach fashion differently.) I'm almost saying it with a sense of nostalgic regret. Because right now I am in desperate need of an everyday brown handbag.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Not anymore.  I have become the girl who walks into any store, and without even looking at price tags, manages to pick out the most expensive bag of all.

So here I am, on a quest to find a semi-casual brown leather handbag, preferably for under $200... actually, the further under $200 the better! Of course I've been scouring the Internet, to make sure I'm aware of all the options, and I thought I'd share my finds along the way with my dear blog readers! To begin with, the current bags I love that come in way over budget.  Let's call them distractions.  But they're such beautiful distractions!  If you're an admirer from afar like myself, consider them eye candy.  Or if you're a fellow bag snob who actually has the income to support her snobby ways, consider me your personal shopper! I'm more than glad to be of service :)


Next up: The "perfect" brown bag, on a budget!


  1. Those are all so beautiful! I especially love number 5!

  2. Ah! Im looking for the exact same thing at the moment! Im so tired of cheapy bags that fall to bits in 4-6 months. I await your next post about bags in eager anticipation :D

  3. Without looking at the designers, #5 and #7 were immediately my favourites. Apparently I'm a Chloe person!

  4. How funny I just did a bag post as well!

  5. Amanda, #5 is my favorite too...next to the #2 Burberry!

    BTW, I just about threw up when I saw the prices...Girl, I would MUCH rather spend $1,600 on a lifetime of memories from a vacation in Bora Bora than on something to carry my things in. But, great post! I love eye candy...you've seen my Louboutin postings. Drooling! :)

  6. I am dying for the J Crew newsstand tote in brown! http://www.jcrew.com/AST/Navigation/Women/PRD~51634/51634.jsp?srcCode=TBLR00059

  7. ahhh, b, you had me at chloe. my guy surprised me with the caramel brown paddington 5 years ago and I adore it till this day. :)


  8. Completely understand being a bag snob!! I would rather spend the $$ on one or two good bags than waste it on multiple bags that I'll just end up getting rid of, now if only I could make the husband understand...Haha.

  9. Bonnie Joy: I hope you find my next post helpful! If you are looking for a good quality bag that will last and are willing to spend some money on it, I would recommend designers like Rebecca Minkoff, Linea Pelle, Christopher Kon, Kooba, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and Cole Haan. Good luck! :)

    Rycrafty: As you can tell, I'm a "Chloe person" too!

    Cassie: It all comes down to priorities, my friend. There's a lot of things other people spend money on that I would never value, like fancy cars and giant flat screen TVs. ;)

    Kira: Super cute!! I love the color! At that price I would totally buy it too, but this time I'm looking for something a little smaller and more "everyday" than a tote.

    Sylvie: Ooooh, I'm so jealous! The Paddington is so classy and gorgeous! My husband believes in gifting fancy bags too. We are lucky ladies!

    Katie: Sounds like we're totally on the same page! Good luck with that husband! ;)

  10. I'm a bag snob too and I perfectly understand you. I have the #2 my husband got it last year for me as part of our 10th wedding anniversary. I would really love to add a chloe to my collection especially #9 which I've been eyeing for years now. Very nice collection you have