Recently, I’ve found more and more women harping on the idea of buying “the bag”. Whether Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Celine, etc., the conversations are becoming heavy about the handbags we absolutely have to have adorning our arms. More often than not, I get quiet when my girlfriends start speaking about purchases of this magnitude. I’m pretty sure I won’t be copping a handbag that runs about the same amount as my monthly mortgage payment, so no need for me to chime in with my negativity.
Years ago I was conversing with a gentlemen that asked if I had a handbag fetish. I responded with a confident “Yes!” and kept the conversation moving. He asked if I was like his niece, who had a thing for remarkably expensive bags. She would go to the mall and spend a full paycheck on a handbag. I replied, “Sir, as much as I like having nice purses, I refuse to spend that type of money just for the brand.” He laughed and said, “I tried to tell my niece, until you can casually carry $1,500 in the handbag, you shouldn’t walk around with a $1,500 handbag.” This statement struck a nerve because I never thought to approach making purchases from that standpoint. I figured being frugal was reason enough to not buy something.
Do I like fine bags? Absolutely! But does it have to cost an arm and a leg? Does a $1,500 handbag hold more or have more functionality than a $300 bag? I love brand names but I have followed the advice of uncle. As an educator, I cannot casually walk around with $1,500 in my purse and therefore, I DO NOT have a $1,500 purse. I do have a few great, quality handbags by brands that I love to shop. I know high end bags are fashionable and a big trend but I refuse to go broke trying to look rich. Below are some of my favorite brands and I love each brand for it’s customer satisfaction.
- Coach – Coach was the first brand name bag I purchased with my own money. My first purchase was a shady purchase and I ended up getting a $250 bag for $40. 22 years later, I sold that same bag for $35. It was still in excellent condition and had no signs of wearing. Over the years, I’ve found great steals on Coach bags and I have never been disappointed with the quality of their handbags.
- Kate Spade – I think I love the honesty of the sellers more than I do their handbags. My first Kate Spade handbag was made of soft leather. When purchasing my second one I remember the customer service representative saying, “If you are looking for a dressy bag, don’t get soft leather. Our bags that are made of soft leather tend to look worn.” Who actually says that when they have a chance to make a sale? Although the purses don’t actually look worn, they don’t have a classy appeal and I appreciate her for bringing that to my attention. Several bags later, I am still impressed with the durability of the brand.
- Dooney and Bourke – Dooney and Bourke has to be my all time favorite. Customer satisfaction is their number one priority. If something happens to your purse, you can send it to the company and they will repair it or send you another bag. You can also send your old purses back and upgrade for a newer bag (of course you have to pay the difference). Although I’ve never had to return a bag or desired to send one in for an upgrade, to know that option is available is remarkable. Dooneys are definitely resilient handbags. Not to mention they have the cutest styles and great, affordable prices. I am always on the hunt for a Dooney.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t buy whatever you want. Do I care that others have pricey handbags? Absolutely not! But don’t show up to Happy Hour with your $1,500 bag looking for me to pay for your drinks and appetizers.