Monday, January 14, 2013

Trifecta: Handbags

Of the three things in my Trifecta, bags are the thing I love most. The very most. Nothing pulls together an outfit like a nice handbag, especially one that's appropriate to the outfit and suits your personality.

Buy the best quality you can afford. 

While I'm the first to admit I have a bag problem, I've always gone for quality over quantity. I almost never buy a cute cheap bag from Target because I know it's not going to make me happy long term. I will gladly buy second hand high-end bags on eBay because the quality, details and look are so much more appealing and satisfying. If it means I own one or two second hand expensive bags instead of five cheaper new bags, so be it.

If you are not a handbag person and tend to carry one until it dies, this especially applies to you. This is something you carry EVERY DAY. And everyone can see it! You really want to pick something of good quality that's going to look nice for a long time. It drives me insane to see a nicely dressed woman carrying a ratty bag with weird strings hanging off it. Please don't. If you're thinking, "Damn bitch, I can't afford Marc Jacobs even on eBay" I have you covered. Please go directly to Marshalls or TJ Maxx and look for nice leather bags with Italian brand names you've never heard of. Those are some nice bags for not a lot of money.

Don't be boring.

A black bag is fine and you should probably have one but don't feel like it's your only choice. It's the safe choice but cognac, eggplant, cobalt and red can be really versatile and a lot more interesting. Prints are fun too but not as your main choice.

Bag wardrobe.

Okay, so how many is too many? How many do you really need? This would be my bare minimum:



For fun I'd add:



And, since I like talking about bags I'll tell you about my two favorites. First, my Marc by Marc Jacobs Hillier Hobo. I bought this with a gift card I won from a blog contest but even if I'd paid full price for it I'd say its worth every penny. It's my everyday workhorse - the perfect size, indestructible, easy to carry and, well, look at it:

Beautiful. I never get tired of carrying it and will probably buy a replacement when it dies. If I could only have one bag, it would be this one. But! I do not have to limit myself to one bag, so my second favorite is a bag that is slightly impractical but such an object of beauty that I don't even care:


My LV epi leather Speedy. It's a classic shape, a beautiful color and also very hardy. I bought it secondhand on eBay and it was the most I'd ever spent on a bag. I LOVE carrying it and it always gets comments. A handheld satchel is not that practical, but it fills me with joy every time I use it. That is a successful purchase right there.

So, your turn. Are you a handbag person? Tell me everything.

14 comments:

  1. I am totally a handbag person, which was one of the reasons I started reading your blog. After seeing your bags, I knew I liked your style right off the bat! That LV is absolutely stunning.

    Sadly, I have a very small handbag budget. While I have had a few great Coach and Furla bags over the years, my current rotation consists of a indigo MJ Blake, a black MBMJ turnlock Faridah, a black Treesje Asher, and a really cool printed Roberto Cavalli with tigers. All are secondhand from Ebay or Bonanza. Currently I'm in search of something colorful, or a light metallic, for spring.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do like handbags but can never afford the ones I really like. Have you seen that Celine Trapeze bag with the bright blue panel? I long for it.

    I have a great teal Michael Kors bag I'm currently carrying. I'm kinda itching for something new. I also need a new tote...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a bag person more than anything - I can take or leave shoes, but I must have my bags. I believe in quality over quantity as well (but, um, I don't seem to have a problem with quantity judging by the number of bags I own). One of my favourites is my MJ Preppy Hobo (looks almost identical to Hillier Hobo) in a great bright purple. You're right that it's such a great shape and size, I'd love to get it in another colour. My Christmas present to myself was a gorgeous dark green suede Michael Kors.

    I'm afraid to buy on eBay because of all the fakes - do you have any advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My only advice re. eBay is to KNOW what you're buying. If you're really familiar with the design and make of the bag it's generally pretty easy to spot the fakes. Also, The Purse Forum is a great resource.

      Delete
  4. I'm so not a bag person, I think because I never really notice other people's. So other people are probably looking at me thinking--I know she paid a lot for those boots so why's she carrying a ratty bag with strings hanging off of it? :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. My sister, who in general is much better put-together than I am, is a bit of a bag person. She uses several ones for different occasions anyway and will match them with her clothes, so to me she qualifies. Myself, I'm more of a one bag person. Because otherwise, don't you know, something I just NEED will be in The Other Bag. So I want The Bag, the one that is Just Perfect. (I'm done capitalizing now, promise.) And I've never been that wealthy but I have been unlucky, so I just know that if I pay a lot of money for something it's going to be ruined. I want something medium priced with just the right amount of pockets, that can take being in the rain in my bike basket for twenty minutes like. Not that I need to cycle in the rain for twenty minutes to anywhere from where I live now, more's the shame for my waistline. And since I can't find the perfect bag I Make Do. (I lied.) In other words people are looking at my bag going DEAR GOD what is she CARRYING HER STUFF IN. But I really like the style in the BR link. Not enough outside pockets though, you need zipped outside pockets for bus cards and phones and stuff. I think bags are HARD. There's a Folksy shop that makes lovely bags but they don't have many in at the moment and I'm afraid they'll fold before I have a chance to make up my mind. :( http://folksy.com/shops/TheLeatherStore

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl, you are asking a lot from one single bag.

      Delete
    2. bani says: girl, have you seen the price of bags? They should come barista included.

      Delete
  6. I am definitely a bag person and although I'll occasionally buy a cute lower quality bag, I find I usually reach for the better ones. The others just sit in the closet.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What do y'all use for laptop bags? Right now I use this sorta-cute satchel from REI (http://www.rei.com/product/805250/rei-madison-messenger-brief-womens) but it's tired and I want to upgrade.

    I like satchels. Thoughts? And ideas on a schoolboy bag or messenger bag that isn't a sporty style?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't actually have to carry a laptop with me so I don't have a laptop bag. But if I did, I'd consider these:


      http://couture.zappos.com/kate-spade-new-york-signature-spade-quilted-chad-15-laptop-case-whitney-multi

      http://www.zappos.com/aldo-aldi-black1

      Delete
  8. Mind if I ask if that is the Speedy25 or Speedy30? I like the proportion of it on you, it looks big and substantial. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a 30! Definitely a good size bag.

      Delete