We’ve talked about how a $9,000 handbag might be a bit much for an intern — but Reader E wonders when in your career women can buy expensive briefcases and work totes. How soon is too soon?
I was wondering if you could do a post about expensive handbags for work. Kind of like the Hermes post, but a little bit of a different situation. I’m graduating law school this spring and will be working in a large law firm in the Fall. I want to purchase the Celine mini luggage bag with money I made as a summer associate, but I’m wondering if it’s inappropriate, since the bag costs around $2700. I’d get it in the plain black color. I don’t think it’s nearly as recognizable as the Birkin you discussed (I doubt most people know what it is), but it IS an expensive purchase for someone just starting their career. What do you think for a new associate? The only logo is a small imprint of Celine Paris on the front of the bag.
Great question. To review: back in 2010, a reader wrote in to ask whether she could carry her Hermes Birkin bag around her law internship. Considering she was still in school (and didn’t have the job yet), a Birkin bag — which generally costs about the price of a small car — seemed a bit much. Specifically, back then I worried that the message the intern was sending was that she was rich, and not working for the money. Since that email, I’ve come up with a rule of thumb: if you haven’t made enough in paychecks to both pay your rent and buy the bag, you probably shouldn’t bring the bag to work. So Reader E — who’s already made the money — would be well within my little rule of thumb. (Pictured: Celine – Luggage. N.B.: Overstock has a few Celine Luggage bags on sale for as low as $1960.)
But I think there are other important differences between Reader E and the Birkin-toting intern: [Read more…]