Designer Bags, Purse Budgets, and Investments

designer bags and purse budgetsLadies, how often do you buy purses and bags? Do you prefer to make one big purchase and buy a quality, name bag — or do you prefer to make more frequent, smaller purchases? Does having a trendy bag matter to you, or do you want a classic style? 

I’ve been thinking about this recently because I’ve been helping a friend look for her first big bag purchase in a while — she’s finally out of the diaper bag phase of her life, has almost 2 of her 3 kids in school, is settled into her “forever” house, etc. Accordingly, she and I have been trolling resale sites like Tradesy and The Real Real, as well as discount sites like Last Call and Rue La La. She’s inclined to make one big bag purchase, and carry the bag everywhere — and she’d like to find a designer bag for around $500.  (We’ve yet to find the perfect bag at that price point — I’ve suggested she look at discounted but new Furla bags for quality, stylish bags, as well as lightly used bags like Mulberry, Ferragamo, and Saint Laurent.

In the past I’ve gone the other way, buying bags frequently but at lower price points. In my lawyering days before kids, there was a steady stream of discounted bags that I paid between $150-$350 for, all with original MSRPs of $500-$700. (You can see a lot of them pictured/discussed in this older post on purse budgets.)  They were all quality, leather bags — lots of Cole Haan, Furla, Botkier, Dooney & Bourke, with the occasional Coach or Kate Spade thrown in — but none of them really qualified as “designer” bags on the same level as my friends with Chloe, YSL, Prada, Chanel, Bottega, etc.  So I’ve wondered over the years — should I have just saved the money up and spent my “purse budget” on a single designer purse each year, instead of four or five little ones? Would that be a better “investment”?

Here’s the interesting thing I’m finding while looking for a purse for my friend: a lot of the designer bags I’m seeing seem incredibly dated to me.  Much, much more so than the fun, sometimes offbeat bags my closet is filled with.  Some of the bags I see are particularly tied to very old memories, such as:

designer bag or quality bag

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  • Christian Dior Diorissimo Saddle Bag (above, upper left)– I remember being at a summer associate event in the early aughts and seeing one of the slightly older associates brandishing this bag — the summers all said, “ooooh,” and she smirked and said something about it being an affordable luxury now.
  • Balenciaga Motorcycle Twiggy Blue Satchel (above, lower left)  This is the bag I swore would be my treat myself to when I finally stopped gaining anonymous-blogger stress weight (in 2008/2009!) and could fit into my size 4s again. (Still striving on that goal…) Even now I would love to eventually splurge on one of these bags some days (the line is still sold new at stores like Net-a-Porter), but they feel very tied to that time period now in my mind.
  • YSL Muse Tote (above, upper right)– I remember going to an event in 2011 or 2012, and another blogger had gotten this bag for her “push present.” I’d just had my first son, J, and instead of a push present we’d decided to put the money towards his 529 — pragmatic, sure, but after seeing the pretty pretty bag I wondered if it had been the right decision.
  • Chloe Faye Medium Flap Shoulder Bag (above, lower left) This is the bag I would get if money were no object now, but I wonder, will it feel “2016” to me one day, like a time traveler from my past?

Maybe there’s a benefit to buying bags that were more affordable — because they were never “in” they can’t ever be out? Or perhaps the sheer volume of bags from my youthful spending days kept any of them from being associated too strongly with one time period. I have memories attached to them, to be sure — ducking out of work to make it to the rare sample sale for the Kooba black patent leather bag, or taking my red Botkier Trigger bag with me on my honeymoon, even though I’m sooooo not into red bags, just because it was just the best organized bag I’d ever seen? (I saw one years later on Bluefly in a cobalt blue and bought it, and got compliments on it then too. You can get a silver version for $65 right now if you want.) It’s interesting that Kooba is still selling its Jonnie bag ten years later, and Botkier is still selling a version of the Trigger satchel, as well (both pictured below).  But maybe the more designer-y bags are an “investment” because their resale value is higher than my other bags? So many factors to consider, so I’m curious to hear what you guys think.

quality leather bags

Anyway: what do you guys think? Is there such a thing as a designer bag that truly stands the test of time? Do any of your designer bags qualify, and if not, does it matter to you if you get a year or two’s worth of wear out of it? Do you have a special kind of fashion math that applies to bag purchases? Where is your “sweet spot,” price-wise, for designer bags?

Psst: we’ve talked before about how to upgrade your handbag collection, if you’re curious, as well as whether a lawyer “needs” a designer bag, and WHEN to upgrade your bag (if the intern with an Hermes bag is frowned upon).

Comments

  1. Veronica Mars :

    I cycle in and out of what fashion items I obsess about (right now, it’s jewelry). I haven’t been on a bag kick in a while, so I’m using a 40 euro nylon bag that I got in Spain that’s super lightweight, although I may switch back to my Minkoff MAC bag since it’s a tad bigger (also bought on super sale). I’ve also loved/used Longchamp bags. I think the only bag that’s truly classic in my mind is a Chanel one, but they’re so freaking expensive I’d have to hit the lottery before I ever bought one (I want a dog more, and a Chanel double flap could easily pay for a couple years worth of vet bills, food and supplies).

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Totally agree about Chanel bags. It’s the only designer bag I covet nowadays.

    • I onley buy 1 new bag per season, and donate all of my old bag’s to goodwill. So at any given point, I realy only have a total of mabye 5 bag’s to my name, all nice tho. I wish I could find a worthy woman to give my bag’s to, but the cleaneing lady is NOT worthy, since she help’s herself to thing’s I do NOT even want her to take. FOOEY! She took nice sweater’s that I bought b/c she thought they were to tight on me, and she also took shoe’s I liked, even tho I gave her shoe’s that I had poopie on that I told her she could keep. If there is a place to give bag’s other then goodwill, let me know. YAY!!!

  2. That’s funny about the Dior bag — that one in particular screams SATC to me.

    Although I’m an admirer of expensive bags in passing, and could technically afford them, I just don’t buy them (not out of any great self-restraint; I seem to have acquired a mental limit that prevents me from even considering purchasing them) because the price tag is on the same scale as a mortgage payment, and feels like “real money” that should be saved for things like retirement, travel, and home improvements.

    Based on my sample size of two (starting at the beginning of law school) I carry the same midrange work tote for about 7 years — in my case, both Coach plain leather bags (no obvious logos, please) because the leather feels beautiful and the handles are stitched well to handle daily laptop schlepping. The first was about $350 and the second, about $450.

    I keep my weekend bags fairly casual because they take more of a beating — don’t want to worry about scuffing pretty leather on a shopping cart, etc. I alternate between a medium size Longchamp (spring/summer) and a leather satchel from JCrew (on sale) (fall/winter) — both were around $100.

  3. Anonymous :

    For my budget, a Michael Kors or Kate Spade is “designer” to me. I buy or receive one or two a year. I love high end designer bags but they’re not really practical for my lifestyle. Until I win the lottery and can splurge on my dream Hermes bag, I’m fine with having a wider range of bags in the $200-400 range. I stick to buying styles that are classic-looking and NOT covered in logos.

  4. I don’t exist on the same financial plane as many posters here, and likely never will. I once purchased an “investment bag” – some very good designer whose name escapes me, steeply marked down at TJ Maxx to just $150. I realized that it was soon just as out of style as all my usual $50 TJ Maxx bags and I was just as well to purchase what I liked and disregard the idea of “investing” in something as transient as designer fashion purses.

    • Heck, I make biglaw money and I am still grossed out that we’re having the conversation “Should I spend $1500 on five $300 purses, or just get one ‘investment’ purse this year instead?” Either way we’re talking about spending upwards of 4 figures… on purse(s)… in a year. I guess I’m glad this blog exists and take it for what you will, but I think (hope) that its a pretty small number of people that this post would be relevant to, at least at the price points mentioned. For me, it struck a chord in a very wrong way.

      • You’re “grossed out”? Come on. I suppose you donate *all* your extra income to charity?

        • A little defensive for an “anon,” aren’t you? I’m just trying to give some perspective/an alternate viewpoint – the majority of the world thinks spending this much on purses is pretty obscene. A person can have whatever priorities she wants, but realize that “Should I buy five fashion accessories that most people couldn’t afford one of, or one that costs as much as a used car?” is a pretty unique problem. Hence my comments that “its a pretty small number of people that this post would be relevant to,” and that it “struck a chord in a very wrong way.”

          *sigh* Every time I hop into the comments I remember why I stopped reading this blog. Y’all live in some kind of alternate universe and refuse to acknowledge it.

          • Anonymous :

            I understand your point, Elysian, that some of these “luxury” (Hermes, Chanel) purses are out of reach for most working women. But the strategy this article discusses still works if you slide the price point down. For example, at my current budget I have to decide whether to splurge on a Kate Spade bag ($200 or so) or buy a few $50 bags made of cheaper materials or without brand names.

      • I’m not a purse person in the least, either, but this post exists for people who are, and I can see the point of discussing the strategy around purchases. (Honestly, once you have all your financial ducks in a row, who’s to dictate what one should and shouldn’t spend a little extra on?) My ‘luxury goods’ are destination vacations :)

        A lot of ‘it bags’ look dated to me, after a few years — but who knows! They might come back into style, like the 1970s Coach bucket bags that suddenly made a reappearance a couple of years ago.

  5. Reminds me of this article: http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_bills/2015/07/primates_of_park_avenue_and_birkins_yes_designer_handbags_are_obscenely.html

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh, I do not recommend that book. I expected thoughtful commentary on the class divide in NYC; instead the author turned out to be just as shallow and consumer-driven as the women she mocked.

      • I liked the book — it was an entertaining read and a look into life in that crazy new york world! But yeah those ladies put a lot more thought into their purses than I do. I’m glad I don’t need the armor that an expensive bag provides, because I don’t have the money for it! I buy several different lower priced bags — I’m also not great at taking care of them so I don’t care if they only last a few years. My outfit lady does have me change purses with my outfits, which is a new thing for me and changed the way I looked at them.

        • Tell me about your “outfit lady”.. is she like the fashion blog I sometimes subscribe to that sends me weekly outfit suggestions for my body type? Including accessories like handbags and shoes?

  6. I feel like bags are a thing women are into when they first get a salary. I own way too many bags and I just look at my wasted paychecks in dismay. I love them all, though. I will say that “investment” purses are mostly fugly in my opinion. Get what you want, be happy.

  7. Anonymous :

    Help me get energized for a networking event, please? It’s a happy hour tonight — at a law firm being thrown by an industry/specialized legal group. I posted last week and was convinced to go, as I used to practice in this specialized area in NYC yet no one in my new city in that space and I really miss it and would love to get back in if the opportunity arose.

    I’m dreading/nervous about going though. I’m bad at chit chat and don’t know anyone else attending this so it’s not like there’s a buddy to hang out with. It’s 6-9 pm. I need to caffeinate beforehand, right?

    • Hi dear,

      I’m the one who told you to say, “may I sit here?”

      How about this: make a bargain with yourself that you’ll go for 20 minutes and speak to 2 people. That’s doable, right? And if it’s dreadful, you’re allowed to escape after that.

      (And omg, I really have been on this board too long: Have you dug deeper into what it is you’re so afraid of? I sense a feeling of inadequacy, but I could be projecting. I know you talked about how cold people were in NYC, but that was years ago and you’re a new person in a new stage of life and a completely new city. If you don’t usually have social anxiety, you should take a big calming breath, remind yourself that new experiences are good for the soul, remind yourself that you’re a great professional, and get out there!)

    • Maddie Ross :

      I hear you. Networking things, esp. ones where you don’t know anyone, are the worst. Seriously the worst. Make a deal with yourself – go get some fancy caffeinated beverage around 6 and head over shortly after. The crowd will probably be heaviest around 6:30 (not the very start, but not too late). Tell yourself you’ll stay until 7, then home and in jammies. You can do anything for 30 minutes.

      • Diana Barry :

        Networking things where I don’t know anyone: stand at bar with a drink until someone talks to you. Bonus! You are close enough to the bar to get a second glass of wine once you drink the first one between 6:15 and 6:30. :)

  8. I have to be realistic with myself….I am simply not a good candidate for a high end, designer bag. I am absolutely the type of person that will let something leak in a purse, or get crumbs in it, or generally let purse detritus accumulate. I remember contemplating whether I should get one that would “last forever” as an “investment piece,” and imagined the heartbreak I would surely feel when I realized I’d left a bag of blueberries in the bottom of my 1,000 dollar bag. I can’t see treating anything that gets put on the floor, carries random objects, can get caught in the rain, tossed in an overhead bin, as an “investment.” But, to each their own.

    I’ve been using the same large leather Micheal Kors bag I got on sale for $100 since 2011. It’s a little worn looking, but I’ve used it basically every day for 5 years and it’s held up, structurally. Plus, I hardly ever see anyone who would be impressed by a designer bag.

    • Anonymous :

      Hahaha, me too. And LOL at “purse detritus.”

      Also, no matter how big my bag is, it always ends up stuffed to the gills.

    • Anonymous :

      +1million to your last sentence

      I know lots of people who know what they are and roughly how much they cost, but that is not to say “impressed by.” Where I live, the average starter house is ~200,000 and move-ups are around $500,000. People are used to much bigger numbers. A smaller number, while big for a handbag, just isn’t awe-inspiring. And not to sound Dowager Countess, but an expensive bag carried by someone with a mortgage (never mind student loans), just isn’t all that.

      • I have no idea if $200K for a starter home is supposed to be high or low from your paragraph but I just got depressed because where I am $500 won’t even buy a decent one bedroom and I am tied to my location for work. Gah!

        On topic – once I got 2 fancy bags I stopped caring about fancy bags.

        • Anonymous :

          I guess it’s by the time you can afford to buy a $500 (or whatever is pricey to you) bag, you have a whole lot of much more expensive things crowding your checkbook. Like once I got done paying for daycare, I had a ton of “extra” money. For a hot minute; then I needed some foundation work for my house.

          But even if I had spent 10% of that on a bag, it would be to carry around my same-old purse contents. Not sure that that’s really worth all that. I arrive in a minivan (pricey but not sexy) and I’m not sure a purse can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

      • Anonymous :

        ” And not to sound Dowager Countess, but an expensive bag carried by someone with a mortgage (never mind student loans), just isn’t all that.” This was my boss. We worked at a state agency and she carries $2,000 bags. Ridiculous.

    • Blueberry :

      I laughed out loud when I read this– I once bought a $500 purse in white of all colors, and the blueberry disaster is exactly what happened. Now, I stick with black. I just carry one purse– a $300 Marc Jacobs bag. Hopefully, it will last a few seasons.

      I resisted spending so much on a bag (not a purse person and after the last disaster….), but my colleagues laughed at my “e-bags” canvas purse being paired with my nice suits, and I realized they had a point. I bought three nice Theory suits that I’ve been wearing for six years, so I should buy one nice purse to pair with them.

  9. Huh, in my mind quality =/= designer. I mean I guess some designer bags are probably good quality, but I’ve never considered that that was what people were paying for. I spend about $200, buy something in a classic shape and color with no branding that’s made of good leather and has good construction, and then carry it until it falls apart or looks too shabby — about 5ish years. I have one weekend bag and one weekday bag. So paying less doesn’t mean buying more. It just means not paying for a particular designer’s name.

    • hoola hoopa :

      +1000

      I very seriously cannot wrap my head around the bag thing. I get that some people are really into them – you like, like some people are really into beanie babies, march madness, or whatever – but I cannot understand how they became A Thing Professional Women Do.

  10. Shopaholic :

    Most of my bags are around $200-$400. I love Rebecca Minkoff so I have a couple different totes/satchels in different colours. I bought one $1000 bag that I love and I had my eye on for years. I was saving up for a more expensive bag for an upcoming milestone birthday but I’m not sure if I’m still going to do that.

  11. On this topic – I’ve heard that Longchamp will fix the corners for you when they start to get worn. Is that true? I bought mine at Nordstrom a couple of years ago, and it’s taken quite a beating.

    • That rumor is true! I took mine into a Lonchamp store as there is one in my city (even though I bought it at Bloomingdales) and they fixed it for free. They do ship it out though and I remember it taking 4-6 weeks. It made my bag last a few more good years. Not sure if they repair straight from Nordstrom but it’s worth a shot!

  12. I vacillate between wanting all the bags at Target and Macy’s and feeling guilt about the landfill. Fossil bags are great because they are very well made and a bit more casual since I rarely ever go to court. I really wanted a Michaels Kors forever but now they are so ubiquitous that I think if someone gave me one I wouldn’t use it! I need a nice black stuctured tote that is big enough for my Mac and some files for court and travel but can’t find something for less than three hundred. Tried Guess but it was too small and cheap looking. I may just get the Fossil but again, too casual! HELP!!!? And, while we are on the subject, am I the only person who is HORRIFIED that CalvinKlien, Ralph Lauren and a few others are making UNLINED BAGS FOR OVER a HUNDRED dollars? JUST NO! It is so crappy looking and I would really rather get vinyl with lining at Target than pay for unlined leather name brand.

  13. Can anyone recommend a court reporting centre in Buffalo, NY? I am traveling there for a deposition and need to arrange a location. thanks!

  14. Edna Mazur :

    Are dress shorts (docker type material) OK for an outdoor, Friday evening wedding for the under three crowd?

    No dress code specified but I am assuming somewhere between sundress and cocktail based on venue. They would wear button downs and a bow ties. Do I need to buy my kids long dress slacks?

    • omg for a minute I thought you were asking for yourself! hahaha

      Yes, perfect for toddlers — I LOVE the look of little boys in dress shorts and tall socks a la Prince George.

      • Cosign all of this. I was incredulous until I reached “for the under three crowd” and then it made perfect sense :)

        • Edna Mazur :

          Ha! I’m not the trendiest of people, but I know a little better than that :) I’ll be wearing a dress that is a little nicer than a sun dress.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Shorts with a button down shirt and bow tie sounds adorable. I’d probably do nicer shoes instead of sneakers, but probably anything is okay as long as they’re clean (or start out that way…) No one expects a toddler to be dressed up.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes! don’t even worry about the shoes. My boy only has 3 pair of shoes (sneakers/sandals/boots) at a time.

      • Edna Mazur :

        They’ve got some nice-ish sandals (brown leather) that should work, provided they don’t get destroyed in the next few weeks….

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Yes that’s totally fine.

  15. For my financial situation, I cannot afford designer bags that I like (i.e, bags that don’t have logo all over). I have bought a few bags, most of them are Fossil bags over last seven years that I have been working and none for the past two years. All of them are classic styles and I am very happy with them after several years of having them.
    Here is my collection:
    1. Samsonite work bag – black – $100 – will be five years in July. I will use this bag for at least two more years.
    2. Fossil vintage reissue bag – brown – $150 – bought four years back.
    3. Fossil sydney shopper – bone – $100 – bought two years back
    4. Fossil crossbody bag – black – $50 – $60 – gifted three years back.

    I don’t think I will buy a handbag for a long time.

    • I love Fossil Sydney totes because the price is perfect and they go from business casual to weekend errands. I need a big black structure tote for the occasional court appearance or travel to meeting but I can’t find something I like that is big enough for under 200 dollars. I used to covet Michael Kors but now everyone has them so I am bored with the idea. And, while we are on the topic, why are some makers selling UNLINED totes? No way will I pay $150 dollars for an unlined Calvin Klein tote.

    • Anonymous :

      I love the Fossil Sydney shopper and have two of them! Now I need a more structured black tote for court that is big enough for a Mac.

  16. I’ve been reading a lot about the “side hustle” lately-

    Curious to hear if any of you do things on the side to make additional money. What do you do? Do you use this additional money to pay your bills/debt or for fun things like hobbies and vacations?

    I recently started refurbishing furniture. Sold my first dresser last week!- YAY! Now I have the bug to keep doing more…just wish I had more time :/

    • I’m on the village board, and I get about $1500/year for that. I didn’t realize that it was a paid position when I ran; I just never thought about it and wanted to do it just to serve in an elected position. So that was a pleasant surprise, and I use it for funding one of my hobbies – skydiving! :)

    • Anonymous :

      My side hustle is closely related to (but not conflicting with) my main gig. I hope for it to become my main gig in the next 3-5 years. Right now my side gig is about 1/3 of my total income. I force myself to live off my regular salary (including funding savings/retirement), and save the rest, to grow my business and for avoiding debt – I’ll pay cash for the major house remodel I’m planning. I do let myself buy 1-2 splurge items a year that I wouldn’t otherwise even consider – last year was a $500 purse (ties into this thread!) and this year is a fine jewerly piece I’ve been coveting for a while.

  17. MargaretO :

    I struggle with price on purses, largely due to my own pickiness. I decided a year or two ago to stop buying a million fake leather purses – I would always spends months looking for just the right one, only to have it fall apart in less than a year (usually way less). But when I looked at real leather and nicer quality I found that almost everything had a very visible logo, or branding, or was a purse that I see every third woman carrying. I ended up having to go a little more expensive (not chanel, but more than michael kors/coach) to get what I wanted. I’m satisfied so far, and I hope I won’t have to shop for a bag for several years, but I’m frustrated that it takes such a high price point to escape the logos.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I came to a similar conclusion after my work bag broke while I was carrying it (in front of my boss!). I’m in a different tax bracket than this s!te’s target demographic and even if I could afford them, I don’t like bags with logos. I asked for a nice leather bag for Christmas. My husband came through with a locally made, sturdy, classic leather bag that has a tiny makers stamp on it. I know he didn’t spend more than $300 on it, so look around – you might be able to get more for your money!

    • You might want to check out Everlane, Cuyana, Clare Vivier or even Mansur Gavriel. The latter has a logo, but it’s on the discreet side. All make lovely, simple leather bags.

      • Furla is the best leather/quality for the price point, IMHO. I’ve even seen them for sale at Nordstrom Rack.

  18. I bought myself a used (like new) Muse for maybe $800 as a law school graduation present. I was graduating debt free and had 4 figure tax refund, so I decided to treat myself. I ended up hardly carrying it because it was too big for my normal purse but too small to hold a laptop. Expensive mistake… Now I rarely buy purses and a splurge is usually in the $150 range. The purses that I carry most on a day to day basis are Longchamp.

  19. Anonymous :

    I ‘m well outside the financial realm of a lot of posters here. I’ll be extremely lucky if I ever have a 6 digit salary and around here I’d have to be a doctor or an executive to get one. I don’t really believe in an investment bag or an investment anything when it comes to fashion. Fashion changes too much for that to be at all a practical idea. Instead I believe in buying bags I can use for several years that when I look at how much I really paid per year, I’m more than okay with it. As another post said, a Michael Kors or Kate Spade or even a higher end Coach, is a designer bag in my world. I would love a high end designer bag or a pair of Louboutins, but neither is practical for me, where I live, or my lifestyle. I’d prefer to buy bags int he $200 to maybe $500 range and use them for several years. I go for things that aren’t trendy, that are staple styles like totes and hobos and a crossbody. I buy them in colors that always work like black, gray, navy, or camel/tan, maybe a white for spring/summer. But I want a bag I can set down on the floor in my office or at a restaurant and not cringe. I want one I can leave in the back of my car when I just take my wallet out and run into a store and not want to break down and cry if someone managed to steal it. I want handbags that if my toddler destroys it, I’m annoyed but it’s not a mortgage payment gone.

  20. BeenThatGuy :

    Looks like I’m the odd woman out here. I cherish my bags. I save my money and then splurge: average $1,500-$3,000. I usually purchase them with a purpose: my “tests came back negative for Cancer” bag or my “promoted to VP” bag. Each one has a story and always reminds me of a specific place and time in my life.

    • buy gold!!! :

      I get that and yet things still get stale or worn, even expensive things.

      I think when I’m throwing around prices with a comma, I’m inclined to buy something gold and not something leather.

    • MargaretO :

      I will 100% do the same if I can ever afford it! My one nice purse makes me super happy and I really hope I’ll be able to have more of a collection one day.

    • Never too many shoes :

      I am so with BeenThatGuy. While they are a spendy habit, I love my high end bags and will sometimes go years between purchases of truly designer bags. I do also have several more “fun” low-end designer bags (Kate Spade, Tory Burch and Michael Kors), but my LV Alma is my fave accessory bar none and makes every boring Wednesday night in my office writing reports worth it.

    • I love my bags, and I’m lucky enough that I receive them as gifts (without sounding awful and spoiled, if that’s even possible, my in-laws are lovely hardworking people who have done very well financially, and my father in law spoils me like the daughter he never had. Which means all! the! bags!). I just love the nature of a beautiful handbag, and do take care of them. Note: I’m talking in the 1-2k range, not like a Birkin or something.

  21. Anonymous :

    Unless you’re a serious buyer of Hermes bags, your purse is not an investment. Full stop. It’s just a thing you are buying.

    I tend to buy one new bag every other year, which means my summer bag is 4 years old and my winter bag 2, roughly. Usually around $150-300, because that’s where I find decent quality and style I like. Coach, Cole Haan, Kate Spade. And I carry Alicia Florrick’s Longchamp to court because my mother bought it for me.

    • I have a Longchamp that’s not exact but similar to that style I love it. My partner bought if for me a few years ago when I got a promotion and I use it when I really want to look sharp. I wanted a YSL Muse for the longest time but actually prefer my Longchamp now.

  22. Personally, I could never spend more than $300-400 on a single bag. Really, I’ll spend about $250 max for a bag and then expect that one bag to be my “big bag purchase” for at least two years, hopefully three. I will sometimes buy smaller-purchase bags in between for fun, but not as much as I used to. To each her own, I just think the expensive bag thing is, after a certain point at least, a bit of a racket.

  23. Most of my bags are $100-300. I carry the same bag to work everyday until it looks shabby. Right now that’s the L&S OMG, and it’s still going strong after 2.5 years of daily use. I have probably 5-6 clutches for going out, mostly in the $50-100 range. And I have probably 4-5 purses for weekend use in the $100-200 range. Now that I have a collection of bags I like that work for most occasions, I buy something new pretty rarely, about once every year or two, and only to replace something that’s worn out and/or out of style.

  24. I got a zip top leather tote from Cuyana for Christmas. I’m not really a bag/purse person, but what I really love about this tote is that it seems very sturdy and well made. No organization and only one small interior pocket, but that doesn’t bother me. I really love the Hermes Kelly, but cant comprehend a life in which I would ever own it. Maybe once my kid is out of college? I can get it in a fun color like green and it can be my hip retirement bag. Ahhh… a girl can dream, right?

    • Ooo I love this. Does it have feet? What size laptop does it hold? I wish they had a picture online of a model holding it!

      • Oh there is a picture of a naked girl sitting and holding it….That doesn’t help me much with sizing, but it looks bigger than I thought (which is great) assuming the model is model height.

      • No feet. The bag itself is 6″ from front to back at the bottom x 14″ tall x 18″ (across the top) or 14″ (across the bottom)

  25. Ekaterin Nile :

    I am not normally into bags, especially purses, but I bought the Tumi Portola Convertible backpack a few weeks ago and love it. It is the perfect bag for my laptop, files, wristlet, cell phone, keys, makeup bag, etc. I bought it because I was sick of carrying a tote and a laptop bag (especially when traveling for depositions). I evaluated tons of backpack options and ended up with the Portola because it was sized for a woman and I can cram an amazing amount of stuff in it.

    BUT, I don’t have any other bags in the $400 price range, nor do I expect to buy any expensive bags any time in the near future.

    Link to follow.

  26. I only invest in splurge bags that are classic- like my LV bag.

  27. Anonymous :

    I really want to get Chloe Marcie Small Crossbody bag (~$800), but am debating whether I should invest that much money…

  28. Anonymous :

    I bought a gently used Chloe for around $700 10 years ago as a law school graduation gift to myself. I carry it every day. It still looks great and I get compliments regularly. If it ever wears out, I will probably but a similar bag and hope it lasts as long.

  29. Anonymous :

    I own 3 BV hobo bags plus one LV epi purchased in the last 12 years. I don’t plan on any bag buying till 2020.
    I love the quality, the feel and the fact that I have oodles of storage for my 4 bags. I rotate them (one each month).

  30. I just swooped on that $65.00 Trigger linked above. Thanks for the tip, Kat!

    • aw it makes me happy it went to a Corporette reader! i hope you love it! I have that purse in red and cobalt and still carry it. Very well organized. :)

      • I was a little worried that it would be too shiny and blingy looking, but it arrived yesterday and I am really happy with it. The promise of organization won me over, plus I just like its shape and the feel of the leather. Also, this is my first “designer-y” bag of any kind and I am starting to understand the appeal. Thanks again for the tip!

  31. I’m in the minority here. I use a LV bucket bag around the office to carry my stuff from meeting to meeting. The quality is very good, looks almost new after 8 years. I treated myself to a LV totally as a diaper bag / push present after having my first. Then a LV neverfull, the big huge one, after having my second. Both are going strong, even though I beat them up constantly. I don’t get obsessive about little stains and wear-n-tear. I figure that sometime down the road I can refurb them if I really want to and they’ll have a cool vintage vibe. Maybe my daughters will love getting them handed down. (Pearl clutch. How many ‘rette nono’s was that in one post? Logos bags, push presents, giving young girls designer bags so they can ruin their internships)

  32. Am I the only one obsessed with the Tory Burch large York tote? When I first started working (Big 4 in large metro), it was kind of a splurge. For about $300, it has been an absolute workhorse. It has a center laptop sleeve big enough for a 14″ (perhaps 15″) laptop, holds all my files, laptop charger, wallet, makeup pouch, and the other daily essentials. For the past two years, it has held up remarkably well

    I’ve also had great experiences with the L&S OMG bag, but when I was promoted, I wanted a sleeker, more professional looking tote.

  33. Meh, I love my bags. I really do. I’m also just going to put it out there, that getting the bag(s) I love have prevented me from buying a series of cheaper/forgotten bags. Bags I bought at a cheaper price point broke/tore or didn’t happen to fit my lifestyle but I had picked them up at the time because they were cheap…

    I personally dislike all the ones featured above, but to each their own. I love my Neverfull and Prada double zip and my coach non-logo leather bag and my YSL… I know they’re not “investments” but I love them anyway.

    It’s like eyebrow waxing–nobody is forcing anybody to do it, but you’re allowed if you want.

  34. I agree with you that look for a good bag is very difficult who are not expert in choosing their bags.
    when I go to market and I see various kinds of bags in various companies and various models and prices.
    I think which bag should I buy for me or my family members I got confused. I think your post will help to the people

  35. SteelCityMagnolia :

    I’m still kinda stuck back there on push presents….. Is that really a thing?

    And I’m apparently WAAAAAYYYY out of the league of posters on this board. My bag is a non-descript, bought-it-at-a-plain-ol’-department-store-at-the-mall $35 (on sale and with a freakin’ coupon to boot) drawstring top faux-leather shoulder bag. Probably not stylish as per this community, but it was the perfect size and was pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I bought it over a year ago, carried it almost every single day since, and it still looks brand new.

    Around here, even the high school girls carry Michael Kors bags (it used to be Coach, but I guess Coach is pretty much out of style now – at least in these parts), so I have a hard time considering either brand “designer”. To me, designer is along the line of Hermes, and I just cannot justify spending that much on a bag. It seems impractical to me. As long as what I’m carrying doesn’t look like it’s falling apart at the seams, I’m fine with it and would rather spend the money on other things.

  36. My favorite bags are those in shapes and colors that I love, with good-quality leather and hardware. For example, I have a merlot-colored Kate Spade that I use everyday for work, a number of clutches and small bags that I use on weekends and for events (Coach, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, ZAC Zac Posen) in pewter, black, and deep red, and a few travel bags (Lo & Sons OMG and briefcase). I’ve consigned / donated all but my favorites, and now feel very happy with my collection. Although I’m not averse to a designer bag, it would have to be the incarnation of everything I dreamed of in a bag . . . if that day ever comes, I’ll consider it!

  37. Little Red :

    I think the only purses which qualify as investments are Hermes and Chanel purses.

    I’ve been carrying the same black Coach leather purse for now at least fifteen years since I’m too lazy to change them out on any regular basis. I’m thinking of changing to a satchel/top handle/small tote style one and am seriously considering a Ferragamo since their leather is so gorgeous. I don’t really see myself acquiring many bags anyway since they take up so much space in a closet which is not the T.A.R.D.I.S. by the way.

  38. E-bay. I got my dream work bag, which I use daily, for less than half of retail ($900).

  39. Anonymous :

    My favorite work tote is by Live FashionABLE. Beautiful black leather, classic looking (no logos) and the company benefits underprivileged women. It was around $200 and worth every penny. I get lots of compliments and people curious about where the bag is from. My other work bag is a Fossil that I bought when I finished undergrad.

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