What Brands Do You Covet Most?

Here’s a random question for you: which brands do you covet most — but haven’t pulled the trigger yet and made a purchase? If there’s a brand where you finally DID pull the trigger after drooling for a while, did it live up to the hype in your mind? In general, which brands do you stalk the most, whether for workwear or weekend? (We got into this a bit on our fun discussion of how you’d spend lottery winnings!)

It’s been a helluva week for me personally (hooray for 6+ hours in the hospital on Monday for my toddler’s surgery for adenoids) — so let’s have a fun discussion today. What brands do you covet the most? If you’ve made a purchase, did it work out well for you — or was it a purchase that was driven largely by this long-standing desire you had to own SOMETHING, anything from the brand? For my $.02, these things never work out well for me. I can remember years ago really wanting a Kate Spade bag, and finally pulling the trigger in person at a sample sale — and then being horribly disappointed because the bag wasn’t 100% of something that I would have wanted had I more time to consider it. It was a glossy red patent leather bag with a bow on front — very short straps and a very slim bag, far slimmer than the other bags I normally carried at the time. None of my usual stuff would fit into it — and the lipstick red patent (and bow!) just didn’t feel like me.  I’ve had at least one other Kate Spade bag over the years (gifted by a friend who was moving, if memory serves), but it didn’t really become a favorite either. I had a similar experience when I bought my LV, a black Epi leather Alma bag (pictured at top) — no logos, just a gorgeous, classic bag; the only way I finally talked myself into making the purchase was by “using” money I’d been gifted from my aunts and grandmother over several birthdays and holidays. I still love the bag (and happily think of my grandmother and aunts every time I carry it) — but I rarely do carry it because I hate carrying bags by the handles. (And I’m so confused — why is it for sale at Banana Republic now (affiliate link)? So odd.)  I have yet to buy a second LV bag — and honestly have shied away from the whole 4-figure bag thing because of it!

Today the biggest purchase today that’s tempting me is the Brooks Brothers ruana in the sale that was $698 and is now $139. I have three thick wool ruanas, all recently purchased — I totally don’t need another one! — and yet… I’ve wanted a BB one for forever and this one has leopard print! (And FINE, I just bought it. And a belt. And a blue/red scarf. At least they’re not final sale…)

How about you, ladies — what brands are you drooling over? What purchases have lived up to the hype — and which ones haven’t? (A similar question: are there any brands that you stalked and hesitated and wondered and, having made one purchase, you now buy anything else from the brand without hesitation because the purchase was everything you hoped it would be?)I was obsessed with this vintage Louis Vuitton Epi leather Alma satchel -- until I bought it! I still love it, but never carry it because I hate bags with handles. (You know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.) Fun discussion in general with the readers about which brands we covet the most, for workwear and beyond...

 

what workwear brands do you covet most

Comments

  1. In-House in Texas :

    New England commuters, I need your help, please! I’m planning a trip to NE. Planning to take Amtrak from Portland, Maine to Boston but it says “no checked baggage” on the Amtrak site. Huh? The hubby and I will each have a regular size suitcase. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

    • Anonymous :

      You can’t check that bag. You just carry it on with you. You’ll be fine.

    • Other posters can confirm, but if I remember, “checked baggage” means something different in Amtrak-speak than it does to the rest of us. There will be the overhead area where you can put a small suitcase, just like on an airplane – there just won’t be a separate luggage car available. You should be fine so long as your bag is carry-on sized.

      • In-House in Texas :

        Thank you!! I doubt I can keep a week’s worth of travel in a carry-on. Are there any other alternatives??

        • Anonymous :

          There usually is space for bigger suitcases at the front or rear of each car. They overhead space is bigger than an airplane overhead space. You should be fine.

        • Anonymous :

          You can take large sized suitcases on them. There’s space for it, it’s just not as common. If you can’t figure out where it can go, the conductor will help you.

          • Anonymous :

            This is true — I went home for winter break with a giant suitcase on Amtrak. Definitely not a carryon.

            Carryon on a train is very different than a plane.

        • Baconpancakes :

          You can bring a full-sized suitcase, it just won’t be handed to a baggage handler and then loaded and unloaded for you. You’ll put it in the luggage area on the car.

          If you don’t want to leave your luggage unattended and the train isn’t crowded, you can grab the facing seats and put luggage in the middle. There’s a huge amount of space there. (Obviously this space is best given to families with little kids, pregnant ladies, and those with mobility issues, but depending on the train, there may still be space.)

          • In-House in Texas :

            Thanks everyone!! I was freaking out a little bit Last question, I promise. How far in advance should I buy the Amtrak tickets? Not traveling until September! Thanks Again!

          • Anonymous :

            I would book them now. It’s way early to book, but if you know what you want you may as well book it. You can switch them around later if plans change, Amtrak will let you do it online or on the mobile app with no extra fee. Prices go up based on availability, so if you wait until the last minute you’ll pay more.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Yesterday.

            No, you’re fine, but the sooner you buy, the cheaper it will be. Also note if you have any discounts like AAA or student/military, hey can bring the costs down considerably.

        • I’ve brought obnoxiously large suitcases on amtrak- just use the luggage spaces at the rear of each car. No checked bags just means you have to lug it on/off yourself.

        • Anonymous :

          There is plenty of room for your suitcase.

        • Anonymous :

          As far as purchasing tickets, as early as you feel comfortable. I’m in Boston and prefer Amtrak to flying when traveling the NE Corridor, but ticket prices sometimes rival airline prices. The further out you book, the better.

  2. Anonymous :

    Mulberry. Some day. Even the name sounds like magic.

  3. Anony Mouse :

    I was in need of a new black work bag for a LONG time, but was hesitant to spend the money. (I had to be very frugal when I was younger, and though I have more disposable income now, my default mindset is still “must scrimp and save.”) After about 6 months of watching sales and Poshmark and eBay and not finding a deal I was happy with, I bit the bullet and purchased the Cuyana Small Carryall Tote. I couldn’t be happier with it: the size is perfect for my needs, and the leather is incredibly soft. People routinely compliment the bag–even my boss, who has a collection of designer bags.

  4. Frank Clegg :

    I am all Frank Clegg, all the time.

    I bounce b/w wanting the Audrey and the one that is more of a trapezoid. And I wish that there was some out-there color (I already have a red bag and don’t want another due to Too Much Black). So I guess I will double down on the black . . .

    BUT WHICH ONE?

    And I’m not really a green person, but I’m digging the green option. [I don’t do brown and can’t do navy b/c of Too Much Black already.]

  5. Hermes Kelly in like a peacock/dark teal. *heavy breathing*.

    Never going to happen.

    • Anonymous :

      I got Mark Cross bag once. Le sigh. My life didn’t become Rear Window as I had hoped.

    • One of these day’s I will be able to afford Hermes, and I will swim in their scarves and bag’s. For now, I guess I am a Kate Spade kind of person, with Coach as my backup. I need to be able to have STURDY construction with my bag’s, so I also buy TUMI for my computer laptop. I have a personal shopper at L&T who knows all of my needs and she sets aside shoes for me so that when I come in every week, I get all the new stuff! YAY!!!

  6. Prada heels. I have them in nude, and have an unreasonable desire to also have them in black- to be fair, they fit great and look baller. But, being that my heels usually get some sort of unexpected damage walking outside, I shy away from wearing them. Plux, I’m in a pretty casual department right now, which has made me lazy about wearing formal shoes. Perhaps that will change if I get the position I’m hoping for next year…

    Splurge that I’m totally happy with: I bought a black Ferragamo handbag for myself after completing my internship in graduate school. I still use it all the time- it looks so classy, yet understated.

    Looking for a great, understated, classic nude-ish bag for warmer weather. Any suggestions?

  7. Rainbows & Spikes! :

    These Louboutins. Rainbow & Sparkly, but ridiculously impractical and expensive.
    http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Christian-Louboutin-Madmonica-Spiked-120mm-Wedge-Red-Sole-Sandal-Full-Moon/prod193760646/p.prod?icid=&searchType=MAIN&rte=%2Fsearch.jsp%3Ffrom%3DbrSearch%26request_type%3Dsearch%26search_type%3Dkeyword%26q%3Dchristian+louboutin+shoes&eItemId=prod193760646&cmCat=search&tc=228&currentItemCount=22&q=christian+louboutin+shoes&searchURL=/search.jsp%3Ffrom%3DbrSearch%26start%3D0%26rows%3D120%26q%3Dchristian+louboutin+shoes%26l%3Dchristian+louboutin+shoes%26request_type%3Dsearch%26search_type%3Dkeyword

  8. Baconpancakes :

    I wanted a ballistic nylon Tumi tote and a camel leather D&B satchel (not very exciting, I know) for multiple years, and purchased them in the span of about 18 months. They weren’t terribly spendy, but more than I was used to paying for bags, but I love them both, carry them all the time, and have basically lost interest in any other professional bags.

    The thing on my list now is a Burberry trench. For right now I’m pretty happy with my London Fog, but the Burberry is just so classic.

    • Take the Burberry plunge. I had mine made to order some years ago (although I do not know if they still have the program — maybe at one of the New York stores or in London?) and love it every day.

    • I want a Burberry coat. And a Canada Goose coat. I’m a coat person.

    • Shopaholic :

      Me too. It’s definitely on my splurge list.

  9. Mine was simpler. I wanted a Coach bag for the longest. I heard wonderful stories about how durable they were, and I was determined to get a nice Legacy leather bag. My husband gave me one for my birthday and I loved it – until the straps started cracking after six months.

    So I did what you are supposed to do – I took it to the Coach store for repair. They sent it off. We won’t go into how that store closed but no one told me so my bag got sent back somewhere else and then I had to jump through all these hoops to get it.

    And when I did get it, they could not repair the straps. I got back a still-damaged back and a 30% off coupon.

    Suffice to say I no longer covet them. I’ve not really dreamed about anything realistically achievable since then. But if you’re giving away Hermes Kellys or Birkins, I will take it off your hands.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I do not understand the thing of Coach. I have had several of their bags and even the really expensive leather ones do not wear particularly well.

      Not to mention that when every teenager in the mall is rocking one, maybe they are not as aspirational as they once were.

      • One of these day’s I will be able to afford Hermes, and I will swim in their scarves and bag’s. For now, I guess I am a Kate Spade kind of person, with Coach as my backup. I need to be able to have STURDY construction with my bag’s, so I also buy TUMI for my computer laptop. I have a personal shopper at L&T who knows all of my needs and she sets aside shoes for me so that when I come in every week, I get all the new stuff! YAY!!!

    • Christina :

      I had the exact same experience! Isn’t it so frustrating? Even worse, they told me they lost my bag and that the best they could do was give me a coupon and a gift card for the last listed price of the bag, which, by the way, WAS NOT WHAT I PAID FOR IT.

      I eventually got a call months and months later, saying that my bag was ready to be picked up. And it was…still broken strap and all.

  10. Something in intrecciato from Bottega Veneta (maybe the medium Olimpia in one of their periodic special editions that has black and taupe or someihing similar)

    Loewe puzzle bag (Kat, I blame you for this want)

    Loro Piano ruana

    Valtextra shoulder tote

    Hermes silk/cashmere blend printed scarf (actually a possible splurge for a milestone or accomplishment)

    YSL Le Smoking jacket (a girl can dream)!

    • Windy City Big Law :

      Oh Ms B. I did not know what a Valtextra bag was until 30 seconds ago but now I now realize my life will not be complete without one.

    • I too covet a Bottega Veneta bag. They are gorgeous, and incredibly soft. Some years ago I bought a Cole Haan woven leather bag on sale, and I really like it and still get lots of compliments on it, but it’s not the same. I still drool over Bottega Veneta, but even though I could in theory afford it I just can’t justify spending that much on a bag.

  11. A Cartier watch. I wear a wristwatch daily and I love the look of them. But I like a fat savings account too, and my 10 year old Seiko is going strong, so, admiring from afar.

  12. I’m currently contemplating a Gucci Soho Disco Bag in black…seems like a classic, practical piece to upgrade since I wear a small black cross body already. But it would definitely be a splurge. Anyone have this bag and would/would not recommend??

  13. Balenciaga! Would love a City bag.

  14. I am in love with several St. John knit dresses right now.

  15. Sloan Sabbith :

    A Proenza Schouler PS1 or whatever the f they’re called now. My aunt got me one of their clutch wallets as a grad gift and it just made me want more.

  16. I wanted a quilted coat for a long time, and I bought one from J. Crew Factory. It always looked like crap but I just kind of ignored it – little bits of down coming out from the seams. I would kind of pick them out and then be like “no I look great! Just like Burberry!” So one day we were going out and i went to zip up that coat and the zipper ripped, and I was like “okay, now I have proved the concept (i wear it a lot, very versatile)” I might just splurge on a Burberry one. So as we’re in the car (driving to the outlets, actually, and I’m still wearing the ripped jacket because hey, so practical!), I was searching around because I wanted one with a zipper instead of buttons. I couldn’t find one. I was bummed, but my husband suggested we go into the Burberry outlet and THERE IT WAS – black quilted coat, plaid lining, zip up, short coat. It was incredible, and as expected, like $450. Perhaps that isn’t a ton of money, but I just felt so awkward spending it. Husband insisted that I buy it, put down about $300 in cash that was ‘his’ fun money (vs ours) and I put the rest on our credit card.

    Best fucking thing I have ever bought. I love this coat. I am wearing it right now! I feel like a million bucks in it, it goes with everything, it dresses up the less fancy outfits I have. I will never ever ever regret this purchase and the only sadness in my life is that one day when it wears out, I will probably not be able to find a replacement for it with a zipper. But yeah, probably my first real real splurge, and 100% worth it. Props to my husband to push me into it.

  17. An entire work wardrobe of Max Mara, Escada, and MM La Fleur. I’ve gotten a few pieces of Max Mara and MMLF, and they’re just so much better than my other things.

    • I’m obsessed with MM LaFleur. It was out of my price range when I first learned about it, but started collecting stuff from eBay and now have a decent collection. I just got a new bento with the Albright and Cornelia matching suit and I love it so much. If you’re interested I started a B/S/T on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/376188836108962

  18. I have been yearning for the Dagne Dover Legend bag in the color Bleeker just haven’t bit the bullet on it as much as I want it!!! And a Burberry Camel Trench. I have a black London Fog but would kill for a camel Burberry.

  19. I know the “moment” for these is more or less over, but I would really love one a Chloe Mini Luggage bag. They just look sumptuous. It’ll never happen; I just can’t spend over $300 on a bag. I had nail-biting anxiety spending $139 this morning on the Brooks Brothers bag I bought, which I don’t really “need.”

  20. Senior Attorney :

    These have been around for years and are pretty much played out, but I do love the Valentino Rockstud pumps…

  21. Hermes Birkin

  22. About to Quit Attorney :

    Today I want those candy pink SW pumps in the Coffee Break. But, as I always do, I will covet brands, then settle for what I can find at the outlet mall. My kids have such better stuff than I do…

    • You don’t have to buy them the great stuff, haha. I buy 90% of my kids clothes from facebook yardsale groups. The stuff I do spend money on them is quality though.

  23. I got an Alexander McQueen satchel as my first (and only!) four-figure bag about six months ago. (Biglaw senior associate here.) I do love it, but I definitely didn’t need it. I like that it’s a little different and I think it will hold up really well. But I didn’t use it at all in the first few months after I got it, when I was home on maternity leave and using a SkipHop diaper bag exclusively; and I don’t use it every day for work, now that I’m bicycle commuting with a backpack full of pump parts and milk. So it was not totally practical. Something less structured would have fit in the bicycle basket a lot better.

  24. Currently, Hugo Boss for a suit (navy jacket and coordinating dress) – it’s in my closet with the tags on, in case I can pick up either piece on sale before it sells out in my size. As a senior associate who has only ever had suits from consignment shops or Ross, and after an extensive search for a killer suit dress (since I wear dresses exclusively), hoping it will be a good investment, especially since the jacket elevates a number of my work dresses, too. http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447080934

  25. I just got a big new firm job and bought myself the Ferragamo Large Gancio tote in black. It is the most perfect work tote ever and while I cringed after I bought it and almost returned it I decided to start using it this week and I love it. Understated and wonderful quality. I bought it during the Neiman’s sale and got a $500 gift card when I bought it so I guess I really saved money…kind of?

  26. Currently on my list:

    – Goyard Artois Bag in gray
    – Burberry Trench coat in black
    – Anya Hindmarch Pixels clutch

    Just bought the Issey Miyake Bao Bao bag and love it!

  27. I covet a real gold and diamond bangle. I have literally zero places to wear such a thing.

  28. A Rolex
    Mm la fleur clothes

    Everything else I pretty much buy

  29. Deep in the throws of wedding dress shopping, Elie Saab.
    Landed on a Maggie Sottero.

    • Much love for the Maggie Sottero. I got married around the time her line had just started to be carried in the States, but buying one became too big a hassle because I was outside of the bigger cities. Instead, I had a custom dress made with a lot of the then-current Sottero details (off the shoulder neckline, open-laced bodice, pearl trim, double tailed skirt with french bustle). No regrets!

    • Oh I had all the love for Elie while I was dress searching… Monique Lhullier too. I went with a Lazaro off shoot…totally blanking on the name. Tara something I think?

  30. Anonymous :

    When I was a poor law student, all I wanted was a closet full of those gorgeous Reiss suits once I was a real lawyer. Now that I have a biglaw job and can afford them, I bought several and it turns out almost all of their cuts are too short in the skirt and/or arm for me to wear to work appropriately. I ended up sending all but one suit back, and now I’m trying to find a new brand of (tall-friendly) suiting to covet.

  31. Anonymous :

    Burberry Trench

    I’ve been coveting a LV bag for about 10 years. There have been times when I could afford it, but just couldn’t do it. I think I’ve convinced myself that it’s probably not as good as I think it is and everyone I know has one (not exclusive?).

    I have been thinking about a beautiful YSL envelope bag or a classic chanel, but I would prefer a house.

  32. Givenchy and Chloe are my covet bags currently. A Cartier watch is an aspiration. I have decided to focus on more quality classic pieces.

  33. Chanel fashion jewelry, Salvatore pumps, Cartier watch, Prada bag…. I know which style/model I want in each.. but don’t think I’ll ever bite.

  34. Absolutely Hermes Birkin

  35. I spent a massive amount on an LV Artsy MM that I didn’t need. I’m now focusing on more affordable brands with quality like Kate Spade and Von Baer bags.

  36. I bought a resale camel colored Hermes Kelly four years ago and have carried it almost every single day since. It’s large enough for what I need to carry, the camel shade goes with everything, including my ever-present black, and it is an understated bag that looks chic with everything from suits to jeans. I can carry it with the handle, or use the shoulder strap. For a while I thought my life would be perfect if I also bought a black Kelly but I realize the neutral one I have is perfect. I’ll be able to hand it down to my daughter. All of this is my long way of saying I don’t covet anything!

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