seeing myself in…my bag??

Living in NYC and relying on public transportation, I come across a multitude of people in my daily life.  This *people-watching* allows me endless opportunity to listen to them (eavesdropping – I totally do it!), see what they are wearing, watch what they are doing, and observe what kind of bag/purse/satchel they are carrying.

I am not a label-whore by any means.  I adore designer stuff, but don’t buy it so I can wear it or carry it thinking I’m all that.  Aside from something like my Burberry scarf, I don’t necessarily want people to look at whatever it is and be able to instantly recognize the designer.  I actually am very anti-visible-label.  I don’t want to be carrying around a bag that screams its designer by the brand logo splashed all over it.  I work in advertising, but I don’t believe in *free advertising* by walking around with in-your-face logos on my clothes or accessories.  I never got into the Louis Vuitton craze.  While their more classic black/dark brown/tan logo covered bags are nice, it’s still too many LV’s for me to stomach.

A few years ago, four actually, I was in the market for a new bag and figured why not splurge.  I had been looking in Bloomingdales and Saks at the Chloe bags, the Marc Jacob bags, etc, but they were all ridiculously expensive and indulgent.

So one day I was walking home from work.  It was around my birthday and I was feeling pretty good.  I was at a new job (my current one) and we were gearing up for the busy advertising upfront period.  While on Madison Avenue, I passed Furla and popped in.  I browsed around the store for about 10 minutes and saw two different bags that I liked.  The one I ultimately bought was just so me.  It sounds silly to say that about a bag, but it is so true.

Here’s why.

It’s a designer bag, but not flashy and without any blatant logos.  I’m *designer* quality, but don’t *scream* that to all those around me.

It was expensive, but looks like it cost twice as much as it actually did.  I take care of myself and dress nicely, but I am a lot less maintenance than you’d think.  I was rocking a great $7 sundress this summer that does not look like it cost that little.

It’s a hobo bag, so it is fairly large and capable of holding a lot.  Much like my mind and my heart, there’s lots of room in there for new things.

It’s a neutral brown color.  I’m, for the most part, a fairly neutral person and easy-going.  I get along with almost everyone.

I’ve had it for four years and use it almost every day and it still looks new.  I’ve been through a lot of crap over the years, but surprisingly *wear it* well.  I love it when people think I’m still in my late 20’s (I do have to give props to the good Asian genes though).

Everyone who sees the bag for the first time (which is rare now that I’ve had it for so long and carry it all the time), tells me that they love it.  I’d like to think that those who meet me for the first time take a liking to me, as well 🙂


  1. My theory is, every time you get a compliment on the bag, it takes $1 off the price. Eventually it’ll be free! 🙂 Glad you found something you love and that feels like you. I have yet to find the perfect bag (or man, haha) for me, but I’m working on it!

  2. That’s a good theory! I’ve actually done some math and calculated that using it almost every day of the year for four years, it’s only cost me 50 cents a day! Way cheaper than my daily Starbucks.

  3. That’s a steal! A bargain! There’s no arguing with that logic. 🙂

  4. Now THAT is my kind of logic! But living in NYC, I’d be following the guys with the big black trash bags full of goodies all over the city waiting for them to dump the designer bags out for sale for $30. That’s how I got my LV bag, visit to NYC. Lately I’ve been up there though in the busy season, and the cops keep those guys away during the holidays. It’s a shame, I need a new handbag. I think one of my favorite handbags is vintage from my friends grandma’s yard sale. Everyone comments on how cute it is and wants to know where to get one, I love that they can’t and that it was $2.00. When I worked in fashion I constantly changed bags, but now I tend to pick one and stick to it for a few weeks at least out of laziness, even with the 30+ in the top of my closet collecting dust. I was just thinking yesterday, I need to get storage containers for them.

    • One of my friends from college visits from Boston every once in awhile. She always wants to go to Chinatown. We’ve gone into some shady, hidden backrooms so she can check out the knock-offs. I’m always thinking somehow we’re going to be drugged and kidnapped and traffiked as sex slaves.

  5. Exactly how I feel with wearing logos – or too many/too visible! I have a mix of random, regular, vintage and designer pieces including handbags, for example, neither of the Coach bags I own have the familiar patterns, both are solid colors. And many of those things I don’t buy new expensive stuff every year, so I definitely like that logic of costing 50 cents a day for x years esp since some of the bags I’ve had have lasted me well.

    • My Coach bags don’t have that signature logo either. But I do have a Coach wallet with the C’s all over it. But it’s just a wallet that isn’t seen all the time. Speaking of Coach, it reminds me of a funny story and I should do a post about it. And I, too, love owning all sorts of new, old, cheap, expensive things to mix and match depending on the occasion. Splurging every few years for something that will be well used is not a splurge, but a necessity.

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