Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Word Vomit About Bags

UO Hat
AEO Scarf
Jacket (thrifted - no labels)
Free People Dress (ebay)
Sandgrens Manhattan Clog Boots c/o Sandgrens
Coach Leather Bag (consignment)

An interesting thing I've come across while reading up on the difference between really expensive bags (in the $2000 range and up) and expensive ($200-500 range) is not only the hand stitching and better hardware/zippers but apparently the quality of the leather. With the freakishly expensive designer bags, the leather is suppose to mold to your body and rather than looking just old and worn out, are suppose to soften up and still look nice, even after 30 years where the lower end designer bags are suppose to start looking "worn out" after a while. I'm not sure I completely agree with that - My Marc Jacobs bag retailed in the lower range for "nice bags" but the leather is high quality and even a few years later, doesn't have any scratches or wearing in the corners. And it's colored leather! (I have to choke for a moment on the price thing however, Marc Jacobs bags seem extremely expensive to me at their normal retail of $250-$450, I was lucky and found mine at the consignment shop a few years back and used my consignment credits to pay for most of it.)

This Coach bag however is really showing it's age. The leather was not great to start off with, it is from the Poppy line which was more of a diffusion line and the leather is very thin and plastic feeling. Rather than gaining a supple, worn in look, the leather is wearing off and close up, it looks worn out. 

Now, I'm not saying that a $2000 plus bag is a good buy because I can't even imagine spending that much money on one, for me that just would make zero sense and is nuts.  That would be almost two loads of logs for our house or part of the money for the well and while I don't mind saving up for more expensive items, I don't think I will ever save up for an "investment" bag like a Channel.  It's so much money and a that point, while the quality might be great, I'm not so sure that it's not something I could get at a much, much lower price range. At that point, it almost becomes more about the status of the items rather than the actual quality.  But if I found one at the thrift store or the consignment shop for around $100, sure! (Yessss, this will NOT happen.)  That's really my upper limit and I've only spent that much on one bag, my Proenza Schouler brown leather tote. It is interesting to learn about the different level of quality in leathers a little more, it's helpful for judging what's a good buy and will hold up.  I would stay away from this sort of leather in the future, this Coach bag has had fairly light usage so it's not like it's been banged around a ton, lesson learned! 

*I don't know where this word vomit post was going, I'm sorry.  I love bags and I'm really into saving up for a great item that will be a high usage item but at what point are we paying to have something to brag about rather than something that's just good quality?



  1. Ok so when I read your title my brain thought it said "about vomit bags" And so I was reading though expecting the post to take a grim turn about somebody barfing inside a nice leather bag. Haha! Anyway, yikes! I could never imagine spending 2000 on a bag either, although I would be willing to shell out a decent chunk if I knew it was going to last a long time. I really like bright pattern on this dress, the red looks great against the snow!

    1. Uuuuh, I maybe have a story about vomit bags. :) It was about 6 years ago, when I still bought $16 Icings bags and Gunnar was about 2. We were out grocery sopping and I saw him start to heave, I threw my bag in front of him and didn't even think about it until he stopped throwing up and then it was like...why did I do that? (Because it would have been rude to throw up on the stores floors I guess?) It was awful trying to clean it out, haha!

  2. ahah, I've fantasized about buying a Chanel bag, or a ChloƩ...I even did a budget plan. I think I had fallen victim to the lure of youtubers and Pinterest...Then I started to want to know materials a bit better and had many conversations with my husband and others about at what point in the cost the quality equalizes and the brand premium starts. We also discussed that the notions that those items wear better may be biased because people may more naturally take better care of a very expensive bag. So it's hard to know whether those claims of 30/40 years+ Chanel bags still looking good today are a result of better quality or just better care. What I ended up deciding was that I wanted a good bag that I could wear for a long time on a daily basis without worrying about. I'm really happy about the quality of my Cuyana tote. I've worn it for almost 2 years now, practically daily and it looks better every day. I also found that Fossil makes very good quality leather bags. I'm keen to explore Matt & Nat - leather is not necessarily the best material, especially for humid climates...

    1. Chloe bags are just beautiful. I think I may have to agree with you, I've talked to a few people who have Chanel bags and they've all said the same thing, that they are so scared they are going to ruin them that they won't carry the bags! I think I would be the same way, all I would see is dollar signs every time I looked at it. I think you are correct in saying that great bags can be found for more reasonable prices, the Cuyana totes look so beautiful and I've heard great things about them!
      And thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, I love your blog so much and keep reading your posts over and over again - you're very thoughtful and very inspiring!

  3. I use a bag. I don't abuse them, but I generally buy a nice bag and use it rather than store it inside one of those cloth bags that come with the high end bags. So, I pay less than $200 for my bags. I have noticed that zipper qualities have fallen over the past five years... I'm not sure what that's all about when it comes to bag manufacturers, but evidently not only has the price of quality leather sky-rocketed.... so have zippers? This past year I have been carrying a bag by Fossil. Amazing leather. I'll never ever spend $2000 for a purse... it's just a purse after all.

    1. I agree with you, zippers have gone down hill! Fossil bags are amazing and beautiful, my sister carries a purple leather one that she's been really happy with - they're beautiful bags that are well made. But yes, 2k for a bag just seems crazy to me, no matter how well made but I think a large part of that is just where I am in life - I don't have money to drop on something like that when it could be put to better use for us.
      Thank you for all of your good comments, really enjoyed reading them!

  4. That dress is gorgeous! It reminds me of something from Reformation, have you heard of them?

    And yes, so many good points about the bags. I have a Madewell bag that I really love, the leather is so gorgeous, but it's definitely getting tired looking after one year of use. My cuyana still looks really supple, but I think one of my all-time favorites is my Vintage Dooney and Bourke bag. It's the all-weather leather and it's amazing. I'd love a designer bag, but like some of the others said, I'd probably be afraid to use it! I had my eye on those Marc Jacobs bags for a few years, they sure to look buttery. One of my close friends has one and it's nice. But I decided it's a bit too 'flashy' for me these days. But if someone handed me a gray one I wouldn't complain...


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I always appreciate feedback.