Picking Out A New Handbag

Friday, February 16, 2018


I have an issue. When I see a beautiful handbag, I shut down. I lose all senses of what it's like to be a human and become a shell of who I once was. I get all weird and hot and honestly, if there was a trail of drool down my mouth and chin, I wouldn't be surprised.

Looking at beautiful handbags in haul and collection videos on YouTube is one thing. There aren't department stores and boutiques where I grew up that you could see any of these bags in person. And even when I went and visited New York City, I would've never dared to enter a boutique (actually, the only time I've ever actually entered a boutique was when I was meeting with the manager of one of the high-end boutiques at Bloomingdale's on 59th and when I was on Rodeo with my friend and she insisted we stop into a few) because the idea alone freaks me out. Of course, when I started working at the consignment store–my version of Harry Styles' "I used to be a baker" bit–handling expensive handbags was literally part of the job. 

There are two moments I will never forget: the first time I ever touched a Chanel lambskin bag. I think I held it with two fingers and said a prayer the entire time hoping to god I wouldn't accidentally nick the delicate leather with my nail and holding a Birkin bag. These aren't even bags I particularly want to own, they're just so iconic in their own right that I genuinely never thought I would ever be able to see one up close and touch it. I assumed I'd only see them in magazines, on Instagram, or on the arms of the fabulous people walking the streets of New York.

That was a long introduction to reach my dilemma. I can't find a bag that I like. I will buy everything as cheap as possible as much as possible. I will live in ten dollar H&M sweater every single day of the week if I need to. But when it comes to fast fashion handbags, they just don't do it for me. Of all the items for me not to like the cheap version of, my taste chooses handbags. Like, come on, self. Why are you doing yourself like this?

Because of this, I have three purses I use in regular rotation: my Zara crossbody that is my casual bag for day to day, my Rebecca Minkoff crossbody clutch that is my least worn bag by far but I can't get rid of because I somehow always end up needing it, and my beloved Saint Laurent Baby Monogram bag that is my pride and joy and I will never, ever get rid of. The problem with these three bags is that they hold virtually nothing. They're tiny and a little bit useless for anything more than a casual day-to-day. I can't throw anything I need into them. They fit my keys, a cardholder, a lipstick, and my phone. 

This is a classic case of me being too picky. Most contemporary bags don't thrill me. I can admire them on other people, but for me, they just don't work. But I'm not naive enough to think I could afford the bags that I drool over from other people's closets on YouTube, even if they were purchased secondhand. And of course, the bags (see: bag) I'm obsessing over is something that does not have longevity and would be a trend piece I'd grudgingly hold onto just because of how much I'd dish out for it. I'm looking at you, J.W. Anderson Pierce, the bag of my dreams that would be just darling in my wardrobe if it wouldn't but a huge, sizable dent in my savings. Heavy sigh.

I think this is where I get desperate and stop letting my picky self get in the way of what I really need: a bag that can carry more than a damn lipstick and keys. But man, it's a struggle trying to find the bag that fits the image I have of it in my head, has the versatility I need it to, but also fits into my current style that always has potential to change at any given moment!

Where is your favorite place to get good quality high street bags? 

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