Since my summer classes have yet to start, I'm still enjoying a lot of relaxation time (read: sleeping till noon) and have decided to tackle this incredibly pressing problem once and for all. It's highly unlikely that I'll be actually buying any of these bags in the near future (budget issues!) but maybe as a gift when I graduate in two years? In any case, I'd like to know what to spend all that money on, should it ever fall into my hands. =)
Whether you're also looking for your perfect bag, or am curious about my process, let the search begin! (Warning: prepare for some handbag snobbery).
1. Try process of elimination. Since I don't know what I want, let's start with eliminating what I know I don't. Because this is meant to be an everyday, "go with any and every outfit" type accessory, all prints and heavily patterned logos are out. Yes, I am one of those people who believes that no one should be able to swiftly glance at your purse and immediately know what brand it's from. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Fendi, Michael Kors and the like are all out.
2. The age issue. As we know from this post, I'm a big believer in carrying a handbag that accurately reflects your age--go too old or too young and you simply don't look right. Chanel, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and anywhere your (1%) mother or grandmother shops are all out.
3. The unique, or different factor. I could write on this topic endlessly, but I'll try and be brief: I, like everyone else, like to have material things that not everyone does. It makes me feel more special and while that definitely makes me shallow, I don't particularly care. The problem, of course, is that having truly unique possessions is incredibly difficult unless you're very wealthy. (This is the attraction of customized items--you've got something exclusive that no one else does, largely because no one else could afford to do the same). Example: looking for a lightweight, easy-to-carry-on-a-daily-basis bag at a reasonable price point? Get a Longchamp! It satisfies all those qualifications, and as you will very quickly notice, millions of women have realized this as well. I love my Longchamp as much as the next girl, but seeing at least 3 other women in the subway car carrying an identical one makes me like it less. Sad, but true.
|You know what this looks like.|
The solution is to choose from a designer/company that not everyone would think of. The brands I've already crossed off for being either too loud or too old makes this a lot easier, of course, but there's still some editing work to be done. I am in my early twenties, which means that just as surely as I buy my furniture from IKEA, Marc Jacobs is my go-to handbag brand. So shocking though it may be, that brand has also been cut from the list of potential purse options. If I really loved a bag from this company, or any other that I've already crossed off, I might consider it. But I don't. I actually find a lot of the Marc Jacobs bags to be too casual-looking for what I have in mind.
4. Avoid trendy-classic bags. Does that sound like an oxymoron or what? We all know that there are certain truly timeless handbags that are not associated with a particular season or year--like the Birkin, or Chanel 2.55 quilted--and then there are some that are. This season it's the Celine Mini Luggage Tote that I see positively everywhere (seriously, just Google Image it). Don't get me wrong, that bag screams "classic" as well, and it'll certainly never look unstylish in any season or year. But it won't look exactly right, either. Every time I see that bag in the future, I'll think it's "last season".
And if you think I'm being ridiculous (maybe I am, but damnit I'm a bag girl at heart!), just think of the Chloe Paddington. Remember how many "so classic" and "you could wear it forever"s surrounded it? If I saw someone carrying that now, I would assume they still use The Weakest Link catch-phrases and have a flip-phone with Orlando Bloom as their wallpaper.
|Blast from the past!|
5. Wearability for your life. Remember, the whole goal here is to find the bag that you can and would carry every single day, so it has to suit your lifestyle. More work-oriented gals would probably enjoy something larger with more shape to keep things looking professional, while a student might prefer something smaller with less structure. Even the girliest of girly-girls would admit that functionality trumps aesthetic design, so above all else make sure your style of bag works for you.
So if you're in the market for your perfect bag, figure out what kind of style you want (messenger, tote, crook-of-the-arm) and general size and meet me back here for Part 2! I promise to actually discuss my potential handbags in that one!
I know this whole post was
And if you already have or know what your perfect bag is, please leave me a comment!
I could always use more pretty purses to drool over!