So we are a whole month into 2022, and I thought I should report on how my “new frugality” plan is coming along. My planned splurge shopping, as it were. You can read about my shopping plan for 2022 in this post if you’re interested. Since the beginning of January, I have been diligently doing my research. Bag shopping online. Posting to Pinterest. And I’m ready for my first “splurge report.”
As I said, I’ve been looking at bags for my first splurge purchase of the year. And the other day as I was pedalling and perusing Pinterest, I began to notice a worrying theme in my research. Many of the bags I was choosing bore an uncanny resemblance to bags I already own. Now, I know I said that my 2022 splurges would NOT be made because I needed something, but instead because I wanted something. Something which after careful research, and much thought, I was still drooling over. But my heavens, I am not splashing out my research time and my hard-earned money for something I already own. Or as good as own.
Below are some of the bags that have tempted me and which I included in my Pinterest board.
So after I had a think about it, I decided to haul out my fall and winter bags and have a look. Make sure I know what I have before I proceed further. And here’s what I found.
One very old, still loved, but not used nearly enough, saddle-bag-style, black leather cross-body bag from Holt Renfrew. I love, love this bag. It has contrasting cream stitching on the bag itself and on the strap, and thick leather stitching around the flap, as you can see in the shot on the right, below. Every time I take this bag out of my cupboard, I’m glad I still own it. I love a saddle-bag.
In fact I have thought of buying another one. But smaller, and in a colour. Maybe this one in navy, or dark red. I’ve long been enamoured of the Chloe “Marcie” saddle-bag. Not too much hardware on it. Good size. I like the pebbled leather. And in navy, it’s divine. So that’s one I’m considering. Meanwhile I’ve hung my old black saddlebag on the rack with my other three bags that are in current rotation.
Of course my current favourite bag is my Fossil Hobo bag, in a sort of cognac brown. I guess I can be forgiven for pinning shots of bags that are almost the same, since I love this bag, and I’ve been using it so much. It can be worn as a classic shoulder bag, or cross-body using the long, detachable strap. I’m so glad I bought this bag. It adds another dimension to my often all-black outfits. And I love it with this old, dark green tweed Max Mara blazer too.
So that’s two large shoulder bags. And then there’s this dark grey tote from AllSaints that I bought at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a few years ago. I do believe that I am well supplied with large bags. Especially when one also adds in my burgundy Marc Jacobs bag, a gold summer tote, and my much beloved, straw Eric Javits bag.
In my splurge research, besides shoulder bags, I have been looking at lady-like handbags. Bags that can be carried with a top handle, or possibly worn cross-body. I love my vintage croc, lady-like bag, below. The top handle (hard to see in the photo) looks like Bakelite, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t. I bought the bag ten years ago at a vintage show, and even then Bakelite was pricey. The strap that came with the bag is a short chain which I’ve never particularly liked. And it’s almost too short to wear cross-body, that is if I want to get the bag off over my head in a hurry and not get stuck half in and half out. And here’s the beauty of my new Fossil bag. The detachable shoulder strap can be, well, detached, and it’s a perfect colour for this vintage bag. Making it way more wearable.
I also have two lady-like summer handbags. A lovely, pink, top-handle bowling bag from Cole Haan, and a black and white Kate Spade that has two top-handles and a shoulder strap. So with three in my collection, maybe lady-like bags should NOT be on my splurge list.
And I am well sorted with small, classic, cross-body bags. I bought this AllSaints “Captain Lea” square, cross-body bag last year. I wear it a ton.
I have a small, black Mackage cross-body bag, below, bought in 2016. I looked and looked for a bag to suit me that year. And I have a small, white cross-body bag from Michael Kors that I often wear with my navy summer suit. Both suit and bag are from years ago. But both are still in great condition.
And then there’s this green vintage bag, below. I do love this little bag. I bought it years ago at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show to use as a purse. But it’s really a small vanity case that comes with a key, and those little ruffled pockets for bottles and brushes. The label inside says Morton Leather Goods, London. I used it for a time back in the nineties. But I caught so many wryly amused looks from my female colleagues, when I opened it at lunch time at work, that I desisted. Still, it’s so sweet. And it looks great with my tweed jacket.
And now I realize that I have several bags that can fill the need for a bit more colour in my bag collection. This green one, my burgundy Marc Jacobs tote, my pink Cole Haan summer bag, and a large, gold leather tote from Michael Kors that I use in the summer and early fall.
Okay, let’s sum up. I am well kitted out with large shoulder bags and totes. I have a few structured, lady-like bags. Enough for my purposes. And I couldn’t in good conscience buy another small, classic cross-body bag. I have some colour in my bag collection, enough for a bit of a change from black or grey or brown. I don’t want to sink money into something that replicates what I already own. And before anyone suggests it, I have no desire to buy an evening bag which I would never, ever use.
So where does that leave me. Well, for starters, pretty well sorted for bags. Ha. But there is that navy Chloe one that I am eyeing. And I’m still considering something in cream. Not white, but a rich cream. Smallish. With an interesting shape. I’ve been looking at a couple of Polène Paris bags in “chalk.”
I love the squashy, woven design of the Bottega Veneta Jodie bag shown in my Pinterest board photos above. But Bottega Veneta? I could never fork over that much money for a purse. Even these little Bottega Veneta woven leather pouches, which are sweet, are over $1,000.00 USD, on re-sale sites. See here if you don’t believe me. Just about every Youtuber and Instagrammer who “creates content” for a living has a Bottega Veneta bag of one style or another. Mostly gifted, I presume. Similarly the Loewe Puzzle bags. I first saw Loewe bags on Emma Hill’s YouTube channel, before she got caught up in her quest for vintage Celine. The Loewe Puzzle bag is just my style. But at well over $3000.00 (CAD) it is way, way, way out of my price range. The Polène Paris bags are much more my price point.
So, what’s next in my 2022 “Sue-gality” plan? Well, I want to have a look at companies which have good ratings for their sustainable practices. See if any of their bags appeal to me style-wise, and price-wise. And I’ve faced the fact that, when all is said and done, I may not buy a bag at all. And that the whole exercise may just have rekindled my love for the bags I already own. That would, of course, be the most frugal way forward.
Besides. There is a beautiful red pant suit for spring on a site that I have been visiting quite often. Sigh.
Now before I go, I want to tell you Hubby’s fashion story.
Last fall he bought himself a new winter jacket. At Value Village, one of his favourite places to shop. He did well. It’s a pretty good coat. But the only toques he owned looked glaringly weird with the jacket. Not that he minded. Or even noticed, actually. So for Christmas I found him this beautiful burgundy toque when I was shopping in Fredericton. And then I nagged him and nagged him to wear it. At first he didn’t want to get it dirty. Then the hat was so nice and warm he only wanted to wear it skiing, and left it downstairs with his ski clothes and boots. Finally he started to wear it for everyday, with the coat. Yah! Success!
Then earlier this week, he met a few of his hockey buddies for breakfast. When he came home he said he took much verbal abuse over the hat. One long-time friend couldn’t stop laughing: “Stuey in a matching hat and coat.” In over 50 years, he’d never seen the like. And on it went, I guess.
So yesterday when he set off with a cloth bag of mine filled with empty bottles to take back to the beer store, I snapped this photo. “Wait, wait,” I yelled as he was about to open the door. “Your bag matches your hat and coat. The hockey boys will never believe this if we don’t have photographic evidence.”
Now, he can’t wait until the next breakfast to flash the evidence of his newly developed fashion sense. Ha.
So that’s all I have for you today, my fashion-conscious friends. Much of my research may have been for naught. But if it keeps me on my exercise bike it’s time not wasted. And yet, I may still find a bag I like and want. It’s early days. Or as I said above, I may just carry on loving the ones I own. Loving the ones I’m with. So to speak. Gad I love that song.
What about you? Up to any fashion research these days? Real or simply for the purposes of elimination of the idea that you need something new?
P.S. Links to products in this post are affiliate links (except for the link to the Polène Paris site.) If you make a purchase after clicking my link I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog.