Monday, November 29, 2010

I will wear these pajama pants for years

Continuing the eternal-paperwork theme, my goal for the day is to have organized my materials in order to get to Frahnce. A notary will, it seems, be involved. As will an official translator of official documents. Where's my homework helper?

In the mean time, allow me a brief OMG-no-more about the "investment piece," a favorite complaint of mine, if not in life, then on this blog. Refinery29 is one of my favorite sites for outfit inspiration (says she whose work for the day will not require changing out of a $5 pair of Old Navy polar bear-patterned fleece pajama pants), which is why I cringed when I came across this post: "The Hot Holiday Handbag You'll Own Forever." Oxywhat?

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but we're of the opinion that a classic, durable leather bag comes in a pretty close second—it's an investment piece that lasts forever. And Be & D's cruise '11 handbag collection is chock full of totes, clutches, and hobos perfect for tossing all your essentials into and passing on to the next generation.
The next what? If you're even halfway aware of such a thing as a "cruise collection," you've bought into a system in which there will also be a fall '12 collection, a spring '12 collection, a cruise '13 collection, and so on. Depending your closet space, you may well keep every handbag you ever buy. But the chances that this year will be the year you buy the eternal handbag - the one you don't get sick of, that doesn't start to look dated, and that will remove any and all temptation to buy a pricey handbag next season as well - are slim. If you opt to spend $1,000-ish on a bag intended for the 2010-2011 holiday season, you'll probably "need" another such purse by the time the Christmas music stops playing in the shops.


Sigivald said...

If one actually wanted an "eternal" handbag, one could probably have one custom made by a good leather-worker for $1000.

Perhaps as much as $2000 if you wanted the highest possible aesthetics as well as the best materials and craftsmanship.

Indeed, if I was even contemplating a thousand dollar bag I'd expect it to last for-farkin'-ever...

(Which reminds me, I need to put on my leatherworker hat and make myself a proper shoulder bag...)

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

For a bag that doesn't fall apart/look noticeably different from how it did when you bought it, you'd be fine (I know from experience) with a $15 fake-leather one from H&M. The issue is that stuff goes out of style. This is perceptible even to those who claim trend-ignorance (aka men), but is especially the case for the audience of a fashion blog, to readers who've clicked on a post about which handbags are "hot" this holiday season, aka for the following two months.

PG said...

The only handbag I've bought for myself that cost more than $50 has a lifetime warranty that's for real. I spilled Thai green curry on the bag, took it back to the store and they cleaned it up like new without charging me another penny. It was expensive, but I'm willing to concede that it might have been worth it. Also it's my only handbag that has a "serious professional" look. I once abandoned a $15 Burberry knockoff in a cab on my way to an interview because the fake-leather handles had shredded so badly over its 3 years on my shoulder that I was abruptly embarrassed to be seen with it. That was definitely a well-spent $15 (the bag looked good for the first year and only mildly crappy for the second), but the expensive bag probably will never have that happen. The only bad thing is that since I bought it, the label has become sufficiently well-known in the U.S. that I'd be worried about taking it to a job interview in the government or nonprofit sector, where looking like money is not as good an idea as it is for private sector interviews.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...


There are plenty of legitimate reasons to pay up for a handbag - it's beautiful, you have evidence it was made ethically, you know your own spending habits and that paying a lot for one bag will prevent you from buying others or spilling stuff on this one, etc. But durability, as in, material that won't fall apart, costs next to nothing. My H&M bag looks sort of eh, but no more so than when it was new, and who knows what it's made out of. I mean, I have canvas tote bags handed out at university events that I could, in theory, pass on intact to the next generation. If a lifetime warranty is important, Brooklyn Industries has those for backpacks that cost well under $100 (I want to say $60 but it's been a few years). Longwinded point being, I tend to think "durability" is evoked in handbag-marketing as a way to make paying upwards of $1,000 on a purse seem necessary.