No sillies. Not me! I’m not the old bag I write of this time! I’m talking old bags—the handbag kind. The ones sitting on a shelf in your closet. A whole bunch of ’em!
Some of the old bags resting on my closet shelf. I think they are tired of being there and want to come out to play!
First, I’ll tell you about my week—then I’ll continue the bag tawk. Training started for me this past Tuesday at the “high-end department store” where I am now employed. As I have a blog, HR explained to me that I cannot name the store on my blog, nor can I be an affiliate. It’s cool—trust me, after all the shit I’ve been through in trying to find a job at my age of —-61 in two weeks, I’m feeling good that this high-end retail corporation decided to make me part of the team!
Wait—I was under the assumption that I would be working full time. I’m not. I was hired part time—and part time enough that I fall short of being eligible for any medical benefits. So my search for a full-time position continues. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy what I will be doing.
Once again, I made an ass out of me when I assumed I would be working full-time! Oops!
Believe me, I know bags. Goddess knows, I’ve got enough. And here’s the thing. I don’t rotate my bags often as I should. My bag collection is pretty old—I just don’t update a lot. I don’t run out and purchase bags every season. In fact, my lack of rotation is not making my old bags very happy.
Why? Well…it’s because I’m too damned lazy. That’s it. And it’s also because I like a big bag. Basically a bag big, large enormous enough to carry all my stuff will suit me just fine.
But—we all know all too well what not keeping bags in rotation does. It all but ruins that one bag you keep using every day. The bag I’m currently carrying is a J. Crew Brompton bag. I received it years ago as a Christmas gift from Oona. Not only does it do the job of carrying all my garbage items that are so important to me because I’m a bag stuffer-into hoarder, but I love the look of the Brompton.
The Brompton Bag ( discontinued, naturally!) from J. Crew is my go-to bag. It is enormous. The bag has a removable shoulder strap, but the handles are large enough to throw this over my shoulder anyway. The inside has the capacity to hold a small city. I stuff everything into this bag!
I simply love the look of an unstructured bag. I may be old and my bags may be aged as well. Even so, I don’t like bags that shout “Old Lady”! I don’t like a bag that whispers “I’m matronly”. I’m quite serious about this.
I’m not fond of matronly bags like this. Believe me, I LOVED my grandmother so much, but she carried this style and this style only. And in it was nothing more than Pep-O-Mint Life Savers, a ton of tissues and an old black leather change purse. We need to put these bags to rest!
And once again, the industry equates older women with matronly bags. Leave the matronly bags to Queen Elizabeth. Please! We modern mature women want a more fun bag. Even at the office, our serious bags can still have a bit of an edge. OK?
God save the Queen, but please get rid of that bag. Give her a less matronly look. I think she would do well with a Tory Burch Small York bag!
My bag of choice is a big ol’ bag. I’ll show you what I mean. It’s about time I rotate my bag so let’s look at some pics of a few of my old bags!
Tawk about OLD! This bag is a hand-me-down from Oona’s college days at Coach! This bag has to be at least six years old but I love it and I should rotate it more often. It looks good and has plenty of room inside…
OK–so the interior fabric is a bit dirty from years of use but the bag has a phone pocket, an additional pocket next to it and a zippered pocket across…
…and this “tote” also zips closed. It is a bit more structured than my usual bag, but the shape of the bag is more relaxed. I also like the color–a deep rich brownish burgundy!
My Longchamp collection. The “le Pliage” folds nicely for storage purposes. If you don’t want all leather, these nylon PVC coated bags are incredibly durable. If you are looking for interior organization, this bag doesn’t have it–and the little pocket inside barely holds a phone, but the durability trumps organization. I also multi-task the le Pliage as a beach bag! The Longchamp “Planetes”, which I have in orange, in the back, and the small black bag next to it, it a tad more structured and the nylon PVC coating is much thicker. These bags do not fold. Next to the black bag is a small canvas Longchamp bag I picked up in France–its one of the limited editions. And–in front is my prized Longchamp leather bag. I picked this up at Nordstrom Rack a few years back for about $100 USD. It was a steal and although it looks a bit on the small side, this bag holds a TON of stuff. There is an extra pocket in the front of the bag, the bag has both handles and a shoulder strap and…
The interior is beautifully lined in silk Longchamp logo and has zippered compartments as well as pockets. The bag also has a little clasp to place your keys so they don’t get “lost” at the bottom!
My first “expensive” bag. My Kooba “Sloane” bag. I love the look of this bag so much and I wish Kooba would bring this bag back. I would love to own it in black. It doesn’t hold as much as you would think, but regardless, this bag does hold quite a bit. Of all the bags I own, this one has gotten a great number of compliments. It’s also sturdy. On a flight back from France, a little girl threw up all over it and the bag cleaned so well! I can’t part with this bag at all! She’s a sentimental old bag for me!
I want you to take a CLOSE look at this Nat & Nin bag. First of all, I love Nat & Nin bags because the leather is just so incredibly buttery soft–and the bags have lots of nooks and crannies. BUT–I’ve learned that I need to treat this bags and to be careful with what I wear when carrying them. See how dirty the bag is? It’s dye. From my dark wash jeans. I wore her with a new pair of jeans and the dye from the jeans got all over the bag. Two years later, the dye hasn’t faded. It’s a shame because I did get a lot of compliments on this bag before it became ruined. Also, look at the photo on the left. Chippy chewed the leather. This bag now comes out of rotation in the worst of weather because it is already ruined! Lesson learned-do NOT carry a light-colored bag when you are wearing dark wash jeans!!
The same Nat & Nin bag in raspberry. I definitely take better care of THIS bag. I like to bring her out when I’m wearing my raspberry and navy maxi or when I’m dressed in neutrals and want a splash of color!
And yet, another Nat & Nin Carrie bag. I stinkin’ LOVE this bag. I love the color, I love the shape, I love all the straps and compartments. And this bag can also be folded over. I also wear her when I’m wearing lighter colored and color-fast clothing!
Another favorite of mine is this vintage Texier bag I got on eBay about ten years ago. I think I paid about ten bucks and it also holds a ton of stuff. The design is incredibly simple and timeless. I’ve worn her on and off for the past ten years and this Texier looks better with age!
This red faux leather clutch was purchased at TJ Maxx a few years back. It doesn’t hold much at all, but for a night out, it serves the purpose–bags such as this don’t need to cost a lot of money. Save the big bucks for a bag you will use on a regular basis!
Just for fun, I decided to empty out my bags before taking photos. Can you believe the random items I had? I discovered Euros mixed up with my change, samples of face cream, a Weight Watchers calculator, hair stuff, chopsticks–a Delta Gamma beer can kozzie (OK-Oona) and half an almond! Half an almond–WTF????? Why would I eat HALF an almond. Chippy finished that half off!
Because a bag reflects your personality, you really have to love that bag. The bag becomes a part of you. Yesterday I assisted a woman who was mulling over the most beautiful tote. All Saints Pearl Hobo bag. The second I felt that leather, I wanted it for myself. I’m telling you, this bag was great. A tote that was timeless, simple, chic and incredibly multi-tasking. After a lengthy search, she kept coming back to this one bag—and finally made the purchase. I’ll tell you, I was so happy for both the woman and the bag. I knew that bag found a great home and I knew the woman would treasure the bag and take great care of it! Come to think of it, I want an All Saints bag. All Saints clothing has a young vibe—and so do the bags. But the bags are so simple and classic that they seem to span generations.
I am in love with this All Saints Pearl Hobo Bag. She is a beauty! I mean it–All Saints bags speak to me! I’m praying back to the Saints!
I plan to use make a purchase at some point!
Another bag that I especially have my eye on is the Tory Burch York Buckle Tote. This is a more structured bag, but not structured to the point where the leather is as hard as plywood. There is a nice softness to the leather and the design is incredibly simple—the uniqueness of the straps is the small buckles. I like that a lot.
This is a nicely structured bag without looking matronly. Tory Burch is so hit or miss for me, but I do like many of her bags. This is a great office tote!
It’s weird because Tory Burch is such a hit or miss for me. I love my Reva flats, but I find many of her other shoes hideous. Same with her bags—a small number of them are adorable and many are just downright fugly or matronly. Don’t even get me started on her clothing line. I have a tunic that is so beautiful but the fit is horrific. That’s for another day though. Back to the bags.
I’m going to place my Brompton bag on the shelf in my closet for a while and use my Longchamp leather bag. And in a few weeks, I’ll try to bring out a more summery bag—perhaps my tan Nat & Nin.
I’ve stuffed most of my necessities *subjective* into the Longchamp bag! Time to rotate the old bag!!!
Some points to remember when searching for your next bag.
- Find a bag that suits your personality.
- Ask yourself what the purpose is. If you are a professional and want a bag for work, you will need one to fit a laptop and other office essentials. Look for a more structured leather tote.
- Keep it in proportion. If you are five feet tall, an oversized bag will overpower you.
- Stay within budget. If you are going to purchase an everyday bag, you may want to spend a bit more money for a great quality. On the other hand, if you are looking for a small clutch or a bag to match an outfit for a special occasion, you can go with an inexpensive bag.
- Feel the bag. Personally, I cannot stand the feel of pebbled leather. I like smooth leather.
- Try the bag. Carry it on your shoulder for a few moments. Do the straps stay on your shoulder? Are the straps comfortable? How will the bag feel when it is chock full of your stuff? If the bag is a satchel how does the handle feel? Is it comfortable in your hand? Do the handles feel heavy or cheap?
- Are you concerned with leather becoming scratched? Perhaps you need a different material.
- Do you like a bag that will look better with age and better as it gets more worn in? A leather that wears well will be good for you.
- Are you concerned with the brand or are you willing to go slightly out of your brand loyalty comfort zone?
- Is look more important to you than the interior structure? Do you want the pockets for your phone, pens, money, etc? Or are you ok to search for your phone at the bottom of your massive bag? (Guilty!!)
These are all things to be considered when purchasing a bag. And moving forward, I’m going to practice what I preach and take all of the above into consideration.
Enjoy the weekend! It’s raining here! Here’s a rainy day song that I used to sing to the kids all the time when they were younger. From Sesame Street! A Rainy Day! XOXOXO!!
Great post! 🌞 I have few bags for summer and one for winter. So basically I have only four purses. I hate handbag shopping because I am quite picky when it comes to it. If I don’t like one single detail, I can’t purchase the bag.
Hi Adryana. Thanks! OMG–I know exactly what you mean. I’m rather picky as well..that’s why I have so many OLD bags. LOL!!! XOXOXO!
Woah! You have a lot of bags! My favorite of all the ones shown here is the brown Nat & Nin Carrie bag. I can’t give a very clear reason other than simply that I like the look of it. (I’d starve as a fashion correspondent, I fear.) 🙂
Hi Bun! YES! That Carrie bag is getting lots of love! Trust me, I love it because of the looks too. I’m shallow!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Congratulations on the new job! (Saks, Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom? Driving me crazy) Funny timing on this post. I just cleared out some of my “resting” bags. Plan to consign them. Included that pile are 3 gorgeous bags I bought in Italy. I decided to let those go as I don’t use them. Probably laziness as well. I just ran and put them back in the closet. I recently read the magic of tidying up, the Japanese girl who preaches to let go? She’s brutal. Thanks for saving my Italian leather bags. I don’t miss working however I do miss the opportunity to carry totes to and from. I have many but not much use for them anymore. I should just toss in my wallet and phone and use for mall type shopping. Sigh. Sounds like a fun job. I’d love you as my sales person. You’ll be great.
Hi Jean. Hint. The store doesn’t begin with the letter “S”. Nor is the name two words! I’ve read about that book and although I am not necessarily one to save everything, I just can’t get rid of lots of stuff. I think it comes from this “thing” of loving stuff that is old–so at some point all my stuff will be really old and maybe can be passed down within the family. Hey, I would love to BE your sales person!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Wow, thanks for sharing your collection, Catherine. I love them all. I agree with you on the Queen’s bag but she wouldn’t be her stuffy self if she wore a hobo bag LOL. I love your Nat & Nin Carrie bag the best. I’m a hobo fan. I love that your dog chewed it 🙂 My bag collection is at about 6. I try to collect various styles and a little color. Although I had a red faux leather cross body that was fabulous for storage and size but I grew to dislike the color so I sold it at consignment. I think leather bags, if you love the shape, can last a lifetime and get better with age—like us.
Lisa–can you imagine the Queen with a suede hobo? OMG–thank you for such an incredibly funny visual. That Nat & Nin Carrie bag is the bomb. I like it in the darker colors too. Exactly–those old bags are a lot like us! They do get better! XOXOXOXO!!!
Awesome post… I am a big bag lover myself… Loved your bag collection, in love with the Kooba… 😃
Hi Bling. Oh. I’ve actually contacted Kooba to inquire if they would consider bringing back the Sloane. I received no answer. Why is it that bag companies discontinue the prettiest ones?? XOXOXOXOXO!!!
I know.. That’s so not cool.. Bring back the pretty ones!
Congratulations on your new job. Bet you make a great sales person! Strangely enough, I don’t have that many bags. I do have lots of boots, jackets, scarves and silver bracelets – especially silver bracelets!!! However, when we went to Toulouse, recently, my husband treated to me to one of the best birthday presents ever – a LV Neverfull 😀❤️!!! It’s the medium one with a red lining and I LOVE it! I’m obviously a very shallow person….I’m very lucky and I have probably used this bag virtually every day since I got it. Bon weekend X
June. Thanks for the congrats on the job. But–but…but…I’m in awe right now. I need a moment. I COVET the Neverfull and the one with the red lining! I’m both jelly and incredibly happy for you! What a birthday gift! I’m obviously an incredibly deeply shallow person. If I had a Neverfull, I would not rotate any other bag. EVER!!!! Happy Birthday and enjoy and wear that Louie well! XOXOXO!!!
You must be a great salesperson, I hope the job is going well for you!
I really dislike carrying stuff and on most days only bring along a wallet on a strap when I leave the house.
Hi gk. I dunno. I’m hoping that I will be a decent sales person. I wouldn’t sell anything to anyone that I wouldn’t buy myself! I think I’ll really like it though!! “XOXOXOXO!!!
Glad you’re enjoying your new job. That’s a really nice bag collection you have there! I’ve saved mine too, a favorite is a Maxx NY brown leather one with brass grommet-decorated fringe and a large brass clasp that folds over. Sounds a bit odd but I always get compliments on it. If you get a few minutes, Google “the queen’s secret handbag language”, and see how she communicates with her staff by moving her bag around. It’s pretty funny.
Margaret. I’m going to google “the queen’s secret handbag language” in a minute. This should prove to be juicy and entertaining. Thanks for the heads up!! XOXOXOXO!!!
I also went through my closet over the weekend and am donating handbags. Some are over 40 years old! What the heck! Like Jean, I’ve also read the M. Kondo book and am getting rid of as much as I can. No reason to keep it boxed up/closeted. BUT, I love everything about handbags and could spend a whole afternoon in the handbag department of a “high end department store….” Keep us posted, and maybe they’ll see how terrific you are and make you the full time department manager! Yay!!!! Now I’m going to look up the LV Neverfull with the red lining!!!
Leslie. The LV Neverfull with the red lining is just epic. It IS the only handbag we need–but the price point-it’s pricey! I love looking through bags too–hopefully I’ll make my mark! XOXOXOXO!!!
Well, if I ever need a hand bag, I know who to come to! And who carries a Delta Gamma beer can kozzie in their bag? Thanks Catherine for a very informational post and good luck with the new job. Have a great weekend. 🙂
Terry! Honestly, if you need a handbag for someone, let me know and I’ll tell you what to look for–but honestly, the DG beer kozzie! Um…now I know what my daughter was doing in college!!! And to think she owes the equivalent of a mortgage in student loans! Yikes!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!
Congratulations on the new job! And I have a book recommendation you. Have you read Freeman Hall’s “Retail Hell”? If not, take a peek on Amazon. Talk about wickedly amusing! Just don’t mention at work that you are reading it. Have a feeling that it would not be prudent.
Forgot to mention “Bringing Home the Birkin” by Michael Tonello. Another “bag book”.
Thanks d2!! I just got home from work. I’m heading over to Amazon in a few to look for those books! I need some good reads!XOXOXOXO
Love your post. What woman in her right mind does not love handbags? It’s a never ending topic. You have quite a collection there. Mind you, so do I. I favour the the smaller sizes, though. I’d be lugging around a suitcase otherwise! I still have some of my Mum’s handbags; crocodile leather and leopard skin from their time in Sudan – very PETA incorrect. I use them as show pieces at our weekend house. I even have a small Jacky Kennedy style bag! Maybe I should give all that to a museum?
My go to brands are Le Tanneur and Longchamps. I use the little Tintamar accessory bags to easily switch all my stuff from one bag to the other. Do you know about these accessory bags? If not, you should really give them a try. So convenient!
HI Bougie! Oh..I LOVE my Longchamps-and I now love selling them. It’s fun when you sell a brand that you are loyal to. I wish we had a Bagagerie store here too. I like their nylon bags. Your weekend house must be so incredibly amazing-I saw that pic of the kitchen and drooled!! I have to check out the little Tintamar accessory bags–thanks for the heads up! XOXOXOXO!!! HOLD ON! I just checked Tintamar–the store is on Rue de Rennes –it’s right near Sophie Sacs–SS is 149 Rue de Rennes–I’m checking to see if there are locations near Cannes! See what you started–LOL!
Our weekend house is quite a looker. I’ll bring some pictures along. I’m sure Tintamar is sold in Cannes. I don’t know about department stores there. BHV and Galeries Lafayette in Paris have them. Also at Roissy airport. There is a Galeries Lafayette in Nice, I think. I’m sure they’re sold over the Internet; maybe Amazon has them. You will be able to take a look at mine. It’s always in my handbag. Xx
I found Tintmar in Cannes. There is a small–very small Galeries Lafayette in Cannes and Tintamar is sold there–also in St. Trop so I’m sure to be able to make that purchase. LOL–it’s on the list of things to buy! Cant wait to see the pics!!!! XOXOXOXO!!
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A bag is such a personal item, your whole life is basically carted around in there. If I went any bigger I’d need a supermarket trolley, so I am just staying this side of classy compared to that and opting for a large bag – it has everything in there. Last count (a few weekends ago when it was being cleaned out) there were loads of sales dockets, 25 pens, spectacle cleaner, charging cables, a couple of tins of tuna (I mean emergency tuna – when did I buy that? and more than one???? I mean hellooooo!), a scarf I am currently in the middle of knitting, bus timetables, notebooks, ipod, mobile phone, proper handkerchiefs…. I need a big bag basically or better hygeine. I have few requirements – the straps have to “feel right”, the materials of the bag have to be good quality materials and construction – and I veer towards natural, and then the innards need a few pockets and the lining has to be a light colour to help me see when I am deep-diving (that said, I also have issues with my wallet – it has to be nice and bright in colour to find it in there). I don’t have loads of bags – I have about 7 or 8 but they are all precious to me and looked after. Currently my favourite bag was bought from plumo, when there was a sale and a discount and even then that was a stretch – but it is gorjus toffee coloured leather that is fabulously soft and the shoulder strap is a mass of wee rivets – I utterly love it. I am now lusting after the all saints bag – sigh
The 20yr old daughter looks as though she also has the makings of becoming a bag lady too – she has reappeared for study leave while home from uni and declared she is done with Topshop bags, done, moved on, graduated… which means her poor, skint mother has bought her a nice wee black Longchamp backpack.
and good luck with your new job – I reckon you’ll be fantastic, if I was closer, I’d be rounding up any fellow bag lovers and we’d be hunting you down missus
Juliet. TUNA?? Tins of tuna? I’m laughing so hard because that beats my Delta Gamma Koozie and the half an almond! Isn’t it incredible the stuff we find when cleaning out bags? I can never seem to find my little appointment cards for hair cuts until three years AFTER said cut–and they are scattered at the bottom of my purse! But you’re right–they ARE our whole life carted around. I always mean to “downsize” my bags but it never comes to fruition. Oh..and Oona—she’s definitely inherited the bag gene from me!! Thanks for the encouragement–I wish you lived near me so I could help you with your bag needs! XOXOXOXO!!!
You know, I had wanted a bag with some bling FOREVER just because it would be fun. I always stay with serviceable… (rolls eyes) Went shopping to this little village with the girls and found one I fell in love with. It was probably the most I’d ever paid for a purse. Pretty good size with sparkly rivets (?) on it. I was pumped. First time I used it, one of those sparkly things popped off somewhere and after that I was scared to death to carry it. Yet I see women with them all the time. Are they supposed to come off that easily?
Lady Calen. No. The little sparklers should not come off–especially since it is a pricey bag. You can use fabric glue to stick the missing stone back on or return the bag to the vendor. Same thing with all the blingy shirts that J. Crew sells. The blingys fall off and then the item is unwearable.
I have to say, the bag is beautiful–and me, being pragmatic, would be afraid to use a bag with stones because of my harsh ways. I know I would bang the bag into something or drop it and the stones would fall off!! XOXOXO!!!
See! That’s exactly why I always go for serviceable instead of fun! I did like that it was so big.
I swear you are my blog sista – everything you write about here I’ve written somewhere on my blog too! LOL. I love me a hobo bag, which means I am completely out of fashion right now but whatever. My absolute favorite hobo is the Fendi Spy from the early ’00s, I collect them obsessively. My tip is, carry one HUGE bag that you rarely rotate, then carry a second one that’s smaller and just has the essentials. You can rotate the smaller one more easily and more often 😉
Hi Marey! Happy belated siblings day!!! Oh I am diggin’ your advice on the HUGE bag that rarely gets rotated and caring a smaller one. I’m over the moon because I’ve had my good eye on the Longchamp Leather Le cuir bag in red. RED!!!!! Bonaparte got it for my birthday but I can’t open the box till next week! XOXOXOXO!!!
Yep, it’s a nice system! 🙂
Omg…I recently went to Paris and had an accidental Longchamp binge! I’ve been trying to figure out the type of bag that suits my lifestyle so definitely great tips! I really enjoy the size and the carefree nature and especially the freakin’ zippers! I’ve always wanted an LV neverfull but there are no zippers!!!! Great post and collection photos!
Hi meeper! An “accidental” Longchamp binge? There are no accidents with the beloved Longchamps! You will have a lifetime of pleasure with your Longchamps!! Wear them well. Oh. I’ve always coveted the LV Neverfull but my covet is waning due to the recent increase in price–for coated canvas??????????!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!
Right?? It’s beautiful but not sure if it’s worth it for a canvas. I’m definitely considering the preloved market. I recommend checking out Saint Laurent totes. Very beautiful and less than a neverfull. Haha…no accidents indeed 🙂
Hi Meeperloves. I’m presently waiting for a delivery. A brand new leather Longchamp bag. It WAS $354.90 for the Anniversary sale. After the sale the price climbs up to $530.00. A good deal. Right? Well, I don’t know what happened to the tan color but it was online for $185.00 and with my discount I ended up getting the bag for $157.00. That’s my kind of deal! XOXOXOXO!