Alright. I’ve learned quite a bit about handbags while working at Nordstrom, and have been educated about “brand name” handbags, I’ve learned that some of the popular brand names are really good while others—well, they are pretty crappy.
Naturally, my all-time favorite brand of bags is Longchamp and I was passionate about guiding buyers over to their line. I love the leather bags and they continue to make the bags in France. My Longchamp bags are my little leather babies!
Yes. Longchamp bags ARE made in France. I cannot say the same about many other EXPENSIVE brand name bags!
And during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I did a bit of shopping. Thanks to a customer who noticed an error in price when I ordered the caramel colored Le Pliage Cuir Tote by Longchamp for her. I was able to make the same purchase—except with a 20% discount. Yes! This one bag showed up on the Nordstrom site for $185.40. With my discount, it was $148.32 plus tax. That same bag is now $530.00.
I swear to you if the wonderful customer I helped did not point out the low price, I would have NEVER gotten this bag. I am so in love with it that I’ve taken it to my new job every day. I don’t think I’ll be rotating this bag any time soon!
But my Longchamp purchase, along with the price of many name-brand bags, got me to thinking-could I find a bag comparable many brands that department stores sell. Would I be able to find a bag and a wallet for under $100.00? Most brand name bags are $200.00 and up—and I’m not even going to touch the price point of designer bags.
This would be a challenge.
I did my research by going to various stores in the mall during my breaks. Neiman Marcus—most of their bags are out of my price range. Macy’s had garbage. Complete garbage. And much of it was pricier garbage. Same with Lord & Taylor. Bloomingdales was on par with Nordstrom. Other specialty shops such as H & M and Forever 21 had inexpensive bags, but they were cheap looking and close up, looked poorly made.
So I decided to go online and researched on Amazon. After looking through hundreds of no-name bags, I came upon a “company” named Borgasets. I first came across the brand when looking for wallets. The one I kept going back to was a decent looking tumbled leather one and looked like it had room to spare. Lots of slots for credit cards and two zippered compartments. For the price of $32.00, it seemed pretty decent.
The Borgasets wallet. I am diggin’ that shiny tumbled leather…
I searched some more and found a leather tote also by the brand Borgasets. The brown leather tote looked really nice. It had the look of a high-end tote bag, the fact it was leather was a good point and it looked roomy enough for my needs. In addition, it was the same tumbled leather as the wallet. At $62.00 it still came under my budget and since there was only 1 brown left in stock, I ordered it. Both items came in at less than $100.00.
Oh. And both items are made in China. I know, I know…I’ve made the promise over and over again to purchase goods made here. But—the Made in America label is oftentimes incredibly expensive. And next time you go shopping for a Tory Burch bag, or a Kate Spade bag or a Marc Jacobs bag—take note of where they are made. I rest my case.
Yeah. I spent more money on this small Tory Burch crossbody bag than I did for my leather Longchamp tote. This bag serves the purpose but it is WAYYYY over priced. It is normally $225.00 and I purchased it with a hefty discount while on sale. Chalk it up as a dopey purchase on my part. Never again!
When the wallet was delivered, I was somewhat surprised to see that the packaging looked more high-end then I expected. The wallet also came in its own little dust bag too. I thought that was a nice touch.
I was really expecting the wallet to be covered in bubble wrap only. I was pleasantly surprised to see the wallet come packaged like this. The dust bag is good for storage.
Wallet opened. It has quite a few slots for credit and other cards..
…and has two zippered compartments. I use one side for change and the other for bills.
After inspecting the wallet, I came to the conclusion that the wallet is fine. My only “concern” is the two zippers. They feel kind of “loose” so I’m not sure how long they will hold up. But—I’ve zipped many “brand name” wallets when I was working at Nordstrom and some of them felt the same way. I’m talking wallets that were over $100.00.
So far, the wallet has been holding up very well, proving that you can get a decent leather wallet for a budgeted price.
The tote. What can I say? I love it! It is very well-constructed. I love the little touches like the buckles on the handles. I love the look of the stitching. The tumbled leather looks great. It holds all my stuff, it has separate compartments and pockets. I only wish the handles were slightly thicker-but it’s no big deal. It has the look and feel of a much more expensive and high-end tote.
Outside of the tote. Again, nicely tumbled leather. I’m loving this color too. There is an outside zipper on one side–perfect for my cell phone..
I love the detailing like the little buckle and the stitching is even too–which is also a good thing.
The inside is lined and has pockets and a zippered divider…
..and it is perfect for work and all the other stuff I carry, like an umbrella, my over sized date book (which I hardly use but NEED to carry) and my lunch.
…and the wallet goes so well with my Longchamp bag!!
Look—I’m in excellent “handbag” shape right now and won’t need a bag purchase for a very long time, but I tell you, I would definitely purchase another bag from this company.
The deliveries on both items were delivered way before the date that Amazon gave me so overall, I’m thrilled.
And speaking of the Anniversary sale, I picked up a watch. I feel like a complete hypocrite because the watch is Michael Kors, and I’m not a fan of his. But this watch has a wrap band and I love it so much.
Kors isn’t my favorite brand by any means but I love this watch because it reminds me of the Hermes wrap watch that I cannot afford!
I also purchased a small clutch bag for $21.00 with my discount. It’s a Stella McCartney knock off and is normally $48.00. When I was working, these bags literally flew out of the store! The bag is by Chelsea 28–a lot less expensive then McCartney’s version!
This clutch bag with a silver chain was a great buy at $21.00 plus the discount. I love the fact that metallics are the new neutrals. I can wear this dressed up with this lovely pointy-toed shoes. The shoes are by Ivanka Trump. I have to be honest here-I almost threw these shoes in the trash because of the last name. But I couldn’t because the toe-cleavage these shoes give off is just so epic! I’ll wear them on election day when I vote for Hillary!
Another bargain I found was at Nordstrom Rack. I follow a blog based on fashion and style for women over 50, Une Femme d’un Certain âge. One of the brands of shoes that is recommended is Paul Green. Have you ever heard of this brand? I hadn’t until I read the blog. I was pretty much on the fence about these Paul Green shoes until I saw them in person. They happen to be sold at Nordie’s and there are a few models that are really nice looking and some that are kind of not me. But at $349.00 for the pair that I really, really liked—a bootie with a peep-toe, I just couldn’t justify the purchase. I don’t spend that much on my made-to-fit Rondini’s or Repetto ballet flats!!
I have to admit. These shoes are adorable…
Ok..so let me continue. I was at Rack just browsing around and headed over to the shoe area. In the midst of the piles of shoes, I spotted what appeared to be the same leather as the Paul Green booties I saw at Nordstrom. I hit paydirt! I ended up making the purchase at $107.00. Oh..I also had a ten dollar coupon! And the shoes were worth every dollar. These are incredibly comfortable. I’m shocked.
…and Oh, Hi-Oh, are these Paul Green Cayanne booties comfy! The leather is incredibly soft!
They will also look great with my Rebecca Minkoff Regan Tote that I purchased while working at Nordies. Someone returned it, my boss put it on the sale table, and I grabbed it before anyone else could. Sometimes a return is a good thing.
Can you believe how well these shoes go with the Rebecca Minkoff Regan Tote I got on sale??? I paid less than half price for the bag!!
Do I mind purchasing an item that was returned? Nope! I’ll tell you why. Stores are very particular about returned merch. A reliable store will only resale returned items that have not been used and are in perfect condition. And it is all the better when the price is slashed by a very large percentage.
I may not be crazy about fringe, but I’m in love with the color, the construction, the tumbled leather and the sale price!
When you are looking for sales and good ones at that, chances are that some of the merchandise that’ll be on sale has been reduced. So check the items really well to ensure that you are getting a great buy!
Well, I hope you enjoyed shopping with me!! I’m not going to be shopping any time soon because I promised Bonaparte that I won’t spend money—and he reads my blog!
Here’s a good song “Lies” by the Knickerbockers!!! It is befitting of me! No Bonaparte, I didn’t go shopping!!!