I’ve Done Some Shopping………

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!

Longchamp made in France

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.

Long champ leather bag caramel

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.

Wallet out of the box

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.

Burch bag

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 with nothing in it

Wallet opened.  It has quite a few slots for credit and other cards..

Wallet opened top view

…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..

Tote Outside handle detail

I love the detailing like the little buckle and the stitching is even too–which is also a good thing.

Tote Interior detail

The inside is lined and has pockets and a zippered divider…

Tote. Stuff Inside

..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.

Borgasets 009

…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.

MK watch

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!

Chelsea 28 and Ivanka trump shoes

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!!

Paul Green booties on bed

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.

Paul Green booties

…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.

Minkoff and Paul Green

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.

Minkoff Regan Tote

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!!!

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About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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33 Responses to I’ve Done Some Shopping………

  1. mareymercy says:

    Rebecca Minkoff is a great line!

    I have a few Louis Vuittons in my rotation and IMHO they are worth every penny. However, I have always bought my luxury brands resale. You probably DON’T need to know about the best place online to buy high-end bags and other goods ever…but I’m going to tell you anyway. Fashionphile. Check them out if you haven’t already – they have a really good layaway plan!! I got a Limited Edition Fendi Spy bag there called the Moncler – only 500 of them made, and they retailed for $2400 at the time (2008, I think). I paid $500 for mine and put it on layaway to do it. I freaking love that bag! I got a fantastic Fendi shopper bag there that I use constantly for around $400, again bought on layaway. And an awesome Hermes necklace that was a steal at around $275…and you can sell bags to them too. Oh and if you buy a bag from them you have 90 to use it and within that time frame you can sell it back to them for 70% of what you paid originally. I have rotated lots of bags through them over the years!

    And also, on the bargain front: Free People makes the most gorgeous vegan handbag. It’s called the Slouchy Vegan Tote, and they’ve been making it for at least two years now. I’ve had several and they are fabulous – huge, soft, and it comes with two matching pouches. Every time I carry mine I get so many compliments and people cannot believe it isn’t real leather! I see women carrying them everywhere around here. And the kicker is, it’s only $68! It is up there with my LVs for me, one of my favorite bags!

    Sorry to go on, but I do love me some handbags…

    Liked by 2 people

    • mareymercy says:

      Oh, and the Slouchy Vegan Tote is also REVERSIBLE. I forgot to mention that 🙂 I’d put a link to it but I don’t think WP allows it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Catherine says:

        Oh. Cynthia…..I”m eyeing the LV Shopping tote. Oh yes. I am!! XOXOXO!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • mareymercy says:

        I have a Neverfull in the signature print that I adore, and a little Damasque in the Damier print that is also fabulous. I am hard in my bags; I am if the belief that if I pay a lot for them they damn well should be able to take abuse, and the LVs definitely can! So can my Fendis. I just love them and the nice thing is one will lady so long and will always be in style! Soon I am going to write a purse and perfume post 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Catherine says:

        Cynthia. I’m the same way. I’m VERY hard on my bags. I literally throw them into my car–it’s awful!! I’m glad that you are telling me that the LV’s hold up! Please-write that purse and perfume post!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • mareymercy says:

        Me too! I don’t understand the logic of ‘I paid so much for this bag that I am going to baby it.’ If I paid over 1K for a purse (which I never have but I’ve gotten close) by God, it WILL endure dirt and rain! And my coated canvas Vuittons certainly do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. calensariel says:

    You have some really nice totes there. I have a hard time finding ones I like because most of the just have the flap that folds over the top and snaps. Crap. I’d be FOREVER losing stuff out of something like that! (rolls eyes…)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. animar64 says:

    You know what my sassy skirts and boots need right? Oh yessssss handbags!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Soul Gifts says:

    Lordy, lordy!! I go to the Op Shop for my bags. For $20 I can get good quality designer label bags, some of them never used 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Soul! That’s why I LOVED the “Red, White, and Blue” Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Hamilton New Jersey. The wealthy Princtonians would donate great stuff. I ended up with an old-school Coach bag for three bucks! It was the best bargian ever!! XOXOXO!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jilly says:

    I was getting nervous just reading about that spree and ready to ask if B. read your blog when I read the last sentence ! I hope darling that you thank the Gods every day for that man !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Jilly. Every day and every night I thank God and count my blessings for the four most important people in my world–Bonaparte and my kids, Jake, Roman and Oona! Their my universe!! And one day I’ll write a post about how Bonaparte came into my life and made it better! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  6. Bernadette says:

    SOME GREAT STYLING TIPS HERE. I DON’T KNOW A GREAT DEAL ABOUT BAGS BUT I DO KNOW SHOES AND PAUL GREEN’S ARE THE BEST. I AM ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT FOR A PAIR ON SALE. IF YOU GET A CHANCE PLEASE POST AT THE SALON TODAY.
    P.S. – HOW IS THE NEW JOB?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hipchick66 says:

    So many new goodies, enjoy them all! And I must say, I blame you for my new wee obsession with Longchamp. In fact, I can blame you for a few obsessions! 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. KaboodleMum says:

    So much lovely stuff! I’m in need of a new bag and these leather ones have really tickled my fancy! I will have to have a look around for British makes (that don’t cost a bomb!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. junedesilva says:

    Oh dear! You are feeding my handbag addiction – mainly unfulfilled! I LOVE that leather Longchamp tote. I do have a navy blue Longchamp pliage, in nylon – very pratical but not as beautiful as your leather one. I won’t mention my LV neverfull!!! Very silly money for a bag that’s not even leather, as you said in a previous post! But a wonderful present for a special birthday 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June! Oh..I’m STILL wishing and hoping (like Dusty Springfield) that a LV Neverfull will make it’s way to my Christmas tree! I realize it’s silly money, but hey–the bag is beautiful! I have various nylon pliages..my brown one is now used as a beach bag!! But those LG leather bags……….Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  10. JulietC says:

    Oh I love a bag – and I am so fussy, a bag doesn’t need to be mega expensive (can’t afford the mega expensive) but it does need to be good quality and not too fussy – I hate fankly bits that dingle and dangle unless they add something to the design rather than mask flaws. The daughter (21yrs old and very picky) has a wee black Longchamp backpack – so cute, and when it needed its popper thingy fixed the company were so nice and obliging and now they have a fan for life! She really is adorable trotting along with her backpack, sighhhhh. Truly buying a bag is about the materials, the design, the ethics wherever it is from and also about the service of the company, it all has to come together.

    I have had good bag successes via Plumo a (lovely chestnutty leather bag with a shoulder strap covered in rivets – it is beyond gorgeous in my opinion, and a special splurge when there was a discount – I don’t know how to attach a photo here or via facebook message but trust me it is VERY lovely), Tula do super wallets and bags and seem to be having a good sale, Fossil sometimes do nice bags – their stuff is good quality but sometimes I get annoyed as they can be a bit over designed and take over whatever the outfit is, and there are some small indie producers on Etsy – don’t forget Etsy, I have a lovely bag from there. Currently I am lusting after a cranberry coloured tote on Etsy – it is the most perfect fruit compote colour and so simple and lovely looking, a lusting after a bag from All Saints and a bag from Jigsaw which are a favourite UK coimpany but that list could grow like topsy if I wasn’t ruthless in my adoration of bag perfection.

    Ohhh keep the bag posts coming – this is the perfect post as you are not peddling the unacheivable lifestyle and giving great sensible advice from one real woman to others, I love you (and I am loving the other ladies – so many leads for a bag detective to follow)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. First of all, what you said about Fossil..it’s true sometimes their bags just get so fussy..if they toned it down, it would be great! All Saints is relatively new to me but boy, their bags are very, very nice! I have to check out Plumo! Oh. I’ll be writing more about bags in the future. Even though I’m not a big bag rotator, I still love them! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  11. doodletllc says:

    Ha! I laughed out loud…I thought I was the only one who knew about Toe Cleavage…Too Funny…but I totally agree with keeping those shoes. Love all the bags. Here’s another tip for beautiful bags at bargain prices…TJ Maxx. You’ve got to search and their stock changes (almost) daily, but there are some wonderful finds for the picking. Such a fun post, Catherine. You know, you might need to do a part-time stint to keep the shopping ideas fresh and the employee discount active(!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh. Doodle! Toe Cleavage is so incredible. I love shoes that give off that wonderful little peek–it’s very alluring but ladylike!! It’s so funny but so many of my friends always find great bags at TJ’s. It seems every time I go there I don’t have luck. Although, I DO have a red clutch bag that I bought at TJ’s four years ago. I made the purchase because I needed a bag for a wedding. Well, I paid ten bucks for the bag and it is in constant use for all things dressy!!! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  12. Yvonne says:

    Hi Catherine, What a bargain on the Longchamp – I am so envious as it is a beautiful bag. I have a Longchamp black leather bag that has what I call a plumb pudding shape but left it back in Aus – now I am upset I didn’t bring it with me. I actually bought an item from H&M here when I first arrived – a suede bag with bamboo handle – my first and last H&M item EVER. At the end of summer it will be ditched forthwith as the quality is shocking. I would have taken IT back, but paid cash, and did not keep the receipt. Your Post on returning was extremely enlightening and I am shocked at the condition items can be returned. Though have a gist of this from reading reviews on US online shopping sites. I really liked the wallet and I think the blue again the body of the wallet (Titian’s influence of terracotta and aquamarine) is beautiful. Really liked the Paul Green shoes on you and another bargain. I have a pair of boots that I bought in London in 1997 by Paul Green. I only just got rid of them as they were looking a bit dated. The quality is great and as I have a horrid wide foot they were very comfortable. I think the Knickerbockers are telling their own pork pies (lies) if they deny replicating the Beatles sound. You have a great breadth of music knowledge and must be formidable at playing music games. cheers Y

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Yvonne!! How could you leave a leather Longchamp bag behind????? My heart! My heart! Yeah, no offense to H & M because you can pick up basics like t-shirts there, but the bags–a bad rain or snow and forget it!! Yeah–isn’t that wallet really nice? I’m thinking of getting one in black. It’s holding up nicely. I didn’t realize that Paul Green was around since the nineties..I did wear those bootie shoes today and they were incredibly comfortable. I’m really loving them!!!
      Oh…the Knickerbocker’s sound EXACTLY like the early Beatles. Exactly!! Have a great evening. I’m off to watch more Olympics.

      Like

  13. Great read! I agree that just because it has a brand name doesn’t mean that it is going to be a good purchase. There was a time when I would only carry a bag that was designer. But the bags that I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on are now just sitting in my closet because they are peeling, seams are coming apart, etc. They just look raggedy. I won’t mention any names but let’s just say that being designer doesn’t necessarily make it great quality. I will say though that all of my Marc Jacob bags look exactly how they look when I bought them and I’ve had them for years.

    http://www.bluelabelsboutique.com
    http://www.fashionnotfear.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fashion! Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. As soon as I finish the post I’m writing, I’m heading over to your site! But it’s so true about the designer labels. Oh..I will say that Marc Jacobs does make a beautiful and well-constructed bag. But as far as many other high-end luxe designers go, It’s insane to pay two and three thousand dollars on an item that will sit in a closet. When I worked at Nordstrom, I was depressed after watching women who had to use three and four credit cards in order to purchase a “name”. It was so sad. I’m loving my no-brand stuff! It’s just as good as the others! XOXOXO!!

      Liked by 1 person

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