Is spending money on designer handbags worth it?

Not so much a New Year’s resolution, but since the being-unemployed-and-having-no-money-and-then-getting-a-job-and-making-a-lot-less-money-than-before thing, I’m trying to spend my money more wisely (to varying degrees of success).

I know they say to make your investment pieces your shoes and handbags. My tendency, however, is to buy a lot of clothing rather than pay for quality and have fewer items. (I can’t help it! I see cute things and my fingers order them without my brain engaging! I could never even pretend to be French.)

The thing is that, like with the Chloé Susanna boots, I just can’t reconcile paying the price of a trip to Europe on a pair of shoes. That’s not to say I haven’t ever paid what I consider too much money on a pair of shoes or have only cheap handbags. But I do prefer buying lesser known or, preferably, indie designers. I don’t like advertising for a brand. The one bag I have that has a well-known name on it (thought it’s a canvas bag), I wear that side on the inside.

(I do confess the desire to one day own at least one pair of Manolos or Jimmy Choos or Louboutins.)

So, given my usual aversion to status bags, I am surprised by my recent fascination with them.


Two bloggers that I read have both been posting looks with their Chanel quilted flap bags. There is no way to hide that this is a Chanel bag. If I wore it backwards, there would be no point. (Not that I could afford any of them even used.) But look, there is something so undeniably special and fashionable about them.



And Chloé rears its ugly head again. The Marcie bags are so distinctive. Again, it’s not like anyone could think you were carrying anything but a Chloé. But my friend Judith in Nice has one in a different color, and when I saw her carrying it, something inside me went, “Wow, that’s really kind of nice.”


Similarly, when I met up with Olivia the other day, we were on the subway back to Brooklyn, and I just had to fondle her Céline luggage tote bag. (Is it stupid to say that I have never been that close to a big-name designer bag?) And I couldn’t help but admire it. I was surprised by how much. Olivia said it’s just the perfect bag with everything, and I really couldn’t argue.

bagcraze_mulberry_neely5 I’ve only just discovered the Mulberry Neely bags, but OH MY GOD, the vintage feel of them, I just die. I do like that they are only well-known if you know of them. They don’t have a conspicuous name brand anywhere. But there’s still the matter of the price.

I’ve noticed that it’s much more usual to see women walking around with status bags, say, in France. It is a big French thing to spend the big bucks on pieces like this. I do wish often that I could emulate their effortless stylishness. Minimalist outfit, status bag.

Not that, even if I stopped buying makeup for a year, could I afford one of these bags. I have big, big things to be saving up for (World Cup in Brazil, what?!) But my heart has been lost, and I can’t help the longing.

If you could get a status bag, which would you get?
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