I am not the girliest of girls (proclaims the “girl” who runs a nail polish blog!) but I do love my handbags.
My very first leather bag was one of two: it was either a red Coach demi shoulder bag with the softest, smoothest leather—this was around 15 years ago, folks! baguettes were in and Coach leather was super—or an edgier, cement-grey Hype hobo in no-fuss, slightly shiny but still very soft leather.
I want to say it was the Coach that was first. Either way, I adored the Coach but didn’t get that many chances to use it, since it was so small. I also loved the Hype and used it to hell! It was fantastic because it had a comfortable, adjustable strap that let me wear it both on the shoulder and crossbody. Plus, I found that grey goes with almost everything.
Fast forward about 15 years and I’m really happy with my bag collection, and am thinking of trimming it down—I have a lot of bags that I no longer use and should really just donate—and, of course, I’d love to add a brand new bag, as well!
It turns out that I didn’t buy a single handbag for myself last year. That’s pretty stunning, because I don’t think I’ve had a no-handbag year for…many years…before 2015. It’s probably a sign that I’m mostly satisfied with my collection. (Either that, or I spent too much money on nail polish last year.) I definitely go through shopping phases—in 2014, I got a number of bags, but hardly any makeup at all! And last year it was the reverse.
On a more personal note, the last week has been a bit trying, as I’ve had to go to the doctor more often than I’d like—even a first-ever trip to the emergency room for me—and as a result I’ve neglected the blog even more. Today I am satisfied that everything is all right for the time being, but since I was trying to take my mind off medical issues for the last several days, I got bitten by the handbag bug again! Internet shopping is so evil, but what else can you do when you’re instructed to rest all day?
Luckily, it’s only been internet window shopping. My clicky finger has been stayed by the atrocious and only getting atrocious-er Canadian to US dollar exchange rate (we’re at 70 cents to the dollar, now, eek) so I’m just starting to compile my shortlist for My Next Handbag Addition, Which, If I Wait for the Canadian Dollar to Partially Recover, Might Not Even Be For 2016.
I’ve bought way too much Rebecca Minkoff in 2014, so I’ll probably move on to something else, particularly since I’m not keen on most of her new styles. Here’s a list of the bags I added in 2014 (keep in mind that I barely bought any makeup and clothes in 2014!), and after that I’ll share my Next Handbag Shortlist.
Handbags I Added in 2014
Phoebe Satchel in Grey
Rachel Nasvik, based out of New York City, used to make the most gorgeous vintage-inspired handbags that are made in the USA! She hasn’t really done much in recent years, which makes me really sad, but I did manage to add this grey Patricia to my very small RN collection (which also includes a burgundy Patricia, a white/tan Bianca, and a black Phoebe). The Patricia is a little awkward to carry due to its size, but I love the styling to pieces! The bags all come with a bright cobalt blue cotton lining, too.
I have eBay email me every time a Rachel Nasvik bag pops up there; I bought this used (or “pre-loved”, as they like to say!) for US$50.
Quilted Mini Affair in Hunter with Gold hardware
Rebecca Minkoff needs no introduction; her brand has taken off like crazy and I see (mostly) young women with her bags all the time. The market saturation doesn’t turn me off: I love the brand and its vibe, though it’s really not as good as it used to be back in the day, when RMs were all made in the US and the styles were more unique. Nowadays, there are too many styles that are heavily inspired by other brands.
This hunter green bag definitely looks more green in real life; the stock photo has it looking nearly black! I found this baby at Winners for CA$90 and snapped her up!
Mini MAC in White with Rose Gold hardware
I picked up this white and rose gold bag (just love that combo!) when it went on sale at eluxe.ca (don’t think they’re around anymore). I’ve used it quite a lot in the spring and summer months, and it has surprisingly not picked up any denim staining at all! I should probably use it even in winter, as I think it works all-year round.
Erin Tote in Pastel Green
I spotted this bag in this fantastic mint green shade at Hudson’s Bay, but balked at the price. Yes, it’s a nice bag with nice leather, but I’m not paying $250 for a Fossil bag! They always go on sale! And so I found it online at 6pm for US$120 and had US-based family bring it up for me.
I’ve actually talked about this bag before: it’s a fantastically functional bag! It holds a ton without turning into some horrible, awkward shape, and can be worn three ways, with a fully adjustable strap. I think a lot of higher end brands should get with the program and offer more adjustable straps (I suspect they don’t because buckles and doubled straps don’t necessarily fit the aesthetic of their fancy bags). I’m a shorty and a shoulder strap that works on a 5’5″ or taller woman doesn’t work well on me!
Ryan Baby Diaper Bag in Supernova Lightning
For some reason, I always thought LeSportsac was an Asian brand; it turns out they were started in 1974 in the US, although in 2011 they were bought by a Japanese company. So now, they’re Asian(-owned).
This is the first LeSportsac item I’ve ever owned, and it’s a diaper bag! I didn’t want anything too fussy, but I did want it to look nice and not be crazy expensive. I got it for under US$120 at Amazon. Now that I’ve used it for a year and a half, I will say I’m really pleased with how it’s held up, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a diaper bag! It is pretty huge, but I basically keep it permanently attached to the stroller.
Mini MAC in Azure with Silver hardware
Local clothing store Zane runs sales every now and then, and I picked up two Rebecca Minkoff bags when they were nicely discounted. This Azure (really more like a teal) is perfect for summer! I paid CA$90.
Quilted Mini Affair with Studs in Banana
This is the second bag I got from that Zane sale in 2014. I love that I got it in a fun color like canary yellow! The studs are also yellow. This one was CA$102.
That ends my 2014 handbag acquisition list. Here’s my shortlist for what I’d like to eventually splurge on, whether it’s later this year or sometime next year…hopefully not longer than 2017! C’mon Canadian dollar! Hahaha!
Shortlist for My Next Handbag Addition, Which, If I Wait for the Canadian Dollar to Partially Recover, Might Not Even Be For 2016
City satchel, in a bright color
Balenciaga motorcycle bags are ones I’ve always admired, but never felt I could pull off. I’m starting to get the Bal bug, though, and think that if I get one in a punchy color, it’d feel more like me. I like the look of the new metallic edge bags, but they’ll probably start feeling too gaudy to me. I’ll go with the classic with larger hardware, preferably rose gold—might have to go pre-owned, here, as I’m not in love with the current season’s color options. Another drawback: the infamous Balenciaga fading.
Paraty Satchel, Medium or Small (undecided), color undecided
Chloé is my favorite luxury bag designer, and the leather they use is just so thick and smooshy! I’ve wanted a Paraty for ages, but am always worried that it doesn’t really fit the way I like to wear a bag (shoulder or crossbody). You can wear a Paraty on the shoulder, but I always think it looks nicer handheld or in the crook of the arm. One other drawback is that the thick leather and distinctive hardware makes the bags quite heavy. Still, my heart skips a beat whenever I see one.
Nightingale, Medium (if old design, top in blue) or Small (in new design, top in pink), color undecided
The last time we went to Europe (haha, that sounds like I’m such a jetsetter—I’m not, at all!), DH and I both treated ourselves to luxe purchases. He got a watch in Florence, and I got a Givenchy bag in Paris. They’re quite a bit cheaper in France than they are in Canada, too. The Nightingale was number one on my list, but as soon as I saw the Pandora, and in violet, no less, I was smitten and got that instead. Of course, now Givenchy has redesigned the Nightingale! I actually love both designs; they each have their pros and cons.
Love Crossbody, in some gorgeous color
Yeah, I know, I’m obsessed! I also realize this is shamelessly inpired by Chanel’s Boy bag, but hey, everyone rips off everyone else, even amongst the luxury brands. I actually like the design of the Love better than the Boy, too…so sue me! Of course, the quality won’t be as good, but the Love is more of a fun, night-out bag, anyway, and it also doesn’t cost upwards of US$3k!
I’ll probably get the Love—full-sized, if you please, I’m tired of mini bags!—if the Canadian dollar doesn’t improve by the end of the year, making me loath to buy anything more expensive.
If you have any of my wishlist bags, please let me know how you like them! Nothing better than hearing about personal experiences (which is also why I spent too much time browsing the Purse Forum).
Are you a handbag collector? What are your favorites, and what’s on your wishlist?