Monday, January 31, 2005

Fake Purse Ninjas: Part I

So let’s talk purses, bags, pocket books, whatever you call them locally…

First, you must personally and consciously decide “why am I carrying a bag?” and “what are the essentials for its purpose?” I personally hate the IDEA of a purse, generally, the fact that I have to be responsible for certain items (keys, money, ID, sunglasses, lip gloss…), but they are irresistible because a bag can change the way you feel, like an outfit, and THEY ALWAYS FIT…

First things first: evaluation.

As you may know by now, my personal mantra in life is: There is a time and a place…. This goes for purses as well. Here are a few of my purse peeves (and if I know you and you fall into any of these categories, I have probably moved past the fact that I don’t like your purse and I can be friends with you anyway…I do not base my friendships on purses…now shoes…) Evaluate your current purse to see if it falls unwittingly into any of these categories…

The Don’ts

A purse that is too young for you.


The latest line of Dooney & Burkes D & B HeartsLindsey 1of which Lidsey Lohan is the spokesperson…is this a clue?) is not for you unless you are still in high school or you are a freshman in college. I cringe when I see an “obviously-for-a-teenager-trendy” purse on the arm or shoulder of a woman of responsible drinking age. >(I have nothing against Dooney & Burke…this goes for ALL purses of similarly juvenile style.)

A purse that is too old for you.

Maybe you have a preconceived notion of what a “purse” should be.
Ugly 3
The purse your mother carried is most likely NOT still in style unless she paid more than $5,000 for it. Purses go through general, or big style, changes, noticeable to the layman’s eye, every three years or so. For what you paid for your last purse, can you get three years of wear and style of it? My guess is that you CAN, if you chose the right purse… Pay attention. Go to Nordstrom to get the low down of what’s going on in the purse scene, Some Satchel 4
then go buy Isaac Mizrahi’s or Mossimo’s version at Target and you’re set.
Mossimo Satchel
You wouldn’t let your shoes get out of date would you? Would you? We’ll get to that later…

A purse that is too “haute couture” for shopping at Wal-Mart or for everyday.

The time for this bag is going out, going “shopping” (the activity kind, not the necessity kind), going to dinner, going somewhere where you want your mortal enemy to be SO jealous of your bag… A great bag is like virginity…if it’s so special, save it for something special… for crying out loud.
IMG_0707
Crazy 7Crazy 8

A purse that is too old, age wise.

If you can see threads, fraying edges, cracks, stains, rips, etc. give it to charity. If you feel like you would be embarrassed seeing it on the arm of a poor person, do us all a favor and throw it away. Get another purse, they still make them…I don’t care if it’s your favorite and it’s lucky because you took it to the Nelson Twins concert and they threw a guitar pick and you caught it and keep it in your lucky purse. Scrapbook the pick, ditch the purse. Unless you paid more than $5,000 for it in which case, take it to a professional restorer and have it preserved for your kids. They will thank you for it.

A purse that is the wrong size for the occasion.

I used to stuff my Easter purses (the one that came free with the dress) with tissues to make it look full. One of the greatest freedoms I ever allowed myself was changing purses when the activity changed. For example, I need a good medium “satchel” or “hobo” style bag for everyday use…I need the real estate, but when I go to a movie (which is rarely a spontaneous event), I take my “movie bag” which is not necessarily pretty (the movies are dark), but big enough to hold my phone, my lip gloss, and some contraband bottles of water. IMG_0708A wristlet was created for occasions when all you need is your lip gloss and your phone and some cash. Ladies, LIBERATE your selves! Get one bigger bag and one smaller bag and it will change your life!
too big 9
Wristlet 12

A purse that is designer but ugly anyway.

A lot of people think that just because they spent $499 or $4.99 on a purse that happens to be “designer” means that they are free and clear. WRONG. Designers make a lot of ugly, NOT timeless things, because they know that there are label whores out there who will pay for just about anything. Muiccia Prada makes A LOT of really ugly bags, but as long as people see that ugly plastic triangle, they think they’re the bomb. (Prada also has a lot of GREAT bags too, especially for professionals…I was just picking on her…)
Ugly designer

Purse tip of the day from my mother:
Pouches 13

She has organized her purse into “pouches”’ she purchased at the Container Store. She has personal items in one, hygiene items in another, receipts, etc. She also has her wallet, phone, and keys. When she needs to change purses, for going out, going to the temple, matching outfit, special occasion, she just takes the pouches that she needs. This way she doesn’t feel tied to all of the objects in her purse, she is able to prioritize what she needs for that moment. Plus the pouches are way cute and they cost $1.99 - $2.99.

Personally, I keep a lip gloss and a couple of stale pieces of gum in every bag I own so that I am never without. Maybe a Sharpie… and a temporary tattoo, also…you never know, be prepared I always say. That’s my tip.
IMG_0711

But of course, I’ll end with a disclaimer: personal style transcends all. Where would we be without the Cyndi Laupers and the Punk Brewsters of the world? If you are digging the Louis Vuitton grafitti and stud purse for shopping at Albertson’s, by all means…especially if you have the chance of running into your mortal enemy and you want her to be jealous of your bag…
cyndi18Punky Brewster



28 comments:

Carly said...

Another life-changing post! I will print this one, along with the nylons post, and put it up on the bulletin board I recently added to my closet for important fashion inspiration. Love the pouch idea. It totally will free me up--and I'm always looking for excuses to buy things at the Container store. Thanks again, personal consultant.

Marcy Dibbleblotts said...

Love the post and the pouch idea also. Will head to Container Store after work.

Jess said...

Well done!

"A purse that is designer but ugly anyway": please add Fendi to the list. Am I missing something?

"A purse that is too “haute couture” for shopping at Wal-Mart or for everyday." If I were a person who had the luxury of buying these kinds of purses, they wouldn't be on my arm for evening wear, but with a white top & jeans. I'm weird, I know.

I don't switch purses for the event or occasion, I need life to be simpler than that. BUT I know I look like a freak because the cell phone pouch in my current purse is huge and swallows up my little phone.

Jess said...

Can we explore the tattoo thing?

Suzie Petunia said...

Wiser words were never written...except for the last post regarding the wearing of nylons and tights. Do you have any words to those shackled to a diaper bag? I try to make mine look like a big purse (ok, it looks like a big, dirty book bag from college). I just couldn't bear getting poop on a Prada...or in my case, a Target knock-off. Help.

Kudos to Mo for the pouch idea. Love it. Will spend my container store $10 gift certificate on them. (You know, the one they sent me for dropping SO MUCH cash at one time, they want to make sure I frequent them. Little do they know that was a one-time deal. Period. (You were there, Carrie. Remember? Good times...)

I really can't wait to hear what you have to say about shoes. I dare say it will require more than one post to cover formal, every day, athletic, etc. Can't wait!

Kacy said...

I'm starting to get nervous that Carrie Ann has moved into the blogging neighborhood, established credibility with her essential fashion posts, and soon she will start charging us for her advice. Don't let her know how dependent we are all becoming.

Star said...

Bravo! I liked this one perhaps even more than the nylons post. Purses are so fun and totally complete or kill the outfit. This post made me remember the aweful white purse that matched by baptism dress that I stuffed with kleenex when I was eight. Oh the days. . .

Alice said...

Bravo. Purse lady to the rescue.

I have one more tip I would like to add that has helped me through my purse phobia. I LOVE to shop, I love clothing, I love shoes, I love lingerie, I love make-up, I love jewelry, but I don't like buying purses... so I take or send a friend to do this job for me. I have discovered Marta is my best personal shopper. If she calls me from Macy's and says I see a purse here for you, I don't even ask what it looks like I know I need it and so I tell her to buy it. I say rely on friends in the areas that you feel the least comfortable in... Especially friends that know your wardrobe and "needs" inside and out.

Pouch? Just ordered some for me and some for friends that are going to find your advice useful.

Thanks again!!

Hint… Shoes... I love them!! I am in the process of buying flats... I hate flats because I am five two, but I need some sensible, but fun, don't need to be timeless shoes that still pop out and say, "hey look at my great shoes." For weekend wear I am looking into fun colored Puma tennis shoes, I also enjoy all of the flashy sequined flats to go with my jeans for my Saturday morning stroll through shopping districts… How do YOU feel on the flat shoe subject?

Carrie Ann said...

Don't worry...we've got to get through the DO'S of purses and then we will move on to shoes. In short, shoes are NOT like purses, they were not meant to last generations like a good Chanel quilted purse with chain. Shoes are mean to be fun. YES to fun flats YES to Puma steet shoes and always YES to sequins...didn't you know sequins make you look taller? and thinner? and smarter? and ....

Alice said...

Oh yes… and is that fun Dior from your own personal collection? Because if it was from mine I promise you would bump into me sporting it at the grocery store… I wouldn’t be able to put it down… wrong setting and all.

Anonymous said...

I am the second "don't," in case you were wondering.

fattooth said...

A. Nony... I'm sorry if your purse happens to look like number 2. It was hard to find a bad purse online and that's as close as I could come to something even remotley resembling something "too old". Heavens knows I don't have any bad purses to photograph...:)

And yes, Rebecca, that is a "Dior", I also have a "Chanel" a "Gucci" a "Louis Vuitton" and a "Marc Jacobs" but we'll get to that and the quotation marks next...

JP said...

Whoa. Your knowledge on these subjects FLOORS ME. I am so lost in your knowledgable and fashionable world.

I have one and a half purses that I use daily. (Nice briefcase/large purse with "evening purse" inside.) That's the best I can do.

CANNOT WAIT for the shoes post...

Alice said...

I am so proud of your collection, I want to say envious, but that would be bad of me.

I also have a “Gucci” which I am willing to give away to any one who would like it, she is red and darling, but I feel the leather looks too fake, making the “Gucci” an obvious fake… I hate obvious fakes.

I have bid at eBay on my dream “Louis Vuitton” and it is only a matter of time before she is mine, all mine.

Oh and Marc Jacobs… I always feel he is designing for me, not other women, just me… odd isn’t it? I swear though, look at his clothes and tell me if they don’t scream, 5’2” girl with dark brown hair that goes for classically business edgy… its me, isn’t it?

Sarah Marinara said...

I have never wanted to hug you more than I do right now. All I can say is I so wish we could travel Europe together and shop for shoes and purses. It is my dream. I love you more every single day!

Kaycee said...

That ANONYMOUS up there was me. I was accidentally anonymous all over the place yesterday.

Seriously, though, My taste in purses sucks. I just got rid of my "Backpack" purse two months ago.

My fashion sense in everything else sucks, too.

Kacy said...

Well, you'll be happy to know I just ordered my pouches from the Container Store. I also got a double rod extender for my daughter's closet--I'm changing my whole life starting with a bag-innard-makeover and a kid's closet re-vamping. It is exhilarating! If only my cousin Neil could find the straight man's alternative. Poor, straight Neil.

Kacy said...

PS, Since we are talking fashion, Sister See gave me a great coat--wait til you see it. I will post a picture. I'm going to need advice on pulling it off with retro flair as opposed to old-lady frump. Calling Carrie Ann. . .

mo said...

I'm Carrie's mother--aka mo and I have to give credit where credit is due. The pouch idea came from an episode of Clean Sweep from that organizer guy with the British accent. It was so obvious...why hadn't I thought of that sooner? I used to use one purse for winter and then grudgingly switch to another purse in the summer. It was just too much trouble to transfer all my junk to a different purse. Now the pouches make it a snap. I can switch purses as I am running out the door. Which brings me to another point. There is a part of town in the Houston area which local fashion divas lovingly call "Harwin". As in, "Hey, you wanna make a run to Harwin this week?" It is in the predominently Asian part of town and is one very long slightly run-down and kind of scarey road that is swarming with jewelry and purse and whatever else you may want stores where you can find every designer knockoff you can imagine. When Carrie comes to town it is a must-do activity. She is the one who opened my eyes to designer purses and their possibilities. Our personal favorite store is impossibly crowed and stuffed with purses of every color and design (okay, that describes most of the stores there) and behind the counter is an older middle-eastern man with the worst toupee in the history of hairpieces--but the guy does know his knockoffs. Whenever you pick up a purse, he begins shouting excitedly, "Look! Look! That is an exact copy of a Chanel. See?" He then pulls out an ad showing the original purse by the real designer to prove his point. The guy once sold me three purses in ten minutes and I'm not even that much into purses. He's good. He's also willing to knock a little off the price if you are willing to haggle.One last Harwin story--I think I should have written my own blog about Harwin--maybe I will--I once picked up a bag and asked the owner, "How much for this?" (you often have to do that as a lot of the stuff has no price on it) and the answer was, "$18 without the Prada tag, $20 with it!" They will put the designer tag on for you if you are willing to pay. I'm sure I just stood there for an extra 5 minutes with a silly look on my face as I digested that fact. Anyone out there wanna grab Carrie and go to Harwin? I haven't even said a word about the jewelry....unbelievable and cheap beyond words!!!!

Her Evil Sister! said...

Fantastic. I love little purses. You start to carry to much stuff the bigger you get. Mine fits inside the baby's bag. It's red. I looking for the perfect heels to match. Yes, please do talk about shoes. I love your post!!!!

Alice said...

Mo... where do you live? Can I come shopping with you and your lovely daughters some day? I promise to keep my mouth shut the entire time and to just buy!

mo said...

I live in Houston, Texas and I'd love to host a Harwin excursion with you and all my daughters--there are 5 of them. Let's not do it in the summer, though--too hot and humid!

Alice said...

Mo: Texas for shopping with ALL you ladies? I am in.

Carrie Ann: Just wanted you to know that you were extremely helpful yesterday. I did the dreading shopping for a purse, took a long my personal shopping friend and came home with the perfect purse, big enough for everything, not too large for my frame, can be used during the work day and for the evening... and plent-o space for candy at the movies. OH... and darn cute AND Marshals.

8709 said...

Interesting blog you have here, I landed here on accident. I was searcing for something else and came across your site. I found it pretty interesting and entertaining. I got you book marked.

I will pop back in from time to time to see what you have new here.

My site is a bit different than yours, but just as entertaining and educational, I run a mens male enhancement reviews related site pertaining to mens male enhancement reviews related articles.

musica said...

Nice Blog!!! It looks like you've spent a fair amount of time setting it up and keeping the content fresh. I'll be sure to come back. I have a louis vuitton purse website.
It pretty much covers louis vuitton purse

musica said...

Nice Blog!!! It looks like you've spent a fair amount of time setting it up and keeping the content fresh. I'll be sure to come back. I have a louis vuitton purse website.
It pretty much covers louis vuitton purse

Tom Naka said...

I have a life bridge health
site. It pretty much covers life bridge health
related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)

Jim Naka said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a toy soldier site/blog. It pretty much covers toy soldier related stuff.