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…
A purse that is too young for you.
The latest line of Dooney & Burkes of 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.
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,
then go buy Isaac Mizrahi’s or Mossimo’s version at Target and you’re set.
You wouldn’t let your shoes get out of date would you?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.
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. A 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!
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…)
Purse tip of the day from my mother:
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.
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…