This post is part of my series, “What I’d Tell Myself,” where I share some advice I’d give to a younger me. You can view the rest of the series here!
Today, I want to share some thoughts to my younger self about a topic I have some experience in: bags. And I am really curious to hear all of your advice out there too! Ready?
My first message to my younger self:
1. The number of small, clutch like bags possessed by an owner should correspond with the actual number of clutch-warranting events actually attended by owner. Or in more simple terms, don’t buy too many fancy bags when you don’t have a very fancy life. Yes? Especially since I live in the Bay Area, where even a black tie event has high chances of someone showing up in jean pants or shorts if the attendance is over 100 people.
Though I do think that everyone does need at least one clutch or evening bag in their closet. My favorite hands down is my Bottega Knot…feels wonderful in the hand. Just saying!
2. You don’t need to own every neutral. Pick black, or brown, and stick with it. I used to buy all my “classic” items in black and brown each. I had matching Bottega woven hobo bags in Nero and Ebano. Matching Manolo Carolyn slingbacks in black and brown. TSE cashmere crewnecks, too. Seriously. Somewhere somehow I had read some article about getting everything in both black and brown and you’d be happy forever.
Great (the happy forever part), but it simply wasn’t true. I’m just much more of a blacks person than a browns. Most of my clothes (despite my best efforts) were best suited for a wardrobe dominated by blacks, whites, and grays. And so I rarely ended up wearing my brown handbags – or shoes for that matter. It doesn’t work with my coloring as well as black does. So I’d advise myself – pick your big neutral – and move on. Not every neutral, is “your” neutral”.
3. Spend less for light colors, and a straw bag always looks chic in the summer.
Sticking with the Bottega Veneta theme, I once purchased an adorable small Bottega from Net-A-Porter in stark white. It had these little tabs on the sides, which you pulled, and there was a metal inside the leather that basically snapped and bent out to keep the bag open, and then when you were ready to close it, you just applied some pressure, and poof! The bag snapped back. So cool!
Unfortunately, this bag got dingier and dingier each month and soon I was hoping that it might reach some sort of uniform dirty state, so that the bag might appear to be tan. Unfortunately, this never happened. A lot of money to waste on a white bag.
Now, when I look for light colored summer bags, I pick out straw/raffia items – usually a lot cheaper, and super chic!
4. Never buy with resale value in the top of mind.
Of course, we don’t always stay in love with the same items forever, and in those cases, it’s always nice to be able to send an item off to a new home, without losing much of what you originally paid. Resale value is a very legitimate consideration when you make expensive purchases.
However, for clothing/accesssory items, I generally don’t believe it should be the top consideration. People I know who think this way in my experience are super fussy about their items – always worrying about spills, scratches, etc. You should be able to use your items! Thats what bags are for..to hold your stuff, and to be used. Buy items you love and that you’ll feel comfortable using..and if you end up being able to resell it for a nice price when you fall out of love, that’s just a bonus on top.
5. Life is short!
Yes, this may slightly contradict my other four items above. But I said it earlier and I’ll say it again – buy whatever you love. Bags are such an easy accessory to grab out the door, and you can try out different colors and textures with them that may be harder on clothing items. I have a few accessories that I know when I wear, put a smile on my face. Life is short…if you can afford it, enjoy your items! Changing tastes are a fact of life.
What would you tell your younger self about purchasing bags?