I’ve realized that the vast majority of questions I receive are about handbags – buying advice, questions, and so on. I thought I’d do a little post today answering the most common questions in a more conversational format, and we could make this a fun thing where you could add any additional questions/insights in the comments. If there are enough follow up questions through comments/email, I’ll do additional posts!
I want a Birkin/Kelly/Constance bag! How do I get one?
Head straight to your local Hermes stores and ask for one. The luxury business is struggling, and now is a fabulous time if you’re in the market – supply is high, demand is softer. Don’t be obnoxious, but make your interest clear, and while there, check out some of the other beautiful goodies too. You don’t need to buy anything you don’t want to, and I’d stay away from salespeople who hint that you do, and are too forceful about it. Hopefully you’ll find some other gorgeous Hermes items you want anyway (shouldn’t be hard), and you’ll start a great relationship.
PS: I’ve personally heard of at least one Constance bag being found at a duty free shop lately – so it never checks to ask when flying!
I want a special order bag! How do I do it?
Ask your salesperson, but you should have established some kind of relationship with them. Special orders are like most truly excellent things in life – you have to wait a bit to get one (unless you’re a Russian oil billionaire, then place a few furniture orders, and proceed directly to GO).
Should I go to Paris?
Yes. My goodness, yes. The prices are so good there right now. And it’s Paris. There’s a queue system in place at FSH. If you need more advice, I highly recommend reading this thread, on The Purse Forum.
I want to buy an Evelyne/Roulis/Double Sens (or any bag not a Birkin, Hermes, or Constance) and will be in Paris. Do I need to line up at FSH?
Why not go check out the gorgeous Sevres store, or the shop on George V (though that one in my experience doesn’t have as much inventory, or a cafe). No waiting, and usually stock.
Can I wear my expensive bags, jewelry pieces, in Paris?
I do (for the most part), but your comfort is #1. If you are worried about your designer items and safety in Paris, I wouldn’t bring them, not because the city is unsafe, but because it would cause you stress on your trip. Nobody will judge you differently for not having your most favorite, expensive goodies on hand there (and it won’t hurt you in line at Hermes either, I promise!).
Okay, I’ve done my voodoo magic and have been invited to place a special order. What should I do?
Whatever sings to you in your heart. Don’t do a special order thinking of things like resale value, or what others like. This is a chance to design a bag that is specifically for you. It should make you smile whenever you open it.
Just in my experience:
Togo leather, super hardy, easy to wear, a classic choice. In larger sizes especially, will slouch over time.
Chevre, a very special leather, only available through special order, takes color beautifully. However, less hardy than Togo. Slouches less than Togo.
Swift, takes color beautifully as well, a soft leather with wonderful hand feel. Sags, and since it isn’t pebbled, can scratch more easily (But superficial ones can be buffed with the hand). Underrated leather in my opinion.
What do you think of Chanel bags these days?
I love Chanel bags. The Classic flap and Reissue fill two functional places in a bag wardrobe that nobody does better, in my opinion. I do wish their quality was better at times, I don’t want to have to inspect bags before buying them. I was playing (lightly) with a wallet the other day in the store, and the logo fell off!
For that reason, I always advice to have a great salesperson when you buy Chanel, just in case there’s an issue.
And the ready to wear, oh my. Nothing makes me want to win the lottery more than seeing the prices on the ready to wear.
Speaking of prices, I find that Chanel prices are more equalized around the world than other brands (like Hermes). Still cheaper in Europe, but not by as much.
How do I get rid of some of my bags?
Favorite designer diaper/mommy bags?
I wrote a post here about them. My favorites are still the Evelyne, Faure le Page, and the Goyard Anjou. I do have the say that the Anjou is something special – everyone comes to compliment me on it, and to pet the leather interior!
I know you rave about the Goyard Anjou, but I’ve heard iffy things about Goyard. Thoughts?
Goyard is like the bad boyfriend you can’t stop yourself from going back to. The service can be lacking, the quality at times uneven, and I still find the fact they charge more for colors versus black outrageous. But I keep going back, they have just so many great products, and the Anjou is a wonderful bag (and solves many of the potential issues of the Saint Louis). Just my take.
Please feel free to email/comment any additional questions or feedback, and I hope this was helpful to some of you!