November 19, 2006

Why you should spend a lot of money on your handbag.

To show you care:
For busy women who do not live on mountaintops and who are not nuns, the choice of handbag is fraught these days, sending signals of status, taste and identity that others instantly interpret. “Bags help them suss out who’s their kind of person and who’s not,” the fashion historian Valerie Steele tells the author. “You can wear jeans and cowboy boots, but as long as you carry a $2,000 bag, people will place you where you want to be placed.” Ms. Gallagher dates the bag-as-icon trend to the rise of Miuccia Prada and to the emergence of must-have bags like the Birkin in the late ’80s. As recently as the ’60s, she writes, fashionable women labored to create color-coordinated outfits — the couture answer to Garanimals. Though the purse matched the outfit, it didn’t “make” it. But lately, the put-together look is fashion anathema. Clare Sauro, the accessories curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s fashion museum, explains: “Now the goal is to look like you’ve just thrown yourself together and don’t really care.” A $25,000 Gucci alligator bag reassures the world that, secretly, you do.

20 comments:

Slim999 said...

A $25,000 Gucci alligator bag reassures the world that, although you want the world to think you've just thrown yourself together and don't really care - secretly you have zero self esteem, but you have a lot of money, and so you think you can buy some class, just like you've bought everything else that has meaning to you in your life, which just makes you a sad, sad person who has $25,000 less than the woman who really does value herself, looks good in jeans and carries a bag she got for $10 at Wal-Mart.

Now that's the woman who throws herself together well and secretly, doesn't much give a bleep what the rest of the world thinks.

That's woman will be much happier in life.

R2K said...

If I can speak as a man for one minute, and I suspect I speak for most males on this one, WE DONT CARE!. It isnt the clothes or the bag or the shoes (nice things are nice dont get me wrong) but it is really the women inside them that counts. Would you rather have a sick woman in nice clothes or a hot naked woman?

Meade said...

R2K,
How about a third choice - a hot nice woman in sick over-priced clothes who wants to get naked?

But if I may speak as a woman for one minute, even though I'm not a woman, THEY... I mean WE DON'T CARE that you men don't care. You think we dress for you? Fool!

Jennifer said...

Sorry to break it you fellas, but fashion has never been about impressing men.

I can read this article and laugh about how stupid these women sound. But, if someone wanted to hand me a Birkin, I'd treat it like my third child. Go figure.

SGT Ted said...

Proof that the economy is just fine.

tiggeril said...

If someone can afford a $25000 bag, more power to them. It's too easy to slip into the cozy sense of envy that these stories always try to engender.

Then again, I never thought of accessories being a window into the soul.

knoxgirl said...

I've seen enough, well, less than impressive girls hauling around Louis Vuittons for it to effect my assessment of their style any longer.

If I could afford a truly nice bag, I'd love one though, because you can tell the difference in quality, kind of like shoes.

Shanna said...

If I could afford a truly nice bag, I'd love one though, because you can tell the difference in quality, kind of like shoes.
I would love a nice bag, but I can't afford one. But I wouldn't buy a Walmart bag unless it was just amazing, which in my experience they aren't.

Although I don't think I could ever have enough money to think 25,000 for a bag would be appropriate. 1000 maybe.

Dave said...

Anyone remember the Sex and the City episode where Samantha Jones drops Lucy Liu's name to get her hands on a Birkin?

I remember overhearing a bunch of women talking at work when that episode first aired, and they all, to a woman, agreed that they would do the same thing.

Fetishization? Freud would have a field day.

john(lesser) said...

Meade; For the most part men spend money to impress women. Women spend money to impress themselves.

Fairer sex indeed.

Maxine Weiss said...

Coach.

Or, those thin credit-card Clutch purses from the 80s, that you can casually toss on a table.

It's all in the toss.

Peace, Maxine

Maxine Weiss said...

What about the LV LV LV (Louis Vuitton) bags?

And don't try to wing it with fake LV---bootleg LV from Mexico---yuck!

I can tell the difference in the shading.

There's a lot of people trying to pass off fake Louis Vuitton ....from Mexico.

You'll get a scowl from me if you do that.

Peace, Maxine

David said...

I thought accessories were to impress other women? I wonder if the Girkin (SP?) purse is made in the far East too!

DNR Mom said...

LeSportsac gets my vote. They survive the daily war well, but, just in case, they're machine wash warm.

Shanna said...

And don't try to wing it with fake LV
A fake anything is tacky, tacky, tacky. Just buy something without a brand name, but don't try to fake it!

Slocum said...

Meade; For the most part men spend money to impress women.

Oh, yeah, those Best Buy ads that so many men read religiously are full of things that impress women...

No, for the most part, the things that men care about and spend money on are things that *don't* impress most women at all (electronics and tools, especially). Cars do impress (some) women, but most men like them for their own sake, not for their chick magnet properties (that's just an accidental win-win). Clothes might be the one and only thing that men buy to impress women even though they're otherwise not very interested.

Ernst Blofeld said...

This is why being a guy is so great. Jeans, polo shirt, and a BMW, and you're set.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Freeman Hunt said...

A Gucci alligator bag would just make me think of the alligator scenes in Romancing the Stone. That was a good movie though, so the association is positive.

Henry said...

Funny, the movie I thought of was Silence of the Lambs where Hannibal Lector spots Starling's nice handbag and gets vicious:

Lector: You're sooo ambitious, aren't you...? You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well-scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste... Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you Officer Starling...?