In In my closet, Style

My Bag and Purse Wardrobe

I started thinking lately about how many bags I own.

Honestly, no one needs these many bags, and I am certainly not a purse person (well correction, I don’t think I am, but some people might freak out at this post and say: WHAT!? YOU ARE SO a purse person!!)…

….but there are times when I reach for certain bags depending on what errand I am planning on running that day, and I do use them all.

So I thought it’d be an enlightening exercise to go through the wardrobe and detail out what they cost as well as what I use each bag for (I find it helps me learn what I do use or don’t use, if I have to explain to someone WHY I have kept that bag).

Could I cut down on my current bag wardrobe?

I could probably (definitely) cut down on this current bag wardrobe, but I think I’ve reached a nice amount of high quality but not necessarily designer bags that are useful for my lifestyle.

White-S-Hooks-Purses-Hanging-Minimalist-Closet-Organization

What kind of bags do I like?

I like bags that are practical, pretty and different. I also tend to stay away from the colour black or white (one is too drab and the other is too hard to clean). I hate any kind of logo on bags. The more discreet it is, the more I like it.

I am not really a big fan of designer bags, but I won’t mind paying the price if it’s something I think is great.

So I really can’t see myself EVER paying more than $300 for a bag (but never say never), so designer bags are pretty much off the list. I’d be too scared to carry them around and use them on the subway.

MOST PRACTICAL BAG: LONGCHAMP PLIAGE – $100 CAD

Wardrobe-Closet-Purses-Bags-Mochimac-Longchamp-Pliage-Navy-Blue


I picked it up in Paris for around $100 CAD.

It was a lot cheaper than in Canada, and it was mostly on a whim because I thought it would be practical seeing as it was nylon with super long, well-made leather handles.

Little did I know, it would become THE most practical bag I own, bar none.

Why?

  • Lightweight
  • Long, strong, flexible leather handles (great for going over winter coats)
  • Has a zipper (I hate bags that are open to pickpockets)
  • A good shape that is bulky at the bottom but then slim on top (easy to hold)
  • Expandable if need be (you can stuff it full and still carry it, or leave it empty)
  • Easy to wipe down (it’s just nylon!)
  • Has a little pocket near the top for keys and lip balm

Yes, it still sounds like a bit of a scam, as it is just nylon and some leather for $100, but if this bag ever broke and I had to shell out for another, I would.

Or at least, I’d consider buying it for much cheaper on consignment in a store or a similar style of bag.

INTERVIEW/WORK BAG: ARTHUR AND ASTON – $300 CAD

It’s a French brand, and I bought it in Paris.

I felt like I needed a bag that I can bring to an interview that isn’t recognizable or too casual to go with my suit.

The leather is so soft, you could sleep on it. It is the softest, thickest leather bag I own, and it’s the right discreet style and shape to bring to work unlike bags that have logos plastered everywhere, or are too recognizably trendy.

It has two separate compartments for my folders and things, and a hidden pocket inside.

DECOSTER LINEN & COTTON SUMMER BAG — $120 CAD

My sister thought I was insane, paying $100+ for a bag, especially since I bought it in Shanghai.

Normally I’d agree that $120 seems insane for a bag, especially a cloth one, but I really liked the hand-done silk-screened print, the quality of the materials is just impeccable inside (super soft cotton inside), it came with a zipper (always hard to find in a canvas cloth bag), and super soft leather handles.

It is quite a soft and sturdy linen/cotton bag. This isn’t like a grocery store canvas bag that you use to carry fruit.

I use it quite often in the summer, and as it’s a canvas/cotton, it doesn’t make me sweat (yes, gross.)

OBI BELT CLOTH BAG FOR SUMMER — $50 CAD

Bought this from Etsy. I am a sucker for obi belt-creations. I love the pattern, the silk, the colours… just incredible.

ARITZIA BROSS WINTER LEATHER BAG — $300 CAD

In winter, I am always bundled up in at least 3 layers, with my huge winter jacket on top. This does not make for an easy time to carry around purses that go over the shoulder (unless you count the Longchamp Pliage, which goes over anything in any season with its long handles).

I tend to use cross-body bags like this a lot more in winter because I can’t stand trying to hike the purse handles up on my shoulder every 5 seconds.

This bag is HUGE. It’s also a diamond shape which means it fits a lot inside, and it has a lot of pockets. Plus it’s super soft.

The bonus is that I can use it as a shoulder bag or a cross body bag.

MEDIUM-SIZED LEATHER SATCHEL — $100 CAD

No name. Snagged this from under some French girl’s nose in Paris in some no-name store. I love that it’s a satchel but it has metal magnetic clasps rather than actual buckles (way easier to open), it has a zippered body to stop pickpockets, and is an incredibly practical cross-body bag.

Great at any time of the year, although if I am planning on having a heavy shopping day, I bring bigger bags.

OH! And I love purses that have zippers at the back where I can stick my keys and my metropass for quick access.

SAMSARA VEGAN RED LEATHER BAG — $100

Bought it on sale, this brand Samsara is completely discontinued (was under the Mat & Nat umbrella before).

It’s totally 100% made out of recycled plastic for vegans with no leather involved, but surprisingly, everyone thinks it’s a red leather bag when it isn’t.

I find it practical, the colour is alluring and the huge pocket in front is great for stuffing anything I don’t want to carry.

I also like the really thick handles (really stays on my shoulder).

WOMAN’S FACE ON A STRUCTURED BAG — $20

Bought this on eBay eons ago. I just really liked the picture of the side profile of a gypsy woman, and I’ve been using it ever since.

I use this mostly in the summer or autumn, when the mood strikes me. It’s quite good for files and folders as well.

PURPLE LULULEMON GYM BAG — $150

I bought this on a whim because I liked the structured look (if you haven’t noticed, almost all my bags are floppy), and it looked handy.

In actuality, I love using this bag to carry around things like my toiletries when I move, or anything that requires a more structured bottom and shape.

I also use it to buy things like boxes of macarons, because they don’t flop around in there and get squished.

ROOTS DARK BROWN PRINCE LEATHER CROSSBODY BAG — $100

I use this only when I travel. Frankly, I find it too small for my daily life, and it is only great when I travel to put my camera, some money, and some reusable bags.

DARK BROWN T.U.F. JEANSMITH SHOULDER BAG — $60


Another bag bought on a whim. I got this because I liked the oiled leather look, and it looked very practical.

I use it on occasion when I know I will be going out and I have a feeling I might get the bag dirty (like shopping for groceries in markets).

TOTAL = $1400 WORTH OF BAGS

I used to have many, many more bags, so I spent probably close to $2500 on bags if I were to be honest, but I’ve since sold them off or donated them.

I reach for all of them except for 2-3 on a regular basis depending on the season and what I’m doing, so I feel pretty good!

Are you a bag person? How many bags do you own? Have you ever done this exercise?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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8 Comments

  1. Tania

    It’s too embarrasing to tell you how many bags I own. It’s too many for sure. You have given me a post idea, what one needs in a capsule collection of bags. I have a small and the larger medium Longchamp but don’t use them much at home but make them earn their keep on trips. They fold up and are perfect for a day of sightseeing/shopping, trips to the pool/beach and as a under the seat carryon. I do need to use mine more; you’ve reminded me.

    I do own designer, a few Prada from my days of working for them, a Miu Miu (also owned by Prada), one red epileather LV that I don’t use but it has sentimental value, a Chloe bought on Last Call at Neiman Marcus and a few Balenciaga (adore!). I do however are repulsed by logos all over bags as the main design. It’s a bit lazy and not attractive to me. That said, I believe you can get a nice bag at different price points by buying no name, from Etsy artisans or from an emerging line. Another option is vintage. Vintage Coach and Dooney can be had for a song and not made in China, back in the day. Vintage no name handmade leather bags look great beatup and with patina and those can be found for less, I love browsing Etsy vintage bags made in the US. The bag that garners the most attenntion when I’m out and about is an oversized vintage straw bag, from the 1950s, that cost me $52. Also, one should stay away from “IT” bags. They are harder to get, much less on sale and it will always look like the bag of whatever year.

    That obi bag, oh swoon and I’m still envious of your French satchel.

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I really don’t like bags with logos all over the front. Even just the name in front turns me off a little, or very recognizable prints.

      Vintage is more my thing as well as independent bags!

      Some of my favourite items are the simplest ones. That straw bag sounds very cute…

      Reply
  2. The Asian Pear

    I love your red Matt & Nat bag the most. Followed by your purple Lululemon bag. So functional!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      The purple one is pretty handy when I need to run a lot of errands!

      Reply
  3. AdinaJ

    I second the Longchamps bag love. I have two (medium size) and they are perfect bags for moms on the go. I’ve now seen them at Costco for under $100, and also in more chi-chi places for around the same amount on sale.

    I have around the same number of bags as you (probably a couple more actually), and use most of them regularly. I once tallied up the money I spent on them and it was closer to $3,500 if I recall correctly; the retail cost was in the $8-9K range though. In at least a couple of cases, I would probably make a profit if I were to sell the bag now. That said, this is an exception – even the highest end designer bags depreciate – which is why I don’t bother paying full price for any of them. And I say that as someone who is definitely a bag person!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’d agree with designer bags to not pay full price especially for LVs. I tend to like unknown, independent designers with no name so I end up paying close to full price if I don’t get a sale.

      The Longchamp is really super practical and light. The handles are just perfect!

      Reply
  4. cj

    I have one bag, Mochimac. My man purse! And I love it. It cost me $14 on Amazon. I am trying to find a small container or vial for Stevia so Tammy does not have to carry it in her purse any longer. I love your bags, especially the one with the lady’s face on it. Coolio!

    Reply
    1. saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      You can also just buy a glass bottle like for spices and use that.

      Reply

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