to shop / my current bag envy

Current weekday bag rotationClare Vivier simple tote in black and the Longchamp Planetes Large Tote in black.
Prior weekday bagClare Vivier La Tropezienne in brown, long handled (the stock photo doesn’t capture the beauty of the caramel hues).

I tend to haul things back and forth from work, so if my purse isn’t big enough, a Baggu is called in. I save the high-end designer — I don’t like its presence in the workplace unless it is a low radar design — or vintage Coach for the weekend.

I love quality leather, much more than the label. I also don’t like hardware, bags that are heavy enough when empty, or gaudy logos. The Thanksgiving sales make these slightly more tempting than usual. Here are the ones I have my eyes on.

  1. I love small brands. This is from Warsaw, Rib and Hull’s Heirloom tote in black. It also comes in cognac brown and oxblood dark brown. The quality looks superb for the price. 25% off through November 26 with code BLKFRDY.
  2. Samuji is another small brand from Helsinki, and the leather of the unlined tote looks similar to Prada’s saffiano. 20% through November 26 with code CYBERW.
  3. I already have 3 of Clare Vivier La Tropezienne bags — two in brown (different handles) and one in black. I love the crispness of the white as well and am biding my time. 15% off through 12/17 with GIFT15.

  1. On the weekends, I like to carry minimal items while I run errands. The Steven Alan Lilly bag looks perfect for that. And it’s in oxblood! 15% off through 12/17 with GIFT15.
  2. There’s something charming about the Clare Vivier leather duffel in red. It’d look even better monogrammed in gold (see Clare’s blog). In the back of my head, I much prefer the Sofia Coppola for LV, but that is at a much higher price. 15% off through 12/17 with GIFT15.

This last batch is for YSL. Much more aspirational.

  1. I like the design of the ChYc logo on the smaller bags: Black Y Satchel.
  2. I particularly love the leather of the Red Y Satchel. It is similar to the Prada saffiano and looks very durable. I’m not sure why more ChYc products didn’t have this leather?
  3. This classic duffle 6 bag is from Hedi Slimane’s new handbag collection. It was first sighted on Gwyneth.

But, I don’t really need any more bags, do I?

to shop / when you can’t get to europe

If you’re buying a designer handbag, typically, the easiest way to “save” on your purchase is to shop in Europe. If you don’t have vacation plans, and you want a classic style that never goes on sale, the next best option is to take advantage of department store promotions. Many promotions exclude high-end designer brands, e.g. percentage off Friends and Family promotions, so the only time you can reap any return is by opening a new department store credit card account or taking advantage of a gift card promotion. One caveat, the brand exclusions aren’t consistent for every promotion, so make sure to check. LV and Chanel are typically excluded.

Neiman Marcus has a great double gift card promotion twice an year and one is currently underway. Through Tuesday, November 30, if your purchase totals $1,000 or $2,000, you can get 30% of your purchase back in gift cards.

  • There is some fine print, such as this promotion only applies to regular priced items and you have to double dip handbag/shoes and the apparel categories. So if you want a YSL bag, you have to add an apparel item (like undies) to hit the double gift card requirement. If you’re buying a $2,000 handbag, that’s like a pair of free Louboutins!
  • This is an online only sale.
  • If your purchase isn’t exactly $1k or $2k, consider if it’s worth spending a little more to get more back.
  • Keep in mind NM does take a month or two to process the gift cards.

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to shop / surviving nyc sample sale season

The months of October through December in New York City are absolutely crazy with sample sales. The term “sample sale” is used rather loosely as many manufacturers just sell overstock and don’t sell true samples. Temptations are abound. I don’t go to many because I’m lazy, not to mention, time during this time of year is also precious. Here is a quick recap:

1) Yves Saint Laurent – The prices at this one get ridiculous towards the end. The lines are also crazy. You’ll learn quickly that women cut and sometimes you may have to too. A hilarious (Jersey) woman who was in line with me told me how she paid a Missoni x Target hoarder in a Target store $50 for two girls’ ponchos. And then she had to pay again when she checked out. Her daughters didn’t like the ponchos. Tough crowd.

I accidentally grabbed a pair of shoes with two right shoes and got back refunded before the sale closed – they couldn’t find the left, so I think a woman must have gone home with two left shoes. They reluctantly gave me a full refund. I also took advantage of bypassing the line with my mishap and checked out what was available — nothing much at that point, but if you stuck around there were $10 belts.

Flats were marked down to $50. Satin heels were marked down to $50. All other heels were $100. Ready to wear was marked another 75% off (I think). I picked up a silk print skirt for $75 with an price tag of $875. I have no idea what season it’s from. Unfortunately, the skirt is about negative three dozen cupcakes from fitting comfortably.

Was the sale worth it? I ended up selling or eBaying most of my bounty. If I’ve learned anything recently, it is to be timely about getting rid of items I don’t want. I couldn’t find flats in my size.

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