Sunday, April 23, 2006

mustache and a mullet

I feel like writing, but none of the things I'm writing about my feelings seem to come out right tonight.

Instead, I have been inspired by this website to write about my view on designer purses/handbags/clutches/coin purses/etc. I realize some girls may think a post of this type is equivalent to treason, or something crazy like that, but I would much rather buy a bag from the website above than from Coach or Prada or any of the big designer names. I honestly don't understand the craze over designer purses.

Yes, I've been raised to be thrifty... bargain shopping runs in our family (last time my aunt came in town, she went with my grandma, mom, little cousin, and I on a Wal-Mart and dollar store run). I have a really hard time spending $40 on jeans, or $20 on a t-shirt. It's partially because I'm poor, but it's partially because Mom would rarely buy anything for me that wasn't on the clearance or sale rack. I'm not at all ashamed to go in a store and skip straight to the back of the section to check what's cheap; I'm proud when I find a really good deal. It's just how I've been raised, I suppose, and I think it's pretty smart. I'm never going to be a woman who goes out and blows a few hundred dollars in an afternoon on clothes or shoes, no matter how much money I have. I just can't do it.

This is probably a lot of the reason I can't picture myself buying a designer purse. Even if the purse is cute, I have a really hard time spending that much money on a purse. (Never mind the fact that I'm not huge on purses to begin with- I use one for a few months at a time, usually- it's never matched to my outfit or anything.) And with designer purses, I have an even harder time.

It's like shopping at Abercrombie or American Eagle or any store where the name is 'popular.' I hate that they can charge twice as much for the same piece of clothing I can buy at another store just because it has a certain name on it. There was a time I cared a little more about that, and I'm not going to say I don't own anything from either of those stores... but I can say that I have never paid full price for something from Abercrombie or American Eagle. And I'm proud of that simply because the prices are absurd, and not because they're better quality clothes (I'm not even going to go into the idiocy of paying more for less fabric).

Anyway. Back to purses. I don't like that I'm paying for the name. If I think the purse is cute, I'm not going to insist on the 'real thing.' I'm buying it because I like the style; why would I care if it's a 'fake'?

I don't understand the need for status symbols, I guess. Maybe that's because my family has never placed a lot of focus on money- we've always seemed to have enough money, but not an excessive amount. And I don't understand the need for conformity; as one friend explained, her cousins having Coach purses has made her want them too. I don't know; I can walk next to this same friend with an Old Navy purse I bought at our church auction for a couple of bucks and not feel at all ashamed or jealous of her Coach purse.

I wouldn't say I have unique style, by any means, and that's actually something I kind of envy. I have a few friends who have their own fashion sense and the confidence to pull off whatever look they try. I'm jealous- there are times I'll see something and not buy it because I don't think it's 'me' even though I like it, or I would feel like a poser or something. This is stupid, I know- but I console myself by saying that at least if my style isn't terribly original, it's not the carbon copy of whatever's 'popular' at the time. So even if I do have a Tommy purse (a clearance buy given to me by Mom when I was in need of a new purse)... I don't have it because it's Tommy, it didn't cost a fortune, and it's not like everyone else's.

I guess I just wonder about the allure of these purses and things because I've never really experienced it. To me, a purse is kind of a necessary evil... I don't like carrying it, but a lot of my clothes don't have sufficient pockets to carry stuff with me. To spend more than $30 on a purse seems laughable (exceptions are only for amazing purses like Dominique's teapot-shaped and watering-can-shaped purses); $100 seems insane.

This argument applies to so many things (what makes Tiffany jewelry so damn special?)... but basically, I'm glad that I'll never be wearing Ralph Lauren from head to toe and a Tiffany jewelry set while toting Louis Vuitton luggage and a Coach purse. There are so many things I'd rather spend my money on than a designer name or logo.

1 comment:

Satine/Julie Andrews said...