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Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:28 PM

I finally got a shiny new job with a very, very generous paycheck. Since I'm a grown up now, I figure I should start looking for some nicer pieces, including an upgrade on my bag. I'm currently carrying a Juicy Couture velour bag. I do love them, but I feel it's a little juvenile for a 26 year old professional (though my office is pretty laid back in terms of dress code). Plus, they're IMPOSSIBLE to clean and this one is looking more than a little dingy.

I was eyeing a Coach tote that seemed practical and would last a while. I figured I might as well solicit suggestions. Do you have a really nice bag that's held up and you love? I've heard good things about Longchamps totes as well. I don't really want anything super trendy, but will last years and, frankly, be worth dropping $300-$500 on. I have access to Coach, Burberry, Michael Kors, Nordstrom, & Bloomingdale's. I also have access to Coach & Burberry outlets.

Thoughts?

36 Replies to Buying A Big Girl Bag

re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 01:08 PM
I have about 5 coach bags and I would not recommend them unless you get a leather one without "CC" all over them. I think any bag that advertises their logo on the bag is a bit tacky for someone over the age of 21?

This is my 100% personal opinion, and it might not be what the experts think.
I think a classic black or white leather bag will probably be easier to coordinate and it will probably age better then the typical Coach bags.


I don't have any other opinion about other bags, because I don't own any other designer bags.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 01:16 PM
Edited by Coccinella (54968) on 2011-07-11 13:17:17
I've never owned a designer bag. Back when I was still making good money in a full time job, I splurged on a black Italian leather bag (I think the brand is The Trend). It was nearly 200 dollars but I've been using it for about 4 years, every day, and it looks pristine. The leather just keeps getting softer and more lovely.

I think that while a lot of designer items are high quality, most of what you are paying for is the name. Finding something a bit less trendy but made with similar materials is the way to go.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 01:50 PM
If you can find one, a Mulberry is always lovely and trendy and gorgeous without being flashy.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By Tiggerpants
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 02:27 PM
I got a 'big girl' bag a couple of years ago for much the same reasons. My parents bought me a Fossil bag that was around £200. I believe that Fossil have a US store as well as a UK one, I absolutely LOVE my bag. It's lasted really well considering the battering it gets (constantly being chucked in my car or shoved in my locker at work) and it holds loads. I love it. I don't know if they're your style but check them out.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 02:57 PM
I'd say buy two nice leather bags, either one brown and one black, or a black or brown one, then one that's a bit more "fun." (or a bigger one and a smaller one) They don't have to be a name/ fancy brand. I do have a Fossil bag and it's lasted me five years and could last a few more.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 03:03 PM
I have a classic leather Coach bag and it's beautifully made and has held up really well. If you can get Mat & Nat, they're another brand with classic design and great construction. Michael Kors also makes some really beautiful bags (I adore the styles and the colours, especially the green ones that are there now). Those are my three big-girl bags and they're all been excellent.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By SaraTheGrouchmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 03:27 PM
I have 5 Coach bags - 1 leather, 2 suede, and 2 canvas-type ones. And a wallet, annnd sunglasses, lol. They've held up really well over the years. Two of them are reaching the 10 year mark, which makes me feel old, but they both still look brand new. I'd say I'm a pretty loyal Coach customer. I have a Louis Vitton bag that's also held up really well, but I rarely like their stuff. I had a Longchamps bag when I was in high school, but it got so crapped up that I had to throw it out. I adore Prada bags, but they're way out of my price range.

My suggestion is to go to Macys or Dillards and hunt around the handbag section for awhile to get a feel for the designers styles and see which you like best, and then go to their individual store to check out their entire selection.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By ballerinatwirler
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 04:04 PM
I love Dooney and Bourke. I've had three of them but sold them all on Ebay due to financial issues. My favorite one was deep purple leather tote with a simple " D&B " in metal on the front.

www.dooney.com . . .

www.dooney.com . . .

www.dooney.com . . .

Mine was similar to the last picture. It was the perfect bag for every occasion.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By shannon13
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 07:07 PM
I am a coach fan. It is about all I carry. They are made super well and last FOREVER. I have a coach outlet where I live and the prices are great. They always have an additional 25-30% off coupons (or they sometimes email them) and you can get so many bags for $250 and under. I just got a gorgeous pink and gray bag for $110 and it is a huge purse. I would check out the outlet!
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By CaffeinePremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 07:25 PM
Edited by Caffeine (183827) on 2011-07-11 19:27:38
Like Coccinella, I'm of the opinion that you're paying for the name (and consequently advertising for) when you buy Big Expensive Designer Stuff. Consequently, I have no opinion on the designers, and no experienceas to the durability of any of them.

But practicality first: How are you getting to/from work? Do you drive or take the train? How much "stuff" are you likely to carry on a daily basis? How's your back?

I've been taking the commuter trains to/from work every day for the past seven years, and if you are likely to carry more than just a wallet (say, a book, your lunch, a water bottle, etc), then a backpack might be the way to go. They're not pretty, but they're comfortable, and nearly everyone I've seen on the trains over the years has gone from a stylish handbag to a more utilitarian backpack (with a real handbag for weekend time). You get enough back and neck problems sitting at a desk all day; you don't need your posture thrown out more by a too-heavy/awkward bag on one arm.

If you are looking for a good stylish handbag, go for black leather. If you take the train, look for something that's not too long or bulky (nobody likes being hit in the head by somebodys handbag), has a zip closure, and sits comfortably on your shoulder.

If you're looking at Coach, something like the "New chelsea leather small bag", "Julia leather small bag" or "Madison embellished leather op art maggie shoulder bag" (all taken from a search of black leather bags on their site) might be good styles to consider.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Jul 11, 2011 07:55 PM
^I'm in the US and in a city with zero useful public transit. I drive everywhere I go. So no worries about a giant bag on the bus or a train.

I was looking at the Chelsea tote and one other one. I admit, I do want a designer name just to say I have one (why not? You only live once...right?). Coach seems to be the most affordable of the bunch, though Michael Kors seems decently priced as that stuff goes as well.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By RingingPhonePremium member
On Tue Jul 12, 2011 09:44 PM
Edited by RingingPhone (145138) on 2011-07-12 21:45:52
While I do love my higher-end bags (Balenciaga, YSL, Mulberry), I still use my Longchamp tote when I need a big bag. It's great for work, and it's not flashy. My friend just bought a black leather Coach tote, and it's quite classy too.

You could also check out Rebecca Minkoff, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Hayden-Harnett, and Botkier- I've heard really good things about all of them.

Have fun shopping! I bought my first Balenciaga with my first paycheque working full-time... I had been dreaming about one for years, so I figured I deserved it!
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:01 AM
Oh man, I just fell head over heels for one. Coach's Poppy leather pushlock satchel in Ash. I was hoping to see it in a store, but of course it's a limited color. I may still stop by the store and look at some of them in person. I'm also not sure how practical a gray bag would be vs. a black bag, even if it is leather and a neutral.

Ah, true love in purse form.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By CaffeinePremium member
On Wed Jul 13, 2011 07:11 PM
It's a nice bag (although from the site, I don't particularly care for how it sits with one strap). Roomy, but not too big, and given that you're not going to be at risk of thwapping people in the head with it (as a general rule), it should be good.

I still prefer it in black (because black goes with almost everything), but if you love the grey, then go for it. :)
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By RingingPhonePremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 08:13 AM
One of my friends has a big grey tote, and she uses it a lot. It softens up an outfit. I say go for it!
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 08:53 AM
Caffiene-I'm not nuts about the strap either, but I figure it's removable.

RP-Good to know. I took one look at it in that color and it was true love. How can I deny that? *blissful sigh*

I also figure if I really want a black bag, I can ask for one for Christmas or my birthday. My parents are always driving themselves nuts over what to get me. I'd really rather one high ticket item over a bunch of random smaller ones. My sister has been doing that for years and I see her wisdom now.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By Fayetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 08:53 AM
Edited by Fayet (160652) on 2011-07-14 08:55:33
I just bought a big grey suede leather Furla bag - I don't know if you got Furla in the US, but it's a rather big italian leather brand, with prices similar to Coach (we don't have Coach in Europe). I love it! It replaced my white leather summer handbag that looks just too worn out to wear anymore. At first I was a bit sceptical about the color (it's a very soft light stone grey), but it really does go with everything: I wear it with my cognac coloured leather jacket, black dressjacket, grey sweaters, green shirts - just plain everything. It doesn't look as "professional" as a black bag would, but since I'm not working in an environment where I have to wear business dress (I'm working for a major university), it's okay with me. The colour softens up the outfits, goes with summer dresses as well as a business suit, and always looks neutral and pulled-together.

Something I would look for in a bag if you're willing to use it for quite a while is the leather type. Don't buy suede, because it stains fast and doesn't hold up to water very well - but you probably know that already.

Enjoy shopping! And maybe show us your bag once you've found it? I like handbags a lot, and I'd love to see a picture! :D
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:22 AM
^I definitely prefer leather to suede. I love suede, but as you said, it stains if you look at it too long. Plus, it gets rainy here in the fall and winter.

I get paid tomorrow and it's going to be really hard not to put that $400 I set aside for my plane ticket into buying the bag.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:46 AM
I read once that if you want to have one really good bag and you want it to be season-less and always the right color then you should use your hair color as a guide.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 01:27 PM
^So I should get a red one? That doesn't seem very seasonless to me. ;)
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By SammyAnnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 01:38 PM
I love Coach bags!! Some of them are more "fun" while others are more like what you want, kind of mature and classic! You don't have to get one of the ones with the C's all over it. They hold up really well too and are reasonably priced when compared to some other designer bags. And another thing is that if something happens to it, they will generally fix it for free! On my aunt's coach bag the stitching was coming loose, so she took it to the store and they had it shipped off to be fixed, no cost to her. That being said, I love Michael Kors' bags too, they are gorgeous! I don't think you can go wrong either way.

As for color, any neutral would be good I think - like brown, tan, grays, etc. Black is good because it won't show stains or anything, but I personally prefer other colors. And about the hair color being your purse color - I think a deep red bag would be sooo pretty, but perhaps not as versatile as you are looking for :P.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 02:36 PM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2011-07-14 14:37:48 aslfjalkdfj
Lol, no not a bright red one, use the hair as an inspiration and get a burgundy one. :)
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By RingingPhonePremium member
On Thu Jul 14, 2011 03:47 PM
lol, I think a red bag is a great neutral. I love wearing a red bag during the winter, and I've also been carrying one the past couple months.
re: Buying A Big Girl Bag
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Jul 15, 2011 07:19 AM
I'm not crazy about burgundy, but a deep red one I might be able to work with. I got paid today and it's taking everything I have no to take the money I have set aside for my plane ticket and put it toward the bag.
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