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Fab Flash: Are You Handbag Brainwashed?

Handbags have transformed from being functional into objects of lust — and not without a price. The cost of covetable bags have rocketed in recent years, and a price tag of $1,000 or more is no longer few and far between. The Birkin, the Stam, the Balenciaga Motorcycle...handbags have become status objects, and owning one that sells at an elevated price point is now associated with a certain level of class and affluence, whether appearance is reality, or not.

I've found myself drawn towards buying expensive handbags I can't afford, because the big price tag doesn't feel so unreasonable any more — am I jaded? Are you?


Join The Conversation
jazspin jazspin 9 years
I've always been a proponent of the "if you're going to drop a lot of dough, pick something high quality and classic that you'll be able to use for years" school of thought when it comes to bags - while I wouldn't splurge on something trendy, I'd consider something like a Birkin, a Chanel bag, or similar as an investment piece - something that gets top rankings from the luxury sites, like these - You can think of it in in "cost-per-wear" terms. If you divide the price of the bag by the number of times you carry it, you'll end up with a figure that is much more palatable than the original price (yes, this is an easy way to justify a splurge).
kendallina kendallina 9 years
When I win the lottery... ;)
Allytta Allytta 9 years
don't have the money... yet :) when i'll have them, definetely gonna spend on expensive handbags, it's an investement in your style and status. actually i have a handbag like the one on the picture, but didn't know it was a marc jacobs nock-off, i just liked the style.
Shoe-Diva Shoe-Diva 9 years
I love beautiful bags, and have spent a small fortune on my collection. Having said that though, I didn't get my first designer bag until many, many years after I started working in a well-paying career. I see teens and young women in their 20's with expensive bags and wonder how on earth they can afford them...unless they are really good knock-offs, or else they make the huge mistake of charging them on credit cards. On a side note, there definitely is a difference between a $200 bag and a $2000 bag. Yes, sometimes you pay big bucks for the name, but with that name comes quality...the leather, the hardware, the lining, the design, plus the assurance that if any part of the bag is damaged during normal wear, the manufacturer will usually repair it for you.
sailingstar457 sailingstar457 9 years
I only have one designer bag (a Dooney) that I got on sale for 75 bucks. For now, that's the most I'm spending on a handbag!
candace117 candace117 9 years
I'm a Coachaholic and could set up my own little outlet shop in my apartment if I wanted to...but it's also a more accessible brand for people with varying budgets. I've gone into the jewelry and shoe arena to look a little more original with my favorite brand than most of the people in my town that have the same exact handbags as each other. but really, I don't buy into trends, and I tend to only spend money on classics. What's the old adage? Buy trendy stuff at places like H&M and Forever 21, and go to Chanel for the classics that will last forever? It makes sense, really. When I am on RnR from Iraq I plan on going to Paris and acquiring a couple of Chanel beauties other than makeup (lol) and after Iraq I plan on acquiring a Kelly or Birkin. Nothing outlandish, but probably something in a classic color and material. We can't all be Victoria Beckham with 129308012380198 Hermes bags!
kersalli kersalli 9 years
I would if I could afford it. "Technically" I could, but I'm just too practical to actually do it. That, and if I I did, I would have to worry about where I was going to come up with an extra $1500 for rent.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I would pay $300 or less, I believe it is important to have a great quality hand bag that will last years and years BUT, Hell -to-the-NO would I spend $1000 on a bag. That's rent!
handbagbride handbagbride 9 years
My user name says it all... my closet is full of lv, gucci, prada, marc jacobs, kooba, etc. I definitely have some bag and shoe issues and I think my dear husband would agree. If I can afford it at the time, I buy it.
lcterp lcterp 9 years
I have $500 bags, but I got them on sale for $250
futonfighter futonfighter 9 years
I'd never say never but it would depend on the bag and the materials used, not to mention disposable income.
OliveBlack OliveBlack 9 years
I'm tempted every so often to splash out on a designer bag, but I just can't bring myself to do it. At the end of the day, prices are getting more and more ridiculous and people seem to forget it's just a handbag. A leather sack in which to carry one's things. The prices are charged by designers simply because people will pay them, rather than because of what the product is actually worth.
orisugar orisugar 9 years
haha the maximum i've spent on a hand bag has been $60 on a Nine West handbag. I love it, it looks great and is functional. I would spend upto $150 on a bag, but $1000 is crazy. But then again if I start making tons of money, I might up my spending budget.
AmyLizK AmyLizK 9 years
I'm this way with shoes (as I'm sure many of us are) but I haven't caught this handbag bug... I'm v. particular with my styles and most 'it' bags are just not attractive to me. I'm picky - I like super structured, well tailored chic bags or unconventional or super practical bags (was a longtime Dickies messenger/ Army-Navy messenger carrier long before I evolved into purse carrying :) The Zac Posen doctor bag I just bookmarked is a good example of my style. Bottom line: I'd spend over a grand on shoes or probably any other item loooong before I'd do so for a bag... though I will admit those Birkin's are gorgeous. I could go a little Samantha 'Lucy Liu' Jones for one of those...
bugn bugn 9 years
To me. . . $350 is the most I will pay for a bag. Over that to me is a computer and I am much to much of a nerd to spend good computer money on a purse. I buy Juicy Couture handbags and before that it was Suzanne Somers and before that Dooney & Bourke. Once I had an obsessions with a LV. But quickly came to my senses. And my friend just told me that her daughter-n-laws LV Diaper Bag that cost $1600 strap broke. So it's not that great of quality either... its just the name.
lms lms 9 years
I will and do spend it. I don't feel bad though b/c I don't tire of my bags easily and I rotate through my selection to match my outfits. My purses rarely show signs of wear. I just got one in the mail today.
chic-gal chic-gal 9 years
i have the perforated speedy w fushia, the special addition mark jacobs spring 06. i LOVE it & have been carrying it since i got it. i get compliments constantly & people seem to think i have a dog inside bc of the tiny holes. my fiance got it for me as a surprise =] it was either $1,3 or $1,400 after tax... but its a special addition so i think it was worth it =] plus iv been carryin it for long enough to justify it =] have my next picked out =]
Knight-Who-Says-Ni Knight-Who-Says-Ni 9 years
Most handbags these days are ridiculous, aesthetically and financially. I've never spent over a couple hundred dollars; more than that is, well, ridiculous, in my opinion. If I were rich, however, my opinion might change.
LeninaCrowne LeninaCrowne 9 years
the only bag i would spend that amount of money on would ba a quilted black caviar leather chanel 2.55 with gold hardware.
murmurkibbies murmurkibbies 9 years
The most I've ever spent on a purse was like $40 - you people make me feel like a pauper!!!
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
When I was working, I spent a lot of money on bags. I didn't buy any trendy ones, though. They are all bags that are classics & I will be using for years to come. Now, I'm happy to get two or three a year from an outlet store. I can't justify the $1000 price, for myself, unless I decide to go back to work.
2princesses 2princesses 9 years
The price of handbags is definitely getting out of control. It seems like everybody has one Whenever I see someone with a LV or some other designer bag, I automatically think its a knockoff since who really could afford a $1,000 bag? I think the most I'd pay for a handbag would be about $75, especially since I mostly just carry a diaper bag since I'm always out with the kids and only use my handbag when I go out without them. Right now I have a very nice Vera Bradley one that I love and also a silver Kate Spade Sam bag that I got from ebay for $40. It was stained, but came clean easily with Woolite and looks almost brand new. My weakness is right now diaper bags and I probably wouldn't think twice about spending up to $200 on one.
bhustle bhustle 9 years
I paid cash.
bhustle bhustle 9 years
well I just got a Gucci for $600 (before tax $550) and I think that's reasonable. I've always wanted one but was too young and didn't make enough. Now I'm almost 30 and make a bit more and thought it was only right, my boyfriend said I deserved it although I bought it (he's saving up for the ring) I think it all depends on your income if you make enough to afford a $1000 bag then treat yourself, but if you're buying an expensive bag every month then that's a problem. I need a Marc Jacob and a Louis v and then I'll be good till next
emalove emalove 9 years
I suppose I spend too much on handbags, but not nearly as much as I used to! When I got the job I currently have five years ago, I was psyched at how big the paycheck was (for me) and went on many a shopping spree... I have since tamed my ways somewhat. Especially now that I'm married and want a family soon. I buy myself 3-4 nice handbags a year I'd say...if I really want it and it's not unreasonably expensive, I'll usually end up buying it at some point!
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