Do you have a style question for Amy? Writer her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m in the market for a new spring bag and I’m thinking a Proenza Schouler style — or are their bags just tired? Should I spring for Celine instead? What do you recommend?
The only bags I can recommend in good conscience are by Ziplock. You really get a lot of functionality out of those for a very small amount of money!
And as for purses, well, I’m not an “It” bag fan, necessarily, unless you’re getting a sweet deal on one. However that’s hard to do since for something to qualify as “It” in fashion land, it must be in such short supply that it’s either hard to find anywhere at all or is stocked in such limited quantities that it never really burdens a retail establishment’s inventory. The fact that you can’t get It bags on sale makes me more averse to them as a consumer because who doesn’t love a sale? (I mean, really.)
But as for Proenza and Celine bags, I’m sure they are excellent quality and made of very good leather and have lots of very well-designed pockets and clasps, but do you really want to carry something around just so that people know you’re carrying that certain thing around? This is my biggest problem with It bags, aside from the thousands of dollars they cost: people know what you’re carrying. And why would you want people to know where you buy your clothes? For me, the joy of fashion and dressing is discovery (and sales) and wearing something that makes people go “that’s neat! I wonder where that’s from.” I know originality isn’t high on everyone’s list of personal sartorial priorities but carrying around a bag that’s in all the ads and in every magazine and on the arm of every editor going to Fashion Week almost seems like going out of one’s way to be as unoriginal as possible.
A $1,700 Proenza Schouler bag.
And finally, the problem with It bags these days is they’re knocked off so much that fashion savvy people who observe other people’s purses (the sort you’d be wanting to impress, I imagine, if you splurged on an It bag) are probably going to end up wondering if what you have is real or not. And in any case, you can usually find cheap versions of things that aren’t black market counterfeits (which you SHOULD NEVER BUY because they fund all kinds of nasty things like child trafficking) at places like Zara, which would probably work well for you if you were drawn to a certain feature of a bag. Like those studs on the bottom of those Alexander Wang “Rocco” duffel bags? Everyone’s bag has studs on the bottom now because an Olsen or two went around carrying that style, got photographed by paparazzi, and it became an It bag.
However! Maybe you’re super rich and none of this matters to you and you shamelessly love and fill your life with status symbols. In that case, good for you! I support anyone embracing who they really are inside. So if this is you, buy a Chanel bag and bedazzle it with real diamonds. That way you’l have an It bag with a personal touch that still has a high resale value, for when you get tired of the thing.
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