Friday, March 07, 2008

Lusty slut

I went bag shopping yesterday. I’m looking for a handbag for my sister’s birthday present to give her when I go home next month (HURRAH, DID I TELL YOU I’M GOING TO THE UK?)

For my birthday last October I was given a map to a secret location (I kid you not) where one can procure a certain type of receptacle (a nudge is as good as a wink, eh?) I took my friend with me. I did find what I wanted: good quality, imported leather, price tag to match. Honestly, getting friend to the secret location, was almost too exciting to bear.

Next we went somewhere much less thrilling but I wasn’t happy with what I saw. I came home and today, after some news about our future which I can’t share yet, I decided I wanted to go to the big mall, Siam Paragon to look at the bags. It’s a sad thing to admit that ‘looking at bags’ will make this simple creature happy. And it dawned on me that I’ve never told you all that I am … well … a bit of a bag slut.

My love of bags is, I think, about the search for the perfect bag. Of course most of you will believe that to be impossible and certainly one of the delights is to keep looking, purchasing and using the bags in the hope that it will one day I will realise that the current bag is The One.

How great is that? – a lifelong search for something as enigmatic as a perfect bag. How can any bag be perfect when there are different needs for them? I have, however, found the perfect purse, so now I feel filled with hope that one day I will find bag paragon. And of course, that means there's a need for further research.

My bag thing started twenty odd years ago when I discovered an English leather bag company’s factory shop an hour and a half drive away from where we were living. Husband was a research scientist in those days, and we had no money. I used to drive over to the Mulberry shop, for that was what it was called, and caress the bags. I lusted, readers, shamelessly.

Then one day I bought myself my first Mulberry bag. It was a black shopper – tote? And I bought it because I could afford it, rather than it being the bag I wanted. I still have it. It will never go out of fashion. My next one, again from the Mulberry factory shop was purchased by Husband for me for another anniversary present. This one is chocolate brown leather, think ‘old fashioned doctor’s bag’. I still have it. It’s a classic.

And I can’t take you through all the others – not because I don’t know their individual stories, sadly I do, but because it would bore you all to tears.

Can I also say that I’m not in love with all designer bags; I buy many, many cheap and undesignery bags, and actually only possess one other bag of a famous designer but I am worryingly in love still with Mulberry. In those days was a beautiful product but not hip and fashionable. I fell in love with the saddle bag connotations: beautifully crafted, quality leather. I am now the proud owner of several … not quite enough … Mulberry bags.

While I was hunting for a picture to show Husband when I got home this afternoon, I found this lovely site. Check out this orange suede number – I’m in lust.

11 comments:

Yvonne said...

Loved this post, it's so true - I am always on the lookout for the perfect bag, and so far it has been beyond my grasp. I love Mulberry too, but like you I have a mountain of cheap bags which fill the gap...I love the orange suede but it just wouldn't suit my no-car-walking-everywhere-in-rainy-dublin livestyle!

laurie said...

i'm a bag slut, too, for different reasons and in a different way. i am always looking for a good useful sturdy but good-looking leather bag that i can wear cross-wise over my body so that i can walk untrammeled and it won't slip off my shoulder and nobody can steal it.

i want it to be small enough to not be conspicuous or heavy; but big enough that i can tuck in my camera, and maybe a book, maybe a bottle of water, and random things that i happen to buy along the way.

i have dozens. none are exactly right.

i think i need those secret directions....

Lane said...

I've never found the perfect bag either but the fun is in the search:-)

I thought I had the perfect one. It was a present last Christmas, large, loads of pockets, thick soft leather, thick zips, smells great and from Morocco. It's beautiful but .... even before anything goes in it, it's soo heavy. So I'm still searching:-)

JJ said...

Yvonne, I luuurve the colour. Lots of the orange leathers you see around at the mo, are a bit tacky looking. This colour is beautiful.

Laurie, Mulberry epitomises sturdy. They do, oh such capacious bags, of such ... well you know. Yes, and it's so crucial to have the strap long enough that it doesn't look like another ample bosom! (I mean me here, not you.)

Lane, if I have any criticism of Mulberry, it's that empty some of their bags weigh a ton. Once I've put everything in, oh dear god.

Jjx

Flowerpot said...

findng the perfect bag is really difficult isnt it? 've ended up with rucksacks because I can stick loads of writing stuff in there, glasses, pens, diary nad all that stuff and it doesnt matter what shape it is!

Pacha said...

I have simple needs. I need a bag that will fit in a book and a notepad. That orange suede one you linked to would be perfect for example!

I have to admit that I love bags but I love to do without too.

My mother-in-law sells bags (from her home) and the cupboards in her house are full of new bags of every sort and size and make and type. I think this will sound strange but I find my mother-in-laws's cupboards veeeery sexy!

Debs said...

Oh I luurve bags. I have so many and it doesn't matter how big or small they are I can never seem to find what I'm looking in them.

Carol and Chris said...

Ohhhh JJ.....honestly I think I was almost more excited about the secret map to get to the shop than I was about the bags inside (Hey....I said almost!!). I love the bag I bought - it's not the perfect one so my search will continue but it will do nicely to keep me going till my next purchase!!

C x

Leigh said...

Are you as dedicated a bag user as you are a bag buyer? Do you take you bag(s) on the school run? To friends' houses? To the loo?

Or do you just like shopping? ;-)

wordtryst said...

Oh! That orange suede is delicious, but I have reservations about the black tassels.

I found the perfect briefbag once, some - oh - 15 years ago, at a bag store here called El Alligator. I bought it. I still have it. It cost so much that I never told anyone how much I paid for it, although some people have begged me to.

And I found the perfect wallet at that same store years ago. It's gone now, alas, but I had it for about ten good years. It was worth every dollar.

Because I rarely buy bags I try to buy only ones I love, and bags that'll last a l-o-n-g time.

JJ said...

Flowerpot, I think the search for the ideal handbag is indeed very difficult. I too end up with shapeless bags either before or after filling them with rubbish! I do have a very nice navy blue backpack I bought here for next to nothing.

Pacha, my needs are simple too: lots of handbags. Your MIL's home sounds like heaven to me: not strange at all. When can I visit? ;-D

Debs, oh but it's so worth the hunt, isn't it?

Carol, your bag is ideal. As well as aesthetically pleasing it is most important to find practical bags too! There, now I've told you.

Leigh, definitely a buyer and a user. I'm forever swapping the contents over. I do run into practical problems, such as for a trip to UK I will leave the travel cards in my Bangkok based handbag. By the time I get back home, I can't remember which bag I was using before I left... I always took my handbag everywhere (not the loo, though the lovely Blackberry has been known in there!) if I go out without one, I feel like I've left a child at home.

Wordtryst, Is the bag shop, El Alligator, still there? I couldn't work out if the wallet was no more or the shop! I so agree with you. If you buy a good quality bag it will last a lifetime. Leather can be restitched and ages beautifully.

JJx