Hobby Treasures Hunt: Latest Handbag Discoveries


NEWLY DISCOVERED HANDBAG TREASURES MAKE MY SEARCH EXTRA FUN

I keep a close watch on what is new as well as what is newly available in the world of handbag treasures. Let’s say this is sort of the-bag-of-the-month club. Sometimes there are bags I have never seen before. Then I jump for joy.

Other times, there are bags I love so much, they bear repeating. There are even handbag treasures that are so affordably special that I have been able to purchase them. Dasein fits right into that category. This brand is featured at the conclusion of this post.

HANDBAG TREASURE BRANDS

There are several brands that I adore. Besides this, I have special ways that I keep track of my passion for my favorite brands. To start, let me introduce the brands:


Arcadia

handbag treasures
An unusual shape and color of the unique Arcadia bag

Dooney & Bourke

handbag treasures
Pebble Grain Zip Zip Satchel

Coach

handbag treasures
This season’s and my favorite, cherry pattern in several styles

Kate Spade

handbag treasures
My most favorite Kate Spade clutch.


Dasein
handbag treasures
Wow, what an intense blue. Reasonably priced an available in over a dozen colors.
Since my budget does not allow for purchases of most of these treasures, an occasional blog post about them satisfies my hunger.

HANDBAG TREASURE SOURCES

All of these sources appear in an earlier blog post:
Websites for each brand
Upscale Malls
Discount Outlets
Poshmark

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POCKETBOOKS TOP MY FASHION PASSION: The Secret of My Search


How My Pocketbook Passion Began

My pocketbook passion started about 30 years ago. Each year, I would buy myself a beautiful, popular, designer purse. To start my collection, I purchased numerous Dooney & Bourke bags, Coach bags, and then some Kate Spade bags.

pocketbook passion
Vintage Dooney & Bourke Teton Style Multi Color bag from vintagedooney.com

My Passion and My Search

I began my journey searching for and purchasing the most attractive Dooney & Bourke ‘All Weather Leather’ bags.

Since the Internet was not yet a means of advertising and purchasing, items were available from beautifully designed mail order catalogs.

In fact, this is where my passion for pocketbooks began. The handbag at the left is very similar to one of my first purchases.


FAST FORWARD: Outlet Malls and The Internet
outlet mall
A photo of a Tanger Outlet Mall with plenty of parking and discount upscale stores.

Over the years, the technology for shopping has become more sophisticated, appealing and convenient. If I want to make a purchase without leaving home, the Internet has become the place to go. If I want a feast including entertainment and purchasing delights, destinations like the Tanger Outlets are the ideal place to go

INTRODUCING: 21st Century Shopping – POSHMARK

There is no end to what I have been able to find online, at upscale mall shops and at mall outlet stores. But isn’t that the whole idea of retail shopping today? The possibilities are endless.

Here’s a video about the fascinating story of the immensely successful online social marketplace community known as Poshmark.

One brand, in particular has become my favorite vintage pocketbook passion, Italian made ARCADIA. This brand is one I recently discovered from the gangbuster technology for feeding my passion, online search and research. In fact, my favorite place to ‘window shop’ and purchase is on Poshmark. It is the hottest spot of them all. I visit almost daily.

arcadia collage
Four of my favorite vintage Arcadia handbags found on Poshmark.com
The Evolution of How to Go Shopping

There is an evolutionary path to this search for collecting both new and vintage handbags. Collecting new handbags started with mail order catalogs and stayed there for many years. Then as technology was embraced, it evolved into the Internet.

Out of curiosity, I have even visited one of the Tanger Outlet Malls I had heard so much about. Of course I made a purchase. The mall was an appealing, well designed shopping village. In addition, it had a movie theatre so no parking space was wasted when shopping hours waned.

Three Primary Venues

At present, three venues have become my primary sources of feeding my pocketbook passion. They are online discount sources, like Poshmark, online company websites, and thrift stores.

Thrift stores are a great resource and a way that many non-profits raise money

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

1. The History of Online Shopping

2. 8 Amazing Things People Said When Online Shopping Was Born 20 Years Ago

3. Students Prefer Online Shopping to the Mall

4. The Future of the Outlet Mall Industry

5. Vintage Dooney

6. The History of eBay

7. The Iconic Marketplace: The Poshmark Story

8, The Best 10 Thrift Stores near Rockville Centre NY 11570

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THE FRUGAL FASHIONISTA

 

MY PASSION FOR SHOPPING

Donations Passed On To Me, Online and In Stores Bargains
Becoming a frugal fashionista has increased my passion for shopping. In other words, my extremely tight clothes and accessories budget has not diminished my joy and ability to acquire new attire. In fact, the degree of savings is directly proportional to the fun and bountifulness I experience. It may surprise readers to learn that the least expensive and most fun ‘free’ (clothes) donations to me are from a local church food pantry.

frugal-fashionista
A selection of clothes including three Old Navy dresses I got from the church pantry at my favorite price, a ‘free’ donation to me. Thanks to St. Agnes in RVC, NY.

Then increasing in price from least to most, I frequent thrift shops, online bargains websites like Poshmark, and rarely something new at a discount chain like HomeGoods or Savers. In addition, I will buy a quality name brand when it is on sale. But the rule is, it must be at least 50-70% off.

frugal-fashionista
Two Diophy brand purses from Poshmark. One I bought ‘new’ and the other one I got for $11.97 slightly ‘reused’.

ALMOST PROFESSIONAL SHOPPER

Hobby to Pro
In fact, I am becoming so adept at this pastime that I feel like a pro. What amazes me the most is that I like the clothes and accessories I am acquiring as a frugal fashionista is better than regular retail shopping.

Believe it or not, my wardrobe is nicer and would be more expensive new than I could ever afford. For example, my accessories include numerous Coach Leather, Kate Spade, and Dooney & Bourke handbags.

frugal-fashionista
Over the years, I have collected vintage Coach, Dooney & Bourke, and Kate Spade bags, very affordable new bags and bags that would be a steal.
Mid to High End Treasures Finder
My skills as a frugal fashionista have resulted in labels like Old Navy Lands’ End, Talbots, L.L.Bean, and Lands End and more apparel in my closet.

frugal-fashionista
A collection of ‘free’ cardigan sweaters to match any purchase. Included are (from top left to bottom right) Charter Club, Lands’ End, Croft & Barrow, L.L.Bean, Merona, Izod. All from the church pantry at no cost to me as a low-income senior.

CONCLUSION

Becoming Even More Frugal

Within a fairly short period of time, I have gone from a middle class, middle aged shopper to a fixed income savvy senior shopper. When the concept was first presented to me, it took some time for me to adjust. But now, I love being a frugal fashionista and I plan to get better and better at this great way to go shopping.
P.S. To comment, please scroll all the way down to the comment box and make you entry with DISQUS.
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Affordable Handbags Inspired by Extraordinary Luxury Purses

 

INTRODUCTION

It is a well known fact in the fashion industry that haute couture can only be afforded by the very wealthy. Thanks to the world of ‘knock-off’ fashion, the extraordinary becomes affordable. Therefore, this blog post provides some really surprising financial examples of this in the handbag industry.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Anne Hathaway’s famous blue sweater that Meryl Streep lectures her about in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’
As Meryl Streep deliberately explains to Ann Hathaway in, ‘The Devil Wears Prada‘, the extraordinary births the ordinary. Meryl Streep describes the origins of a shabby blue sweater that Anne Hathaway is wearing. Its history is from glamorous haute cuttiere. Anne Hathaway is totally oblivious to this. At this stage in the movie, Anne has no idea that the the ordinary is inspired by the extraordinary.

 

WILD ABOUT HANDBAGS

Although I am not devotee of high fashion clothing, I am wild about handbags. Therefore I have been studying the world of glamour in this industry. One of my favorite companies is Rebag. I have been introduced to luxury handbags through their social media and website. This adds to the knowledge I already have to what I consider affordable quality handbags including Coach, Dooney and Bourke, and Kate Spade.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Luxury Gingham bag on left and two less expensive bags to its right

 

HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS

Since I have only been able to encounter handbags in the hundreds in person, I can only surmise the difference in the cost of those in the thousands.

My favorite Coach vintage bag is called the Willis bag. Because it is a classic, variations of it have been made over many decades. A recent version, in green, and two original designs are pictured below.

They are all high quality Coach products but their age can impact the price by several hundred dollars. Due to its rarity, the vintage Willis is about twice the cost of the new one.

extraordinary becomes affordable
Three Coach Willis bags are pictured here. The green one is the latest version. Photo from Coach. The two on the right are classic version. Photos from Etsy.

 

THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS

I had no idea that there were handbags that were more expensive than new automobile or even a house. Even those designer bags have imitators or want-to-be handbags. The designer bags include the Hermes Birkin bags which are six and seven figures. Their inspired versions cost a few hundred retail like the totes from Coach and Kate Spade.

extraordinary inspires affordable
Three pink totes ranging from nearly a $1 million Hermes Birkin Bag, a five figure Prada bag to a Coach tote on sale for about $100.

 

WHIMSICAL

Both very expensive and less expensive handbag companies make whimsical purses. Great whimsy inspires affordability. The most famous of this is Judith Leiber handbags. They are very whimsical as well as expensive. In similar fashion, Kate Spade came out with its frog bag. The former retails for a few hundred dollars. The latter goes for between about $5,000.

whimsey for all
A Kate Spade Wicker Frog Bag next to A Judith Leiber Frozen Marguerita Clutch. The Judith Leiber is over 10 times as expensive as the Kate Spade bag.

 

ALMOST TWINS

These two totes are so similar. In fact, I took a double take when I discovered the Burberry Remington tote. It’s hard to believe that it can cost up to five times as much as the Kate Spade on the right when this designer ‘knock’ goes on sale.

almost twins
Two bags that look so similar. The Burberry on the left can be five times as expensive as the Kate Spade on the right when it goes on sale.

 

GUESS WHICH BRAND THIS ONE IS

Sometimes the affordable bags are so well made that one can’t tell the difference between luxury, ‘working girl designer’ (like Coach and Kate Spade) or a total ‘knock off’. This example is from the best knock off company I have found. If you’re curious, the answer is in the Sources and Resources section.

guess which brand
Guess which brand this is. The answer is in Sources & Resources.

 

CONCLUSION

As a handbag collector and flea market stalker, I am always on the prowl for that special but accessible bag that the seller is practically giving away. Wouldn’t it be great if someone was selling an extraordinary purse for next to nothing. That is my dream. So I continue to search and collect in the hope my dream comes true.

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Anne Hathaway’s Cerulean Blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada

Coach Gingham Purse

Mansur Gavriel Gingham purse on Rebag

Judith Leiber on Rebag

The 8 Most Expensive Birkin Bags Ever Sold

Coach Pink Mollie Tote

Dasein – Affordable Fashion Design Handbags

Kate Spade River Large Bucket Bag

Coach Leatherware

Coach Black Willis

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My Designer Purse Gems

 

Selecting My Gems
My designer purse gems were not difficult for me to select from my rather large collection of favorite designer and style bags. Some are on my studio wall to provide a decorative view of this room. Others decorate my bedroom, and the rest are housed in their own cabinet. Four of my designer purse gems are featured in this blog post. Indeed these four are my favorites even though I have many others that I love.

For example, I own about a dozen Coach bags. These and others purses are the ones that serve as decoration on my studio wall. They are all still usable as pocketbook. They are truly my designer purse gems.

designer-purse gems
This wall displays most of my Coach Bag collection as well as others and is the view on my studio wall
My Gems
From the above and other purses that I have collected, there are four that are the absolute gems. The images below or either from my own collection or from the companies themselves. How I wish you could see them and touch them. Maybe one day, they will all be in a design museum or a handbag collection in a interdisciplinary one. Museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art, also in New York and The Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Then you will able to see them in person.

design purse gems
These are pictures of the bags that I posses or similar ones to my own. From left to right, Coach original Wills bag, new Coach Willis 18 bag, Dooney & Bourke teton bag, and the Furla round bag.
Public Gems
Did you know that there are other museums that do house outstanding everyday objects of superior design? Well, there are. Even though some of my bags are design to last ‘forever’, I hope that as many people as possible will be able to enjoy them by experiencing them. Then my designer purse gems, will be your design purse gems, too.
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