Per request, my purse collection plus some bits of random thoughts relating to purses and handbags. In my collection are leather goods from Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and Prada. Most purchases were made several years back between 2003 and 2008.
Handbag care tips: I rely on The Purse Forum by brand, style & type of material for tips. Different leathers with different finishes need to be handled differently. Some lighter shades or lacquered finished leather goods are prone to color transfer from dark clothes like denim. Some softer leathers are prone to scratching and marks. Scratching and creasing isn't necessarily bad - some leathers are made to look worn as you use them. When my bags are not in use, I usually keep mine in their dustbags, away from heat and sunlight. Leaving them exposed for a short period of time won't ruin them as long as it's away from moisture and direct sunlight, but I just like to be safe rather than sorry. For lighter bags, there are some Apple Garde products that help you clean, protect and seal leather. I've always been careful using these since they are not appropriate for all kinds of leather. Also note that spraying bags with a sealant can alter the color slightly (usually darkens the color). Check out The Purse Forum threads for more information.
My purse history: My first designer purse was a large nylon Kate Spade tote gifted by my sister for my high school graduation. I didn't really get into purses until my last years in college and I started collecting piece by piece from 2003 to about 2008ish (my first major purchase was the LV Vavin PM, no longer made). Once I quit my job to go back to school I put myself on a purse ban and did not make any purchases until after graduation late 2010 with the addition of a few Marc Jacobs pieces (large singles and little stam).
My purse and handbag preferences: I think my taste has evolved since my early 20's. I used to like the LV and Gucci monogram styles because I felt the patterns and shapes were versatile for any occasion whether it was for a casual lunch, going to run errands, shopping at the mall or taking to work. However I soon learned that not all people are logo or monogram friendly and a few hurtful snide comments here and there made me rethink my daily styling. I do not and never have dressed for others or based on what others think, but as a few close friends and family members told me - I needed to learn to be sensitive and be aware of how my appearance affects others. On the flipside, there were those friends who would tell me not to care about anyone else and that I should wear what I want to wear.
I'm not the person who likes to draw attention to myself, so I did take the advice to heart. I began to look at other more subtle styles. I also started to look for bigger sizes. However, being 5'3" it can sometimes be a challenge to find a style that is a decent size but not too large that it overwhelms my body. I think I've accumulated a good balance in styles, shapes, sizes and colors. This is the last year I'll be in my 20's and these days I'm not as purse crazy and prefer the non-logo bags or ones with very subtle lettering.
My handbag and outfit styling: I change my handbags frequently, usually a different one every few weeks. Most of my purses are neutral so it's easy to coordinate purses with outfits. I don't always have outfit successes. There are days when I just grab what's clean and if it fits it's ok with me and I'll run out the door looking like a mismatched nightmare. For the days when I do try to think things through, I don't always know in advance what will look good, I just know it when I see it. Keeping things simple makes things easier.
Have I kept all my purses? Any regrets? Have I sold any? There are definitely a few purses I purchased in the past that I now have those "what was I thinking?" thoughts. I have not sold any before, although I have passed on a few to my cousins (not featured). Regrets? Yes. If I could do it all over again I would have avoided LV all together and purchased pieces from MJ instead. There are some gorgeous classic MJ pieces I would love to own that are no longer made.