Collection at the Tipping Point

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  1. So here's my handbag journey.

    When I got my first "real" job many years ago, I bought a spectacular bright red Marc Jacobs Blake satchel and a matching pinky-beige wallet. I wore that bag for all purposes (work, play, travel) for 5 years. It was my only bag, and it was all I needed. I loved it to death.

    Fast forward . . . I leave the corporate world, I teach yoga, I use mostly athletic bags, I start having kids, I get a diaper bag, the diaper bag becomes my only purse for ANOTHER 5 years. (THE HORROR.)

    Mother's Day last year, my husband got me a LV Speedy 30. I hadn't had a designer bag in forever, and it was SUCH a pleasure to carry it. Like my MJ bag, I carried this one in all contexts, for all purposes, every day, for a year.

    And then it began . . .

    I enjoyed my LV so much (so lightweight; love how monogram canvas goes with everything) that I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a similar, but smaller, cross body bag for walking around & going out? Got the LV Favorite PM. Began obsessing about a Neverfull, because it seemed SO convenient for summertime, and the DA print is gorg. Got the Neverfull. In the process of researching the Neverfull, I discovered Balenciaga. OH CRAP. Got a classic black City; also got a delicious pre-owned Day for traveling and kinda throwing around. Got a couple of SLGs, as you do. Now I've just ordered another bag on my wish list, the Chanel Medallion Tote. *pops champagne*

    Now, all this might sound like nothing more than a hedonistic shopping spree, but really, I'm a woman on a mission here. Now that I'm out of the diaper-bag era, I've been taking better care of myself in every way, and part of that has been refining my wardrobe so that truly every piece works for me in a functional, aesthetic, and creative sense. I've become more of a minimalist, believe it or not, and I'm realizing how important it is to exercise discipline so that I don't own anything that is just *taking up space* and not actively enriching my life.

    Which brings us to my bag collection! I now have 6 premier handbags and 2 SLGs, all collected more or less within the last year (and all but 1 since January). I want 3 more - a Balenciaga clutch (for fancy things, obvs), a Balenciaga Velo (to have a roomy cross body option), and another Neverfull (in Damier Ebene, because the Neverfull is THE most useful bag on Earth, and I'd love a darker print for various reasons - indestructibility, aesthetics, etc.). And then . . . that's it. Really, that's it.

    I feel like a collection of these 9 bags is good. It's manageable. It truly covers all the bases in my lifestyle and compliments every aspect of my particular "look." But I also realize I'm at a tipping point! Buying a lot of high-priced, high-end bags in a short period of time, besides being expensive, is kind of psychologically . . . weird, no?? I don't want "the bag hunt" to be a long-term lifestyle, and I really do think I'll be "bag content" once the last few items are checked off my wish list. But . . . doesn't everyone think that??? LOL!

    So I'm sharing with you, dear handbag enthusiasts, because I figure you're the only ones who will understand or care: I'm at The Tipping Point and genuinely don't want to fall over the cliff into handbag COLLECTION. I simply want to round out my wardrobe and be able to reach for a bag that works for me and brings me joy no matter where I'm going or what I'm doing. And I just wondered . . . have any of you found yourselves at a similar crossroads? Where you have all you need, and you know it, and you either just STOP or dive headfirst into the madness? I'd love to hear.

    P.S. I just gifted that well-worn red Marc Jacobs to my sister, and she's thrilled. It's about to get a second tour of duty! And the wallet? I'm still using it!! *clinks glass*
  2. Yes. Some people would say it's a waste of money. Some say you can spend on other things to make you happy. But handbags, makes me happy. But I have the tendency to purchase and not use the bags thus makes it into a useless but beautiful collection. And the practical ones gets abuse like crazy- the mummy bags. To stop myself being the crazy lady that lives in her handbags,Ive made rules.
    -Purchase ONLy from the wishlist
    -Purchase ONLY classics unless the non classic are in the wishlist for more than a specific amnt of time and at a specific budget.
    -Set a quota for how many handbags per year.
    Mine is 1 per year. Unless 2 bags cost the same as 1 Classic in the wishlist. Presents are not part of quota.
    With my rules, my love for handbags is a controlled madness.

    That said...I've exceed my 2016 quota. Sigh
  3. YES! Sticking to the wish list requires discipline, but I'm SO glad I have so far. I've wanted a Chanel Medallion Tote forever, and I KNOW that it will fill a specific niche in my wardrobe. But still, I have come SO close in the past few weeks to blowing the money for it on something else - something brightly-colored, usually, and also too small - that happened to catch my eye. The struggle is real!!! I'm so glad I kept my eye on the prize, because when I pulled the trigger on the Chanel today, I felt nothing but pure satisfaction, because it's a wish list item CHECKED OFF, and a classic piece that I know I'll use. I feel like sticking to that principal is a good way to keep the whole thing somewhat under control.
    missie1 likes this.
  4. Every time I see something new. I have to say to myself. You have exceeded your quota! You have exceeded your quota!!!! And then I put it on the wishlist. When will the wishlist shrinks?
  5. It helps me to remember - they're just bags.

    Ok, ok I know that for most of us there's a lot more going on there. :angel:

    But AT THE END OF THE DAY, for me, it's just my purse. If it doesn't serve me as a purse - i.e., hold my crap, compliment my look, feel comfortable to carry - then it's more like a piece of art that I need to appreciate and admire (but not possess).

    They're just so darn fun to buy though, OMG. Capsule collection - that's my mantra. Capsule collection. :biggrin:
    prepster likes this.
  6. I guess another question I have is: did anyone else sort of just decide to start AND complete their collection all at once like this? LOL. I guess I've always had a handful of dream bags floating around in my mind, and in the past 14 months I've just decided to . . . get them. All.
  7. I did something similar but from the other direction. I had over 100 bags I wasn't happy with. In 18 months I sold all but three and purchased a flurry of bags to get me to my current almost complete collection of 26. So in the same way I just decided it's time to get my bag game in order and got it done.

    Being almost done (having just 2-3 bags more to add and 2-3 more to still sell) after so much plotting, hunting and thinking about bags, I also feel like I'm at the tipping point. I want to make sure my collection is perfect for me - everything I need and nothing I'm not using. I don't have a desire to have a smaller / capsule collection but I also don't want a big collection (no more than 30 bags and preferably 25). So I have a list of what I want / need and shop from that. Otherwise I would creep back up to 100 bags again and that is NOT happening.
    prepster, Kendie26 and Summerfriend like this.
  8. "Time to get my bag game in order" is EXACTLY the head space I've been in. I started out with a whole vision for what I wanted in a collection, and, well, when the vision is in place, it's hard not to just go for it (especially when good-condition discontinued items become available). The slope is so slippery though! I hope the plotting-hunting-thinking-about-bags stage is easy to leave behind once I'm DONE.
  9. You know what, buy what makes you happy. Life is too short and before you know it you are old and brittle with a load of saved retirement money. Unless you are in financial distress, which it doesn't seem like you are, then don't worry about what frequency you are buying things. I tend to buy things in stages (usually sale times!) and although I come home with three new pairs of shoes, I try to make myself feel better by selling off another three pairs.
  10. All it takes is one bag and before you know it, you have many. Been there, done that. :biggrin: But hey, if it makes you happy and you know they'll serve a purpose then I don't see anything wrong with that. For me, when the urge comes to buy more, I just let the feeling ride out until it passes. Usually it does because I've become pretty good at rationalizing it away. If the feeling doesn't pass and it's something I can't see myself without then I go and get it....right away.
    Kendie26 and Summerfriend like this.
  11. Someone posted on another thread that any bag that we wouldn't pay full price for isn't worth buying on sale. I hate to agree. I really, really hate to. But I think she's got it right. So, I really would encourage you to stay focused and get EXACTLY what you want/need first. Then you can play with some opportunity bags later.
    I completely understand the siren call of the highly discounted purse of the moment. But I've found that every time I answer the call, I'm just not as happy with that bag as I am with the bags I KNEW I wanted.
    How about this approach that I'm using? Once your collection is complete, leave room for 1 or more "wild cards". That will allow you to buy some fun bags as they come along. And, you may find - as I have - that as you fulfill your predetermined list of perfect-for-you bags, your appetite for the serendipity bags will be much lower.
    I can't wait to see what you decide. Whatever route you take, enjoy it. Life is short. Our handbag babies should only bring us joy! I think you are doing good by really thinking about this. :tup:
  12. The only think i can say is be careful of the thrill of the hunt issue, many love researching, hunting down and ultimately buying but when it's all done, the dust settles they find they are back on that hunt, search.. and so forth bandwagon.

    Nothing wrong with having a few bags, many do... just enure your actually not getting to a level that is not comfortable for you and as such overwhelming... everyone has their own 'comfort zone' so i am not tossing numbers just be careful not to get sucked down the rabbit hole. :angel:
    prepster, lulilu and Summerfriend like this.
  13. I have 7 bags, just added one and sold 2 that I wasn't using. Its a small number compared to many on tpf, but they were all expensive. I prefer to have fewer bags and shell out for what I really really want. When tempted by a new bag or a sales bargain I try and mentally compare it to what I already have and think about whether I'd choose to carry it over one of those - especially if I already have the same colour or a similar style. If the answer's no, I try and resist. It doesn't always work, but it does help a bit :smile:
    prepster, Kendie26 and Summerfriend like this.
  14. I think you will be fine. You already know what you like and what you don't like, what works for you and what doesn't work for you. You are already thinking ahead and considering how many is enough and how many would be too many.

    Honestly, once you have what you want and need, I'd recommend focusing on what you have and not looking at new bags, reveals or even browsing the boutiques or shops. Enjoy what you have and use them with pleasure. More is not necessarily better. There's an old saying "Enough is as good as a feast."

    I had over-purchased when I was revamping my closet/wardrobe. Once I realized what works for me and what doesn't work for me, I was able to weed out the bags that I had bought that on second thought really don't work so well for me or my lifestyle. I've finally pulled them out of my closet and they are waiting to be taken to the resale shop.

    It feels good to have edited my closet, to have items I love and use and not so many extras just taking up space. Someone else can have them and use them. They are lovely, they just don't work for me, but they may be perfect for someone else.

    I now have about 15 handbags for various occasions. That's plenty for me. I may let go of a few more later. We'll see.

    Good luck figuring out what to do, but I really think you will be fine. You see you are at a tipping point and have hesitated. I am guessing you realize that you could go either way at this point and you are concerned about over-indulging.

    For some people more is more and it is fun. For others more becomes too much and it can be stressful. I guess you just need to figure out which kind of person you are and if more will leave you happy and sated or if more will leave you feeling guilty and overburdened.
  15. Ahhhhh thank you for all these perspectives!

    This is huge. I love this advice. A good price does NOT make me LOVE a bag more. It simply gives me an incentive to *talk myself into* a bag. I am going to start putting every single purchase I contemplate to this test. Thank you!

    I also love this! All my intentions aside, I'm realistic enough to realize that, no matter how perfect and "classic" my capsule collection is, I'm not going to go the rest of my life without EVER wanting a new purse again. I love the idea of assembling the basics and retiring from "The Search," but, as you say, leaving room for a wild card every now and then. This seems like a perfect happy medium for me.

    Exaaaaaactly! This is exactly what I want to be conscious of and avoid. There is no denying that the hunt IS thrilling; I need to remember that it's not a sport, it's a material object. LOL! Seriously, "it's just a purse" has been such a helpful refrain for me. It's not a victory, it's not a reward, it's not a comfort, it's not fulfilling any emotional need in any real way - It. Is. Just. A. Purse. (Of course, I wouldn't have to tell myself that if it came naturally to me, ha!) Purses are fun and beautiful and they bring very real joy, but *the acquisition process itself* is not something I want to adopt as a hobby. I need to remember that it's just a means to an end, and the desired end, for me, is simply a small collection of usable bags.

    THIS IS SO SMART. So something's gorgeous. Will I reach for it instead of the bag I use daily because it's already meeting my needs perfectly? Chances are, no.

    Thank you so much for this. I feel pretty good about where I am with it too, now that I am discussing it with you all. It's easy to get sticker shock thinking about total dollars spent JUST ON BAGS, but when I consider my purchases this year, I really do feel that each one was well thought-out, good value, and fits into my collection and my lifestyle perfectly. I think I'm just cautious about going over the edge, because, well . . . there are STILL a few bags that I'm coveting and plotting to get this year. I tell myself that once I get those, the handbag frenzy is over, but is that true, or will there ALWAYS be a wish list?

    I'm starting to think that, for me, a wish list is a perfectly fine and healthy thing to maintain as long as I'm not constantly feeling a sense of urgency to acquire the things on it NOW. At the moment, the remaining things on my wish list are things that I have an immediate need for (need being a relative term, of course) - for instance, a clutch for an upcoming wedding; a bag for upcoming travel - that kind of thing. My hope, and my intention, is that once those things are acquired, I'll shift into a phase of using, enjoying, and maintaining a wish list, if at all, as more of a fantasy-type thing and a way to continue refining my own style and taste (which is an aspect of the whole "handbag frenzy" that I actually think has had a lot of value for me).

    prepster, Kendie26, missie1 and 4 others like this.