First Bal... the more I learn, the less decisive I become

madigan

I'm done!
O.G.
Jan 16, 2007
887
3
CT
Usually I only buy 1 handbag a year, and I've sold/am selling 3 to justify my first bal. However, the more research I do the more confused I become. I thought for sure I wanted a city, I saw a red one on a blogger and was floored. Now, after searching through so many colors, shapes, and sizes, they're all running together and I'm less sure of what I want. I surely wanted a true black city. I don't baby my bags, I love distressed leather, so black bal makes sense.

However, I went to the store in NYC to try them on, and I didn't care for any of the leather. The city didn't seem quite right, and the strap was so short. The velo's shape was too square though I liked where it hit on my hip (but I don't like the idea of it wrapping around my leg). Town was laughably small and I didn't think to try the part time (stupid of me) even though the shape appeals to me along with the longer strap but it may be large for me. Most of my bags are a similar size to the velo, so it made sense for me to like that one but I physically rejected it haha!

I thought I wanted a bold, true red, but the vintage look of a brown bal is AMAZING, and the black is super classic. Then the leather, so many different kinds, but the 'chewy' one suits me best. Since I'm a bit carefree with my bags, I hear the angneau holds up better than the chevre? It is hard to wait for the perfect one to pop up on ebay, since it seems I'd be wanting an older bag (and so many nice ones pop up)? I'm concerned about corner wear...

Am I overthinking all this? I just want to be sure, and to me it's a decent amount of money to spend on a bag. This should be a fun, joyous thing but I'm feeling myself stress with too many options and wants. I'm wondering if I should just take a step back.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

rainneday

Member
Feb 8, 2013
8,052
1,495
And...this is why no one is content with just one Bal. I think the black City is calling to you, so go for that and know that you will be back for more.
For me, it was easiest to buy new for my first couple of bags, but if you do your research you can probably buy two gently loved bags for the price of one new one. I have seen excellent condition black City bags listed for 1,300 and sometimes less (also on some sites there is no tax), you can put the remaining $ toward a colorful First, Twiggy or Day
I went with Velo for my first bag, it just fit me and my style, but I ended up with an assortment, I didn't plan it...it just happened.
Good luck!


ETA Keep in mind that Ebay isn't the only place to look, the consignment sties are great and some offer returns.
 

Tiare

zOMG sales!
O.G.
Jul 5, 2007
1,697
105
You can take the girl out of NYC...
I'll say this much, my personal preference is to hound eBay for older bags. I prefer the colors, giant hardware and thicker leather.

My mother has purchased several bbags from the 13-14 seasons. The adjectives I'd use to describe them are: crinkly, thin, glazed. That is in direct comparison to vintage BBags.

However, her newer bags (and my one newer Balenciaga) are WAY more durable. They don't fade, they don't pick up color from denim as easily. In spite of weighing less and feeling flimsier, they are actually sturdier.

In contrast, my beloved 07' Amethyst was worn about 5 times, kept in a dust bag in a closet, and yet looks faded, dry and all around sad compared to when I put it in the dust bag. It faded and dried out after a year in a DUSTBAG!!!

So, conclusion: the older bags are colorful, chewy gems. However, the lighter colored ones take as much coddling as a baby. The newer ones don't have the same Coachella/moto feel. They look more prim, but, they ironically are much tougher.
 

pookybear

Member
Dec 10, 2011
2,350
105
los angeles, ca
Yes, the chevre leather is gorgeous if you're looking for that distressed look. Each bag varies a little from each other though, so look carefully and pick out the specific one you like.

I have owned both chevre and agneau bags, and prefer the older chevre bags better (especially the 2005 and 2007 bags). I think I've sold and narrowed my collection down to 2: both are 2005 (chocolate and black). The black from that year is amazing! No green undertones and stays very black imo. I use the black as an everyday bag and am a bit careless with it at times, and it seems to be holding up fine.

Corner edge wear is my biggest worry too, along with the edge paint peeling on the handles -- but I have fixed/protected my bags with instructions found from other tpfers on here.
 

jellyv

O.G.
Mar 29, 2006
8,556
5,940
And...this is why no one is content with just one Bal. I think the black City is calling to you, so go for that and know that you will be back for more.
Agree, except the browns you like are really, truly great, too. Why not just hone in one B bag right now. Others can also be yours later on.:biggrin:
 

lnw85

Member
Mar 27, 2014
1,004
0
Michigan
Hi Madigan!

I totally understand your concern and obsessing - when you're looking to spend that much $ on something, you want to know its going to continue to look beautiful and last for many years to come.
IMO, the fading is natural and to be expected, particularly on bags like Balenciaga that are "distressed" in nature. I actually don't mind the fading at least to an extent. If all the color washes away, that is obviously a problem but when a bag is exposed to the elements and carried and worn, I would think its going to show some wear and I think thats natural and OK and not indicative that the bag is defective.
As far as which bag you should choose, I whole heartedly believe that a bag will call out to you - the only Balenciaga bag on my actual wishlist (yes, its actually a list in Evernote as if I'll forget) is a Black Bal City but the two Bals I have bought so far that have called out to me have been an Electric Blue Day and a Taupe Twiggy. I am so thrilled with the bags I have bought and yes, I still want a Black City and I know that one will eventually call out to me like my current ones have although knowing my luck, something else will call to me first :P
And one last thing - I can weigh in on the agneau/chevre - both my 2008 agneau and my 2005 chevre are wonderfully soft and thick and chewy but I do slightly prefer the feel of the chevre.

HTH! Good luck making your choice!
 
Dec 17, 2013
10,403
10,834
Hi Madigan, I'm definitely with you on this. I'm still looking around for my first Bal and I though I had already decided that it will be an Anthracite Town RH. Then, as I did more research, I find myself besotted with the reds of Bal and in GHW. Recently, a few ladies here revealed their cities in different shades of yellow and I ended up all confused too. As I have yet to try them on in person, I have decided (for me, that is) to take a step back and first decide the style I prefer. Sorry I am of no help but just to let you know you're not alone in this dilemma
 

BPC

Blue Jean Baby Queen prettiest Bal I've ever seen
Mar 31, 2012
3,686
1,495
Umm.. you weren't happy with any of the ones you tried (size wise, strap wise, etc). So the city, Velo and Town sound like they're out.
You really do need to try on the Part-Time, and Work.

If you decide one of the bags do work for you, then worry about color and leather. Right now, just decide on which bag!! lol..
 
Mar 19, 2007
6,024
6,509
LaLa Land
At one point my Balenciaga handbag collection ballooned to 8. Different colors, different styles. It included neon yellow, bubblegum pink, some kind of brown, and many other colors. Over the years, I trimmed the collection down to one bag. A black first. That's it. Nothing more.

Take a look at your current handbag collection, then decide on what style will fit into it. Then color. I wouldn't worry about leather, that's adding too many variables to an already complicated equation.

So. 1. Style. 2. Color.
 

joybecee

joybecee
May 5, 2014
40
0
Chicago, IL
What you are going through is probably common for a first timer....I know it took me months of researching and reading the posts until I finally decided what to get for my first Bal bag. I finally got a black PT in G21 RGH....I wanted my first one to be a classic. I am still in love with it like the first time I got it out from the box! You can never go wrong with black. And when you fall in love with your first (like most of us do!) you can then start looking forward to getting the next one, and maybe then you can go for the red :biggrin: Good luck on your hunt!
 

uadjit

D.Va
Jul 21, 2011
4,526
125
Somewhere that's green
Agree that the older leathers feel more luxurious but the newer ones are harder wearing. Compromise by buying a pre-owned bag in a dark easy to care for color (like black), maybe?

Try the Part Time. It's a good bag!
 

Bisoux78

Member
Jul 26, 2012
1,473
1,469
Strawberry Fields
Usually I only buy 1 handbag a year, and I've sold/am selling 3 to justify my first bal. However, the more research I do the more confused I become. I thought for sure I wanted a city, I saw a red one on a blogger and was floored. Now, after searching through so many colors, shapes, and sizes, they're all running together and I'm less sure of what I want. I surely wanted a true black city. I don't baby my bags, I love distressed leather, so black bal makes sense.

However, I went to the store in NYC to try them on, and I didn't care for any of the leather. The city didn't seem quite right, and the strap was so short. The velo's shape was too square though I liked where it hit on my hip (but I don't like the idea of it wrapping around my leg). Town was laughably small and I didn't think to try the part time (stupid of me) even though the shape appeals to me along with the longer strap but it may be large for me. Most of my bags are a similar size to the velo, so it made sense for me to like that one but I physically rejected it haha!

I thought I wanted a bold, true red, but the vintage look of a brown bal is AMAZING, and the black is super classic. Then the leather, so many different kinds, but the 'chewy' one suits me best. Since I'm a bit carefree with my bags, I hear the angneau holds up better than the chevre? It is hard to wait for the perfect one to pop up on ebay, since it seems I'd be wanting an older bag (and so many nice ones pop up)? I'm concerned about corner wear...

Am I overthinking all this? I just want to be sure, and to me it's a decent amount of money to spend on a bag. This should be a fun, joyous thing but I'm feeling myself stress with too many options and wants. I'm wondering if I should just take a step back.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
I think you're overthinking it too much...lol. When I pick Bal bags, I usually go with my first instinct. Whatever caught my attn first, I usually just hone in on that and then decide if I want regular or G12 hardware. This should be a fun experience not a stressful one :smile:
 

gettinpurseonal

Can I bathe in them?
O.G.
Mar 31, 2007
3,844
3,036
It sounds like the City is the perfect bag for you. You just need to lengthen the strap with a clip on hook or some extra rings. The City is small enough to be elegant yet large enough to hold a lot. It is not too wide like the Part-time, not too tall like Velo, not too big like the Work (which has no shoulder strap) and it is not too small like the first.
Another option would be the Day. Is extremely lightweight, holds a lot, and has only one strap
 

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gazoo

O.G.
Aug 26, 2006
8,594
2,057
US
I can only tell you that when I've over analyzed such a decision, I usually don't love the bag as much as when I have a visceral reaction to a bag on the spot. Even if it's not what I'd originally thought I wanted, I usually love it to death. The main ones that come to mind are the true red in First style, which was my first Bal purchase that I just fell in love with on the spot. It made me so happy every time I carried it and I'd never thought to purchase a red bag.

That said, I've never regretted a black City. You don't have to be as cautious with black and it's edgy anytime of year and with any outfit.
 

BirkinLover77

Member
Apr 30, 2014
5,351
872
New York City
IMO, you should choose the one that most accommodate your closet, which you seem to be leaning towards Black. Recently got a Classic City Bag Beige in Lambskin and Love everything about it including the tassels. But if you are having reservation then maybe you should not purchase the bag at this moment and wait a little longer, no rush.