The pursuit of perfection -- does it make you happy?

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  1. I have read a number of subforums and it seems as if there are always threads raising complaints and seeking advice about minute (if visible at all) imperfections in newly purchased bags. The responding posters typically support the OP, advising her to return the offending bag and get a perfect one.

    There are also a number of threads about people being afraid to carry their bags, for fear that something might happen to mar their perfection.

    And then there are the threads about how carefully some people care for their bags, e.g., keeping plastic protectors on hardware, wiping them down after each use, carefully stuffing them and putting them back in their original boxes to store for the next use. All in order to maintain their perfection.

    My question is this. Why buy and own a collection of bags that you are afraid to use? Unless your goal is to have a bag museum, why not just use your bags for their intended purpose? Does happiness with owning a bag reside solely in knowing it's in your closet, packed away in its dust bag and box, only brought out for carefully staged photos? The expense of the bag is often offered up as the reason it must be perfect -- but if you can't afford to use the bag, knowing it will likely have signs of your use and enjoyment over time, can you really afford to own the bag?

    I don't understand how this pursuit of perfection brings real happiness in every day life.

    (This can just as easily be applied to other items, like jewelry -- will it get scratched if I wear it? Er, probably. But it's made to be worn.)

    Ok, back to your regular scheduled programming.
    Minty Tea and Sparkletastic like this.
  2. The minute/barely visible imperfections don't bother me.

    Often times, once a person used the bag, those "imperfections" disappear, or even are caused by the owner.

    There was a point in time I was fearful on damaging my special bags, ones I bought on a trip, or as a reward, but I've gotten over it. I get color transfer on my light bags, I just clean it. I've scratched lamb skin, so I've moisturized it to not be so visible. I do know they're there, and that's fine. It's character, it's showing the item is used and enjoyed.

    I feel if a person can spend an amount on a bag, any bag, they have to be comfortable with possible imperfections do not affect the bag visually or functionally because I noticed a lot of complaints are on bags that are massed produced (LV canvas, Chanel flaps).

    There are defects and there are inherent supposed imperfections that occur in working with a natural material such as leather, in mass production, and in the handling of an item.

    Those who hesitate to wear something they own out of fear of ruining the perfection probably weren't ready to own the bag yet. It may not be affording the bag, per say, but perhaps it was bought out of a wish/dream of a wanted type lifestyle. Or remorse over the bag, so trying to find justification on returning. Either way, they were not ready to own. Perhaps the nitpicking of minute details are because the bag did not meet expectations after the chase.
  3. I subscribe to the art of imperfection idea.
    Or, maybe that "perfection" isn't a flawless, clean state.
    Obtained by existence inside a box.

    I don't usually pursue it, either.
    The scratches/cracks/grain ripples find me on their own. Find my bags, etc.
    And become stories.

    That's how we really connect to other souls & our Higher Power, imo.
    Through flaws. Through stories.
    That, to me, is perfection. And my goal.
    With bags,with pretty much everything.

    Hope helps.
  4. I think there's a lot of muddling of the lines between quality and durability, flaws and damage, and taking care of a bag and being a perfectionist.

    Quality does not equate to durability. Silk tends to be my example of this. High-end silks are amazing in quality, but not durable to daily wear (at least not with how much I like soup. Soup>silk blouses imo).

    I don't mind most flaws as long as it won't impact the structural integrity of the bag. I try to go for the least damaged bag, especially when it concerns a full-priced bag. I'll overlook a scratch here or there if I'm getting a discount though.

    I condition my bags periodically and will clean them if I notice anything, but that's about it. I want to enjoy my bags, not simply possess them. If I'm stressing on them, it's too much a headache and if they're never used, they're not worth the money. They conjure memories and imperfections are reminders.
    Minty Tea likes this.
  5. Then there are those of us who welcome the certain 'patina' that will come with age on our bags.
    To me it shows the bag is loved and well used. I draw the line on obvious holes in piping or huge stains, but small scratches (those can be conditioned away most times) and the like are welcome on my bags......I buy them to use them and do feel sorry for the perfectionists!
  6. Agreed

    There's also often a fantasy of the magic transformative powers that bag will bring with it once bought - 'life will be perfect', 'everyone will look at me and think WOW' 'my life can start' etc and when it doesn't happen they blame the bag for being - just a bag

    Very good points, I think quality is often confused with durability.

    When you consider historically the wearing of fine materials, light colours and outlandish designs were used to express the wearer's disinterest in practicalities, whereas poorer people's things had to last a long time and be fit for purpose.

    I think different bags/leather/colours look better in different ways and some suit patina more than others but if something isn't being used as the 'thing' it purports to be it is a shame.
  7. I can totally understand people not wanting imperfections on the brand new bags. In a market where good condition pre-loved, even NWT items usually fetch so much less than retail, why shouldn't people expect scratch-free, well sewn, crease-free items at the point of sale if they are buying new. At the exorbitant prices now charged new (in some cases ridiculous) for most bags I should hope there are no defects, companies have no one else to blame if these bags are expected to live up to their price-tags.

    Personally, I think it's good to have a mix of bags. I have a couple bags that cost a lot and I only wear occasionally because their materials are delicate (or very old) and the practicability limited (solid sterling silver and gold minaudiere included) and I have other bags possibly equally costly that will look better after some experience of life. So long as I know what I'm doing I don't see anything wrong in that :shrugs:
    Sparkletastic likes this.
  8. #8 Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016
    I am not fussy with my bags on the whole but I think what drives the need for it all to be perfect may be the cost of some of these bags. My view is that I buy to wear, with wear the bag develops character. To me, that adds to my experience and makes me happy.
  9. I think there r 2 issues here, that other posters have already touched on, but I'll take the liberty to outline them.

    1. wanting a brand new bag that u just spent a small fortune on to be perfect...and it's right out of the store unworn. and
    2. wanting all of ur bags to stay looking perfect even after use.

    when it comes to #1 I expect after having spent thousands...or even hundreds of dollars on a bag it will be flawless...unless of course I got the bag at a deeply discounted price. I assume the discount at least in part reflects the "picked over" imperfections that come along with being on display and pawned and tried on by thousands of customers.

    as for #2, like with all of my things I like to keep them as nice as possible. I understand that with use signs of wear will come, however, I think this is just pols way of attempting to preserve the original luster...there's nothing hawt about a runner bag. I don't go to the extremes of many, but I do Stuff my bags and keep them in dust bags to try to avoid unnecessary soiling and wear. I don't see this as any different than. a person waxing and detailing g their cars, or covering them, placing protective items on furniture, keeping fur coats in cedar cliaets, or expensive suits in garment bags, shoes in boxes...u get my point. just because an item can and will show age, doesnt mean a person shouldn't do what they can to slow down the process
    Sparkletastic likes this.
  10. I do think when buying new, and item should represent that, of coarse i do think some folks overly examine and almost look for an 'excuse' to return the bag, clearly doubt lays within this purchase.

    As for using, well *I* own my bags not the other way 'round. That is why i will not buy bags that require special treatments, or high maintenance, i want to use what i spent the hard earned money on, not stare at in a cabinet.

    Of coarse some don't care about that, others have lifestyles and budgets where they can merely admire some bags or rarely use them, doesn't really concern me.. but i still stand by i do not purchase bags to admire that is why some i will never own, they do not suit me or my lifestyle. :smile:
    Sparkletastic likes this.
  11. Good post!
  12. I don't think there's any wrong in how you protect your bag, for example going to the extent of protecting the hardware. It could be for a higher resale value or you simply want to extend the longevity of the bag.

    I personally do not go to that extent, and I don't save my beautiful bags for use in the future. Life's too short for it! I also put my bags on the floor (if it's dry and not too dirty), but I clean and condition my bags regularly. I have not and don't intend to sell my bags, but if I ever have the intention to, I will definitely take more care.

    Leather is a natural material and there's bound to be imperfections but if a newly purchased bag has scratched marks or other things that are obviously caused by careless handling, I would insist on a return.
  13. #13 Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    I don't mind scratching or marring my bag as a result of active use, but I have a problem with very visible signs of "imperfections" if they're new from the store. If I paid the money I should be the one to mark it up! As for carefully replacing them in their dustbags after use, nope I'm too lazy for that lol. I want to own the bag, not the other way around.

    And yeah, this is the reason I only buy items that are within my budget; if I buy something I'm not comfortable spending, even if I could technically afford it, I would be obsessively checking for every dent in the leather hahaha
  14. +1 Well articulated. 👍 For the price I pay, I expect my bags to be on point. And I care for my things. So cleaning, conditioning, stuffing my bags is simply being responsible. I take care of my house, car, body. I take care of my bags too.

    A couple of points for context about how I look at bags:
    1) I love a deal. Some people like hanging out with their SA's and that's great for them. But, I love the feeling of victory when I score a new / like new bag for significantly less than retail. Part of the fun is actually finding my coveted bag - pristine and with all the "extras". So I do closely inspect the bags when I buy. BUT, a stray tiny scratch or loose thread doesn't trip my trigger. It's a bag. Not a surgical instrument. So I don't have micro tolerances. Like the OP, I SMH when people freak out over teeny issues. But hey. To each their own.

    2) I'm pretty maniacal about keeping my bags like new. 80% because I like to look good so my bags need to look good 😂 and 20% because I want to flip a bag in a month or 5 years when I tire of it. That being said I USE my bags. I see no reason to have a purse museum. That's just not why I buy bags. From my Chanel's to my no name bags - I enjoy each and every one. In fact if I don't wear a bag at least 4x a year I sell it. No matter how much I "love" it.

    Bottom line I'm not seeking perfection. I'm seeking high quality giddy joy sparking happy.
  15. #15 Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
    I think there are different reasons why someone would want their items as perfect as possible. The most common reason I read on the forum is "I paid X amount of money for it, therefore I want it to be perfect". I can understand that to a certain extent IF there is an obvious, blatant defect that might affect the longevity/use of the bag. If the problem is almost invisible i.e. a minor scratch or a small spot of irregularity that's barely perceptible, then IMO that's just being too fussy. The way I see it, the bag(s) will eventually get these little imperfections and wear and tear anyway with use.

    The one that boggles me is someone buying something they're afraid to use so it sits in the closet. Why even buy it at that point? I don't know about anyone else but I buy bags to use, not to admire them from afar.

    I don't mind small imperfections as long as it doesn't compromise the integrity of the bag(s). While I'm not one to baby my items, I do take care of them and not abuse them either and this goes with anything I own, no matter the cost. I buy things with no intention of selling them in the future but I know some people who sell their stuff eventually and would want to keep them in pristine condition to get a better price for it.
    Minty Tea likes this.