FASHION | My designer handbag collection

Recently I’ve been completely obsessed with watching handbag collection videos on Youtube. I thought about doing my own video but then I remembered the horrors of video editing and so I settled on doing a blog post instead. The title of this blog post is pretty gaudy… but hey it caught your attention so might as well read on!

Just a quick disclosure – the point of this post isn’t to brag about how many bags I have. I really enjoy seeing other people’s handbag collections and reading their reviews, so I wanted to share my collection in case anyone is contemplating buying any of these. Honestly compared to many Youtubers / fashion bloggers, my designer bag collection is a more realistic size. If handbags aren’t your thing, or if you think I’m just wasting all this money on bags, etc., please feel free to close your browser. I work full time (very long hours at a very stressful job), and don’t have a “sugar daddy” who sponsors my bags (if you know my fiance at all, you’ll be laughing at how silly this is). I am frugal in many other areas of life that I don’t necessarily always talk about, for example I don’t own a car and take public transit as my primary mode of transportation. Just some thoughts before you read on ­čÖé

I’m going go down my list of oldest to newest bags in my collection. The first one that I actually won’t be talking too much about is the Chanel Just Mademoiselle Tote in black lambskin and ruthenium hardware. This was my first ever designer bag purchase, and I remember the night that I ordered this off of HGBags’s eBay site, I was completely ecstatic – happy that I bought it and also second guessing myself because of the extraordinary amount of money I just spent on one handbag. I purchased this pre-loved at age 23, a few months after I started my full time career job. The reason why I won’t be talking too much about it is that I rarely, if ever, use this bag. The lambskin was super delicate and it made me very OCD whenever I used it. The bag was quite a large size so the lambskin also meant the bag lost a bit of shape after a while. I’m glad I did buy it though because it made me realize that I should never buy another lambskin bag. At the time, the bag retailed for C$3,600 and I bought it for C$2,400.

The second designer bag I ever bought for myself is the Prada Saffiano Lux Double Zip Tote (now called the Galleria bag) in the medium size with the shoulder strap, in the colour Fuoco (red). I had my eye on this bag for the longest time, throughout university and also after graduation. A friend of mine bought the bag in black, but I wanted it in either the red or the blue. I loved this bag, and it took a lot of effort to find it because Holt Renfrew didn’t order it in either the red or the blue. This is an amazing size for work, and it does carry a ton of stuff in its three compartments. Due to the type of leather and the hardware, this bag is quite heavy once filled with stuff. I don’t use this that often anymore, so recently I also decided to ultimately gift this to my mom. At the time, I purchased this for C$1,840 + tax, now it retails for C$2,990.

Next, I have the Louis Vuitton Alma BB in Epi leather in Rose Ballerine. This was my first mini bag, and something I bought to fill a bit of a hole in my collection. The bag is perfect to wear for both casual and dress-up occasions. The Rose Ballerine colour is GORGEOUS, a super delicate light pink colour that goes well with any light-toned outfit. The Epi leather is also very low maintenance. I’ve worn this bag to weddings, to events, to the PNE, and more. It doesn’t fit a ton, but I don’t carry much with me so it fits all of my necessities. I purchased this for C$1,770 and it now retails for C$2,160.

The Celine Mini Belt Bag in Light Taupe is one of my favourite bags in my collection but one that doesn’t get much use. The Celine aesthetic is so beautiful, the minimalist design, clean lines, and quality pebbled leather makes up an incredibly gorgeous bag. It fits a ton, and isn’t too heavy even though it is such good quality leather. It has a top handle for carrying by hand or in the crook of your arm, as well as a non-adjustable shoulder strap. I love this bag so much, but the light colour means that I can only really carry this in the spring or summer, and I don’t like carrying this in the rain so it really limits the number of days in a year that I can actually use this. I purchased this pre-loved for C$2,400. I can’t remember exactly how much it retails for in Canada (I think around C$3,000) but in the US it retails for US$2,550.

I already did a review of my Saint Laurent┬áLarge Kate bag, which is a great grab and go bag but in the last year, I haven’t worn this as much as I’ve wanted to since I tend to gravitate towards cross-body bags now.

I didn’t get my next Chanel bag until five years after I got my first, and it was the┬áChanel Classic Jumbo in Black Caviar and Gold hardware. I LOVE this bag. It is my absolute favourite bag in my entire collection, and every time I use it, I feel a complete sense of euphoria. I don’t need to say much about the design features on this bag, as there are countless reviews of it on Youtube and all over the internet. I just love that it fits everything I need without needing to downsize, and the chain design is so perfect just for to wear over the shoulder as well as cross body. Despite it being a fancier design, I wear this everywhere – to work, to the gym, to the grocery store, to dinner, to date night, basically everywhere. It does get very heavy when filled with stuff, so if you don’t like heavy bags then steer clear. This currently retails for $7,950 + tax in Canada. I did buy mine new a few years ago, and I got a bit of a discount since I went through my personal shopper, so the price I paid was substantially less than current retail. Chanel prices are going up again soon so this is probably higher in price now.

Next we have my go-to everyday bag that I use rain or shine – the Gucci Soho Disco in red. I originally did not buy into the hype of this bag at all. I didn’t like the huge Gucci logo, and it just looked like a meh design to me. But then I heard about the Gucci price increase last fall and I started looking at more reviews of this bag, and it got me wanting to buy it. I got a really good price for it – right before the price increase, I got 10% off Matches Fashion which allowed me to buy this bag for under C$1,000. After a few price increases, retail in Canada is now $1,480 + tax. This is seriously a super versatile bag. I used this when I went travelling in NYC last fall, and when I was in Toronto last winter. It fits everything I need, and it is super lightweight. The tasseled zipper is very convenient and allows me to open and close the bag with just one hand. I bought this bag for functionality, and it has served me super well.

When I bought the Gucci Soho Disco, I told myself that it would be the last bag I’d buy (HAHA), but then a month later I picked up the Dior Medium Diorama bag in grey calfskin. The one I picked up is the older model designed by Raf Simons, which has the sturdier leather and the fabric interior (the current Maria Grazia Chiuri version has a more supple, softer leather with a suede interior, which I don’t like). This was another bag that I was kinda meh about for the first few years of its release, but then the more I looked at it, the more I fell in love with it. This was after I got my Chanel Jumbo and the Saint Laurent Kate, so I knew that the flap bag + chain strap combo would work for me. Of the bags I have, this is probably the quietest in terms of design / logo. There’s only a small Dior logo engraved on the front hardware, and there’s no loud obvious sign that it’s a Dior bag. I did take this bag with me to Asia this spring and it was a fantastic bag that could be dressed up or down. This bag was recently discontinued but prior to that, it retailed for C$4,700 + tax in Canada.

The third of my Chanel bags is the Chanel Square Mini in Black Caviar and Light Gold hardware. This bag is so incredibly hard to find but I got super lucky because I posted an “in search of” request on a Chanel Facebook group and a salesperson at Saks actually reached out to me saying she had one! I couldn’t believe it because I know there are waitlists for this in Canada and the US. I bought this bag as something I can wear to weddings to pair with clothes that don’t go well with lighter coloured bags (i.e. my Alma BB). I was actually surprised at how tiny this was when I first got it, but it does fit all of my necessities when I change out my wallet to a cardholder. The light gold hardware is perfect – not too gold and can be worn with all metals. I’ve been wearing this casually on weekends as well and it’s just a perfect bag to use when you don’t need to bring much with you. This bag retails for $3,725 in Canada, and I purchased it in the US for US$3,200.

I picked up the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis in black Empreinte leather when I was travelling in Europe a few summers ago. I got this bag because I love my Gucci Soho Disco as a casual cross-body bag but it was a bit too small if I wanted to carry more than just the bare essentials with me. The Pochette Metis is super comfortable to wear both as a shoulder bag and as a cross-body. I love the adjustable shoulder straps, and also the option to carry it by hand via the top handle. Since I got this, it has easily become one of my most used bags. It is uber comfortable, and can be worn both casually or more dressed up. Compared to my other bags, this one is more hip and almost boy-ish. The quality of the empreinte leather is also just beautiful. This retails for $2,990 + tax in Canada but I got mine in Europe so I was able to save almost a thousand dollars on it.

My most recent bag acquisition was the Chanel Mini Reissue in black distressed calfskin and shiny gold hardware. I can’t find the Canadian price for this model with the distressed calfskin, but the US price is $3,500. The Canadian price for the patent leather one with black hardware is $4,650. I purchased mine through my personal shopper and friend, Orchmelia. I absolutely love this bag as well because its so easy to wear, fits a lot, and still looks dressed up. While I don’t love the shiny gold hardware (it makes it look almost like a F21 or Aldo knock-off), I do love how beautifully supple yet still hard-wearing the leather is.

Out of all of these – my favourite is of course the Chanel Jumbo, the Gucci Soho Disco is my most used casual bag, and the Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis is my most used bag that isn’t casual. Hopefully this was somewhat interesting to read!

Let me know if you are interested in any in-depth reviews of any of these bags. I love reading and writing about luxury handbags in general so I am happy to oblige!

FASHION | Four worst luxury purchases

Now that you know all about my five best luxury purchases, I also wanted to share with you my worst luxury purchases. I was going to put together a list of five, but I couldn’t really think of a fifth one and I didn’t want to just jam something in there when it didn’t deserve to be in there.

4. The Cross Design “Dream Bed” dupe

This isn’t quite a ‘luxury’ purchase in the traditional sense but I’m still including it because I spent a ton of money on this bed. I had fallen head over heels in love with the Dream Bed from The Cross Design. I LOVED that ultra luxurious, tuft headboard look, with its huge majestic wings. Well the issue is that the real Dream Bed is $3500, and I was not about to drop that much money on a bed, so I went on Craigslist and saw a lady who made custom beds in her garage (I know) and can recreate the Dream Bed for me. Her price was $1,200, which wasn’t bad considering that it was completely handmade and custom designed for me, down to the height of the bed and the fabric choice.

Well the issue is it was built really poorly. The parts weren’t cut right and didn’t fit together well, the slats weren’t supporting our weight properly, and the foam headboard felt flimsy and didn’t have enough padding. It looked really pretty but it was definitely not the most functional bed.

3. Dior Diorama bag

I’ve always had a special connection to the house of Dior because I grew up with my mom using exclusively their beauty products. I’ve wanted to collect a Dior bag for a while and I fell in love with his bag when I saw it on Instagram. The issue is that I fell in love with this dark rose / raspberry colour that was no longer available, but I appeased myself by buying the grey one because Dior is all about the dove greys. Well sadly, I was super underwhelmed with this bag. While it’s beautiful, it’s just not as nice as the other flap bags I own. The other thing that really bothered me was the fact that the chain is part metal part leather, and I’m super OCD about wanting the leather part of my chain to be on my shoulder, right side up, so then I’d spend a lot of time adjusting the chain. I just didn’t enjoy using it, or the blah colour. I still wear it, primarily when I travel, because it is a comfortable bag to wear, and for a designer bag it’s pretty low key. But I don’t love it. For such an expensive bag, you really should love it.

2. Shoes

I have several pairs of shoes that I bought…. and never wore ever. Among them are a pair of Louboutin Simple 85 pumps that are not even that comfortable, but I bought because I didn’t have a pair of classic nude high heel pumps that would go with any outfit. The Louboutin red sole is super flashy and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing them to the office, and then on weekends I’d rather wear something more statement or comfortable.

One pair I did wear but are just super uncomfortable are the Chanel two toned slingbacks. I got these on sale for 40% off and was suuuuper happy about them, but they are just insanely uncomfortable. They pinch my feet so much and the leather is pretty stiff so they just don’t stretch out. I might buy some shoe stretchers just to help it along a bit, but otherwise they are really not that wearable. They look beautiful though, and I still love that I have them.

1. Chanel Just Mademoiselle tote

This was my first ever luxury bag purchase and it’s also the one I regret the most. I bought this bag in 2012 after I started my first full time job. I have no idea why I bought it, it was totally on impulse. The lambskin leather makes me super worried to use it, and the soft leather also means the bag is not structured at all (I prefer structured bags that don’t lose their shape). I just barely ever used it. I ended up gifting it to my mom but she gave it back to me because she also found that it didn’t work well for her lifestyle. For now it’s just sitting in my closet.

What are some of your worst luxury purchases or regrets?