Where Do It Bags Go to Die?

Let's investigate!

-1When I landed in a new and more upscale middle school at 13 years old, I had a very hard time making friends. After a few weeks of spending lunch periods talking to my mother on a payphone outside of the nurse’s office, I was fully convinced that my problems would disappear if I had a Kate Spade messenger bag, the backpack of choice for girls at the most coveted cafeteria table. It was big enough to fit one textbook (was it Einstein or Thoreau who said “the more impractical the more luxurious”?) and for its most fortunate owners, a Prada pencil case.

Even once my self-deprecating humor earned me favor with a group of girls who ten years later I still consider my inner circle, I believed that little rectangular logo would make my braces disappear, my chest look bigger – er, existent – and, as Joan Didion says in her prose on self respect, entitle me to “the love of a good man.” I was fixated.

A birthday and promise to stop biting my nails later, my prize arrived–in black, obviously. Because if I was going to pass it down to my great granddaughter it couldn’t be vulnerable to stains.

But when I finally retired my purple Jansport, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Nobody seemed to notice…or care. I couldn’t admit it to myself, or my mom, and pretended to love that expensive nylon messenger like a first-born child until the end of high school. But somewhere deep down, I took a vow of abstinence. Not from sex, which wouldn’t have been hard among the pipsqueak boys at my Jewish high school, but perhaps the hardest oath an adolescent woman can make: never again would I buy – or even covet – an “It Bag.”

[An interlude for humor: last summer, while admiring my parent’s photos from their trip to Europe, I realized my dad was wearing it proudly as, according to him, “the perfect
travel murse.”]

Here is my case against It Bags: they are beautiful, well made and widely accepted as classy, but attain their mass appeal by serving as a status-symbol for a moment in time. Women wear expensive handbags and men drive expensive cars, (I’d presume) often to validate the owner’s ability to (a) identify the right item and (b) afford it. If excessive spending could signal that you’re smarter than me, phenomenal in bed, or just plain likeable, I wouldn’t oppose. We all want to be and feel respected, accepted and even envied, but as I learned from my affair with Katie, it can’t be achieved through a purse.

Since high school, I’ve found myself tempted. I watched friends rack up an entire arena of the It Bags that have since infiltrated The Bowery Hotel bar and kept saying to myself maybe, I’ll get the next one. But not wanting to spend a small fortune at the tail end of the fad, I put off taking the plunge several times.

Eventually I accepted that what goes up must come down–and what is an It Bag eventually was an It Bag. And the only thing that seems worse than wearing something outdated is wearing something outdated for which you overpaid for with the sole purpose of it being on trend.

Like a girl who finally gets over emotionally unavailable men and is able to appreciate a “nice guy,” I gave up the chase and began enjoying – in fact, relishing in – knowing that the Mulberry Bayswater tote I splurged on 7 years ago will never be “so out” because it was never “so in” to begin with.

I often wonder where It Bags go to die. I frequently shop in consignment stores where the inventory of insert-brand-name-here satchels doesn’t seem to correlate to the volume sold during their Carry-Bradshaw-endorsed heyday. After many restless nights I’ve come up with two theories: there are either children in underdeveloped countries walking around in t-shirts that say “New England Patriots Superbowl Champs 2012” and holding Fendi baguettes, or, maybe, like every other cultural phenomenon that cant quite be explained, they are big in Japan.

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Thoughts?
  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    It has to be well-made, beautiful, and make you want it bad…really bad. I suspect most people keep their old It bags in their closet because they paid so much for them, but they never see the light of day again.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Jennifer Louise

    What a great post! I especially loved the little quip about your dad, calling it his ‘murse’ – ahahaa
    Jennifer xx
    Please check out my blog at asprinklingofeuphoria.blogspot.co.uk

  • Greer Clarke

    wOW first comment how rare

  • Greer Clarke

    Plus Leandra I thought from day one you’d be the coolest editor of something like vogue if they ever let you…
    So at least when you dont write its v awesome and v scintilating
    …. ^ so illiterate..

  • Kathryn M.

    My mom said no, absolutely not, hell no, and a firm NOT IN MY LIFETIME! when I coveted the It Bag back in 1992 at the fancy private school on the north side of Chicago I was fortunate enough to have received a scholarship to attend. Not only would she not buy It for me, she wouldn’t even let me use my babysitting and lawn mowing money for It. This was coming from the perennially classic New Englander whose style was pretty simple and timeless – popped collars, simple gold hoops, ironed khaki shorts with Dockers. Years later, I am grateful for her due diligence in raising a daughter who appreciates the finer It Bags in life but doesn’t necessarily have to own them. In fact, the funky, versatile, unmarked, unbranded bags that I have found in vintage stores or occasionally at Marshall’s receive far more compliments than those It Bags that several of my friends (attempt to) flaunt. My teal Tulu (I’ve never heard of the brand, either) bag of 5 years fits everything, looks great in every Cleveland season and somehow manages to get more praise for cuteness than its owner.

  • Iliyana Licheva
  • http://desartsplastiques.tumblr.com Alicia

    Haha, this was hilarious, and really well written. Growing up in a tiny affluent city (once dubbed the richest city in NA…seriously we had one homeless person and our foodbank fed like 6 families), as a lower middle class kid, I can relate to whinging to my parents who would combine xmas/birthday (easy to do on dec 24) to get me some sort of it bag that cost a fraction of my school mate’s prada. Anyway, kudos on the article!

  • Stephanie Lam

    I remember back in high school my sister was on the wait list for a Chloe Paddington and she finally got one, but now it’s just sitting in her closet, replaced by a Celine Luggage Tote!! But there are those “It Bags” that are forever classics, no? Like the Chanel flap bags or a Kelly/Birkin! And I thought that the baguettes were in for a comeback/revival!

    -Stephanie
    @LaminLouboutins.com

  • Mar

    You are totally right! but I still want designer handbags, I know it is totally stupid to pay for a Goyard ST. Louis 1600 dollars but I know that sooner or later I will buy it! I feel bad about it because I know it’s not worth the money but I think it is the coolest bag! I wish I was happy buying Nine West bags but Im have to be honest , I would’t be!

  • leslie spann

    I feel like I want to punch the next fashion blogger I see with a Philip Lim Pashli or Celine Luggage bag – while simultaneously envying the f**k out of them for having them, because, yes, they are beautiful. They are so damned expensive and many of them seem to have several of each. How in the hell do they afford $10,000 worth of handbags that are way too zeitgiesty (Definer anyone?) to remain “it” for longer than it will take to pay off the Visa bill… I’m definitely not above it though. I have to admit that when I see a woman on the street, outside of a fashion blog, who is carrying the coveted bag of the moment – it has the “right” effect on me. Embarrassing to admit, but I instantly have respect for the woman and see her as someone “in the know”. And I want her to know that I’m wearing an Equipment blouse – but it looks just like my friend’s blouse from Old Navy. So she can’t know I’m fit to sit at the right table in the cafeteria… Human beings are very, very weird.

    Cecile

    • http://twitter.com/looksharpWI Look Sharp Sconnie

      Love this comment. Too many times have I bought the uglier, brand identifiable over the pretty obscure one. It’s like taste disappears when money’s involved.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nina.trendsurvivorpapaioannou Nina Trendsurvivor Papaioannou

      I don’t think your equipment blouse would look like an Old Navy to many fashion lovers.. Quality and style are forever….

    • Astrid

      I very much recognize the “I see yours I want you to see mine but you don’t” thing, excellently put!

      • Will Code For Clothes

        I feel that, too. Cecile said it very honestly above. It’s weird how brands actually have a big effect on us…

        http://willcodeforclothes.com

    • http://www.creativityandchocolate.com/ Eva

      The perfect answer to this post I think. I have the same kind of thing. The “OMG I want that bag” and “OMG I (kind of) hate the person who has several (jealous me). But my taste stays intact. For instance, I’ve never seen the beauty of the Chloe Marcie. Just can’t like it! But the Mulberry Alexa is still IT for me, no matter what happens. Fortunately for me I’m also crazy about timeless bags like the Bayswater, Birkin and Speedy. One problem…my wallet doesn’t agree…The funny thing is, I have lots of beautiful (non designer) bags but the bag I love and carry the most with me is the bag I made myself out of an old postbag! At the end I have to say I think the blogs without all the designer stuff are a much bigger inspiration for me because I still have the feeling I can pull that off too. That get’s almost impossible when you don’t want to buy the knock offs they seem to sell everywhere nowadays! It feels like these people and their designer clothes are so far away from my closet that I give up before I’ve even started. At the end of the day it isn’t only the IT bag for me, it’s the IT look! xx Eva
      http://www.creativityandchocolate.com

  • Chicspace/Marguerite

    I, too, occasionally fall under the spell of It Bags. Their exorbitant prices, along with the fact that you’re buying “into the club” instead of expressing your own fashion preference (in most cases), stop me from taking the plunge. I have a number of interesting and pretty purses (and a reputation for having them), but none would be considered at It Bag. Buying what you love says far more than buying what PR folks/bloggers/magazines tell you to buy. (That said, I’m carrying a Lim 31 minute clutch right now, oops.)

    I still want a Chanel bag, though.

  • http://www.raymondleejewelers.net/ Raymond Lee Jewelers

    Great article! We always enjoy something that brings a smile to our face and yours succeeded. While it is (very) possible that most of these “it” bags found their way to Japan, some classic bags never go out of style and therefore are recycled and reused! We see many people who bring in their pre-owned Channel, Louis Vuitton, or Gucci bags wanting to sell them in order to get that new “it” bag. If there is anyone who has a gently used designer handbag and are looking to sell it, you should check out http://raymondleejewelers.net/ :)

  • Sophie Wodzak

    with travel accessories, and anything else I think, form should follow function. I spent ages finding just the right not-a-diaper-bag leather tote, and I truly love it. If you focus deeply on your own needs, its easier to follow your heart and recognize your true wants. Plus if I had thousands of dollars to spare, I sure as fuck wouldnt spend it on leather. Id go to Jamaica. Duh.

    http://sweetbabychild.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

      Hit the nail on the head here! As much as I would LOVE a Bayswater (I literally fog up the window display in Covent Garden) or a Chanel 2.25 I WILL NEVER BUY one as I find the idea of dropping that amount of money on a HANDBAG a terrible waste of money… I would rather go somewhere sunny or historic. But each to their own – if that’s what you like by all means indulge.

      ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
      http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Leila Daiana Llunez

    Great article! The Trend Upsetter

  • Camilla Ackley

    I definitely agree, I do have my Chanel, but that was a gift and honestly I don’t believe that is a bag that’s going out of style any time soon. I’ve recently been wanting a kind of singnature bag for myself, I spent hours scouring shopbop and net-a-porter and then I half heartedly checked Zara.

    Bam, there it was.

    So I think it’s best to look for the bag that suits you best, not the one that fashion tells you that you need.

    xo Camilla

    Into The Fold

  • zesiku

    Well i guess lately all the bloggers and celebs that are being sent 3 “copies” of the same designer bag are the ones that make it the IT Bag..you see it, you see it again, you see it for the third time and you want it for 3 years…Thats how it works with me..and of course that status!Yes we are weird

    FASHION FROM RUSSIA
    http://www.diamondsandspikes.com/

  • Mimi

    Agreed. I had a huge collection of It bags and It shoes. But when I got honest about my credit card bills, that shit stopped immediately. No ma’am. Never again. But I can appreciate the girls that flaunt them, better them than moi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nina.trendsurvivorpapaioannou Nina Trendsurvivor Papaioannou

    Haha! Amusing article and you make us think, again. Where did the Chloe bag with that overweight locker die? Well, I wouldn’t know because I never got the it bag just because it was the IT. I must love the quality, the unique design and (this is not true for shoes) it’s practical value. I believe the it Yves Saint Laurent bag with the horn handle, Tom Ford designed, will never die and so will the PS11.

    See you in my blog, maybe.

    xxx

    Nina

    http://trendsurvivor.com/

  • kathryn

    i am surprised at a fashion/lifestyle blog condemning the nature of the ‘it’ bag! there are so many jobs that depend on this transparent marketing scheme. the next best thing, and the “collect all three”, among many other obvious sales techniques for bags and other junk we don’t need, is what keeps the world economy going. if we resisted purchasing all the useless crap in which we indulge for the pleasure of belonging to a group or affecting a status – and especially for, more importantly, achieving yet another fleeting novelty in our frightfully repetitive lives – we might as well go back to living off the land, foraging for food and creating temporary shelter.

    • kathryn

      oh, and just to note, i am suspiciously not interested in the ‘it’ bag at the moment. my hard-earned wages have been funneled into the act of acquiring designer work-out gear that i don’t really need, but ah, how good it feels to collect, and wear, and touch and look at, and on and on….

  • Theresa

    This is why I enjoy reading your blog so much! I love this entire post and couldn’t agree more.

    Theresa
    http://bomamma.blogspot.com

  • Anna Black

    It bags go to die on ebay, let’s be honest here! haha

    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4164275

    http://beblacknblue.blogspot.co.uk

  • neonseattle

    I recently bought a Celine bag but it’s not one of the “It Bags” of the Celine line-up. I bought it pre-owned and even though I got it much cheaper than retail, it’s still the most expensive item in my closet by far. I keep it stuffed with tissues in its dustbag and I have only brought it out a handful of times in the two months I’ve owned it. I’m already contemplating selling it even though I coveted it obsessively for almost two years. Funny how that works

  • http://vickiarcher.com/ Vicki Archer

    I can’t help but love an It bag…I sometimes think that we are brainwashed to like a bag because we see it worn everywhere for 6 months…either way, I’m a sucker for a gorgeous bag!!…xv

    http://vickiarcher.com

  • leslie spann

    Maybe so – but my friend literally has a neon-ish green old navy blouse that looks exactly like an Equipment blouse I have. You’d have to look really closely to see the difference. Of course there IS a difference and mine will last longer – but it doesn’t make the obvious statement that an “it” bag makes. I agree that quality and style are forever, though. But in terms of cafeteria seating – it might not matter too much.

  • sarah

    Isn’t a mulberry bayswater an IT bag of sorts? the IT bag of the girl who tries to appear above the IT bag. Doesn’t it still say something about the wearer? just like the SL or Celine tote. isn’t it still branded? Even Lauren Bush’s ‘feed bag’ ultimately became an IT bag. I’m really not sure that this argument doesn’t have a few holes in it.

  • Spencer Varsek

    http://surlafete.blogspot.ca/2012/11/the-it-piece-syndrome.html I made a post about this a while ago, I love hearing different peoples opinions on ‘it’ piece syndrome!

  • http://nicola-lynde.blogspot.dk/ nicola lynde

    Such a sad truth of our fast moving fashion reality, here today gone tomorrow. Although I definitely idolize and covet It bags, when it comes to purchasing I focus on longevity. My hand bag collection is small, only three bags, all in black, all excellent quality, but from smaller, more obscure design houses. I’m not an It girl and although I’m envious of those who have the disposable income to buy a Celine bag on a whim, I would prefer to save my pennies for pieces I can get milage out of.

  • Katya

    Although I agree that many It Bags die quickly, some last longer than others and some resurrect after a while. Balenciaga moto bags for example, although no longer of “It’ status, continue to live on and remain fairly popular. The Fendi baguette has begun a slow and steady resurrection.

    I wonder what will one day happen to the It shoes of the moment.. how will we one day look back on the infamous Marants? And how about “It” brands? For example, Celine and Givenchy possess “It” status for now (grâce à hiphop culture and such). Do brands manage to hold on to such titles for longer than particular items? Is it because brand It-ness is more subtle? Or do former It brands eventually become just as awkward as former It bags?

  • Alejandra

    I bought a bag without knowing it was an “It Bag”…..Here’s my story: In the summer I bought a bag, from Massimo Dutti, similar/identical to the Alexa’s Mulberry Bag… (and I swear I didn’t know anything about the Alexa’s bag)… I just bought it because I found it cute, wearable, simple and classic… even my mom liked it. When I realized this, that my bag was a copy from Alexa’s “It Bag”, I was so mad. I used to buy my bags from Massimo because I thought they were cute and original and that no one else had them. If I knew that I was buying an “It Bag” I wouldn’t have bought my bag in the first place.

    So I don’t know what makes an “It Bag” an “It Bag” any more. Is it because it’s really cool? Or because some celebrity/it girl wears it? Is it the label? I don’t know. I don’t know if my copy-bag is an “It Bag” or should I just call it “It Copy-Bag”? Agh :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

      Eurgh! I feel your pain. I did the same thing years ago with some “Louboutin” rip offs – this was before his shoes were everywhere. II bought these shoes – not cheap – thinking they were so original and unique only to see Louboutin’s original design on his site later. Having said that, these aren’t “it” shoes – I’ve never seen ANYONE wearing them.

      ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
      http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Sara

      If you are buying a bag in Massimo Dutti you should certainly expect (a generous amount of) people wearing it. And the whole Inditex group, to which Massimo Dutti belongs, is well known for getting their inspiration from the high-end brands, so nothing to be surprised when you find out before/after buying something there that it resembles a designer piece.

  • http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com/ Donna

    I feel fortunate to have grown up in a place and time where no one cared about It bags. When I moved to SoCal, however, they were everywhere. I have never been able to afford one, and never wanted one enough to charge one. Also, I never liked most of them, except for the classic quilted Chanel. I agree about why they are popular, though. It’s a status symbol about taste and money. But there are so many ways to show your taste that are so much cheaper. And I’d rather buy one that I truly like!
    I would like to know where they go to die, though. My guess is the back of a lot of closets of people who feel too guilty to give them away.
    Donna
    Prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

    • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

      In the back of the closet gathering the dust of guilty shame – I say make your own style and trends!!!

      ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
      http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

      • MelissaD

        I love that! “Make your own style and trends!” That is what it is all about. Honestly I didn’t really get this article because that has always been my frame of mind. I buy things I love and where them regardless of what Vogue says.

        -Mel D

        SALE-RACK.COM

        All fashion sales on one website!

  • http://twitter.com/Deusapps Lynford Dozario

    Hey i agree with your views..quality is must but my personals views are plastic bags should be dumped out just bcoz its effecting our global warming…Cotton Bags should be in..:)

    Android Developer

  • Voza

    In Mona Chollet’s book “Beauté Fatale”, there is a good explanation of the phenomenon “It Bag”. She says that the bags had become the “must have” among many things because they don’t need to fit. You can use (or more accurate wear) them wherever your size or shape. I think this is brilliant! This theory could give to “it bags” the same attribute of fantasy of being the chosen one that consumers often get from designer’s cosmetics and parfums, because they can’t afford an entire wardrobe, not blogger’s case but still applies to the rest. Bags are expensive but we have the idea that they can last forever or last more seasons at least. Another aspect to consider is that a bag is like a house, a shelter, because it is a container so you can live in. You carry your precious belongings and your identity in it (well, when you’re not part of the russian pack to who the bag could be empty because it is just an editorial detail). The bag could be a very powerful synthesis of who we are, even more than our clothes, because they are more easily recognised by others, like the car for men as Leandra put in her thoughtful and personal article. I am double your age guys, which is important when talking about bag crushes during my teen years, long time ago, when Sex and the City and the it bags didn’t exist. My last great bag was a vanilla bowling bag from Prada’s 2001 fall Collection. I paid a fortune for it, 500€ (laughs) on sale while on holidays in Paris. After that bag I still have and wear from time to time, I switched to shopper’s bags mainly made out of fabric because without too much thoughts I started to feel stupid coveting the bags that other girls wanted so hard to prove their existence. I feel humble and careless about fashion when I carry my “Daunt Books” bag and this attitude makes me feel elegant. Being so interested in fashion since my childhood and after having worked as Fashion Producer for E! Entertainment, I finally understood that this feeling of being careless about fashion is probably a good sign of having a more personal and fuss-less style. Love reading you Man Repeller and your followers, the comments are always the best pudding!

  • Sartorial Revenge

    Spot on! I have to admit that every now and then I do find myself lusting after one of those ‘it-bags’ but what’s funny is that while thinking about a payment plan, I already judge myself for being weak and succumbing to the appeal of such a bag.
    The very sad truth though is that in many cases carrying the red Phillip Lim Pashli or green Celine luggage bag will get you respect and maybe even a spot at the lunch table of the cool girls – just for the wrong reasons.

    http://www.sartorial-revenge.com

  • trendfuse

    they probably end up on ebay I presume… haha

    That is why know, when I wanna buy a “it bag” i choose classic and timeless pieces so I can keep them a long time, instead of buying the first crazy piece i have a crush on… ;)

    http://trendfuse.blogspot.fr/

  • lc

    I’d always hated the It Bag concept but i broke down with the Alexander Wang Rocco. I saved up for it and then my cat peed on it. I cried. I saved up and bought another one. Left it on the table for a minute when I wasn’t thinking. My cat peed on it. I think what i learned from this is that I hate my cat. Just kidding. I realized I’d rather pay less and have something that nobody else has. And then when my cat pees on it, it’s,well, kind of ok.

    • Cat

      Oh, wow…. that’s really sort of tragic, I would have cried too, I am so sorry!
      I also broke down with the rocco, but to be honest I had no idea it was such a phenomenon when I bought it. I got it because it was the perfect colour, the perfect lack-of-structure-floppy-soft-leather-thing, the metal studs, the no-logos inconspicuous look… It was made for me, I thought. Oh well. I don’t give a fuck once it goes “out”. I didn’t want it ’cause it was “in” in the first place. I will wear it until my back gives out (that shit is HEAVY) or until I can finally get my dream puppy and he/she pees in it or eats it.

      • Anna

        At first I thought the peeing cat was answering…

      • Splendid Little Thrills

        I totally agree with you about the Rocco. I was lucky enough to get mine on sale and I will keep mine forever! It’s just too good!

    • debbywarner

      Your cat needs a diaper or a psychiatrist.

    • liv

      Oh my, this gave me a good chuckle!

  • Local & Opulent

    I agree with abstaining from the “It Bag”. I once worked in the land of retail and saw girls practically put themselves out on the street just so they could get the next bag. There is always a next “It Bag”, they will never stop going in and then out of style! It’s cruel reality of the situation. But seriously, where do they go to die? Certainly not my closet… Ladies, I will take them off your hands :)

    A new post is up on Local & Opulent – I got my press credentials and am heading to World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto! Plus, some vintage photos from my last stint there!

    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/583/

  • Jordan

    what a great topic to touch upon, I myself, find it hard to say no to high priced handbags and yet I’m not sure if anyone notices..but hey- if you love them and can spend the money..do it.

    http://www.thestyleboss.com

  • True story

    Oh the “IT” bag. Celine luggage, Proenza PS1, beautiful but practical? If you buy a bag with a hefty price tag you are going to love and appreciate for years then go for it! But why why why does everyone so desire to look like everyone else, what is cool about that? I get that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but what happened to the real IT girls the ones who brake the mold like Leandra for instance who aren’t afraid to stand out?! Years ago I bought the Marc Jacobs misfit bag. It felt artsy and wild and fun and vibrant and all these years later it still is! I use it very often and people still constantly stop me to compliment how beautiful it is. Don’t get me wrong I thought the black leather Proenza PS1 was beautiful but no one is getting complimented on their bag when everyone else has it! I love that I never see anyone else with my bag and im proud to say I bought it on sale and have never felt like I missed its “it” shelf life.

  • http://twitter.com/Margit Margit Detweiler

    Check it: My Pinterest board of “It” Bags By Decade. And suggest others… http://pinterest.com/margit/it-bags-by-decade/

  • HerMajestyS

    Ah, but what is less chic than that which has become common?

  • ANDREA FERNANDEZ

    Instead of buying the hologram stella maccartney clutch I end up buying a timeless YSL bag in a color that will be “in” for years and years, as my mom says: “Do not buy it bags. Buy timeless bags.” http://www.sanctuaryoffreedom.blogspot.com Venezuela.

  • carlotta samccia

    fendi baguettes died?

  • Elizabeth

    I agree with abstaining from “Its for Its sake”. As much as I love clothes, shoes, bags, etc, it is much more important to me to be a responsible consumer of fashion. It seems irresponsible to me to consume primarily to stay on trend. Investing in a piece you will love and use for a long time (regardless of whether it is considered an It Bag or not) is how I practice enjoying luxuries within reason. I bought myself a Jerome Dreyfuss Carlos bag for my birthday this past year and I can honestly say that I love it so much that I don’t want for any other bags. I also waited to purchase it for about two years to make sure it was THE bag for me. It is the everyday bag I will wear for life, because it feels authentically “me.”

  • p

    i know it’s meant as a joke but people in underdeveloped countries are not in fact walking with fendi baguettes so that is a little offensive

  • Clara

    hmmm hard to say… i love your story at 13 y old… but who does it socialble at that age…it is normal to be afraid at talk with your mother on the phone…

    http://latesttrendfashion.com/latest-collection-of-caps-for-men/

  • V from The Drastically Blog

    Sure, “it bags” are pretty to look at (sometimes) but I don’t fall into that trap. I have a most favorite black leather bag with gold zippered pockets that I absolutely adore! It can take me from job interviews, to nights out to wherever! If somethings works for you, no need to obsess over “it bags.” Of course, that’s just me. But because this bag, like a good man, was so hard to find, it is all the more special than any “it bag” I can ever own. Of course, that’s not so that I won’t ever give in.
    http://www.thedrasticallyblog.blogspot.com

  • chantelle

    Adore this post. I have no idea what I would do with an expensive IT bag 20 years down the line. I find very few bags have had a descent longevity (But I’ve seen the speedy since forever, and before that); sometimes when new leather babies come around (Celine tote anyone?) you wonder how long they will last through fashion trends, and if it’s worth investing now when the prices are “cheaper”, or 10 years from now once inflation has given them a huge hike.
    http://www.bellechantelle.com

  • Alejandra

    You are so smart and intelligent. I love the fact that you are the best fashionista out there, yet you have so much perspective, and you feet on the ground :)

  • Mariah

    I honestly think it’s better to invent in a timeless, well-made, classic black bag than go for any “It Bag.” Something that holds all your day essentials without being overstuffed. We all want that “It Bag” in the moment, but in 5 years, will we still want it? Probably not. That’s why we all need to think a little more logically about what we buy and how much we’ll use/wear it.

  • http://twitter.com/cammipham CamMi Pham

    To be honest when a bag become an IT bag, it is when I someone need to kill me to wear it. I adore quality and timeless structured bag…but I can’t stand when people wear them as a status trophy.

    I prefer searching for nice vintage structured bag that nobody really have…it is my it bag that is good enough

    Cammi @ cammilicious.com

  • Hester Hodde

    i think there is no middle ground when it comes to buying handbags.If you’re looking to spend a good deal of money on a ‘nice’ handbag there is very little out there that doesn’t have an “it” status. (it’s either an it bag or a gradma bag at that price) or If you’re motivated to find a bag that no one else has, it’s a bag that no one else has for the right reason ( it’s tacky, poorly made, just plain ugly) it’s hard to find a bag that’s well made stylish, unique and moderately priced.

  • MopsTheBunny

    I get unreasonably cross when pictures show an ‘It bag’ which is clearly empty- why have a massive bag if all you are carrying is a lipgloss and iphone? Am I jealous because of all the shit held in my bursting-at-the-seams bag, yes. Also, how do you carry something that expensive without worrying you will be mugged or the bag will be nicked if you take your eyes off it.

  • Freckles

    Sophaloaf I love this! And I love that your dad uses it now.

  • Nives

    I’m really sorry I’m the one to tell you this, because, well, I’m Croatian, but it’s Carrie Bradshaw. (I haven’t seen if someone has warned you about this mistake already, sorry if so. Or maybe you wrote it intentionally, you know, like to carry a bag/Carry Bradshaw. In that case, I’m sorry, too.) Love you anyway!! <3

  • http://ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com/ Lydia Teo

    This is such a thoughtful post! I totally get where you were coming from with ‘knowing that the Mulberry Bayswater tote I splurged on 7 years ago will never be “so out” because it was never “so in” to begin with’. So true. It Bags are only symbols of societal status. One should not purchase a bag simply because it is an It Bag at the moment (I emphasise the at the moment part) but because she/he likes the bag for its quality, colour, structure etc, aka she/he simply loves the bag for what it is.

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  • antifacebook

    To answer where it bags retire, they go to one of two places as coats, clothing, shoes and accessories all go when their “it status” wears off: back of your closet until the trend re-emerges or consignment shops. The reality is that anything considered an investment is just that, an investment that will be held on to, protected and maintained for as long as possible. You will make space in your closet even if it means getting rid of other reasonably priced items and so on. So really the question should be what makes items attain “it” status and manage to attract so many admirers. To begin, it fashion houses gift celebrities and tastemakers with their products. Second, you identify with a celebrity, say SJP (Manolos and most recently Pierre Hardy bags hello!) and by purchasing the same product you instantly share and are linked to her style. Same can be said for wanting to be associated with the brand directly and not necessarily the celebs i.e. youre a Francophile and invest in Chanel. Third, you can’t afford Haute Couture or even ready to wear pieces so you buy your way into the luxury empire by way of leather goods. Now arguably a purse can cost as much as a dress or a coat, but you can wear a purse hundreds of times over versus clothing. For example I have in my closet 10 pairs of pants, 5 dresses and 10 sweaters all from Old Navy or whatever other affordable brand out there, valued at a combined sum of $750 (assuming each item is worth $30). The addition of a designer purse can elevate my 155+ mixed and matched outfits (an average of $5 per outfit), instantly my overall look is identified as chic and upscale because my $2000 PS11 or my $4000 Chanel boy is increasing my outfit value.

    Feel me?

  • Laura

    “After many restless nights I’ve come up with two theories: there are either children in underdeveloped countries walking around in t-shirts that say “New England Patriots Superbowl Champs 2012” and holding Fendi baguettes” – such a racist comment, being myself from an underdeveloped country it doesn’t sound nice at all. In developing countries (the right word, by the way) we have the same rich kids with the same Celine bags. Arr. I’m so mad.

  • Lauren LG

    Great post! I knew I liked you!

  • Brenda Iyalla

    Can you imagine what it just be like for us across the pond? In London, you’ve made your choice to purchase say, the new Pierre Hardy bag when slowly you realise with dread that it has become ‘ IT’ and you conclude that you were not as discerning or independent-minded as you thought. IT Bags and brands unfolding as the must have ‘things’ are almost too painful to witness in London. It’s like a pandemic. People freak out snatch bags from their display shelves, become ninja-like in aggression and even cry if there is ‘No more Celine Mini Luggage’ (Just stop by in Harrods.) I admit I have been (or still am?) a victim to the IT bag. I have carried my way through Fendi Baguettes, Christian Dior Saddles and Balenciaga Lariats. Years ago working in luxury fashion made me more prone to dispose of luxury trends more readily and move on to whatever was the new aesthetic, as a very young adult I might add, and I became and more fickle and less committed to certain designers of the time. Also, the further out of London you go, the less avant garde, the more generic the IT bag. Prada Saffiano springs to mind as does Mulberry Bayswater. Where did all my IT bags go to die? eBay or to a middle-aged woman with cats living in a small countryside village in middle England.
    ter-ra!

    Tittyferandampleforth

    http://www.tittyferandampleforth.com

  • eva.mala

    Great post. You can write!

  • grey

    this is why you shouldn’t buy a bag b/c it is an IT bag, but because you love it, it suits you and it is a classic. a birkin will never go out of style.

  • VAL

    Can’t say this better, “It bags” do die, so why spending so much on it? Love this post

  • Steph

    Holy shit thanks for posting this, I have been on an online shopping crazy as of late and this has saved me racking up my mastercard bill (when I should be paying for my student loans). But yes I was coveting that popular celine bag for quite a while but I understand its time in the sun has an expiration date, so it’s probably best to invest in something a little more timeless.

  • Nadia Babar

    If you see me walking around Midtown with my nude Celine luggage, know that I worked my ass off for it, bought it because I love it & continue to fall in love every time I look at it. YOU CANT SIT WITH US!