Over the past several years, I’ve slowly transitioned from an impulsive “fashionista” buying clothes just because they were cute and cheap to a person who scrutinizes every potential purchase for fit, quality, and function. As a result, I have fewer clothes but more choices when it comes to finding an outfit that I feel great in.
Still, my bargain-seeking roots go deep (and I do thank my frugal mom and grandmother for that) and that frugality manifests itself most dramatically in my small collection of purses. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $30 on a purse in my life, and as a result I am having to replace them frequently as they quickly fall apart.
The latest purse to fall victim to replacement was a $19.95 special from the cheap fashion mega-retailer H&M. It was in such poor shape when I finally replaced it, that I couldn’t even justify giving it to Goodwill, so into the trash it went. Bye-bye, cheap pleather.
Hello, nice leather! Now, I still can’t bring myself to drop upwards of $300 on a purse, so off I went to the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet, Off Fifth. After rejected several purses out of hand due to price (even at an outlet) or impractibilty (shiny hot pink patent loaded with bling – oh my!) I finally found the perfect Cole Haan purse that felt like a good balance between value, versatility, and quality.
The original price tag on this bag was $328, which makes it WAY out of my comfort level. However, with the Off Fifth price at $191.99 plus an additional 40% off sale they were having, I walked away with this classic beauty for $115.
I very deliberately chose this color because it will work for all four seasons, and will go with everything in my closet. Plus, it’s so well-constructed that I anticipate carrying this bag for years to come, and it won’t be ending up in a landfill. Now that’s a fashion choice I can feel good about.