An Ode to a (Real) Leather Purse

Am I a purse snob? I'm not particularly sure, but I do know what I like and don't like when it comes to handbags. I also don't really collect purses per se, but it can't be denied that having one or two nice bags to depend on is about as good as it gets in terms of sartorial happiness.

I remember the first time I discovered the allure of touching and holding a real leather purse. I had somehow convinced my dad to go to Marshalls with me (it could only have been pure, unadulterated love), and we were wading through disorganized racks of purses when we found it. The darling, slightly plump, buttery yellow, soft leather handbag with a rich purple satin lining and gold and silver hardware. It looked charming when I pulled it out from behind other worthless bags, but it wasn't until I touched it that I understood the point of buying quality accessories. Maybe it's because I'm a textile person (I'll buy things based on how soft they are), but the way the supple skin felt was strangely comforting and luxurious. A few days later I got some birthday money and convinced my parents to take me back, breathless, to see if it was still there. It was. I gave it to my Mom a couple years later after never wearing it (the handles were too short to be much good for everyday wear), but the lesson of quality has stayed with me.

Fast-forward years later, and I've managed to get my hands on two practical, quality leather handbags; a black cross-body for hands-free biking and shopping, and a soft brown shoulder bag great for carrying lots of stuff and ideal for a job interview (if I ever figure out what I want to do with my English major). The reliability of these bags is one reason why I don't care much for other kinds of purses, namely ones made with fake leather, ones with obnoxious bling, or ones covered in logos (who cares these days whether or not you bought your purse from Coach?). Fake leather just doesn't have the same satisfaction, obnoxious bling makes it hard to match the bag with outfits, and purses covered in logos are just... well, not very classy (and frankly, boring). With all the knock-offs these days, for all we know a logo-drenched Louis Vuitton might as well be a book bag.

What business do I have writing about the importance of finding a leather purse? After all, I am in college and on a pretty tight budget. To be honest, I think buying a cheap purse is a false economy. You'll just end up wanting something else along the line when you get bored, or when your pleather bag starts to fall apart. That being said, if you do decide to buy a nice leather purse, wait for a really good sale, make sure the handles are functional for everyday, and pick a color that is going to be easy to match with most of your clothes!

As I write this, I'm taking the train to visit home, and my black cross-body bag is nestled next to my leg. Yes, part of the reason I love it is because it reminds me of that one time my dad went purse shopping with me (future dads, it's pretty easy to make your daughters happy and they'll remember stuff like this forever!), but I also love this purse because I can wear it for days. So, the next time you're tempted to buy a cheap bag, consider putting money in a piggy bank or jar instead. Skip a few Starbucks, put the money you would have normally spent on coffee in the jar, and before you know it you'll have enough for a purse that is both special and practical.