Thursday, September 23, 2010

I is for Investment Bag

Hello my Dear Readers! I hope you are having an absolutely FABULOUS week so far! Today I am sharing another excerpt from the book The One Hundred by Nina Garcia..."A Guide To The Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own." It shares the A-Z staples each woman should have in her wardrobe, and today we are continuing on with the letter I. :)

I is for Investment Bag:

Ms. Garcia writes:

"This is the bag that you can spend a few weeks' salary on and not feel guilty (or you shouldn't, anyway). It is going to last you a lifetime, will never go out of style, and will only get better with age. It is the bag that is just as relevant today as it was when it debuted fifty or so years ago. And when your granddaughter happens upon it fifty years from now, she will try to steal it. When you are ready and able to spend some big bucks on a big bag, I always say that there are only a handful that are worth your money.

1. The Chanel 2.55
2. LV Speedy
3. The Jackie O
4. The Birkin

Once you recognize them, you realize that every other bag is a variation on these four. Here is the rundown.

Chanel 2.55
Coco Chanel's iconic quilted bag, with a double-chain shoulder strap and interlocking Cs as the clasp. When you go in search of your 2.55, the inclination may be to get the plain black calfskin. But because the piece is so classic, don't shy away from some of the wacky styles and colors.

Fashion 101: The 2.55
Coco Chanel's iconic bag was launched in February of 1955, hence the moniker, 2.55. Each feature of the bag--from the lining to the shoulder strap--reveals a bit about Mme Chanel. The brown lining is the color of the uniforms from the convent where she grew up. The inside zippered compartment on the front flap is where she hid her love letters. The back outside flap is where she stashed extra money. The shoulder straps, which were quite uncommon on luxury items at the time, are there because Mme Chanel saw nothing unfeminine about having her hands free.

                                     "A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."
                                                                 --Coco Chanel--

LV Speedy Bag
The Louis Vuitton Speedy has been around since 1933 and remains Louis Vuitton's most iconic bag. It is often referred to as the doctor's bag or the doctor's satchel for its resemblance to an old doctor's bag. The classic version has the interlocking LV monogram, but it can also be found in plain leather or with a checkerboard pattern. It is available in three sizes: the Speedy 25 (10" x 7"), the Speedy 30 (12" x 8"), and the Speedy 35 (14" x 9"). The Speedy 30 is by far the most popular.

How To Spot A Fake:
Louis Vuitton products remain some of the most counterfeited items, so when buying secondhand you have to be very leery. On a real Louis, the LVs are never cut off, the colors are rich, and the hardware is heavy. Mostly you can tell the real from the fake by just looking at the quality of the leather...or if you've just paid a serious amount at the Louis Vuitton boutique.
Gucci Jackie O Bag 
It was Jackie O who made the hobo bag famous, as she carried the double-strapped version everywhere. Women flooded into the Gucci stores and badgered the salesclerks for "the bag that Jackie O always wears", which prompted the company to dub the bag the "Jackie O." It is known as "the Bouvier" and remains a solid investment. As with the 2.55, don't shy away from the out-of-the-ordinary colors, metallics, and prints that this bag comes in today.

Hermes Birkin Bag 
The Birkin, the rather large, rather expensive tote bag, has reached iconic status. It makes it into song lyrics and TV show scripts, and everyone knows it by name. Because of its massive desirability, there is a two-year waiting list for the bag, causing some to go to extremes to get their hands on it.

Fashion 101: The Birkin
During a 1981 airplane flight, Jane Birkin's overstuffed purse spilled out into the vicinity of Jean-Louis Dumas-Hermes, which gave Mr. Dumas-Hermes an idea. Three years later, Hermes introduced a bag that was based on an 1892 design. It was large and meant to accommodate Jane Birkin's modern lifestyle. In a wonderful bit of irony, Birkin confessed that she stopped using hers, for she felt it was hazardous to her health.

                                    "I told Hermes they were mad to make it. 
                                                My one was always full, 
                                       and it ended up giving me tendonitis." 
                                                        --Jane Birkin--
(All the information above is from the book) 

What are your thoughts on the *Investment Bag*? Do you own one? Is it one of the 4 on Ms. Garcia's list, or do you have another you prefer? Please do share! :)

A handful of other bags that I really like...

*Mulberry Bayswater
*Marc Jacobs Camille Satchel
*Yves Saint Laurent Muse
*Miu Miu Paloma
*Nancy Gonzalez Crocodile Satchel

Have a beautiful and blessed day! :)


  1. I would love the Birkin and I would carry it everyday for the rest of my life!

  2. I would love the Chanel 2.55. Oh, maybe someday!

  3. I love Nina Garcia's books and this one is my favorite! I own two of the listed investment bags (Chanel, and LV Speedy) and love them both--although I wish I had gotten my speedy in the regular monogrammed print. Anyway, I am pretty sure I'll never own a Birkin (would have to sell my firstborn and then some!) and the Jackie O is not quite my style.

    Hope you have a wonderful day as well, FFM :)

  4. While I like the advice, I feel that one doesn't have to spend a small fortune on a good bag anymore (unless the person loves the latest and greatest). I bought a lovely black Longchamp satchel off of Ebay for just $40, while it originally retailed for a little over a grand. Of course, it was used but in excellent condition nonetheless. It all depends on what the person is looking for I guess :)

  5. Love all of those bags! I need quilted bags in many colors

  6. Momoberry,

    I agree with you. You shouldn't have to spend a fortune on a good bag. There are many quality leather bags out there that will last a lifetime. Unless you are a movie star or millionaire it seems down right wasteful. But I know many women would disagree!

    Personally, I would find all these bags to heavy to carry. I prefer quality lighterweight bags:)

  7. I'd have to agree with Momoberry too. "If I ever won the lottery..." is how I think of those bags. For real life you can find lots of good quality bags that are inspired by these classic styles. I'd rather get a few more good bags at lower price points. If I spent that much on one piece, it'd just sit in my closet to be admired, but afraid to get used/scratched up/stained.

  8. I love this post! I don't own any of the bags listed (although I would die for a 2.55 or a Birkin), but my investment purse is a beautiful chocolate brown Ferragamo bag that my parents gifted me. It goes with everything!

  9. I had the Bouvier several years ago, but once I became responsible for a little person, such a small bag just didn't cut it. I'm the proud owner of 3 Marc Jacobs Stella handbags, which are really more like smallish tote bags. I call them my MJ holy trinity because I have a black one, a brown one and a red one (lol).

    Just last year I became a fan of the MJ Blake satchel. I have a rather beat-up ivory one and recently acquired the most gorgeous saddle brown-colored one. I'm happy every time I look at it.

    I can't see these bags ever going out of style because they're so plain. Granted, the MJ name is engraved on the hardware, but not in a crass way. I love them all. ...

  10. Adding that like momoberry, every single one of my MJ's was previously owned, lest you all think I'm completely daft. :-)

  11. O.M.G. I would looooooove a Birkin... I think I would die!

    PS- Thank you SO much for the comment yesterday! It really made my day!!

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  13. I am not at all a label/designer person. In fact, I actively loathe LV! But I would do just about anything for a Birkin. I'd even be happy with a decent replica!

  14. I am with you Hexicon! LV loather as well. I also don't like little initials/labels, etc. on my bags.

    I am a HUGE fan of Radley bags. Their picture handbags are adorable and I know my daughter and even her children will be able to use/carry them one day. The leather and quality is top notch!

    The are U.K. based but Bloomingdales does sell them and they recently started a US site.

  15. Great detailed post! I think an investment bag is a must have for any woman! I like your list of other bags because whilst a Birkin or Chanel is fabulous, they are very, very expensive! You can also find great quality bags that will last a lifetime for not as much money as you would expect.
    Whilst the quality of high end designer bags are good, the price is often a reflection of the brand itself!
    Always do your research when looking for an investment bag and talk to the sales representitive if possible. Look for bags that come with a guarantee as you know these will last! Also classic styles and colours are always best. Hope this helps! Ciao.

  16. I would love a chanel 2.55 I prefer the LV Noe bag to the speedy. If I purchased an LV bag it would be in either the check or the epi leather, as I too abhor obvious logos. What I can afford and preferably on sale (and they have great sales!) are Hayden Harnett bags - perfect for the modern woman and mother - they have a plethora of well thought out pockets in soft yet durable leathers in the yummiest of colours.