RT Cunningham


What is it with Women and Expensive Designer Handbags?

handbags I’d really like to know. What is it with women and expensive designer handbags? My wife, Josie, bought two Coach handbags back in 2009 and gave one as a gift to our daughter-in-law. Those handbags weren’t cheap and they weren’t on sale. Today, she spent more than an hour browsing and salivating over Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors handbags. Is it something about the brand names or just that owning expensive handbags is a status symbol or something?

Women and Handbags

When I was growing up, women carried purses. I guess “purse” isn’t politically correct anymore and they’re called “handbags” or just “bags” these days. I never hear women saying “purse” anymore.

Regardless of what they’re called, women seem to be collectors. They never seem to be satisfied with the one they already have. I’ve always dreaded going with Josie when shopping at departments stores (other than Walmart). She’ll inevitably steer herself toward the section where the handbags are. I’ve lost count of how many handbags she’s owned in the last few years.

I understand the impulse to buy things you want. I’m the same way when it comes to computer-related items. I just don’t make it a habit of buying expensive items regularly.

The strangest thing about a woman’s handbag is not the handbag itself, but the things they store in them. I think Josie could start a small-scale thermonuclear war with the contents of her handbag. Why else would it take her 15 minutes to dig out something she needs right away?

Men and Wallets

When I was growing up, men carried wallets and billfolds. I guess “billfold” lost out to “wallet” over the years.

I don’t know how other men feel about their wallets. It’s one of those things we never talk about to each other. As for me, I feel ripped off if I spend more than $20 on a wallet, regardless of how cool it looks or how functional it is.

In the last 30 years, I’d venture to guess that I’ve owned maybe five wallets, including the one I’m using now. I’ll use a wallet until it starts falling apart at the seams, regardless of what it’s made of. Regular or tri-fold, the style makes no difference to me. After all, I’m only going to look at when I’m either taking cash out of it or putting cash in it (or a debit card) and that doesn’t happen very often these days.

Handbag Prices

Back in 2009, Josie told me one of her Coach handbags cost over $300 (once the sales tax was included). After that, I just had to go visit the website to find out what was so great about Coach handbags that compelled her to spend that much on one. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t impressed.

The handbags she was looking at today were priced in the hundreds and the thousands. Thousands! One she drooled over was priced at over $20,000. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather buy a new car with that kind of money.

Designer Handbag Fascination

There must be something about designer handbags that fascinates women. Or maybe it’s just that women are fascinated by anything they can carry around that’s expensive. I’ll never figure it out.

Ever since Josie started carrying around her designer handbags, other women have stared at them and commented about them. The men just ignore them like they ignore most things women seem to be interested in.

Regardless of why the fascination exists, I guess us men will just have to deal with it.

Other Designer Items to go with the Handbags

Josie has designer shoes and designer watches, both by Coach, to match her handbags. Why?

Honestly, there are literally thousands of alternatives to the handbags, shoes, watches and anything else with designer brand names on them. There are many well-known names on less expensive products. I’m talking about the likes of “Guess” and “Fossil” and others I can’t remember offhand.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t begrudge the money Josie’s spent on them. After all, she paid for them with her own paychecks. I just love to harass her about it because everything I wear or carry on a daily basis costs less than $100 anywhere in the world and only one of the things she wears or carries costs more than that.

It’s amusing to me how much people will spend on brand names. I stopped looking at brand names years ago. I live on a fixed income now and I’m glad those brand names don’t do anything for me. Otherwise, I’d probably end up being broke all the time.

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By RT Cunningham
June 18, 2014

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