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Saturday, May 19, 2012

They Say You Never Forget Your First...

Great handbag! Oh yes, far more important than all the other firsts in a woman's life, her first great handbag is a milestone!  I remember my first good handbag.  At 13 I got my first taste of Etienne Aigner leather bagsThe Aigner bag was the 'it' bag for all the 'in' girls in high school.  Yes, I admit, peer pressure played it's part. But the feel of good leather.  The smell. The look and texture of it. Yep, I was a lifer.  A goner for life. Leather and I have been having a love affair ever since.

Fratelli Leather Driving Gloves
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It was just the beginning of a love affair with good leather handbags that has lasted a lifetime. (And not just handbags, I'll admit I'm a sucker for good leather shoes and great gloves too.) Whenever my mom is stuck on what to get me for Christmas, a nice pair of leather gloves are always a sure hit.  Again, that love affair began in high school. My first gloves, a pair of black and white driving gloves. They were very similar to the Fratelli Driving Gloves pictured above but with a white trim! (But aren't these Fratelli's gorgeous?) I'm sure I thought I was 'so cool!'  I'm not sure if I was or not, but those gloves....ah!!!!

Then in college in Bryn Mawr I found my first great shoes. Stacked really high heels (every short woman loves high heels,) Brazilian leather (I have a thing for Brazilian leather shoes) these shoes went everywhere. I climbed on trains in them, ran to classes, and walked from Bryn Mawr to Ardmore in them (totally unthinkable today, for sure not in heels!) And that pair of boots. Again Brazilian leather...such good quality. So comfortable but so stylish. Yes I was in love again. When I wasn't wearing my stacked heels I was in my boots. Now the kids all wear sneakers, comfortable? Maybe, but somehow they lack the style my boots conferred on me.

By now in my life I've had my share of handbags that I've loved, none were loved quite as much as a Cleo and Patek bag (unfortunately I think they've gone out of business) that I bought from Ebags about five or six years ago. Usually I look for a classic bag that I can wear with everything I own. The Cleo & Patek didn't quite meet those standards, it was a standout all on it's own. It made whatever you were wearing look like it had a designer label or had been designed just for you.  It conferred status on the person carrying it. Women loved it. Men asked where they could buy one for their wives/girlfriends. Yes, it's safe to say I loved that bag, and so did everyone else!

It looked like a pleated scallop (I know, sounds bizarre, but it was a great bag!) Kind of like that boyfriend in high school who whenever I described him to someone people said 'what?... he's so ...what did you see in him?' He had great hair! I know, I know, superficial. But he was also smart, really smart. Now that was what I REALLY saw in him! Just not so cool to admit it.  So what did I see in this bag? It was like the smart! Yes, I admit, I'm in love with a handbag... so uncool!

So while diamonds may be a girl's best friend, if you want to really impress us, get us some great shoes and gloves, and that handbag, that's THE ONE.  Not only is that choice usually going to cost you less (well sometimes anyway), it will net you the biggest return!

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