To Have and Hold

Whether it is who’s who of haute & not so haute couture – from a 5th century Scythian pouch to Priscilla Snyder’s Dragon grip,  it stores all manner of useful things she thinks we will need away from home. In supercalifragelistic colors and patterns of the 1960s to the leather & tooling of Turkey…from a Hermes saddlebag to a Vuitton bucket shoulder bag of today, we all love it, don’t we??

Look around and you will notice how men are now becoming conscious of what statement they are making with their fancy briefcases as well as what the Queen carries in her little purse. Just like most of the women, I often wonder “What is it about purses that is so irresistible to me?”

A purse does not change anyone’s life significantly. But our decisions about the accessories we carry – even when we purport not to care, we are carrying out the vision of someone, somewhere who does! – we are attached to our handbags. As women, we endow certain objects with meaning, which is a part of an individual’s necessary development of self. Purses appeal because they answer behavioral needs (or utility needs such as
carrying the things busy women need on their long, demanding days), visceral needs (appealing to the woman both visually and tactically) and reflective needs (calling to mind something from our past that had emotional meaning for us, such as a mother’s fine-leather handbag). We certainly know that we make more decisions on the emotional-subconscious level than we often admit. A purse that speaks to a woman on all these levels may cause her to plunk down $1,200 to $2,000 for a handbag!

A venerable truth: Deny the rich what they want, and they’ll pay anything to get it. Take the Birkin bag as example. Not only was it expensive, you couldn’t get one. Why? Oh, because each bag required 48 hours of craftsmanship. You know: “This isn’t a bag, it’s a work of art.” Demand soon outstripped supply. Well, not really. But that was the marketing line. And a genius one at that. Create a luxury item so special it doesn’t need a logo. Then make it scarce. Very scarce — at one point, Hermès announced there was a two-year waiting list. Which only made the Birkin more desirable.

Did you know that:

  • Handbags were an item used only by men until the invention of pockets meant men no longer needed a bag?
  • Louis Vuitton ran away from home as a teenage and worked on a ship handling luggage. His original designs mimicked mail carrier bags. He also made waterproof luggage.
  • Jane Birkin was flying from London to Paris in 1981 when she reached into her bag for her notebook and everything fell out. “I’d love a bag with pockets,” the English singer/actress told her seatmate. Her seatmate just happened to the chairman of Hermès. He was a good listener. He had his designers make a bag with pockets, and he sent one to Birkin. Then he named it after her.
  • All fashionista-bag-hags are a great cocktail conversation starter.

A woman’s handbag can reveal a lot of an individual. As a girl who takes the contents of her purse very seriously, I am excited to reveal what’s in my handbag (mostly a hobo). On most days, what’s not in my bag is usually an easier question to answer though… 🙂

  • Snack-pack – My purse is always stocked a ziplock bag filled with a wafers, cookies, and a pack or two of chocolates. helps for a quick bite when I am on a run and feel the hunger pang.
  • Clutch – I have a black zip-clutch  to carry cash and credit cards.
  • Wallet – I feel that the limited space keeps me from hoarding things I don’t need.
  • Cell Phone
  • Mini Makeup kit – I don’t keep a lot of makeup in my purse other than lip-balms, gloss for touch ups and face-wipes.
  • Perfume. I always keep a small bottle of perfume (Beautiful by Estee Lauder) to spritz myself to make me feel refreshed for a dinner or social gathering after a long day at work.
  • iPad – Yes, in this world filled with digital documents, I simply use it as an alternate to a notepad where I make shopping lists and scribbling blog posts.
  • Book – It is a must-have…my savior when I am waiting or on a lunch break alone or taking a few minutes for myself. (Currently reading: How NASA build teams)
  • Pair of Flats – For simple fear of what-if my heel break while at work or if I am wearing heels-which-I-bought-last-summer-but-don’t-wear-often. Give me a pair of heels and I could walk for hours at work, but I need to be in a pair of flats when I go shopping or lounging.
  • Office Smart card, Spectacles, print-outs, etc.
  • Receipts – I tend to hoard the latter for far too long.  But admit it—don’t you?
  • Bunch of keys

So what’s in your purse?  🙂

Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “To Have and Hold

  1. You get a LOT in that bag, girlfriend! I used to marvel at my grandmother’s handbag–I swore that she could set up housekeeping solely with its contents and nothing more… 😉

    • MissUnderstood Genius

      Do I? 🙂 I am sure you can gladly say the same for my mmother’s handbag…she carries the world in it which we reprise until she takes something out which saves us 😉

  2. I don’t carry as much as you do, but somehow I can’t carry a bag that doesn’t end up weighing a ton. I carry too many lipsticks (don’t ask me why, for there is no legitimate answer for it), a book (always), iPhone, sunglasses, brush, wallet..occasionally my iPad, and two sets of mali beads…why does this end up weighing more than a newborn child? I have no idea..;-)

    • MissUnderstood Genius

      Ah…you are still close Mimi.. 🙂 I am looking for small handbags for myself and I got one for myself but hardly use it cos I am unable to figure out what should be left out and I end up with my big handbags… 🙂

      • mimijk

        I’m right there with you!! I’ve tried smaller bags too..and then I can’t close them and their shape is defiled by my incessant filling to the max. Sigh..;-)

  3. I have very similar contents as you in my bag – can’t go anywhere without a book!

    There really is something about a good purse, isn’t there? Yes, you could say I already have too many, and yet, there’s always room for one more 😛

    • MissUnderstood Genius

      I have room for more too 🙂 I drool over them when I visit shops and have to hold myself from not buying…dont know when I might succumd to them 😉

      • Haha I am the same way! I have a stack of books to get to on my shelf, but every time I go out I want to buy more! If only you could buy the time to read each book when you bought the book 🙂

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