Thrifted Bag Collection + The Quickest of Tips

October 5, 2019

When I was in high school I had to wear a uniform everyday, and let me tell you: I HATED IT. I did everything in my power to bring some fashion (uuuuh upon review, “fashion” might be the wrong word. Let’s call it expression instead) to those stiff blue polo shirts, and perhaps the one area where I had absolute freedom was in what bag I wore to school. So naturally, I had about 4 million bags. They were all thrifted of course, and they were also all kinda ratty. Many of them fell apart within a few months. At the time, that was fine by me, because I was constantly rotating bags in and out of my collection.  

 

Times have changed, though. I no longer need (or want) a million bags. Instead I want a few bags that will last me a long time, that I’ll get a lot of use out of, and that are as practical as they are cute. I'm reminded of that quote from The Greatest Showman right now: "You don't need everyone to love you, just a few good people." I don't need ALL the bags, just a few good bags. That said, while my need for all the bags is gone, my love for second hand remains. A nice, high quality bag (understandably) costs a ton of money that I don’t want to pay. A second-hand quality bag costs a lot less, keeps a bag out of the landfill, and if it is truly of lasting quality, will live a nice long second life in your care.

These are the thrifted bags I have in my collection right now. There are still a few things I’d like to add to the collection: A larger tote I can use for work, more neutral tones other than black, and a pop of color statement bag, are a few on my to thrift list. But for now, I’m happy with what I've got:
 

Fossil Handbag: For those phone, wallet, keys, and like one more thing maybe days.

I paid: $20

Purchased from: Moʻiliʻili Community Center Thrift Store
 

Dooney and Bourke Bag: For the days when I need to carry a bit more or maybe need to bring a notebook with me.
I paid: $30 ish
Purchased from: Some vintage shop in Australia, right before they were about to close. That's why I don't know really how much it cost me... exchange rates and whatnot. 

 

Fun Fact: I recently discovered this bag might not be real, but it's been fooling me and the world, and has lasted for years at this point, so whatever! 

 

Vince Camuto Backpack: For the days when I need both of my hands, and a lot of pockets.
I paid: $20
Purchased from: Moʻiliʻili Community Center Thrift Store

 

Vintage Fur Bag: For those GNOs, date nights, a wedding maybe? Anywhere I’m trynna be a fancy b.

I paid: $9

Purchased from: the sale box at a vintage store in Portland with a name I can’t remember anymore. 

She's a little worn, but she's also a little (a lot) old. I'm thinking when the handle breaks (which it definitely will, because it's just a strip of leather with two holes in it), I'll replace it with a nice chain.  

 

Woven Bag with Wooden Handles
For brunch, or some other day time trendy occasion.
I paid: $4
Purchased from: Savers, and given a bit of a makeover. 



Quick Tips for Thrifting YOUR Bag Collection:

 

1. Check the potential purchase for wear and tear. Is the “leather” flaking? Is the handle just slightly loose? Some things you can’t see without closer inspection, so get in there and look! 

2. Choose sturdy, but malleable material and quality make. Honestly, I treat my bags like crap, so I generally try to stick to natural, durable materials that can stand constant use: Linen, leather, straw, etc. I think it's something about the way they can bend and fold with movement that makes them longer lasting. Could be a load of hooey, but seems to be working for me. 

3. Shop the right style. Perhaps the most important test to be sure your bag lasts you, is choosing something classic in style that you know you’ll use often, and that you'll choose to hold on to until you truly can’t anymore.

4. Be patient: Honestly, just take your time and wait for the right thing. You’ll know it when when you see it and feel it, and you’ll be happy you waited for it.
 

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