Conspicuous Consumption: Bag Wars

I've been with out a brown bag for a while now since my one and only had its strap mangled. Never one to commit just to any old bag, I've been scoping out my options and have come up with a list of likely contenders. I do have criteria for this list, even though I'm flexible on the shade of brown.

First, I don't like a lot of hardware on the bag. No chains, fobs or buckles. Second, I don't want to carry around a screaming advertisement for the company so the logo must be kept to the minimum. Third, leather lasts longer than fabric so I'm going for hide. And lastly, they have to big enough to fit a book but not so big that I look like I'm taking a weekend trip when I step out of the door with it on my arm.

Club Monaco: This is one of my favorite places to shop and browse. They subscribe to uniform dressing, meaning nothing super trendy in colors of the moment. There's a lot of black, white, cream and some pops of color that mix well with each other. Their bags are just as staid. The Hannah washed leather satchel caught my eye for that very reason, left. Of course, now I have to go find it, make sure it's not huge and see what it costs. I've already let a couple of Club Monaco bags pass me by (and that coat. I still dream about that damn coat) so the Hannah has that working in its favor as being picked as my new brown bag.

Marc by Marc Jacobs: I have one Marc Jacobs bag, a green suede tote I need to dig out of my closet for the fall which I got at a Barney's outlet up near Napa. I've always had my eye on a Marc Jacobs bag but said to myself I'd get one when something big happened. So far my writing career is chugging along at a respectable pace, but I can't help hoping something tremendous happens which will make the splurge on a Marc Jacobs bag all the sweeter.

Still, the Slim Satchel (left) is nice, not too hardwared-out, the price is just about right at under $400 but the color (at least on my monitor) doesn't look chocolate brown at all. Maybe bittersweet chocolate.

While I was looking the Dr. Q Groovee (left), even with its dumb name, caught my fancy. At just under $500, it's at the top of my range, this is after all an everyday bag, but damn, it's nice isn't? This really is a serious contender, just because I want it. I might change my mind when my Catholic guilt kicks in, though. Then again...

A Marc Jacobs bag makes yet another appearance on my list, but this one is a wild card as it's nothing near brown, it's cordovan, red to you and me. My birthday is coming up soon (hint to the husband: Marc by Marc Jacobs: Totally Turnlock Heidi bowler, $448 , available at Nordstrom item#192732). I can make room in my closet for a second red handbag.

Michale Kors: Now this Micheal Kors bag (Brookville shopper, $328) is priced right, a good shape and a nice shade of brown, or luggage since if it were called brown it'd be priced at least a $100 less. I could be perfectly happy with a bag like this one, but I wouldn't be wowed. I only included it on my list because I am a practical person and I like to consider all my options before ruling one out just because it looks a little too mature for me. Who knows, it might be perfect when I see it in person.

So there is my list of...purses. And now I have to get back to work so I can afford one of them...maybe two?

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