Category Archives: thrifting

day 50 – Pentecost

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Here we are at the end of the 50 days of Easter celebrating Pentecost with a red Liz Claiborne hobo. Liz made this bag with some of the softest leather I’ve ever felt. I took these photos in 2015, which is likely when I got this bag, as it’s the earliest post I can find, but a couple of years later, I remembered that I got it for $8. A fitting choice to welcome the hot fire of the Holy Spirit.

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Just look at the detail on this stitching and check out the logo – it’s thick brushed nickel with a cutout design for the LC. Below you can see the detail in the ring and studs that hold the bag and strap together. And don’t get me started about the zipper—butter with a pull very similar to the logo plate in heft and feel.

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COVID-19 gave me a year where I completed all posts and most of them on the day or the day after. I’d rather miss a few days being busier and have no one get this illness. Since my only control with COVID-19 is to stay home and away from people, I need to find wins amid a lot of loss. I wish COVID-19 was the only issue that made me sad and angry, but there are lots to be sad and angry about these days. I will continue to pray for my enemies, seek joy in small things, and love my loved ones even more.

I have a feeling I’ll be back to the blog before next Lent. Making no promises, but my feelings usually hit the mark. Especially lately. Peace all and thank you for joining me on this journey I call life through my love of hauling stuff around in what I consider to be beautiful vessels.

day 48

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So here we are with a favorite favorite bag that I didn’t use because I thought I might use it to go somewhere, but that didn’t happen. But I did decide to go and lay hands on it. It’s looking worn where some of the stitching came loose, but I don’t care. Of course, it’s a Fossil. It’s a bag I use for weeks and months until something happens where I need to switch. It’s big, and holds my water bottle and still fits inside my backpack. The adjustable strap is long so it acts as a crossbody and a shoulder bag.

Because I knew it was getting a bit worn, I already have a Fossil backup that I found at the St. Vincent de Paul sometime in the last six months. Being honest, it’s not as cool as this one. What I love most about this bag is that there’s a place for everything. Phone in the front zipper pocket, change in the pocket in front of the phone, keys in the snap pocket, and so on. There’s so many pockets and pouches – eight total. I searched the blog and found out that i bought it on April 16, 2013 for $6. Wow.

Sometimes what I do is try to find the bag online by describing it and finding a picture that hopefully has the name of the bag, then find a replacement. Ok I’ve only done that for shoes now that I think about it, but this bag is one I would try to replace or get repaired. Someday.

Mask is by Mother, a denim company in LA. Highly recommended.

day 46

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I must tell you I love getting these photos from my media archive of the bags in different places other than my home. This bag is a favorite by Jil Sander, a brand I only heard of by reading Vogue magazine back in the day. These bags retail at around $1,500, more or less. It made me wonder when saw it at Goodwill if maybe it was a fake. I remember thinking then the same thing I think today: Who would fake a bag by a brand lots of people haven’t heard of? And if they did, who would fake it with a suede interior?

The interior zipper pocket divides the bag so it’s not a cavernous hole, but not black because the interior is a light tan suede. The long straps go well over my shoulder but also allow it to work as a handbag – it doesn’t drag the ground. Thank goodness for my old posts to remind me that I paid $10 for this pebbled leather beauty.

As I did in 2013, I saved this bag until the end of the journey so that i wouldn’t use all of my favorite favorites in the beginning. On that 2013 Monday, I shared: Mondays are my day for errands, appointments for myself or the girls, and volunteering. I also try to catch my friend Jill for a commiserative chat about our high school seniors. Realization of the day – life comes at you fast. Take it slow as often as you can. Peace.

Now here we are at home, sheltering in place, and my youngest is now a senior. I’m a huge fan of NOT saying time flies. 2013 feels like seven years ago. Don’t let time fly. Slow down, pay attention, and savor it. Making the decision to do that 10 years ago changed my life dramatically. Allowing time to be exactly what it is – one minute is sixty seconds, one month is four or five weeks, one year is 325,600 minutes. It’s up to you how you experience it. Peace.

day 45

IMG_1922Today’s bag is by Zina Eva, a designer I’d never heard of before I googled them to find out about this bag. They are expensive, and have mixed reviews. But nonetheless, I am happy with this bag at the price point of $8. What can I say, I’m a sucker for top-handle bags.

What’s cool: wooden handle, triple magnetic closure to make sure your stuff isn’t too heavy to keep it closed, and the beautiful suede lining. What’s not as cool: the exterior doesn’t look as real as it actually is. But, when it’s full of stuff it has a nice rounded shape on the bottom with the structured top – I think it looks classy. THere’s also a detachable shoulder strap – not long enough to crossbody for me. Overall, it’s pretty. Who knows, could end up in the giveaway someday.

day 44

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Fossil vintage style frame bag in cream with a kiss clasp closure, two front pockets, and a short shoulder strap for when I want to look cute and not carry a lot of stuff. It’s much more beautiful than it is functional – when I put all my stuff inside, the clasp doesn’t stay closed. I keep scarves in it so it can hang out in my room and be attractive. I don’t remember where or when I got it other than that it was a thrift store.

day 39

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For this vintage bag, here’s a vintage post from early in the blog in 2013. This purse is a keeper and a testimony to my love of frame bags. The post I wrote in 2013 explains why. My mom really taught me to love high quality at low prices. I like to think she’d be proud of my taste in bags. Rest in peace, Mom.

 

I have a thing for frame bags. I remember playing in my mom’s closet when I was little, and finding her frame bags and just opening and closing them. Some of the hinges and closures were so cool. Yes, my love of bags began in my mom’s closet. There was a vast array of purses to choose from. She was seriously into Aigner. She also had this patchwork leather satchel in colorful neutrals – totally ’70s. I wish I knew what happened to that bag because I would rock it with abandon.

So when I saw this Oroton frame bag at my favorite Goodwill, I thought ok, this could be cool. It reminded me of something my mom would own. I got closer and touched the leather, opened and closed it a few times, and was entirely on board. Now, I had never heard of this brand, but that wasn’t going to stop me from making a purchase. I was just happy to have something that reminded me of her. Here’s another case of a bag that I don’t carry often, but I like to look at it.

I like carrying bags on my wrist or by the handles, and that’s how I carry this bag, even though it has a removable crossbody strap. The quality is impressive. So I googled it earlier and found out about Oroton. Made in Sydney, Australia, “luxury” bag makers, high-end stuff.

Then I tried to find a picture of my exact purse. I could tell from the style that it was a little older, so I wasn’t sure I would find it. And then, there it was – on ebay.com.au where the bidding began at $79 and is up to $182.50 with a little over 5 hours to go. I paid $8 for mine: score and a great reminder of someone I deeply miss.

day 37

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Ok I had to take advantage of these photos from 2013 to explain why I love baggallini so much:

  1. they don’t use capital letters in their logo – LOVE
  2. the ergonomic zippers – LOVE
  3. RFID
  4. small but hold a bunch of stuff because there’s a place for everything or it’s magic
  5. perfect size to throw into a larger tote or backpack when you’re traveling or commuting or have a diaper bag or something
  6. crossbody straps that cross MY body which means they’ll probably cross yours
  7. so well made, you can find it at the thrift store looking brand new or $4-$10 because they can’t tell the difference between this and Thirty-One or some random off brand
  8. you can also get them at TJ Maxx or Marshalls so if you need it to be new you can still save
  9. travel bags that don’t look super gonza – look it up, but the word defines itself

Love you, baggallini.

day 36 – yesterday

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I brought this bag down to photograph and post about and then… who knows?? That day is gone, but the bag is still here.

One of my favorite bags on one of my favorite comforters ever. I took this pic in 2013 – the year the blog debuted. This is a beautiful Adrienne Vittadini handbag with gorgeous pebbled leather, whipstitching, and this mock tortoise buckle in cream and black. It has a magnetic closure but the sewn under the leather kind.

It’s got a big opening inside with a zippered divider so that things don’t get too chaotic in there. The zipper pull on that middle section is made of the same tortoise as the front buckle. There’s another back wall zipper pocket so it’s as functional as it is beautiful. It’s big enough to hold a folded magazine. Elegant without being too fancy – I love to carry this one when i have an event, which i did in May of 2013 – the May Festival Chorus with the Youth Chorus, when Nia was still in high school and sang in that group.

day 34

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Let me give you a little advice about shopping for bags in the thrift store. I’ve provided information about this before, and I’ll go back and tag it better with “thrifting advice” and “bag shopping advice.”

When you’re looking, do so calmly. No talking. If you see something you like, put it in your cart or over your arm – calmly. Don’t get excited when you see a brand like Marino Orlandi. Don’t talk out loud, saying things like, “Wow!” “I wonder if this is real?” “Oh my gosh!” and so on. Just put it down and finish your shopping. If you find something phenomenal like a Marino Orlandi patent leather croc-embossed tote, take it and the other bags you may have seen and find a quiet spot where you can sit down.

Take the bag and examine the exterior. Get your phone and google the brand. Many high-end brands have blog posts with photos of real vs. fake to help you analyze your bag. Fundamental questions include: Are the logos clean or slightly messy? Are they straight or crooked? Is the stitching tight, or are pieces coming unraveled? If it’s leather, is the leather supple or stiff? Test the zippers. Are they smooth or difficult to open and close? What about the zipper pulls? Here is where fakes go cheap. Is branding clean and perfect? Look for YKK zippers or zippers of similar quality, which I refer to as butter.
Moving inside – check the brand tag. Is it made of the same material as the bag? It should be. What about the lining? Quality bags make their lining, and it’ll have the brand in the fabric.

This gorgeous bag shows all the signs that it is authentic. If it isn’t, it’s an excellent fake. Little touches like the bound ends on either side of the zipper and five feet to protect the bottom, in addition to the fact that it’s a used bag in excellent shape, indicates authenticity. When I see fake Coach bags or Dana Buchman or the like, they look like… well, they don’t hold up well.

I found this bag earlier this year during the early days of the giveaway at the Woodlawn Goodwill for $10. And I qualify for the senior discount – which is lit when 50 and up makes me a senior because I’ll take that discount! – so it was even less. YES!!!

I can’t wait to get to the thrift stores when the time is right. I know I have a pile of stuff to take in! But hey, they might burn it all for safety.

day 32

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Ah, I remember finding this one at St. Vincent de Paul in Mt. Washington for $6. I just saw one online for $165. Woven kilim style carpet bag with a doctor bag style hinged closure by T Cappelli in Plano, Texas. Complete with four brass feet, and a detachable crossbody strap, the brand is recognizable by the single ring on the handle. These bags were made in the 1980s, which is just my style. Well, usually. I grew up in the 80s, so let’s just say it’s my style era. Last year, I wrote: I enjoyed carrying it today and got lots of comments on it. I had it full of stuff, and the magnet closure did not fail. Can’t wait to carry it again in the future. This picture was taken in my office last April.