Update: LVoing Louis Vuitton

In my earlier article LVoing Louis Vuitton: How much is too much to spend on a bag? I had written about considering purchasing a Louis Vuitton handbag. The bag my husband eventually bought for me was the Speedy Bandoulier in black (actually navy but totally looks black), size 25.

The Speedy b 25 is small enough to wear formally at night, as well as to carry during the day if I’m not lugging a lot of stuff around. It fits my bulky wallet, sunglasses, spectacles, cosmetic pouch, phone, keys.. and has room left over. Speedy bags are very roomy despite looking small.

However, I have had issues with the bag strap. Before a year was up, the strap started getting unclipped and my bag would just slide down. When it hit the pavement a couple of times, I took it to the store. It was under warranty, so they sent it to Paris. I got the strap back a month later, but soon after the edging on the strap started to peel off. Needless to say, I was horrified. I removed the entire edging, and although I did a fairly neat job, I could not bring myself to carry it like this. I kept the strap away and now carry the bag by the handles.

The straps on my other LV bags are going strong. It’s only been this one. Moisture in my cabinet? Indian weather? Who knows what’s to blame! The bag by itself still looks perfect though – not a scratch. The leather is like iron. And it looks good carried by the handles, so I’m not in too much pain.

I’ve recently ordered a funky Kate Spade bag strap to wear with my little Speedy b. I’m hoping it will last me a few years – probably longer than the LV strap!

 

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I ordered it online and had it delivered to my brother in San Francisco. When he flies down to Bangalore he will bring it down for me. I can’t wait! I’m as excited as though I’ll be getting a new bag!

TIP: If you’re bored with a bag and haven’t been carrying it much, simply change the strap to give it a new, funky look, and you’ll love carrying it all over again. Keeps the excitement alive without breaking the bank.

 

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Nothing Frivolous About ‘Em

“How much?”

My husband’s eyes flew open in disbelief when I gifted myself a designer handbag on my 35th birthday. “It’s not worth it! It’s not even leather!”

But when he saw me don this most powerful of accessories, his heart did a back-flip, and out of his lips slipped one sound. “Wow!”

Not for nothing this pricing.

Read on – My article in The Hindu 🙂

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/nothing-really-frivolous-about-them/article17529889.ece

19THBAG

Embrace your flaws!

“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.” Francis Bacon Sr.

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/why-you-must-always-pick-your-own-nose/article18714471.ece170604 -OpenPage-flaws

The Lauren 1980 – Bottega Veneta

A few weeks ago, I received an SMS. Ferragamo was on sale! I had my eye on a pair of nude shoes, so that evening, husband in tow, we walked to UB City, a beautiful mall in Bangalore which houses Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and a few other top-end brands.

Unfortunately the shoes I wanted were not on sale, so I decided against making a purchase. I tried on a few other sale items, but the ones I liked were not available in my size.

We left Ferragamo and stepped into Bottega Veneta. And there, my eyes fell on this beauty: The Lauren 1980 clutch, named after Lauren Hutton. I sat with my husband at the coffee shop outside, and did a quick google search for reviews, but surprisingly, didn’t find many. Anyhow, I didn’t really need reviews to tell me that I loved it, because I had held the bag in my hand, felt the soft leather, and was in love.

We finished our coffee, retuned to the store, and I left with a small bag and a large smile 🙂

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The Lauren 1980

Since I have bought this beauty, I have carried it a lot  – both during the day for lunches, as well as out at night. It has proved to be very versatile for a clutch.

Here are some of the reasons I love it:

  1. It is large (7.1*11*3.1 inches), hence practical, and can easily fit my phone, spectacles, sunglasses, keys, pen, small make-up case. I’m over the age of 40, and need to carry my reading glasses with me everywhere. While I can manage without them… damn! It’s a pain! So a larger clutch works great. I have a couple of other small clutches, and it is nice to have this as an option.
  2. The quality of the leather is smooshtacular. It is soft, so durable, and looks amazing.
  3. I received a lot of compliments when I carried it. My friends instantly recognised it as a Bottega clutch – which, I guess, is good? Although different from the usual BV clutches, the criss-cross weave is unmistakable.
  4. It looks like a pouch – and there’s something vintage and old-fashioned about it which I like.
  5. It is also the perfect size to tuck under your armpit without it doing the disappearing act. So you can keep your hands relatively free. In comparison, you cannot tuck box clutches under your arms without feeling uncomfortable.
  6. It is going to last a long, long time.
  7. I rarely carry my other handheld clutches because they fit so little! I keep them exclusively for parties. In comparison, I have already carried this about a lot.
  8. It can be dressed down because it’s not flashy, and dressed up, because the quality is unmistakable. Perfect for dates – and for that, “Hey, I’m not even trying!” look 😉 This ol’ thing?

(And what a fabulous thing!)

Chanel WOC Review

Let me begin this review by saying, I love my little WOC, which is literally a wallet on chain that also fits my phone, a lipstick, a pen and eyeglasses. My phone is a huge iPhone Plus with a hefty frame, so those with smaller phones should be able to fit in perhaps one more thing like a compact or a small notebook as well as keys.

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Caviar leather WOC, around USD 2100.   

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The WOC with the chain doubled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I have seen reviews of people using it as their daily bag, I cannot. I lug a lot of stuff around, so while it doesn’t work for a daily bag for me, it’s great if I have to nip out for a bit to meet friends for coffee. And of course, it makes a great bag for errands, and works well for the night.

The WOC has 6 card slots, two zippered compartments, and a little additional space. It  can  be carried 4 ways: As a cross-over, as a shoulder bag by reducing the chain, as a higher shoulder bag with double chain – which is the dressiest option and gives it a very Chanel Classic look (not bad for half-price), and as a clutch, with the chain tucked inside. It could also be carried as a wallet in your handbag. I’m not doing that though because my Marc Jacobs zip clutch is still going strong. I’m saving my WOC for nights out.

You don’t NEED this bag, but if you’re in the market for a little cross body to run around with, this is a very pretty option. Most cross-bodies have fat straps, which I don’t like. The strap on the WOC is delicate and has a lovely shine because of the way the metal has been cut.

Needless to say, you WOC will last decades. Also, it’s a Chanel, so brace yourself for the compliments.

 

Dress Up! If not now, when?

You don’t actually have to have a million bucks to look like a million bucks. Sure, a Chanel Jacket, a Kelly and red soled shoes help, but if designer-wear is not an option, there are other ways…

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When you are dressed well, you get more of the right kind of attention, better service in stores, restaurants, and are taken more seriously at work. You also feel more confident, and this boosts your self-esteem. And as we know, anything that can be done to boost our self-esteem, must be done!

The only thing wrong with updating your wardrobe,  is when you go overboard and spend money you don’t have. Don’t do that! You can look super chic with Just a few tweaks to your wardrobe. Here’s how you can do it, without breaking the bank.

Invest in one designer handbag

A good, high-quality handbag should be right up there on your wardrobe list. A well-made one will last years. High-end designers use the best quality leather and hardware, and their workmanship is excellent. Designer bags don’t start falling apart after a season. They hold their shape, and often look good as new decades later. Women have inherited Chanel handbags from their mothers, grandmothers even, and they  look as classy today as they did half a century ago. Needless to say, you don’t have to splurge on a Chanel. There are many designer handbags that are extremely durable and available at a lower price-range. So if money is tight, save up, buy one handbag, and carry it until it lasts –  very possibly a decade or two. The price per wear will whittle down over time, and this one accessory can upgrade your look like nothing else can.

Consider opting for a mid-size handbag that could transition from day to night, in which case black with  gold hardware would be an elegant and classy choice. Handheld handbags look very chic, so get one with a detachable strap, which can be removed for a formal event, and clipped on during the day.

Chain straps look fancier than leather ones, and are an easy way to sharpen your look. I’d do a gold chain strap, thus reducing the need for jewellery. The Falabella Stella McCartney Foldover Tote has chunky gold chains and is a great option as it can be carried three ways – folded over as a clutch, as a smaller shoulder bag and as a large tote, making it extremely versatile and obliterating the need for a second bag. It is not as expensive as other designer bags and retails for around 1100 USD. If you wait for the sales, you may luck out and get it even cheaper.

Sure you can get cheap faux-leather bags for a lot less, but quality shows. They will not look as nice, and will need to be replaced within a year.

Jewellery

While diamond solitaires look great, there’s no need to fret if they don’t fit into your budget. Stick to a single metal, gold, to match the chain on your handbag. If you get a thin gold chain,  you can hang a chunky pendant as a dressier option. Two pairs of gold hoops, one big and thin and the other small and chunky, will work for all events. Remember to ease up on the bling – you’re already getting a lot of it from the handbag.

Colour

Wear everything in one colour or in shades of the same colour. Instant chic.

Fabric

Stay a mile away from polyester. Other fabrics mixed with some polyester is fine, but if the entire garment is a 100 percent polyester, don’t, unless you’re in your teens or probably early twenties. Invest in a fewer clothes, of better quality, and look after them. Remove them as soon as you reach home so dry-cleaning bills don’t skyrocket. If the fabric is washable, then at times you could get away by simply washing the underarm area instead of throwing it in for a wash, to get more wear out of each outfit. Always wear an anti-persiperant, aluminium-free if possible, so you don’t stain your underarms or cause odour.

Undergarments

Try and match the colour of your bra to your outfit, and never wear a white bra with a black top. You could do away with white bras completely and wear nude bras with white and most light colours, black with black, and red with red. Lace bras look very pretty hanging in the stores, but not so much under slinky clothes.

Shoes

Minimise your shoe collection! Get a few, good pairs, made with leather or material built to last. Gold sandals for parties that require bling, black wedges or flats for daily wear, a pair of well-polished (always) black boots and nude heels are all the shoes you need. Stick to the same formula – less items of better quality. You will accumulate less clutter, discard less, create less trash, be more environment-friendly, and will make better use of the items you do have.

And, you will look better.

Win-win!

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

A quick update on the beauty in my bag!

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

 

When I bought this zip clutch two and a half years ago, it could hold my money, cards and cell phone.I could rush out of the house holding just my wallet/clutch, and have all my essentials with me.

Now things have changed – more specifically, my phone has changed. It is a monster 6 plus. A bulky case serves to make it even fatter, and there’s no way its fitting into my gorgeous wallet. I can no longer use it as a clutch unless I’m okay with carrying my phone in my hand. Which I’m not. I’d rather carry a bigger bag.

Having said that, I do love my MJ. It feels so special every time I pull it out of my bag to pay for a purchase. The leather is soft and the quilting looks and feels luxurious. One of the two little pockets in front hold passport photographs of everyone in my family so I always have them on hand, while the other pocket holds change.

I would recommend this wallet more for its aesthetic qualities than its practicality. It doesn’t fit into my slimmer bags, and for this purpose alone I would not buy it again unless I have more than one wallet. I am however going to use this wallet until it falls apart – and that’s going to take a long, long time. It still looks new – and I have used it every single day for the last three years.

Which is good.

And bad.