As I grow up, I've realized some things have changed while others do stay the same.

When it comes to bags, I have evolved a great deal over the past few years. Maybe the exposure to the fashion industry has given me a different perspective. Or maybe it's because of my upbringing, really. I do have great influence from my grandmother.

The things that have changed are major. They feel like the ah-ha moments that forces everything to make sense all of the sudden. I can count a few of them and here they are:

1.  I no longer buy bags after bags after bags just to use them for one season.

The problem did not come from the bags, it came from me. I loved (and still love) deals. You get a hundred-dollar Nine West down to 20 bucks and I'm in, baby! And I did. I had many, many bags from Nine West and this brand and that brand which all cost less than $30 a pop. They were great. They were sturdy. In fact, the Nine Wests that I had did last for a very long time.

But for some reasons, they became clusters in my closet. I lost interest after such a short period of time. Some of them lost the shine pretty quickly, too. By the time I moved back to Vietnam, I did have a row of bags to donate to Goodwill. There was a suede bag from a reputable leather company that I bought for $10 which ended up in the donation pile, too. I realize now that while I wanted them, I didn't love them.

 2. I no longer stick to "fun" purses and bags, either.

They may be snazzy at the moment but for the long run, I'd like something that I can carry around until I'm old and grey and then I'll pass it on to the next few generations. I have this fantasy that one day I will bequeath my makeup (mostly mineral and MAC pigments), bags, shoes and Chanel jackets to my gay grandson and he would be very happy.

But I digress. Classic bags tend to be in style a lot longer. The Chanel 2.55 was designed in 1955 and it's still one of the most coveted handbags in this world of ours. The Louis Vuitton Speedy was carried around in the arms of Katharine Hepburn and it's still hot as hell today. And by the way, the CĂ©line Luggage Tote is bout to become a classic pretty soon (and right now, I'm lovin' its shape!)

 3. Quality matters

This is where things gets all psychotic to me. As I mentioned in point 1, I do love deals. But since I no longer seek cheap thrills (as I'm more of a quantity-over-quality girl these days), I do allow myself to spend as much money as I can manage without sweating myself all out for better-quality bags that I can afford.

Which aren't many, really.

Which also leads to the things that stay the same:

A. I have never bought a counterfeit bag and I don't intend to do so at all

You could have thought the lil' cheap ole me could have had some fake Gucci or LV stashed around my house but no, I have never owned a fake bag ever in my life so far. All my bags, although cheap and all, fall under some major mass-market brands like Nine West or Target or some sort of Target collaborations with some semi-famous designers before they got to Missoni.

The thought of carrying a counterfeit bag is repulsive to me. For some reasons, I understood the importance of supporting a brand at a very early age. I know Gucci is expensive, and so is Louis, and so is Chanel and Balenciaga and Hermes and Tom Ford and Thakoon and the like but the thought of wearing a knock-off of someone's hard-working design really creeps me out.

B. When it comes to bags, I am anal

I remember shopping for my $20 bags alone many times over because none of my friends would dare to tag along. It was not simply me making a purchase, it was an excursion to a point of almost being a mind game. I would circle around the store many times over, picking up and putting down every single black bag available for at least 5 times, then circle around the store again while doing some sort of mental calculus-slash-statistics on the top contenders. It happened all the time to a point that one friend had to yell out, "Come on, Dao, it's just a bag! Buy it already!"

To which I replied, "No, you don't understand! It's not just a bag, it's the bag!"

See how mental it is? Over a bag?

But again, I am glad to have friends who understand the importance of having the bag. It's a bag that makes you feel all flutter on the inside while manage to stay current for many years to come. It's also a bag that fits your every needs and whimsies while making all of your friends jealous of how lucky you are to own it. It's also a bag that you can buy with the comfort that it won't send you to the poor house.

A bag like that, while sounds elusive, does exist somewhere in Zara. If I have to choose between Mango and Zara, I would go with the later.  It's fashionable but not forgettable. And most importantly, a Zara bag does not feel cheap.

Of course, I still hold out for a Louis, a Chanel, a Gucci et al but one of these days, and I hope soon, I am looking forward to own my first piece of designer hand bag. I really do.




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