Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pebble Pleather, P.V.C., and Some Big Bad Leather

Shoes and handbags. *sigh* It's been a frustrating four and a half months.

One of the keys to my staying relatively sane in this project has been to try to make sure that when I leave the house I'm looking fairly put-together. And that means not wearing, for example, a brown coat, black shoes and a brown bag. Or tennis shoes with my leather jacket. Some things are just...not right. As you can tell from my last post, I tend to have just a couple of high-quality everyday bags (most often the Brahmin) that I use most often, then fill in with special bags on special occasions.

Many women have a different bag for every outfit, but that has never been my style. Why not? I have no moral or style-related objections to owning many bags. It's that I'm incredibly LAZY when it comes to switching purses. I'm not even going to tell you how much stuff I carry in my purse. Some time ago, my baby sister sent me a darling 3 x 4 Vera Bradley zippered change purse. Do I use it just for change? No. I put all the cards and cash I'm most likely to use around town in it, and then I have TWO business card cases for all my other cards (Ins., Staples, Best Buy, Kroger, Buckle rewards, shipping punch card, Barnes and Noble discount, etc.) It's ludicrous. I need a wallet, I think. I've perused them at Wal-Mart, but I was thoroughly underwhelmed. Maybe I'm breaking my own rules with the change purse--but it's just always been there.

So, here are the handbags I've been using:

This brown, Faded Glory pebbled pleather is the first bag I bought. $15. Not bad, good color. Saw an attractively dressed woman carrying it yesterday. Has plenty of extra pockets for keys, phone, sunglasses, etc. Cute floral lining that actually coordinates. The black version was ugly and way too faux-looking. Only problem is that it's waaaaaay too deep. I'm always almost driving off the road when I try to dig out my lipstick/change purse/phone/hand sanitizer.

The lighting makes it hard to see texture on the black bags. The bag on the left is black pebble pleather. Like the satchel style; the buckles are a tad cheesy. It's easy to find things in. The bag on the right is smooth pleather, and I wear it when I need something a little more tailored, i.e. when I'm wearing black career pants and a jacket. Sometimes. Both $15, I think. Couldn't find a brand, but they're either George or Faded Glory. Funny--they don't even say "vinyl" inside. They're "100% P.V.C. (Isn't that what plumbing pipes are made of?) The one on the left says, "Dry Clean Only." The other: "Do Not Wash."

Here are my excuses for evening bags. They're wallets. $10 each. But they're super simple. I like the copper snap style the best. The patent pleather is fine, too. Nothing special. There were fancier evening bag styles, but they were very preteen-ish.

Now, I do have a hobo bag I bought last week at the Maplewood Wal-Mart in St. Louis. It's To the Max brand. Very plain, coated beige linen, with a woven leather strap. $20 (orig. $40) But let's save that picture for later in the season, shall we? We all need something to look forward to!

Here are my latest purchases. Both from Sam's Club. If you circle around the jewelry counter at Sam's, you'll see a single case with three or four shelves of purses ranging from $89 to $150. Usually leather. Often they', how can I say this? Sparkly? No. Busy-looking? Sometimes. Flashy. Maybe. I guess that's the closest word. They're not quite as obnoxious as some of the the Macy's/Dillard's styles that have 8 jillion buckles and tassels and brass thingeys on them--but close. Many are unusual colors. One that's currently for sale is faux snakeskin (hot now, isn't it?), and is so big that it looks like fifty snakes died for it.

Forgive the tassels on this one--it does have a fun, Pucci-style lining. ($99) I think that's one of the things I liked best about it. Also that it's leather. I've been craving leather. (I just gave away a gorgeous pair of suede floral Italian boots that were ages old--this would've looked killer with them. They were that special. Really. Loved those boots.)

I was satisfied with the light brown bag until I saw this one (below) at a different Sam's. ($99) Could've used a black one more, but there was no black. I succumbed anyway. The color is delicious (better in daylight than under my evening flash). And it's by London Fog (Weird--the raincoat people) so it's rain-resistant.


Conclusion: Enjoying the leather bags, even though I still have to use pleather when I'm wearing black. But even if I'm dressed in mostly black, a brown leather bag during the day isn't out of place. Did I mention the style rule that your bag can always match your hair, if it doesn't match anything else you're wearing?  It's a great rule for briefcases and computer bags.

Days 128-131:

I'm almost embarrassed by this extra-dorky pic. It's a tad out of focus. I'd just gotten my new glasses (for wearing around home so I don't leave readers lying everywhere--you know I'm old, right?) and got a kick out of wearing them. (I had Lasik years ago, but now I'm farsighted.) BTW-My DH says they make me look smart. Ha!

George sweater: $3 (clearance); George pale blue blouse: $12; Faded Glory jeans: $15; George earrings: $7; That Damned Necklace: $7; Earth Spirit shoes: $30   Total: $74


This is me in the middle of the book club I met with last week. They were so lovely--and lovely to me. Asked great questions. We all laughed a lot. That's me in the middle, with the book.

Norma Kamali red jersey dress: $20; Norma Kamali black leggings: $10: White Stag acrylic cardigan: $15; Faded Glory motorcycle boots: $23; Gold earrings $35 (Wal-Mart, too); George necklace: $7; Scarf: $5  Total: $115

Day 130. Hard at work at my desk.


 RL cotton sweater: $21; White Stag turtle: $7; Norma Kamali cords: $15; Earrings: $12; F'Uggs: $30
Total: $85

Was in a funk and bought a ton of new makeup. I'm pondering a little how-to video--If I can figure out how to shoot it w/out my cat, Miss Nina Garcia, attacking the camera.

A big welcome to my new followers and anyone else who might be peeking in. With the addition of every ten new followers, I'm giving away stuff--gift cards, books, fun, random shiny things--because it makes me happy and I appreciate you all so much.

Go forth, my dears, and revel in your blessings!


  1. Thanks for the comment on my blog. Naturally I love the concept behind your blog! I could do a year's worth of shopping at Target but not so sure about Wally World and Sam's Club, as much as I love the Norma Kamali line :)

  2. You have a terrific blog, Budget Babe! It's going in my regular rotation--and as soon as I get my act together, I'll add a blog roll here and put you on it.

    Norma K saves me several times a week. But sometimes I wonder who she imagines her WM & Ebay customers are.

  3. LOVE your outfit for the book club meeting! I don't think I had a chance to post that on FB. The red dress was a surprising WM find. I'm there a lot for odds and ends, but I don't often allow myself to shop for clothes, so I stay out of that section. But that dress is pretty cute!

    I found a couple of dresses on sale at Target that were cute and long enough to put into my weekly rotation for work! I was SO excited! I were leggings with them because it's insanely cold outside, but it makes for a smart little outfit. I think I had the courage to go for it after all of the advice you gave me on our shopping trip, so thank you so much!

  4. Hey, Becca! I bought that dress in black as well, but someone (who begs to remain nameless from potential shame at being caught in a WM dress) grabbed it and wouldn't let me take it from her room in Massachusetts. It would look completely adorable on you.
    Loved our shopping trip. I think Target is just the place for you--and I'm soooo proud you hit the sale racks!

  5. Hey lovely Laura,

    Really like the copper clutch -- it's adorable! I'm with you on switching purses; I never do for fear of losing things. I SO wish I was one of those one credit card/ one tube of lipstick types. But I'm a drillion cards/books/journals and enough make-up for an entire drag show types. A minimalist except in all things purse! Got to work on that . . .

  6. Cool. Talking about makes sense. Is recognized. Hope that it will often share such a good text. I will always be concerned about, because you can learn some knowledge, thank you for sharing, and i love PVC leather very much !