Monday, April 5, 2010

Status Symbol: The Handbag

I never understood some women's desire to have the same designer handbag as everyone else.  I know designer purses can be viewed as status symbols, but I never really paid attention to their prices until yesterday during some girl talk.  If women are trying to use their bags to convey their socioeconomic status to other fashionistas, I might as well take a brief glance at their prices to develop a generalized awareness of purse rankings and a greater appreciation for the value of their respective trademarks.  If you want to know how the retail value of your designer bag ranks in comparison to other iconic bags, here's the list.  I looked up the prices on each retailer's website.  We're going to start with the most prestigious:

1. Hermes Birkin: starting at $8,300.  All the A-list celebrities and B-list reality stars seem to own one.
2. Chanel: $3,420
3. Proenza Schouler: $2,350

4. Bottega Veneta: $1,950

5. Balenciaga: $1,795

6. Jimmy Choo: $1,675

7. Marc Jacobs: $1,350

8. Gucci: $765

9. Prada: $695

10. Louis Vuitton: $665

11. Burberry: $575

12. Kate Spade: $245

13. Dooney & Burke: $175

14. Coach: $148

15. Longchamp: $125
My favorites in this list are the Chanel and the Balenciaga.  But I would not buy such expensive bags until after I have purchased my first house or condo.  Luckily I am not tempted at all by Longchamp, Coach, D&B, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci bags.  I find their designs to be staid and increasingly bourgeois.  

Also, I would never purchase counterfeit products.  If I cannot afford the luxury good, then I simply will not buy it or any cheap imitation of it.  When I buy luxury products, I view them as high-quality investments that I can use for years, even decades.  


  1. I really like your smart thinking about not buying expensive bags until you purchased your first house or condo. I did the same. I made sure I bought our home before indulging in some Chanel:) There are so many women who "invest" in a Birkin and loads of Chanels but live in tiny rented apartments that aren't even furnished well (crap bed, etc.). I think it's best to "invest" in yourself first (home, education, car, food) before "investing" in unnecessary luxuries.

  2. Hey Roxy! I totally agree with you. One day after I buy my first house and pay off my student loans, I am going to reward myself with a Chanel. It doesn't make sense to have such an expensive bag when I am still in law school, renting an apartment, and struggling to find a job as a first year attorney in this recession. I do make an exception for buying a few Louboutins and designer dresses, because I will probably look best wearing them in my twenties! An expensive bag would look great at any age, so it can wait, especially if it is a timeless classic. I need to establish a comfortable and financially stable lifestyle first before I expand the scope of luxuries in my life.