I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

The Art of: The Handbag-Designer or Not to Designer


Some of us love handbags. Many reasons come to mind…For one a handbag can be appreciated by people of All shapes, sizes, beliefs, ethnicity, etc! Of course many prefer a bag that is both fashionable and functional. Certain necessities must be carried with us at all times: chap stick, lipstick, hand sanitizer, tissues, wallet, keys, cell phone, pen, checkbook, notepad, condoms, tampons, contact lens case…the list can go on and can contain some interesting items depending on the owner. While I love handbags and have far more than I could use on a given day/night I find it particularly interesting the excitement and awe that designer handbags bring out in people.

I understand when the bags are all glitz and glam because we all want a touch of that in our lives. But when a bag looks like any other and has no discernable features other than that famous logo? Not to mention the price tag the name carries with it? Forget it! Not for me! Sure, I’d love to own an original “Kelly” bag by Hermes…but for $5,000+? Nah, I’m good! I’ll stick with my Ross (Dress for Less) purchased Nine West bag.

I do love a more recent trend of having high-end designers carry lines in regular-Joe stores like Vera Wang’s bags and clothing at Khol’s. Very cool and super cute…still a bit out of my price range though (I stood holding a bag I longed for with a price tag of $79 or $89 and I just couldn’t do it). Target often has designers do limited lines (Isaac Mizrahi comes to mind) and at very good price points, too.

But then there is the part of me that just can’t bear the thought of walking around with a bag, while designer, that I purchased for a bargain on say…people might actually think that I’m stupid enough to spend $500 on this bag?! How embarrassing! (Yes, this is how I think sometimes). I once lusted after every Tokidoki bag ever created and stalked the internet for the right one for me! As though his whimsical designs would somehow enlighten or complete me. No such luck (I ended up with a *counterfeit bag and had to fight with the seller and to get my money back).

One of the other things about buying such a highly sought after bag regardless of that price tag is that you run a great risk of bumping into other people with the exact same bag! The horror! So, what’s a person who loves bags and designer bags at that to do? Oh my darlings! Buy handmade of course! What better way to get the style or color or design you want and almost guarantee that no one else will have the same bag! Plus, you save hundreds of dollars while still looking stylish! You cannot go wrong with this!

Don’t get me wrong though…there are high-end handmade bags, too! Many would even rival those of the mass produced set. But what you end up with is a work of art and not just some signed/stamped/numbered product created in a foreign land by who knows who. No love! And when you can get a custom bag? Why not?! Yes, I said custom! There are many people out there who make handbags and sell them online. Many of which would be more than happy to create one especially for you! You can tell them how many and what style of pockets and zippers and buttons…the possibilities are truly endless! Or perhaps you love a specific thing or design or color? No worries!  I have personally purchased a few handmade and custom handbags on and I can assure you that the sellers are beyond nice! (Including myself, ahem…but I make aprons. Although I may still have a couple of pouches left!) You can find someone to make you virtually anything on Etsy!

When you do go onto for your handmade handbag searching, may I suggest that you know what you want…at least in terms of style or color or theme (or vegan, cruelty-free). For instance, I love Amy Butler’s fabrics, so I typed into the search box at the top: Any Butler Handbag. And I got about 56 pages of Amy Butler fabric bags! You can even sort them by price (low-high or high-low) or by when they were listed (recent-older or older-recent). Did I mention how the possibilities are endless? I even saw some bags that were band themed or animal or flower (I love daisies!). Have fun with it and if you find something you like, but it isn’t exactly what you want, Just Ask! You can **convo the sellers and ask them about stuff. They can do so many amazing things! Also, check out the vintage selection…it’s incredible! All you need to do to buy anything on Etsy is create a username and password and have a account for when you pay. It’s that easy!

This post was inspired by this post from which lists the ten most searched handbags on the internet. I had never heard of some of them and, well…#3 just perplexes me all together. Their top ten?

Top Searched Handbags from AOL Search:
1. Coach 2. Miche 3. Buxton 4. Chanel 5. Gucci 6. Louis Vuitton 7. Juicy Couture 8. Hermes  9. Vera Bradley 10. Kate Spade                  Thousands of dollars to be spent!

Or maybe you really love a bag on one of the designer sites, you can post a picture and the price you’re willing to pay for the bag and post it on Etsy Alchemy:

Here’s some near look-alikes I found on etsy with the original designer’s style in mind:                                  (Please see links by number for each item pictured at the end of this post)



Vera Braldey:

Kate Spade:

Or if you would just like the idea of the designer bags or are looking for a gift or party favor idea:


And have you used or heard of the very popular purse organizer?


Like Miche bags, but want a more unique “shell” for yours? Try this:                   a few sellers on understand and are here to help you! You can even request a custom shell!       Just ask!

And have you seen the mega-genius purse hooks? They are the answer to many purse problems:


And here’s a shop I just love to drool over the bags (Handbag Porn?):

*Know what you want before you hit eBay for designer bags! I found a wonderful and informative site for the Tokidoki bags that was how I found out mine was a fake! I even included links to the info in my claim! Knowing what you want will also help you find the price you can live with!

**You can convo an Etsy seller by clicking “Contact” next to their profile/shop picture on the right of the page. It will say Shop-Profile-Contact, just click on that “Contact” button and the lines of communication are wide open, baby!

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