Splurge: My First Name-Brand Handbag

My new Coach bag — gasp.

Actually, the title of this post should really be “My First Name-Brand ANYTHING.” Especially when it comes to clothing and accessories.

I’ve never fallen into the name-brand trap. Initially, it was just because I was young and living paycheck-to-paycheck and out of necessity, but as I got older, I still didn’t desire anything with a big, obnoxious logo on it. No Chanel, no Fendi, no Ralph Lauren, nothing. I still believe spending more on something just to show off a logo is pretty ridiculous.

That’s why this next sentence is completely hypocritical: I bought myself a Coach bag.

Yes, you read that correctly.

While on vacation in the Outer Banks, I discovered we were two blocks away from an outlet mall. Mr. Not-So-Frugal, Miss Frugalista and I took a ride over there with another friend, and my husband suggested I check out the Coach store. I figured I’d just browse, laugh at the prices, and walk out empty-handed.

As I crossed the threshold, a sales associate handed me a 30% off coupon. A few steps further into the store, I saw sale signs announcing 40% off retail prices for handbags in that section. I asked another associate if I could stack the 40% off sale price and the 30% off coupon, and the answer was yes. That’s when I seriously considered looking at the merchandise.

I’m not one for Coach’s traditional tans, browns and gold accents (and forget about the multicolored patterns accented with hot pink), but I found a tote bag that was right up my alley: blue “denim” with silver accents and handles. I did the math, and it wasn’t that bad – $138, from an original retail price of $328.


All told, it cost me $147 (including sales tax). I really like the bag, and I’ll admit that buying a famous-brand purse kind of gave me the giggles, because it’s so unlike me. But I know I’ll use the heck out of this Coach purse, and will probably still be carrying it 5 years from now.