Sunday, December 5, 2010

Escape to Coach Outlet

After a rousing day with family taking our annual Holiday portrait, my sister and I felt the need for an emergency, sanity-restoring escape to the Coach outlet store.

I knew we were in trouble when a clerk greeted us at the door with coupons for an additional 30% everything in the store.

The place was, as you would expect, mobbed. But my sister and I share firmly established Coach addictions and we were well prepared for the gauntlet.

I headed straight for the "Clearance" table. These items are 50% off ticketed price. With the coupon that would mean they were a whopping 80% off. That, my friends, is practically free.

I picked up some accessories from the table in a pattern I have had my eye on for quite some time:
Large zip around wallet.  Room for all your cards, cash, coin and even a checkbook.
Large cosmetic case
Technically this is a small wallet, but I use it as a case for my iPod Touch and MiFi
 As you can see the colors are fantastic! Black, grey, some taupe, tan and of course that delicious plum. I thought these an excellent value, as they go well with black gray or brown bags - the majority of my collection.

Originally I was hoping to find a bag I liked that was NOT black. I have a zillion black Coach bags (for a reason - - - they go with everything and can be carried throughout the year) and since I found the 80% off accessories, I thought a nice plum bag would be nice.  Alas, they only had a couple and both were smallish and patent leather. Not my thing.

It wasn't long before I spotted a large black pebbled leather tote hidden behind many of the same style bags, but in Coach's signature fabric of various colors. It was sturdy and had a plethora of external pockets - a must have in my book.  Instinctively I went for it. This would be a fantastic work bag. My sister didn't even give me crap for drooling over yet another black bag.  That's how you know it's gorgeous.  The leather is very similar to that of a Filofax Finchley - grained yet still buttery soft.

Here it is with the accessories in tow:

Large bag with practically free accessories. Note how amazing the Imperial Purple Filofax Finchley goes with this ensemble!
If you ask me, that looks a lot like heaven!

The bag is huge, however, and would not be practical to carry around shopping or going out to dinner. Although perfect for carting files, lunch, a Filo and my netbook to and from the office, it would become too heavy and bulky otherwise.   My hunt continued.

Once again, I ferreted out a great bag tossed in among a pile of uglier ones (if it be fair to call any Coach bag ugly!). Turns out it was the very same bag as my large tote, only a smaller bucket-shaped version. Same yummy pebbled leather, same exterior pockets, same sleek nickel hardware.  It was also the last one.

Simply had to have it.

The smaller bucket bag with my Filo, wallet and iPod Touch case. Perfect for every day use.
Amazingly, all of this totaled $318. Not cheap to be sure, but for investment quality bags, a heck of a deal.  I still have Coach bags I carried in High School. That was 25 years ago. These babies last.

My sister is already bugging me to go back closer to Christmas to see if the discounts get any deeper.  Stay tuned, I may have more great deals to report!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Shop Carrier Bags

Although there has been a marked reduction in the number of bags that shops hand out (at least here in Europe), occasionally I still get given a bag containing my goods.

Plastic bags I think you will agree hold no beauty at all, we might use them a few times and then they become a bin bag to hold our rubbish (garbage). They litter the streets are often seen hanging from branches like some device for catching falling leaves or rain!

However, I visited the Filofax store the other week and my purchases were handed over to me in a stylish paper bag. This is a true thing of beauty. I can't bear to get rid of it. I've refolded it flat and it is as if it hasn't been used. It would seem a crime to just throw it away.

I suppose it will show a weakness in my character to leave it on a shelf in a cupboard until we next have a spring clean. Even worse.. I have two of them!

What do you do with bags like this?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I’m a Travelin’ Bag…

I've made a lot of stops all over the world.

Well not really. I haven’t been all over the world, so my bags haven’t been either. Although, come to think of it, my bags have been more places than I have because both my mother and my sister shop in my closet for a bag when traveling. My bags have been to California, Washington, and Bermuda while I have never been to any of those places. Oh well. Maybe someday my passport will have as many stamps as my bags.


Recently I did go away, though it wasn’t via an airplane. Every summer my husband and I go to Vermont with his family. This year decided to go in the fall as well. And since this is my most recent trip, I will tell you about the bags that came with me.

My main bag was a Lands End tote bag that my sister got for me one Christmas. This is a great bag because it fits so much. And the colors are perfect for fall. The outside has a great little pocket for something small. I ended up putting my cell phone in here most of the time. Looking at the inside, you can see there are plenty of pockets of various sizes for various items. The big pocket is where I kept a magazine. The snap helps to hold it in place – I love this pocket for this use. The magazine pages don’t get crumpled. The smaller pockets on the other side is where I keep random items – sunglasses, wallet, etc. The key clasp was perfect for placing my keys – easily accessible when I needed them and many times I just flung the lanyard out to unlock doors without taking my keys off of the clasp. The main compartment was big enough for me to put my planner, book, a box of tissues, camera and many other items.

Because this bag is so big, however, I didn’t want to have to carry it everywhere. If we stopped at a store, I didn’t want to have to lug this huge thing around. This is where my Coach wristlet came in handy. In here, I kept cash, important cards, a pen, my cell phone, my iPod Touch, hand lotion, and chapstick. Looking at the inside, it doesn’t look like you can fit much in it. But you can actually fit more than you’d think. The small pocket on the side allows easy access for cash and cards. One of the things that drew me to this item when shopping was the clasp at the top. It makes it look a little classier than if it just zipped. I use this when traveling because I can keep it in a larger tote and just grab it and go when the need arises. This way I don’t have to carry around a big tote bag and the wrist handle allows me to hold it tightly around my wrist and hand. I don’t worry about dropping it or having it snatched.

This combination works very well. It’s the best of both worlds really. I have also used the wristlet when going to New York City, though I have since bought a small Coach bag for this purpose. But more on that another time…

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Travelling light

Here in Europe with budget airlines restricting the amount of baggage you can freely carry on-board the aircraft as hand baggage. It is quite a skill to reduce your carry-on baggage to a minimum and to make the most of the space and weight you can take on any short trip, be it for business or pleasure.

For about five years I used to have frequent short trips to our second home in France, now we live at that house in France the direction of our travel has been reversed, with occasional trips back to UK to visit friends and family.

One website I discovered was One Bag, I found it whilst searching for Travel Lists for Philofaxy (honest!!) but the site does contain a lot of useful information, what to pack, different bag recommendations etc.

If you are a frequent traveller, I recommend a visit to One Bag.


We now have a Flickr Group called 'Bagsey' naturally!

The address is:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does your bag reflect your personality?

Usually I tend to ignore on-line advertising that appears on sites I regularly visit through RSS feeds etc.

However, I couldn't ignore this one this evening, and it prompted this post!
'Does your bag reflect your personality?..... get a bag that does... '
And the link took me to this site I think you will agree that the designs are beautiful. Simple not flashy, but well thought out designs. Expensive may be, but good design and quality never has been cheap.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Camera Bags and cases...

Yes it was camera bags of one sort or another that confirmed my own bag obsession!  I don't have a huge number, but it's other bags and cases that have been added over the years that increased the total number.

Now I live in France there is of course 'the Man Bag' which I am sort of using and you might have seen my post on Philofaxy. But I still look at some of the bags around.

I don't like bags that are way too big for what I'm carrying around at the time. My camera bag is more or less full, hardly a cubic centimetre is spare inside it, it contains two complete SLR cameras and lens to suit.

With cases, it's things for my iPod, and Sat Nav and all those other things that almost essential for modern life these days!!

Over the coming weeks I hope to post some articles about the various bags and cases I own, they might give you some ideas or inspiration, but also help you realise that may be you aren't quite as mad as you thought!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you kidding me??

So it's bags you want, eh?  Well.  Little did you know, I happen to be swimming in bags.

My mom has a thing for bags.  Mostly expensive ones.  Especially Coach. The problem is after she splurges on them, she often gets buyer's remorse.  Rather than return the bag, she jettisons.  Who's the lucky recipient?


Bring on the bags!
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