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?
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