Shoes versus bags - which side are you on?

Today I introduce you to the world's cutest bag. It's studded. It's black. It weights approximately 10 ounces. While many purses strive to be functional, this one is mostly decorative. The opening is just barely wide enough for a lipstick, my driver's license, and a credit card. And yet my love for this bag borders on obsessive. I stalked for weeks waiting for it to come in, and my hands trembled with delight when I placed my order. It makes me inexplicably, ridiculously happy.

Since I was a little girl, I've had a thing for purses and handbags. Some people stroll through the mall and see shoes beckoning from windows, watches and jewelry glistening in cases, and hear the soft beckoning of this season's pencil skirts and cardigans. I see bags. Bags I'm thinking of buying, bags I already own, bags I can't understand, bags that could double as luggage, bags I couldn't dream of being able to afford. They sit in store windows and swing from the shoulders of shoppers, teasing me with their studs and zippers and tassels and quilting.

From canvas, to crocodile, to butter-soft leather, on and on through my daydreams they march, each more unique and coveted than the last. They haunt me, these bags. I fantasize about the sequined Marc Jacobs clutch I spied in Neiman Marcus back in September. An Urban Outfitters satchel from spring '07 is a frequent player in my fashion daydreams. And don't even get me started on 1994's Lady Dior, which makes my hands clench into ineffectual grabby-grabby fists of want.

Truthfully, as I progressed from little girl to teenager to adult, I never thought I'd stay a bag person. I always thought I'd morph into a shoe person. Shoe people are impetuous and fun and understand that fluctuating waistlines are no match for a jaunty little pair of heels. When nothing else fits, a new pair of shoes will. Shoe people read blogs like Sea of Shoes and Obsessed with Shoes, where they spend hours researching this season's ankle boots. Shoe people travel in packs and will happily spend an entire afternoon in the Saks shoe department. They talk about footwear by name: Mary Jane. Billy. Karolina. They spend afternoons obsessive-compulsively organizing their shoes according to heel height and color. And they speak the language as if they were born into it - vamp, brogues, t-strap, grommet.

Mostly, though, shoe people are willing to sacrifice their comfort and sanity for a gravity-defying pair of heels. I am not. An hour in heels transforms me into a whining cripple. But a bag would never torment me the way a pair of stilettos could. Give me J Crew's sequined, chain-strapped minaudière over a sparkling pair of pumps any day. I'd rather sling Bodkier's aggressively-zippered Howard Street satchel over my shoulder than suffer in black leather platforms. And with the coming of seventies fashion for spring, you'd better believe I'd chose a color-blocked flap bag (such as this little beauty from Marc Jacobs) over a sky-scraping pair platform sandals.

A bag doesn't require a pedicure and endless supply of band-aids. I don't have to consider hem height and hosiery. The weather forecast is of no importance in my choice of what to carry. I can walk to my closet, pick a bag off the shelf, and be done.

And now I ask you: Are you a shoe person, or a bag person? Do we need to be one or the other? And what's your favorite bag?

Forever 21 lace top; James Pearse tank (under top); Seven For All Mankind jeans; Forever 21 necklace; Nordstrom cross necklace; Gap leather bag; Steve Madden flats; Betsey Johnson gold watch


  1. Hmmm...I would have to say that I'm a shoe person, though I rarely refer to shoes by name! Though I love bags, I really have to see one that truly catches my eye for me to obsess. Shoes however, always manage to get my attention!


  2. You are stunning! I love that lacy top on you and with the necklace - gorgeous!

    I'm a shoe person, definitely, because I don't carry my bag around with me all day so I don't consider it part of my outfit. I buy one that holds all my junk and it gets stowed away in my desk drawer or under my seat or something.

    Come take a look inside A Working Mom's Closet

  3. I've long had a thing for both shoes and bags, but I am COMPLETELY with you on the comfort thing. I can count on one hand the number of heels I own, and I only wear them when I know I'll be sitting most of the time I'm wearing them. I've always preferred a cut pair of flats over sky-high stilettos. That being said, I love a good bag...or good bags. They're a way to infuse color or an interesting element into an outfit, and they're practical. That's what's great about them. In fashion, a lot of things are stylish, but impractical. You get the best of both worlds with an awesome handbag!!

    Jessica Marie

  4. I love that bag! I have a reallllllly similar one (I would!) that I carry to clubs and parties.

    "Mostly, though, shoe people are willing to sacrifice their comfort and sanity for a gravity-defying pair of heels. I am not."

    THIS THIS THIS. I mean. I like shoes. I LOVE bags. I cannot remember the last time I did not spend my birthday or Chritmas money on a bag.

  5. I'm more of a shoe person. Your shirt is gorgeous, I love it!

  6. You are sooo beautiful! I love the outfit!!! So classy!!

    I'd have a love affair with handbags (especially cross Coach) however, I'd have to say if it came to deciding between a bag and a shoe the shoe would win!

    Shoes just make me happy! :-) I always pick the shoe before the outfit! :-)

  7. i'm definitely more of a shoe person although i've started getting into purses the past few months.

    i absolutely love your lacy shift and that purse is so cute!

    cute and little

  8. I love your lace top!

    It's an interesting choice, shoes or bags. But, to tell the truth, I've never big a super crazy accessory person. I love shoes, bags, and jewelry, but the thing that I go crazy for like you do for bags is dresses. I own far too many dresses and I continue to buy and make more on an almost weekly basis.

  9. Hi! Found you from the DFW blogger meetup page...I will be seeing you there! I love that lace top, so cute!

  10. Bags I think :)

  11. I'm definitely shoes :) Can't help it...I've had a fetish ever since I was a little girl! Great post :) I gave you a follow!

    p.s. here is my blog URL in case you want to follow back :)


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