I went on a purse bender, and I remember *everything*

I love purses. I’ve written several posts about various purses I’ve had over the years (for some examples, see here, here, here, and here). Purses are more than a utilitarian accessory for me. I love being able to find a handbag that matches both my fashion and organizational style, and more importantly, doesn’t cost me a fortune.

Normally, my average “purse bender” (what I call my obsessive shopping trip to find said perfect purse) takes me anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks once I get seriously hunting. I get very focused and spend any spare moments hunting online for ideas and potential bargains on eBay.

I’ve hunted less-than-seriously for the last couple of weeks. My current purse was feeling heavy and I thought I should look for something a little bigger to accommodate my stash of stuff I like to bring everywhere with me (including a recently purchased Kobo eReader that I picked up with my birthday money – I love having so many books in my purse that don’t need a backpack for carrying.

I knew I was reaching bender-status when I spent some downtime hunting eBay. I rarely buy purses online. I like to check them out in person: feel the material, check for spots that might wear easily, look at the organization, and of course try them on.

To stop the online obsessing, I walked to Winners at lunch to see some purses in person. Sometimes realizing that the Perfect Purse™ doesn’t truly exist (for me, or for anyone) can stop a purse bender in its tracks.

I saw some okay bags, nothing outstanding at a price I was willing to pay for. (The joys of working in the Yorkville area of Toronto – the Winners is across the street from several couture/high-end fashion stores, so Winners’ merch can lean a little higher-end at this particular one.)

I have a weird thing for buying pink or purple purses. I’ve purchased them nearly exclusively for almost a decade. I’m a firm believer in colourful accessories – life is too short for all black and hot pink really pops against a black coat. I’m sure I break many fashionista’s hearts when I’m out and about, but it’s turned into a thing and I like it.

Today I branched out a little:

You guys! Look! It’s not all pink! Or purple! It’s pink! And purple! And grey! And turquoise! I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone here!

I almost passed it by, but I liked the shape of it. The colour scheme was just my style. The only thing I had against it was that it wasn’t a crossbody. (I love handsfree purses.) One advantage to it being a regular shoulder bag is that if my regular shoulder gets sore, I can switch shoulders. When I do that with a crossbody, it screws up my entire being and it just Feels Wrong.

So, I’ve branched out here. The fact that it was $29.99 before taxes sealed the deal. It passed the “I can’t put it down while walking through the store” test so off I went to the cash register to pay for it.

Walking back to work, I had a little spring in my step, and not buyer’s remorse. I got all the stuff from my old purse into it and wore it home. Another good sign. The front pockets (the ones that always hold my keys, subway pass and phone) were all easily accessible. Score!

Just for kicks, here’s a picture of all the crap that was in my purse. (My old purse is sitting behind all that crap. It looks a little sad.). I’ve already chucked all the old receipts and bits of trash at this point, but there’s still several odd items I didn’t know were there.

Best surprise items: a nearly-full size bottle of baby Tylenol (caught before the expiry!), and a pair of Flora’s (really, they are clean) underpants (the joys of potty-training). The sad thing here is that I actually knew about the underpants, but had forgotten to take them out after I discovered them last week (I KNOW!). Don’t worry, they’re in the laundry basket now.

Tell me about your tips for purse shopping. Are you as whackadoo about it as I am? If you do shop online, where do you go? (Especially if you’re in Canada.)

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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