Privilege Blog

A Vintage Ferragamo Bag For The Final Housewarming Giveaway

I’m a one bag woman. Once I buy a new purse, the old is dead to me. No matter her glory, I move on. Which has created a little cohort of retirees, lined up wistfully in my closet.

The final giveaway on the Privilege Housewarming Party brings one of those quiet soldiers back out to the parade grounds. My old, wait, I mean vintage, Ferragamo. Purchased, if I remember correctly, in the mid 90’s, and carried for 4-5 years. In those days most of my belongings were lugged around in a computer bag, so it’s in middling condition.

Here it is. Very au courant, both minimalist and mid-century, despite an abrasion here or there. One does not get through life wholly unscathed. Even in privilege. Dimensions are: 10″x 12″x 3.”

Black Vintage Ferragamo Bag Giveaway

The best part is the hardware.

Vintage Black Ferragamo Bag Giveaway

That little hinge. The teeny, tiny signature.
Vintage Black Ferragamo Bag
I also rather like the lining’s discreet logo.

Vintage Black Ferragamo Bag

And the general post-industrial, Apocalyptic chic. The metal frame is hinged. With what I can only call rivets.

A bit of warning. Sturdy Gals might get annoyed by the conceit. Just a heads up oh ye Sturdies. We must acknowledge our foibles. I never quite got used to opening this bag as though it were a lock on the Panama Canal. Doesn’t support too much rummaging.
Black Vintage Ferragamo Bag Giveaway
I must also confess I struggled a bit with the idea of giving away something I own.  Not that I mind parting with the bag, it will be much happier out and about. Only that it’s, well, used. A bit frayed. Eek. I haven’t quite converted ‘used’ to ‘vintage.’ High WASPs only recently decided that antiques could be purchased, rather than inherited. Realizing that one was unlikely to be related to, and thereby receiving goods from, Picasso, Botticelli, or Ammi Phillips, helped. I’m learning.

So here you go. If you are new to commenting here, please confirm that you are a subscriber or a follower or at minimum a repeat reader. Please also tell us a story about a bag. What made it your best foot soldier? Style? Function? A combination of the two?

All prizes to be drawn tomorrow. Unless I change my mind and extend everything for just one more day. That’s sort of a Save the Date for Thursday. It’s polite to give guests time to adjust to changes in the plan.

75 Responses

  1. Lisa,

    I had a wonderful Coach Bag that I dearly loved. My daughter was in desperate need of a nice bag and I gave it to her about ten years ago. She still uses it!! More than that she truly appreciates it!


    Art by Karena

  2. I have come to love vintage, especially in this economy. :) Right now, I am carrying one of my favorite handbags, which I’ve had going on five years now. It’s a kate spade black leather purse, which my husband gave me for Christmas while I was pregnant with our first child. It was a pricey gift, yet given the difficulties I was experiencing with the pregnancy, I thought it well worth it! I still love it, although it has its share of scratches and scuffs. Love the hardware on that Ferragamo – fabulous. (I am a follower and frequent visitor, so would love to be considered for the giveaway!)

  3. My favorite bag used to be a shiny faux reptilianish burgundy bag that I bought while living in Phoenix. I forgot the brand. But it was so stylish yet super practical. It had tons of little pockets and compartments inside so that I didn’t have to rummage through a big main section.

    (Frequent reader, but I comment rarely. But I follow the blog and you on twitter!)

  4. My current favorite bag is a cream Dior 61, I call Teresa. I use her everyday b/c 1)it’s Dior & Dior should be seen 2)it holds everything I need for work & then some 3)it’s just so pretty!

  5. Frequent reader, obvs.

    Best bag ever: my first professional bag, a sleek black leather Coach with gold buckles. I’ve only used it for the most important of occasions, because I’ve never owned anything so posh. Every time I wear it, though, I feel ready for ANYTHING.

  6. I’m an always reader, not always commenter…

    Karena’s comment reminded me that I should save some of my bags for my daughter. I, like you, tend to move on and never go back to an old handbag.

  7. Purses (and shoes) are my kryptonite, even though I spend most of my time in tennies and rarely change purses.

    My best purse story is that my then-boyfriend, now husband and my sister bid against each other on eBay for a purse for me. They both got mad at me for telling the other that I had wanted the purse, but I had not thought that someone would buy me such an expensive gift.

    The full story is here:

  8. No need to enter me for this one, I rarely carry bags but this is fabulous!

    My bag story is: One time we had just had an important dinner in Monte Carlo which had ended with cigars and cognac and were headed back to Nice when hubs turned green from unnacustomed cigar smoking and told me to empty my brand new Prada bag – eh i don’t think so, I made the car stop and pushed him out onto a grass verge!

  9. I can’t believe you’re giving this beauty away! I love Ferragamo but haven’t had the funds to get one yet!
    I am a follower and always read.
    I had a great Coach bag that I received as a graduation gift from college and it was so lovely; pink and white; classic looking without all those hideous C’s all over and versatile. I used it for work, play and everything in-between. I loaned it to a friend (who is now an ex-friend for a number of reasons and she returned it to me with dark blue dye all over it from the bag rubbing on her jeans. I tried to have it cleaned, but it was never the same. :(

  10. The hardware is gorgeous Lisa. Are you sure you want to give it away? Oh wait, must not talk you out of it!

    One of the best bags I ever purchased is a red, Coach makeup bag. Not really a handbag, but a bag nonetheless…I bought it 15 years ago and it still looks great. Another one I still have is a black Ralph Lauren. It holds a great deal, but doesn’t eat keys and other small objects. I love it.


  11. My sister loves Ferragamo bags. I think she may have this bag or something very close to it. The idea of having a bag with LVs or Gs or even her own monogram is more than she can bear. I hope you have been enjoying all the festivities as much as I have!

  12. The first “nice” bag I ever purchased was in my Junior year of high school. I carried it every day for six years, and it was worth every single penny of it’s overly priced goodness. Black, leather, silver hardware, and the perfect size. Years later I find myself lusting after it, wishing that it was still produced, and that I could go back to Bloomie’s and buy another one.

    I’m a follower, but up until now, not a commenter. I guess the thought of a vintage Ferragamo has spurred me into action.

  13. Minimalist and mid-century, how well described! I am not taking part in these give-aways, because I am trying to keep as little as possible on the material side. Having narrowed my own bags to 6 is good, 5 would be even better. Due to our four seasons, I can´t manage with only one- at this age. A very nice gesture from your part : )

  14. I forgot to say yesterday, when I commented, that I read you all the time, even though I haven’t subscribed.

    I’m odd that way.

    On the bag front: Many years ago, when I lived in SF, an old friend visited. She carried a lovely leather bucket-style bag. I coveted it. I dropped copious hints to my husband about said bag.

    For Christmas, I recieved an Orvis bag (meant for fishing, I believe). I was a little deflated.

    Do you know, I still have it, all these years later, and I absolutely LOVE it. It is The. Best. Bag. of all time for travelling.

    I think I’ve had that thing for more than 20 years, because now that I think of it, she visited me about a year before the Loma Prieta ‘quake.

  15. My first “purse” was an animal cookie box that I filled with all my necessaries (crayons, maybe some candy cigarettes and the like). My mother let me carry it around for months even though we had to re-tape the sting that served as my handle. ;) She now laughs about it whenever I talk about wanting a new much more expensive purse. If only I was as content with a 25 cent bag now!

    Great bag–what a classic piece to carry to work!

  16. Love the frame–it’s a style that’s clearly working for Ferragamo, given the frame-bag line they’ve expanded this season.

    Love the luxe minimal, too.

    Bag story: my first true-love handbag was a navy blue center-hinged Aigner. It opened like your Ferragamo. I was about 8 years old and I counted out the coins in my money stash until I had enough to purchase it at some department store in town. Where’d I see it in the first place? My mother had one. I bought the same handbag my thirty-something mother had.

  17. The elegant subtleties of this Ferragamo bag, like the tiny signature on the hardware and the logo on the lining are what make it sublime. I admire your ability to part with such a handsome purse. I am a regular reader and am a fan of your writing. Your phrasing is so very stunning. Your magnanimous house warming gifts have inspired me to contribute. Thank you.

  18. What a beautiful bag!
    The story of my bag is the story of a bag I inherited from my best friend’s family, which is like my own family. It belonged to my best friend’s grandmother, who had been extremely rich (I’m talking having the doorknobs of her house made in silver, and travelling to the north pole in the early 1900s) and had purchased it in Florence, Italy, during a trip, in the 1950s (She owned a Villa in Lago Maggiore and lived in Italy for many years).
    For some reason, Florence is a city my best friend’s family always identified me with (which I consider quite an honor!) and they always told me they could picture me there and that I had to visit it. So, one day, when I was helping my best friend’s mother sort out some furniture and books, she saw this bag and gave it to me as a present, telling me she thought it was destined to be mine. I have traveled half the world with it ever since, and 2 years after that happened, I got married in Florence.
    The bag is made out of brown suede, small, exquisite.

  19. I’m a subscriber (throught my google reader), and an ideal bag for me conbines function and style, in that order. I can not stand fussy bags, and can only deal with a clutch for an evening out. My two favorite bags are complete opposites. My work bag is a Luella I bought for myself after passing my series 24 exam. It makes me feel polished and armed to work in my industry. My other is a tom bihn small messenger bag I bought a few months back for my honeymoon, and took all over Ireland with us. It makes me feel free and young.

  20. I too, am a one bag woman! I just can’t stand the thought of switching out the contents to match an outfit. So I wear mine to death. I have only had one “designer” bag in my life and that was a Coach bag purchased at an outlet store (does that even count?). I do have some vintage evening purses, but they are so small that I don’t think they count – they are more like jewelry. I have been collecting vintage jewelry since I was 12, now an FOF and I still have that jewelry. I would treasure your Ferragamo bag as I would never be able to buy one of my own. Having grown up a privileged child and young adult, I lost my fortune in a “perfect storm” and have learned to live humbly ever since. A girl can still dream though;-)

  21. I forgot to contribute a bag story. My red Coach bag that was a precious gift has only become more beautiful over the years as its deep new red color has mellowed in to more of a Nantucket red. It is just the right size, that restricts me from collecting too much debris. It is a joy to use.

  22. I like a bag that I can slide a magazine, and now my Kindle into that doesn’t look like a brief case. This looks very classy, and classic.

    My favorite bag was a purple leather bag that had the prettiest satin lining. It was a no-name sort of item, but it had the pockets in the right places, the strap was the right length, and it had been a gift from my best friend. She knew I’d never buy a purple purse for myself. I wore it out.

  23. I’m a subscriber. :)

    I’d always been the sort of person who bought inexpensive and unremarkable purses, but in my late teens I got the most amazing caramel colored suede bag from some department store. I don’t remember the brand, but the best thing about it was how it somehow managed to go with almost everything I owned and look really fabulous. It was during a very insecure and transitional time in my life, and the compliments I received on it from both my hippie-ish friends and the “cool girls” alike gave me more confidence in myself and my taste. I wore it to absolute death.

  24. That bag is classic “you”

    The only purse story I can contribute is sentimental…my grandmother had a sparkly purse that I loved as a child. Very out of character for her (she and I are both very much Sturdy Gals). After her death with Alzheimers, I found the purse, which is a small miracle- she had managed to discard most things like that over the years, but keep scraps of worthless paper, etc. It remains one of my prized possessions along with a pair of her gloves (remember when ladies wore white gloves in public?)

    I am, of course, a subscriber….

  25. “I’m a one bag woman. Once I buy a new purse, the old is dead to me. No matter her glory, I move on. Which has created a little cohort of retirees, lined up wistfully in my closet.”

    Yet another thing we have in common.

    I was going to shamelessly beg you for that bag until you wrote about the latch and how it is not “rummage” friendly. *sigh*

  26. I’m a Google Reader subscriber and have been since last year, which makes me the lurker of the century.

    I had to come out of hiding because if nothing, I’m a purse girl and I whole-heartedly embrace the WASP-y way of giving things new life.

    My favorite bag has to be a large black Coach one that I bought awhile back. I didn’t know that I could find my soulmate in a purse, but I did. It fit my silhouette perfectly and was the right size at the right time. I’ve put it into retirement because it’s fraying and I fret about the straps wearing down.

  27. I subscribe in google reader.

    I love purses. My favorite has to be my Louis Vuittons. I have three in different sizes and they always make me happy.

  28. Hi Lisa, what a lovely giveaway and a beautiful bag.

    I don’t really have any good bag stories, sadly. I also only use one bag at a time but I have never had an amazing one. Lots of cheap(ish) leather ones that I like but never love. A moroccan brown satchel is probably the closest I have come but that is far too small to use everyday. One day, I will have paid my law school loans and will buy a fabulous bag. Until then, I wait for my friends to cast off their bags and use them :)

  29. I am an avid follower of the site via my Google reader and I look forward to your musings on the good life.

    I am not typically a poster on any website and am more of a lurker, but the prospect of carrying that beautiful Ferragamo classic was more than I could stand — as with wine that has attained a character that can only come with age.

    My bag story is a somewhat soulful one. I awoke on my birthday on my 3nd year of a rather lousy marriage to an empty house — my (now ex) husband had not come home from a Friday night out with the boys. My friend Vicki came by to wish me a happy birthday and when I told her the story, she put me in the car immediately and we headed straight for the Gucci store. There was a perfect square brown bag with top handles that I absolutely could not afford, but fell completely in love with.

    I bought it and a pair of shoes which cost more than my mortgage payment at the time. Happy birthday to me!!!

    I went home after a day of shopping and giggles carrying the bag proudly to which my husband said “how much did that bag cost?”

    I responded “your marriage” and called an attorney that Monday.

    So, the husband was promptly discarded but the bag is something I pull out for special fall days when I want to feel empowered, alive, and free.

  30. Just a couple of months ago I bought my very first purse with my own money that cost more than $20.

    It’s a Kate Spade classic style in “natural” (brown). I love it very much and I love that I bought it.

    Have been a reader for a while and an occasional commenter.

  31. I subscribe via Google reader and have considered myself a purse snob for many years. I needn’t spend a lot of money but it must be a good bag. I feel unfinished if I carry something that isn’t good quality — and I don’t mind a bit if it’s older or even old. I’ve purchased vintage gems for little money — and know that I’m the only one aware of the parentage. For all anyone else knows, I’ve just loved and carried it for years.

  32. Hi Lisa.

    First, the new design is really pretty and welcoming. I have followed you for some time now and I so enjoy your writing. Thank you.

    There was a photo of me in a 5 x 7 frame that sat on a sideboard all of my life in my grandparents home taken when I was aprox. 3 yrs. old(I am now 41).

    I am in a red pea coat and have a red patent cross body strap satchel purse.

    My grandparents purchased for me on their 15 hour drive to the coast where they would come to visit my family.
    Allegedly, I would not take off said bag. To the market, park, beach it went.

    There are stories of me in my baby jammies tucked in bed with my bag across my body. My parents would have to come in and remove once I was asleep so as not to be a choking hazard.
    This went on until kindegarten where I was bribed with a back pack.

    I feel pretty much to this day the same about my family of bags. I try to adhere to the quality vs. quantity concerning my purchases.
    I saved up gift money and savings and payed cash for my first Gucci bucket bag back in the early 90’s. Hope to pass on to my daughter some day.

    Beautiful give away. Thanks for treating your readers so well.

  33. Now my shameless lust for a Ferragamo bag must be exposed to the world. I am in Melbourne Australia, where a Ferragamo bag is not only very hard to find, but also out of this world expensive. I read every entry on your blog with great interest, as I feel we live worlds apart both physically and philosophically.I love to think there is a place in the world where there may be unwritten rules regarding the wearing of pearls! Sadly I have no wonderful bag story to tell – I have been carrying around the same old practical shoulder bag for an embarrassingly long time and it has had no adventures worthy of mention. However I imagine I could embark on some wonderful adventure with a pre-loved Ferragamo bag on my arm……..

  34. I am a google reader subscriber, and have been nearly a year. I have two favorite bags- one is an LV that a dear friend rehomed to me- I loved that it didn’t look new, that it looked like I had owned it forever!- the other is a Marc Jacobs my husband and daughter bought for me. She was five and she kept it a secret for 2 weeks! It’s also been a great workhorse bag.

  35. Hi Lisa,

    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now, having seen it mentioned on “Inside Out Style” (I’m in Australia, and have been a client of Imogen’s).

    I’m a graduate student, in the depths of trying to finish her thesis, so my everyday bag is a laptop bag. A sturdy, padded, black messenger bag made locally by a firm called Crumpler. It does the job beautifully, but is not in the same world of elegance as the Ferragamo. I was, however, careful to buy the next size up than the minimum to fit my 13 inch laptop, and so it will fit my laptop, my lab book, a bottle of wine and a loaf of crusty bread. What more could a student need?

    Now I’m coming to the end of my life as a student, and am needing something a little more “grown up” to take me into the professional world. The Ferragamo bag has such beautiful lines, with hints of sleek technology. I love it. And there is nothing more I can say.

    Your blog is a joy to read, and many thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  36. I am a repeat reader. I’ve been reading your blog for about two weeks now–found it through some other blogs I enjoy.

    My favorite purse story concerns a hand tooled leather bag I purchased in Santa Fe. It is close to a bucket bag and very attractive. In fact, it NEVER FAILS that I get compliments on the bag every time I carry it. IF I had been selling bags like this one, I could have sold many by now.

    The purse was made in Taylor, Texas by a small leatherworks company. I’ll probably own it forever. I don’t carry it often now, but sometimes it is just the thing.

  37. Hmmm. I have several bags I love, I am a bag-polyamorous. I maintain relationships with all of them. Since I teach, I need them to be large enough to accommodate papers and lesson plans and books. The lone tiny clutch I own has never been taken out of the closet. My mother likes to mark momentous occasions in my life by buying me bags, and I like most of her choices (they are more luxurious than I would spring for). So I have the whiskey-colored leather one from when I got into grad school, I have the dark olive one from when I got my job, and a few other numbers in between for smaller milestones.
    Your Ferragamo number is absolutely beautiful, besides being quite large enough. It’s black, isn’t it? I think it’s hard to do black bags right, this one is spot on.

  38. I am a new-ish avid follower.

    Like you, I am a one-bag-at-a-time gal. Never could get the hang of changing purses. Unlike you, my purses tend to be a bit on the outrageous side. Hanging on the rack behind the bedroom door are the generations marked in colors; red, green, PINK, brown (yawn), black nylon(what was I thinking!). Currently I am carrying an art & wine festival find – multi-colored patchwork shoulder sack from Nepal. It either goes with nothing or everything and I love it, until the next one comes along. The palette is lacking several hues so there are lots of purses out there just waiting their turn on my shoulder and then on the rack.

  39. What a lovely bag, Lisa.
    I think my favorite bag is one I don’t use a lot- I got it at a little gift shop, and it is handmade out of delicate red shimmery fabric that looks like faries have made it. I use it for holiday parties, and always get compliments.

  40. That bag is to die for! My favorite types of bags are always simple, but I love the structure of this one. I’ve had so many purses over the years. My favorite is yet to be purchased. I’ve been saving slowly over the last few months to purchase my first “investment” bag, possible an LV. My husband is looking for a new job, and his political job expires at the end of the year. I decided to hold of on purchasing the “investment” until we know he has a new position. I’m frugal, and it’s hard for me to pull the trigger on such a big purchase when things are “up in the air” with his job. if and when I do buy the “investment”, it had better be my favorite bag, or I’ve made a very expensive mistake! :)

    Also, my birthday is Thursday! I’ll be 28. I don’t know if that might help me in this drawing! ;)

  41. Back in the 1980s when I’d first started working I wanted a Coach purse. I saved up $125 to buy one because this was also pre-credit card.

    I had it with me one evening as I was coming home from night school. I ran into a fellow that I worked with at the train station, a very handsome Black fellow and talked to him all the way to my stop. I noticed another fellow looking at us while I was chattering away on the train but didn’t think anything about it.

    It was raining and I had a 15 minute walk, umbrellas in hand to my apartment, and of course it was dark. My soon to be husband was then, as he often is now, away on a business trip.

    I got away from the station and was strolling, in the rain, towards my apartment when the fellow I’d noticed on the train (not Mr. Handsome) appeared in front of me, pushed me into some bushes and snatched my beautiful Coach bag.

    He ran off and I cried all the way home both from fright and frustration about my loss. I was so young I wasn’t even smart enough to be grateful that he hadn’t hurt me.

    I always felt that I’d been singled out for a mugging because I was talking to Mr. Handsome and I had that lovely purse.

    I never bought another fancy purse again. Recently I discovered eBay and I bought a bag quite similar to the one that was lost. I’m sure anybody looking at middle-aged me with that 20+ y/o bag isn’t inspired to mug me.

    For me the moral of the story is that it’s alright to have beautiful things but you shouldn’t expect that they won’t generate jealousy in the broader community, so sometimes it’s better if they’re a bit scuffed up.

  42. I am a daily reader, but more importantly, I am an admirer. I read and reread your archives, and study every picture. I’m a well-bred Swede, third generation in the states. A Harvard alum, my daughter is at Princeton, which seems a more human place. Anyway, I am not a high wasp, but I would like to convey that image, so I am trying to learn from you.

    My favorite bag was a black Coach bucket. It was understated, held a huge amount, and looked good with everything. I finally had to pass it along to a friend because it was a black hole. I could never find my phone…. frequent and fervent frustration is never classy.

  43. I’m a frequent flyer here and…well, yes. I’m the one who wrote about being united in seeking illumination and I’m sure I’ve left a comment or two (or three or) prior to that.

    About a bag? I have one, made in the mid-60s, for the mother of a dear friend. This woman had exquisite taste and, at the time, the money with which to indulge it. When she died her daughter needed four years worth of help to clear out the house and we found so many amazing pieces of glorious style dated from the late 40s on. The bag was a gift from my friend, intended as a thank you for the assistance and as a remembrance of her mother. It’s shaped a bit like a Kelly, maybe a bit taller and I feel like Queen Elizabeth (in all the best ways) when I carry it, as if I cannot be messed with.

  44. Good evening,
    I am a follower. I don’t have a lot of bags because I realized I am too busy to change it out all the time based on what I’m wearing so I have a few bags in neutral colors. My favorite bag is the one I use the least of all and that is my grandmother’s satin clutch from the 1950’s. It sits in my closet and comes out for black tie events and weddings. It’s not an every day bag but it’s a foot soldier for having kept its beauty and function all these years. My mother had it first and now it’s mine and it is the most treasured item in my closet. Thank you for offering your “soldier” to one luck reader. Shelley

  45. Hello,
    I’m a follower and tend to be a bit of a pack rat. I cannot imagine leaving a bag, cold turkey, to move on the to next.
    But, you can and more power to you. Enjoy the extra space in your closet!
    I would love to adopt your old friend.

  46. My cousin received a Coach bag in 1975 as a gift. It was given to her by an older relative who was very stylish and had lived in NYC. I thought it was very glamorous. I was jealous. Unfortunately, the cousin and the brand have changed over the years. I have a few older Coach bags–20 plus years old– they have been great. My 23 yo sometimes carries them.

    Thanks for the great gifts!


  47. Long time reader, since before the redesign, which is fabulous.

    Adore the structured lines of the bag and hinges for the opening.

  48. I found you about a month ago and have followed you on google reader since.

    My story is about a bag that I made almost ten years ago. I used my grandmother’s sewing machine and made it for my dear friend Kate out of two jaunty tea towels that I bought while I was studying in Scotland. The bag turned out better and sturdier than I expected, and Kate still uses it as a weekend bag or carry-on. My grandmother was impressed enough with my finished product to get me my own sewing machine for Christmas. That was the best part for me because my grandmother was not only a truly amazing woman, but the best seamstress I’ve ever known.

    As a newlywed who has married into the Social Register, I loftily aspire to the smart elegance of Kate Middleton — especially since my husband is charming and dapper enough to be a prince himself :) Last summer we moved to a delightful Southern town where balls, garden parties, and galas happen at least twice a season, and where I’ve become acquainted with a former Central American first lady. Though I am building a proper wardrobe piece-by-piece, we spend most of our money on travel, entertaining, restoring our bungalow, and maintaining my heirloom flower bulb addiction.

    Your bag is gorgeous and would polish up my whole look. Win or not, I will remain an avid follower as you help me traverse the moors of WASP style to find my own personal version of it. Thank you so much!

  49. Hi Lisa,

    Your bag is gorgeous, I love the clean and elegant design.

    My favorite handbag is the one that my college roommate gave me eight years ago, which is now retired. It was large enough to hold the right amount of stuff that I need everyday.


    P.S. I read your blog all the time, but have not subscribed to it.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I forgot to mention that of the giveaways, I’d like the vintage Ferragamo bag please. Thank you!

  50. I’ve been visiting here for about a month now. I admire this purse, but I’m likely not the best recipient for it.

    For 20 years, I carried NO purse. Only in the past year have I begun to reappreciate the uses of a good bag. My stuff is fairly minimal–wallet, keys, camera, eye drops, pens, and glasses case.

  51. Wow…I was going to put in my bid for the bag, as a follower since your early days on my google reader, but there are some great stories on here, and I don’t think I can compete!

    So instead I am going to tell you about my shoes.

    Because really, shoes are like bags…They fit when nothing else does. They work as an accessory to otherwise drab corporate outfits. Good ones have a company behind them with a history, hopefully, of being handmade in Italy. You can reflect who you are or who you want to be with a good bag or a good pair of shoes.

    With my first paycheck, I bought a pair of – yes – Ferragamo – shoes. Heels, of course, as I was 25 and would only wear flats with irony. Now, several years later (or more than several, but let’s leave that aside), I still pull out those shoes when I am in need of reminding that I am a successful, accomplished, and stylish woman.

    Oh and today, by the way? I am carrying a bright red name brand bucket purse to an important meeting. Because I needed reminding that I am a successful, accomplished, and stylish woman, and these other lawyers should quake.

  52. I don’t often enter giveaways but I would love to enter this one b/c I HEART this bag and it would be nice to carry something you had worn, as I would adore your seal of approval. I’m Ferragamo freak from way-back days as a student in Florence and have never actually had a Ferragamo bag although I recently got a pair of loafers (which I adore). Bizarrely as a bag designer I draw a blank when it comes to a good bag story. I’ve just always like them – I’ve carried a bag since kindergarden. Scary right? Or maybe it says more about my mom dressing me like a 40 year old at 4. Anyway, I follow you, of course!

    xo Mary Jo

  53. My favourite bag was and is a vintage Coach bag. Extremely simple: lovely leather and restrained gold hardware. I love this bag because it is appropriate for almost every occasion.

    Like you, I work one bag at a time. Every so often I go to my closet and reunite with a new bag, which will become my staple. However this Coach is my number one go-to bag.

    PS I am a devoted RSS/Google Reader fan.

  54. I have been on a bag hunt for about 6 months. Like some of the others, I was a big Coach fan. That is until I went to the shop and discovered all the new bags have a huge ugly gold logo where they used to sport only a small tag.

    I’d give this bag a happy home.

    Darla (haven’t really figured out the follower thing but a daily reader)

  55. My current bag is a vintage All Weather Leather D&B bag I found in my grandmother’s basement. I love it, but unlike you, I can’t commit myself to just one bag…your beautiful Ferragamo one would certainly fill a void in my closet!

  56. My favourite bag is my current bag, a bright orange patent Kate Spade. It is large enough to act as my diaper bag without looking like a diaper bag, and i love the pop of colour it gives my predominately dark wardrobe.

    I follow you via RSS!

  57. A regular reader here. Thank you so much for giving these lovely holiday gifts!

    Your bag reminds me of the first handbag I ever bought for myself. I was a freshman in college, and I found it in a secondhand shop: a late 1950s ribbed silk frame purse with a snappy gold clasp and a little silk handle. I still have it, twenty-five years later, but it is sadly shabby . . .

    I loved it in part because it reminded me of the similarly shaped red lizard bag that my grandmother used to carry tucked under her arm. Oh, I wish I had that red bag!

  58. Your Ferragamo bag is divine. It really is just right.

    As another member of the one-bag-at-a-time club, I have a special bag on the highest shelf of my closet. My black Coach “Mommy Bag.” On the motherhood front, I was a late bloomer as my husband and I didn’t start issuing progeny until after our 10th wedding anniversay. At the time, I was a mid-level corporate manager and a serial Coach enthusiast. I felt the bags with adorable patterns were somewhat undignified and as such would clash with my corporate persona (I’ve since changed my position on that). I’d also deduced that it would be easier to re-purpose the black bag into a Messenger/Laptop bag by simply taking out the changing pad and baby wipes.

    However, I’ve found that after the birth experience and surviving the preschool years at home, my tastes have changed toward Brahmin in the way of bags and absolutely Ferragamo in the way of shoes – my favorites are my high-ish heeled black pumps and my black loafers with the horsebit. Would love to have Ferragamo bag to go along with. I know it’s a little old-fashioned perhaps, but I think a matching shoe and bag looks nice and polished. (On the other hand, I have no problem mixing metals.)

    I have just returned to the workforce and realize that a newer bag is in order; and, oh how your bag would complement! She would definitely get to see more of the light of day on my arm as I tend to get around quite a bit around the south-eastern region of the US.

    I just had another thought. It would be so lovely to carry a new bag when my family attends the lighting of the White House Christmas tree this year. Granted our tickets are SRO; but, still. The hardware on this bag fits the bill. I’ll even send you a picture of the bag enjoying the event.

    I have your blog bookmarked and have been reading it just about everyday for over a year. Also, I have introduced your blog to my sisters and friends. Brava on the renovation of your site!

  59. I have LOVED reading all these comments about beloved bags and skirts. You were right when you said your commenters set a high bar. C’mon, my birthday is tomorrow, make that bag all mine ;-)

  60. I love reading all these stories! And to Amanda who posted earlier, have fun with that sewing machine. I had a Fendi bag, purchased at the late and much lamented Marshall Field’s in the late 1990’s. This was before the Fendi baguette madness, I think, and the purse was moderately priced. It wore like iron and went with almost everything. It was black and brown with subtle stripes and no hardware to speak of. I still have it, but the strap has worn out. I suppose I should take it to the shoe repair shop to see if it can be mended. As for Ferragamo, I LOVE my Ferragamo shoes and have several pairs that would look fabulous with your handbag if I should be so lucky as to win it. Cheers.

  61. BTW I signed in one time under “Patricia”. I believe it was for the best gift, which was my youngest daughter, in a Christmas stocking. I use two different Googles, and some times cannot manage to log in one way. I am one and the same person nonetheless.

    I now use a black and brown tote/bag combination by Stone Mountain which was gifted to me by my sister a few years ago. I am also faithful to one bag.

    I’d love this vintage selection as I am, although discreet, a bit frayed myself, as one truly does not get through life wholly unscathed — even in privilege.

    And Sunday WILL be my birthday….I shared this tidbit during my entry for the perfumes!

    Thank you so much for such generosity in this giveaway period.

    As they say in the south, bless your heart!

    I remain sincerely yours, discreetly frayed in certain areas

  62. I LOVE Lila’s story! And everyone else’s too :-)

    The only Ferragamo I’ve had is the one I dated in college.

    Please don’t include me in the drawing, I would never do this purse justice.

  63. I once owned this beautiful black quilted Chanel bucket bag that was a gift. I decided when I was youger (and more foolish!) that a bag with such a long strap was too old-fashioned so I gave it away! I still kick myself for that as I would love that bag now. I’m glad someone else is enjoying it though!

  64. I’m a frequent lurker, as I am frequently too lazy to click through from my reader to comment. And when I do, many have already said that which I wish to say, leaving me feeling superfluous.

    I’ve never owned a “name” bag. My favorite is a cream colored vintage purse that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It’s functional, and gorgeous (in my eyes). The front of the bag is covered with metal links that resembled a closed link chain mail. Whenever I carry it, it makes me feel like the most feminine bad-ass around.

  65. Frequent reader and follower. I have a few bags that I switch between, each of a very different style, but I’ll admit I have a clear favorite.

    A couple of years ago I fell in love and bought a Marc Jacobs Casey bag. Quilted black leather, belted and knotted around the middle with gold hardware. It can easily hold a legal pad, book, sunglasses, and my pocketbook, something my other bags simply cannot do. But most importantly, I feel that this bag makes any outfit look amazing.

  66. Reading everyone comments… I want to click on Coach, Ferragamo and ebay for purses!!!
    Have enjoyed everyone’s stories! I’ve never owned a purse that cost more than $84!!!

  67. I’ve been a follower for a while now…through google blogger.

    My favorite bag is my vintage Gucci drs bag which belonged to my mom in the 70s. It is the perfect size and I whenever I wear it, I’m reminded of her:)

  68. This is a beautiful bag. It reminds me of *my* mid-90s Gucci That Got Away (I bought it and, in a flash of buyers’ remorse, returned it and have been regretting the return ever since). And that clasp reminds me of something my mum would have carried. Good but wistful memories.

  69. High WASPs will, however, buy at auction. Also, those I have known will acquire something through a dealer, but privately. They don’t kick the tires in an antique store.

    I’d carry the bag open, as ladies in Paris do with their Birkins.

  70. I am new to your blog, but have been reading for a week and am smitten. You’re on my favorites and while the idea of subscribing is tempting, I actually enjoy picking names out of my favorites list, then visiting the sites. It’s sort of like dropping by for a visit (and without notice . . . if it weren’t a blog it would be quite rude!). I recently purchased a bag to celebrate my 38th birthday. I live in Seattle but was meeting up with my best friend in Chicago. It is a Chocolat Blu black leather bag – subtle enough to be professional but zippers galore. I love it. It’s the most expensive bag I own. BUT THE STRAP KEEPS COMING UNDONE AT THE MOST INOPPORTUNE TIMES! If I didn’t live in Seattle, I would’ve returned it long ago. But we are stuck together, and I’m making the best of it. Thank you for your reflections and writing. As a mother of young girls, your post about sleeping in the same bed with your adult daughter resonated with me. Watching every breath,

  71. I’d like the bag for my wife, she never spends money on herself and refuses to tell me or even hint at what she’d like me to get her.

    At the moment she’s using an old leather music bag-the type used for carrying sheet music to lessons-.
    It looks OK, but she deserves so much better!

    I love the blog–I found you via Reggie D. I skip some of the fashion posts, but I love read about your garden and pratical things. BTW they dont sell your B&D lawnmower in the UK.

    Let me know if you come to London, we’d love to meet you.

  72. Dear Lisa,

    I’m a Smithie myself, born and bred in Princeton, but relocated to Berkeley a decade ago for a reasons that amounted to WASP fatigue. How I missed the east coast once I arrived in the land of the mid-day night gown! Anyway, I appreciate your project and have been following your posts for a year or so.

    My favorite bag was a two-tone brown and tan suede shoulder bag I acquired in 1973, at the tender age of eight. It was adorned with a large applique question mark and I thought I was the cat’s meow when I wore it (with bell-bottoms and a tie-at-the-waist blouse). Of course it was very of the moment, and not at all expensive or possibly in good taste. But it made me feel special and grown up and very groovy. I could do with a bag like that now!

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