by Morgan Robinson
Even the biggest handbag lovers have experienced that moment when you hit a wall with your collection, and you’re just simply sick of your bags. Perhaps, you feel like you’ve recycled the same bags too many times and nothing is bringing you joy anymore. Some people assume the only way to cure this feeling of fatigue is to buy a new handbag. In reality, this shouldn’t be your first course of action at all! There are many ways to refresh your wardrobe and fall in love with your bags that don’t require spending excessive amounts of money. Allow us to share our tips and tricks, and you can slowly but surely become a happy handbag owner again.
#1 Investigate this feeling of fatigue and figure out of it’s valid.
As cliché as it sounds, where is your source of unhappiness truly coming from? Our expert minimalist @kugzz, the author of No More Than 10 Bags and Saving to Splurge, might say…do you actually need another bag or is this really about something else?
Especially, in the consumption driven culture we live in, many times we feel unsatisfied with what we have because we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, or we’re just seeking meaningless feeling of instant gratification. Find out if the fatigue of your bags is related to the needs of your wardrobe or the needs of your ego. Deciphering these feelings can be difficult and can require some extreme self-honesty, but it is possible. For example, do you need a new tote because yours has a gaping hole in it, or do you want a new tote because you saw a stylish diva walking down the street with one?
#2 Before you make any big moves, partake in some organization.
It’s time to assess your entire handbag collection from top to bottom. Whether you own 5 bags or 50+ bags, pull them all out in a central area and start sorting them into piles. One pile should be “non-negotiable” bags you need to keep. What you “need” to keep does not have to be strictly defined by function; you just need to figure out what is actively serving you versus what is not. Maybe the bags in this pile will be your everyday work bags or that classic you saved months for and finally added to your collection. Maybe its a novelty bag that just speaks to you or a bag you pull out when you want to be bold. Be discerning, but still generous with yourself.
The second pile should be the “maybe” pile. If you have any moment of hesitation when glancing over a bag, put it in this pile. Maybe the bags in this pile are too repetitive or similar to what you already own. Maybe the bags in this pile are bordering on being out of style, and you’re iffy about wearing them. Or it could be that they are no longer “you” or your style.
The third pile of this organization process should be dedicated to “donating/reselling” (Read: 10 Tips for Reselling Your Bag Online). There’s no point in forcing yourself to fall in love with a bag again that you know you should get rid of. Constructing this pile will be a difficult feat, but it is a critical step to making sure you walk away with a wardrobe you truly value. Determining what to sell versus donate is ultimately up to you and largely depends on the condition of the bags. Although you spent a lot of money on your bags in the past, you are not always guaranteed a significant amount of money back in the resale market. Sometimes it makes more economic sense to give it to a friend or family member who will appreciate it or donate it to someone in need. Remember, one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
#3 The “Elimination Diet” Experiment: Give some neglected handbags a fair shot again. Lock some handbags away and see if you really miss them.
Now that you’ve made your piles, it’s time to go on a little “elimination diet” of sorts. With food, an elimination diet is where you restrict or limit certain foods to figure out if they may be causing allergies, and the slowly reintroduce more foods to figure out what is tolerated well. You can do the same with handbags or any problem that’s causing you trouble…just take the advice!
First things first, get rid of the bags in the “donate/resell” pile. Then, take the bags from the “maybe” pile and lock them away in a place that is harder than usual to access. For the next month or so, practice rotating your bags from the “non-negotiable” pile with your looks and see if your collection feels complete. Stay diligent and determine if you really need to grab a bag from the “maybe” pile. To make this into more of a concrete project, take selfies of your outfits and bags to see how your whole look is coming together.
#4 Analyze the results of this experiment.
This is where pictures will come in handy. After going through your elimination handbag diet, you will be able to tell which handbags you really need versus which ones you can live without. Any “maybe” bags that consistently made it into your everyday rotation should be moved into the “non-negotiable” piles. The “maybe” bags that didn’t make the cut need to be sold or donated.
Cutting down on clutter will make you feel less overwhelmed, and you will eventually realize that you have some true jewels in front of you!
#5 Send your bags to the spa or just give them some much needed TLC.
It’s easier to feel excited about the goods you own if they’re in good condition. Spiffing up a shabby bag can make a world of difference. With a little TLC, you can revive a bag and make it look brand new again.
Even the highest quality bags experience wear and tear. High end fashion houses like Hermès and Chanel usually have “spas” or repair facilities where you can send your bag and have it touched up. There may be a fee for having your bag serviced, but this is nominal compared to the cost of a new bag. Plus, you get to hold onto the pieces that you admired in the first place instead of replacing it.
An alternative to spas is doing DIY repairs on your bag yourself. There are many tips online about how to refresh leather and shine hardware. However, be very cautious when implementing these techniques yourself. You may ruin your bag in the process instead of helping it if you don’t know what you are doing.
#6 Invest in a bag charm, twilly scarf, or bag strap.
Once you have your bags all cleaned up, if you’re still itching for a little bit sparkle, you might want to try investing in a bag charm, scarf, or bag strap. Over the past few years, “accessories for your accessory” have really been having a moment. Smaller trinkets allow you to add personal flair to your ensemble and can give your bag a whole new look. Bag straps and bag charms can be expensive in their own right (think: Fendi Strap You and Fendi Monster charms), but they still cost a fraction of the price of a brand new handbag.
#7 Stay strong and divert your attentions elsewhere to avoid impulse spending.
The biggest key to conquering fashion fatigue is curbing your temptations. It’s ok to treat yourself, but it’s a terribly bad habit to get caught on a whim and spend thousands of dollars on a bag that you probably didn’t need. Stop impulse spending by diverting attention to things that may be more important in your life such as self-development or spending time with family and friends. If your feelings really just come down to wardrobe worries, maybe try investing in a different area of your closet that needs work may that be clothes, shoes, or jewelry.
#8 If you must cave in for a new bag, do so wisely.
Sometimes your collection is just worn out to the point of needing a total makeover or a new addition to the lot. If you really need a new bag, be strategic in your choice. Try to pick something that will have longevity in your collection. Choose a bag that fulfills a specific purpose and overall expresses your personal style. Consult friends (and of course the PurseBop community!) to make sure your style choices are justified.
So, these are our little tips on how to revamp your bag collection. For those who have experienced this feeling of fatigue with your bags, do you have any advice? Please share in the conversation on BopTalk!