What fits in a PS1 Large Chain Wallet

I am, for the most part, a big bag kind of girl. Apart from the fact that I carry so many bits and bobs with me, I also try to refuse plastic/paper bags as much as possible when shopping. So it’s convenient to have a bag that would hold not just my stuff, but my reasonably-sized purchases, too.

So I surprised myself when I found myself drawn to the PS1 Large Chain Wallet by Proenza Schouler. It was tiny compared to the other bags I owned and would obviously never fit all the stuff I carry around on a daily basis.

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But the bag is a lot more functional than its size would make you think. First, the gunmetal chain is removable (or you can slip it inside the bag if you can’t be bothered), converting the bag into a clutch. Second, it  has enough pockets and compartments to meet even a neat freak’s needs. It has an outer front panel pocket, a zipped compartment, an inner pocket behind that, six card slots, a panel for bills, and an outer zipped back pocket. It also has a small mirror behind the front flap.

DSC00977But of course, the real test is not in the number of pockets a bag has. It’s how much I can actually carry in it without overstuffing it to its physical and aesthetic ruin.

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The surprising answer is, quite a lot. Sure, it can’t fit any of the grocery items I abuse my larger bags with, but the PS1 Large Chain Wallet can definitely carry everything I need for a night out.

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The card and bill panels eliminate the need to bring a bulky wallet. So I can bring cash, IDs, and credit cards without taking up barely any space. That leaves room for (clockwise, from top left) lip balm, hand sanitizer, lipstick, an iPhone, wipes, a power bank, a phone cord, and a set of keys.

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Even with all that stuff, the zipped panels inside and outside the bag were still unused. And as with the photo above, the bag still has a relatively flat profile. So there’s definitely still some room for one or two small items and change.

My PS1 Large Chain Wallet is my go-to bag for things like concerts or any place that’s crowded, like a bar. Its size, the fact the it hugs close to the body, and is convertible into a clutch makes it an easy bag to carry for a night out. It looks great, too, with that same cool, downtown vibe as its larger sibling, the PS1 satchel.

It’s a great bag, and I actually should carry mine more than I do. Now if I could only train myself to carry less with me on a regular basis…

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Here we go again…

I blame my friend J for this. This is all her fault. If she never mentioned that she was considering getting a Proenza Schouler PS1 in Midnight, I never would have set my eyes on this:

The PS1 Pouch in Midnight

And now my credit card is trembling in fear of the damage this gorgeous little baby might cause. I love everything about this bag. I’ve always liked the PS1, but was a bigger fan of  the other “it” satchel, the Mulberry Alexa. I preferred the Alexa’s more classic lines to the PS1’s ruggedness. However, whereas I find the mini Alexa too cutesy already, it’s the rugged details on the PS1 that makes its mini version still appealing to me. The same modern lines that made me reject the Ps1 satchel in favor of the Mulberry, keep its miniature from looking too precious, too adorable.

PS1s come in a rainbow of colors and a multitude of materials (leather, suede, fabric) but it’s this gorgeous, deep blue that I have my eye on. Dark, but not quite navy, it’s striking enough to not be a boring neutral, but muted enough to not scream “Look at me! I’m a designer bag!”.

And and and… the straps on the pouch are removable (as with the regular PS1 and the Alexa), so it’s usable as clutch, given its size. So it’ll be like buying two bags for the price of one!

Right? Right? Right?

Must. Resist. The. Temptation.

Ugggggggggh. This is all your fault, J! All YOUR fault!

Photos via ProenzaSchouler.com. Click on the photos so that I’m not the only one left lusting for this baby! Heehee.

NO

I never appreciated the Versace aesthetic. The prints, the colors are just too much for boring ol’ me. But I have no problem with Versace and with the people who choose to rock the brand’s navel-baring, slit-to-to-THERE dresses. You know, to each his own.

These, though, I cannot and refuse to be open-minded about:

And, no, I don’t think it’s a matter of taste. It’s a fact: these bags from the Versace and H&M collaboration are ugly. Actually, “ugly” doesn’t quite cut it. Gaudy, tacky and they even look cheaper than they are (and since they’re already from H&M, that’s saying something). Some people might say that since I was never a fan of the brand to begin with, I’m automatically predisposed to dislike these. But no, I think these bags are fugly enough for me to be able to objectively say that these bags are just gross.

So gross, that one commenter on The Purse Blog said that the bags look like something you’d see on the Jersey Shore. I beg to differ. I don’t think even Snooki would come near these, even SHE carries a Gucci handbag now.

Photos from The Purse Blog.

Handbag-induced self-reflection

Confession: I purchased another designer handbag in Paris. It was a totally unplanned purchase. I wasn’t in the market for a new handbag because: (1) I have more bags than I have time to use them (I only get to use my good bags on the weekends, I can’t use them at work);  (2) I just bought what could be considered an “investment” piece a couple of months back; and (3) I didn’t even like this bag when it first came out. Despite the fact that everyone else was going gaga over this particular bag, it wasn’t really my thing, I actually thought it looked a little funny at first. And it’s not like the design grew on me over time. I was, on the whole, quite indifferent to the bag.

I saw it on the shelf in Galleries Lafayette, tried it on for fun, since it was a notoriously difficult bag to find, so I might as well take it for a spin, right? I liked what I saw on the mirror but I didn’t buy it right then and there. At that point, I was just pleasantly surprised that it looked nicer than I thought it would. But, man, I never should’ve tried it on. I thought about it more and more, and alas, a couple of days later, I was at the brand’s store on Rue François 1er, just trying to see what other colors the bag came in (or so I told myself). They only had display pieces that they were not allowed to sell, and was told to come back the following week, when new pieces were scheduled to come in. I came back. Three times. And on the last day, the day before I left Paris, the SA took pity on me and sold me one of the display pieces.

I was happy. I still am, I love the bag. I don’t have anything like it in shape and in color, the bag itself is very distinct, and the leather is gorgeous. The inside of the bag, entirely in lambskin, is lovely and luscious. And the smell. That wonderful, intoxicating (really, it is) leather smell. It is seriously the best-smelling leather ever.

I got to use the bag a few times already. It’s rather heavy, for one thing. For another, I’ve always been a shoulder-bag kind of girl and I haven’t gotten used to carrying a bag on the crook of my arm (what do you do with your hand, anyway?). Take those two factors together… and I’m having second thoughts about the bag.

Old habits die hard: this photo links to the NAP page for handbags. Haha.

But I couldn’t bear parting with it… which brings me to the questions. Why not? If it doesn’t suit my lifestyle, if it has its downsides, why keep it? Do I really love the bag, even I find it such a hassle to carry sometimes? I didn’t use to like it, so what’s with the sudden 180? Did I just hound the SA, Caroline, for the thrill of the chase? Do I really love it, or do I just like the fact that I have a handbag that is reportedly harder to find than an Hermès Birkin?

And all those questions actually boils down to just one: am I really THAT shallow and materialistic already, that I’ve basically been brainwashed by all the bloggers and photos I’ve seen into liking and buying a bag I didn’t like in the first place, will rarely use and had to trek all over Paris like a madwoman to find?  Did I actually buy the bag because of what people will think when they see me carrying it?

Ok, so that was more than one question. I’m afraid to find out the answer to all of them anyway.

PS: I didn’t  realize people would be curious about which bag (honest!) until I saw the comments. I didn’t name the bag , not because I’m being a tease (haha!), but because I don’t feel comfortable advertising my purchases and belongings. If you really want to know, I can let you know privately via email (which would require you to put a valid address on the comment form), or via DM on Twitter if you follow me. I know it seems the same as putting it on the post, but for me it isn’t. I’d rather answer only when asked and privately, at that. 🙂

image from net-a-porter.com

Oh, crap, not again…

The bag bug has struck again. And my credit card is now bracing itself for the damage to be done.

I’ve read about the Cambridge Satchel months ago and didn’t like it, really. I found it too rigid and boxy and the leather didn’t look like leather to me. The colors were yummy, but my bag tastes tend to favor neutral basics, with the exception of this lovely Prada. Besides, I already have a satchel, so I didn’t really need another one.

But as any other bag lovin’ gal will tell you, bags are NEVER, ever about need. They fall undeniably and unabashedly into the category of “wants”.

I have no idea what changed me from being deadma about the Cambridge Satchels to being completely obsessed with the Kelly green version. I’m not sure if it was seeing it carried as a clutch or if the relentless PR campaign by its Philippine distributor has finally penetrated my materialistic, consumption-driven brain. I don’t know. What I know is that I want it.

Aaaarrrrrggggghh...

And now I’m torn. I could go to the store and one of two things will happen: (1) I’ll see it, run my hands over it and decide that I don’t want it because it’s too boxy or the leather is too rigid or because I don’t want to have the same handbag as every other fashion-forward wannabe (*wink-wink*) OR (2) I’ll see it, run my hands over it and helplessly hand over my credit card to the sales assistant. 

So I should even tempt fate and go to the store? Or should I heed my credit card’s desperate cries and stay as far away from Rockwell as possible?

Photo via bambooshoot.co.uk

The Hermès bag that I would actually buy

If I could afford it, of course, but that’s not the point.

It’s a known fact that the holy grail of all luxury handbags is the iconic Hermès Birkin, with the Hermès Kelly in second place. But personally, neither bag gets my handbag-loving heart aflutter. I do appreciate the amazing handiwork and dedication to quality that both bags (and all Hermès goods, for that matter) represent, but apart from that, the bags do nothing for me. And the same could be said about the other bags in their line. The Marwari, the Jypsiere, the Victoria, the Evelyne… design-wise, I find them all underwhelming, especially given the prices that are charged for them.

I have happily found an exception, though.

These will give any outfit the perfect pop of color

In these delightful candy/highlighter inspired hues, the Hermès Jigé Elan is absolute popsicle perfection. I like the simplicity of the shape, for one.  And, of course, the colors. In black or any other neutral (although this would be nice in camel with the darker trim, too) this would be a little “meh” but these brights make the bag all that more interesting. And the tonal lizard trim not only adds a nice contrast against the solid leather, it also gives the bag a little added texture.

My only complaint with this bag is that it is just a tad too big for a clutch at 15cm x 29 cm x 3xm. But for the $ 4,250 (… excuse me while I pick myself off the floor from the shock) they are charging for it, I think I should be able to fit my entire life inside the Jigé Elan. So I guess I should stop whining.

Photo from Google images (sorry, I can’t seem to find the original source of it. But it certainly looks like an official Hermès photo).

I think I’m in Love

I never, ever should have gone in. If I’d only known the turmoil that fateful decision was going to cause, then I wouldn’t have stepped foot in the store. But how could I have known? I’ve seen photos of the Prada Saffiano Leather Top Handle Bag before, and it has never really drawn me in.

 

But when I stepped into the Prada store at ION Orchard in Singapore, the small version, on display on a table right by the entrance caught my eye. It was black, and the proportions were lovely, and I liked its no-nonsense box shape. I never really liked very structured bags, but this one really caught my fancy. And then when I saw the bag in a bigger size, I was doomed. I was in love.

 

The cobalt blue is absolutely gorgeous. It gives your outfit a bright pop of color, without being over the top. You could still have fun with it, but it would still be appropriate for more serious occasions or a very formal work environment.

I’m torn between the blue and the red. The red is beautiful as well, the perfect shade. Some reds tend to be too fiery, too fire engine red. On some bags that would be fine, don’t get me wrong, but with something as structured and as formal as this, such a shade would be inappropriate. The subtle but still unmistakable red still grabs the attention, but isn’t screaming for it.

It took my fear of debt collectors every ounce of self-control to not swipe away and go home with this baby. And I was definitely tempted. A Chinese woman who was came into the store a few minutes after I did bought one of only two pieces of the blue version, so there was an added “What if someone else buys it before I do?” panic added to my already confused state of mind. I had to leave for the airport at 9pm, and was at the store at around 8, so I had about an hour to think about it. I had the final blue one put aside under my name for the night. I actually wandered around the façade of ION Orchard for a few minutes, absentmindedly going around in circles, so lost in thought (yes, such is the effect of a beautiful handbag on a woman). It took frantic WiFi research, a Starbucks cheesecake slice and panicked text messages to friends to calm me down and convince me that buying it in such an expensive country as Singapore does not make sense at all. So, alas, I went home empty-handed.

But I still haven’t given up on this dream. I suppose it’s just not the right time. Besides, I haven’t even decided yet, blue or red?

photo from saksfifthavenue.com