Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A student wears prada

I just got back from California, having completed my mission: a family friend requested that I purchase a Prada handbag for her, and I did.  I carried it back, having some suitcase room issues, while I was bouncing around airports (Palm Springs, San Francisco, Vancouver).

It's weird for me to carry a designer handbag.  I'm not a handbag girl.  I bought a purse out of necessity about three years ago when I needed to look nice for medical school interviews, and I chose a navy blue hobo-style shoulder bag from Nine West for about $100, which I thought was pretty damn expensive for what is essentially a container.  Since then, I've been very happy with that bag and it still looks new.  I've also accrued an assortment of other handbags, including totes and clutches, most of which I bought because they were dirt cheap, they came free with a purchase, or I didn't actually buy and they just mysteriously appeared.

I have definitely also never bought any type of clothing/fashion item this expensive.  My personal philosophy on designer items is that 1) I generally don't like how they look that much anyways, 2) I feel like I could find something cheaper that looks essentially the same and 3) I don't feel the item is worth the price.  Oh, and also I'm a student and don't actually have money.  So it was really interesting for me to think about my first brush with a designer bag.


It started at the outlet mall where I bought the thing.  First, salespeople at high-end stores actually treated me pretty good when they realized I was really actually gonna buy something sizeable.  Then when I was waltzing around with my large Prada shopping bag, salespeople at other high-end stores were super nice to me too!  I had purchasing power!  It felt good!  I could for the first time also feel other shoppers' eyes on me (in a very conspicuous manner).  I felt their waves of jealousy, and I'm not saying this to be superior, but because I noticed it so much.  I'm usually pretty oblivious-- my boyfriend (since all fashion bloggers have cute names for their men, I hereby christen him vitaMAN) tells me all the time when we're out together that someone's looking at me, checking me out, sizing me up and other such things, and I always reply with 'what?'  But I really noticed it this time.  It was a weird feeling.  I have to admit-- I liked it.  The presence of the Prada bag made me feel powerful and awesome, and I was all, yeah, I can afford a Prada bag, NOW WHAT?

My admittedly brief experience was really interesting for me.  I didn't think that something like a designer bag could have such an effect on me, and I admit that I am often judgemental when I think about women who buy things like designer bags.  The past two days have made me reflect more on what clothes mean to us and to others and the kinds of relationships they create between people.  While I don't think I'm going to go out and buy myself a designer bag anytime soon, I come away with a more open mind and a more financially dangerous outlook. (:



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