Thursday, October 28, 2010

Can a Prep Break This Down for Me?

As you've read, ad nauseum, I'm from Colorado. I am a preppy kid with my pearls and my polos, wearing loafers and khakis, cable knits in the winter, etc. etc. I have been to the east coast and I think that I blend into the New England fashion quite well, thankyouverymuch, but what I cannot understand is Vera Bradley.

Call it blasphemy to my monogrammed preppy ways, but outside of cosmetic cases or umbrellas, I just don't see the attraction.

Why all of the wonderment and questioning the taste of fellow prepsters? I got my mom a purse for her birthday from Vera. My mom has specific tastes in that she wants something that it light empty, zips shut, has some pockets inside and out, and a strap so that she has hands free. We couldn't be farther from each other in tastes.

I love a purse with durability, hardware, supple leather, design features, and can be flopped closed or sets open (zippers are OK), but won't spill all the contents out if I have to brake a little harder.

This is what I am toting about town right now. It's a L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani from 2005. (The CSU pride was just a bonus. In fact, it was one of the reasons it took me so long to buy it.)
This is my current lust for the fall. Coach's Madison Sophia Satchel in black leather. Although I will accept it in the bone color, too.
 So now you see what I am coming in with. I went to the local Vera Bradley pusher and started to look through everything to see what they had. My initial reaction was sensory overload. The patterns are so busy that I had a tough time focusing on one item to figure out what I was actually looking at. Whether it had zippers in the right places, whether I would use it (Nope), and whether I would be OK being in public with it. (Vain? Don't judge.) Had my mom not specifically asked for the queen of quilting and patterns, I wouldn't even entertain the idea. However, we're talking about The Moms. I had to put aside my overstimulated brain and preconceptions and find something.

Here's what I ended up with:
Hipster in Java Blue - 11" x 11" x 1¾" with 52" adjustable strap

My brain can't even get a rest because the inside is even patterned!
 So this had two outside zipper pockets, one deep drop pocket on the outside, a zipper closure, a long strap to go between shoulder bag and across the body, and three drop pockets on the inside.

Thinking I wouldn't have hit a home run on my first go with her birthday present (and that I can't wait to give people gifts!) I gave it to her last night so that if she wanted something different, I had time to get her something by her actual birthday on Sunday. (Yep, she's a Halloweenie Baby) Well, guess what? I did good! Even though I had a tough time residing myself to buying one of these bags, My mom loved it. To quote her, "It's tall enough for a sudoku book and a pencil...and a Diet Pepsi..." She's in lurve with it.

I am still having a tough time with it though. I need a prepster to break it down for me so I understand your inclination, nay, OBSESSION with Ms. Vera.

Drop some knowledge. I'm ready.


  1. LOVE that Madison bag. I am hoping to get one for Christmas.

    I intensely dislike Vera.

  2. Having lived in Boston for over 5 years, I feel I'm qualified to tackle this issue. For some reason, us East Coasters can't get enough of this over-priced, quilted madness. That being said, I should disclose that I own a few of these bright colored beauties myself. I have one large duffel bag and one small one and yes, they match.

    But the key word here is "duffel." These are great, great bags for weekend trips because they smash easily into the car's trunk, can be thrown in the washing machine when booze is inevitably spilled on them and they can be balled up tightly and shoved under the bed for easy storage.

    Never, in a million years, would I use one as a purse. Not because they are hideous (because I think they're pretty cute) but they are for older ladies. Being nearly 30 (oh, God!), I don't want to draw any further attention to the fact that I'm no longer 21. The crows feet and 3 gray hairs are taking care of that quite nicely.

    In sum, the duffel bags (and cosmetic cases, too) are for the masses. The purses, however, are for women 50+ who need pockets for glasses to read the menu, flip-open cell phones, a small jar of Vaseline, and a bottle of Tylenol.

  3. I very much agree with Mrs. Good Wife :) I am not a fan of the purses, but the duffels are wonderful. I have, on numerous occasions, stuffed them to the brim. Unlike a suitcase, the cloth somehow stretches to hold an insane amount of crap...I also have a shoulder bag that I've used as a school bag, and yes, my duffel and school bag match.

  4. I use the villager for my work bag, this started in grad school because I could fit my laptop and a few books into the bag and then zip it closed during class. I now like it because it holds my wallet, a water bottle, my coffee travel mug, and many other things in its 6 lovely pockets. I like the uniqueness of the designs, but don't get the overly busy ones, my current one is black and yellow. I don't think I'll ever use a Vera bag as my everyday purse but for my work needs, its a nice solution.