No Further Ado. Well, Maybe A Little.


I bought this.
Otherwise known as this,

“Hmm,” you might well say. “Hmm, LPC, is this, um, OK? Is this, um, actually a High WASP approved bag?” Or, were you truly concerned, “LPC, what on earth were you thinking!”

I know, I know. I called my sister. The one in Berkeley who has her Ph.D. in Social Work and Public Policy. She was very honest. She told me that Louis Vuitton is NOT currently a High WASP approved brand. She let me down easy. She said, “On the other hand, they USED to be….”

Here’s what I told her. I told her I know. I told her I know that LV deserted their carriage trade roots when they started stamping that dang logo all over the dang place. I told her I know I have been a Very Bad High WASP. But I pled my case.

First, the logo is stamped, not printed, so it’s hard to see. Second, the bag LOOKS to be classic black. When you are inside. Third, it’s a tote for goodness’s sake, a close cousin to the archetypal L.L. Bean Boat and Tote. Fourth, I needed an impeccable bag for job interviews and this one is terribly well-designed, plenty of space, easy to locate inner pocket. But even I knew that these were feeble, feeble excuses indeed. The real truth is more insidious.

I wanted it. The color is “Amarante.” This is the Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Brentwood in Amarante . Oooh. Sounds like the title of some nobility or other. It’s a dark, eggplantish, maroonish, SPARKLY, patent leather. With luggage leather belted straps. And it makes it clear that once upon a time, when Tiffany bowls were monogrammed, and tweed jackets donned and doffed, and polo trophies won, my family had money. I’m hardly living in poverty, but no one would accuse me of, in that High WASP euphemism, “having money.” At least not an overwhelming amount. But I live in Silicon Valley. As do the founders of Apple, Oracle, Google, Yahoo, Hewlett Packard, Intel….everyone has money. I wanted to purchase myself a subtle enough but not too subtle symptom of privilege. An aramante stripe, if you will, for a gray fish in the tropics. There.

I apologize. I’m sharing here as penance. I will carry it for a long time. The cost per carry will approach zero, as they say in Calculus BC. I pat it. I will be a better person in my next incarnation. For now, I will just be good to other people’s children who cry in supermarkets. And I will donate money to the people canvassing outside those supermarkets. I promise.

Notice how I am not posting the price? Even in this day of no privacy, I just can’t bring myself to type those numbers. But ooh it’s pretty.

42 Comments

  • 07/29/09
    5:02 pm

    Reply

    Julia Remix said...

    Oooh, shiny. The branding is not totally my thing, but I don't mind it here. Besides, the proportions are good. Which goes a long way.

  • 07/29/09
    5:02 pm

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    Hannah said...

    I personally think I ought to be able to bring my Boat and Tote to job interviews.

  • 07/29/09
    5:03 pm

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    Vildy said...

    I definitely don't have money and definitely don't like logos but I think *this* is sharp and, as well, a smart bag to carry into interviews. If you don't have a job they can steal you away from it's the next best thing to look like you are enjoying having money.
    Wear it in good health and may it bring you luck.

  • 07/29/09
    5:05 pm

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    Someone said...

    Well, since I IMMEDIATELY thought of the Bean bag (including custom initials) when I saw this…I think you're OK. ROFL!

  • 07/29/09
    5:08 pm

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    Someone said...

    We -did- call them "Bean bags" back in the day, I realize. 'Cause they're really not a purse? (A Nantucket basket bag though, that *is* a purse. ;) )

  • 07/29/09
    5:12 pm

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    Lindy said...

    I like it but I worry that the light cowhide handles will easily show dirt and wear. Not very practical for a long term purchase.

  • 07/29/09
    5:33 pm

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    Deja Pseu said...

    Ooh, love it! Amarante is a gorgeous color.

    Actually the handles will darken, which is referred to among purse mavens as "patina" and is generally considered desireable. Just as with a too-clean riding habit, it's better once broken in.

  • 07/29/09
    5:41 pm

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    Brown Eyed Girl said...

    hmmm…. just curious… what would be a high wasp approved hand bag?

    I do like the structure of the bag… I just don't like logos. Pretty color!

  • 07/29/09
    6:09 pm

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    f8hasit said...

    Ah…you've just made my buying of shiny things oh so downgrade. I feel no guilt at all.
    Thank you my friend, thank you.

    Love the bag.
    :-)

  • 07/29/09
    7:09 pm

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    Ashley said...

    lovely! not a logo fan either, but this is so subtle and perfect!

  • 07/29/09
    7:46 pm

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    Maureen at IslandRoar said...

    A Marc Jacobs bag is a tough act to follow. But this one looks pretty good!
    And I bet you don't need a coffee mug to make it stand.

  • 07/29/09
    7:58 pm

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    The Mrs. said...

    If it has monogram in the title it's waspy!

  • 07/29/09
    8:24 pm

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    Twenty Four At Heart said...

    I have such a weakness for handbags. Handbags, handbags, handbags! They are my downfall … along with SHOES.

  • 07/29/09
    8:49 pm

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    LPC said...

    No coffee mug. It stands on its own. I like the proportions too. Apparently Deja is correct, the handles darken like a saddle over time. Also, since it's a shoulder bag, should darken uniformly. As far as which bags ARE approved? Hmm. Good future post topic I think. Which will of course require conferring with my sister. Thank you all for hearing my confession.

  • 07/29/09
    8:59 pm

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    ana said...

    Hrm, I think you could have gotten away with LV if it were not for the logos. (I just noticed others have said this, and I sound like a broken record.) However, I do think the patent is spiffy.

    Don't listen to me though. For several years my "purse" was an LL Bean-like canvas tote that said Powell's Books across the front of it, and I would still be using if I hadn't worn it out. So apparently I'm a little hypocritical in my opinion on branding display. The new bag? Target. $16. People walk up to me all the time and ask what brand it is and where I got it.

    As for the downslide of LV, I am much more depressed by the similar slide of Coach over the last seven years or so.

    It's pretty. Enjoy it. Who cares if it's HW or not? It's not as if you've been raised to worry about the opinions of others in this respect. There's just the internal standard setting. So if you're ok with it, you're ok with it. Are you ok with it?

  • 07/30/09
    3:55 am

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    The Consummate Hostess said...

    I think that it is fabulous!

  • 07/30/09
    5:13 am

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    Plus Size Bride said...

    Oh, I just LOVE IT!!! The branding is so subtle that it wouldn't make me want to hurl or cringe when I looked at it. Is it large enough to toss the laptop in if you had to?

    I really want a new purse. The old navy and tan bucket Dooney just isn't my cup of tea but it was only $20 so I've carried it for years. Cursing it most of the time. If I need to find something, I have to practically dump it out just to find what I need. Sooo frustrating. I think I'll start saving my pennies and buy myself a really nice purse for my birthday/Christmas.

  • 07/30/09
    6:34 am

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    Jill said...

    You know I'm very far from Waspdom, but I would think that "sparkly and patent leather" do not a Wasp make!

  • 07/30/09
    6:46 am

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    Jan said...

    When I saw this, I went, "Oooo – shiny!"

    And quickly became lost in the rest of the post.

    I'll say this much – coming here is certainly an education.

  • 07/30/09
    7:43 am

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    Black Labs and Lilly said...

    The new bag is lovely! You will certainly have it for years and years to come. The color is wonderful too!

  • 07/30/09
    8:06 am

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    Princess Freckles said...

    I like it! I bet the color in person is just beautiful!

  • 07/30/09
    8:28 am

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    Dani @ Weddings Fresh said...

    I think it's the new "classic" bag, huh? Well done, well thought out, and beautiful color! And it's all in how you wear it anyway, right?

  • 07/30/09
    1:31 pm

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    Kate said...

    I say if you have the money to spend, spend it! The economy surely can use all the help it can get!

  • 07/30/09
    6:34 pm

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    the Preppy Princess said...

    You know what I love? That you liked it and you did it. And you are going to feel great carrying it/wearing it/using it, for a l-o-n-g time. The fact that it causes Logophobia in these quarters matters not.

    We find it very High Waspish precisely *because* of your defiance of the usual standards.

    There you have it.

    You go girl.
    tp

  • 07/30/09
    6:40 pm

    Reply

    Lipstick said...

    Oh LPC…I love this post. I love how this color is black/eggplantish with the camel handles. Even though it has the LV, it isn't so obvious.

    I mean, my goodness, it's not like you bought Coach (gasp!). So sad those ridiculous canvas Coach bags with those massive "C"'s. I understand Coach used to make fine leather goods. Forgive me for the mention.

    I would love one of those bags. Maybe after Mr. Lipstick is practicing law and not learning it, but I digress. What I really love about it is how you can be wearing most anything and you can carry that bag and look chic.

    Aside from the bag…great deconstruction.

  • 07/31/09
    5:55 am

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    Jill said...

    I should have added LOL at the end of my previous comment. Sometimes humor gets lost in the translation. I happen to think your one of the hippest Wasps I know. Now, I just need to get you into a pair of bronze strappy platform sandals with your khaki shirtdress…unbuttoned maybe one button shy of decent!

  • 07/31/09
    8:01 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    If TP can say "You go girl!" and Jill credits me with any hipness whatsover, my goals, whatever they might have been, are achieved…the unbuttoning may have to wait for my next incarnation however.

  • 07/31/09
    1:56 pm

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    class-factotum said...

    You purse is gorgeous. Nothing like having nice accessories (buy nice or buy twice) to give you a little lift.

    I fully approve of people who can afford it spending money on expensive, nice things. Those purchases keep factories open and people employed.

  • 08/01/09
    3:03 am

    Reply

    EntertainingMom said...

    Fabulous post, fabulous blog and most importantly fabulous bag!

    Normally I am not a LV girl myself. I find the mustardy initials on brown leather (unless they are over 25 years old) to be declasse and tacky… crass not class. THIS bag, however, is sublime!

  • 08/03/09
    10:31 pm

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    Peonies and Polaroids said...

    Hmmmm, branding. I don't think it's with a big B though so you get away with it.

    My first reaction was "ooooh, shiny!" not "eww, Louis Vuitton" so I think that decides it. Your bag is the acceptable face of branding and I like it.

  • 08/07/09
    5:32 am

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    Mardel said...

    I agree with the power of the "ooooh so shiny" comment as that was my first thought, as opposed to the dreaded LV reaction. I think it overcomes the usual Vuitton tackiness. The fact that it is Vuitton, for those who might notice, is beside the fact. And I think everyone needs to fly in the face of convention occasionally.

  • 10/01/09
    10:05 am

    Reply

    Ariana said...

    Love it! good for you:) if you like that style, who cares what other people are saying. The only problem is when people buy something because its in style, and they dont necessarily love it themselves= fashion victim.
    I bought a LV checkerboard duffle last year and wear it everyday… the CPW is certainly nearing zero:) you deserve a treat and a nice bag. And honestly your bag is subtle. The only LV bags I deteste are those white ones with the candy colored LV's scattered everyone. way too flash. anyhow, good job and feel no guilt!!
    xoxo

  • 11/13/09
    7:05 am

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    Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings said...

    I think it is pretty. & the branding is subtle enough that I like it. And I do not like branded bags, usually.

  • 12/05/09
    3:14 pm

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    Anonymous said...

    You know, I love your site, and I think you generally have impeccable taste. But I really don't think this bag sends the message you want – that "…once upon a time, when Tiffany bowls were monogrammed, and tweed jackets donned and doffed, and polo trophies won, [your] family had money." Certainly it DOES convey that you are "hardly living in poverty", but I think it's sort of, well, tacky, as the Southern WASP side of my family would put it. Patent leather is best reserved for after dark, I think. And the logos are classless. If I saw it from a few feet away and didn't have the chance to handle, I might even assume it was a knockoff.

  • 01/05/10
    9:42 am

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    ...All Things Refined said...

    I dream in handbags! And to each her own – there are more out there screaming your name. Carry this one until you simply can't live without the next one that reaches out to you~

  • 01/28/10
    9:19 am

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    vp said...

    I had one interview candidate show up carrying LV monogram bag. It was one of the new and ostensibly subtler variety (checkerboard instead of LV logo). She was average-to-above average in most other respects. Decent resume. Even though she was not my first choice, ordinarily would have recommended she be invited back for another round. But LV monogram –> reject.

    You can dismiss this post as flame, but I speak the truth. And I have no regrets — everyone knows that people who carry that logo are status-whore trash.

  • 01/28/10
    3:15 pm

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    LPC said...

    That's me. Status-whore trash. As everyone knows:).

  • 01/29/10
    5:46 pm

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    hallaren said...

    buy what you want, wear it with style.

    I wear all my old (over 30 years old) LV and my Hermes, all collected while a child of privilege at public school in Britain.

    I once heard a brilliant peice of advice: Always buy high-end basics, they will serve you well through time.

    I do agree the brands have become ubiquitious; however, curousity, integrity, standing up straight and having good manners will never go out of fashion.

  • 02/26/10
    7:57 pm

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    Sydney Shop Girl said...

    I am relieved that LV has been sanctioned by High WASP.

  • 03/11/10
    11:50 am

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    Anonymous said...

    Are you women serious? It is just a purse/tote. Who cares if it is High WASP approved or not? Are High WASP women this homogeneous? "Really Thurston?"

  • 05/05/10
    10:57 am

    Reply

    Anonymous said...

    I am not a high wasp technically, but my quirks, rearing, and taste naturally lean high wasp. I hate to break up the love fest and I realize it is hard to resist something shiny and indulgent, but a bag says a lot about a person. I like mine to fly under the radar and take a scuffing.

  • 11/02/11
    4:55 pm

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    ONEWEIRDWORD said...

    Are you still carrying this lovely item? Is it ageing well? I love-love-LOVE it.

    I told my one bona fide High Wasp friend about your blog today. It said, “It’s great!”

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