This post is sponsored by Neiman Marcus
Certain stores do certain goods best, don’t you find? For example, I like UNIQLO for most of my daily basics, and J. Crew for my mid-range lotta-color stuff. But for bags, the no-holding-back, oh-I-shouldn’t-but-think-of-the-low-cost-per-wear, handbags, there’s nowhere like Neiman Marcus.
It dawned on me the other day that every single bag I’ve owned since the 1990s has come from Neiman’s. Consider the saga.
The Bags Of Yesteryear
In the early 1990s, exact date forgotten, I bought this Ferragamo at Neiman’s in the Stanford Shopping Center. For work, ostensibly, but probably to help launch me back into the world lacking my two small children. I missed them anyway.
‘Twas ever so fancy. And yes, Ferragamo still does bags.
I gave it away 20 years later, here on the blog.
In the early 2000s, I got a Marc Jacobs “doctor” bag. I remember the day I brought it to my hair salon and the highly fashionable assistant said, “Oh, is that Marc Jacobs?” It was logoed, but almost invisibly, like the Ferragamo. The latches identified the brand, like the Ferragamo. A discreet logo matters.
Still have the doctor bag, obviously, since these photos are from last year. By the way, when the piping on the corners wore out sooner than seemed right, Neiman’s replaced it for free. So gracious.
I liked it so much I subsequently bought another, identical, in caramel. Then I realized it was the wrong color for my clothes, and gave it away to my daughter.
In 2009, retired for the first time, my fondness for black ebbed. Suburbs don’t do severity. Whether I needed to escalate all the way to holographic sparkling aubergine patent leather is debatable, but there you have it. Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis, in Amarante. The most visibly logoed of any bag I’ve ever owned, but arguably the LV logo has become a design element. Oh, frisson of High WASP naughtiness.
I did like wearing white and orange sandals with Mr. Vuitton’s old-world luggage leather, but when I started working in the city in 2011, I gave the LV away. It seems my bags request a second life.
And so I entered the intrecciato world of Bottega Veneta. First, a small cross-body messenger. Great in the city by day. Fit into my backpack for a walking commute.
When I retired for the second time in 2013, I began carrying different bags for different use cases. Monobagamous no longer. I needed something that was easy to put on and take off for car errands. Welcome, Bottega Veneta Large Hobo. Sometimes I relent and take it to the big city too.
However, I still hadn’t satisfied all my use cases. Neither the Marc Jacobs, the cross-body, nor the hobo work for evenings. I have a little minaudiere for dress-up nights, but what about something between casual and full-on fancy?
Here’s an outtake, an outfit I’ve never shown on the blog, worn to my aunt’s 80th birthday party. You see my problem, the hobo’s too big, the outfit too matchy. I was happy to get a little color-silly for a party, but I don’t want to look like a theme park. Powder Blue World, no thank you very much.
And what to carry for Thanksgiving lunches?
So, for Christmas, my husband gave me this Céline Box. It’s goatskin, not the classic smooth leather, for those who care about details. The logo is hidden under the latch. So well-done. So good-looking, as my mother would say.
And again, found at Neiman’s, this time at the San Francisco store. My husband and I shopped together. I was interested in this bag from Loewe’s. I thought. But we walked out with the Céline. By the way, I was by no means dressed up, but the salespeople treated me with full respect. Thank you.
It opens like this. Not to haul stuff in, still a little stiff, but I expect it to break in well and last forever. The color makes my mouth water. Set off by the just-this-side-of blatant gold-colored latch.
Fancy days call for a structured bag. So do date evenings, if you tend to date in jeans as I do.
I much preferred the intentional discord of these blues to my prior over-matching.
A Few Possibilities For Today Or Maybe Tomorrow
The stratosphere’s available, but optional.
OK, so I stretched to include the Valentino. Let’s say it’s for a very exuberant lady who appreciates both craftsmanship and lepidoptery. I saw it in the store – a thing of beauty.
Correction (This has been edited with new information)
I thought Neiman Marcus has a gift card event on. Spend $500, get a gift card for $75. The higher amount the spent, higher the card. For $1000 – $150, for $2500 – $375, for $5000 – $750 and for $10,000 – $1,500. I am so sorry. Turns out the event is only for certain customers. If you are eligible you will have gotten an email. The event applies in-store as well. Offer ends at midnight, Wednesday, February 17th. That’s tomorrow.
For the rest of us, they have a gift with purchase. For a beauty purchase of $125, free tote and beauty samples.
Speaking of stores, here’s San Francisco.
Look at this entrance. The rotunda. Not shown here, the stained glass cupola ceiling.
I think I’m set for bags, until one wears out or I’m again seized with the desire to give one away. It’s OK. Neiman’s also does good lipstick.
Affiliate links may generate commissions. Céline and Louis Vuitton not available for online purchase. Free shipping and returns for almost everything. All images by LPC, except product shots in collage. Thanks to the staff at NM San Francisco and Palo Alto for their help!