Style, minimalism, and grief

Style Diary

Thoughts on style, moderationism, and grief.

Yesterday Evening

 My little Vintage Coach Bag That Could.

My little Vintage Coach Bag That Could.

 What I wore yesterday evening. 

What I wore yesterday evening. 

After working from home yesterday, I changed clothes and disembarked on a journey up to the suburbs to meet some friends who were in town to see a Braves game. I walked to the train as the sky threatened rain and took some photos on the way.

I wore my favorite little brown purse, a vintage leather Coach bag. Coincidentally, I saw Michelle is talking about one of her vintage bags this morning too!

I will love this bag into the ground. Purchased for something like $15 at a secondhand shop several years ago, I promptly got grease stains on the leather that have proven very stubborn to remove β€” aka permanent. Despite many many cleanings and conditionings over the years, the spots persist along with general faint scratches and color transfer from jeans. 

But I still wear this bag, and often. It's the perfect size and color, and the style is classic and minimal. I love the brass hardware and the two simple side pockets. It's easy to throw on and looks good with so many things. Honestly I don't even see the grease spots anymore, my eyes have sort of adjusted and block them out, haha. I can flip them to the back if I'm feeling particularly self conscious. There are times when I really really wish this bag was more pristine, but I should probably stop asking it to be perfect and be OK with how it is now. A durable good like this one was built well and has weathered many years of use, so it's going to show a patina. Patina is OK!

I have about 0% interest in designer bags, especially whatever Coach (excuse me, Tapestry) is making these days. Reports of lower quality abound, and I just can't get into the logo aesthetic. The bag I have is very plain, the only logo appearing embossed lightly on a leather hang tag that I have affectionately kept in place, and inside on the pocket with the serial number.

The number is a little hoity-toity in this context (its main purpose is of course to prove authenticity of a designer bag) but I do kind of like the idea of an item with a unique identifying number that allows it to be traced back to it's origin factory. Maybe if all our garments had this, we'd be more aware of their provenance and the hands that made them. Maybe they would all feel more special, more important to take care of and hold on to.

Can you imagine H&M giving a number to each of the items in it's $4.3 billion surplus of inventory? The issue seems obvious: there are too many clothes. The model has been to make as much as possible and sell it as cheaply as possible for so long, but folks are paying more attention now. I'd like to see the trend continue, folks being more aware of what they are choosing to purchase, and choosing to purchase less. But fast fashion giants will need to find a way to adapt to this because as it stands their normal practice is literally unsustainable.

Anyway, presented without commentary, here are some things I noticed on my walk to the train yesterday evening: