Why is it so hard to let go of an unloved bag?
Have you ever had a bag which you think you might have loved at some point but can’t remember using in the past five years? In fact you definitely haven’t used it. There it is, languishing on a shelf in your wardrobe in its protective dustbag cocoon, only ever seeing the light of day when you take it out only to swiftly return it to its darkened home as it just doesn’t work for you anymore. And yet, parting with it seems so difficult.
I’ve got a bag like this. In fact I’ve got a couple. Years ago I used to think my bag collection was nailed on. Varying colours and styles to take me from season to season, covering all bases of different outfits and occasions. Now it doesn’t seem to fit together so well. As my life has changed (enter toddler and a desire not to cart everything I own round with me), I covet smaller, handsfree bags rather than big hulking totes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve bought bags which haven’t worked for me from the get go and moved them on. I had a black Antique Glace Mulberry Bayswater – a beautiful bag with a soft sheen, but I found it heavy and uncomfortable to carry so let it go. My East West Chloe Paddington had butter soft leather but with all that hardware and whopping padlock was just. So. Heavy. It had to go for the sake of my back. I’ve also bought Mulberry bags in the sale or on eBay and they haven’t quite worked so resold them, all with no qualms. So why the reluctance to sell a bag which I’ve not used in years and I can’t see myself using again?
Do you know what, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because my handbag collection has been pretty solid and unchanged for years. Maybe because I thought I had it all sussed. Maybe it’s because on days when I’ve not felt so body confident, my handbags have doubled as a protective shield so I’m attached to them. I used to have a strict one-in-one-out rule for my designer bags (partly in a bid to stop buying them from spiralling out of control and partly to have a collection which worked whatever the weather or occasion). But maybe it’s time for an overhaul.
I’ve decided to try and rehome a couple of my bags – one which I never use, one which I’ve probably used a bit too much – so I don’t feel so guilty buying one I’ve been lusting after which I know I will use and love for years to come. I didn’t expect to feel as reluctant as I do to move them on even though I know I will never use them again. Maybe they are a bigger part of me than I realised? Am I the only one who feels like this?
I know with all the serious (and many horrendous) things happening in the world at the moment this is a total #firstworldproblem, but fashion, what we choose to wear and how we present ourselves to the world, are by extension a part of us. Maybe letting go of a bag which has slipped out of my affections is a sign that things change, including personal style. It’s not nostalgia which is making me question my decision to sell them. I think it’s the realisation that my handbag collection is once again a work in progress. I smell danger.