Sunday, January 29, 2006

Vera Bradley Purses

I was thinking about my handbag dilemma again this morning. Ever since we moved to Maryland, I've been getting ecstatic compliments about my collection of Vera Bradley purses. It's a little ironic. Everyone here seems to envy my purses while I pine with unrequited love for a Cole Haan.

Let me provide some backstory here. I'm a Navy brat and for the first 11 years of my life, my family moved all over the US because my dad was transferred to various naval bases or ports or whatever they call 'em. Hey, I was a kid. Anyway, eventually he retired (Chief Petty Officer, E-9 for those who care.) and we ended up in Indiana which was his birthplace. Those of you who are familiar with Vera Bradley purses just made the connection, right?

Vera Bradley is famous in Indiana. Their factory is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana and you can easily find VB in Indiana. It gets a little harder when you leave the state. Their gorgeous bags are made of fabulous quilted fabrics. Every year they add new fabrics and retire old ones. My twin and I have about...30? 40? I've never counted. They do fill one long shelf in the walk-in closet though. In the spring, VB has a trunk sale which is amazing. People wait in line for HOURS, although I didn't because I'm lazy but that's another story. Anyway, they fill the floor of an arena with their seconds and overstock and you can pretty much go into a coma buying everything your heart has every desired VB. That's why I have so many purses, and totes, and duffle bags and wallets, and well, you get the idea.

Anyway, I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment this morning because I realized that the average cost of one of my VB's is $60 bucks--so for ten and a half VBs I could have had one Cole Haan. Hmm...should I regret my Vera Bradleys? I can't imagine it--they're gorgeous. They're art. I only wish Vera Bradley would somehow set up a program so I can send in my purses to have the handles replaced because they do take the hardest wear on the purse. Other than that little detail, I do adore my Vera Bradley purses. The second thought I had (whoa, two today--that's my limit!) was that even knowing the math, I still can't buy ONE purse for $650.00. I mean, I have more than 10 DIFFERENT purses for the same money from Vera and I get lots of praise for it as well as having variety galore. One purse for $650.00? Sigh. I am just too middle class.

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