This morning I sent a link to my boyfriend with a gift suggestion. A man bag to be exact. I was trying to treat him to something nice for Christmas, something special, but the man in question values practicality too so this was geared towards work. Perfect. As is customary I sent him a link, his reply “you’re joking, right?”. No, I’m never joking, not when it comes to handbags, also I get quite insulted when he thinks this is the level of humour I aim for.
Above: bag in question from HERE
I just liked the bag-it was a smart, luxe man satchel thing-y that I thought would look ace on him and it was also from a lovely Irish label so I was helping the economy too. Ideal. His response; “£250 on a man bag….are you kidding me… my bag is perfect…Jack Welch of GE had the same bag for 40 years and he’s a billionaire”. Of course. I laughed, out loud obviously, and then wished it was as simple for women.
Coco Chanel had a black jacket for years and she built one of the most successful fashion houses of all time, surely I don’t need multiple printed blazers in different styles every season? Taking the boys theory, if it’s good enough for Coco, it should be more than good enough for me.
When did I and hopefully you (women) actually go a bit mad? Defining ourselves with stuff and deciding that a slick bag is the answer to all our problems. Don’t get me wrong, I work in this space, I appreciate how shallow humans can be and how judgemental too. Judging a book by it’s cover or a woman by her coat is part of the gig. Even if we don’t say it out loud we’ve made assumptions and drawn conclusions about her status, intelligence, general taste level, success etc. It’s surprising how easy it can be to paint a picture with your stuff. .
I once met a friend who I hugely admire, who’s work is mind blowing and internationally respected. She was a mini hero to me. She told me that she got her current job because she had bought a Balmain jacket and worn it to the interview. The jacket cost over two thousand quid but according to her ‘was worth every penny’, it made her employer believe that she was the right fit, that she looked the part and was entitled to the job. I was impressed at how seemingly easy it was and disappointed that I don’t have a sugar Daddy with a fat wedge who can help me look the part without working for it…
Why was her jacket so damn important and why did I, on some level, feel a fancy man bag would say something more important than what he actually has to say himself?
I’ve spent the last two weeks going from one shop to the next, browsing websites in an attempt to pick something so my sister can get it for me for ‘Secret Santa’, not so secret in our house. It’s been tough. I don’t need anything. There is nothing in the present section of my brain that I can’t live without, that keeps me up at night. It’s great and it’s not. I want something, it’s Christmas, that’s what we’re supposed to do. I want it to be special and sentimental, to be something that I will remember this time next year but then, maybe I’m losing the run of myself. In reality I need a camera, but there’s nothing sexy about that and I can’t wear it that day.
That instant gratification is where I think we’re going wrong. The idea that this wondrous ‘thing’ can fix us, or change us or make us more fabulous by it’s very existence. But it really shouldn’t matter or maybe it shouldn’t. If you need something ask for it, if you don’t then a token is surely enough. Or so goes the thinking of men and they may well be onto something… I wish I was that simple.