In the time before rampant consumerism seeped into our souls, and influenced all that we do, Thoreau advised we: "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes".
These days the statement appeals to my tight budget, decluttering fettish, and ample wardrobe. Vintage classics (being everything old and encompassing late 70s to 80s) are considered to be new again, forever “on-trend”, and in the eyes of hipsters - "cool as".
I have rarely worn my historic collection of blazers, which is why they have stood the test of time in their darkened closet. And - I'm glad that in this instance, the rule: If you wore it first time around, you shouldn't wear it the second - DOES NOT apply. Thoreau however, omits the bag issue - the modern woman's secret weapon against the universe, and everything else in between.
When the going gets competitive, accessories (particularly bags) can apparently be a key visual element that subtly influences your ability to literally "bag" the moment. If only bagging a job these days was that easy?! Perhaps it is? The theory is good, and most career and fashion advice websites affirm that people do judge “a lady”on her shoes and bag.
But which bag? Too small, and interviewers will think your're only there for elevenses. Too big - and they'll think you're not there for a job, but on your way to a Singer Sewing machine convention. Either that, or to fix the photocopier.
There are also versions in the Gladstone style. However, if these are too severe in design, they can be a little scary looking. And, the interview panel may fear you're there to undertake a tax audit, issue them with a subpoena, or perform a medical procedure (if only that were so - but I'm not doing it). Calling Nurse Betty!
The Hermes Tan Birkin bag encapsulates the essence of the big bag theory. At 35cm wide, it's roomy enough to carry the essentials (resume, list of references, cue cards, capsicum spray, hankies, water pistol, lipstick, Kitkat, mints & mobile). Also it's not so big that you'll be spotted, via Google Earth, when carrying it on your arm.
This is the bag, that won't have you mistaken for Mary Poppins, Ma Kettle, or the Bette Davis character in Now Voyager (before the therapy, makeover, and splendid union with Paul Henreid).
It's conveniently being offered on E-Bay for AU $16,500.00. What!?! Perhaps it comes with a lock-up garage? Ok - over it already.
However all is not lost. I have found that op shops offer second hand bag options at around the $8 or less price point. I live in hope that I'll find a Birkin look-a-like. Regardless, op shops offer so many other choices, that they make the world of shopping, both effortlessly carbon neutral, and easy on the unemployed hausfrau's purse. If Imelda Marcos is the shoe lady, I am now the big bag lady - out and proud.
A word of warning though. Prior to purchase, do an in-store sniff test, to reduce chances of deeply embedded perfume and cigarettes smells, being carried with you, whenever you use the bag. I have discovered, that no amount of Mr. Sheen, Napisan soaking, Martha's Woolmix, or other remedies, will remove the sniff of unwanted ghosts from someone else's suspicious past.