Life List: Own 5 Kate Spade items.

Here’s the thing.

And it’s hard to admit, even to y’all.

But we’re friends here, right?

I…I don’t care about purses.

I know, I KNOW!!!  I’m a terrible girl, right?

But seriously, I value function over form when it comes to bags and purses.  If I can’t find all my crap in it, I don’t give a good GD about how cute it is, I ain’t buyin’ it.

And because I don’t care about bags, I don’t have a favorite designer.

That is…until I met Kate Spade.

Oh, Katie, how I covet your stuff.  I just adore the colors and the lines.  Simple, not too frou-frou, but still girly.

I began my love affair with the Sam.

I eyed that thing for months, checking out sales on Ebay, trying to figure out how many time I had to donate plasma in order to afford it.  (Eleven.)

And then my best friend Michael came back from his stint at Toyko Disney Japan.  He was flush with cash and looking to school me in the ways of bag and purses.  SO, being the amazing man he is, he ordered the Sam online for me.

When it came in the mail, I was apprehensive on even opening the box.  Would the bag recognize my massive level of un-coolness and judge me unworthy?  Would the bag explode upon my touching it with my bargain brand hands?

Neither happened.  Instead…something worse happened.

I didn’t like it.

The straps didn’t fit right, the was too boxy and bulky and, horror of horrors, it didn’t feel right.

Michael encouraged me to put all my stuff in it and try it out, just to make sure. If not, we’d take it to the Kate Spade store and exchange it.  So I took Sam to work the next day, packed to the brim with all my crap. And it still didn’t feel right. I was so freaked out about messing up the bag before we took it back, I locked it in the trunk of my car, hidden under coats.

So we took poor Sam to the Kate Spade store to exchange her. And while searching around, and trying to convince myself that I didn’t need a diaper bag, no matter how cute they are, I found this.

Simple, cute and something I could use every day. Jackpot. (NOTE: My bag has a pocket in the front.  I actually don’t know the name of my bag.  I know, bad. But this is the closest I could find.  I know you’ll forgive me.)

So we bid Sam goodbye and said hello to possibly-Karen.  I was pretty nervous exchanging the bag.  I mean, this thing was expensive.  Up until that point in my life, my largest personal frivolous purchase had a VCR in 2001. (Shut up, young’n’s.)  I was just worried that the saleslady would realize that I’d taken it out of the box and *gasp* USED the bag even though we said we hadn’t.  Even if it was only for like 3 hours.  (WHAT?  I’m pathrologically honest, it’s a thing.)

But as we made the exchange, I breathed a sigh of relief. My retail subterfuge would not be found out.  I’d get my new bag and we’d be on our way.

That is, until the saleslady looked into one of the smaller pockets of Sam and pulled out a wrinkly Shout wipe and a crumpled post-it with “pantiliners, lettuce and Diet Coke” written on it.

I can still feel her disdain, even now.

And I’ve had possibly-Karen ever since.  And though it doesn’t look new, it also doesn’t look nearly six years old. (When was the last time y0u had a purse you used every day for seven years that didn’t fall apart on ya?  Totally worth the ridiculous amount of money.)

So that brings me to one of the items on my Life List: Own 5 Kate Spade items. (A life list item doesn’t need to be noble. It can be pricey and fashionable.)

If I were to fulfill my LL item right now, it’d go a little something like this.

barrow street travel anabel.  Giant.  With a bow.


macdougal alley shimmer stevie.  Pink shimmer.  I need this.  NEEED IT.

lawn party straw tate.  Usually not my style, but I can’t resist giant anything.

houndstooth nylon stevie baby bag. I don’t care if it’s a diaper bag.  WANT.  It’s houndstooth.   HOUND!!!

gold coast shimmer maryanne.  SHIMMER.  You can’t resist the shimmer.

cobble hill leslie. A little more practical with the zipper closure. I tend to drop my bag.  And shove it off desks on accident. Or knock it off the top of cars. Or use it to hit Jethro with when he cropdusts me in malls.

chrystie street large anisha.  Look at how huge this is.  HUGE, I tell you.  I could fit a small child in there…

crystal corsage short necklace.  Because it doesn’t have to be all about bags, there can be shiny. I’ll wear this at my second marriage to Taye Diggs.  (Don’t worry,  Jethro will be invited. Someone has to watch the kids when Taye takes me on our honeymoon to Hawaii…)

So.  You like? What’s YOUR brand?

Images from Endless and Kate Spade

32 Comments on “Life List: Own 5 Kate Spade items.”

  1. irisira
    March 1, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    I’m a Coach girl myself, though that’s primarily because there is a Coach outlet close by, so I can get my fix for a little bit less. One year, my mother and I bought each other Coach bags for Christmas. It was a little like Gift of the Magi for the Upper Middle Class. (Yeah, I know, it actually sounds kinda gross.)

    Anyway, I’m like you. I want a big ‘ol grannybag so I can fit all of my crap in it. It’s gotten worse since I met C, as he’s constantly giving me shit to carry around in my purse. Now I know how my mom felt when I used to hand her things as a kid. The most priceless memory was us getting ready to go to a wedding, and C has his phone, money clip, and a couple bottles of water all ready to hand to me to put in my purse, and I lifted up my hand to show off a wristlet that barely fit a camera, lipgloss, ID, and some cash to tip the bartender. He was crestfallen.

    I hate to say this, but I had to google crop-dusting. And I am only admitting to this because I found this post in Urban Dictionary, and a great way to get back at Jethro:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=crop%20dusting

    When crop dusting does NOT work:
    1. on a treadmill (no matter how fast you walk or run)
    2. with a strong tail wind
    3. with a turnaround – for example, you crop dust while walking with your girlfriend, then she turns around and walks back to look at a display in a storefront window.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Coach is definitely classic. And I think your Gift of the Affluent Magi is lovely.

      And THANK YOU for this. I now have a weapon in my anti-poot arsenal…

  2. Amanda
    March 1, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Kate Spade is my designer, too! I <3 her. I actually JUST bought my first KS bag, a graduation present to myself. It's the Brooklyn Heights Jillian in Tangerine. Next will totally be the Gold Coast Maryanne in Pink Shimmer. Needs it!

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      Ooo, the Jillian is pretty AND practical. VERY nice choice, lady….

  3. d-day
    March 1, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    if I ever had a designer, it would be kate spade. only because in college I had NO idea who she was, I bought an adorable wallet from a street vendor with lots of colorful stripes for like $10, and then a couple weeks later someone put their hand on my wrist as I was pulling it out of my purse and breathed “is that kate spade..??” and I was like, “umm, well it says kate spade on it, so, I guess?” and then I realized she was, “like, a totally important designer,” and learned to say next time, “oh it’s just a knock-off.” but I decided I liked her a lot. and then I realized how much her shizz costs. I kill purses, I can’t spend that much money on them! but I would like to own just ONE piece of real-deal designer something, someday.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      I kill purses also, which is why I was terrifed to use even my second one. That’s until Michael was like, “USE IT OR I’M MAKING YOU TAKE IT BACK.”
      And it’s lasted me for forever. And is cheaper than replacing my purse once or twice a year with ones from Wal-Mart…

      And it’s not like a tattoo, so you’ll be safe. My purse is my only super fancy designer item. (Unless you’re counting makeup. I’m a beauty slut.)

    • kahlia
      March 1, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      “like, a totally important designer”
      hehehe, thanks for that.

      • ddayporter
        March 7, 2011 at 8:07 am #

        hehehe thanks for recognizing it! :)

  4. Jenn
    March 1, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I might be willing to commit murder for a Chloe Paddington bag. I don’t even know if they still make them (although I suspect they do) because it is painful to keep checking, and also I am partially nervous that in a moment of weakness I might actually buy one. So expensive.

    But I do have a pair of Chloe pumps that I got from a designer resale store in London :) So worth it.

    Damn, I just googled the bag. They still make them. I still want one.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      Ooo, nice. I googled too and that Madeleine shoulder bag is lovely….

  5. Amy
    March 1, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    I am totally with you on this. I have two KS items – an adorable black and white polka dot bag, and (my pride and joy) a hot pink patent leather wallet. The purse I got at an outlet, on sale, so I didn’t feel too bad buying it. But the wallet -oh, the wallet! – I agonized for over two months about whether or not I should spend the money on it. I ended up buying it while on a trip to D.C. for New Years 2008 and have used it every single day since then and never regretted my purchase.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      YES! At Alt we went to a Kate Spade room for one of our parties and it was all I could do not to snatch the display bags and run away….

  6. Kristy
    March 1, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Kate! I adore Kate. I haven’t yet brought myself to spend that much on a purse (I have way more than I actually use, anyway, and I’m not super nice to them…), BUT I did spend that much on a pair of shoes. By Kate Spade. For my wedding. And they’re PURPLE. (I swear they’re really purple; they just look dark purple/blue-ish in that photo.)

    And I totally hear you on the diaper bags. I’ve been quite tempted to buy a Kate Spade diaper bag on several occasions, but I don’t since I, you know, don’t have babies. Though maybe no one needs to *know* it’s a diaper bag. It doesn’t really look like one…

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      LORD, those shoes are GORGEOUS. And they look perfectly purple on my screen, I love! Have you worn them again?

      And I think if I ever actually GOT the KS diaper bag, there’s no way in hell I’m USING it as a diaper bag. That kid gets Target brand, all the way.

      • Kristy
        March 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

        Bahahaha, you crack me up! Like, I-just-slapped-my-desk laugh.

        Yes, I have worn them since. For dinner with friends, and a date with DJ, and maybe even just around the house because I love them and why not? Do you think they’d be inappropriate for Trinity Hall? ;)

  7. Jen
    March 1, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    I can’t be trusted around bags, coats and shoes. I want that last one.

    ok, bags aside….

    you and Lauren (betterinreallife) are right next to each other in my reader and I just read this entire post trying to figure out why Jethro was crop dusting Lauren in the mall!
    I didn’t catch on until I clicked through…I blame the the sinus/ear infection….but seriously…that was kind of funny.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

      HAHA! I love it.

      And he’s polite, he’d have to know Lauren for a while before he’d cropdust her….

  8. Ms. Bunny
    March 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I audibly laughed out loud when I read “That is, until the saleslady looked into one of the smaller pockets of Sam and pulled out a wrinkly Shout wipe and a crumpled post-it with “pantiliners, lettuce and Diet Coke” written on it.” The paintiliners kills me.

    But oh goodness, that pink bag makes me swoon hard. Why did you have to post it? Now I WANT WANT WANT.

    • kindofamess
      March 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

      Yeah, super embarrassing. But the best part was walking away embarrassed and having Michael go, “Um, yeah, it’s Kate Spade, but she works RETAIL in the MALL. She’s no better than us. She doesn’t get to act like her sh*t don’t stink.”

      • Jen
        March 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

        everyone needs a friend like this!

  9. Sophia
    March 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    Alyssa, I am with you on the not being a purse girl thing. If someone gave me a fancy backpack, or briefcase, or messenger bag, on the other hand…mmmm.

    If I didn’t have the constant need to haul around a portfolio, knitting AND a sewing project, TWO books, and a journal AT ALL TIMES, it might be different. But that’s been my habit for…10 years now? I somehow don’t think it’s going to change.

    • kindofamess
      March 2, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      You carry knitting and sewing projects?!? I envy you….

  10. Sarah
    March 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Oy, I love me some Kate Spade. And Coach.

    Thank the lord there are outlets nearby … well, the Coach is a “Factory Store” which means they have the less flashy bags sold exclusively there (but still discounted, so it’s all good!), but the Kate Spade is an honest to goodness OUTLET … aka “Oh, we brought out new colors, here are the ones that have only been out for 3 weeks but we are moving on from.” At half price or less. WIN!

    I have 2 Coach bags (both cost under $100 by the time the discounts were done) and a bright green (YAY!) Kate Spade wallet that I spent waaaaaaaay too much on. (It was my birthday present to me … and it was green. Duh.) They make me feel fancy.

    If I had unlimited funds, I’d buy up the new Kristin line from Coach. All if it. In butter yellow. And white. And … and …

    Don’t even get me started on Kate Spade shoes. (greeeeeeeeeeeedy….)

    • Sarah
      March 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      Because, dude, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOK. http://bit.ly/g5vFHl

      • kindofamess
        March 2, 2011 at 9:31 am #

        AHHHH! Stop showing me other cute things! I can’t want more cute things in my life!!!

  11. lizzie
    March 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    oh man, lady. i could care less about purses as well. until i get one that’s perfect. my mom got me one recently that I DIED over and then the gigantic beads starting falling off of it and now I’m all “NOOOOO!” I haven’t even had it hardly at all!

  12. lizzie
    March 1, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    well…that was an unfinished comment…what I WOULD have said…if I had my wits about me still…at almost quitting time…is that your picks are adorable. we should go unpurse shopping for the perfect practical purse someday. no?

    • kindofamess
      March 2, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      NOOO! I mourn for your purse. And YES, practical purse shopping needs to be in our future. If only to put bags on our shoulders and tell each other how good we look.

  13. Jo
    March 1, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    I’m too poor. I can’t love purses. Except that I do.

    My tastes are bigger than my budget, and also bigger than my balls. I tend to be way more fashionable in my head than in reality. Sigh.

    They’re so beautiful!

    • kindofamess
      March 2, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      I know. It hurts. But I think it’s good to start small, like with a crazy fancy wallet or something. It’s like wearing sexy undies with your paint-splattered jeans. You’re classy and fashionable on the inside.

      I think I need to do like a goal reward thingie. For every pound I lose, I put away ten bucks for a fancy purse purchase….that’s motivation for losing weight AND saving, right??

  14. Amy
    March 2, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Kate Spade is the primary reason that I’m glad I live in the middle of Bumfrak, Iowa and not in a city that has actual department stores, or (God forbid) outlets.

    I own the Sam (graduation present from my wonderfully generous brother) and you have good points about it being pointy. In the summer, I have bruises on my arms from where it jabs in below my t-shirts, but I file those under the category of Completely Worth It.

    And bless Husband, he indulged my love for the shiny with these last week:
    http://www.katespade.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10776470

    Next up, I am going to go rob a bank and buy these: http://www.katespade.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10871150

  15. Sarah N.
    March 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Mmmmm, designer baaaaaaaaaags. I’m totally with you.

    Personally, I’m a Coach girl. I’ve lusted after Coach bags for years; I blame the stupid-wealthy town I was raised in, where high school girls had Tiffany’s dangling from their necks and Coach from their shoulders (GAG). But I still love Coach– I love the hobo style, the sumptuous leather, the colors, the buckles. When I landed my first job after graduation, my mother bought me my Very First Coach bag. A little black purse, which can basically hold the bare necessities (wallet, phone, keys, stick o’ gum). I still use it for weddings. When I got promoted, my awesome mother bought me another Coach bag– this one slightly bigger (holds the necessities plus a paperback book or bottle of water), of black pebbled leather, a bright teal silk lining, and pleats. I LOVE THIS BAG. I love it so much it’s freaking insane. It’s my go-to purse.

    Finally, last year, Coach was having a ridiculous sale at their already ridiculously priced outlet, and I dragged my husband down there. I managed to get a FIVE HUNDRED dollar purse for $100 (thank you sale, printed coupon, and AmEx gift card). It’s a big professional tote that I use for work. It’s AMAZING. It can hold a couple pads of paper, couple paperbacks, wallet/keys/phone/etc, and whatever else I shove in it. It’s got the pleat detailing I adore, classic silver buckles, and will invariably be my professional briefcase/tote for the foreseeable future. It was the first Fancy Designer Bag I ever purchased for myself, and I adore it.

    …God, it might be sad, but I LOVE bags.

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