Confession… I have never owned a traditional “overnight” bag despite having done a fair amount of travelling in my life. My trips have generally been longer – and I have luggage for those trips- but for overnight trips I tend to throw everything I need into a larger durable retail bag (Lululemon seems to be the current bag of choice) and go. It’s not exactly elegant, but it gets me from point A to point B.
What Would Kate Do? Kate would definitely not go somewhere with her belongings stuffed carelessly into a store carrier bag, and therefore neither should I. It’s time I grow up and invest in a permanent overnight bag.
When I started my search I went to where most celebrities seem to get their luggage from, Louis Vuitton. While it’s tempting as LV is a good brand with a reputation for quality (and you can find vintage bags relatively inexpensively- such as from this eBay seller who I’ve dealt with in the past), this just isn’t the bag for me. I own a vintage Louis Vuitton monogram Speedy 35 and while I love it, the market has just become so saturated with teenagers carrying counterfeit bags that it really detracts from the bag. I see people in airports with them all the time and it’s always the most unstylish people carrying these around.
When talking about this with a friend, she pointed out I could look to the less common and more subdued LV styles- such as the Epi leather which is just a plain textured leather. This is something that I could definitely get into as it’s not covered in a logo thus making it more timeless and in my opinion, sophisticated. The problem with these is that they are extremely difficult to find used and a brand spanking new Epi collection Keepall from LV is $2,320 (and sold out online). They are gorgeous bags, but I’d rather spend that kind of cash on a new purse I’ll use everyday than a travel bag I’d use a handful of times a year. I did find a great reference guide for all Louis Vuitton Keepalls regarding prices and leather availabilities though at Spotted Fashion that I will keep handy.
My next destination was Kate approved brand, Longchamp. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve custom designed a small “Le Pliage” handbag like Kate’s, placed it in my virtual cart and then chickened out of hitting the check out button. I hadn’t considered the Longchamp luggage selection so was surprised to see it contained a whole variety of options. I was immediately surprised when I discovered old pictures of Kate carrying an overnight bag by Longchamp- just an extremely large Le Pliage. The great thing about the Le Pliage bags is that you can completely customize your own on the Longchamp website- with your own monogram! Added bonus? They’re incredibly reasonably priced as the largest size bag was just $185. They also fold up to incredibly compact too- important so you don’t have to be saving room in your house to store yet another piece of luggage. (Interesting note: Le Pliage is based on the French “Plier” which means to fold…) The downfall is that the basic Le Pliage are made of canvas, and so I question how durable they would be in the long run.
When I lived in a trendy condo in the city, I had a fantastic Diane von Furstenberg Doctor’s bag which I used as a travel bag. Because it was large and my condo was most definitely not, I stored it in a storage locker and it was unfortunately stolen. I could re-create the look with a new one, but the bag had wheels which was very convenient when in airports but very heavy and burdensome when just using it for an overnight- which is the point of this new bag. The other problem with the majority of DVF’s bags are that they have the logo issue that I mentioned previously with the Louis Vuitton. Plus, I had purchased this bag at TJ Maxx, which automatically meant it was cheap looking and not what look I was going for. Out!
I decided that I should check out the luxury options next by visiting Net-A-Porter’s travel bag selection. Swoon. Problem is that the minimum price that any bag started at was £1,100. Yikes! While I have no problem paying for quality (and I believe everyone should), I found it somewhat difficult to do the fashion math on how I could turn this bag that I’ll only use a handful of times a year into a fiscally sound decision. Sure, a purse I’ll carry every day and that will work it’s way into outfits for the next 20 years (maybe even be passed down as an heirloom) I have zero problem paying good money for. But an overnight bag that is going to be put into the trunk of my car? I’m unfortunately not that rich and yet even though Kate could probably have any bag she wanted she still finds that the Longchamp Pliage comes with a much more reasonable price tag.
I also took a peek at a store I’d heard rumblings about, Oi Polloi. They’re based in Manchester, England and have an interesting selection of brands that I’d not heard of before. They do carry some nice Travel Bags- like the Filson Pullman bag – but without being able to touch them and bearing in mind that I’m not familiar with the brand, I felt it was too much of a gamble for £495.
I think in the end I’m going to listen to my earlier instincts which have led me to place the Le Pliage into a shopping cart dozens of times – I’m just going to get one in the biggest possible size. I like that it’s going to be a reasonable price, that Kate has used on herself and also that I’m going to be able to get my initials monogrammed into the leather on the bag. Now the big question is if I’m going to get it in black.. Grey… Green, like Kate… Or if I’ll splurge a little and get it in a leather like Rooney Mara.
If you’re searching for a bag for yourself, here are some references I found that you might find useful:
- Spotted Fashion has an amazing site which features all kinds of designer bags including price lists, color availabilities and more. Great resource!
- BagSnob is a delightful blog for all of those people out there who, like me, have purse obsessions. There are literally articles about every kind of bag you can possibly imagine.
- Purseblog has an amazing article called “The Many Bags of Kate“. You know you want to see them all!