Moose in the Closet

Bags for the Discerning Budget

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Why pay attention to world affairs or even the latest antics of Britney Spears when you can devote your attention to more important things? Like purses. I've searched from high end (Chloe for $900 on sale) and low end (Old Navy beach bags for $15). My conclusion: as lovely as some of those Miu Miu and Chloe bags are, why pay almost $1,000 for a purse that will look like every other purse being carried by San Francisco socialites and P.R. girls in Manhattan? Especially when you can't afford it.

Instead, I've been combing antique stores for vintage hand bags and independent designers for the unique and quirky. Half Moon Bay (about half an hour down the coast from San Francisco) has been a gold mine of vintage credit card carriers. I found a black beaded pocket book for $30 and a small white beaded purse from the 1920's for $35 - both of which are just as lovely as anything at Neiman Marcus for $800. Since that doesn't help you at all, I've searched out a few purses available online that will distinguish you, and your piles of crap (we've all got piles of crap in our purses, don't deny it) from every other purse-carrying woman out there. Or purse-carrying man. Whichever way you like to swing.

The feathers may preclude this bag from everyday use, but it's perfect for swooping out for a drink. On sale for $50, it will probably be cheaper than your bar tab.

Sleek and classic, these bags can move from the office to that same bar. They're made of Italian leather (because Italian leather is clearly superior) with a satin pillow front. After my high-end designer research, $89 for a bag suddenly sounds far less painful.

Here is a personal favorite, which I've mentioned before and will likely mention again. Crafty Bitch makes gorgeous bags, in the $40 range. I own and love this suede felt clutch:

Petting it will make you happy.

Alter Ego



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