Your handbag is your first greeting
By Amy R. Zimmer
What’s in your bag?
Pocketbook. Pair of glasses. Pack of gum.
A not-so-hidden message?
For today’s woman, the bag is the new business card.
Just as an embossed logo on rich, thick cardstock suggests that you are a businessperson who pays attention to quality and details, a business card printed on a sheet of loose leaf paper at home conveys the opposite.
The handbag is a lady’s new way of letting other people know who they are dealing with whenever she walks into a room. It says a lot about you. And whether you are a label-conscious person or not, it’s the style of your bag, the cut of your bag, the quality of your bag — and even the color — that describes who you are.
Obviously, the quintessential bag for the quintessential lady is the Kelly bag by Hermes — so-called because of its affiliation with actress Grace Kelly, who epitomized elegance as the princess of Monaco. Keeping it in the Hermes family, the coveted Birkin bag (pictured above) was designed for English actress Jane Birkin. While this bag is designed to hold more, it remains structured, and if there is such a thing, this bag would be it. Despite its price — upward of $60,000 in some cases — the Birkin bag is infamously in high-demand, with a subculture devoted to tracking down the seemingly mythical status symbols. A recent study even found that Birkin bags have increased in value 14.2 percent a year — making them a better investment than gold.
About those labels, ladies. Whether you chose to show them off also speaks volumes about you. Discerning women don’t need to read the label to spot a designer handbag, making the more subtle approach an understated assertion of power.
But labels aren’t the only message your handbag is sending. Carrying a Stella McCartney as you walk down a New York City sidewalk? Chances are you are vegan, or at least sensitive to not wearing animal skin, because the designer only manufactures items with vegan leather.
How bold are you? Do you venture away from the blacks and beiges, opting for a power red or pop of green? Walk into a meeting with a green Birkin, and what does that say? Fashion-forward minds are no doubt sent racing. How many Birkins does she have? If she’s got the green, she must have the earthtones covered. I wonder if she has a red one?
Style, shape and how you carry your bag also conveys personality. Is your handbag structured? Does it slouch? Do you sling it over your shoulder or carry it on your wrist?
So shoppers, remember: Every time you purchase a new handbag, you’re adding a line to your appearance resumé. You are setting your stage for who you are and where you’re going. You’re telling others who they are dealing with, and if that’s important to you, then you need to pay attention.
Just like you wouldn’t hand someone a flimsy business card, don’t send someone the wrong message with the handbag you’re carrying.