In Defense of My Designer Bag Splurge

I don’t know about you, but when I became a mom, my taste changed. Well, maybe my taste didn’t really change; maybe the change was more related to my priorities. I’m sure 100% of parents can identify with that. The things I used to spend money on took a back seat; I started spending less on things for myself to make sure that my kids had what they needed and wanted. Honestly, my kids usually have nicer clothing and shoes than what I have. I was okay tossing my high end labels out the window, figuring that this is just what you do as a parent. Fast forward eight years. Eight. That’s how long it took me to decide I was worthy of a splurge. For me, the deliberation was over a bag: the Louis Vuitton Neverfull (size large).

I first spied this bag on a trip abroad when I was in college. I loved it and continued to think about it on and off for years. I admired it online, tried it on in the store multiple times, and read reviews ad nauseam. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on the price. As life went on and brought me two kids and bills, I said, “Oh, I’ll get there eventually.” Then I quit my full-time job to go to nursing school. I resigned myself to maybe buying the bag as a retirement gift one day.

But then, as my graduation approached, I started thinking. It would cost upwards of $1,000. I had never spent that much on a bag before. I’d purchased various bags here and there for $30-$70 — maybe over $150 at the Coach outlet or something — but nowhere close to $1,000. These purses got the job done, but they were no substitute for the Louis Vuitton I really desired. Graduation came, and over ten years after I first laid eyes on it, I took the plunge and BOUGHT. THE. BAG. I reasoned I could make up the cost in a single overtime shift at the hospital, make it count as part graduation, part Christmas present, whatever I needed to do. I knew I would use the heck out of it with its versatility and neutral pattern. I’d researched and contemplated long enough. Six months in, the novelty remains, and I have zero regrets.

It’s not about being materialistic. I don’t collect things solely because of a label. I have a Louis Vuitton bag, but my favorite sandals are actually from Dollar General. Simply put, there are items that bring me joy, and it happens that one of those items has a hefty price tag. I’m perfectly fine with that now. I think everyone should have a product they enjoy so much, and if that means a splurge, so be it. I use my bag all the time, and its constant reminder of how long I waited and how hard I worked for it makes me happy.

Some are probably reading this thinking a bag at that price is absurd. Some may say, “I could buy several nice purses for that amount,” or “That would pay for my Starbucks order for a year!” But it’s not about the bag. It doesn’t matter what your indulgence is. I just want us, often overworked and under-appreciated parents, to indulge in something. Doing so doesn’t make you spoiled, bougie, or selfish. Allowing ourselves to indulge strictly because it feels good, even if no one else benefits from it, is an important expression of self-love. It’s nice to have something all your own, something to appreciate that routinely brings you joy. I’m giving you permission to buy something that serves only yourself. Maybe you’ll have to save your pennies each day until you get there. Maybe it means your kids will wear this pair of tennis shoes an extra month. That’s okay. You are deserving of a guilty pleasure — without the guilt.

Do you indulge? What’s your “bag?”

Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their 8 and 6-year-old boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I would think about all of the hungry people that could have been fed with that amount of money, the animals in shelters that could have been cared for, the charities that are hurting so badly during the pandemic.

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