Is This Bag Ugly or Not?


I’m a complete snob about handbags. I will happily shop for cheapo trendy clothes at H&M, Zara, and Forever 21, but I don’t buy cheap handbags. On the flip side, I hate anything ostentatious and covered in logos, so my bags tend to be very well made yet subtle.

I’m also a snob about discount store shopping. When the new TJ Maxx opened on 98th and Columbus, I was not ecstatic like some of my peers were. We already have a Filene’s Basement and Loehmann’s on the Upper West Side. Why do we need TJ Maxx? I hate picking through racks of disorganized clothes.

However, once again (a la Crocs) I’m a bit of a hypocrite. I pop into these stores occasionally to look for bargains for my boys, because they certainly don’t need nice things. Their clothes are covered in holes within 30 minutes of the first wear.

I happened to walk past the purse section and noticed this bag. Now I have to say, I sort of like it! It felt really supple and of good quality, too. It had a long strap so you can sling it over your body. It’s by Donald J. Pliner, the purveyor of rather dowdy dress shoes. At the full price of $240 I would never consider it, but the citrus and aquamarine color at $119 was sort of doing it for me.

Am I crazy?



  1. pat · June 10, 2010

    HI Cheryl – got your blog via my Google News Alert for Filene’s Basement. The topic was personally interesting to me because, well, lately I’ve felt this strong pull towards handbags. Practically every night for the last two weeks I’ve been stalking the handbag department of Filene’s Basement, SYMS, TJ’s and Marshalls. I really need to get a life. Anyway, I do love the one from TJ’s in your blog – I’m definitely drawn to bright colors these days (I’ve finally given up the idea that everything in my outfits has to match). But I’m done with the big, heavy bags. I just put a beautiful squash color Tagninello bag in the pile of stuff going to Goodwill – it weighs a ton with nothing in it. And while I used to think the more pockets the better, some have so many I can’t remember which one I put my cell phone in, which one holds my keys, where I put the only pen I’m carrying, etc.

    So now my radar targets brightly colored, smaller, lighter weight bags with just a couple of pockets. My favorite recent purchase wasn’t even high-end, but it works – smallish, short but wide shoulder strap so it stays put, gray irridescent fabric with black patent (vinyl) trim , with two puckered pockets on the outside that fasten with magnets, not snaps or zippers — one for cell phone, one for keys. Kenneth Cole — $34.99 at Filene’s Basement—don’t know if there are any left—I bought it a couple of months ago. Enjoyed your blog–keep it up.

    • UpperWestSideCheryl · June 10, 2010

      Thanks so much! I could start an entire blog on handbags–have been tempted to on many occasions. Tons of great ones out there already, though. Yes, there’s something so freeing about a small quirky bag that you just sling on and go.

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