Several weeks ago I fell in love with a handbag. I was in SAX Consignment in San Anselmo, visiting a daughter who co-owns the place, when I spotted this eye-candy of a bag on a hook behind the jewelry counter. Love. At. First. Sight.
It’s a rectangular soft-edged bag. The fabric is luxurious and the shape is relaxed. It suits my love for anything fancy casual.
Oh, I wish you could all touch it this handbag. It’s sumptuous. The background is a beige woven fabric with a subtle shimmer to it. Vertical velvet stripes of various widths circle the body of the bag. The stripes look like they could be velvet ribbons. I had a flashback to when I made wearable art clothes and used ribbons in mixed media surface design. (Here’s a peek at the way I would piece fabrics and make clothes, in this case, kid’s clothes.)
The colors are romantic: white sand, rose pink, deep purple, and a soft cocoa brown.
And when you look inside, you see this!
Surprise! It’s a Pucci-like print. Think back to the ’60s or ’70s. I mean who made the decision to use such a colorful, contrasting print for the lining in a sophisticated striped velvet handbag? Someone having fun, I’d guess. The brand name is Glenda Gies.
In my wearable art days, I always wanted the inside of the garment to look as great as the outside. Do you see why I’m falling fast for this bag?
Headquarters, we have a problem with the handbag
I politely ask the daughter in charge of the store that day if I can try it on. Before I get the straps over my shoulder, I hear this clanking.
I look at the handbag closely to see what all the clanking is about. That’s when I notice the clunky chain links leading to the leather straps that go over the shoulder.
I’m particular about noises. It’s probably why when a client tries on a jacket in a fabric that makes a rustling noise with movement, I ask her if it bothers her. You have to be able to live with the sound a garment or accessory makes.
This could be a dealbreaker.
What do I do about the chains?
I’m so in love with the bag and so not happy with the noise. The daughter in charge says, “Take it home, Mom, and think about it.” I say, “I’d have to get rid of that noise.” She says casually, “You’ll figure it out.”
I tried my best to figure it out, but I didn’t have an easy fix. I accepted what I could not change and headed for professional help at Marelli Brothers Shoe Repair in San Rafael.
See what I mean by all those chains? It’s like the movie Pride and Prejudice meets Boyz n the Hood. Telling one of the Marelli brothers what my dilemma was, he gave me hope. We picked out a piece of leather that came close to the color of the straps. He said he’d replace the chains with leather strips made to fit. I was handed a ticket and told to come back in a week.
I’m a purdent shopper…was this a mistake?
I have to admit I was nervous. I paid $40 at the consignment store for the bag and the repair was going to be $40. Without knowing what the results would be, I knew one thing for sure: I was into this experiment for 80 bucks.
A week later I stopped back into Marelli Brothers with my ticket in hand.
A big old smile crossed my face when I saw the bag. When I tried it on and there was no noise, glee filled my heart. It was so quiet! I asked if I could take a picture of the doer of good. Apparently he doesn’t get asked that a lot, but he agreed.
Happily ever after with my handbag makeover
There are certain fashion limitations I’ve agreed to accept. I’m not showing cleavage anytime soon. I lost my butt and pants don’t fill out in places they used to. Shoes have to be flat or I can’t stand in them for longer than five minutes. But handbags, my friend, handbags are always at the ready to bring pleasure to any outfit.
That’s what I have beside me right now–a lovely bit of pleasure to brighten any day that needs brightening. When I want to feel feminine, I can lean on this handbag. When I want to be in touch with my sensual side, this velvet striped bag will my first choice. I’m such a lucky woman!
I know you have makeover stories to share. Have you transformed a piece of clothing or an accessory to make it just right for you? Are you a handbag lover? Oh, please tell us all about it.