Thursday, March 26, 2009

Personal Choice

Recently I was faced with a decision that is very personal for women - I needed a new purse. The strap on mine broke beyond repair.

You probably think buying a new purse is a relatively simple task. You go to the store, find the accessory department - ah, purses, here they are, grab one and buy it. Done deal.

If that is what you think, let me just say that you are WRONG. It took me 4 separate shopping trips to find my new purse. You can't just pick up any old handbag. There are a lot of choices and decisions that go into finding THE purse. Some women go the designer route, but I can't justify spending more money on the purse than I'll actually carry in it. Plus if you spend less, you can get a new one more often.

Last year I had a great purse that was exactly what I wanted. And with all the thousands of purses out there, amazingly my sister showed up with the identical purse in a different color. I guess we think a lot alike!

The first requirement for me when buying a new purse is the strap/straps - I can take a single or a double strap, they just have to be long enough for me to carry the purse on my right shoulder. Some women like the shorter straps to just carry on your arm - much like my grandmother carried her pocketbook. Or of course you could choose a clutch and not have a strap at all. Then there is the backpack style - very popular with the teens and tweens. I even came across some that had the shorter double strap with a detachable longer strap - attempting to meet the needs of everyone.

Regardless of what you've heard, size IS important - I don't understand the point of a small purse except for an evening bag. My daughter K likes a really BIG purse - she even carries her school stuff in it. Somewhere in the middle is best for me.

Another must for me is it HAS to zip closed. I've done the snaps, the drawstrings, tie closures and even the open top hobo bags - not secure enough for me. I've had my purse get dumped off the carseat from a sudden stop enough not to go that route again.

And I want pockets inside, at least a couple for my cellphone, sunglasses and other items I need to be able to find quickly.

Next consideration is what it is made of - cloth, leather, woven - lots of choices. Color plays a big role in the decision-making too. I wear a lot of black, so I usually get a black purse (though I do have a brown one I can carry in a pinch) so I don't have to switch it out to accessorize. But it's Spring and I've been carrying a black one for a while so I checked out other options too.

In the end, I found a black purse with white trim - making it acceptable for the season I think - and the stitching is tan so I can even wear brown with it.

And now you can sleep easier having the inside scoop on how I choose a new purse.