Jul 12, 2006

Obsessed with handbags

Women are spending more and more of their clothing budget on purses.
Ms. Taylor, a 29-year-old business manager for a professional speaker, buys clothes at Target and doesn't understand how people spend hundreds of dollars on shoes. But she drops big money -- hundreds of dollars -- on handbags, one of the fastest-growing accessories in retail.

"The [price of the] first one was like a heart attack. ... I didn't buy one again for two years," the Bowie resident says. "Then I became obsessed."

Ms. Taylor isn't the only one.

Designer handbag sales have spiked nearly 20 percent since 2003 to an estimated $6.4 billion last year, according to trade publication Accessories Magazine, and women buy twice as many bags today as they did just five years ago, according to Coach Inc. The industry attributes the increase to women using handbags to experiment with their wardrobes and society's interest in upgrading everything from their coffee to their fashion accessories.
Me, I don't understand a woman who doesn't understand shoes. And I'm rather bewildered by the overemphasis on handbags. Of course, if your purse is a stand-in for your vagina, maybe I'm the one whose sartorial concerns are misplaced.

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