Bags Every Girl Must Have

These are probably what other people call “It” bags, meaning bags that make thousands of bag hags fall in line just to get wait-listed trying to get to the oh-my-i-wanna-have-that bag. So here are the to-die-for bags (my personal favorites), which in my opinion, every GIRL should have.

Balenciaga Motorcycle Bag

Balenciaga actually uses naturally distressed goat leather that gives the bags the slouchy, unique and ultra chic look that everyone loves and adores. Though the Motorcycle Bag has been out for a while and is no longer the ultra “it” bag it once was, the Motorcycle Bag is still one of those bags that will be stylish for seasons to come. Who can resist that black leather, gold hardware, and little side buckles? Besides, this bag has lots of colors available aside from the ones posted above. It is avalailable in every color from hot metallic pink to red, black and white, the size range is also astounding with small clutch and purse versions to giant travel sized bags.I love its version in Pewter, which is a highly limited version and indefinitely unattainable.

Personally, I’d go for this one because of it’s edgy appearance and it’s over-sized. I love over-sized bags… A good addition to any understated outfit. Agree? But it’s best feature is that the Italian distressed leather gets better with age, so you can use it everyday and will look great for years to come.

So how much does it really cost? I asked around and here are the prices for each size: the small size sells for around PhP 47,700.00 (Classique or Small), the medium sells for around PhP 57,300.00 (City or Medium) and the large sells for around PhP 61,100.00 (Work/Office or Large). Not bad for something you could use for a lifetime.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy

A classic. I think it’s one of the most classic and easily recognizable LV bag. Speedy is a reinterpretation of the keepall travel bag. It has an exceptionally spacious interior. Perfect for girls like me who brings her closet with her everyday. ^___^ What I love about this is that due to its being monogrammed, it stays a classic. You can wear it forever and it matches most (if not all) outfits. It’s also sturdy and it does not easily get dirty. If you have a problem with it being slouchy, you can buy a base shaper from ebay. Here’s another picture of the Speedy 30:

Compared to the Keepall 55 with shoulder strap bag, which costs around PhP 60,900.00, the Speedy 30 costs only PhP 33,600.00. 😀 Cool, huh? Those are US prices. I don’t know how much they’re selling here in the Philippines. I saw some stores selling the Speedy for a whopping PhP75,000.00. So if I were you, ask your relatives in the USA to get you one, if you haven’t got one yet.

Chanel 2.55

Now this one is love. I’m gonna give you a bit of a history about it. One cannot say that this is a typical Chanel handbag. Earth to you, it’s what I call an icon. Coco Chanel designed this bag for herself and introduced this bag in February 1955 (thus, the name 2.55). When it was first brought out the Chanel 2.55 caused a stir amoungst the upmarket fashion lovers because it was one of the first to have a strap. Coco recognised that women on the go needed to have their hands free to hold glasses of champagne, eat canapes, read theatre programmes etc so the chain strap was added to make the bag easy to carry on the shoulder.

Here’s some story about Coco’s childhood I’ve read on FemaleFirst. Just read on and fall in love with Chanel 2.55. 😀

Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel was born the daughter of a doctor and a lawyer, Brigitte and Johan Chanel. She developed an interest in fashion from a very young age after her mother took various tailors and showed her around the land of clothing and needles. However her mother was killed in a bizarre boating accident, leaving Johan to take care of Coco and her brother, Lawrence on his own.

Johan couldn’t get over the death of his wife and committed suicide six months later leaving Coco to the care of an orphanage. Following the tragic death of both her parents Coco became sad and withdrawn and in fact she didn’t speak at all from her father’s death until she was six. Her only comfort was the sketches she loved to do.

Coco’s time in the orphanage had a big impact on her life and influenced her future designs. The double chain design of the shoulder strap strap was inspired by her memories of the childrens’ caretakers in the orphanage who would dangle keys from their waists.

The brown/red color on the inside of the 2.55 bag in fact represents the color of the uniforms Coco and the rest of the children had to wear in the orphanage.

It wasn’t only Coco’s childhood that went into her designing. The 2.55 also has an secret compartment in the inside of the front flap and this is rumored to be where Coco would keep her love letters during an affair she had with Nazi spy, Hans Gunther von Dincklage.

Another secret pocket is featured in the outside flap at the back of the bag. This is where Coco would keep a little bit of extra money she wanted to stash away.

The quilted material from which the bag was made was based on the coats worn by jockeys. It was believed that Coco was fascinated by horse racing and wanted to pay tribute to that in the very personal design of the 2.55 bag.

Coco chose to close all her shops during the Second World War and took up residence in the Hotel Ritz in Paris throughout the fighting. It’s rumoured that it was her relationship with Von Dicklage that allowed her to remain there.

When the war was over Coco and the Chanel brand struggled to make a come back in the fashion industry–mostly due to her romance with the Nazi but she continued to live in the Ritz for 30 years until she died in her private suite on January 10, 1971, at 87 years old.

Since Coco’s original design there have been many variations of the original design 2.55, including different color leather/fabric, changes to the chain – metal vs. interwoven leather – and the fasten – mademoiselle vs. interlocking CC.

In 2005 Karl Lagerfeld revived the 2.55 design exactly as Coco had made it for it’s 50th anniversary and the new Reissue was even more popular than the original release.

Although Chanel 2.55 may just look like another designer bag each aspect of it’s design contains a little part of the fashion icon that was Coco Chanel–therefore making it a true icon of fashion itself.

This classic is being reissued for this season in white, black and silver, which we love the most. For the collectors out there, this is a must. Here’s what the reissues look like:

I could probably write a novel about Chanel 2.55, its history, variations through time, etc. There are just so many things to say!!! 😀

For myself, I’d get the Chanel 2.55 in black with gold hardware, since it looks for elegant. I can use it anywhere, even on gimik nights. For the material, I’d go for lambskin. The Chanel 2.55 typically comes in calf leather (Caviar) and lambskin. The Caviar is definitely less prone to scratches and lower maintenance than the Lambskin but but but the lambskin has such a nice and soft touch. 😀 The Chanel 2.55 shoulder strap typically features a double metal chain interwoven with leather. For size, I’d go for Medium. The medium classic flap bag by the measurement of 10″ x 6″ x 3″ is the most popular size. The small 2.55 (9″ x 5.5″ x 2.5″) will probably suit my petite frame more but you can hardly fit anything in it, especially after a checkbook wallet. The large/jumbo (12″ x 8″ x 3.5″) will simply be too overwhelming on me and I don’t fancy the shape as much. Having said all that, one just has to go into the boutique in person and try out the different sizes to really tell what looks best on you. So there, that’s what I want for my first Chanel 2.55. My grandmother has one… and I’m afraid to borrow it. Haha!

So how much does it cost? Just a little over PhP 100,000.00. Expensive much?

Hermès Birkin Bag

The Hermès Birkin, is the Holy Grail of purses. It is one of the doyen of all handbags, right up there with the Hermès Kelly bag, Birkin’s sister.

The Hermes Birkin bag is an exclusive product that not only costs as much as PhP 770,000.00 a bag, but a special edition of which can see people lining up on the waiting list for as much as six to ten years.

FYI, Victoria Beckham owns a mind blowing 100 or so Hermes bags (over $2 million dollars worth, according to and proudly pairs them with her A-list designer outfits. Top of the list is her 10 Birkins, including her Hermès Ostrich, Crocodile, Rouge, White and Black Clemence Hermès Birkins, to name but a few. Posh Spice (as what I like to call her since I’m a Spice Girls fan) is certainly not alone in her hankering for Hermès, as the designer label’s extensive waiting list of high profile names lays testament to.

So what’s with Birkin?

Quite what it is that causes women to go bonkers over a Birkin, remains somewhat of a mystery. The bag’s practical size (standard size is 35cm), or tough but classic lines, or simply be what the bag represents. Owning a Birkin tells the world “Look-at-me, I’ve made it big.” It’s the ultimate elite status symbol, as Hermès is one of the world’s top handbag brands, with its famous Birkin and Kelly.

With the price tag of a Birkin starting around PhP 340,000.00, only the rich (and famous?) can afford to carry one on their arm. Even the wealthiest women must wait for an exquisitely stitched Hermès Birkin bag, so to own one screams exclusivity. Prices of the standard 35cm Birkin range from around PhP 340,000.00 – PhP 770,000.00, depending on the leather or exotic skin, with a price tag far higher for a special edition.

Hermes has stores all over the world but its hallowed HQ can be founding Paris. Its Paris workrooms produce only five Birkins per week, which explains the long waiting lists!

Now, let’s move on to the history of the most coveted Birkin Bag.

Named after chanteuse Jane Birkin, the inception of the Birkin, in 1984, is the stuff legends are made of, as the truth is still shrouded in myth. According to author Stephanie Pendersen, in her book, Handbags, What Every Woman Should Know, the bag’s idea first came from a plane trip Birkin took, when she found herself sitting next to Hermès president Jean-Louis Dumas. Conflicting reports say she was carrying a Hermès Kelly at the time, or a straw bag; and complained to Dumas that the bag’s opening was difficult to get into. Pendersen also claims that some reports have songstress, Birkin being asked by Hermès to draw her dream bag, and then charged her $5,000 for the finished product! Whatever the truth, Jane Birkin admits to owning only one of her namesakes. Ironically, in 2006 she announced she was retiring her Birkin as “ I love my Birkin bag, but I lug so much stuff around in it I believe it is part of the reason I have tendonitis.”

Quite a history huh? 🙂 The Birkin is crafted entirely by hand by a single artisan from start to finish, and embellished with a petite padlock, keys and gleaming hardware made of white or yellow gold.

I won’t probably get to own an original of this… unless I have a clone of Bill Gate’s money in my bank account. 😀 If that’s the case, I’d get a black, a tan, a red, a blue, a yellow, and a pink one. 😀 Never mind the limited diamond edition. I don’t care much for it. Just give me one and I’d die peacefully!

Hermès Kelly Bag

Women the world over love the classic lines of a Hermès Kelly bag. Named after Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, the Kelly is one of the greatest bags of our time.

Paper or Plastic? People would say paper. But Kelly or Birkin? That is a far more serious matter, and not just because it involves three or four zeroes. Choosing between these two iconic bags is far more complicated.

While both styles exude money (old, new, discreet, flashy), each signals to the world, or at least to an international pack of fashion hounds, a very different aesthetic and vibe.
“The Kelly is a touch more formal, a little more appropriate for an evening out, a business dinner, as a more refined look. The Birkin is more sporty, more casual. Often people use it as a briefcase, throw in a change of shoes,” says Trina Sams-Manning, manager of the Hermes shop in Fairfax Square, which recently reopened after a major facelift.

Inga Guen, who sells gently used Kellys and Birkins at Inga’s Once Is Not Enough, a high-end consignment shop in Northwest Washington, is even more emphatic about the difference. “A woman who is going to wear the Kelly is of very erect stature, she comes from money, very good background, is extraordinarily educated, and life to her is one where she will be very inconspicuous,” says Guen, an avid Kelly carrier. She cuts a bit of slack for the Birkin femme, who “wears Manolo mules, a pair of jeans, a little Chanel jacket. She is the younger woman.”

For the uninitiated, these bags, which start at about PhP 340,000.00 and can top PhP 1,200,000.00 depending on hide and hue.

Philadelphia-born Grace Kelly — so blonde, so patrician — had been wed less than a year to Prince Rainier of Monaco when she deftly obscured her royal pregnancy with a structured, crocodile Hermes purse on a 1956 Life magazine cover. Created in 1892 as a large saddle carrier — the French fashion house started out as a saddlemaker — the bag was downsized for daywear in the 1930s. But after its moment in Life, it was dedicated to Her Serene Highness, and, as legends often do, lives on after her.

Kelly bags come in 5 different sizes and are usually made from crocodile, alligator, ostrich-skin or plain leather. According to Miller’s guide, they are identifiable by their distinctive metal-tipped clasp, which can be closed with a tiny padlock. Swathed in leather, the clasp’s hidden key often dangles from the handle.

How is a Kelly bag made?

In Anna Johnson’s Handbags, The Power of the Purse, Johnson points out that a 1956 Hermès Alligator Bag took 2 alligators to make a Kelly, with the exotic skin culled from the reptiles’ jowls and the belly.

Johnson details the finer points of the making of a Kelly bag; the fact that it takes a single craftsman around 18 hours to produce one of these beauties.

Once the hand-cut skins (selected by personal customer order) have arrived, they are laid out, resembling a mini-dress and the lining or the bag is hand-sewn in. The base of the bag is then created, using waxed linen thread and a tough double-saddle stitch, where perforations are painstakingly made into the leather. The following step is the creation of the handle and then the front flap is stitched and added to the body of the bag. The clasp and the four feet at the base of the Kelly are then fitted and the famous padlock added.

The inside of a Kelly bag is as beautifully and as painstakingly made as the outside,, an honored tenet of Hermès, according to Pendersen. The bags seams are smoothed, dyed and waxed.

Interestingly, the penultimate finishing touch involves the Kelly being ironed, to get the wrinkles out the skin. The very last touch is to christen the bag with the famous Hermès Paris logo, and another Kelly bag is born.

So, that’s my top 5 bags every girl must have. 😀 Coming right next to them are the Fendi Baguette and the Gucci Indy It-bag (which I don’t much like since it’s so boho). Anyway, I got so tired blogging about these bags. Mind you, I researched very well on this… But it’s so worth it. I love writing about things like these. 🙂 Next time, you’ll read about shoes every girl must have. 😀


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27 thoughts on “Bags Every Girl Must Have

  1. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 11:32 am Reply

    Here's an additional on why Hermes bags are so obsessively coveted:- bottom is built of 3 layers of leather- a single artisan can spend up to 25 hours painstakingly constructing a Birkin or a Kelly- the hides: silky smooth or pebbly textured calfskin; exotic lizard, crocodile and ostrich, in colors that span the spectrum- The immutable laws of supply, demand and merchandising are also at work here. Make something fabulous, in fabulously limited quantities, and people will clamor to own it.- You can have it with you for 50 years and it still looks like it was just bought yesterday. :)So have I convinced you to get one? 😀

  2. Ria Ria November 10, 2008 at 11:34 am Reply

    I seriously skimmed through everything just to check if you have the Kelly bag in your list. :)) Great job, Moe dear. 😛

  3. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 11:40 am Reply

    Of course, the last entry is the best. 😀 If you'd notice, they're arranged from the good to the best. 🙂

  4. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 11:41 am Reply

    I wrote this for 3 hours! Haha!

  5. Janina Paula Sy November 10, 2008 at 12:20 pm Reply

    hey, moe. member ka rin ng purseblog? me, too. hehe. i actually prefer the chanel classic jumbo black caviar flap bag, but like what you said, i think the jumbo size may overwhelm my petite frame. oh well. i have yet to go to a chanel boutique and try one myself. hehe. chanel bags are simply timeless. 🙂

  6. rea uy November 10, 2008 at 12:27 pm Reply

    shucks! super nice blog moe!=D i love bags!!

  7. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 1:34 pm Reply

    Hehe. 😀 Jumbos are sooo overwhelming eh. The medium is just perfect for us. I know most girls get the jumbo, especially the young, because we're fond of oversized bags. Haha. :DSpeaking of purseblog, I want to be Victoria Beckham's friend. She might just give me one bag from her mega collection. Haha. 😀

  8. KIKAY KATITAY November 10, 2008 at 1:34 pm Reply

    *Drools* :)) i think Celestina should also be included here because according to Vogue it's the newest it bag. wooot! proudly Pinoy! 😀

  9. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm Reply

    Thanks Rea!!! 😀 I love bags too! I just can't get my hands on these great bags… but soon… 😀

  10. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm Reply

    Celestina? Really? Wow. :DTina is good ha. That's why I'm proud to be Pinay!

  11. KIKAY KATITAY November 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm Reply

    i got that info from US Girls. =D yeay!

  12. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm Reply

    Hehe. I just checked online and yeah… Go Tina! 😀

  13. KIKAY KATITAY November 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm Reply

    and let's not forget Aranaz, too! 😀

  14. Jean Monique Sanchez November 10, 2008 at 5:43 pm Reply

    Ahaha. 😀 Weren't they featured on the Tyra Banks Show?

  15. KIKAY KATITAY November 10, 2008 at 6:01 pm Reply

    naku di ko lam, wala kame cable eh =P

  16. drei nadela November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm Reply

    woo ate moe, nosebleed! :))nice bags! 😀

  17. Sarah Yasmin November 10, 2008 at 9:50 pm Reply

    i dont really like handbags kasi parang ang sakit sa kamay but shoulder bags are the best! the chanel one is oh so pretty monique! i love that one.. yung black.. very classic ng chanel yung ganong style. yun naman louis vuitton speedy ive got that one maganda siya pero as ive said nasasaktan ang kamay ko kasi handbag lang! haha! oh.. how come gucci is not here? ive got a big slouch bag from gucci and a long rectangular wallet kulay beige sila .. ang gandddaa sobra! mas mura talaga sa pinas.. ang mahal dito..! ang hba na nito monique haha! i dont like Hermes 😀

  18. Sarah Yasmin November 10, 2008 at 9:53 pm Reply

    to add – yes! sa states ang mas mura kaysa pinas and UK .. 😀

  19. Jean Monique Sanchez November 11, 2008 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Di ko rin napanood… May nagkwento lang sakin. Hehe. 🙂

  20. Jean Monique Sanchez November 11, 2008 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Thanks Drei! 😀

  21. Jean Monique Sanchez November 11, 2008 at 7:44 pm Reply

    Ahaha. Okay naman handbags for me as long as it's not too heavy. 🙂 I prefer to sling it in my arms din naman. Hehe. Shoulder bags are the best coz they allow you to do lots things with two hands. :)I agree… I got lots of comments in school bout the black Chanel. I love it too! I wish I'd have my own one. 😀 Okay rin yung silver hardware pala though I still prefer the gold one. 🙂 Well, at least you got 1/5 among those that I've listed above. 😀 Gucci is in the next 5. Hehe. 🙂 Maganda nga ang Gucci. And compared to the above, it's pocket-friendly. And it goes with our age. 🙂 I'm sure super mahal dyan, like everything is. Haha. 🙂 You should save enough money to go to US and shop there! 😀 You'd save a lot!!!

  22. Jean Monique Sanchez November 11, 2008 at 7:45 pm Reply

    I agree… A good Sony PSP package in the States can cost 8k. Dito around 12k. 😦

  23. Sarah Yasmin November 11, 2008 at 9:34 pm Reply

    naku oo next year british citizen na ako so hopefully – will save a lot and go to US kasama si bf! lahat kasi ng relatives nya dun nakatira so ok di ba? basta balak talaga namin ni mama pumunta dun para magshopping! hehe! my mom loves bag as in! bibili nga yung ng LV eh.. ako di ko masyado gusto gumastos ng ganon kamahal sa bags! basta gucci gusto ko .. :] ooohhh PRADA!!!! i love prada bags sooobrang ganda! hirap pang i-imitate.. you really see the difference kung fake o hindi sa prada unlike gucci and LV di ba? ewan ko lang ..pero ako lam ko eh! hehe :]

  24. Jean Monique Sanchez November 11, 2008 at 10:18 pm Reply

    Wow. British. 😀 Heey… I wanna hear your voice. Gawa ka voice blog sa Hehehe. :DMahirap din ang LV no. Haha. 😀 Ako I'm good at spotting fakes. 😀 Ang LV Speedy kasi dito sa Philippines, parang may cardboard… ang stiff!!!Naku, can't wait to see your loot bag after your trip to the US. Siguradong ang dami mong mabibili! Haha. 😀

  25. Sarah Yasmin November 13, 2008 at 6:04 am Reply

    haha sinabe mo pa! i'll go crazy sa kakashop! naku i dont think ive got that british accent. i dont really like their accent kasi. everyone thinks i sound american.. mas prefer ko siguro yun kaysa british! hehe! 😀

  26. Jean Monique Sanchez November 13, 2008 at 7:00 pm Reply

    Hahaha. 😀 I think American sounds better than British… Mas maiintindihan pa. Hehehe. 😀 Still, I want to hear your voice!!!

  27. Marken Holmes March 24, 2010 at 3:18 am Reply

    If someone here don’t wish to start each project from scratch, then it’s worthy developing your personal Plan Lifecycle. Check my blog to know some "how to" and ways.

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