From top, in sets of three, left to right: @pursebop, @bb10lue, @happybaggage, @sfc_rp, @stylishsheba, @italianfashionista, @mrslulu3, @siradong
…you have emptied a cup of coffee over it.
I jest not. Because I did.
Accidentally. An entire hot cup of café latte.
That Birkin lived to tell her story; what a fine grand dame she is.
I will share her story another time if such a post may be of interest to you.
Let’s talk about bag ownership today – things we do to make our bags our own. I’ve listed three ways to personalise a bag; please feel free to chime in!
1. Remove the sticky seals off the hardware
For the simple reason that the bag and everything about the bag just looks better without the protective sticky seals that come with it.
There is nothing aesthetically pleasing about those little transparent seals that are applied for the primary purpose of protecting the hardware during packaging and transportation.
The stickers also give the customer a sense of assurance that the bag is ‘new’ and ‘unused’, which, in this context is relevant if one is trying to secure the highest possible price in the resale market. This holds true especially, for Hermes – Birkin or Kelly – bags, because everything adds up in the ‘BNIB’ (Brand New in Box) resale price.
The seals’ purposes end here.
When you remove the seals on the bag you bought (you must have loved the bag enough to buy it, I hope), you are telling the bag and everyone around you who sees you carrying the bag that:
- I love you, Bag, and am committed to bringing out the best in you.
- I will stay faithful and loyal to you, dear Bag, and by the act of removing the seals, I assure you that I will not dump, rehome or sell you to the highest bidder… at least not in the near future.
Otherwise, why would you carry a bag with the seals still on, hideously furled at the edges around the hardware?
Hardware protection is not a good enough reason for keeping those stickers on. In fact, they can do more harm than good. Here’s my experience:
Ordinarily, I would remove all stickers when I induct a new bag into my #happybaggageroom, but I had left one on the plaque securing the touret of my gold Kelly 28 retourne.
A year and a half into wearing my Kelly in, the seal still looked pristine and nicely secured on the plaque. There was no impetus for me to remove the seal after all this time but a little voice made me do it recently.
Imagine my horror when I discovered the discolouration of the palladium plaque (pictured left) upon removing the seal. It only occurred to me to take a shot of it midway through my frantic cleaning, hence the ‘half cleaned state’ of the plaque. The picture on the right shows the plaque after I was done cleaning it. Yes, I am relieved there is no permanent damage.
The discolouration/staining is not a manufacturing fault of Hermès but rather the result of my own negligence. Over time, the adhesive substance from the sticker had stained the hardware.
You might observe this on hardware with seals furled at the edges, where the colour of the metal beneath the sticker differs from the exposed part of the hardware.
Therefore may I suggest, remove the sticker seals on your new bags (that you love).
2. Add customisations
Have you see Jane Birkin’s Birkin? She’s a firm believer of making her bag her own.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to customising your bag.
Only your opinion matters.
I have seen:
the cutest Anya Hindmarch stickers (that you probably should not try to remove from your bags once they’re stuck on);
the coolest furball charms from Fendi;
the stable of rodeos and paddocks (and more) from Hermès;
charms tricks from Burberry, Prada, and Delvaux;
and not forgetting twillies from Hermès, Dior, and Fendi.
Did someone just say bag straps? The list goes on…
Here are more examples of how some fabulous ladies have made their bags uniquely their own.
Special thanks to @italianfashionista, @bb10lue, @stylishsheba, @siradong, @pursebop, @mrslulu3 and @sfc_rp for their amazing images.
Now that we have removed the seals and added personal touches, the last you should do is…
3. Schedule the bag in your rotation of wear
After my previous sharing about my baggage circles, have you also taken stock of your own honorary wall of icons?
Yes, that’s the one (bag) that just popped into your head as I asked… You haven’t worn her in a while, because she is tucked away in her dust bag.
If the cost per wear of that bag is dismally high and you almost always somehow leave her behind despite your best ootd plans, maybe it is time for a talk (between you and your bag).
In truth, taking her out may be good for the both of you. Yes, try – again.
Keeping her sitting pretty on the honorary wall of icons (or hidden) is not healthy, and is surely not love.
Bags are to be worn, so make them truly yours.