Sunday, August 19, 2007

Purses and waterfowl

Yesterday, Torsten and I took a handful of rewards coupons from our Macy's credit card to the big downtown Macy's, where the one day sale was in full swing. Our mission was to find me a classy, stylish, dark-coloured purse suitable for daily use. My current purse was bought for love rather than practicality, and as such the gorgeous (and half-priced) cream-coloured leather is beyond the level of "starting to show a little dirt" and more in the range of "nasty to the point of being embarrassing."

So, we admired all the purses, considered all the prices, tested a bunch out for practicality (can I put a full letter-sized piece of paper in there without folding it? Is there a zippered compartment safe for my wallet where pickpockets won't have easy access? Is there a space for my cell phone where I can easily grab it when it rings without having to paw around until I've missed the call? Is the strap long enough for it to sit comfortably below my arm without hanging down past my hip? etc.), and finally picked one that was both well-designed for practical use, classy, and beautiful (in our humble opinions).

So now, only one question remains. First, consider the bag the way it is sold in the store (photo from

Notice one thing in particular, the small blue and silver thing hanging from the strap. At first, I thought the blue thing was a whale, but on closer inspection it proved to be a duck, or maybe a goose:

Now, I love waterfowl as much as the next person, but I wasn't sure how I felt about having a metal disc with a blue bird on it hanging from the strap of my purse. I was pretty sure that I didn't feel great about it, so I promptly removed it. Here is my bag, minus the duck/goose:

Now, as often happens, I am questioning my own decision. Maybe the blue duck is what makes the bag, and I am just too ignorant to realize it. What do you think? Am I right to think it's silly to turn my purse into an alternative version of a charm bracelet? Or does the duck add that certain je ne sais quoi, in a good way?


  1. Great purse! I always make sure I can carry at least one book comfortably in my purse. That is my criteria.

    I am afraid I can't help you with the question of whether or not to accessorize the purse itself. It was YEARS before I knew that DKNY and Donna Karen were the same person/designer.

  2. Hm, that book thing is clever. I didn't think of that, but I checked it out after you commented, and luckily a book does fit in the bag quite neatly.

    Also, it took ME forever to figure out that the DK in DKNY stood for Donna Karan, and I even have a DKNY wallet (purchased from TJ Maxx five years ago for $20.) And I still don't know what the difference between the two is (although given that DKNY merchandise is available for $20 at TJ Maxx, I can probably assume that DKNY is the cheaper line from Donna Karan. But who knows).

  3. It's much better without the duck. Unless it's much better with.

    If someone had shown me the purse and said, "I'm thinking of adding a duck," I would have said, "Oh, dear, no." But once someone--presumably a designer--has already added a duck, I second-guess my opinions.

  4. Considering some of the heinous things that designers produce, I wouldn't go second-guessing yourself. Of course, I say that having second-guessed myself to the point of begging my small blog audience for second opinions. But since we are all more or less in agreement, I'm going to leave the duck off.

  5. Great bag...I'd say keep the duck tag only because it's the classic way to identify a Dooney and Bourke know, if you couldn't figure out by the DB's all over it ;)

    The classic bags, like say, from the 80's and early 90's, had great leather logos with the ducks embossed onto them. And brass duck FOBs hanging from the sides :)

  6. Thanks for the informed opinion, Maeghan. I appreciate the insider info. Is now not the best time to admit that I had never even heard of Dooney and Bourke until like two months ago? I didn't even know they had classic collections until I read the little info packet that came with my bag about how this was part of their 30th anniversary signature line.