This might sound a bit dramatic, but it comes with a great deal of sadness to announce the retirement of my beloved Skinnydip pearl bag, which I have worn and loved dearly for the past few years. Here lies a few words I’ve dedicated to my trusty bag.
I bought the bag whilst on a shopping trip in Manchester back in 2018, during a weekend away with my then boyfriend. I’d been obsessed with the Shrimps Antonia Bag, but as a skint college student I’d been waiting around for a high street shop to make a more affordable alternative that I could get my hands on.
Then it happened.
I remember spotting this exact bag in the Skinnydip shop in the Trafford Centre, hesitant to leave without it, but contemplating if I could afford the thirty pounds or if I should’ve put it towards something more practical. It’s funny how our thoughts on what’s affordable or not is completely relative to our evolving expenses as we get older.
Of course I caved and bought it, I knew it would be a future favourite. I was completely right. It’s been my most worn bag ever, it’s seen weekends away, nights out, holidays, and just the everyday strolls too. My friends have said it’s the bag they associate with me, and if I’m ever meeting them somewhere they know where I’ll be sat just based on the bag on the table.
Yet alas, as the bag has been loved it has also faced a lot of wear and tear. I always keep hold of my clothes until they physically can’t be worn anymore, which in this case, the bag strap is only a few wears away from total separation. I expected that the high street quality wouldn’t be too generous in prolonging it’s lifeline, but I think I’ve managed to make the most of it.
So as time has gone on and I’ve gone up a few levels in my working life, I thought it might be time to contemplate investing in the real thing. Usually I only buy designer bags under a £200 limit (usually when I can find a further discount on them) but as the Antonia Bag is the brand staple, I don’t think it’ll be getting much more of a discount anytime soon. Not that I’m going to walk into Selfridges next week and buy it with some petty cash, but it’s something I can think about saving up for in the coming months.
However, I do try to contemplate the cost per wear of an item, which is how I justify buying designer items in the first place. As time goes on and the item gets worn more and more, the cost per wear gets smaller and smaller, making it a good investment long term. For example, I have a Marc Jacobs bag that I got for around £130, which I have worn around 20 times in the past two years, making it around £6.50 everytime I’ve worn it so far. I’d plan to do exactly the same with this bag too.
I already own the Prairie Bag from Shrimps, which is the same shape as the Antonia, and the quality and overall sturdiness of that bag makes me even more confident in the amount of wear that I’d get out of a white version. I think it’s a good transition to invest in a higher quality version of an item you already know you love and wear, once it’s been worn out.
Although the pearly bag hasn’t had an official retirement just yet, I just thought it would be fun to dedicate a whole blog post to a much loved item in my wardrobe as it’s coming to its final days. I think she will just be reserved for the next three most special of special occasions, but her days of parading around town during the day are long gone. It’s sad to see her gradually go, but at least she was well loved.