When I moved to Florida, a transformation happened. My wardrobe gained color. I found a handbag (bah, not a shoulder bag) at the Disney store and a matching cosmetics bag. One of my favorite colors AND a Mickey pattern? Sign me up. So, these two pieces started me down the path.
The bag didn't have a zip top, so that was one strike. However, the cosmetics bag makes a great iPod case, so I didn't have to worry about losing parts. The handbag didn't make it into long term use mainly because it was not park touring friendly.
You could say that these bag purchases softened me up for THIS:
I started out thinking the Vera bags were fugly. Really fugly. What didn't help matters is that they came in colors I do not like and at the time that they started popping up all over, they seemed to grace the shoulders of the women who lived in Stepford with me.
About two or three years ago, I noticed the turquoise pattern above (Bermuda Blue). I still wasn't a huge fan, but the color grew on me. The brown and turquoise (Java Blue) further improved my opinion of the bags. I still didn't hurry out to buy one.
Then, in early summer, I was walking into work with one of my boring black bags and the strap on one side of the bag just disintegrated. That would not do, so I made a detour into Crabtree and Evelyn. The bag above (the Betsy, they all have names) was on clearance. The price was reasonable and it had pockets for all the crap I need to carry and a zipper, too. Sold.
A few weeks later, I ended up back in the store for the little wallet thing. My thought was that it'd be great for the trips to theme parks, I could just carry id, passes and a credit card in it, along with my keys and cell phone. I think I should have seen the warning signs, but nope-I blew past them.
I took the boys over to Sea World and realied that every time I sat down, I worried about losing the keys or phone. Hmmm. One of the ladies at C&A had suggested buying a wristlet. I had said no, I don't need to carry EVERY card in my wallet when I go out. After that outing, though, I realized I needed a small bag to sling over my shoulder. It had to stay there, even when I got on a coaster. It would need to carry those three items.
Alas, the pattern I liked had been discontinued and the bag I'd chosen (the Amy) was only in stock in fugly patterns in the store. I ordered a Java Blue to go with the wallet I already owned. It arrived just in time for a trip to Jacksonville and it did a great job going to the football game with Donna. There was even room for my meds and camera. Not bad.
You know where this leads, right? Over to eBay, because while the Amy was a good size, I needed a larger shoulder bag. I found one that was almost new, right here in Tampa no less, and won it. With the shipping across town, it cost me less than half of a brand new Hipster. Bermuda Blue.
So, the woman who six months ago lived with black, BORING bags now has FOUR Vera Bradley products. The funny part? Just like when you get a new car, Ed sees them everywhere! "Honey, is that a real one?" "Gee, that one is HUGE!" (I had to explain that what he'd seen was a diaper bag! That ship has sailed, don't need to carry that much stuff anymore!) "That pattern is nice, don't you think?" (we don't exactly agree). It boggles his mind that they've got over thirty different types of handbags, they come in different patterns and then the patterns get retired.
No, I am not a girly girl, but I am doing what I do best. If I find something and I like it, I end up going and buying it in multiple colors. If you're a Vera fan, this means that they will become woefully unfashionable right about..............now. (but I'll buy them anyway)