Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My See-Through Life

To be honest, I wasn't that thrilled when my great aunt presented me with three see-through handbags that had been sitting in her closet for around thirty years. Don't get me wrong; I normally love kooky retro accessories, but I'd always felt that clear purses, like sanitary napkin belts, were an idea best left in history.

But one fateful day about a week ago, there was an unfortunate granola bar explosion in my usual purse. Its understudy, a bright green flower-printed BCBG bag, clashed horribly with my outfit and I was already twenty minutes late. In a panic, I dumped the contents of the soiled purse into one of the clear bags on the floor and headed out the door.

Little did I know that this decision would change my life in a number of ways. I shall describe them in a melodramatic fashion here:

I now lead a life of color and versatility. My love for wild accessories had sort of forced me into dressing around my purses. It's tough to add a giant patent yellow handbag to an already colorful outfit and not look like Mimi Bobeck. Therefore, I found myself wearing a lot of black.

But my clear purse goes with everything. Like Predator, it takes on the look of its surroundings, making that fire engine red tanktop or crazy Pucci-print mini dress totally wearable.

I now lead an honest life. No more do I cram my squalor and disorganization behind a creamy leather facade and walk around as if I were a tidy, functional adult. Nope. Now the contents of my purse, and therefore my personality, are right out there, unedited, unashamed.
In the words of Cosmo Kramer, "I'm out there, Jerry, and I'm lovin' every minute of it!"

This is me.

I now lead a life that encourages collaboration. The other day after I got my hair cut, I made my way to the front desk and started digging for the salon gift certificate my boyfriend had given me for Christmas. I had my giant purse on the counter and was about to launch into my little tee-hee-how-did-that-receipt-from-1998-get-in-here? shtick that I do in order to fool cashiers into thinking I'm more charming than annoying (it rarely, if ever, works), when the woman at the desk pointed to the left corner of my clear bag.

"Are you looking for this?" she said.

I turned the purse around to see what she was talking about, and sure enough, there was my gift certificate, pressed up against the clear plastic. "Yes! Oh my gosh, thank you!"

We both smiled. A messy purse can make for a lonely existence, but a clear purse can turn a potential enemy into an eager teammate.

If you're one of the three other people in the world who don't hate see-through bags with a fiery passion and are interested in making the clear choice (heh. heh.), here are some options for you:

An excellent starter model. Very vintage and cute.
See Thru Coin Purse, $4.99, here.

I think this one is just adorable:

Clear Tote, $26.80,

Adi Designs Ebisu Collection Clear Satchel, $39.99,

No matter how much you despise this trend, a see-through cosmetics pouch is one incarnation that actually makes a lot of sense, since locating a certain eyeshadow can often prove as difficult as finding the meaning of life:

$4.99, here.

If you're reeeaaaalllllyyy into the clear bag thing, you could go with Chanel:

But you probably shouldn't. Sure I love transparent bags, but two grand for some plastic, chain, and a logo is a bit steep (and by "a bit steep," I mean, "fuckin' crazy.").


Mindy said...

At first I wasn't too crazy about a clear bag. But then I got to thinking there are things in my purse I don't want anyone else seeing. (Nothing illegal, just in the personal feminine way, if you get what I mean, and I think you do.) But then it came to me that I would have an excuse to buy smaller bags, cases etc. to hide these sort of items. I'm sold. P.S. Thanks for an excellent idea to make me rich - I'll will put chains on zip lock plastic bags and make a fortune selling them as designer bags.

Me said...

ugh I would be too embarassed to have a clear bag there are all kinds of crazy things in my purse. I am embarassed when my purse falls open in front of someone. My purse is sort of like my head very very cluttered.

Chic and Charming said...

I'm not ready to go the full monty-but I might have to get that coin purse, its pretty adorable! Thanks for the alternate suggestions for those of us not ready to bare it all.

Anonymous said...

You know, I've been considering the clear Dooney and Burke "lunch bag" for a while, and you've convinced me to take the leap...those Adi ones from Overstock are pretty tempting, though....

Anne-Marie said...

I agree with the other posters that I'll always have something I need to keep hidden but the clear make up bag idea is genius!

Mandy said...

I don't think I'm ready for the world to see the peanut butter M&M's wrappers in my purse, but I just may NEED that coin purse. Great post!

Anonymous said...

I think it's fantastic that you've found something new that you love and you're going to use it regardless of what everyone else thinks.

Personally I just never got the whole clear purse thing. I think part of it has to do that i'm a stickler about plastic purses in general. Pleather, vinyl, pvc, not for me (unless it's extremely well done so it actually does look like leather, but that's sort of a rarity). I love vintage and retro things, especially bags, but i can never see myself sporting one of these. Also, there's something about me that thinks the contents of my purse should be somewhat of a mystery. Men have always viewed the woman's purse as a somewhat sacred place and if he has any manners at all will never even ask if he can go in it, but will instead bring the purse to you where you can get whatever it is you need. I'm not quite THAT private about the contents of my purse, but I do take some pleasure in having my own little private stash of necessities and comforts that i get to carry around wherever i go.

I think another reason i can't see myself with one is that I always associate them with department store associates, many of whom are required to carry these bags to and from work.

In the end, i think it comes down to my passion for supple, sumptuous leather.

But, i do think that coinpurse is very cute. I'd keep a lipstick and other very small items in it, which i think would be much cuter peeking out than deceased presidents.

Pret a Porter P said...

I pretty much second what Rapunzel has said. I like the idea of what inside a woman's purse should be a mystery and I do love the leather (take that PETA)! The closest I ever got to this was a Watermelon colored Jelly Kelly back in the day.

But I agree, the see-through coin purse is quite handy.

But the plastic purse is quite practical for beach goers.

Pret a Porter P said...

ps. Totally off topic, but your right clinique face sun block is AMAZING! (I use the city sheer & I'm in love)

Heather said...

I have been thinking about a clear makeup bag all day after reading this. Such a smart idea. You would not believe how many times I look for something, say an eyeliner, that I'm sure I put in my makeup bag and can't find, but instead pull out everything else round- brushes and eyebrow pencils and the like, and then have a mild heart attack, and then accidently stab my finger with my tweezers pawing around in that black hole, and then have to dump everything out, and of course there it is- had it all along. I could use the stress reduction! Not to mention that plastic would be so easy to wipe clean. Really loving this....

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