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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Handbag Dilemma: YSL (or something like it) On A Budget

A long-time reader sent me an e-mail over the weekend with a budget-oriented handbag dilemma:
Hi Dania,

I've been debating my purchase of the YSL Muse for some time. I'd decided on getting the large black leather Muse, but I keep second guessing my decision due to the $1800 price tag. I really love this bag and it would be my first 'designer' purchase, but I'm not sure about spending so much on a bag with the economy the way it is. I'm hoping you can either convince me to get the Muse or recommend another bag very similar to it. I'm open to any suggestions. You always have great ideas. Hope you can help me out this time.

Nancy S.
First, let me say "Thank You" for the 'great ideas' compliment. Now to your dilemma, Nancy. The first designer bag one buys can be a daunting task. You'll more than likely second-guess yourself a million times. When you factor in their sky-high prices, the shopping experience can be downright scary. So take a deep breath and relax. The good news is you've selected a beautiful bag in the Yves Saint Laurent Muse. The large 'Muse' is very big, so I'm assuming you like large bags. If you do, the price is pretty much on point for a bag that size from a high-end designer like YSL.

I won't try to convince you to buy it, though. Fiscal responsibility is a very personal issue and one I feel strongly about. I know I sit and write up countless expensive bags and recommend them to readers everywhere, but whether or not they are an affordable purchase is entirely up to the individual. If you're simply suffering from "sticker-shock", I'd definitely recommend sticking with the 'Muse'. However, if you're in need of being more budget conscious due to tough economic times, I'd suggest finding a similar style from a lesser yet still top quality label.

I have a bag in mind that I think you'll like, Nancy. It's the Bulga Adore Bag. Both the 'Muse' and the 'Adore' are fairly comparable in size and overall design. They have the same interior features. In addition, the 'Adore' has a small exterior coin purse pocket that is cleverly disguised so as not to detract from the simple design. I have to tell you, Nancy, I really love this Bulga bag. It's a steal at $813 - that's more than 50% less than what the YSL Muse will run you.
The decision is tough, but I'm sure you'll be happy once you pinpoint the real reason for your dilemma. Get that part out of your way and nab your first designer bag pronto. Send me pics of your bag when you do.

YSL Large Muse Tote - $1795 via Neiman Marcus

Bulga Adore Bag - $813 via


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