Monday, August 12, 2013
Why do women love expensive handbags?
So Oprah Winfrey was upset because a shop assistant refused to show her a handbag? She only wanted it to hold her lipstick at Tina Turner’s wedding.
I guess the fact it cost £24,000, was made of dead crocodile, and was designed by Tom Ford for Jennifer Aniston (hence it’s name, The Jennifer), made it newsworthy. Oh, and the fact that the shop assistant thought she couldn’t afford it. Because she was black, Oprah claims. Now that’s a story.
Perhaps Oprah should have kept quiet about it. I’m not sure that in a recession it’s good to tell the world that you’re prepared to blow £24,000 on a bag that will soon be sitting in the bottom of your wardrobe along with a pile of rejects (presumably none of which were good enough for Tina Turner).
Apparently, in America the average woman buys 3 new handbags a year, whereas I only buy a wallet when the last one falls apart.
This presumably means that every American home contains a substantial handbag graveyard, full of unloved, dead handbags.
If you're a woman, there must be nothing more uncomfortable than wearing an outdated handbag. Not just because it’s out of date, but presumably because when you carry it, the old bag constantly reminds you how much more it cost you than you could afford at the time, just so you could enjoy that brief moment of being fashionable.
But then, I can’t really be expected to understand all this. I defy any man to tell a £50 fake from a £24,000 Jennifer, or to even care.
There’s a new report out by some (male) academic from the University of Minnesota, which claims that women wear expensive handbags not to look nice for us, but to ward off predators.
They buy them to show off to other women. Whether or not your husband paid for the bag (and in billionaire Oprah’s case, definitely not), it makes no difference. An expensive bag says: keep away, this relationship has given me a Prada and I’m Pradav it.
I know women will say they’re no worse than us men with our £30,000 designer watches. Not me. I have an ancient Tag Heuer and an even older Cartier, both presents from former partners, and which used to cost me £300 a year each to service.
They are now wasting space in my bottom drawer to where they’ve been consigned since my wife bought me a beautiful new watch by a designer I’ve never heard of.
Nobody’s ever stared at me in the street and said: “Look at that poor man, he’s got a watch by someone we’ve never heard of.”
Or perhaps they do, and I should be wearing the old broken Tag on my wrist and keep my wife's gift in my pocket to tell the time.
I once stupidly bought a pair of incredibly expensive shoes and the only two people who ever admired them were Randy Jackson, who apparently collects nice shoes, and the very camp shop assistant who sold them to me.
They are my least favourite shoes, and I wear them for weddings and celebrity receptions, where they sit attached to me like an embarrassingly drunk aunt. I can’t wait to get away from them and into my nice comfy crocs.
So, ladies, why the need to have such an expensive handbag? After all, isn’t it just a place to keep your mobile phone and your car keys? Unless you’re going out with me for an evening, that is.
For years, Jo has been desperate for me to carry a man purse. I’d rather be made to watch a week of back-to-back Oprah Winfrey shows than be seen out with a murse. Doesn’t she realise that there is no greater endorsement of a relationship than having your man rather apologetically ask you to put his mobile phone and car keys in your handbag?
It’s a sign of true love and commitment. And certainly more romantic than just buying you a boring old Chanel handbag.
Well, that’s my story, anyway. I’m not sure my wife agrees.