Kate Spade bags: Your opinion?

Historically, I am not a bag lady.

I used to be that person who owns ONE bag and wears it with everything for five or six years until it falls apart or I get so sick of it I can't bear to look at it any more. To me, bags were purely functional.

YLF has made me begin to appreciate the potential "fun" quotient of a good bag. For our trip, I bought a large red tote (not leather, but decent quality) and it has served me well, but it is too big and a bit too slouchy for my everyday preference. Unfortunately, apart from a rather well-worn and too small black cross-body and a very tiny vintage Coach bag in burgundy, I have nothing else. I would like to get a couple of decent options this year.

I am bling averse, and don't want or need a status bag. But I would like a bag that adds more than simply function, and I'd also like one that wears well. I am tired of the cheap non-leather bags that fall apart before a season ends. I'm looking at you, fun yellow bag of this past spring, that fell apart before summer was over. :-(

Today in a consignment store I found a Kate Spade Wellesley Maeda, like Kari's mustard one, except this one is bright pink. The price seemed good (half what it seems to run on ebay, although still a substantial chunk of money for me.)

The bright pink might be mostly a spring/summer colour; I doubt if I would wear it much with my red coat or my grey puffer. But at the price, I am wondering if it would still be a good buy for me. I like the shape and size a lot.

Would love your thoughts! Thank you!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I like the shape a lot. I'm a little scared of pink, but I can be too conservative and would end up looking all Baby Jane. I think you'd know where to stop and could very well get a lot of use out of it - esp. with some of your "tough" jackets.

    My one real hesitation is weight. I find a lot of these bags to be hea-vy.

  • Asingh replied 8 years ago

    Suz, go for it. The bag looks lovely, and that shade of pink is gorgeous. I really believe that one can never have too many bags, that being said, I have been using my huge nude Marks & Spencer bag for a couple of months now. It is just so convenient and seems to go with everything because of the neutral tone. However, I do switch bags when I am going for a party or some other special occassion where I have to be a little more dressed-up.

    In my opinion, this pink bag would be great to add a pop of colour to any neutral outfit. Also, I think it'll look great with you gray puffer, and you could also team this up with a navy or bottle green dress. Endless possibilities so buy the bag!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Rachylou, I have always been a bit scared of pink's potentially too ladylike properties, too. But I have been wearing my fuchsia jacket like a fiend lately, and find I really like it. (OTOH, could I wear it with this bag? I don't know...)

    Asingh, that's a great point about pink working well with neutral outfits. I do wear lots of neutrals (navy, grey, taupe and some black).

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    I think it would look fantastic with all your navy & taupe & I love the shape of it. Imo it's a classic bag in a fantastic colour - it would also go with aqua, cream or red if you like that look. I agree that for me it wouldn't be a winter bag, but you do need more than one bag:)

  • goldenpig replied 8 years ago

    I love it! Go for it!

    I would wear that bag a lot with neutrals, especially black and white. Hot pink is the perfect complement and would be a great pop of color esp if you wear mostly neutrals.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    My hesitation isn't the color, but the style combined with the color. It feels very Ladylike. I am still a bit fuzzy on your style goals but, thinking back on your search for a leather jacket, I don't know if the two looks jive in my mind.

    That said, it's a great bag and sounds like a fantastic deal. My point is just to take extra consideration in regards to your new direction. :)

  • Deborah replied 8 years ago

    Hmmm its a gorgeous bag and I think the color could work well BUT I am not sure I see this working with your current style. As mentioned, the shape of this bag is particularly lady like and while I think you are very much a lady:), I feel your style is a little more edgy these days. The bag does have a hint of 'cool' about it but I think it's atually the color that is putting me off. Sorry Suz, but I know you ask expecting honest responses. I am not sensing that this would be a good investment for you.

  • Astrid replied 8 years ago

    I don't think the color would be a problem, but I agree with Rae and Deborah that the style in combination with the color doesn't seem to be quite right for your style and style aspirations. I guess this one is tempting because of the great quality and price, but I'm not sure it would be a good investment. I can definitely see you with a colorful bag (and I think you loved the bright yellow one?), but maybe something a bit edgier or more avant-garde?

  • kkards replied 8 years ago

    my thoughts are more functional, are the straps long enough that you can easily wear it on your shoulder, especially if you are wearing a coat? it looks to me like it wouldn't, and i think that could be an issue.

  • Zapotee replied 8 years ago

    I am not sure how much the reasonable price is a factor, but Kate Spade runs sample sales quite often. There is prenty of opportunity to get this particular or similar style for less. They just had one sample sale as a matter of fact. I have been able to get a couple really good bags for less than $200, this way.

    I am not a big fan of that style for me, since I tend to prefer bags that are structured but not stiff. You can only tell if the style would work for you, bags a such a personal choice.

    Just register your email with Kate Spade.com for email updates, if interested.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thanks, all - this is very helpful. I'm still undecided. I think I am worried also that it might not fit with my style goals. On the other hand, I LOVED my bright yellow bag so much that I am pretty sure I would enjoy another pop of colour bag. And whatever my overall style aspirations, when it comes to bags, I vastly prefer simple and slightly structured. I am not sure how that fits or will fit with my overall look, but it's a lifelong bag preference so I can't see myself changing my stripes on that too fast.

    Zap - the price point is well below the $200 you quote; it is $95.

    kkards, the straps were a concern for me, too. But they do fit onto my shoulder with a coat. It is mostly meant to be worn on the arm, however -- something I won't do very often -- and yes, that's an important consideration.

    Thanks again, all!

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    This is a tough one Suz. I adore the colour and I think it could work very well with your neutrals (love pink and taupe together). You enjoyed having a bright coloured purse and I can see that love continuing here. The price point is superb, no doubt about it. I personally am not worried about the style working with your style goals - even if you're working towards a more edgy style, not everything in your wardrdrobe needs to be edgy, if you know what I mean.

    In my mind the issue for you is the straps and ease of carrying. Personally, I carry almost all my bags on my arm due to an old horse-kick shoulder injury but if you prefer to carry your bag on your shoulder, this may not work for you.

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    I love the colour and think it will work well with your current clothing. I do think that the handles might be a problem.

  • Zapotee replied 8 years ago

    $ 95 is a really good price but I no longer compromise. A good price is only a good price when I am buying something I would want to buy at full price anyway. Otherwise, I would put those $95 towards "the one". If you love it, go for it.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Yup...I think that is why I left it in the store, Zap. I wasn't 100% sure it would work, and wanted some time to think it over. So I'll think on it some more. $95 on something I won't use is just plain dumb, but if it's something I'd love, that's another matter.

  • Zapotee replied 8 years ago

    Ummm... Could it be you are suffering a case of sale goggles? We all do it and it is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it allows you to try something new, that otherwise would have never been considered.

    The color is polarizing but I can see it working quite well. Sometimes I like to go with bags in colors I don't wear as often, yet go with most of the colors in my wardrobe. For instance, I only have one green item, a blazer, yet I want a green purse, why? Because green goes really nicely with blues, greys, creams, black and white and dark denim, all colors that are heavily represented in my wardrobe.

    Going back to the bag in question, that shade of hot pink goes really well with blues, greys, taupes and blacks. I would even wear that shade of pink with red. I think it could make for a fun, tonal look.

    You are a very good decision maker when it comes to stuff like this. I have no doubt you will come up with a good answer.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    I vote pass.

    Suz, you do not strike me as a BRIGHT pink gal. You are Queen Cranberry!

    Do tell me if I'm wrong because I love the bag and the colour. I LOVE bright pink as you know.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Hi Suz! If this bag was yellow, I would tell you to pounce on it quickly (but you probably would already have it in your possession)! You tried yellow and you know it works. I have had two pink bags in my life and each time I found them very tricky to wear. I like pink, and it looks good on me, but for some reason the color was very bossy with my wardrobe, even though theoretically it should have worked. There were times I felt like my pink bag was shouting and I wanted to cover it with a jacket when I was out!

    And then there is the twee/ladylike factor, which you have already expressed struggles with. For some reason, pink is a very emotionally charged color. It is not neutral in hue or vibe and there's just no way around it. If this bag was available for $95 in a rainbow of colors would pink be your first, second or even third choice? If so, I would consider it. If not, I would step away. This bag makes a strong statement (and there's nothing wrong with that) but if you buy it, just make sure it's a statement you want to make about yourself.

    Sorry to be a killjoy. :/

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    Handbags are one of my big challenges too.

    The color is bold but that's probably good if you're looking to liven things up in a neutral capsule. It's the tall stance and the handles that would put it off to me most. I always try to find bags that are wider than they are tall. And a long strap option is a must for me (but not for everyone of course).

    The weight of the bag also matters to me a lot. I recently bought a new bag from a maker I'd never heard of Patricia Nash. It has the features I wanted, large enough but still light weight and was on sale for under $100 (after I bought it but I got a price adjustment from the store) and it's Italian leather. But it's still not the quality of a Coach or D&B or some of the others I've seen here and elsewhere.

    And I compromised on color as it is a light camel and I wanted a deep brown or combo of colors. I just didn't want a 2.5 lb bag (the weight of the beautiful Brahmin I LOVED but left behind) But I couldn't shop any longer I needed to make a choice so I did. If a better more "right" bag comes along, I will still buy another I guess.

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    FWIW, we have Kate Spade at our Rack right now priced around $100 for a crossbody and... I think maybe $160 for a large-ish satchel with crossbody strap. So they DO exist below $200, and Kate makes so many great colors that you're bound to find the perfect one eventually. PPP!

  • JAileen replied 8 years ago

    I bought a Kate Spade hobo at Savers a few months ago, for $15. It looked very well made and was pretty lightweight, and in like new condition. I gave it to my mother to replace a horrible bag she's been carrying for several years. I don't know if she's been using it. Anything, even a paper bag would have been an improvement!

  • unfrumped replied 8 years ago

    Hard for me to pinpoint, but both the color and the arm-carry straps make the bag really out there--as in, see my pink bag I'm carrying--so it's really an attention-getter and you would need to see if that's what you want. Hot pink purses to me do not have as much staying power as other colors, but that would be me talking and not necessarily a problem with your style. Also some people would be feel comfortable buying that bag to use for one year and then let it be replaced by another item.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I don't know how much this one is... I actually LOVE this exact style (KS is my shadow style!), and I've been eying them on ebay forever. I don't think of pink as your color, though - there are lots of others out there and I can see with yellow, black, or others besides this one.

  • Ariadne replied 8 years ago

    I vote pass, because of functionality. I think you need a good quality yellow or mustard bag. :) Or maybe cobalt?

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    I never really thought of pink as my colour either....except fuchsia and orchid ARE my colours, big time, as I am discovering. I need to look at this bag again more carefully to see what tone the pink is. But I suspect I will leave it on the shelf.

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