Style Search: Louis Vuitton Substitutions

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First off, I want to thank the Dappered readers that have been heading over to full clutch and sending in questions.  We love a good challenge.  Well, you all know that Beth loves a good challenge, seeing as every week she takes on a different topic in the “Ask A Woman” column.  And we welcome the boys here, comments included.

Dappered reader Ricardo sent this inquiry in to us:


I frequent and I happened to stumble upon the site while looking for stuff for my wife.  I am looking for a really really nice bag for my wife for our anniversary (4 years).  She mentioned the other day about “would I divorce her if she bought a louis vuitton bag?”.  I am not sure if that was a subtle hint but those bags cost some serious coin and are quite gawdy if you ask me.  Do you have any suggestions for a really nice bag that she could haul her ipad and wallet and phone and whatever else she wants to haul for the two kiddies.  Kate Spade?  Any other suggestions?



Oh Ricardo, this is a sticky one.  It’s awesome that you want to purchase a really nice bag for your wife for your 4 year anniversary.  Any woman would be thrilled to receive a gift like this.  A Louis Vuitton bag is a tall order for sure.  And you ask what replacement would suffice?  Well, here’s the deal.  She told you what she wants.  A Louis Vuitton bag.  Not a Gucci, not a Prada, not a Kate Spade.  She dropped the name.  She has a reason for wanting Louis Vuitton, whether she just wants the status symbol it provides, the quality of a heritage piece, or fulfilling the dream of owning a piece from a designer she has long admired.  You might think it’s gaudy, but she thinks it’s beautiful.  To each his (or her) own.  BUT, Louis Vuitton’s are hella expensive bags!  Even “gently used” LV bags can run in the high hundreds to thousands.  If you’re jeopardizing your kids college savings, or that vacation you were planning for your 5 year anniversary, she has to understand that a bag like that isn’t feasible now.  But if you make a comfortable living and can afford to make this purchase for her, she will be over the moon.

You could always get her something small from Louis Vuitton, like a key holder, and place that inside the purse that you can actually afford for her right now.  Then maybe set a goal with her as to when that Louis Vuitton should be purchased, like a 10 year anniversary.  Let’s take a look around the interwebs though, and see if we can’t find a bag that will sufficiently fulfill her style desire.  One note about Louis Vuitton bags on the net; if prices get too low on them, I would question the authenticity.  Yes, there are good deals to be had, but when a $2,000 purse is on sale through a site for $300, you might want to do your homework.  Like this site, I don’t buy it.


Coach Chelsea Leather Jayden Caryall – $358

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This carryall from Coach is currently on sale at Macy’s for $268.50, and with the One Day sale coming up this Friday & Saturday, it could drop a little bit lower.  This bag is made from fine Italian leather, and there is plenty of room for the items Ricardo mentioned his wife would need to tote around.  Pictures of size against a body silhouette can be seen on the Macy’s website.  It’s hard to tell in this picture but the hardware is brass.  Also comes in a fabric version for a little less.


Kate Spade New York Palm Groves Sophie – $154.99 ($258)

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Ricardo, if your wife likes the brightly colored LV bags, she might appreciate this tote from Kate Spade.  Made with waxed cotton and patent cowhide trim.  I have a Kate Spade purse that I’ve used pretty much everyday for the past few years and it is still going strong.


UGG Australia Classic Hobo – $335

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More of a minimalist style, but good looking style none the less on this bag from UGG Australia.  This pebbled leather bag is “imported”, not sure from where.  The particular bag above ships from Saks Fifth Avenue, but the UGG website has several different colors available.  It’s a nice size for a hobo and should be able to accommodate plenty of items.


Coach Madison Op Art Sateen Maggie – $298

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Ricardo, if you give this bag to your wife and she doesn’t like it you can send it my way.  I think it’s really beautiful.  It’s also available in plain leather, which is gorgeous as well, if you (and your wife) are intent on a leather bag.  The leather bag is $358, and it comes in 7 different color options, and one is bound to please your woman.


Diligenza leather and canvas shoulder bag – $212.75 ($851)

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Here is a very deeply discounted Italian designer bag being sold through the Outnet.  The body is canvas and leather and it’s fully lined.  Kind of a funky one, but authentic designer goods sometimes fall on the funky side.


Dooney & Bourke Taylor Shopper – $238

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Dooney & Bourke are known for quality bags, and this one features the D&B initials.  Somewhat similar to the LV patterned bags, although the Vuitton bags feature their signature shapes.  Your wife should be able to pass down a bag like this to your daughter (or daughter in law) someday.  Or at least resale it at some point, if she keeps it in good condition, and put the money towards the Vuitton of her dreams!


Kate Spade New York Zuma Beach Marga – $259.99 ($398)

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Here’s a good looking Kate Spade that ships from Zappos for free.  It’s available in 3 other colors, and even though it doesn’t look like it is a big purse, it is.  Just click on the additional views options at Zappos.  One woman reviewed this bag and said it was hard to get things in and out of it, another women reviewed it and said the exact opposite.  I think they should arm wrestle.


Brahmin Elisa Hobo – $365

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This particular hobo from Brahmin comes in multiple colors and is super roomy and comes in several colors.  The croc embossed leather is supple, and there are plenty of organizing pockets and a center divider on the inside.  And if you join the Brahmin email list you’ll get free shipping.


Ricardo, I hope I’ve pointed you in the right direction.  Or at least opened a few doors to help you make a decision.  I mainly featured totes and hobo’s, as they are usually the roomiest style purse.  But the designers mentioned in this post offer every style purse under the sun.  Just take note of the style of purse your wife normally uses.  That should be a safe bet.  Also, make sure that you have the option to return or exchange any purse you buy.  If you’re going to get her an expensive purse you want to make sure that it’s actually one that she would have picked for herself.  Good luck!

Do you have a suggestion for Ricardo?  Would he be crazy to purchase a Louis Vuitton?  Leave it all in the comments…


2 Responses to “Style Search: Louis Vuitton Substitutions”
  1. Tara H. says:

    Michael Kors also has some great bags to pick from.