A velvet handbag with potential: Is this a shopping mistake?

Several weeks ago I fell in love with a handbag. I was in SAX Consignment in San Anselmo, visiting a daughter who co-owns the place, when I spotted this eye-candy of a bag on a hook behind the jewelry counter. Love. At. First. Sight.

handbag makeover

Its a rectangular soft-edged bag. The fabric is luxurious and the shape is relaxed. It suits my love for anything fancy casual.

Oh, I wish you could all touch it this handbag. Its sumptuous. The background is a beige woven fabric with a subtle shimmer to it. Vertical velvet stripes of various widths circle the body of the bag. The stripes look like they could be velvet ribbons. I had a flashback to when I made wearable art clothes and used ribbons in mixed media surface design. (Heres a peek at the way I would piece fabrics and make clothes, in this case, kids clothes.)

The colors are romantic: white sand, rose pink, deep purple, and a soft cocoa brown.

And when you look inside, you see this!

handbag makeover

Surprise! Its a Pucci-like print. Think back to the 60s or 70s. I mean who made the decision to use such a colorful, contrasting print for the lining in a sophisticated striped velvet handbag? Someone having fun, Id guess. The brand name is Glenda Gies.

In my wearable art days, I always wanted the inside of the garment to look as great as the outside. Do you see why Im falling fast for this bag?

Headquarters, we have a problem with the handbag

I politely ask the daughter in charge of the store that day if I can try it on. Before I get the straps over my shoulder, I hear this clanking.

I look at the handbag closely to see what all the clanking is about. Thats when I notice the clunky chain links leading to the leather straps that go over the shoulder.

Im particular about noises. Its probably why when a client tries on a jacket in a fabric that makes a rustling noise with movement, I ask her if it bothers her. You have to be able to live with the sound a garment or accessory makes.

This could be a dealbreaker.

What do I do about the chains?

Im so in love with the bag and so not happy with the noise. The daughter in charge says, Take it home, Mom, and think about it. I say, Id have to get rid of that noise. She says casually, Youll figure it out.

I tried my best to figure it out, but I didnt have an easy fix. I accepted what I could not change and headed for professional help at Marelli Brothers Shoe Repair in San Rafael.

handbag makeover

See what I mean by all those chains? Its like the movie Pride and Prejudice meets Boyz n the Hood. Telling one of the Marelli brothers what my dilemma was, he gave me hope. We picked out a piece of leather that came close to the color of the straps. He said hed replace the chains with leather strips made to fit. I was handed a ticket and told to come back in a week.

Im a purdent shopperwas this a mistake?

I have to admit I was nervous. I paid $40 at the consignment store for the bag and the repair was going to be $40. Without knowing what the results would be, I knew one thing for sure: I was into this experiment for 80 bucks.

A week later I stopped back into Marelli Brothers with my ticket in hand.

handbag makeover

A big old smile crossed my face when I saw the bag. When I tried it on and there was no noise, glee filled my heart. It was so quiet! I asked if I could take a picture of the doer of good. Apparently he doesnt get asked that a lot, but he agreed.

Happily ever after with my handbag makeover

putting an outfit together

There are certain fashion limitations Ive agreed to accept. Im not showing cleavage anytime soon. I lost my butt and pants dont fill out in places they used to. Shoes have to be flat or I cant stand in them for longer than five minutes. But handbags, my friend, handbags are always at the ready to bring pleasure to any outfit.

putting an outfit together

Thats what I have beside me right nowa lovely bit of pleasure to brighten any day that needs brightening. When I want to feel feminine, I can lean on this handbag. When I want to be in touch with my sensual side, this velvet striped bag will my first choice. Im such a lucky woman!

I know you have makeover stories to share. Have you transformed a piece of clothing or an accessory to make it just right for you? Are you a handbag lover? Oh, please tell us all about it.


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