February 28, 2013

the brown coach tote

Two years ago when I visited my parents in US, dearest husband introduced me to the premium outlet experience. Yup, it's the very same chain as the one we have in Johor but way cheaper even when you take the exchange rate into account. You can most definitely blame {cough!} our government {cough!} for ripping us off {cough! cough!}. If you're wondering just how much cheaper, do read on ...

Once the initial shock at how "afforable" premium brands were in US and how {cough!} ripped off  we are here in Malaysia, I bravely marched into the Coach store which is something I've never done here because I hated the way the sales consultants give you "the stare". You know, the evil eye they give you from the top of your head to the bottom sole of your shoes which means, "You can afford or not-ah?".

Anyhow, let's get back to the story of how this thirty-something el-cheapo made her first premium brand purchase at the Coach store in Las Vegas without any evil eye from any of the sales consultants.

I only managed two steps pass the threshold of the store before I was handed a piece of paper that had these magic words printed on them - "Take an additional 20% off!". Like seriously ... an additional 20% off the already 50% off ... totally awesome!

I clapped my hands in glee {in my mind, of course} and gave a high pitch squeal of delight {again, in my mind} and started drooling wandering back and forth trying to decide what my very first premium brand purchase would be. I ended up with a furry monkey on a chilli red keycard holder which has now doubled up as a keychain, a long wallet/wristlet and a handbag for less than USD $250. Yup, you read right. The total came up to less than USD $250 {insert evil cackle here}.

The furry Coach monkey on a chilli red card holder.

The long Coach wallet/wristlet.

Now before you continue reading this post, please understand that this was my very first premium brand purchase. I never thought I'd actually be able to afford anything from Coach in my lifetime so I never really bothered researching Coach talk aka knowing what models they have.

Let's fast forward a little over two years. The tote that I purchased from the Coach premium outlet in Las Vegas has always been "the brown bag" to me and dearest husband, that is until yesterday. Out of sheer curiosity and filled with a burning need to waste company resources, I decided to punch in the serial number inside the bag onto Google. I found out that "the brown bag" had a name ... Penelope. I also found out that she isn't bag or a handbag, she's a tote; a Brown Pebbled Leather Multi-Tote.

Hello Penelope. It's nice to finally know your name ... after two years.

Penelope is tote unlike other Coach totes - she doesn't have the signature C plastered all over. You wouldn't even know she's a Coach unless you stick your nose really close to the little leather label that is sewn on the front with words "Coach est 1941".

Since OpArts were the rage then, I was quite tempted to get one. But then I remembered a sight I once saw - an aunty in her late forties wearing an oversized tee, three quarter leggings and Japanese slippers carrying one; she was bargaining for a RM0.10 discount with le fishmonger. I swore off OpArts then.

So Penelope came home to live with me in Malaysia. She is definitely one well travelled tote. I believe she also comes in black and blue but my Penelope is covered in brown pebbled leather. She is finished with thick off-white threads and silver accents. She's got one zippered and one open compartment on the front and another open compartment on the back. She also has a zippered top for the main compartment to ensure all my crap things don't fall out and on the inside, she is fully lined in lilac with one small zippered compartment and two small pockets.

After two years of almost constant use - to the office during the weekdays and as lil' Ee's diaper bag during the weekends, she is still as stunning as the day I laid eyes on her. I suppose the saying, "you get what you pay for" rings quite true here.

Now, if only I knew what "the red bag' back home is called ... Hmm, for that I think more wastage of company resources and Googling are in order {insert a silent evil cackle here}.

Stay tuned to meet the other Coach sibling ...