PAT KENNEDY: I don’t think I ever quite achieved being totally put-together the way that a certain Red does with that flowing mane of silver blond hair, those gorgeous leather jackets, skinny skirts, stiletto heels and a perfect clutch accessory by her side. Truthfully, I sort of gave up on being Stylish-with-a-capital S when I began an exclusive relationship with a clearly matronly Baggalini handbag. I loved my well-organized Baggallini.
I was visiting my 13-year-old granddaughter Sophie who is so au courant that she writes a style blog for teenagers. A comment she made startled my confidence.
Sophie: “Bammy, that bag, that thing you’re carrying is just tragic.”
Bammy (me): “But why, dear. It’s the perfect handbag.”
Sophie: “It’s the subtle animal print that is just so horrid. You can’t be seen with that bag! We need to take you shopping.”
I fully recognized that “take you shopping” probably translated into “take me shopping” but her commentary shocked me into changing handbags instantly.
We didn’t go shopping but I did change handbags. Here’s what I chose from my closetful of fashion mistakes. No subtle animal print, but it does feature a metallic bronzed patina and braided handles. I didn’t ask for Sophie’s opinion probably because I worried what she might say – especially about that very large tassel.
As I said, I’ve lost my style-confidence. Can I just be honest? I missed my Baggallini with all its lovely practical card slots and zippered sections. This bag has just a big old empty space inside. There are no handy slots for credit cards and my driver’s license, so they’re all in a jumble at the bottom of the bag.
Before two days had passed, two cards fell out and were lost. I no longer have an actual wallet, so the money was also heaped in that pile at the bottom of the bag. Forget about retrieving my cell phone quickly – not gonna happen. Worst thing ever? No long cross-body strap.
I’ll be even more truthful. I put that bronzed beauty back in the closet and will just have to admit to Miss Sophie next time I see her that my Baggallini and I are once again an item.
HALLIE: Cheering for you, Pat. Because, can I be frank? I hate that big honkin' bag. I mean, tassel? It looks awfully heavy. And can it go in the washing machine?
But then, I love the Baggallini, too, though I see what Sophie means about the (barely noticeable) leopard print. I'm sure Sophie would consider my fashion choices (Baggelinis, Birkenstocks, Eileen Fisher) tragic, too.
Have you had a youngster puncture your sense of style?
... and tune in tomorrow as the Reds discuss our own tragic and not-so tragic handbag choices. We'll answer this and other pressing questions: Can a diaper bag make a great purse?
Pat Kennedy is a public relations professional who's worked with clients for more than 25 years to help them understand their brand position and how to apply it across a spectrum of communication channels. Our successful approach helps clients successfully leverage and manage their brand – one of their most important assets.