Quest for a work tote: Goyard St Louis bag vs Marquises

For the past few years, I’ve been a happy user of the thicker Longchamp tote for work and travel. It’s lightweight and water-resistant (a must for Boston), perfect for hauling around my daily burden of clunky work laptop, heels, wallet, small makeup baggie, and snacks. Refer to my old Longchamp post for a review on these bags in all sizes. 

Lately, however, I’ve been looking for something new. The Longchamp is undeniably functional (and I still highly recommend it), but is more casual, and is seen on the arm of most college girls and working women in Boston.
20080411goyard Enter, Goyard. I first learned about this French company while interning in northern CA. Goyard was founded in 1853, one year before competitor Louis Vuitton, and has a rich history of award-winning luggage and bag making for royals. The only Goyard boutique in the US is in San Fran (though they can also be found in 3 Barneys and at Bergdorf’s).

Their coated canvas with leather products are all handmade in France, and their signature chevron pattern is hand-painted (goodness!) onto the canvas. Owners of Goyard pieces can get them personalized with initials, graphics, and stripes.

Although I was enamored by this lesser-known company and it’s striking chevron, I didn’t buy for a few reasons:
– The price
– A very limited pre-owned market. I don’t mind pre-owned items and like to browse resale markets.
– Their most popular bag, the St. Louis shopping tote, seemed impractical for me.
– Their more structured bags (a better value) were not exactly my style.

Alas, for years I admired these colorful bags from afar, and pointed them out with interest every time I saw one on a stranger (this happens maybe twice a year here in Boston). When Nick surprised me with this blue St Louis PM tote last month, my heart skipped a beat.
goyardblue

Same outfit as from this post, Tote: St Louis PM (medium sized, 19″W x 10″H)

After the initial excitement, I regained my senses and started evaluating the bag. Designed as a shopping tote, the St. Louis has thin handles and no zipper. The canvas was thin to me, and did not hold it’s shape very well. I put my 10lbs of laptop and other crap inside, and wasn’t sure if this tote would be able to sustain that kind of weight long-term. Although I was immensely touched that Nick came up with this gift, I wasn’t sure if bag was practical for my lifestyle…

During our trip to Barneys to return the St. Louis, I caught sight of a very polished woman with a red Goyard tote on her arm. I had never seen this style before. It looked smaller in size than the St. Louis PM, had a structured frame, AND a zipper. What could this be? Turns out it was a relatively newer style – the Marquises tote. And even better? This lady had just returned her black on black one.
goyard1
The SA pulled this tote out from behind the counter, and I just loved it. After asking if it’d be ok, I unloaded all of my junk from my Longchamp tote into this purse, and carried it around the store in a test run. At $1560, it was about 50% more than the St. Louis. The Marquises is still light like the St. Louis, but felt sturdier, and bodes features I need like a zip closure, structured base, and metal feet. I felt the overall look was strikingly clean and classic, with over a century of embedded history.
goyard2

Goyard Marquises Tote, black on black, 15″L x 11″H x 5.5″ W, with a 7″ handle drop

The size of this bag is borderline too big for a 5 feet tall gal, but it’s necessary to fit my daily haul. In comparison, my Lonchamp was similar in size, measuring 18″ across the top, 11″ across the bottom, and 11″ in height. In an upcoming post, I’ll show more photos of this bag against a shorter frame and the different ways it can be carried. Also, since Goyard is often compared against Louis Vuitton, I will be sharing some of my thoughts on how their coated canvas products stack up against each other.

Readers – Please share any recommendations for sturdy and nice-looking work totes : )
 

144 thoughts on “Quest for a work tote: Goyard St Louis bag vs Marquises

  • elleandish November 20, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I think it looks great! Your second choice was much better.. more mature and structured which matches you quite well. πŸ˜€ Congrats! Also props to Nick for choosing out a Goyard piece for you.. very sweet!

  • Well Heeled Blog November 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    The pattern is very sophisticated, and I love structured bags that are big enough to hold a couple of folders and even a netbook or an iPad. Great choice!

    I've been eying the Lodis Audrey Satchel Brief in both black (love the red outline) and red (cannot resist a red bag). I also like the Lodis Audrey Zip Top Tote. I got a Lodis patent leather wallet back in 2009, and it has held up OK, so I am hopeful the bags will as well.

  • Katherine November 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I'm so happy for you, I know how hard finding the perfect work tote can be (I'm still on the hunt!) This is a beautiful choice. My husband is very used to me returning gifts lol – can't wait to see you modeling this more! Can you fit in a standard size paper file easily?

    I've been working on a splurge/save post for forever but can never really get it together because my closet is such a jumbled mess – can't wait to read yours!

  • J November 20, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Jean, you look fabulous with the Marquises!! Great choice!! I've also had the chance to examine the St. Louis in person at both the HQ in SF & Barney's in Beverley Hills and it is excruciatingly underwhelming and incredibly overpriced!! The Marquises looks much better and I think is perfect for what you've stipulated that you need in a bag. Congrats again and can't wait to see more pics with it.

  • jessica November 20, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I think the Marquises tote looks great on you! perfect choice :))

  • Vicky November 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Congrats again on your new work tote, Jean! Very beautiful. Thank you for educating us on the history of Goyard vs. LV. When you mentioned 10 pound laptop it got me interested. May I ask how heavy exactly and the measurement of your laptop?

  • Cathie November 20, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love your final choice, it's classic and elegant. Love the trench coat, too! πŸ™‚

  • PetiteAsianGirl November 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    @Vicky Lol! Oh gosh, my laptop is not 10 lbs. I meant the entire content of my bag is 10 lbs (laptop w/ charger and case shoes, food, makeup). BUt out of curiosity, I just looked and weighed it for you. It's a clunky HP, 15" and weighs 5 lbs on my scale.

  • Erica November 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    The second one is a lovely bag, but is it really necessary to spend THAT MUCH on… a bag? It blows my mind. Please tell me you have the income to afford this and still save properly for retirement!

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I really like your blog, but wow, that much money for a canvas bag, money that is enough for more than one month rent for most people living in the US, just blew my mind away. I make a good living myself and can easily afford such a thing but it never comes across my mind that I should spend that much on a bag.

    I must be a minority here. You look lovely as always but it is not worth it.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Sorry Jean, but the bag is ugly, especially the patterns. It aged you by 10 years! You are young but you try so hard to dress a lot older. You might think dressing older is good for your career but that is just trying too hard. You should embrace your youthfulness.

  • Susan November 20, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    It seems like serendipity that the woman returned the black on black tote. πŸ™‚

    I love my Longchamp totes, but they're so ubiquitous, especially in Europe, so I've also been looking for something new for an everyday bag. Goyard is iconic but I can't bring myself to pay over $1000 for coated canvas. I recently bought the Burberry checked tote from Bloomingdales, which comes with a little removable wristlet as well. I use that separately as a clutch. The bag retails for $695, but I got it 20% off during their Family&Friends; sale. It's a bit big for my frame, but I love it.

  • Cher November 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Beautiful! I don't think it's overly big. If you have to carry a laptop and all the other essentials, there isn't too much you can do about it. I didn't think "WHOA, that's BIG!" LOL. But I do prefer my bags on the larger side anyway.

  • vonnie November 20, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    I like it! Only thing is… can it fit over your shoulder? πŸ™‚

  • PetiteAsianGirl November 20, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    @Anonymous@Erica

    Haha, oh Erica, my parents read my blog and I'm sure they're echoing your sentiments. As readers of my previous blog probably know, I'm a huge advocate of saving and investing, but I also believe in happily spending what is left over. I'm pretty intense with my financial planning and tracking, and save well over half of my income each month. Growing up in a family that stashed away every possible penny because we had to, I learned the importance of saving and living within your means. But in all honesty, it's about balance – saving and planning for the future, and enriching your current-day quality of life (and what that entails is different for every single person) with what's left.

    Anon – I hear ya, it's a ton for canvas. I even thought about not listing the price, but I post such information for reference (just like the measurements) and want my posts to be informative and transparent. I see this decision is opening myself up to the floodgates : ) Nevertheless, I stand behind my beliefs that with "leftover" hard-earned income – people should be free to spend on whatever makes them happy. Some people spend on vacations, some people spend on a car, and some like myself buy a canvas bag.

  • Clara Turbay November 20, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    i always enjoy this blog.

    http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

  • Vivian November 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Love the bag! (= Would want one for myself as well, maybe later in life. Hahaha. How is the weight compared to the Longchamp?

  • trang November 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I would never judge you or anyone on how they spend money. I know the importance of saving and investing for the future and try to spend sparingly myself, but every fall..I just can't help it. I spend way too much during fall, but rarely spend any other season unless I really need it. Personally, you know yourself better than anyone else and if purchasing that bag was worth it for you, than so be it. Do what makes you happy and the rest will fall into place. You should never have to justify your purchases to anyone, but yourself.

  • TaraMixandMatch November 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I really like it…great choice!

  • Kelsea Shiosaki November 20, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Of course you made the right choice! Sometimes it just takes a little more out of your wallet for a great investment. If you haul that much daily, it really is worth the size. I'm sure Nick understands that if it were just a tad bit more practical for your needs it would have been perfect! And you seem very appreciative of the thought πŸ™‚

    I can't wait to see you model this much more! Great post.

  • Angie November 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    i like the name st. louis πŸ™‚ i definitely think that the black one looks better. how sweet of nick to notice and get the bag for you nevertheless!

  • el.vi. November 20, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I have not been able to find a sturdy work bag…but being a teacher really doesn't give me room to spend too much money on a bag…I recently saw a marc jacobs tote I was willing to buy…but then I realize that I always need a black and brown bag to match my shoes/coat..I am still looking..:-) For now I am just carrying my work laptop in a lap top bag…:-(

  • a rose November 20, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    My mom is a business woman and she always told me how important it is to have a nice bag and nice shoes to meet customers. I've read your blog for a while now and you seem to be reasonable with your purchases (always looking for coupons and not buying thing because they are on sale).

    I think the bag is beautiful and classic. Though it's not something I can afford to buy for myself, I will definitely recommend it to my mom and her friends. Thanks, Jean!

  • Pablo November 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    That colorful sweater is just gorgeous, I love it =).

    Btw, I have posted something about fashion on my blog that I'm sure you'll like. If you want, you can take a look at http://bloobreyplace.blogspot.com

  • Hazel November 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    You made the right choice. The second bag is absolutely stunning! very professional and timeless look! Hate the thin handles of the neverfull-like shopping tote. I also invest a lot on my designer bags which i find worthy. It really depends on where you want to save and where to splurge, and what can make you happy!

  • R.L. November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I love that the brand is relatively unknown! Usually I stay away from ubiquitous patterns (like LVs) bec I feel I may as well don on a shirt with a huge label across the front. But Goyard's chevron pattern is now on my radar. πŸ™‚ I'm very impressed that as thin as the straps are they can still carry a laptop and then some.

    My thrifty Asian mom loves to "save" nice things by not using them. She's let dozens of leather planners go to waste. So I definitely do by best to strike a balance between saving and splurging occasionally/wisely. The discretionary part of someone's hard-earned income deserves to be spent on things they enjoy.

  • The Little Dust Princess November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I love the one you ended up with. The more structured look seems more doable. : ) This is such a great investment! I wasn't really able to tell that it was canvas! The pattern is very unique and I know you thought about it and will use it for years.

    I've been on the hunt for a good tote as well. Something for school, but can also take me into the workplace in the future. My eye is on the Celine luggage tote. I'm still searching for a good deal! The taupe is gorgeousss. Have you ever considered that as a work bag?

  • Kiwi's Fashion Blog November 20, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I think it's a great investment! It looks classic and pulls off the work professional look perfectly!

  • Wendy's Lookbook November 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    I've been waiting for this post! I've seen Goyard and have been a fan from afar. I think the bag looks great on you! A very chic work and travel bag.

    In regards to spending on investment items, I'm not the type to judge anyone on their spending habits or lifestyle. In the end, I think everyone is intelligent and reflective enough to understand their own needs and desires. Most of my wardrobe budget is dedicated to handbags and shoes because I truly think they make an outfit. For my own personal budgeting system, I always think about selling a handbag in my current collection before buying a new or new-to-me one. That way, I can fund new purchases without overindulging. I think everyone should live life responsibly and happily. I think saving is great and splurging once in awhile is healthy.

  • CynthiaC November 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I think the bag is worth the investment, Jean. It's not like you're spending $1K on something that would only last you one season. I've watched enough What Not To Wear to know that it's important to spend more on classics that will last you for years. Besides, one might view something as "expensive" while another would see it as an "investment" and yet another, "affordable." It just depends on one's situation.

    As for looking "too old" – it's important for a petite woman, especially one who looks younger than she is to try to look mature. It's about being taken seriously.

  • Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) November 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Jean, what a gorgeous bag! I really love the colour of the one nick got you, but I do agree your final choice is more practical. I was skimming through some of your comments and although this is a style blog I would love to hear some of your financial tracking secrets!

  • lin November 20, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    jean, nice choice in the bag. if you're going to use it often, spending a little more is worth it. in the long run, it's a great investment. by the way, thanks for the info on goyard. πŸ™‚

  • Jagiri November 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    I need to new bag too, and I love the one you chose. Beautiful

    I did tell you

  • Grace November 20, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I have to admit that I gasp at the prices occasionally. However, I also agree that it's a balance between preparing for the future and having a good quality of life now. Can't really complain if Jean's banking half her salary. Jean, do you ever feel guilty about your purchases? My parents are super frugal and I also bank half my salary. I'm a dining out person, and I feel guilty whenever I go out and spend +$20 on dinner. Never mind the few times a year when it's +$100 w/no alcohol! I truly enjoy those meals, but I feel like I'm spending money very frivolously.

    On a separate note, is there anything truly spectacular about designer bags in general? I'm super picky about my one purse. It takes me forever to find a purse that I like. I'm considering getting a designer bag but remain unconvinced that PVC, canvas, or even leather bags should command the prices that they do. The quality can't be that good, can it? Maybe you can do a post on things you have noticed between cheap and pricier bags? Maybe some ways to tell if a bag is of high or low quality?

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Hi Jean, first of all I apologize for posting anonymously but it seems the only option available if you don't have a google account or a blog. If that isn't the case, please educate your readers! I want to congratulate you first for returning your boyfriend's gift if it wasn't the right bag for you, as it would've been easier to hold on to something sentimental. I really liked the bold blue color of the St. Louis, and thought it added a nice dose of color to your outfit–I admittedly am less a fan of the black. Re: the new bag, I am witholding judgement until I see more pictures–I will say that in the one you posted it does seem a tad too big for your frame. I find as a fellow petite large bags that are longer vertically as opposed to horizontally elongate and are more flattering. My ten cents. –April

  • Ashley November 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    If you want to stick with functional, durable, yet fashionable nylon, go for JPK Paris. They sell them at Nordstrom.

  • Bravoe Runway November 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I think you made a great decision! For my "nice" work tote, I purchased the Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Stresa in the PM size. I love it, but it is quite limited in terms of what it can accommodate. I like this Goyard bag and I think you made a great decision. It is slightly on the larger side but if it fits what you need then it is perfect for you!

  • Lesley W. Gao November 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    it's a gorgeous bag but for 1500 dollars you can get a Prada executive tote that also allow you to carry everything to work and it's calfskin and classic!

    ps. what's the made of your watch you are wearing in the first pic?

  • Michelle November 20, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I think it's a very nice-looking bag. πŸ™‚ Would I have ever paid that much for a bag myself? Probably not, but I don't have your job and I don't have your tastes. You clearly have been wanting a bag in this line for a while, and it does seem serendipitous that you went to Barneys at JUST the right time to snap up this return! Given that it was a relatively considered purchase, you're not spending "beyond your means", and and that you believe the bag will get a lot of use, you rock on with your bad self.

    The one thing I will mention, because you have said that you commute, is that I too used to schlep (NYC subway) in a big shoulder bag, because I was conscious about how I would appear to my mostly-male coworkers and clients. And then I noticed that my male AND female coworkers mostly schlepped their laptops in backpacks, so I caved and joined them. Less stylish, certainly, but SO MUCH BETTER FOR MY BODY to be able to spread the weight over both shoulders and my back vs only one arm/shoulder, even though I tried to alternate shoulders. My clients never seemed to bat an eye and no one ever said it was unprofessional — most of us have come to realize how bad for our bodies laptops in shoulder bags are.

    Now, the day that I can commute with just an iPad… πŸ˜€

  • Lesley W. Gao November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm
  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    You look great as always. πŸ™‚ I don't like the bag though… not because of the price, but the pattern looks too busy to me. I prefer solid color handbag for everyday use. Just my two cents.

  • contrary kiwi November 20, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    I'm not a handbag connoisseur at all – I bought a satchel from an Army surplus store in 2006 and take that with me everywhere, causing some rude store ladies to tell me to get a better bag – so I can't say that I can appreciate your choice of bag at all. They are all the same for me.

    What I do appreciate is your transparency and good sense and politeness when it came to explaining to those of us who aren't handbag fans that you're not making a crazy, rash purchase but are spending carefully on something that is important to you. You're right – we should definitely use our spending money to buy things we enjoy, so good on you πŸ™‚

  • Petite and Hungry November 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    gorgeous! those bags look great for work!

  • I am Khatu November 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    great choice on the second bag. I don't think this ages you at all, if anything it resonates great taste. You don't see too many of these bags walking around town. And $1500 is a lot to some, but that number is also relative to how much one makes. You work really hard and you should spend your money how you please.

  • Megan November 20, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I love the bag! I use my LV Neverfull GM everyday and it's so worth it to have a bag that not only fits everything, but one that is a good looking workhorse. I get a million compliments from my clients – I just wonder how you can let the Goyard of your sight, because even at half the price "Bad Louis" is never left alone, as I'm terrified someone will make off with him!

  • Tam November 20, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Wow–your new bag is lovely, Jean! Personally, I like the black-on-black and the shape of the Marquise more than that of the St. Louis. I use a Longchamp Le Pliage large tote for work and have been considering getting something a little more upscale, but I haven't decided on anything yet. This post was very helpful!

    I have been reading your blog for a while now as I'm also a very petite professional and can relate to the challenges we face when trying to find appropriate and fashionable attire (I'm just under 5' and about 93 lbs.). I recently started my own personal style blog and plan to discuss petite fashion issues, as well.

  • kristine25 November 20, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    Jean, I loved the Saint Louis tote because I honestly believed that the color would compliment any outfit, but reading that it had no zipper was a major turn-off. Also, I've seen this bag on some women and the thing that irked me the most was that the bag had no structure. If you're going to invest on a designer bag you definitely need something that will stand the test of time. That being said, I believe that the Marquises will be one of the soundest investments you have ever made! It will hold anything and everything you place inside. I can't wait to see more pictures of you with your Goyard.
    On a side note, I firmly believe that if you work hard for your money and properly allocate your earnings you are more than entitled to spend your money in any way you wish. As my mother says, "You can't take your money with you into the afterlife."

  • Nan November 20, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    Jean, I discovered your blog this spring and have been hooked since. This is the first time I've commented on any blogs, but I wanted to say that you are fabulous, strong, and simply a class act πŸ™‚

  • easy petite looks November 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    i like the second one much better on you, great choice! i love designer bags and i definitely think they're worth the splurge, especially since most of them have a good resale value anyways. i like leather and think celine and chloe make pretty good work bags, but they're a bit more plain, imo.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    love the bag, better choice than St Louis-more structural & professional and at the same weight, definitely worth the investment!
    as an Asian petite professional woman myself, I believe dressing up to look more mature and actually more of my "real age" is extremely important in the work place, to avoid situations where colleagues/clients mistaken me for an intern (it's happened before). Cheers to you!

  • Lauren November 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I carry a Jack Russell Malletier "Jardinier 52" leather tote for work. The straps are long enough for a short shoulder and it's big but not too big. I have the same tote in black canvas with gray straps for rain/winter weather.

    I found them in Paris and they're just appropriately whimsical for a 24 year old but still very professional and fashionable.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Also wanted to share that Tumi & MZ wallace also have great waterproof light nylon/poly women's handbags with zippers, perfect for work!

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I love Ivanka Trump Alexandrite Satchel (you can get it on endless.com) or Ivanka Trump Madison Satchel. They are both big enough and have structured shapes.

  • Anonymous November 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I'm a long time follower of your blog but am a bit shy to post my current opinion through my name – sorry! This is the only one of your picks that I don't like. You have a very classic style and while the Goyard print is timeless, the shape and details of this bag are not. The contrasting tan on the handles, the boxiness and inelegant shape makes it an unworthy investment …it doesn't look expensive and classy like your other accessories. I could see a Celine luggage tote fitting more into your style….still, at the end of the day- if this makes you happy, that's the most important thing. Am only offering my opinion in case you were undecided still.

  • Kirsty November 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Wow the price of that makes the Longchamp bags seem like a bargain! It does look gorgeous though, very sophisticated. As an art major, I can't even imagine hand painting that pattern so perfectly! I would probably charge that amount if I was the one doing the painting!

  • Michelle November 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I think it's beautiful! Congrats πŸ™‚

  • Michelle November 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Ohh! I love that purse! It looks like a great carry-on bag, too! That was so thoughtful of Nick!

    I have been using the same bag for work since I started teaching in early 2006…a Cole Haan purse (about the same size as your bag) that my in-laws gifted me as a graduation present. It has held up so well!

    And…I love that Old Navy sweater on you!! I was just showing my husband your purse when he asked me to "go back up" to where your sweater was…he likes it too! πŸ™‚

  • PetiteAsianGirl November 20, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you everyone else for sharing your suggestions with us! Well Heeled Blog – the red lodis is quite striking!

    @Lesley W. Gao The watch is Michael Kors "Jet set" style in tortoise : ) The Prada tote you linked to is beautiful. When I was in Toronto recently, I noticed many women looking very sharp in their business wear and black Prada leather totes. I'd be too afraid to put my laptop in a nice leather bag, and I'd be especially worrysome of a nice leather bag being in the rain and snow. In the last week alone, the Goyard had to withstand two commutes in the rain when I forgot my umbrella.

    @AnonymousHi there – thank you for being a longtime reader, and there's absolutely no need to be shy to post under your name. I welcome and value all honest opinions, and I never expect everyone to agree with my personal taste : ) I think the Celine luggage tote is gorgeous and I've been admiring it on many bloggers (I have yet to see any on someone in Boston). When I went to return my bag, you betcha I tried some luggage totes on at Barneys. One thing I noticed is how weighty it is, and I've heard from fellow bloggers that it gets very heavy when filled. And for the same reasons I mentioned above, a nice leather bag is currently not functional for me as an everyday tote, so alas I have to stick to nylon or canvas and admire the beautiful leather ones on others! One day, if I no longer had to carry a laptop nor commute in New England weather, I'd love a mini luggage tote in taupe.

    @Anonymous Hi April! If you enjoy reading blogs on Blogger, I think it's fairly easy to create a blogger account just for commenting. It helps us put comments to a name/face : ) And thank you for your opinion re: size. Ideally, for someone my height I'd recommend sticking to 12" wide bags or smaller. Having a 15" laptop is a bummer.

  • Sunshine November 21, 2011 at 1:26 am

    oh boyyy, i also recently invested in a work bag and i'm afraid to post it now lol. i really admire women who live a balanced life…whether it is with material goods or whatever. i share the same philosophy with you, jean. i have a set amount for spendings and savings so i happily spend whatever is left. but i understand why others might not see it that way though. my bf knows damn well how much $$ i save each month yet he still raises an eyebrow every time i invest in something "nice." i applaud your "frugal-but-knows-when-to-splurge" lifestyle so rock on! πŸ™‚

    now, to this beautiful bag. i haven't seen too much of this brand but i definitely adore the fun prints. you look so classy in that last shot, i love it. i had slightly different requirements in a work bag because thankfully, i don't have to lug around a laptop every day. congrats on finding this beauty and ending your long search. i can imagine your co-workers & clients loving (envying) your style πŸ˜›

  • Lisa November 21, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Jean – I think your Goyard is classic, beautiful and sophisticated. I've never seen that new style. I love how you can have fun with your clothes but you elevate the outfits with quality accessories. I recently was able to score a YSL tote bag on sale so a Goyard tote will have to wait until I've saved up again. πŸ™‚ I am inspired by your low/high fashion style and love how you share your sales and honest postings of high end purchases (I really appreciate you adding the prices). Thanks!

  • DiamondsandTulle November 21, 2011 at 1:50 am

    Looks perfect on you! I love how the structured style will hold a crisp shape! I heart the classic Goyard style and hope one day to have my own!

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Looks great on you and match the outfit! Just one question, is the material flimsy ?is it durable?

  • Mona November 21, 2011 at 2:07 am

    You are always so beautiful and stylelish<3 I was really glad that you note my post <3 :)
    Love your style!!:)

  • dietingfashions November 21, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I like the St. Louis' color – it is a fun blue color. But I like how the Marquises has a more polish appeal to it.

    And there's nothing wrong to splurge once in a while.

  • Jen (@CasualChicMom) November 21, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Jean – your choice of bag definitely does not age you. It's unique, timeless, and classic! Definitely an investment. I believe you're in finance, since you're going for your CFA. My brother is a CFA in the east coast (CT, now in Manhattan) and I know how conservative that field is, especially in conservative Boston! (I've been downtown in your financial district and have seen how professional
    women dress there). He handles accounts for other corporations, so his clients are mostly CFO's and the like. I can imagine that you meet with similar high-profile clients as well. You dress the part with your sophisticated work wardrobe + accessories. I love how you round up your wardrobe with fun weekend wear.Β 

    BTWΒ Β I finally enabled my Blogger account so I can post comments. I've been following you and other petite bloggers since early this year. It's still a pain to leave comments since I'm on my phone a lot when I do my blog-reading – that's why I usually resort to Twitter to connect with you guys! Β ~Jen E.

  • Kelly @stilettohardwre November 21, 2011 at 4:14 am

    I think it looks great on you, Jean. It's functional and classic! And, there's nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while πŸ™‚

  • Marie November 21, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I love your choice and it's sweet Nick has been paying attention to your likes. I still can't believe they are hand painted!!

    http://www.fashionofmysoul.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I have seen the st.louis bag all over New York when I was visiting and was wondering what the brand is "now I know thanks to you" and its style reminded me of the "never full" LV similar style "I thought the st.louis pattern must have been an LV cruise collection or something".I lived in Boston for over 5 years and recently moved to Louisiana and never saw a st. Louis bag carried anywhere in Boston,as you said longchamp was always a winner.
    I do like the st. Louis casual look but the marquises suits your style better and more classic.I wanted to know what would you recommend for a more budget friendly classic everyday bag, and what do you think of Michael Kors the Hamilton large tote?and what you think of Tory burch "especially her small evening bags vs. a high end brand small evening bag such as dior?would you get a Tory bag or wait til you can get a small dior or chanel?
    Thank you for your wonderful blogs.

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Great bag!!! I'm a fan of Goyard but sadly, doesn't own one (yet). I'm looking for a pre-owned one but there doesn't seem to be much around. I've been eyeing the Goyard Sac Vendome PM but when I found out how much a new one costs, I almost fell out of my chair!!! And in my dreams, I want a burgundy one but apparently, Goyard charges much more for other colors aside from black, red and tan. Oh well, I hope they come out with a smaller Marquises (with a smaller price tag).

  • Queen Lucii November 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

    "I creepily followed her around the store" hahaha this line made me laugh so hard (i am sitting in a room by myself at my bfs place reading ur blog..his family probably thinks i am crazy!!)

    Anyways, onto the topic at hand. I don't think the bag is worth it imo longchamp is better in terms of looks AND price.

    However, u look lovely πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

    The bag is stunning, and you look incredible with it. As for the price, yes it is expensive but it is absolutely fine to splurge once in a while. Don't let anyone guilt you into thinking otherwise. There are bags that are considerably more expensive than your bag – it's not like you went out and spent $5,000 (and even if you did, that is your decision and not deserving of criticism). And as for the bag being too old for you (again, I am referring to a few negative posts), totally ridiculous. You look young, chic, and elegant with that bag, especially paired with your beautiful trench. Very European. All in all, a magazine-worthy look. Good job!

  • Vicky November 21, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Jean, I hope your readers have your best interest in heart when they commented on your spending habit, making sure that you have money left over for other things – wedding, family, babies, college, you name it (not hinting anything..) Keep in mind though being judgmental is just part of human nature trying to justify their own lifestyle. So, take it with a grain of salt. I also want to share this article with your readers shared by Janelle on twitter. I think it's a fantastic read:
    http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/judgmental-money-spending/

  • My Dressy Ways November 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Jean, I think you made a great choice with this bag. When I saw that last picture of you with the bag I thought, "That is SO Jean." It suits you perfectly. I love hearing your reasons for why you make the purchases you do, whether it's a Target item or a Goyard tote. Thank you for your transparency. I (a non-luxury) buying woman have never heard of Goyard so I appreciate you posting the price you paid as I was hoping you would while I was reading the post leading up you posting the price.

    Great article recommendation Vicky! I get a lot of comments from coworkers and friends alike based on their perception (only) of my wardrobe. Yes, I love to shop, yes it seems like I never wear the same thing twice but I buy pieces that I know go with my current items so I can mix and match and it looks like I'm never wearing the same thing. And yet, I don't have thousands of dollars in credit debt and I don't ask for anyone's help in paying for my lifestyle. Matter of fact, my husband and I actually make enough to support ourselves, two kids and my in-laws who live with us, in addition to helping out other family members when they can't financially support themselves. I definitely know the work that goes into every dollar earned, have known since I started working at age 14! I even worked long before that alongside my parents. You work hard for your money and it's no one's place to ridicule you for it. You deserve it and kudos to you for finding yourself the perfect, sophisticated tote to match your style!

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 10:08 am

    what lipcolor are you wearing here? pretty!

  • lollipop November 21, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I love the bag you exchanged it for! And I love the colorful sweater you are wearing in the first picture too! I can't seem to find it online at oldnavy. Did you get it in store? Thanks!!
    <3

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

    What was your previous blog? Is it still posted somewhere?

  • Nelah November 21, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Jean: I like the bag (structure, shape, size). The bag may seem a bit mature but it looks great on you. It is something you can use for the years to come. I personally love coated canvas for an everyday work bag. I use my Dior Panarea for months and couldn't be happier, very low maintenance and classic looking. I highly recommend if someone is looking for a large tote bag.

    I am much older than you and I always admire your choice of clothes/bags/shoes and accessories from afar because you have great style. I didn't have any of the high end designers pieces until this year. You are a strong, smart and beautiful young lady so I say screw the people who judge you with no good intention. No need to explain to the world how you spend or save cuz they will still judge. You work and save to buy them, not rob the bank. Judging is a human's epidemic.

  • Cee November 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    The blue print is young and fun, whereas the black feels more classic and work-appropriate to me. Great choice in exchanging for the second bag. Can not wait to see it with future outfits!

    Sometimes I wish talking about money isn't such a taboo topic. I find it interesting to hear about other people's spending habits. Sure, I judge others, but I also know I get judged. I feel it's almost human nature to be judgemental, but the intention behind it all is what's important. Are you judging because you use it as a resource to see how your spending/saving stack up against others, either to keep yours in check or pat yourself on the back so to speak? I think that's perfectly fine. Or are you judging because you're truly worried that some aren't living within their means and you want to help? I also think this is okay, but they may not necessarily take your caring as such. Or are you judging because you're jealous that others have the means to spend more than you? This one is trickier because it's harder to know their circumstance. Ie: they may have gotten lucky and have family money, or are they working harder for their money? If the latter, perhaps it's time to work harder yourself. I'm a believer that as long as you have good intentions behind all the judging/curiosity, it's all good.

  • lpng24 November 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Jean, I admire your etiquette for taking compliments and criticism so graciously. As much as you are welcoming everybody's own personal judgement and tastes in material objects to be shared, I wish for you to receive the same courtesy back.

    I'm lovin the color of the bag very much. Do enjoy your lovely bag in good health πŸ™‚

  • CafΓ© Bellini November 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Following her around the store, how hilarious – maybe you can get the video from the store's security cameras and show us?! πŸ™‚

  • CoriFairy November 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    My first comment on your blog : ) and even I'm a big big fan of wendy's lookbook, I like your blog very much too. It's different but very informative.
    What a heated debate about that bag! I like the Goyard very much but- don't take it amiss- I really thought you forget the point somewhere on the price. LOL. Although this bag would almost devour my monthly salary I think as long as we don't forget about the basic commodities in life- like humanity, helpfulness, thankfulness… everyone should spent/waste as much money as he likes to for anything he wants to. OMG my English is a real mess.
    Enjoy your beautiful tote as a daily companion ; ) I would if I could do so too!
    Love from Hamburg, germany

  • mirigoround November 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I keep coming back to your blog because it's very thoughtful- the posts, the honesty, and your gracious answers to as many readers as possible. (Even when comments become prickly and judgmental!)

    I remember that you posted about how you budget your fashion spending, and it tied in very nicely with the article Vicky posted. You're justified in your choices… and that beautiful Goyard can be passed down to the next generation- how's that for value?

  • AUBS* November 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    If I had the income, I'd invest, esp if it's an investment for work, at which most ppl spend 1/3 (or more) of their day. and it's part of a gift, so enjoy!! As far as retirement, never worry – isn't that what kids are for? hahah i joke.

    thx for the intro to this brand. Last picture is classy! I love jet black hair w/light skin & red lips.

    (omg, i think my work blocked my capabilities to comment on blogs.)

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Even though I'm completely bag-ignorant, I love the bag, it's utterly beautiful. The pattern reminds me of MC Escher.

    I wouldn't ever presume to judge you for your purchases or spending habits (as I probably spend as much on my pets, hobbies, etc), and I completely agree with the philosophy of "spending and enjoying what's left over." However, I do have issues with the internet culture surrounding designer purchases on blogs (not yours) and places like ThePurseForum– sometimes I think the "supportive" rhetoric at those places builds up the items to a horrific degree. People always "congratulate" each other on a purchase, or say they "need" such-and-such bag. I've always thought that congratulations were for genuine achievements/ hard-work (maybe if you've been saving up for the bag for ages, but then the congratulations should be for the saving, not the bag-obtaining). They also almost never mention the retail price. All the language ultimately creates this massive consumerist, spending-obsessed group mentality.

    I was once linked to a thread on TPF where a woman showed off what was probably a hundred or so Hermes orange boxes, some filled with little key chain things and some with bigger bags and whatnot. It was one of the scariest things I'd ever seen– more money than I spend in five years, all in orange boxes– and everyone was congratulating her and telling her she was amazing! It doesn't take much skill or talent to spend money indiscriminately at Hermes (perhaps to earn the money in the first place…), but I feel like the culture builds designer-shopping up to be some sort of extreme sport, complete with adoring spectators.

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Have you considered buying a celine work tote? The work tote is gorgeous and is made of genuine leather instead of coated canvas. I think your goyard tote, through beautiful, is too expensive for the material it is made out of.

  • Alterations Needed November 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Lovely bag Jean! It's beautiful, functional, and you love it. Good find! I like the black much better than the blue, and the shape is much better suited to you.

    I find it interesting how many people tend to spend their "fun money". Some people invest in where they live (you know the types, their house is immaculately furnished and gorgeous at all times). Some people invest in vacations (the types who are always counting down to their next exotic trip). Some people invest in food (foodies who ONLY eat at the best restaurants). Some invest in their closets (this is me…I usually live in cheap apartments, eat cheap food, rarely take vacations…but you can find all my "fun money" in my closet). This is just to name a few (beauty spenders, child spenders, too many to name)! Each type thinks the other is crazy for spending so much in any other area. Again, I said most people, because I also know there are spending-phobes who sock away EVERYTHING.

    Along a similar line, I also know a lot of people who invest in things they "live in". Such as in Los Angeles, lots of people live in crap places, but own nice expensive cars. For the amount of our lives Angelinos spend in traffic, commuting, etc., it's a worthy investment for us. In your case, living in a city where you walk everywhere or take public transport makes it more likely that you'd want to invest in a bag that you can stylishly and safely schlep your life around in.

    It's all fascinating! And I'll admit to feeling sheepish about bringing my expensive handbags and shoes around friends or co-workers who don't spend the same way. However, most of these people are foodies or vacationers, so they're spending just as much as me…just in another way. But of course, we all think the other is nuts for doing so. =)

  • Lela November 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    That outfit is lovely on you! πŸ™‚ Perfectly prim.

    Besos,
    Lela
    Enter my blog competition to win Jeffrey Campbell Litas!

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I know it's not "stylish" but I would highly consider using a laptop backpack instead of a tote because you carry around a work laptop everyday. I used to carry around a Macbook and thought THAT was heavy for a public transit commute. (One recommendation: MacCase premium leather top flight).

    I know lots of older working women who suffer from years of working (heavy) shoulder bags…and now that have to carry their bags by hand, instead of their right shoulder. Be careful about how heavy your work totes are, whether it's $5 or $5,000 πŸ˜›

  • Pepper November 21, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Wow! Congratulations on finally convincing me to stop reading your blog. This post about "needing" to have a thousand dollar, ugly bag is just bananas and I am not following your blog anymore because of it. Where are the posts about showing fashion to petite women?? Id rather spend $150 on the J brand jeans you were unsure about about than spending that on a bags like that. Trust me, it's not worth it, nobody cares. Really.

    Hold on a second…aren't you in finance? Lord help your clients, I sure would NOT get advice from you. You don't need a degree to know that any material thing that you purchase, that DOES NOT give you more money in return, is not my friend, an investment. Shame on you. I'm telling my daughter and her friends to stop reading your blog too.

  • Jenn November 21, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    @Pepper It's a shame you have decided to stop reading Jean's blog. You will seriously be missing out πŸ˜‰

    Jean laid out her personal reasons for buying this bag. She isn't forcing you to buy anything or advocating that we all go out and spend our money on this Goyard bag. She is simply providing a helpful review on a bag she saved up money for to purchase, so stop judging her.

    Also, no need for personal attacks. If you don't like what Jean blogs about you are of course welcome to voice your opinion, but there is certainly no need to insult Jean's intelligence.

  • Emily November 21, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @Pepper There is no need to bash Jean… people work to be able to spend their money as they please. Some of your comments were absolutely ridiculous. Jean has nothing to be ashamed of, as a matter of fact you do. We're grown ups… this isn't high school… there is no need to demean someone the way you did simply for not agreeing with them. By the way, pointing out that no one "cares" was obviously a lie, because you sure seemed to care a whole lot.

    Jean, the bag is gorgeous. You wear it beautifully.

  • a rose November 21, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    @Pepper: Jean will be better off without a reader like you =).

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    @pepper
    you're a mother and you act like this? talk about narrow-minded. jean is just sharing her experience and info she researched on the bag, she didn't tell us to go out and buy it….i'm not sure what your problem is but she has splurged on other things yet you've never said anything before which leads me to think there's something else going on here…..

  • Olivia November 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Jean – Thanks for another thoughtful and informative post! I also really appreciate that you included the price because I believe that knowledge IS power, and there is no reason to include as much info as possible – it's so helpful! I hope you ignore any judgmental and negative comments about money that have been posted on your blog. You are awesome!! Thanks again!

  • Olivia November 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    – oops I meant to say there is no reason NOT to include as much info as possible!

  • Leslie November 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Jean! I'm a regular reader but don't normally comment. Your bag suits you perfectly! Congrats on finding something that you love and will use for years to come. You've really done your research and have given us an interesting bag history lesson. Ha ha! I do love knowing the story behind a bag. I also love that post with the pictures of you trying on bags of different sizes – so helpful! Anyways, you seem really happy with your new acquisition and I hope that a few peoples' negative comments do not detract from this!

    @Pepper, I know it must be quite a shock to read that someone spent so much on a bag when you are accustomed to reading about the super good deals that Jean shares with us. Please consider, however, that the tone of your post comes across as disrespectful, and is likely to invite negative comments towards yourself. It is perfectly fine to disagree with Jean's opinions/actions and even her sense of aesthetics, but there is no need express yourself in such a hurtful way. I hope the internet can be a better place than that. : ) Jean has always been very diplomatic and sincere in her communications with her readers, and I think that her behaviour towards people is a classy example for your daughter, or anyone.

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Jean, I think you mentioned that you used to have a blog on finances but stopped working on it cause some people thought it was a real snooze. I love reading articles on how to save money and would love to hear what you have to say about it.

  • The Little Dust Princess November 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    @Pepper
    Pepper, you should read this articled titled "Attention annoying hypocrites: Stop being judgmental about your friends’ money habits". This might tell you a few things about WHY you're judging Jean's spending. This post is simple: She bought something, and now she's sharing it (like she does with most of her items).

    I can't believe you would unfollow someone's blog because of something they bought. Don't you think Jean put a lot of thought into this? This post IS still about "petite women" as she compares the bag sizes against her small frame. And trust me, thousands of women care about carrying expensive handbags.

    One more thing: we all know you're gonna continue lurking her blog whether you like it or not.

  • Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    @Pepper – haters only hate the things they can't have and the people they can't be

  • myhanh November 21, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Nearly 100 posts- wowwie kazowie! Go, Jean, go! Your past posts have shown how frugal you are with most purchases- stackable coupons, ebates, thrifting, and selling unneeded things. What a well-thought out purchase. What do people say in these situations? Whatever floats your boat. To each their own. What's good for the goose (may not) good for the gander. Okay so maybe not the last one, but you've certainly opened the flood gates to some interesting conversation! It has also been a quite respectful. Thank you for modeling and for keeping the peace.

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