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Full Version: Crimes of Fashion part Deux...this time, it's personal.
The BUST Lounge > Forums > Absolutely Fad-ulous
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When I was in college, far too many of the members of a certain sorority carried their books in Vera Bradley totebags. The best was one owned by a girl I was rather fond of--covered in big freaking rooster print. Not only did she look like a country-decorated kitchen threw up on her, she opened herself up to all kinds of jokes... biggrin.gif

llama, laugh.gif Where I live, there is a Vera Bradley factory, so the products are freaking everywhere here. Almost everyday is a country kitchen nightmare!

A dear old friend of mine from high school insists on using fanny packs. She travels all the time and swears my there convience. She a beautiful, bright, all around joy to be around kind of girl, but I swear one of these days I'm going to raid her house and nab them all, then promptly burn them.
I actually told a very good friend of mine while Christmas shopping, that for someone so concerned about the size of, and drawing attention away from her ample apple-bottom she should probably stop strapping on an extra ass in public. A LARGE WHITE FUCKING FANNY-PAC.

Yeah. I also made her look at herself with the fucker strapped on in a 3 way mirror. Needless to say Lorraine doesn't find the convenience of fanny packing it so desirable anymore.
i'm guilty of the fanny pack horror, but only when absolutely necessary. at least i'll wear a big ol' sweatshirt to hide it.

today's COF: thinking i'm hot shit and i'm losing weight, so i fasten my bra on the next-to-last hook instead of the last one. only i'm wearing a sweater and now i've got four very obvious tits bursting forth.

so going into the bathroom to refasten this sucker. ugh. mad.gif
dude. your cupeth runneth over
re: Vera Bradley bags

I was a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding last summer, and her gift to each of us was a Vera Bradley overnight bag. Mine is black and red paisley, or as she put it, more "punk rock" for me. It's actually kinda pretty, but it's certainly not punk.
*snort* at wb

wtf moment... in the park, about half one/two in the afternoon, so it wasn't a walk of shame. and bear in mind it snowed this morning (even though it had melted by then). Bright pink baggy cargo trousers of many straps, the kind that were cool for about ten seconds a few years ago. too-big rainbow-coloured wide horizontal stripe (the "i'm hippy and individual" sort, where the stripes are in fact sewn together and it looks like it's inside-out and is sold worldwide at music festivals and bought by every teenager on thier first ever solo trip to camden market) strappy vest-top. and no bra.

folded arms and a face like a smacked bottom were her only accessories.

I once found a punk tie dye shirt :

deep black back ground, red and orange frenetic patterns. About the most un "mellow" shirt ever.

Hardly the hippie rainbow and pastelly things

of course, I still wouldn't wear it NOW

QUOTE(mornington @ Jan 24 2007, 08:41 AM) *

a face like a smacked bottom

all red-cheeked, with a puckered up mouth like... yes. it's the face pulled by small children while sulking, shortly before throwing a tantrum
Nickclick, the juxtaposition of punk rock and Vera Bradley cracks me up!
However, I just realized that in all my talking of smack, my knitting needle case is a really freaking bright orange and pink fake Vera print. Knitting CoF!

mornington, that is truly a great idiom. biggrin.gif
Punk vera bradley? I am picturing pastel skulls and quilted fabric.

Your knitting bag is forgivable, not really a COF.

heehee, 'like a smacked bottom', mornington!

walkingb, laugh.gif But, there is no convincing my buddy the fanny packs have to go. She is very stubborn.
(I've heard 'face like a smacked bottom' many times here in the mid-atlantic US.)

Isn't the whole point of punk to subvert the dominant paradigm?

(my, but I'm pretentious. joking! joking!)

One of Boston's first punk rockers took the beige poly/cotton blend jacket with the red plaid lining that was worn by all of Boston's young bank clerks and up and coming local politicians and wore it --- inside out.
spotted at work the other night:
messy hair
green sequinned clutch (which, upon closer inspection, the green paint had faded off of many of the sequins)

also that same night:
a woman whose weave tracks were clearly visible.

ETA: "trachs" are a medical procedure, not what holds a weave in place.
Wow. I had no idea there was a brand name on those ugly totes. My gran got me a travel set with a jewelry bag & stuff like that. Wow.

Fanny packs. My *dad* carried one because the girth of his wallet fucked with his back. He had a HUGE belly & wore the pack underneath it. Like, attack of the eight months pregnant marsupial people. He took it off when he got places so he didn't look like a complete fool. Carried it under his arm like a woman, he did. He was notorious for yelling throughout our house, "Has anybody seen my purse?"
Punk IS the dominant paradigm. Since I'm living through it for what seems like the 3rd time!!!!
(and I'm a bit envious that the whole hair colour problem is so much easier now).
snorts at the fanny purse
AP, you have the best stories evah.

I've got a sister who's into the VB bags as well. I love her to pieces and we agree on a lot of things aesthetically, but sometimes I think she's one breakdown and a manicure away from going all Stepford on me with those hideous quilted bags. What the hell kind of status symbol is it supposed to be? Besides one of fugliness...?
*snort* my dad did that too, AP... I even have a photo of him somewhere wearing the damn thing with this huuuge grin on his face, while me and the Boy Wonder pull those faces kids pull when they're hideously embarrassed.

now he confines himself to mustard yellow t-shirts, long shorts and black trainers with white socks halfway up his calves. and the odd dodgy sweater bought in the mid-seventies.
The Vera Bradley bag thing has gotten out of control here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. It's a little cult of who can own the most ugly quilted makeup bags on straps. One of my students brags about how she owns fifty. Fifty extremely expensive, extremely boring, extremely EVERYWHERE bags. The problem with the VB, besides their natural ugliness, is that they put out about 4 new prints a season, but in about 20 styles. One print gets hugely popular and then everyone and her sister are carrying the EXACT same purse around. "Oh, but mine is a different STYLE!" Last spring and summer it was that turquoise and brown paisley thing. Every damned lemming on the shore had one. I really hate these things. It's almost like an unhealthy obsession to hate them. My students freaked when I said I didn't like them. I didn't even go on a tyrade or anything, but they looked at me like I had sprouted two heads and was about to start flogging them with my own purse, which is less expensive but at least it has character.
Should I count myself fortunate for having to google Vera Bradley (or stupid because I willingly submitted myself to her bags)?

Frankly, I'm rather surprised I haven't seen them before. They look like the sort of thing that would be very popular around my hometown (read: lots of well-off white people who want their things to look "rustic," yet pay insane amounts for them).

Lilac, you're right about the demographic for these things. A kid at school (not one I teach) gave all her teachers Vera Bradley lunch totes in different prints. The one African American woman on our team had never heard of them and said to us, "You don't see black people with these. This must be a white thing." She was cracking a joke, but there was seriousness behind it. I told her, "I must be black because I can't stand them." We had a good laugh about it. Now, I don't think that only white people carry VB, but if you look around at who is carrying them, they usually fit a stereotype, and it's exactly the one you described. Of course, stereotypes are just that. But now she and I have a running VB joke, especially now that the "spring line" has started infiltrating the halls.
I had to look up Vera Bradley because I don't think we have those things here (or I am blissfully sheltered).
And, ugh, the children on the catalogue cover are wearing Crocs.

So that about sums that up.
I had to look them up too... who's got the eye bleach?
I am a cashier, and when people around here started carrying VB bags, it was all old ladies. I remember noting that they were ugly and I thought it was weird that old ladies had their own trend. I was shocked the first time I saw someone my age carrying one.
I play a game of VB bingo when I'm out. Whenever I spy a VB bag (and you can't miss them because they burn your retinas), I punch the person I'm with and say BINGO. Immature, but it takes away the pain.
*passes mornington eye bleach*

kelkello, heehee, I should start doing that!

Unfortunately, being from the Midwest, VB bags are everywhere. I think it is a white thing, though. It started off with rich white ladies, but know I have noticed not so rich people are buying them secondhand at garage sales and such. They are just god awful!! Someone offered to buy me one as a gift a few years ago, and though I normally accept everything even if I hate it just to be polite, I turned down the offer. I didn't even want it stuffed in exile in the back of my closet.
All Vera Bradley bags look like diaper bags to me.

Also, don't they seem like just crappy, pseudo-"rustic" versions of, like, Kate Spade's summery bags (which are actually cute)?

um, *raising hand sheepishly* i have a pair of crocs. i think that they are THE most comfortable pair of shoes i have ever worn. and they are plastic, so can get mucky in the garden or on the beach....AND they are lavender, so i love then even more.

are they fugly? fuck yah!

also, sorry for the totally off topic post: REDHEAD!!!!

*flings self at redhead*

have meeeeeced you sooooooooooooooooooo!!! happy belated bday!!! how are you???

hugs and kisses!!!

many thanks for letting me invade your thread.


I'm not gonna lie, I am a purse whore! I didn't carry one for years, but now I love them & have many. BUT. BUT. I have never been a trend purse whore. I remember the Dooney & Burke craze when my mom had one. Then she had a Brighton phase. Ack. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO CARRY SOMETHING SO UGLY AS A STATUS SYMBOL? Outside of the fancy Coach number I got from HB, my faves to carry are from Ecko & look like bowling bags.

And yeah, VB has to be a white thing. Black folks go for higher end stuff (Not that VB is cheap, but a Birkin bag has a wait list & can cost upwards of $20,000 depending upon materials.) We want Chloe, Jacobs, LV, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Fendi, Hermes. Listen to a few hiphop tracks by women rappers & tell me it's not true. They specifically namecheck those brands. We don't want to look like pricey farmer's daughters with tacky nappie bags.
Okay, alright, I carry a VB bag-*dodges tomatoes*-
And I can explain. I hope this will be read, to understand my exception.
btw, I'm not offended, I also think most them are hideous!

Some months ago, I started searching for a new bag. The one I was carrying was a shoulder bag, and it was fairly large (it was a bowling style bag), and it was starting to really hurt my shoulders. I truly feel that I need to carry all the crap that I do, so I wanted to find something else that could fit everything, but that would not hurt my shoulders. So, I started searching for a backpack.

I really hate purses-I don't really understand the purse fetish that some women have (along with the shoe fetish). No offense to these women, I just don't get it because I'm not like that. My best friend is one though, so there. Because I hate purses, I'm extremely picky about ones the I use {or, maybe it's the other way around-I hate purses because I'm so picky} Purse fetishists aren't very picky about the bags they acquire-just about everything looks cute to them, hence why they have 5,000 bags in the the closet. But I need to carry one so that I can take all my crap with me where ever I go.

I spent months looking for a backpack purse. I didn't want something too big, like a school backpack, but obviously not something too small. I wanted something sturdy, that would keep a structured shape, so things inside would stay organized, and it would last a long time. But I didn't want leather. Not because I really have any moral issues with it, but because I kinda think leather looks boring-it doesn't really come decorated or printed, it's just one solid color and texture. I was really looking for something like canvas, or tweed, maybe suede, because that looks better to me than leather. I also didn't want one with a flap over the main compartment.

At the time, and still kinda, I was going through a green phase-so I was hoping to find something green, and I really wanted something with print on the material, maybe with other contrasting colors, not just a boring, solid green bag. I was avoiding all things brown, of any shade, because EVERYTHING I owned was brown. I wanted to get out of that safe, earthy colored box. I know green is an earthy color too, but I wanted BRIGHT green. That was exciting to me. But 99% of all the bags I saw were brown.

My results were narrowing-I wanted a medium sized, bright green backpack, not leather, with print.
I spent months constantly looking on all the bag websites, including Ebay, and looking through many small business DIY type bag makers/sellers. I came up with nothing. As my shoulders hurt more and more, so became my desperation to find a backpack. Searching became my main activity besides work and sleep. I spent hours looking through hundreds of listings to no avail. I felt like I was losing my mind. I was willing to spend a fair bit of money, because I use my bags for as long as they possibly last-could be several years, if that's how long they go.

On Ebay, I kept seeing TONS of VB bags on auction. They always had like 45 bids on them, and they were getting VERY expensive. It was freaking MADNESS. I could just imagine these conservative, "trendy" women camped out in front of the computer, in their tennis outfits, searching and bidding hysterically, screaming at every loss. Every other listing was a VB bag. Just go to ebay right now and search for "vera bradley", you'll come up with almost 7,000 listings. Insane!

I looked at some of them out of curiosity, and I was also repulsed at how silly and boring and downright ugly most of them were. The company has been around since the early 90's, and so there are a lot of old ones. But there were so many, and I just had to see what the big deal was, so I went to their website.

And, I found this:
IPB Image
I know, I know-I hesitated. It's not exactly attractive, but I knew that with my specifications, that it would be REALLY hard to find something that was. But this bag is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
It's just the right size (10x12x4), it's bright green with an interesting paisley print, and it's made of sturdy fabric-it literally is quilted-two layers of cotton fabric, with a thin layer of filling in between, and quilted in a simple, criss-cross pattern. And no flap!

I of course got mine on Ebay. I had to keep watch over many of the same style, because there were so many bids on all of them, and I wasn't always there for the auction ending, and some were getting more expensive than the retail price. The one I finally got had at least 40 bids on it, and I won in the last second, saving about $10 off retail price. The bag is well constructed and detailed-even the interior is. It keeps everything organized, with several discreet pockets. I have gotten numerous compliments on this bag, from people who have never even heard of VB, and who wouldn't normally like anything like this.

Hey, it's not that bad compared to this~
IPB Image
Humanist, egad. But I'm glad it works for you. That's the print that wandered the halls of my school on the arm of all my 8th grade girls this fall. However, cheers for knowing what you wanted and finding it.
kel, you have to understand that for me, this has absolutely nothing to do with making a fashion statement, or having a status symbol. It is entirely practical, and happens to be in my personal favorite color with an interesting print (IMO) I had never even seen this specific bag or print before, and I'd always thought VB stuff was ugly-but when I found this one, it was like AHA! I couldn't believe that I'd fought VB for so long, and ended up finding my perfect bag from them. If it had cost me $5 and was made by some unknown company, I would've been even more delighted.
I understand that you are surrounded by so many of them where you work, girls who are carrying them because they are trendy, who don't care if they are really ugly, they just want to fit in. That can get really annoying and obnoxious. But I bet if you'd never seen any VB bag before, and you saw mine specifically for the first time, it wouldn't be THAT hideous. And you do have to admit, that mine is not as bad as many others from the company.
humanist, thanks for your honesty about your VB love... just kidding...

the 'punk rock' one i got as a gift from my friend has this print:
IPB Image

please kill me if i would ever, or my baby would ever, look like this:
IPB Image
Actually, some of those aren't *too* bad. I've got an ancient paisley-type-print quilted bag (not VB, my mother bought it in India when I was a kid) IMO, it's the larger trims and that that make them heinous - they're too fussy-looking. And yeah, the statusy thing vs it's a handy bag makes a lot of difference.
Humanist, I normally can't stand VB, but that is a pretty darn cute backpack. Makes me feel a little bit better about going to their website to see what hideousness is being perpetrated this season and ending up kinda liking this: evil messenger bag
But the small and floral prints in paler colors are still really obnoxious.
humanist, cof forgiven! It's practical and it's exactly what you needed so don't feel bad. The ones I really loathe are the diaper bag looking ones and the pastels patterns.

New cof to report: guy wearing sweatpants, a t-shirt and a sleevless hooded sweatshirt at work! He looked like he stepped straight out of 1984. If only he had had been wearing a red white and blue sweatband around his forehead. tongue.gif I don't care if it's casual Friday, which is wasn't, sweatpants should never ever be worn.

Oh, honey, if you only knew what I go around in. And I just recently got my hair cut, too ("What for?", says M. ChaCha, "To scandalize the hairdresser because you haven't dyed your hair in 3 months? And you haven't asked her to dye it for you in over 5 years?" He thinks my hairdresser is just waiting for the opportune moment for revenge).

If the people I see every day knew about Bust's CoF thread, I'd see myself described here every day.

And I think its a cute knapsack--even better if you got a great deal, and it's exactly what you needed and wanted. You can't beat that!
Humanist, I've seen worse and if it works for you, go for it. I'm not a purse person either and basically got lucky at a thrift store for my current bag.

It's the really rustic ones, the ones that look like you could pick up at a craft fair or flea market for $20 that were sewn by some woman who loves crafts, that got to me on their site.

Humanist, I'm glad you found a bag that fits all of your needs. You do not need to justify it to anyone, especially me. You have a functional bag that works perfectly for you. Excellent. Lots of folks don't like what I wear, and I don't care, either. I can still hate VB and you can still have a VB bag and we can still be bustie friends. I swear, I am not trying to sound condescending. Posting does not leave enough room for proper intonation, but I am being sincere.

And speaking of COFs, I am entirely dressed in polar fleece tonight because my apartment is apparently closer to the North Pole than I had originally estimated. I am sporting Christmas gifts from relatives who are too thoughtless to think before they buy me something. Hence my weirdly blue fleece pants, my pale blue fleece pullover, and my cow printed fleece slippers. I am a walking crime of fashion, but luckily only my dog and cat will ever see this ensemble. I may as well through in a fleece elf hat with bells to make it more picturesque.

throw in...not through in
oh, kel, I know! As you said, there can't be proper intonation online-I wasn't trying to sound defensive. If we were all in a big room together in person, we'd all be talking and laughing
: )
Ha. That's funny. I was just thinking on the way to work, that when I went and looked at the Vera Bradley website, some of the bags were totally Kountry Kitsch, but I thought some of them were ok, and maybe I'm turning into an old lady. I mean, I know I'm turning into an old lady but anyway...

Only your dog and cat, eh Kelko? One of my cats has taken to hissing at me whenever she sees me wear a hat. I'm all, "But it has a skull and crossbones on the front and everyone *else* loves it and dammit its cold out there. Give me a break, will ya?"
Good god, those fugly bags have a name. I just always called them Bubby Bags, because every grey haired, oversized spectacled, 14 cat owning, croc-loving gramma lugged one into the fabric store where I worked.

I can't believe that relatively young and hip women would sport them as well, I just can't. It will make me fly into a Joan Crawford-style wire hanger rage.

And no one wants to be around for that. wink.gif
hehe! one of the regulars at a cafe i used to work at was an old woman who would bring in her scottish fold cat in a vera bradly bag.
oof, maimy.

I saw two, like, twenty year old girls that just arrived for college in Boston acting really snotty about carrying matching brown and turquoise Vera Bradley bags -- because they are not knock-offs and they are from this year.

not *last* years hideous effin quilted paisley bag in those *other* colors.


I for one am glad to see the beige pants with sweater twinset look go away.

It's reasonably tasteful, actually, but it was so ubiquitous (<== sp?) all over the place that it was omnipresent!!
These must be an east and west coast thing because other than humanist, I haven't noticed these throngs of women carrying them around here. They're ugly, but to me they don't stick out like a sore thumb, so maybe I'm just not noticing it. However, I ventured into a mall yesterday, a very trendy mall, and purposely looked for women carrying them- I didn't see any. And before humanist got hers, I'd never heard of them.
I don't know, they are all over Indiana, polly. But there is a VB factory here.

wombat I second your comments on twin sets and biege pants. May they RIP.
I don't ever remember seeing a VB bag either, and I never heard of them until they popped up in this thread.
I've been seeing a VB print that I like- it's like a brownish purple, and has these diamond shaped white things. I always like it, until I get up close and see the icky quilting. And the colors don't seem as sharp up close either. The fact that everyone has it doesn't help either.
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