I love pinstriping. More than handbags, less than shoes. Actually, maybe more than shoes. No, that’s crazy-talk. But I do love me some pinstripin’ madness.
This past summer, I was nosing around West Side Sinners, a local “kustom kulture” boutique, with my pal Megan. We shop there from time to time, but on this day, we’re there to watch a hairstyling demo by Lauren Rennells, the author of Vintage Hairstyling: Retro Styling with Modern Techniques as well as Bobby Pin Blog. Smart girls that we are, we get there with plenty of time to meander through the racks of goodies. Erin, the owner of the store, has stocked a selection of pinstriped handbags and I am ogling all of them, but one in particular is whining at me to take it home. A black leather vintage bag by Lady Audley, it’s striped on both sides in four colors, and it is just fabulous. Erin is asking a very reasonable $60 for the bag… reasonable for everyone but me, that is. I grew up amid the financial stress of a two kids/one parent household, and I’ve never earned enough myself to forget what it’s like to have the power company shut you off. Again. So, even when I was gainfully employed, I’ve always had these unofficial price caps in my head. They shift, so I couldn’t tell you what they are specifically, but I can tell you that I’ve never paid $60 for a handbag before.
Damn, this bag is gorgeous. And Megan is supporting my decision to buy this bag, should I choose to do so. (This is how Megan operates. She won’t tell you outright to buy something, but she is subtly encouraging, if she approves.) Okay, now Megan is being a bit less subtle. “It’s perfect for you. And those colors… it will go with so much! $60 really isn’t expensive, to normal people. You should get it.” Everything she says is true.
So I buy the bag.
I only have to reconfigure slightly what I carry around with me in order to fit stuff in. I start using it immediately. (Erin, if you stumble upon this post, the price sticker left icky goo residue on the bottom of the bag. Maybe you can try a different brand? Or tie on hangtags, instead? Also, are you hiring?)
Not too long after, I’m at my local Starbucks, when the cashier notices my bag. “I like your purse. My dad’s best friend is a pinstriper. They’ve known each other for years.” Oh yeah? Does he live around here? What’s his name, maybe I’ve seen his work at a car show. “He’s local. His name’s Rody.” Heh-heh. Um, this is actually his work. Rody striped this purse. “Really?! Hey, he never striped anything for me! I’m going to ask him to do something about that.”
I’d like to note, I have used this handbag every single day since I bought it. Megan was right, it goes with (almost) everything. In fact, I should call Erin and see if she can book Rody to do one of my own bags, so I can have the “brown” segment of my wardrobe covered, as well. Having those two, I could get rid of a whole lot of purses! (Yeah, right.)