September 13, 2007

The Bias Cut

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Awkward hellos after a summer of forgetting names — this is the stuff of early first semesters. You’re forgiven for the blank stares at new transfers, freshmen, the guy/girl you talked to at The Palms last spring and the favorite random you used to eye in Olin Café. However, you should all be pretty familiar with the name attached to all of those quilted bags in flashy colors: Vera Bradley.
If you’re not, let me jog your memory — you would recognize her very distinctive bags from having been on display in the Cornell Store where, in my opinion, they are given far too much attention. (And my grudge has nothing to do with the fact that my glam shot is not hung poster-size in the window. . .)
I am sure this Vera character is a very nice lady, but sometimes I can’t help being a little angry at her for all the patterns she has subjected me. I often ask myself, is Ms. Bradley a genius or Satan?! I debate it for a while and usually come to the conclusion that she is a bit of both.
The work of genius is in the fact that she has somehow found a way to make trendy (and profit tremendously from!) patterns that look like your grandmother’s boring birthday present.
Despite my admiration for her act of punking America and convincing hundreds of thousands of people to buy her product, I can’t help but think that she shared a VMA table with Marilyn Manson and their mutual friend The Devil.
The woman had to know that the patterns are at times downright fugly, and she still pushed her product until it managed its way into mainstream preppy attire. I am also suspicious of the possibility that this act was a way of re-gifting. Who would be surprised to hear that the real origin of this quilted empire was Vera pushing off a bunch of unwanted gifts from Aunt Susie onto her unsuspecting friends?
A title of one of my favorite Facebook groups, “Vera Bradley is the Anti-Christ” successfully describes how I feel about her. She has ruined many great outfits on many nice girls while also giving many people migraines. For that I cannot forgive her. Furthermore, if she gets her new napkins out there into restaurants and my public sanctuaries, I … actually, I seriously can’t think about that right now for danger of developing another splitting headache.
I understand that Vera Bradley bags are practical, durable and economical but they are not the only solution, people! Classic bags, and even L.L. Bean monogrammed bags, are so much better than the Vera.
My inexpensive suggestions for alternatives to your Vera Bradley bag are Longchamps, Steven Alan totes and LeSportSac. It doesn’t have to be expensive or super cute, it just needs to be a little less obnoxious.
(Side note: one thing that will always boggle my mind is when someone will sport the Vera Bradley small purse. The bag certainly isn’t practical, it can’t even hold one day’s receipts of true shopping and it will never be eye catching.)
On that note, just remember that husbands come and go, but Chanel slingbacks are forever.