Monday, July 07, 2008

Diaper Bags for Grannies



As this lady can tell you, D.C. is full of atrociously funky fashion. Cheap plastic flip-flops. Saggy jeans and exposed underpants on otherwise handsomely turned out young men. Sweatpants with words across the rump (just once, I'd like to see one that reads, "LOOK AT MY BUTT," for some serious honesty points). Frumpy boxy pantsuits. Chunky, clunky hoof-like shoes. Tourists in Female Body Inspector t-shirts and trucker caps. Popped collars. Man-pris.

Many of these forms of nasty attire can be easily explained: Bad aesthetic sense. Ignorance of comfortable, but less absurd, footwear options. Lack of time to shop. Inbreeding.

But one thing I will never, ever understand is the popularity of Vera Bradley purses. (Guys, if you're still here: see above for examples). They aren't cute. They aren't sexy. They look like diaper bags for grannies. Grandma could stash her Depends in the front pocket and use the bag itself as a changing pad.

They're matronly, ugly, and, worst of all, quilted. No quilted item, with the exception of high-grade toilet tissue, should ever touch an adult woman's body. Yet every morning, I'll see an otherwise stylish young woman with a paisley pastel squishy Vera Bradley grandma bag tucked under her arm.

So, Washington, I'll make you a deal: if you get rid of those ugly bags, I will never again complain about some woman shuffling and thwacking along in plastic flip-flops, blocking traffic as she oh-so-delicately inches her way up the escalator.

32 comments:

Dave B. said...

Poor fashion is an infectious contagion.

And yay. First comment!

Dave B. said...

Shan, I find it somewhat eerie that we both brought up adult diapers in our posts today.

Must be something in the air.

Lemmonex said...

Those Vera Bradley bags are hideous. I cringed every time I see them; to me, they say "I don't care!" Ugly. Dowdy. Frumpy!

It is my new personal mission to help DC fight the frump.

LivitLuvit said...

Amen. Every single sorority girl at my southern state school was handed one upon acceptance, filled with a pair of rainbows, croakies, and a standard-issue lacoste polo with a popped collar.

Marissa said...

Seriously, how does bile like that get popular in the first place? It has nothing going for it. I mean at least Crocs (which I have a personal jihad against) are supposedly supposed to be comfortable. But in what world does a gnarly-looking quilted piece of patchwork sh*t do a better job at holding your crap than, say, a muted Barneys metallic leather shoulder bag with an optional cross-body strap for easy bike commuting?! The latter does a fine job, the former just makes you look like a blind asshole.

How many eloquence points did I just earn from this comment?

Shannon said...

Dave B. - Mondays are Adult Diaper Day! Didn't anyone tell you?

Lem - the thing is, I don't know if it comes down to not caring. Those bags aren't cheap. Especially when you consider the cheapness of the materials - so why spend $40 on an ugly bag when you can buy a cute one?

LivitLuvit - Lucky for me, those bags weren't popular yet at my southern state school. But sorority girls where issued several scrunchies and a bunch of stuff with daisies on it.

Shannon said...

Marissa, many, many points. And at least you aren't offended that I called you a "lady."

Dave B. said...

Shan: no one sent me a memo. No one ever sends me a bloody memo.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

running out of this post, I have 2 of them - they are easy to carry stuff in and mine is cute - its the black one with pink elephants and the proceeds went to breast cancer research.

I only use them for commuting, honestly I get a lot of compliments on them.

I usually carry a coach or dooney.

hey pretty said...

Allow me to explain: There thrives among those richer and fancier than us, a brand called Pierre Deux that sells french-country inspired linens and other houseware items, including yes, printed bags. Pierre Deux was (and perhaps continues to be, I'm not sure) a very popular, "aspirational" brand as they say in the fashion biz. Vera Bradley is essentially a knock-off of Pierre Deux. Like others before it, the quality is worse and the textiles are uglier (less expensive=inability to be as selective about quality and beauty). Since this is DC, a town filled with power-hungry status mongers, Vera Bradley is popular because it's supposed to represent a luxe lifestyle. Or at least, it used to be. I'm pretty sure that as with all items that trickle down from high fashion to the masses, the fancy folks have probably already dissassociated themselves with all items flowered and quilted from any brand at all. In other words, Vera Bradley bags are an attempt to look rich and classy when actually you are anything but.

Shannon said...

Dave, that's because we're testing you.

Zipcode...do we need to schedule a handbag intervention? And I'm with you on Coach bags - always gorgeous and classy. But I go for the knockoffs (really, everything I wear is a hideously cheap knockoff).

HP - interesting perspective...and all this time I just thought these young ladies had been getting those bags as gifts from Grandma.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Ok let me throw my two cents in - I had a Vera Bradley back in college circa early 90's before they were "cool" among the rich.

Honestly, its easier then a backpack for me and it fits my stuff in it nicely. I am not trying to look rich or class. If I was doing that I would go get a louis.

Anyway don't hate me for my poor taste in bags, its a comfort thing for me and no one is going to knock me in the head for it.

Ryane said...

Fight the Frump! I love it. Count me in...I don't like the quilted bags, either.

unless, of course, that quilted bag happens to be Chanel and then, I'm sorry, all-bets-are-off, just call me a frump. ;-)

Shannon said...

Zip, nah, nobody's going to attack you for the bag. I just think there are more stylish, but equally practical options out there.

Ryane, I hereby deputize you and Lemmonex to be the Anti-Frump Brigade.

Lemmonex said...

Lem and Ryane to the rescue.

lacochran said...

What else but a Vera Bradley would so beautifully offset the sweatshirt that has the front of a line of cats on the front of the shirt and a line of cat asses on the back of it?

You nailed it with your diaper bag for grannies line.

Shannon said...

Lemmonex, you need superhero costumes...sleek black dresses with heels and Jackie O sunglasses, perhaps?

Lacochran...thanks! The only thing worse than cat butt sweatshirts are Christmas-theme sweatshirts.

Lemmonex said...

I kid you not, that is what I am wearing today. The heels are hot pink and fabulous. I came to work ready for the job.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

Ok you and Lemm show me suitable light weight options and maybe we will have a vera bradley burning party then haha

Shannon said...

Ryane, Lem--- you up for the challenge of finding a new bag for Zipcode?

Ibid said...

"Fashion", for me, has always meant "expensive, ugly clothes that are popular for reasons unknown". Purses are the worst. It's simple. A black bag with a strap that will hold. Everything else is just a decision you'll eventually regret.

Easy test: Look in the mirror in the changing room. If you think that 15-20 years from now you'll be mocking yourself for wearing those clothes you should put them back.

I've basically been wearing the same casual clothes for 30 years. You have to look at my face to tell what decade the picture was taken in.

Of course, my farmer's tan is eternal.

freckledk said...

My mother has one of these, but she's allowed. She has grandchildren.

I hate most label handbags. Coach, Chanel, whatever. Give me a patent monster of a bag from Commander Salamander and I'll rock that shit.

Lisa said...

I have heard they are light and easy to cram stuff into. But I think I'd break out in a rash if made to carry one. There are some ugly things I love - like my boxy black Keen commuter shoes, which are ridiculously comfy - but these are not among them.

Also, now I want some "look at my butt" sweatpants!

Shannon said...

Ibid, my fashion rules are: Is it less than $20? Does it make me look like a teen bride? If the answers go yes-no, I buy it.

Frecks - my new fave handbag (the big white one) was $22 from Forever 21. I love cheap accessories.

Lisa, I should whip up some "Look at My Butt" Official Disaffected Scanner Jockey Sweatpants on CafePress and watch the money roll in.

The said...

I forgot to mention this weekend the new trend in "look at my butt" sweatpants... now it's "look at my butt" shorts, worn by preteen girls. I noticed the disturbing direction this trend has taken when I was running on the mall this weekend. And no, I'm not a perv who goes around looking at young girl's butts, but when someone has something written on their ass, it's hard not to read it (what exactly is "Capitola" anyway?)

t.

Shannon said...

t. - "capitola" is Latin for "Look at my Butt." Preteen skanks are a lot more sophisticated than they were in our day.

Also, should I be jealous/concerned/blinded with rage?

Anonymous said...

Beyond being concerned for the general welfare of our society... no.

Tina said...

Shannon-

I'm laughing my ass off. My mother - who is a grandmother - geve me one of these hideous things for christmas. My evil twin promptly regifted it to our sister in law from hell. She is 23 and carries the god awful thing!!!! Sis just KNEW she'd love it. She also wears the "look at my butt" sweats. (and she really shouldn't)

Shannon said...

Tina - Does she wear the granny bag WITH the Look at My Butt sweatpants?

Tina said...

yep - even better the hideous bag came with matching slippers and she wears those with the look at my butt pants too.

Little Ms Blogger said...

OMG! Thank you for putting that in black & white. I can't figure out for the life of me, why people love the Vera Bradley anything? So many people gush over these purses that I always stop and look at them again to try to figure if I'm missing something.

Shannon said...

Tina - that sounds dead sexy.

Little Ms Blogger - you're welcome. I think Vera Bradley is just one of those mysteries of life.