Thursday, May 29, 2008

"A Netflix for purses"

In honor of the Most Important Movie of our Time being released across the country tomorrow night (Sex and the City, yes, I already bought tickets), I thought it'd be fabulous to highlight a new startup company that may or may not be changing the face of fashion, but definitely pacifying all Carries-in-training -- especially those on a budget. The company is called Bag Borrow or Steal (, and I think its premise is brills, especially for all us savers who still want to be fashionable. I say carpe diem whenever you can bypass digging through a clearance bin, especially if that bypass leads you to a practically new Coach bag (complete with monogrammed silk Coach bow) for $60/month, or $20/week.

Bag Borrow or Steal truly acts as a "Netflix for purses" (what it's alluded to as in the SATC movie), in that it posts an arsenal of designer purses, along with designer sunglasses and jewelry, at different rental rates on their site, from low-end (Coach, Dooney and Bourke) to high-end (Fendi, Balenciaga). The only snag is that on top of the rental rate for each bag, you have to pay a monthly or annual fee upfront to be a member. But the fees aren't as extravagant as the handbags, ranging from a one month membership of $9.95, to three months for $19.95 (or $6.95/month), to one YEAR for $60 (or $5/month). Five dollars per month for unlimited access to a treasure trove of designer goodies I was only planning on accessing well into my mid- to late-30s? Let's just say this Brunette on a Budget is savoring every bite of this tantalizing morsel of information.

I've always wanted a Chloe Paddington bag. Like the Burberry trenchcoat I want oh-so-bad, the Paddington bag has always been near the peak of my extravagant interests. With Bag Borrow and Steal, I don't need to spend the $2,000 on its pricetag, but rather, I can relish in tasting it paired with my outfits I've envisioned matching it with. And after I've gotten my fix (I bore easily, this is why a tattoo would be all wrong for me), I can simply send it back -- much like a Netflix DVD -- and "try on" something else I've always wanted (Fendi spybags and Burberry Sunglasses, anyone?).

I love this idea because it makes everything we read about in fashion magazines more attainable and allows us to play without defaulting on a car payment or putting off buying a house. No, I'm not condoning partaking in such a site if you're essentially living paycheck-to-paycheck, or if your debt is spiraling out of control. But at the end of the month, if you've already paid yourself (including investing a fraction of your wealth) and your bills, I think it's OK for a girl to treat herself to something nice.

For some that might be a night out on the town; for me it's a week with a Paddington bag.

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