Looks for Less: Begging for a Birkin?

The Hermes Birkin Bag, a purse owned by the wealthy fashionistas and craved by the realistic fashionable women. This purse, along with the classic Chanel Bag, has been a trademark of high style for decades and has been so over priced that some of us would consider selling one of our arms for it (honestly, who needs two arms anyway?). The Birkin Bag is the notoriously expensive bag of the elite (a basic leather costs $8000; the basic crocodile costs $30,000) and requires extreme patience to get through the minimum two year waiting list (or the waiting list to get onto the waiting list). Yet, somehow, the knowledge that this bag is beyond most of our incomes and we will probably have a higher chance of being President than owning one of these bags makes us want it more. Hermes is one of the few companies to perfect reverse economics and succeed. And it is because it has succeeded so well at this that professional stylist Michael Tonello published a book that documented his adventures of buying Hermes Birkins and selling them on eBay called Bringing Home The Birkin (the book was recommended to me by a sales associate while I was in the Gucci store in Ceasar’s Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey).

As a college student, I accepted the fact that I will probably start collecting social security before I own a Birkin– but I am always hoping. Well, since I cannot afford the Birkin, I decided to look for purses that had similar style aesthetics. Perhaps the best example is the Michael Kors Hamilton Large Tote. This bag (see photo 3; interior is photo 4) is incredibly similar in style, design, and size to the Birkin (see photo 1; close-up images are in photo 2). The main difference between the Hamilton and Birkin is that the Hamilton has a large, circular lock with the designer’s initials and that the Hamilton has a strap. But, the Hamilton (I own the one that the model is holding in photo 3) is about $330 compared to the $8000 price tag of the Birkin (and I have been stopped many times by women asking me where I got my Hamilton). Now, if you still feel that the Hamilton doesn’t look like the Birkin enough, then look at photo 5. Kors, for his 2013 Resort Collection, showed that white and yellow bag that looks stunningly similar to the Birkin.

Now, if the Hamilton is still out of your price range ($300 is a lot in a recession, honestly) then there are other places to look, most of them online. One I found was on a website in Australia called “Glam Australia” and the bag was by Forever New and called “Margarita Day Bag”, plus it is much cheaper than the Hamilton (the bag is in photo 6). Continuing, I was recently shopping with a friend and she found a similar bag in Forever 21 for a little over thirty dollars. So, don’t be afraid to search for this style of bag wherever you can– you may be surprised.

What do you think of these bags? Are you like me and craving for the coveted Birkin Bag? And do you have any suggestions for people on how to achieve the style without dropping the serious cash?



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