Product: Rina Rich Bags (Specifically, the Shoulder Bag)
SRP: $25-$50
Best Price: http://www.glitzgifts.net; also available at Stuf on Haight St. in SF, CA

Let it be known that I am not a handbag kind of femme. Half of the time I forget to carry one, and I frequently forget to bring it back home when I do. This has been the source of no small amount of shame for me, given that a couple of my nearest and dearest girls are all about the clutches, the totes, the hobos, you name the bag, they’ve got four of ‘em. As for me, I get confused if something I’m carrying has more than one zipper, or requires both hands to access the treasures within.

Unfortunately, one of the truths I’d hoped could be avoided has hit me full-force this year – the older you get, the bigger your purse must be. I made it through several successful bar-hopping years in five-pocket jeans, where each pocket carried the same items every night. Then I started small; a little black clutch, purchased because I couldn’t resist the price (go figure!), and oh, how proud I was of myself! I could throw my five pockets’ worth of stuff in this cute little seven dollar bag and not look like I had something growing out of my mid-thigh on each leg! Then, last year, my partner’s mom came on the scene, and she lives within credit card charging distance of a Coach outlet. Handbags, 1, Frugal Femme, 0. But as cute as the swing packs and wristlets were, they couldn’t keep up with this girl’s growing assortment of items that had moved from the “I sure wish I had that with me,” world into the realm of, “Dammit, I need a purse that can hold all of this.” Enter Stuf on Haight Street.

The store is easily missed; the display window isn’t gaudy or crowded, the space itself is narrow and dimly lit, and more than two people can hardly shop comfortably at one time. It is here, though, that I find myself actually drawn to handbags – small ones, HUGE ones, granny-styles ones, flashy ones – and every bag that catches my eye bears the same tag. Rina Rich? Never heard of her. NOT that this should come as a surprise; I couldn’t tell the difference between a Vuitton bag and Le Sportsac if you took off the labels. (OK, maybe that’s a bit drastic, but this is not my area of expertise)

Rina Rich’s bags are elegant, sturdy, and, for the most part, designed to wear well and ride the tides of fashion. The faux leather is supple but not flimsy, the hardware prominent but not overwhelming. Each of the bags I inspected had a minor flaw or two, primarily a spot where the thread had broken or gone slightly off track. It didn’t detract from the overall attractiveness of the piece, though, and I left with a handbag that not only fits my fashion needs, but will hold everything a working girl needs from day to day. And as a comfort, however small it may be, it’s still nowhere near as big as my mother’s purse.

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  One Response to “Review: Rina Rich Handbags”

  1. I don’t carry a big purse anymore.

    Love Mom

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