My favorite things (from Goodwill): Vintage Coach bag
Today’s favorite thing came from the pop-up shop at our 2012 gala. As you may know, bags are one of my favorite things to buy secondhand because they always fit and rarely have to be a part of my laundry routine.
I was drawn to this navy shoulder bag first for its slim, classic design. This bag is big enough to hold school books or files along with the essentials, but won’t look bulky or sloppy over my shoulder. It can go from a business meeting to class to happy hour in a snap—and it’s even big enough for a tablet or lightweight laptop. And since it’s a neutral navy color, this bag can go with just about any outfit.
But what’s really fun about this bag is its history. The dangling tag on the front gives away that it’s a Coach bag, and I did a quick check for authenticity. All the bag’s seams were neat and orderly. The leather (it certainly smelled real) was soft and supple, inside and out. And the Coach imprint on the inside pocket looked good, although I planned to double-check it later.
I plunked down my $49.95 for this extraordinary bag at the gala. With a price like that, I was pretty sure that Goodwill’s associates and I both knew we were looking at a genuine vintage Coach purse!
Our hunches were correct. I told you there was history, right? The Coach imprint on this bag says that it was made in New York City. I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I bought a purse that was made in New York. With a little research, I learned that Coach bags were indeed made in New York City—up until the mid 1970s. The text of the imprint matched what eBay and other online sellers noted for authentic bags from that time period. There was no doubt: I’ve got a real mid-1970s Coach bag. What a blast from the past!
My bag has some scuffs and normal wear, but I’m grateful to whoever donated it to Goodwill. Now that it’s mine, it’s my job to take care of this vintage piece. I first cleaned the bag with leather cleaner, then conditioned it with care. Routine maintenance is essential for keeping your vintage items looking new!
This bag certainly isn’t a trend-setter, but it’s a classic style that I’ll be keeping in my over-the-shoulder rotation for a long time. And I got it at Goodwill!
What’s the best thing you ever found at Goodwill?