The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Yea or Nay: Coach

My dependable albeit uncool Coach wallet.

So I may lose some friends today and make some serious enemies, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and speak my truth: Coach handbags are not cool. They've gone overboard with the "C"s, they've gone overboard with the rebranding, and in their efforts to become coveted by a younger generation, they have become (insult of insults): Common. I'm sorry, but when everyone and their mother and their grandmother and their kid sister is carrying one of these unimaginative quasi-status symbols, it's time to throw in the towel and say, "Enough."

Now for an ironic twist: I happen to own both a Coach handbag and a Coach wallet. They were gifted to me a couple years back (I think it's been nearly 5 years now), and at the time I thought it was an undeniably generous and thoughtful gift. And guess what? I still use the wallet because the quality is superb and it serves its function well. Some critics have charged that Coach's quality and craftsmanship has gone down (while prices remain high) ever since the American company quietly moved most of their production to China. I'm not sure where my wallet was made, but I abuse that thing daily and it's held up really well. Just look at the above photo, it still looks practically new!

So even though I don't think the wallet is "cool" per se, I'm going to continue to use it until it falls apart. Does that make me a hypocrite? I don't think so. Not everything I own is cool, nor should it be. My point is this: Coach is a "nay" in terms of being fashionable, a "nay" for being an overpriced affordable luxury (unless you shop the outlets), but a definite "yay" if you just want a well-made purse or wallet that will last for years.

Coach: Yea or Nay?

Thank you...Thank YOU...THANK YOU!!! Finally someone who agrees that Coach is definitely to mainstream now to be high fashion! I think the reason we see so many of the bags out there with the ridiculous amount of C's is that these are, usually, the cheaper of the Coach bags. The more you pay for them, as with a lot of designer lines, the less you will see of the blatant advertising of their brand. There is a Coach store opening at my local mall very soon and whenever I am there I hear 11 year old girls screaming and freaking out that we are getting this store. I am sorry, but most parents of pre-teens are not going to buy their daughters $300 purses, it is a little ridiculous. Thanks again for speaking out and saying "NAY" to Coach.
#1 Deanna on 2008-08-19 07:15 (Reply)
agreed agreed-I am ao sick of them and half are fakes
I used to carry coach bags--bought my first one in 1977--they were not everywhere then; my last purchase was in early 90's.

I have beeb browsing two sites today: yooks and forzieri and they both have beautiful unique bags
#1.1 Dolores on 2009-10-17 07:35 (Reply)
Wow, TWO people who agree with me! I'd never thought about the correlation of price and logos, to be honest....but it makes so much sense! I always said that the only purses at Coach I ended up liking were the ones that had no logos...and coincidentally these were always the $500 purses! (Never bought one though.)

And no, 11 year olds do NOT need handbags...much less any handbag that costs that much. But you'd be surprised at how many pre-teens DO get these purses from their parents.
#2 QL girl (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 08:04 (Reply)
We are not alone in our thinking - yea!!!! I never understand why women AND men flock to the mall stores and outlet stores, stand in line like they're getting government cheese only to walk out with an overpriced free ad for someone else - looking like everyone else. People try to tell me it's good quality...Well guess what, I picked up a Cole Hahn tote in Saks over the weekend, around $500 (my wish bag) and its better quality than a Coach.

My other war within myself if that if I spend $500 on a purse, I should have $500 in it at all times, right - well since I dont have that type of disposable income, I will stick with my lesser priced "where'd you get that cute bag" handbags!
#3 TexNYQueen on 2008-08-19 08:10 (Reply)
If you would have asked me five years ago - I would be "yay" Coach. However, now that every tween has a bag, their prices rival that of Vuitton...I cannot do. I cannot carry my Coach bags of the past!

As I am not a a recent shopper, I would agree that their past quality was AMAZING, and cannot speak to it now. I will be seeking deals at the new Coach Outlet by my house...only the non-descript leather I am never one to pass on a sale.
#4 Susan on 2008-08-19 08:38 (Reply)
Nay. I like the traditional simple yet classy Coach. These just shouts too much for attention.
#5 bingkee (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 08:56 (Reply)
I am also a nay! I totally agree that the second you see a bunch of 13 year olds carrying a bag (and the same bag at that, all covered in logos) its time to give it a rest-
Coach is no longer a fashion symbol, but a status symbol for the preteen, and how depressing is that?
I refuse to pay to advertise to children.
#6 Peaches on 2008-08-19 09:06 (Reply)
A friend of mine just recently got a Coach handbag and even though I don't consider it 'high fashion,' with its popularity it still is a status symbol of wealth/affluence/popularity. So even though its commonplace, people still want it because everyone else has it and its a symbol of success....

Nice to see another babe in the house ;-)
#7 The Baltimore Babe (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 09:12 (Reply)
I have to say nay and yea...for the same reasons....i got a coach signature hobo & matching wallet as a x-mas gift 5yrs ago
at that time it wasn't on everyones hands especailly pre-teens like it is i was happy and loved it....but now its everywhere so my bag is at rest....i do keep using the wallet frequently though...and like yours it has put up a good beating and still looks good.
I also have a silver bangle from their jewelry line...which i like and use it alot.
#8 milly on 2008-08-19 10:19 (Reply)
Nay! TOTALLY nay! Overlogoed, overpriced, overpopular. I miss the classy and classic leather bags of old.
#9 Betsy on 2008-08-19 11:23 (Reply)
Hallelujah. I find the logo prints positively garish, and the rest to be just plain unappealing. I suppose that, in some ways, it's just as snobby to DISLIKE a former status bag that is now ubiquitous as it is to covet a status bag for the sheer joy of feeling elite. But damn. Those bags are everywhere and they're not even CUTE.

I can't speak to the quality from personal experience, and am surprised to hear that your gifted wallet has endured so well, BB. I would've assumed that craftsmanship went out the door with style and massive mass production.

Regardless, all around nay for me. Especially since I only buy bags with silver hardware and those guys are all about the brass.
#10 Sal (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 11:27 (Reply)
Totally agreed. And I'm also going to add that garish logos of any brand coughCHANELcough are just tacky, no matter how much you paid for the bag.
#11 cathy (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 11:38 (Reply)
I was JUST talking about this the other day with my bf. We were in his home town for a wedding, and I noticed that nearly EVERY girl/woman in suburbia was carrying a real or fake Coach bag. In my book, Coach is a big fat N-A-Y. I think their products have come to symbolize suburbia and, as you said, are totally common.
#12 Stazh on 2008-08-19 11:56 (Reply)
I so agree with the overdone, overrated Coach bag thing -- glad someone finally spoke out and said so! Here in the Sacramento valley area in California, Coach is the suburban status symbol, and every other female can be seen carrying either a real one or a fake ... and, quite frankly, I can't tell the difference between the two.

Women around here also have this strange habit of wearing their sloppy, ill-fitting (often slightly dirty) "comfort" clothes while schlepping around a Coach bag (the real ones). I think I've finally figured out why: they take that "one expensive item will make the whole outfit look good" philosophy to a total extreme, and think that one Coach bag will make their stained gympants and dirty rubber flip-flops look good. Er, I'm sorry, no.

I don't own any kind of "status" bag. Never have. Most of my bags are beautiful, leather, vintage handbags I found at thrift stores.

I also think some contemporary labels like Hobo International make beautiful, unique handbags that you can find at discount stores like TJ Maxx for much lower prices than Coach bags.
#13 Anusha (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 12:34 (Reply)
I couldn't agree more! I do own a Coach leather bag (lol!). But, I am not fond of loud logos at all.
#14 Psyche (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 13:23 (Reply)
I was at a coach store and looking at the bags, I thought: "Coach have become the lower end of the high end brands. The coveted item I see on every woman's hands in the subway. If it's that easy, why should I get one?"
#15 Kay on 2008-08-19 14:28 (Reply)
I shop at the Coach outlet because I like their simple hobo bag (and at less than $100, it's a bargain for such good craftsmanship) but you're right, the interlocking C's and the canvas bags are just trashy. I've never been a fan. Now, I'm much more into owning a bag that no one else has, from a lesser-known brand.
#16 Campbell on 2008-08-19 14:47 (Reply)
Coach is just meh to me, nothing special. C's or no C's, I usually don't even like the shape of their handbags. That is just me though...
#17 Adiel (Homepage) on 2008-08-19 14:50 (Reply)
got a classic coach bag years ago as a gift and that's about it. i hate the patchwork designs, and the c's everywhere. just like when lindsay lohan was the poster child for dooney & burke - it totally turned me off to the bags. all the d/b's on them. same with LV - too much money, too much logo. it's sooo nouveau.
there's so much other good stuff out there.
and you all are so right about the children in the stores. i worked with a lady who bought her tweens coach and dooney. why? if you're wearing 300$ bags at 13, where do you go from there?
#18 maggie z on 2008-08-19 15:26 (Reply)
Hate hate hate. Logo prints are gross - I don't even like the little stitched eagles some brands like to use on their t-shirts, much less row upon row of unattractive 'C's. It's the same with LV - hate their logo prints so much. I don't understand the allure of these bags at all.
#19 YS on 2008-08-19 22:03 (Reply)
I couldn't agree more with you! The Cs are tacky, and I can't stand the sneakers emblazoned with them. Absolutely horrible, in my opinion.
#20 BNL on 2008-08-19 22:53 (Reply)
THANK YOU! I'm a big NAY on Coach. I used to work at a mall that had a Coach store & I recall them selling plain leather bags. Skip to 8 years later & it's C's galore. It's a brand that tries too hard to portray "status." I mean, it's not like Blair or Serena would be seen with these bags!
#21 MBlue55 on 2008-08-19 23:27 (Reply)
Goodness! thank GOD I am not the only one who has noticed that Coach is just there for people to pretend to have a nice bag that SCREAMS Coach. Their bags were amazing in the past...and very classy for the ones without the large logo, but now it is just ridiculous.
Good to know there are others like us out there!

#22 Chicaholic (Homepage) on 2008-08-20 01:18 (Reply)
Short story...I was one of the minions who descended upon the Coach outlet upon news of their after-Christmas sale this year. I had always wanted a Coach bag. However, when I arrived, there were velvet ropes set up outside the store's entrance and a crowd of people waiting to get into the store....PLEASE! I instantly had my epiphany...with at least 200 people waiting to get one of these bags on sale, how exclusive and special can they actually be? I promptly went to Michael Kors, bought a beautiful black bag, and was proud I had broken free from the herd. :-) Plus, I have never seen anybody else carrying my Michael Kors bag...what Coach owner can say that?
#23 Lucy on 2008-08-20 05:49 (Reply)
OMG!! Soo many people who agree with me!! I am getting soo sick of Coach bags. They are everywhere!! Yes, I do live in suburbia which might as well be called Coach, America! Little girls carrying Coach bags - how ridiculous is that?!! The parents should be teaching the kids the value of money not giving them Coach!! I could never spot the fake from real which totally beats the purpose for everyone who thinks their bag is special. I hope people realize this sooner than later.

I just want something beautiful whether its from Target or Neiman Marcus or maybe temporarliy from Bagborroworsteal. =)
#24 salmeen on 2008-08-20 12:06 (Reply)
I like the all leather classic Coach bags. I am a lawyer and nothing says lawyer like a classic leather Coach bags. I also like the vintage bags. It's hard to top Bonnie Cashin's kisslock designs from the 70s. Those bags are around and age well.

That said, I give a total nay to the logo bags, esp the big logos. Like any other monogram, it's flashy and tacky. I do have a bag with the small cs, and while I wouldn't purchase it now, it is fairly non descript and I do use it for travel because it is the perfect size to stuff into my carry on.

Where I shop I see preteens with Louis and Chanel, so Coach is the tip of the iceberg.
#25 Shari on 2008-08-20 15:53 (Reply)
Nay. I do not like the C's at all.
I sort of liked their all leather bags from last year, but at $798??? I'd rather buy LV, thank you!
#26 Melissa Mauro on 2008-08-20 16:13 (Reply)
i got my first coach purse about 4-5 yrs ago as a gift for my bday, but i was never really into it after everyone had it. i recently purchased one at the outlet bc it was so cheap and very simple. no Cs, just nice leather, but i'm still undecided about it since i'm usuallya NAY on coach!
#27 Julie (Homepage) on 2008-08-24 10:14 (Reply)
In all honesty, I like some of their basics, but most of the time it is definitely a do not want. Really, way overboard with the Cs. seeing some of the older all leather stuff is nice, but we can do much better.
#28 sarah (Homepage) on 2008-08-26 19:09 (Reply)
I totally agree that the Coach logo bags are tacky and a waste of money. I've never been into logo items.

I am, however, scouring eBay for a certain vintage Coach bag (classic doctor bag style, no logos) but so far haven't won one! I think it's much cooler to have an item that some people might be able to recognize, not that every single person can identify immediately.
#29 Darla on 2008-08-27 16:41 (Reply)
I have a leather hobo bag that I bought about 5 years ago at Coach and it looks just as good today as the day I bought it. I say, if you like, buy it. How common a bag is should not be a factor when it comes to how much you like it.
#30 Talia on 2008-08-28 15:16 (Reply)
NAY to Coach! How "luxurious" could it be when its adjecent to Baby Gap and Foot Locker at the mall?

And girls, please put down your real/fake Gucci bags! Even if they spend $900 on the real thing, they all look the same to me? I like the vintage Gucci bags with the wide colored stripe, but with the overflowing Gucci logos everywhere, even the vintage bags are becoming hard to pull off nowadays.
#31 Not So Plain Jane on 2008-08-30 11:07 (Reply)
Nay for me, it just so happens that I've been to the factory in China that makes Coach bags. To see hundreds of young Chinese girls slave away over a- let's face it- ugly handbag seems like a crime. So the next time you thoughtlessly throw away money on a Coach bag, consider this- it's costs Coach about $20 to make it and they're paying the factory workers $200 US a month.
#32 Merissa on 2008-09-15 11:39 (Reply)
the Cs are ugly. i hate them. in fact i despise them and i refuse to buy anything coach that has them. i only buy leather. i'm not about to pay that much money for anything made of fabric. yuck.

that being said.... coach has been going downhill. they still come out with some really nice classy leather bags but all of those Cs are hideous and they need to stop. i love my leather coach handbags because black leather is classy and i like that you can't tell who made my bags unless you're a true bag lover.

the leather hamptons large carryall was a dream bag that i desperately wanted to own. 800 bucks was a little steep. but the bag was so popular it never made it to the outlets =[ it's okay though. because marc by marc jacobs is my newfound obsession.
#33 alyssa on 2008-09-23 10:40 (Reply)
When I was in high school I liked it, now it's tacky and those C's are so overrated! I go to the outlet to buy the little things like the wristlits (they make great camera bags) or wallets. I don't understand the obsession for these coach bags... but below is the coach wallet I purchased at the outlet.

I actually dislike most things that have the label on it.. one exception is LV because it's timeless and classic, and the quality is exceptional! I've had one of their bags for almost 6 years now and it's still in perfect conditions and I use it all the time! Good investment.
#34 Ally on 2009-01-03 19:46 (Reply)
I was really glad to find this blog, although I'm a year too late :-)

I can't believe I've found a place where people seem to get it! The whole Coach thing is overrated. As previous posters have commented, everyone in suburbia has a Coach purse. I wonder if people really think these bags are stylish, or if they just want to fit in?

The thing that bothers me about these purses is that they are so hyped up. I'll admit, I've seen Coach purses that I really like, but they were probably somewhere around $500. The bag is not worth $500 to me personally. It seems that everyone is buying the same ugly, small brown Coach purse/wallet because that is all they can afford. That is pretty sad and pathetic.

When I get together with friends, they all brag about each others' purses. Don't get me wrong. I admire fine clothing and good style and will gladly compliment anyone's purse, wallet, shirt if I think it looks good. To me, it doesn't matter if it's a Prada, Chanel, or $20 Target purse. I understand that certain brands represent a certain style and quality, but I'm not going to purchase something for the sole reasont that it has a brand name stamped on it.

People look at me (men included)as if I'm committing a sin when I state my opinion about Coach purses. I can understand that I'm possibly insulting someone about their taste in fashion, so maybe I should keep my opinions to myself.

I'm sure others would disagree about some of the things I wear, but I buy things because I like them for what they are, not for what other people purport them to be. I refuse to conform to the hype.
#35 Reena on 2010-09-27 18:39 (Reply)
Maybe I'm just one of those people in the herd then, but I still love my Coach and would love to get a leather one. I agree that the a lot of the new ones, like the ones with brightly colored Cs or the ones the really obnoxious prints are hideous and I cringe when I see them, but I love the more classic look of my black fabric purse with the black Cs. But, I buy my coach from second hand stores and have checked it thoroughly to make sure it's not fake.
#36 Kristin on 2011-08-30 07:37 (Reply)
I loved Coach 10 years ago but now I am over it. I hate the bags with the C's all over it. I have a leather one that is amazing but you cannot tell that is coach. Those are the only ones I like. I especially hate the mini signature print and jaquard prints
#37 danielle on 2011-12-04 20:31 (Reply)
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