I’ve been Vera-ed!
Not Vera Wang but Vera Bradley, although I do love Ms. Wang’s gowns a lot. I used to see Vera bags everywhere and thought only certain women wore them. I wasn’t as repulsed as some folks are who say that they couldn’t stand them or hated to see people with them. No I wasn’t an angry Vera hater but they just didn’t catch my eye initially. That’s actually hard for me to say with a straight face because if you’ve seen Vera’s bags before, you know that you can’t possibly miss the ultra-bright abstractness going on with the patterns. My inclination to Vera bags did not start out as a fatal attraction as you can probably already guess but instead it grew out of me wanting to fill a valid need. I had a Jenny Craig freezer bag years ago that I used as a travel tote last minute when my roller bag failed and it was then that I realized how easy it was to pack and carry a quilted tote. My freezer bag turned travel tote didn’t last long but I knew my choice of travel bag would forever change. It took me a few years to officially make my first Vera purchase. At first, I wasn’t too fond of the price but after doing countless searches for similar bags I realized that even Thirty-One tote bags are priced similarly.
The defining moment came when I actually walked into Vera Bradley and had an up-close look at their totes. The workmanship and quality surpassed what I expected. I like the quilting, the padded straps on their large carrier totes and the more than ample pockets in each bag. The only thing left to do was find a color that suited my taste. I ended up going with the Flower Shower in the large carrier tote for my travel needs. I liked it so much that I got a smaller tote for work in the Ziggy Zags pattern. At first I got the tablet tote but I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t remove the base so that it can be washed like the other totes. I opted for the Trimmed Vera instead. Although also not machine washable, the inside has a plastic lining that can be easily cleaned and the pattern is bright enough that it can camouflage dust and dirt. At least, we”ll see how that goes. The other thing I love about her totes are that a lot of them have zippers which allows you to throw it around and do whatever without the contents spilling. I used to have this issue all the time especially when driving and my bag would flip over if I braked or turned a corner.
My advice for buying Vera bags is to go in-store if you can and look at each to see what they look like in person. Some patterns look better in person than in picture and you can also check out the other features such as pockets and zippers to see if it suits your needs. For example, the carrier tote has two plastic pockets at either end on the inside which is ideal for storing toiletries that could create a mess. Also, sign up for emails from Vera online. They often have great online sales not found in-store. Sixty percent off and free-shipping anyone? Another tip is to read the details to make sure the bag is machine washable. It is a cloth bag so it will get dirty and being able to wash it is a plus. Majority of the bags are washable but there are a few totes where the base cannot be removed and you can only spot clean. No one wants to spot clean a print with a lot of white in it. If you’re buying online make sure you look at the dimensions carefully and try to get an idea of the actual size of the bag. They may all look similar in the picture but some can be way larger or smaller than you expect. Finally, keep an open mind. Don’t knock it till you try it. The bags are very functional for someone who totes around a lot of stuff and they are very easy to carry so don’t let the patterns keep you away from functionality. Not all the patterns are as gaudy as you think. If you find a bag that you like for the functionality just keep your eye out for new patterns that may be less overbearing. They come out with new patterns all the time.