What’s ‘IT’ All About: Decoding The ‘IT’ Bag

You have most likely heard this term before, you might have lusted after them, saved for them, maybe purchased them on a whim. Because let’s be honest people nobody can deny there just is something about the ‘IT Bag’…..

This post is all about the magical creature that is the IT bag. I am going to try and dissect this bag lust compulsion and too look at what makes a bag, a IT bag and simply what makes us lose sleep over it.

While researching this article I made a list of all the IT bags that have come and gone. The bags that I have lusted over, saved for, purchased even the ones that I have regretted purchasing and then sold.

The first IT bag I remember lusting over was the Chloe Silverado. Whilest at school and a poor weekend working student luxury bags seemed like a unattainable dream. I spotted this bag while reading the March 2005 issue of Vogue. It was beautiful so beautiful that I would stare at it for hours via those glossy magazine pages and dream about the stunning structurally intoxicating design, the style the exotic leather everything. The version I loved the most unsurprisingly was the gold/silver exotic  leather version the most expensive of them all. They were the epitome of luxury to me and the hardware oh the hardware the oversized silver buttons and zips all the pockets for storing sweets and my never ending supply of hoola bronzer. It was a real statement and every single detail screamed perfection. It called to me like a siren calls a sailor. Whispering Sarah buy me you need me I will make your life better. Looking back now as a savvy bag addict I now realise it was the marketing that made me want this bag. It was worn by the IT girls of that day Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie the cool girls etc seeing them wear the bag how confident and stylish they appeared to a young me made my impressionable mind decide that I needed this bag. That this bag was perfect that owning this bag would make me become the woman I always wanted to be. Looking back thinking that a bag could transform me is a scary thought. I never purchased this bag but I now see it advertised on pre-sale sites for a few hundred and think maybe now is the time. But it no longer holds that glittery allure for me that feeling of unattainable beauty that it once did. The gloss has worn off and it is now just another bag I once lusted over but now no longer think about.

Another bag brand that I loved was Alexander wang. I loved them so much that I purchased three the first being the Roccoco bag which I still have and still use occasionally. The second being the Diego bucket bag which was a monstrosity of a bag. It’s just so ridiculously heavy, walking around lugging about a bag of rocks would be a kind description. It caused me shoulder pain, back pain, bank pain all kinds of pain. But I bought two of these so I obviously ignored the pain. I always loved the studded bottoms of the Alexander Wang bags but even though the design was a very cool girls kind of pretty. In practicality not so user friendly. This bag pictured below the ‘Roccoco’ I do occasionally use because unlike the Diego bucket bag it’s in a relatively soft distressed leather which makes it slightly easier to use. That being said for the £800 I paid in 2010 I could have bought a Chanel WOC and that would have been a much better more sensible purchase. Another thing I learned while preparing this article is that IT bags are not sensible purchases. They are purchases of lust.  And here leads me to the next part of my IT bag journey.
Chloe is renowned for being the ‘It bag brand’ they have graced us with so many IT bags.  Their halls of fame are overflowing with them. It has almost become a farce. A false dream being due to their clever marketing ploy by being given away to influencers. Now instead of the Sienna Millers of once upon a time now to the Instagram stars we follow and aspire to be like. It is a clever marketing scam to give these bags to these influencers definitely for free sometimes they even get paid to wear them. In most recent years we had the Chloe Drew, the Marcie, the Faye and most recently the Nile bag. I own one Drew bag which I love. I recently sold my second. (Not because I didn’t love it anymore but because I am trying to do the one in one out rule.) Funnily enough the first time I saw the Drew I hated them. I hated the over exposer on Instagram and on other social media platforms. But slowly they grew on me. Was I sucked in by this clever marketing ploy. I still use my drew bag and I do still really like it. They are beautiful a very unique design and work well with most styles. But like all IT bags because of the over exposure they could or maybe they have fallen out of favour. I do wonder have I, a bag collector and as I like to think a savvy shopper been sucked into the IT bag craze again? Is this going to be a forever loop I will be destined to repeat again and again brainwashed by clever PR companies and stylish media stars?

Most recently the Gucci resurgence has been filling up my Instagram feed but thankfully I have learnt my lesson from the Chloe bags and the Gucci fever has somewhat passed me by. The Gucci Marmont or Dionysus bags have never really appealed to me. They are beautiful but the fear of being sucked into the IT bag vortex has made me shy away from them. But I can’t say I have come away totally unscathed I did purchase a small Marmont denim cosmetic bag. (But then quickly sold it once I realised it wasn’t for me.) I guess the IT bag pull is stronger than I thought.

I love this bag but I definitely don’t need another Prada bag.

Recently I have found myself wanting a Prada Cahier bag I don’t know what it is that has made me start lusting after this bag. Maybe it’s the cute treasure chest shape or the fun designs and colours or maybe it’s just simply that it looks amazing on top of a table for my standard coffee table bag picture. But I have been trying to avoid all exposure to this cutie by running past the Prada departments and trying not to look behind me at these whimsical treasure boxes.
Another bag which has gotten me feeling all kinds of butterfly’s and has had me singing Britney Spears toxic over and over again is the Valentino spike bag. What is it about this bag It’s weird but in a good way. Maybe it’s that I see this bag as a bag representation of myself soft leather covered in spikes. If I was to get this bag it would have to be the sequin version but the price made me cough up my americano the other day. Just no Valentino! Just no. I could buy a Chanel for that price and you just know that in a years time it will be for sale on a preloved website for half it’s retail price.
Currently we are gripped within a Dior saddle bag revival a bag made famous by the legendary John Galliano a bag that has been marketed as super exclusive but seems to be everywhere. And has now become a bit of a PR disaster the latest IT bag which in my opinion has cemented the IT bag as being a bag to be avoided for me. Though I have recently seen the black version of the saddle bag and I must admit that it is very pretty. But I personally will not let it’s IT bag pull get to me. I will walk away from the Gucci’s, the Chloe’s the Pradas run passed the Valentino’s most of the Dior’s and the Fendi’s and go straight to my spiritual home my safe place the Chanel boutique and buy the bag I really want. 
Thank you for reading. Happy new year.


  1. teri
    20th February 2019 / 11:39 pm

    I have a chance to buy a beautiful bag from the early 60s, it is a Chanel double flap with 24 karat gold plated hardware. I can get it for $3000 American money. Is it a better investment for me to buy this vintage bag or tried to buy a new her bag?

    • Sarahthenelizabeth 22nd October 2019 / 8:15 pm

      Hi Teri,

      Vintage Chanel bags are always a great investment they really don’t make them like they used to. If you want me to have a look at the bag for you send me a message via Instagram and I will let you know.

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