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The Bag of Incessant Longing: A Saga

I‘ve been having a strange fashion summer, which I will write more about in a future post. (I have Deep Thoughts on the topic, trust.) Part of this strange fashion summer has been a resurgence in my fascination with a few British  lifestyle bloggers, namely The Anna Edit (she does the best capsule wardrobes) and Lily Pebbles (she’s in the middle of a captivating house renovation.) Why I care about the lives of some girls almost 20 years my junior living across the ocean, I can’t really explain properly, but I do really enjoy their content and like following them. Earlier this summer Lily posted this daily carry Instagram, and I absolutely fell in love with her handbag.

Just a lil’ what’s in my bag 👆🏼

A post shared by Lily Pebbles (@lilypebbles) on

I have not been investing in, looking at or carrying handbags much lately – purposely so – and the reaction I had to this bag was just nonsensical. I wanted that bag SO MUCH. It was neutral + black, it was so very summery and fresh and light spirited. Polka dots and tassels and straw, oh my! Also it would match almost every bit of summer clothing I had purchased this year. It was perfect.

Handbags, I don't at all like them because they occupy my hands. My hands always have to be ready in case I need to slap somebody.
 ― Miriam Defensor Santiago

Normally Lily is really good about tagging where to get the various items she posts (indeed, she makes a living partly by affiliate links, so it’s in her interest to do so.) But in this case she didn’t tag the bag*. (!) I commented to ask about the provenance, but got no reply. Whatever, I am a lady of the future, I can find this bag, thought I. So I started Googling “straw bags” and “straw bags pom poms” and “straw bag tassel” etc. No joy. I copied her photo and tried to reverse Google image search it, still nothing. I determined just to find any other straw bag similar, but all the ones I found had tacky bright colored pom poms (Color, the horror.)

But then! I was over at ModCloth and found this beauty:

The Spark Spontaneity Straw Bag.

If possible, I liked it EVEN MORE than I loved Lily’s bag. And I wanted it. I wanted it a heck of a lot. But then I got into one of those weird moods a lady gets, where I wanted that bag but I did not want to pay shipping on that bag. In these days of Amazon Prime I am not accustomed to paying shipping. And now that everything nice about the Internet is being destroyed (thanks Ajit Pai you heinous wanker) not only was there $7.99 shipping, but there was also sales tax. Where I am sales tax is running at 10% (don’t get me started on that topic today) so I was looking at paying like $47 to get myself a (then) $35 bag. (The bag was already on sale from $49.99, so technically it was a bargain in any case. )

I couldn’t make myself do it. I had it in my cart, but I couldn’t hit “purchase.” After looking this long for this bag, I thought surely I could find a sale, or a ModCloth discount code, or a free shipping code, or SOMETHING. I looked. By the Gods I looked. For a week. I signed up for discount sites, I Googled high and low, I trolled obscure message boards – there had to be a code. There had to be a code!

There was no code.

In the interest of being as dramatic as possible and making everything An Ordeal, I discussed this situation with multiple friends and family members, who all advised me to just buy the effing bag already. But still I resisted! There really had to be a code, or a deal to be had, or something. I had a puritanical urge to deny myself this thing I was obsessed with because paying tax and shipping made it not A Bargain but An Unnecessary Extravagance.

I didn’t consciously mimic Lily’s gingham dress, but I certainly channeled it subconsciously.

About a week later I took part in a group yard/estate sale, in which I offloaded a lot of lovely garments from my wardrobe that no longer fit me and needed new homes. I didn’t have high expectations about it, but I ended up making $300+ at the sale, and determined that this was extra-budgetary and therefore imaginary money, which could be used for whatever I wanted. I was gonna buy the bag.

That afternoon I logged into Modcloth, fully expecting it to be sold out, but there it was FURTHER REDUCED to $29.99! So there! I made a $5 profit on the thing. (It’s math, don’t make me explain.)

I have had this bag close to a month and I love it to pieces. Something about it brings me a strange joy whenever I carry it, and I don’t think you have to question things too hard when they give you those feelings. If you feel that way about something for more than a week and can responsibly swing it, then get it.

Hush Homewear Straw Bag

* A few weeks after I got my bag, Lily posted something else in which she tagged her bag or maybe I found it on her blog, I can’t remember, but it is from Hush Homewear (it’s no longer available though.)

When I look back at her original IG of the bag, Hush seems to be tagged, and I don’t know if I overlooked that originally or if she added it later. There were a lot of people in the comments asking where the bag was from, so if I overlooked it I am not alone in that. Also, that bag was £60, and I am not sure I want to know what shipping from the UK would have been, so I am sort of glad I didn’t find out what it was until after I had mine.


I got home from errands today and woe betide us all, I had lost a pom pom from the handbag of incessant longing! I panicked, but they still had them in stock at ModCloth, and the lovely lady I chatted with promptly sent me out a new one! She’s not even making me send the old one back, so I am going to stash it away in case I lose another pom pom, so I can use the spare for parts. Thanks for the excellent service, and standing behind your products ModCloth!

Can you even? I could not even.

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