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Banana Republic dress, Kieselstein Cord lizard belt, Gucci dionysus buckle, Nine West pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Gucci bamboo top handle bag (all own)

You love that designer bag, but the price tag has at least two digits too many. This post provides reason why to save for an expensive luxury bag and why to wear it every day even on the underground train.


  1. When the metro is a catwalk for your expensive luxury bag
  2. Safety and discipline seem of no concern
  3. Remembrance of other places
  4. Cultural differences or different techniques?
  5. Is staying within the norm the secret?
  6. Price-performance ratio and cost-per-wear
  7. Is wearing a high-end quality bag about sustainability?
  8. Look of the day with my expensive luxury bag
  9. Fashion comes and goes, style stays
  10. 218th Top of the World Style Linkup Party


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

When the Metro is a Catwalk

The iron of the wheels squeak as they rub over the iron of the tracks. The wagon shakes. One hears the shoveling of people’s shoes when they adjust to the movement of the train. A voice announces the next station, but it is barely understandable in the noise of the chit chat and train. The train is making its way thru the long tunnels under the city. The blue line pulls into a station. People de-board, new passengers board the train. I am sitting in my seat enjoying to see the nice summer work outfits many of the women are wearing and the expensive luxury bag they are carrying.


post hero for best reasons to don an expensive on the metro luxury bag



Safety and Discipline Seem of No Concern

I am wondering about the disciplined de-boarding and boarding. No rush, pushing or use of elbows. Despite it’s the rush hour. When I lived in Germany, I was used to different practice.

I am watching the people waiting for the orange or silver line. None of them seems to be scared by the low illumination of the station. The light is way less than in the Cologne subway or the London Underground or Paris Metro. I am thinking whether it’s easier to use IR cameras for supervision and safety than visible cameras.


over 50 years old fashion blogger in silk shirt dress with matching belt, bag and heels
Banana Republic silk shirt dress, Kieselstein Cord lizard belt, Gucci Dionysus silver enamel buckle, Nine West pointy-toe pumps, multi-gemstone statement necklace, Hermes collier de chien bangle, multi-gemstone cuff, Gucci ostrich bag



Remembrance of Other Places

The Bing photos of the Moscow metro come into mind, well illuminated showing off the beautiful architecture. I also remember the metro in Budapest in Hungary that I used in the mid 1980s. I traveled with it when I attended a vintage glider meeting close to Budapest. Then I realized that I just made a trip thru Europe in my head. Is thinking of places a kind of time travel? Or just like remembering a peaceful place at the Arctic Ocean?


metro in Moscow with people donning bags
Metro in Moscow “Metro2” by tonymz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0



Cultural Differences or Different Techniques?

Is the light low as the ceilings are just structured concrete in its natural color? Are the ones in London and Paris considered beautiful because their are old and of well-set enamel tiles? Is there intense light in Cologne stations because people feel unsafe when waiting at the station? I remember I always did, even during rush hour. And at that time, I didn’t even carry an expensive luxury bag. The feeling was worst in the early morning hours or late at night when I came back with my Puma sports bag full of washed clothes from visiting my parents when I was studying meteorology in the 1980s. And the Paris Metro with its signature signs!


women with expensive bags at the Metropolitan in Paris
Women with luggage and purses standing outside of the Metropolitan in Paris with the famous lamp decoration from the 1910s. “Metro, Paris” by Jamie Barras is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


There are women on the train carrying luxury designer bags that have price tags with four digits. None of them presses their bag tight to the body like being concerned that someone would cut the bag off or take it away and jump off the train shortly before the doors close.

I’m wondering why they seem not to be concerned. Are they carrying knock-offs? If so, aren’t they endangering themselves? If not, do they have so much money that the price of the bags is peanuts for them? Even when their bags are second hand – like my Gucci bag – didn’t they have to save for it? I did for mine! And I, on purpose, had chosen a less famous, i.e. not the current It version that everybody would recognize as a Gucci. But honestly, not for safety reasons. Yes, I wanted a Gucci bag, but I wanted it to look like an understated designer bag, not like an expensive luxury bag.


midlife woman in printed summer dress with accessories and matching bow on her expensive luxury bag
Banana Republic printed dress, Kieselstein Cord wide belt, gemstone cuff, Gucci Dionysus buckle, Nine West pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Gucci bamboo top handle bag



Is Staying within the Norm the Secret?

I remember the last time I rode the U-Bahn (subway) in Cologne in 2006. Back then, I felt so uncomfortable. I got looks from immigrants, guest workers and locals even an American tourist group. I had dressed as people from cold climate regions do when they are in a warmer climate region than where they live. Read they were all bundled up, while I was in a sort of early fall outfit for their dressing standards and thermal comfort.

Then it occurred to me “Maybe the women weren’t concerned because there were so many of them wearing an (seemingly) expensive purse on the train.” Moreover, not wearing your investment pieces is like tossing them. So why should expensive luxury bags stay in a showcase in a woman’s closet?

Enjoy you diamonds before your heirs do. #lifestyle #goodlife Click To Tweet

So why should be a 4 digits purse be just for what? Yes, when should you wear it? My mind went blank. When would you wear an investment bag? When would you wear an investment bag when not to work? To show off their wealth to others or pretend to be rich, and make them feel jealous about it? But so many women doing that game at the same time? Unlikely!



Price-Performance Ratio and Cost-Per-Wear

My next thought is “When a new high quality bag costs, for instance $4000, and the woman plans to carry the bag for about 11 years, the price-per-wear gets below a dollar. In that case, the bag is actually a great deal. Probably, it’s even inexpensive as compared to buy several low quality bags that have to be replaced twice a year.”

Don't look at the price tag, but calculate the cost per wear. If it's below a dollar go for it. #budgetfashion #sustainability Click To Tweet


Is Wearing a High-End Quality Bag about Sustainability?

But would a woman want to carry the same bag on a daily basis for more then a decade? Honestly, I am not even sure about whether I would want that. But, on the other hand, in winter I still wear my shearling coats that I bought in Europe two decades ago. I have been wearing my diamond leopard print jacket even since I was a teenager. However, not daily, of course.

Well, I don’t even remember all my cheap less than $30 bags that lasted often for less than a year. However, I remember my late Mom’s expensive high-end brand bag she had bought for work before I was born. When she retired it, I took it as a hand-me down and carried it all the time when I was in college. Unfortunately, it got lost in my late twenties. At that time, it was still in great shape.

Keisha Whitaker, the TV host, once said

If you get a good pair of shoes and a great bag, you can wear JEANS AND a TEE every day, with nothing to prove.

I couldn’t agree more. Ever since I was a little girl, I loved great, high quality bags. It started out with my kindergarten bag, a cross-body in burgundy leather, which was unique. All other kids had brown or black kindergarten bags.


Look of the Day with My Expensive Luxury Bag

I am wearing a second hand silk shirt dress. I liked the interesting abstract print that seems to be some where between paisley and geometric print. This time I styled it with a green belt, bag and pumps. Other styling options would be black or white pumps or belts. Sure nude and any metal color as well as leopard print pumps would work with the dress too.

Stylist tips: When a dress comes with a fabric belt, consider wearing it with a leather belt for a change. When it comes with a cheap plastic belt, toss the belt (give it to charity) and replace it with one of your own better quality belts. More on accessorizing with belts.

Nicole sitting on a bar stool in a shirt dress

style book author in summer work outfit of an abstract print dress with color matched high-price luxury purse, shoes and belt
Outfit details: Banana Republic silk shirt dress, Kieselstein Cord lizard belt, Gucci silver enamel Dionysus buckle, Nine West pointy-toe pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, multi-gemstone statement necklace, semi-precious gemstone cuff, Gucci bamboo top handle bag and dress’ belt tied as a bow on the purse’s handle


The dress will look great with my black cardigan or with my green or black leather jacket in fall. Of course, this shirt dress will also look great as a shirt with my white or black leather skirt. Before I buy an item, I always think about possible outfits with the new piece. I don’t want to buy a piece where great outfits are just by random. It’s a safe way to avoid buying a statement piece when you need a workhorse.


Fashion Comes and Goes, Style Stays

As an adult, I have learned that when it comes to great style, one never splurges on It items, but on great, high quality basics and bags.

Don’t let the right outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

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218th Top of the World Style Linkup party

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party! Great you are here. The awardees are:

Top of the World Style Winner Jacqui of Mummy B Stylish in a pretty woman dress
Jacqui of Mummy B Stylish became Top of the World Style Winner. Photo from her post


Top of the World OOTD Readers' Fav Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom in a little white dress
Carrie the blogger at Curly Crafty Mom became the Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post


Carrie wears her beautiful Little White Dress. Wearing white in summer is an all American classic.


Top of the World OOTD My Fav Hilda in pretty woman dress
Hilda of Over the Hilda became Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post


It’s no secret that Andrea Nine of  Living on Cloud Nine was my fav in her  white polka dots on brown dress a couple of years ago and that I have a pretty woman dress myself. The funny thing is that the Top of the World Style Winner drawn by the random operator pulled another post with a pretty woman dress. LOL.

Congrats Ladies! Grab your buttons for your awards page or sidebar.


Click here to enter


Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Anna Shirley

    This is maybe the favorite look of you, Nicol. I love the silky dress and how you styled and accessorized the whole outfit. You look great! It does make sense to buy items that are timeless and stay with you for a very long time. It is good to think about how much use you will get from this item. If I buy some expensive fashion pieces which I’ll use 2-3 times, it is not worth it. If it is something which you will use daily for many years, that is a good buy. I think it is the right step to sustainable fashion. We all have a different budget. I wouldn’t buy anything which makes me stressed out all the time that somebody steals this, or the item will be damaged. There are other options. It is possible to buy pre-loved fashion designer item or to buy something similar but within the budget.

  2. donnadoesdresses

    Gorgeous dress – great to be sustainable!! Love this trip down memory lane – what an interesting life you’ve led!! Thank you for sharing, Nicole!!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🙏

  3. mummabstylish

    How fabulous to find me featured here! Thanks for sharing my photo today – I’ve ‘twinned’ with Hilda for our latest Style not Age challenge. Thanks so much Nicole. Jacqui Mummabstylish

  4. Laura Marie (@lauramariescott)

    Memories of travel certainly impact our lives that’s for sure, many fond ones growing up.

    Your outfits look lovely!

    Laura xo

  5. stinedurfdl

    That is such a fabulous print…and I love the green pumps!

  6. shelbeeontheedge1

    Such an interesting and thought-provoking post, Nicole! I love the imagery you created, too. Now I want to go on a train ride! Also, I love your silk dress and those fabulous green shoes.