Thursday, September 03, 2009

Rad Vera Bradley

We admit it. There is a kinda secret side to us that is wildly attracted to floral patterns. Well, it might not be all that secret, but sharing a house with three males, we don't often have an opportunity to indulge in home stylings that feature 1940s-era rose prints and oil-cloth fabric.

We've always liked Vera Bradley much better than its preppy-favored predecessor, Pierre Deux. Each year they come out with new prints, retire others, add limited designs, blah blah, not at all dissimilar to what their competitors do.

Bradley inspires an almost Beanie Baby like fervor amongst her fans/collectors, who create Vera Bradley fan pages (seriously. Check it out, there are many of them. Many.) and proudly take photos of their collections.

Vera Bradley's signature design is a printed (often floral) quilted fabric made into a variety of womanly items, primarily purses, totes, luggage and accessories. They also make napkins and tablecloths in some patterns. And don't get all feminista on us about using the term "womanly." In fact, the two (brilliantly) entrepreneurial women who started the company (and named it after their mother or grandmother) got the spark for the idea when, while standing and waiting at an airport luggage carousel, they noticed that there was a preponderance of ugly, un-feminine baggage. Hence the line was born in 1982.

Since we've mentioned it to death on this site, we'll do this as briefly as possible -- we like to carry our pocketbook belongings in several little matching cases (ie, wallets, card holders, cosmetic cases etc.).

Vera Bradley has the ideal choices for our must-have pocketbook planners, but we have some reluctance to carry them too much. They are fabric, and despite the fact that the products are very much quality products, piped edging can fray and the item, in its entirety, can show wear (certainly more quickly than plastic or leather).

The items can be washed, but they do fade and lose that not-quite-shiny, but definitely that new-bag brightness. And they are not cheap, especially for fabric items. But they can be very lovely. Ah, decisions, decisions.

At any rate, we do completely love the new Winter 2009 pattern "Symphony in Hue" that we thought we'd share its prettiness with BeansTalk readers (that's it above [to quote Tina Fey], Dummy).