visible monday ~~ shades of brown (or an ode to vintage coach willis)

Bonjour, lovely readers!  Today is Visible Monday and  I give you moi in shades of brown.  Which is truly not a summery way to dress but alas I also wanted to show off my “new to me” purse acquisition (and please no reminders of my previous pledges to not buy any more handbags for a year–that deal is so off  now)*.

Recently I started following Atlantic Pacific.  I can’t even remember how I found the blog but I love her stunning array of amazing outfits.  One accessory that she wears often–and it looks great every single time– is a vintage Coach Willis in British Tan.  This bag looks great with so many of her outfits and she wears it with colors I would never think to pair it with.  I have a vintage Willis in black and it has become one of my favorite, go-to handbags of them all.

The Willis is one of those Coach styles I admired from a far for a few years.  Loved it, thought it classy every time I saw it but wasn’t sure it was really me.  Instead I ventured into the Rambler, the Janice’s Legacy and a couple of other classic Coach styles.  Most were too small or not adequate for my needs.  And then I started carrying a Nook.  My requirements in a handbag became very specific.  I found a wonderful style in the Coach Ergo #9033.  Love the simple lines, the outside pocket (a must) and roomy interior, and the shoulder strap length is perfect for me.  Then a few months ago, I saw a great deal on a Vintage Willis (black) and thought I would give it a try.  I have always admired the flap closure with turn-key lock.  Another thing I thought I might like is the cross-body option and, of course, the rear outside pocket.  I bought it and haven’t looked back.  I use it a lot and it gets compliments…because it is a classic.

After following Atlantic Pacific I became convinced that a Coach Willis in British Tan was now part of my destiny.  And wouldn’t you know…they are super hard to find in good shape at reasonable prices.  Black ones are a dime a dozen but the British Tan?  Either they are in high demand or there just weren’t as many made in that color.   I don’t know.  But I was diligent obsessive in my searches and finally landed a good deal.  She just arrived the other day so of course I had to have her out for a spin.  I played it safe and styled her with other browns.  I am very  happy to have another Vintage Willis and I know we are going to have a long, happy union.

handbag: vintage coach willis~sweater, top: talbots~ shoes: bass~necklace: vintage; watch~seiko

Oh!  I just love that thick, glove tanned leather.

Don’t forget to stop by Patti’s for more Visibility.

What is your favorite “go to” handbag?

~~Mistress Bliss~~

*for the record, if anyone cares, i did some purging this weekend and no less than six handbags will be leaving via ebay or etsy.  striving for balance one goodwill load at a time.


Filed under fashion cents, vintage finds, visible monday

30 responses to “visible monday ~~ shades of brown (or an ode to vintage coach willis)

  1. I’ve been sporting a dark brown with black stitching, double handled leather bag from La Coccinelle. Paid a decent amount for it but will probably have it at least 10 years. I always refurbish and am not one who follows trends. I could wear the same handbag and lipstick for 20 years!

  2. Love the sweater and the bag, so elegant!

  3. Good Monday Bliss!
    I had that exact bag in black a long time ago……the leather IS yummy. Yours is a gorgeous color! Looking chic in brown & blue! Pretty necklace, too!.

  4. Ellen

    Lovely bag. It looks great hanging off your shoulder. It combines a tailored look with an almost “business” look.

    • Truthfully, the length of the long strap is a bit too long for shoulder wear–great for cross body though. I usually like my shoulder bag at high hip level. Maybe I can get it shortened or find another strap to use too…hmmmm?

  5. This is a great purse! As usual, you look very put together! :-)

  6. This bag is fantastic, very beautiful and is perfect in the outfit you have prepared. I like the jacket and the combination of print, brown and blue. Always balanced.

  7. I used to own this bag – I think we all did. This is the REAL Coach: classic American sportswear in a wear-til-it-falls-apart-which-won’t-happen-anytime-soon-because-it’s-a-quality-product design and color. That was a great bag, and you are wearing it wonderfully well.

    How old does that make us, when you are seeing a bag you used to own and love now being described as vintage? Is there a demographic box marked “crone” to start checking?

    • LOL! You are too funny. Maybe we should just stick with the word “classic” and skip vintage at least for a few more years. But you are right about the quality of these bags. The classic styles with Coach are timeless (IMHO) and the quality is far better than the stuff they churn out today. I have a couple newer leather Coach bags and there is no comparison with the Classics (especially the Made in the USA ones).

  8. Style Mentor™

    You are so CUTE!! I love how you described the trail to get to the bag of constant companion. Love the animal print and playing it safe is working for you Mistress Bliss! I haven’t had a chance to email about this, but that croc bag, be still my heart, I love it so much it is hanging on the door so I can see it all the time. I can’t wait to display it along with the other goodies. Thank you so much, let’s go back in time together. xo

  9. Ooooh, I can see why every little handbag cell in your body was crying out for one in the Tan! I totally love it, it’s gorgeous. Although I love handbags in pretty colours my mainstay is a black leather bag. I need to carry around loads of stuff and so I can’t be doing with a teeny bag at all. I save those for evening wear. But, I am incredibly fickle and am always (and I mean ALWAYS) on the lookout for a new black leather bag. The search for the Holy Handbag Grail continues!

    • I think black is the color I use the most too but I do vary my handbags often. I really have had fun with the orange one I got this year. And you are preachin’ to the choir about always being on the outlook for the perfect bag. It should have been an occupation for me.

  10. You look like you are all set for fall with your lovely handbag purchase.

  11. I have always adored that Coach! It seems you are bringing back lots of good memories for us, Bliss. Love your whole look; the flippy skirt is great. Thanks so much for sharing your classics with Visible Monday.

  12. LOVING your outfit–especially the leopard cardigan!!
    Gorgeous purse!!! I’ve picked up so many at thrift stores–I look at them as disposable accessories. I change out almost everyday to complement my outfit so most of mine are Kohl’s level quality. altho I did score a stunning Talbots brown leather woven one that is more of a classic investment piece!

    • Thanks, Ms. Tamera. Yes, I have noticed your revolving collection of handbags. You beat me in handbag acquisitions and that is hard to do. I look for deals but I am smitten with the classic, vintage styles…so sometimes I have paid more than I thought I would. Thankfully, I usually sell them for the same, if not more, than what I paid.

  13. A Well Styled Life

    I also used to have the Willis in black. It was a great bag. The new version they’ve brought out is rounder and comes in an array of colors. Loving your Leopard!!

    • I like the new Willis style (posted about it not long back) and I toyed with the idea of saving for the new style in British Tan. But every time I see the classic style on someone, my heart melts. I did check the new ones out in person when in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. There was something about the top stitching on the British Tan I wasn’t crazy about…so I am glad I have seen it up close.

  14. Looking good … brown is one of my favorite colors too, but 90% for autum and winter. My favorite handbag is a black YSL in bucket model with 2 two thin strips of pattern and suede. Had it for over 30 years and for 10 years I used it nearly every day and it was with me in US again. Not a big bag.

    • Great investment! I can’t imagine owning a bag for that long but I own bags older than that. It is amazing how long a well made bag can last. Often times, looking better with age. : ) I hope I age as well as a Hermes Kelly.

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