Second Time Around - une femme d'un certain âge

Second Time Around

Balenciaga Town bag cigare, moto bag, lariat bag, casual jeans, Adea tank, Eileen Fisher v-neck sweater

“Balenciaga bags are OVER. They’re so 2003.”

That pronouncement from a prominent style blogger a few years ago made me question my own love of this brand. I’d had a couple of the “City” style Balenciaga bags over the years, and one large crossbody style, purchased on my first Paris trip. I really liked the look and the super light weight of these bags, but once the seed of doubt was sown, I carried them less frequently, and eventually sold all but the crossbody. On multiple occasions I’ve regretted letting those bags go, and will never again let what anyone else says is supposedly “in” or “out” determine what I wear or carry.

Balenciaga Town bag cigare, moto bag, lariat bag, skinny jeans, Adea tank, Eileen Fisher v-neck sweater

Fast forward to the present. I’ve been looking for a smaller casual bag for weekend that can be carried or worn crossbody. I wanted something lightweight, neutral but not black, without obvious logos. I didn’t even consider a Balenciaga until I saw this style (the “Town”). And my love was re-kindled.

Balenciaga moto bag, lariat bag, cross-body bag, boho style bag,

This picture really shows off the color best…a deep, rich, raisin-y brown.

Smaller than the “City,” and with a longer detachable strap, this bag is perfect for me for weekend and casual wear. Balenciaga has added a couple of open interior pockets, one for cell phone, which eliminates the only drawback I’d ever noted about these bags. They’ve always had an interior zippered pocket as well as the exterior one. With that wonderful smooshy leather that Balenciaga bags are known for, it’s comfortable to wear crossbody style or carried.

Hermès Kelly Double Tour leather bracelet, Stella and Dot pyramid stud leather bracelet


Underneath the sweater, I’m wearing the “Bra-Friendly Camisole” from Adea in “Tortoiseshell” (provided by the nice folks at Adea). I love the silky and lightweight fabric, and find it’s a perfect base layer. (During cooler months, I frequently wore the 3/4 Sleeve Scoop Neck Top underneath sweaters.) These camis really are “bra-friendly,” fit and feel like a second skin, and add absolutely no bulk or bumps to your silhouette. I tuck this camisole into my jeans, and it stays put…no shifting of bunching. The fabric breathes and wicks away moisture. These are fabulous tops for travel too: super lightweight, washable and dry within a few hours on a hanger or over a towel rack. I chose a neutral to coordinate with my wardrobe, but they’re available in a bunch of colors. This Adea cami would also be ideal to layer under a sheer blouse, or under a plunging v-neck to make it more office-appropriate.

Balenciaga Town bag cigare, moto bag, lariat bag, casual jeans, Adea tank, Eileen Fisher v-neck sweater


Sweater: Eileen Fisher, similar / Tank: Adea (provided by Adea for review) / Jeans: Eileen Fisher, similar /  Bag: Balenciaga / Earrings: Argento Vivo, similar / Bracelets: Hermès, similar styleStella and Dot / Shoes: Eileen Fisher, similar.

Have you put aside an article of clothing or a brand, only to rediscover it later? When does something become a classic?



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  1. Urbanite
    August 14, 2013 / 4:30 am

    A very very flattering look from head to toe

  2. Pamela
    August 14, 2013 / 4:43 am

    My goodness you look gorgeous!

    • September 13, 2021 / 6:40 pm

      Estou apaixonada pela bolsa linda..
      Como poderia comprar uma?

      • Susan Blakey
        September 13, 2021 / 6:45 pm

        Hi Eliane, this style is no longer being made, but here’s a similar one on consignment:

  3. August 14, 2013 / 5:12 am

    Gorgeous bag, and I have to smile at the “so 2003” comment. These bags are timeless, imho, and as you said, you love them! I too adore Adea camis and tees, the quality is all there.

  4. Susan Daniel
    August 14, 2013 / 5:15 am

    I’ve never followed fashion trends–probably because I am too thrifty. My criteria is whether I enjoy wearing an article of clothing or an accessory. So, I seldom put aside something because others have proclaimed it unfashionable.

  5. August 14, 2013 / 5:48 am

    The bag is divine. such a useful colour

  6. August 14, 2013 / 5:50 am

    love it. of course 🙂
    so glad you have reclaimed your love of balenciaga!

  7. Lisa White
    August 14, 2013 / 6:21 am

    I purchased my first Balenciaga in June at Neiman Marcus. I have wanted one for a couple of years, but had other priorities and they are at the price point that needs reflection before purchasing. I happened to be walking through Neiman’s last June when a gorgeous cassis colored bag caught my eye. It was a bag the size of yours. It was love at first sight and I picked up the bag and the leather felt like butter between my fingers. The color was rich and seemed to be illuminated. The sales clerk went and got me a “new’ bag that had not been on the display shelf, but it did not have the same luster. I wanted THAT bag. Neiman’s was having a promotion that was ending that day. I could pay 6 equal payment over 6 months INTEREST FREE. That was bag was meant for me. I LOVE it and have not regretted my purchase. I like that there are no obvious logos and the way it is soft and “squishy.” The color and luster of the leather is classic Balenciaga. I had never paid this much for a bag before and usually go for the Rebecca Minkoff bags as they are stylish and within my budget, but this bag is my jewel and well worth the a budget “extension”. It is the only bag I have ever taken a “loan” out for in order to purchase it. Also. I was a bit anxious that the bags might be discontinued down the road now that Alexander Wang has taken over the Balenciaga “House”

  8. August 14, 2013 / 7:09 am

    It’s a great bag and why use it just on weekends? I think you could carry it to work or anywhere. The raisin color is gorgeous.

  9. Swissy
    August 14, 2013 / 7:18 am

    I love the color an the quality of the leather. I guess I must be about the only person who doesn’t ever carry a big bag. If I do, I end up carrying all “our” gear!

    Pseu, you look so lovely and insouciant.

  10. Marla
    August 14, 2013 / 7:19 am

    You look fabulous as always and I have to say…that bag is absolutely beautiful! I have been in the bag doldrums for way over a year now…I need to absolutely love a bag because I am the type of person who likes to carry the same bag every day like it is part of me (except for beach and evening) and I have spent 2/3 the price of this bag the past year buying four other bags that have just not done it for me and not only do I feel guilty, I don’t have a bag that is age appropriate, lifestyle appropriate and that I love. Thank goodness my last purchase has been sitting on the shelf for a month while I try to love it (and know I won’t) and can go back to Nordstrom. I’ve ordered the Balenciaga and if it is perfect as I suspect it will be, the other three bags will be on eBay shortly and I’ll be feeling like myself again. Fingers crossed!

  11. Hostess
    August 14, 2013 / 8:13 am

    You look amazing!
    I love this outfit and bag together. Must compliment you on how healthy and vibrant you are looking with your gorgeous hair colour.
    It is so important that we remain true to ourselves and follow our intuition when it comes to personal choices. Trends come and go but style is forever.

  12. Cat
    August 14, 2013 / 9:04 am

    Thanks for the information about the camisole. What is your experience with sizing and how’s the cleavage coverage? The reviews say they run very small.

    Thank you and I’m sure I’m the millionth person to say that your new hair is perfect for you.

    • une femme
      August 14, 2013 / 9:28 am

      Hi Cat, thanks and yes the tops do run small. I’m wearing a size 4 in Adea sizing. I think the cleavage coverage will depend on bust size and length of torso from collarbone to bust. It covers me fine with no cleavage showing but does expose more décolleté than a bateau or crew neck.

      • Cat
        August 14, 2013 / 9:57 am

        Awesome. My top half is a little out of proportion, soI’m always on the hunt for foundation garments. I used their helpful sizing chart and ordering tips to choose size 3.

      • August 22, 2013 / 5:48 pm

        I saw on the Adea web site that they will send a free swatch, so naturally I took them up on that and I expected one little swatch in white. Much to my delighted surprise they sent a free swatch SET of **ALL 23 COLORS** on a metal ring with each one labeled (!) The fabric is truly beautiful (I sew so take my word on that) and I’m already planning my first order.

        • une femme
          August 22, 2013 / 9:04 pm

          Phyllis, glad to hear it! Thanks for letting us know.

  13. Kit
    August 14, 2013 / 10:32 am

    Bottom line – you look hot!

  14. Debra
    August 14, 2013 / 11:43 am

    Whenever I’m considering purchasing an “It” item (currently, Valentino Rockstud kitten heels), I thoroughly deliberate whether I really love it and will love it a few years down the road or whether I am fancying it because it is so popular. Usually, I get over the piece before I make the investment. The Balenciaga City was an exception: I happened upon a spectacular distressed gray leather and caramel suede combination. I snapped it up–and then tucked it away for five years during which many other “It” bags came and went. It made its debut last fall and every time I carry it I get a zillion gushing compliments. Most recently from a *very* young man working at Nordstrom. If a Millennial can so enthusiastically appreciate an item I bought almost half his lifetime ago, I think it is a classic.

    P.S. You look fabulous…always!

  15. August 14, 2013 / 12:16 pm

    I tend to stick with what I like. The colour of your bag is rich and autumnal and the quality is good. Why would you not use it?

  16. spacegeek
    August 14, 2013 / 1:54 pm

    So perfect for your elegant-rocker-chic aesthetic! They are too “tough” for me (I lean classic/boho-for-weekend), but really works for you!!

  17. Lynn
    August 14, 2013 / 2:24 pm

    Love the bad and the outfit and with they were in my price range. Case of envy here……

  18. Karen
    August 14, 2013 / 9:05 pm

    I love that bag, I feel sad when someone demotes my “it” bag while I am still on the crack high. Most of us dream of owning a high quality bag and when we finally acquire it, we want to savor it for years before we tire of it. Lets ignore the “it” factor and treasure quality and function for the long haul.

  19. Lady of Style
    August 14, 2013 / 11:53 pm

    Ahhh, something learned 😉 I never knew about the 2003 classification and it made me smile too 😉

    I have similar sandals and thanks for the reminder to get them out of the shoe closet before it’s too late this season!

    Whenever I look at your hair colour – and I know you have it for a while now – I think to myself how much better I like it than the previous one. Fabulous!

    Annette | Lady of Style

  20. Lady of Style
    August 15, 2013 / 12:54 am

    I was laughing about the 2003 classification… never knew about it, something learned… 😉
    Your shoes are awesome and I have similar ones which are hiding a bit in my shoe closet. Thanks for reminding me to get them out before it will be too late this season!

    Whenever I look at your new haircolour – and I know you already have it for a while – I think how much better I like it than your previous colour. Fabulous!


  21. August 15, 2013 / 3:55 am

    you look fabulous and thank you for deleting that comment about being “too old” to wear stuff.

    Finally sorted out my new blog list and you are on it THANK GOD. xxx

  22. August 15, 2013 / 4:08 am

    Your “never again” is even more marvellous than the bag. The whole “in or out” thing feels like an extension of middle-school clique-ishness, designed to promote angst-driven consumption that substitutes branding for values. Cheers to being free!

  23. August 15, 2013 / 5:09 am

    I agree with Amber, this bag is beautiful! Ridiculous declarations of the young? You buy something great like this and I’d wear it for years!

    blue hue wonderland

  24. August 15, 2013 / 6:41 am

    I love the way the sweater and softness, it’s beautiful. The shoes are cute and the bag is really wonderful.

  25. Sam
    August 15, 2013 / 7:50 am

    Oh, that bag–gorgeous. Your entire look is perfect.

    By the way, I bought several items from Adea last spring after reading your first post about their clothes. I have a few camis/tanks and 3/4-length-sleeve tops. They work fabulously for me–exactly what I was looking for. (Got one thing on super sale that doesn’t work, and couldn’t be returned, but love everything else.) Thanks for introducing us to them!

  26. August 16, 2013 / 9:51 am

    Always stick to your first love.
    Those bags are timeless.

  27. BrendaAndrews
    August 16, 2013 / 8:32 pm

    You look fabulous–such a flattering look!

  28. August 17, 2013 / 1:10 am

    I hate those kind of comments – this or that is so last season! So what? That kind of indicates the mind set of the person making the comment than anything about how stylish or not the item of question is. If your talking something like Balenciaga I wonder what planet they live on. I’d buy a Balenciaga every ten years as a long term investment not some trend driven fad. This kind of statement is regularly served up from the fashion press who are there to fuel our insecurities and keep us buying the latest thing. That a blogger would swallow this and then regurgitate it verbatim is indicative of a lack of ability to think for themselves.
    Glad you pulled that bag out again in defiance of the fashion date stampers – poor things, must be exhausting trying to keep up with a new bag every season.

  29. Lindy
    August 17, 2013 / 10:10 am

    I haven’t been here for awhile and you look FABULOUS!! Very chic.

  30. eleanorjanebirdy
    August 17, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    Ooh, I do like that bag. I’m need my bag to be cross body as I do lots of walking around town and I think it’s better for my back to have the weight distributed a bit (I swap sides too). Plus, it’s less of a faff than trying to keep a shoulder bag on my shoulder, not constantly slipped down as they seem to.

    I doubt I’ll ever spend as much on a bag as I guess your one costs, but England does have nice leather bags for cheaper than in New Zealand (especially at TK Maxx and outlet shopping centres)

  31. Yenners
    August 18, 2013 / 9:11 am

    I rarely comment on blogs but I’m making an exception to say how amazing you look with your new hair colour! It truly suits you and brings a lovely colour to your face and eyes! I used to be a regular reader of your blog but work has kept me so busy in the last few months that I’ve not had leisure time online, so today is the first time I’ve seen your new hairdo. You look fantastic!

  32. August 18, 2013 / 6:50 pm

    You are becoming more glamorous by the day. The bag suits you, and I’m going right to the Adea site to check out the camisoles.

  33. August 18, 2013 / 7:08 pm

    love everything about this outfit, awesome sweater

  34. August 18, 2013 / 9:24 pm

    You just continue to put classy on a whole new level each time you post. I’m finding a lesson with the second time around (just don’t make it a third). At least with our age of wisdom we no longer need to listen to the what’s “in” and what’s “out”.

  35. August 19, 2013 / 12:34 pm

    You look amazing! That sweater is incredible…

  36. August 19, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    I just love your ensemble. I’m considering adding a similar sweater from Helmut Lang (black or white). Your Balenciaga handbag is perfect. When the masses say something is in or out…yeah, whatever. Hang on to that bag; it’s a keeper.

  37. Suz
    August 19, 2013 / 8:02 pm

    When I lived in NY I fell for the whole mean girl attitude of the fashion crowd – and had a similar burst of regret after allowing them to make me doubt my choices. Its why trends bounce off me now, so I suppose I learned something (yay) “They” don’t know anything.

    BEAUTIFUL bag. Enjoy it!

  38. August 20, 2013 / 9:03 am

    Balenciaga … there’s a good reason why they are so often knocked-off. Not a good thing, of course, but the brand is undeniably desirable ! I’ve never had the wherewithal to aspire to these kind of investment pieces, but your taste is so clean that I’d trust your gut … ANYTIME. Nuts to their detractors. You wear it well, and it’s just as handsome as it can be. Really good leather, really well constructed and really well designed … that equals classic, I think.

  39. Ruth
    August 24, 2013 / 5:14 am

    Love your whole look! I have been tempted by the Balenciaga moto bag for a while but always stopped short of buying one for fear that the little buckles on the front would snag knit tops. Do you find that is a problem or is it a non-issue?
    I recently found your blog & am enjoying it a lot – especially since I’m a total Eileen Fisher aficionado.
    Best regards, Ruth

    • une femme
      August 24, 2013 / 7:47 am

      Hi Ruth, thanks so much! The buckles and other hardware on the Balenciaga bag are quite smooth. I’ve never had an issue with them snagging clothing.

      • Ruth
        August 24, 2013 / 9:09 am

        Thanks for the info!

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