Wednesday, May 16, 2018

On the Hunt: Cuyana Tall Tote

Once in a long while, I'll get an odd and powerful fixation on a very specific item, months or even years after I first encountered it, whether on a blog or on some stylish stranger I saw walking around on the street. Such a thing accounted, most recently, for my rather sudden purchase of the Coach Rogue.

It's a separate and distinct phenomenon from if I ever make a decision about a "distant future splurge", whether a designer bag or something similarly lofty. These are, instead, desires for something that often started at a relatively modest price point, something like a  particular Madewell or J.Crew dress that I totally had the opportunity to buy (on sale, even) while it was still in stores. Sometimes, I specifically considered the item too, and chose to pass on it at the time, only to regret it later. They tend to be somewhat obscure items, not the kind of thing one could easily obtain right away in the correct size and/or color, even with a ready willingness to pay close to retail, though the process often turns out somewhat quick, only a few weeks or months of occasional Ebay searches. 

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My most recent such fixation, which has simmered for quite some time, is the long-discontinued Cuyana Tall Tote in black. A few years ago, I saw someone carrying it in an airport, and it seemed, with its squared off sides, to have a neater and distinct look compared to the wider Cuyana Classic Tote (which they still sell in a wide range of colors). Even then, the black tall tote had long since sold out. I checked back frequently and put myself on the waitlist, only for it to never return. I have the classic tote in brown, actually, a generous Christmas gift from K the year before last, which I love and use quite frequently. If I was able to find the tall tote, it'd fill a slightly different niche, the one that is admittedly already sort of occupied by that Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot to Handle hobo bag I splurged on last year (similar in other colors). The dimensions for the tall tote may not even be that different from those of the classic tote, as seen below, but from that one quick glimpse at the airport, I suppose my brain is absolutely convinced that the slight size and shape differences have a  noticeable impact, and make it a very different bag.

I've been searching hard, and have yet to find anything similar in the same general size, in black leather, and with the squared off sides. The Baggu Basic Leather Tote doesn't seem to be the right shape or size, it's probably a bit too tall and floppy (though there may be different sizes? either way, it lacks the squared off sides). The Everlane Day Magazine Tote may actually be the right shape and size. To my eyes, it has almost the exact look of the Cuyana Tall Tote, except that the leather texture appears quite different, smoother (and possibly more prone to scratches and scuffs as a result), and less "squishy", for lack of a better word. Because I know I quite like the texture of the Cuyana leather, from my experience with my Classic Tote (it's highly resistant to showing wear and tear), I suspect I'd find the texture difference distracting, and the Everlane one is off the table.

So I'll be hunting Ebay and Poshmark (this particular fixation could result in my first ever Poshmark transaction, should I find it there). This item's proven  rather elusive, and searching occasionally on Ebay over the months, even years,  has proven unavailing. 

Do you ever get oddly specific shopping fixations like this? Does it usually take long to find the item you're seeking? In my case, it's normally a relatively quick process, because I most commonly end up looking for items that were still available at retail stores within the last year, so it's generally easy to find them in at least a few sizes, though not necessarily my exact size/color combination. Older items can take much longer, though, as in this case!

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