No, this isn't a question of should we men buy handbags for ourselves.
It's more a query of can we buy them for our wife or girlfriend? (I suspect that in some cases it may well be a question of can we buy them for our wife AND our girlfriend/mistress!)
Now -- I'll be first to admit then when it comes to handbag 'buyable' wives, I'm very lucky.
I can ask my long suffering wife an obviously loaded question such as "So what handbag would you most like to own?" and have her forget question and answer she gave within a matter of hours.
Looking through a magazine or catalog, idly flicking pages and throwing in mild questions such as "Do you think that looks nice?" or "Wow -- wouldn't that go with your suede skirt?" are seen by her as nothing more than a passing question, asked in a moment of idle curiosity.
The fact that queried item then appears for her birthday or mothers day or at Xmas is still a huge surprise to her, causing her to question how I knew she'd like that particular style/color etc.
I've also managed, after 23 years together and quite a few coaching sessions that I'm sure I wasn't even aware of, to be able to see for myself exactly type of thing she'd like. I can even boast modestly that my wife will ask me what I think about a particular piece of clothing and actually consider my answer before buying or not buying, assured as she is that I will reply honestly and with love and kindness. (Although joke question occasionally thrown in is always "Does my bum look big in this" to which standard joke answer is "Do I look stupid?")
So I can -- within reason -- look at something in designer handbag lines and think to myself "Yes, she'd like that" and actually be right.
But apparently - some store assistants don't agree with me on that scale.
I recently went to LV store in Selfridges, Bond Street of London to buy my wife a Xmas present. I had gone in with a mind to buy her a Papillon 26 but, as ever, was open to power of seeing and deciding as opposed to deciding before seeing.
It isn't largest store by far, being more of a concession stand size, situated just inside main doors at west of main building. More than 15 people in there and cat knows it safe from being swung, you'd never get it over your head to start with!
Being as how I was going in during a snatched lunch hour between meetings, I was dressed in what would be described as City Worker style, i.e. short hair, smart dark suit, shirt and tie.
Now I do fully understand that, in pecking order of who gets served in a designer handbag shop fastest, I rank fairly close to bottom of ladder, if not being one who actually holds ladder for others to climb!
I was quite prepared for looks of curiosity from female customers and even odd stiletto on instep in fight to get to counter. I wasn't prepared, however, for a store with only 7 people in it -- me, two other customers, three members of staff and a security guard.
Taking this surprising amount of space to be a good omen I decided to have a little stroll round store, left to right, starting with Damier items and finishing with most anticipated area, Multicolore and Suhali ranges.
The stroll and look went exactly according to plan, a few ideas springing to mind as I took a leisurely wander past shelves of rich, leathery smelling prizes.
I would have half expected a member of staff to gently enquire if they could help but wasn't to phased to be left on my own. In reality it was quite a treat not to be pounced on! (I have terrible trouble when I go into any store and I'm leapt on by an over eager staff member leaping out from behind their hiding place, war cry of "Can i help you?" finished before they even land in front of me. All I ever want to say to them is a disgruntled "yeah, you look round and I'll wait here!")