Just for fun: what would you choose--Birkin bag or $5000 cash?

OK, random fun hypothetical question! Let's pretend a fashion fairy appears and gives you the choice of one of the following gifts:
1. One super-luxury item, like a Hermes Birkin bag (these probably cost way more, but say for the sake of argument it's $5000)
2. Three regular-luxury items, like a Burberry trench, Louboutin heels, and Louis Vuitton bag (total not to exceed $5000)
3. What Not to Wear-style $5000 non-luxury wardrobe makeover/shopping spree, but nothing you buy can be more than $200 (so that equals about 25 items) and it all has to be bought in two days.
4. $5000 in cash, but you can't spend any of it on clothes (would you save it or spend it?)

What would you pick and why? If you're going for the big-ticket luxury items, what specifically would you buy with the $5000?

I don't own any luxury items (except some Kate Spade, if you count that), and am normally not a status brand seeker, but I might go for the Birkin bag, just because it's so famous, and I'd never ever buy something like that for myself, so it would have to be a fairy gift! Although practical me thinks I should probably just take the cash and run to the bank...it's not as much fun as a Birkin though!

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  • fashionista replied 7 years ago

    I would go for the #2 option. Three luxury but wardrobe staple items.

  • lyn* replied 7 years ago

    Oh; I could use the $5000 cash to pay down my student loans; but I love clothes way too much. I am pretty happy with what I have, so I would go for #2!

    #1 - Bubble umbrella for sure. I've always wanted one of those. So elegant! Not really a lux item, I suppose!

    #2 - Sparkley Louboutins :)

    #3 - Burberry scarf ... even though everyone in my class has one :p

  • Kiwichik replied 7 years ago

    Well that's an easy one I'd take number 4 and blow the lot on an Italian holiday. Bring it on!

  • Sylvie replied 7 years ago

    Well of course my practical/cheating side says go for option #4 and then take cash from my savings to buy a few special items and spend upto $500.

    Now if you take away the option to have the cash - let's say it's a gift card, I'd take two days off work and go for option #3. Except can't I bump the item limit upto $500? $200 just isn't going to cover a pair of Fluevogs or Fryes.

  • christieanne replied 7 years ago

    Practical me says cash. I'm not sure that if money was no object (ad well as the waiting list thing) that I would buy a Birkin. I like the looks of them and totally love the quality but it's just become so trendy. When Kim K has like 5 colors, it's not fun for me anymore lol.

    It wouldn't be fun to pick the three so either the WNTW shopping trip (with Angie and Clinton though) or the cash.

    FUN post !

  • Mac replied 7 years ago

    Decades ago, my now-deceased mother won a Mercedes Benz. She sold it on the spot, gave 50% of the money to charity and divided the other 50% among her children on the condition that we use it to pay for travel.

    I'd try to do something along the same lines: take the cash instead of the fashion, give a big chunk of the unexpected windfall to help those who actually need it, and (not having any kids of my own) use the remainder to travel, myself.

  • jen replied 7 years ago

    Birkin bag I am such a Brand Bag Slave!

  • Astrid replied 7 years ago

    Definitely the money and I would be using it for travelling. I don't need any luxury items and a new wardrobe would certainly be nice, but I have enough things to be able to dress myself in a way that I like and my wardrobe renewal happens slowly but surely and that suffices.

  • Jjsloane replied 7 years ago

    If it were right now and I need a new car, basement floor, odd home repairs etc.. I'd have to take the cash. If that were not a factor I'd go for 3. I'm not a luxury item kind of gal. I like my little attainable status items like $300 bags for under $200.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash and fly Shannon and me to Paris for that croissant we're always promising each other. And instead of clothes themselves, I'd drink in inspiration.

  • JennyAnne replied 7 years ago

    Oh I'd take the cash! :-) Hardwood floors, baby.

  • Tanya replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash and put it in the savings. Boring, I know!

  • jayne replied 7 years ago

    Vacation! I love clothes, but I love travelling more!

  • Kristin L replied 7 years ago

    If it was real, I'd take the cash. But for the sake of a hypothetical, I'd take #3 and get a wardrobe make-over. I could always go to the outlets. :)

  • replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash and head on vacation! I'd use any leftover to spruce up my house.

  • Meghan R replied 7 years ago

    Birkin! I love the look, but I could never justify spending the money. So I guess I'll just have to wait for a fairy gift, as you put it:)

  • marianna replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash and pay for my wedding with it. :)

  • modgrl replied 7 years ago

    Well I thought this would be super easy and clear cut form me because I'm not interested in a birkin. But then you threw in that it could be any luxury item. I have been thinking about a classic watch for a long time. I will own one eventually and it will be the watch I wear for the rest of my life. So I guess for me the answer is a) the one lux item. I have to figure out its something I get for myself for my 40th birthday...

  • Isabel replied 7 years ago

    I don't even have to think about this..I would take the money, invest it and then when it has grown, I would buy something and still have some left over. But I would not buy a bag for 5K, maybe a nice Louis Vuitton tote.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 7 years ago

    Ditto what Suz said! We are bound and determined to one day meet up!
    (Suz - you big sweetheart you!)

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Actually, I have an amendment to make. With the $5,000 I would fly as many of us out to Seattle as could go on that money and we'd have a massive YLF party with Angie! Or, alternatively, we'd all pick a sort of midway point to meet (wherever that might be...Chicago?) and get out there on our own ticket and use the $5,000 for our meals and some accommodation!

  • cheryl replied 7 years ago

    Cash for me. I think it would use some of it for a seasonal site for camping and just put the rest in the bank for whatever.

    However, the WNTW option would be fun and I would get a lot more than 25 items, haha. :)

  • Diana replied 7 years ago

    Cash for me. I like Marianna's idea of using it to pay for my wedding. If I didn't have a wedding to pay for, I'd use some of it for a vacation and put the rest toward buying my first home.

    My second choice would be the 3 items... I'd buy a wedding dress, a Burberry coat (in black, not beige), and probably a designer handbag.

  • Kirti replied 7 years ago

    Cash :-) I would use it to buy my in laws a home! Or atleast put it towards that :-P

  • ManidipaM replied 7 years ago

    Cold hard cash, thank you, to finish the kitchen cabinets, get myself a closet for those clothes I won't be buying, and go on a NOT-working holiday :-p

    Birkin bag is useful only in a fantasy lifestyle for me, and it wouldn't even be my fantasy. Too polished-classic for my taste, actually, though I do appreciate the history and the craftsmanship and the aesthetic *at a distance*.

    3 luxury items would be special-occasion only, and now I'm concentrating on filling everyday and workaday holes.

    And while instant wardrobe makeover sounds like a dream, the practical elf in my head insists it would be too easy to make mistakes or settle with the timer running!

  • velvetychocolate replied 7 years ago

    #3 - but I'd like the maximum amount per item increased to at least $300, or even better - no limit per item. You just never know what you'll find, and if something's just $20 over the 'limit' but it's fabulous...I'd hate to be having to leave it aside!

    That said, I like Suz's idea about Seattle. I'd be interested in taking the cash, then I'd want to convince Angie to run a workshop or convention or something like that. We'd all attend, pay a 'workshop' fee to see mini fashion shows, talks on how to update certain formulas, look at fab shoes (ie. maybe a representative from Fidji would be there, and there'd be tables of shoes with a discount), and so on. Now THAT would be a lot of fun!

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    Suz, sending you lots of hugs. You are so fab.

    *If* I had to spend the money on fashion and style: I would buy one or two things - Chanel bag and Burberry Prorsum coat. Or a Valentino outfit.

    Or I'd take the money and go on a trip with Greg and Rosie. Get Greg a few fun gadgets along the way.

    Or I' d purchase a new retro cream couch.

  • Carole replied 7 years ago

    Cash money for me!

  • replied 7 years ago

    Oh boy! I'd most likely choose the cash. I'm just practical that way. Cash pays bills, and I could always use the cash I already have to buy clothes with, hee-hee.

    I wouldn't want to have to spend all that $ in a short period of time, so Option 3 is out.

    I think I'd be willing to go for Option 2, though.

    Never in a million years would I ever pick Option 1.

  • Zapotee replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash.

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    Hey, did I just delete my own post?

    This is my answer: If THE Fashion Fairy comes, I have to take the fashion and go all the way - #1.

    But there's a caveat: If the choice is specifically $5000 or a Birkin, then it's the $5000. I don't do Hermes and a Birkin is not a good choice for the aspiring gold digger. It screams gold digger!!! And I totally aspire to be a gold digger.

  • HelenInCanada replied 7 years ago

    This has GOT to be a joke, right?! I'm taking the cash and spending the week in NYC! :)

  • DonnaF replied 7 years ago

    Ca$h -- and buy DH (the family cook) a Capital Culinarian range that cranks up to something like 23K BTUs. Then, I would have to chant the mantra of eating slowly and minimally, lest I pop out of my clothes.

  • Meredith1953 replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash and see if Suz and Shannon would let me join them in Paris. I went last summer and want to go again so desperately!

  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago

    I would take the $5000, use my knowledge of fashion to invest in fashion stocks, and try and see if I can make it $50,000. Have been wanting to do this for a while.

  • Sarah A replied 7 years ago

    Cash for me, if said fairy also provides a week of childcare DH and I are going on a fab trip sans kiddos. If not, probably put the money in the bank (for now at least.....)

  • MsMary replied 7 years ago

    I'll take the cash and take Hubby to New York for a few days and see some shows!

  • Mander replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash, and use it to visit my parents. Or maybe the luxury items if one of them could be a custom-made business suit that actually looks good on me. Or maybe each piece of a suit could be one luxury item?

    I like the shape of the Birkin but in real life the design would not be comfortable for me to carry.

  • Kate replied 7 years ago

    Oh that's easy. I'd take the cash, and revisit Botswana with my husband.

  • catgirl replied 7 years ago

    I'd take the cash. No way would I ever buy a $5,000 bag!

  • Elly replied 7 years ago

    I would probably take the cash. I'd love to be able to able to give something to my parents-- 5k would pay for a tempurpedic and a bedroom set, or hardwood floors, or part of a kitchen-- they could save it or use part of it on a trip (my dad hates to travel, so it would have to be a short or camping-centered one) . I'd also like to buy my mother a ring to beef up her wedding set after 25 years.

    If I had to save it or spend it on myself, 5k in the bank saved towards going back to school would be great. Part spent on some new camera equipment would be amazing-- my family suggested that they purchase it for me since we "skipped" celebrating or giving gifts for Christmas and birthdays for years and all 3 of my graduations, but it's expensive and I always feel like I owe them too much already. I'd also consider picking up a small SUV like my first car as a daily driver (mine got close to 30 mpg, believe it or not!) and to take on all the local "adventures". I might use some of it to buy a plane ticket to visit a friend who lives in Hawaii and has offered to take me around (she's a dive instructor) but I never have the money to justify a ticket. I might travel to some of the places I'd like to visit elsewhere in the US, too-- and maybe visit two more of my closest friends that I haven't seen in a couple of years. Maybe I'd have the money to take some more art classes or buy some studio time. Obviously those are just ideas-- but doing just one or two of those things would be pretty great.

    Alternatively, I think I'd go with the 2-day makeover. It would be hard though, since boots and coats can be hard to keep under 200 dollars- but I wouldn't worry too much about the 2 days since I'd have help. 5k would definitely be enough to try out premium denim, buy some jackets and have them tailored, pick up a couple of bags, replenish my tops/sweaters, spend on a real trench/nice rain jacket, and nice winter jacket, and support my $100 shoe habit-- I probably could even afford to invest a bit in a nicer watch and replenish my gear-- especially my hiking and travel clothes.

    Honestly, I can't imagine owning something that cost more than $1000 dollars, probably not even a wedding ring (which is funny since I'd eagerly shell the money out on a vehicle, camera, trip, or kiln). I do love nice things and would like to be able to afford the little luxuries and quality-- that said, a 150-300 dollar pair of leather boots that I'll wear for the next 10 years and real shearling slippers and smartwool socks qualify in my mind. I'd rather have money to spend on people and food, and on going for rides and adventures and weekend trips, getting to travel once in a while, on education, and having a nice place to live and explore hobbies, ect.

  • keruchina replied 7 years ago


    Another vote for blowing most of it on experiences. And on taking my mother out to do something nice in repayment for taking care of my ailing dog. I would buy a couple of fabulous dresses and pairs of shoes and then spend the rest on yoga, tennis lessons, and dinners :)

    It seems that we are all breaking the rules, but my grad student brain (read: poor yet weirdly entitled-feeling) can't even wrap itself around the idea of a $5000 bag or stuff.

  • Kari replied 7 years ago

    Door #4 for a really special international trip (in real life, right now B. and I are saving for a July 2013 trip to Ireland with his family) would be my first choice. Second choice would be #3. I'm really not into luxury/status items, to be honest; they just don't do it for me. I have two Kate Spade bags that, to me, were very pricey bags; but I got them from a reputed seller on eBay for much less than the cost at retail price (or even at the outlet mall price) and that's enough for me. They just happened to be exactly what I had been looking for and wasn't able to find beforehand, and were made very, very well.

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 7 years ago

    It is a bit practical, but I would take the cash and use it for vacations. I think I could squeeze two out of it and I love my vacations.

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