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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thirty-One Skirt Purse: A review

OK one of the things I said I wanted to do a while back was some honest real person reviews of products I've purchased.  Please know that I am not receiving any products or any compensation from any company.  These are simply items that I have purchased and used and my honest opinions about them.

Thirty-One Skirt Purse

My SIL is a Thirty-One consultant, and I bought this purse in October 2010.  I'm not typically a big purse snob, since I don't like to spend large amounts of money on myself.  I have a couple of secondhand Coach purses, and while I do like them a lot, I just can bring myself to spend the money on them.  So I usually but a purse once a year or so and carry it until it wears out, and then buy a new inexpensive one and the cycle continues.  Lately I've been feeling like I would like to have more flexible purse options so I can change my purse depending on the time of year, or outfit, or whatever else might be going through my mind at the time, but the truth is I HATE CHANGING PURSES.  There's nothing more annoying than getting used to the set-up of your purse, having it all organized so you know where everything is and then changing purses and now you can't find anything anything.  In walks the Thirty-One Skirt purse.  The premise is that you buy 1 purse (a solid that comes with one patterned skirt) and then you just buy additional skirts.  When you want to change the look of your purse, you just change the skirt a voila! you have a "new" purse.  I bought the combination you see above, as well as an additional skirt in a print called Floral Fanfare.  You can also get the base purse in black instead of brown.  As the seasons change the prints available for skirts will also change.  New ones will come out, old ones will be retired, so the options are consistently changing.

The Specs:
  • Size: 15.5x9x3.5 (or 15x10.5x6.5 for the bigger City Skirt Purse)
  • Color: Black or brown base purse, assorted prints for skirts
  • Price: $42 for the base purse and 1 skirt, $15 for additional skirts. (plus tax and shipping)
  • Where to buy: From your Thirty-One Consultant or contact me if you don't have one.

  • I LOVE the flexibility of changing the outside of this purse.  I used the floral print for most of the fall and changed it to the Red skirt after Thanksgiving.  It mad me feel like my purse had a sweet holiday flair to it.  Changing the skirts is quick and simple and doesn't require emptying the purse unless I've really stuffed it.  And all the skirts are machine washable so it it gets dirty it's easily fixed!
  • It's a good size to carry enough stuff, but not carry so much it weighs 40 pounds.  I'm one of those people that if I carry a big purse I WILL fill it, so I force myself to carry a smaller purse.  This purse is 15x9 inches and only 3 inches wide, so plenty big enough for my wallet and other purse essentials, but not so big that I can load it up.
  • The design of the skirts is very simple.  I've been able to make my own skirts out of fabric I have at home.  This gives me even MORE flexibility in patterns since I now have the WHOLE fabric store to choose from.
  • I am a huge fan of hobo style purses.  The straps are just the right length for me to be able to put it on my shoulder easily, but not so long that it hangs down to my butt.  I can carry it on my shoulder, in the crook of my elbow, or just in my hand without having to worry about it dragging on the ground.
  • It has a quick magnet closure.  I have a severe dislike of zippered purses.  I always feel obligated to keep them zipped, which then becomes a pain when I need to get in it quickly to grab something (like my phone) and it always seems like the zipper pull is getting in the way.  This purse has a single magnetic snap closure that is unobtrusive and effective yet easy to get in and out of.
  • The skirts fold up nice and flat for storage.  I could store 10 or 12 in the same space that 1 additional purse would take up.
  • Definitely Budget Friendly.  After the first purchase, $15 for a "new" purse sounds like a steal to me!
  • This purse is lacking in compartments.  It has one small zippered side pocket and a cell phone pocket in one wall.  The cell phone pocket is too small for my droid x, so instead it holds my work ID and business cards.  With no other dividers of any sort, it's just one big bag.  I ended up buying another pouch to put in it to hold my smaller, easily lost items like chap stick, nail file, and pens so I don't have to constantly dig around for them.
  • I'm not a huge fan of any of Thirty-One's current prints other than the 2 I have.  And if one of these 2 wears out and they've been discontinued, I'm SOL on replacing it unless i can find it on e-bay or something.  Luckily I figured out the pattern to make my own skirts :-)
  • While the straps are the perfect length for me, I could see how someone with longer arms that me would struggle to put it on her shoulder one handed.
  • Since so much brown shows, I'm probably going to end up buying a black one too eventually.  But still switching between 2 purses is way more appealing than 5 or 6.
All in all I LOVE this purse.  It's a good size for me, ideal for my idiosyncrasies, and friendly to my frugalista budget.  I've been able to overcome most of the dislikes with small easy fixes.  Highly recommended!


  1. Hi, I just ordered one of the fitted skirt purses and was hoping to make my own skirts as well. I was just wondering how complicated it is. Does it have a bottom piece that goes up the sides or is it just a front and back piece that has the seam on the bottom? Do you use hook/eyes to attach it to the purse? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Julie

  2. I also sew the skirts for my purse. I make reversible skirts - easily done by sewing two separate skirts up to the point of sewing the tops, then sew the two together at the top, right sides together, then turn right side out. Top-stitch. I think that the hooks and eyes are expensive (even though the skirts only need the eyes), being that each skirt needs 8; 16 for a reversible. Plus, putting that many on the reversible ones causes a lot of 'bulk' under the flap. I have found the perfect solution - button holes! Simply sew button holes to the completed skirts and, voila! It's easy to slip the slots over the hooks.

  3. My biggest complaint was that I do not think the catalog is very clear on what you get. I ordered the purse skirt for my 8 yr old, thinking it was a small purse, since that was what was pictured. Imagine my surprise when all I got was the fabric covering! For someone who is well-versed in purse terminology, this is VERY misleading! I thought that "purse skirt" was a purse made to look like it was made from a skirt (my daughter has one of those and I have seen lots of patterns for those). It is very annoying and I will probably never buy from this company again because of it.
    I will say that the quality of the items I bought, as well as the monogramming, did seem nice-no loose threads and such. I just really have problem with the descriptions in their catalog and, really, the catalog in general. Very difficult to know what you are getting!

  4. To the anonymous poster, I would say it's probably your own fault. In fact the catalog description for the Purse Skirt says "(Skirt Purse body not included)" It's really bad form in my opinion to bad mouth a product because you didn't read the information.


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