Heritage goods.

Talbots boucle jacket, Franco Ferrari scarf, J.W. Hulme Mini Legacy bag

Ever since the economy went to the dogs three years ago, I've been a little obsessed with buying "Made in the USA" goods. I think it stems partly from trying to be somewhat socially responsible and patriotic, and partly because there is now a  resurgence in high quality heritage goods produced in American factories. 

I don't buy very many things in a year, especially when it comes to bags and shoes. When I do make a purchase, I want to ensure that it will stand the test of time, both in quality and functionality and I love heritage goods especially for this reason. I first spotted the J.W. Hulme Mini Legacy bag two years ago on Shopbop and I thought the price was a little steep for something that resembled the Coach bags of yesteryear and could easily be purchased for a fraction of the price on Ebay or in vintage clothing stores. But when the bag arrived, I was deeply impressed with the perfection in detailing, the quality of the leather and the gorgeous burgundy hue. The price sincerely reflected the brilliant craftmanship and I know now that for what I paid, this bag would outlast even a fancier, more expensive Italian made bag. 

The advantage of buying American made goods is that the service is usually outstanding, labor practices are somewhat better and quality is often pretty remarkable. There are exceptions, however, particularly with mass produced items ala American Apparel (appalling quality and service at a tragic price point). But when it comes to handmade heritage goods, many traditional American companies have a proud reputation to uphold and I'm glad that they're still here churning out artisan pieces that remind me of a time when wool sweaters lasted longer than 2 years and when leather bags could only get better with age. It's interesting how classic items like a field bag can endure the test of time and for every generation, still be as beautiful as it was intended in the first place.

Update: Since I've been asked multiple times about the jacket, it's from Talbots. I bought it on final sale for about $70 (80% off $269) and it runs a little big so I'm using it as a coat. It's pretty thick and keeps me warm over a sweater. 


  1. What a great bag. It will get more beautiful with age. I am also happy that there has been a resurgence in heritage goods, however small a market share it may be.

  2. Pretty bag - fits your frame perfectly, too! I admit I've been lurking around your blog for a while. Can you help me out? I really want to buy the Fidelity duffle coat. Any thoughts besides sizing one up?

  3. Jennifer: I finally posted the JW Hulme bag just because I remembered you were wondering about it =)

    V: The fit of the jacket is a little boxy - so I would say that it's pretty true to size except in the bust area. If you can, get measurements from Penelope's (I'm assuming that's where you're buying from). But the quality of the jacket is excellent and it's really warm. Let me know if you have more questions!

  4. I try to buy Australian made and designed products for the same reason. Your coat is also realllly gorgeous and fits you so well!

  5. Thanks, asha! i don't know too many Australian brans, but as long as you're supporting local, that's a good thing.

  6. I've always admired that bag, and I think its heritage and motto just makes it something you can really love through and through. I would love to feel the same way about something locally-made in Singapore or S E Asia that works for my daily life too. I enjoy using my mother's old things that are remarkably sturdy, and it feels good to not have buy something I know will fall apart in a few years.

    Ironically, lots of fast fashion brands have factories in this part of the world, hah.

  7. Great bag, coat too. Would you mind sharing who makes it?

  8. The bag is wonderful. Love your style! I have to check out J.W. Hulme, never heard of it before. /Sara

  9. Great, great, great! You wear it so well.
    And it's a great company.


Fact: Bloggers thrive on comments. Thank you for making my day. For personal questions, email conspiratorialwink[at]gmail.com