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There is a lot to be said for shopping online; it is quick, convenient, you can indulge in retail therapy at 3am when you can’t sleep, and there is the added gratification of knowing that a nice present is on its way to you in the mail. That said, there is only so much you can know about a dress, a pair of shoes or even a bag just by looking at it.

The importance of scoping out major purchases in person was made readily apparent this past week when I was trying to help my friend pick out a new bag. She had been looking for a grey bag for awhile, and I thought I had found the perfect one for her in the Marc by Marc Jacobs Dr. Q Groovee Quilted Patchwork tote. We decided to look at it in person, and it was a very good thing we did.

First, the stitching on the bag looks kind of sloppy; I’m no seamstress but it seems that the, er, seams of the pieced leather could have been made much tighter. This made the bag seem less sleek and more clunky.

Now, that’s just an aesthetic opinion, but the real kick came when we removed the stuffing from the bag on display and tried it on using the longer shoulder strap. The bag would NOT sit flat. It immediately flopped onto its side like a beached whale. This was a real disappointment coming from the illustrious Marc Jacobs as I’m such a fan of his.

Hopefully his design team will be more careful in the future and ensure that both form and function of their products meet their normally high standards.

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