Faux Pas: Sartorial Crash Test Dummy
May 19, 2011
In 1997, Dana and Melanie Harvey were installing seatbelts in a vintage Buick, when they got an idea. An awful idea. The Harvey’s got a wonderful (?), awful idea. Let’s turn these seatbelts into a purse!
And just like that, a faux pas was born.
I hadn’t seen a seatbelt bag in quite some time, and then I saw three last week. (Apparently, they’re a summer thing.) And each time I saw one, I was reminded how truly awful these bags truly are.
Imagine a woman in a tailored, grey business suit and four inch heels carrying a seatbelt bag, in NY Yankee print no less, into the U.S. Capitol. It’s the ultimate sartorial non-sequitur. Professional meets industrial/automobile/sporting event chic.
The Harvey’s website boasts a terrifying (and yet, mildly impressive) array of products. From handbags to clutches, from headbands to guitar straps, the Harvey’s have you covered. They even have a bridal collection. Yes, a bridal collection.
And if your beloved seat belt bag starts to look a little weary and worn, don’t replace it! Spend $20 to have it refurbished in the Bag Spa. Because God forbid that you just let the poor thing go off to its great reward at that Big Chop Shop in the Sky.
Though I have no idea how a “guaranteed tough” bag made out of industrial grade seat belt material gets worn out in the first place. (Maybe the owner uses it to tote ammo on the battlefield?)
Unlike most faux pas posts, this one was a bit tough to write. The Harvey’s have a blog, a SeatbeltBLOG, and they seem so adorable. Plus, they make their bags in America. Yet, despite their sweetness and patriotism, I feel that these people need to be stopped because even when their products aren’t atrocious, they’re massively overpriced.
The Harvey’s make an ombre-striped diaper bag that’s actually not bad. And if there was ever a product that needed to be made out of durable, washable seat belt material, it’s a diaper bag. Sadly, it’s $248, and I’m not sure that it’s okay to spend that kind of coin on a receptacle for poo-covered nappys.
To sum up, if you own a seatbelt purse, it’s time to toss it into the recycling bin. They’re not professional. They’re not stylish. They should not be worn to work, to a nice restaurant, or to your wedding.
This trend was born and died in the late 90s, but maybe some ladies didn’t get the memo. It’s time for the seatbelt bag to go the way of N’SYNC, Furbies, and rollerblading, and slip softly into that good night.