Jimmy Choos. Manolos. Gucci and Prada handbags (did I hear you say Louis Vuitton? 2008 texted, it wants its handbag back). All are examples of conspicuous consumption. But maybe there's a tad bit more to it.
Recent research (gated) suggests that women who own expensive designer shoes, handbags, jewelry and all, may be using it, in addition to the psychological satisfaction that (allegedly) comes with owning really expensive shit, to ward off potential romantic rivals. That is, they are saying to "you," three things: he is mine, not yours, you should not even bother (with your off-brand tripe), and he cares about me:
"Taken together," the researchers conclude, "women's flaunting of luxury possessions functions as a signaling system to female rivals, sending important information to other women, and effectively altering their behavior."
Of course, the authors, being academics, can't resist trying to find some evolutionary psychology or socio-biological reason for this: "mate-guarding" (this is a rather annoying trend that needs to stop).
But I do know this, tell your dude that this Coach bag just is not cutting it anymore . . . otherwise, you might be susceptible to that flirtatious boy who knows how to treat his woman right.