Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Retired Vera Bradley

Bees (July 2003 - January 2005) Miller Bag - Photos by Salt Water New England
Some believe Vera Bradley had a great run, from roughly the early 1990s to around 2006, when it sold a series of cotton quilted bags produced in the United States for prices that were accessible to many, before it fell into decline with hideous patterns and outsourced production. These earlier bags were once ubiquitous throughout the small coastal New England towns, sold at such places as The Darien Sport Shop or Camden's House of Logan.  Some bought their bags from the first store that carried them, The Fligors, in Edgartown, back when the Vineyard was a less competitive and calmer sort of place.

Others believe all Vera Bradley bags never had a raison d'ĂȘtre, full stop.  Some viewed them as nothing more than imitations of Pierre Deux.

Fligors, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard was "the first store in the country to carry Vera Bradley," - Carol Fligor, in Conversation

Katherine; Pink Pansy; Nantucket Navy; Apple Green; Bermuda Pink; Maison Blue; Delft; Royal; Pinwheel Pink; Greenfield; Hope; Petal Pink; Citrus

Classic Retired Patterns

- Bees (first photo)

- Citrus; Maison Blue; Pink Pansy

Left to Right: Citrus ((January 2006 - July 2007) Large Duffel; Maison Blue (January 2002 - July 2004) Large Duffel; Pink Pansy (January 2003 - January 2005) Large Duffel

- Hope 

Hope (January 2002- January 2004) Vera

- Greenfield 

Greenfield (January 2000 - January 2002)  Tote

- Delft 

Delft (January 1991 - January 1996)  Small Tote

- Royal 

Royal (July 1992 - January 1998) Vera

- Elizabeth 

Elizabeth (January 1997 - January 2003) Villager (one of the longest running patterns)

- Provence 

Provence (January 1994 - January 1996) - Miller Bag


- Tote

Citrus (January 2006 - July 2007)  Tote

- Miller Bag

Apple Green (January 2004 - 2006) Miller Bag

Bermuda Pink (January 2005 - January 2007) Miller Bag

- Satchel

Bermuda Pink (January 2005 - January 2007) Satchel

Bermuda Pink (January 2005 - January 2007) - Satchel

- Mimi Backpack and Backpack

The Mimi Backpack on the right (in Maison Blue) was replaced by the Backpack on the left (in Petal Pink).

Bees (July 2003 - January 2005) Mimi Backpack

- Paddy Bag

The Paddy Bag above (in Royal) was replaced by the Betsy below, (in Pinwheel Pink).

- Betsy

Pinwheel Pink (January 2008 - May 2009) Betsy

- Small Duffel

Katherine (January 2004 - July 2005) - Small Duffel

- Wallets

Wallet With Strap in Nantucket Navy

From Gentle Cotton to Plastic and Nylon:  Older Interior on Left, Newer on Right

A Variety of Wallet Styles

- Vera

Apple Green (January 2004 - July 2006)  Vera

Apple Green (January 2004 - 2006) - Original Vera on left; updated Vera on right

Delft (January 1992 - January 1996) Vera

Care and Cleaning of Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley bags are one hundred percent cotton and can just be spot cleaned and air dried.

Or if something stronger is needed, they can be machine washed.   Just be sure to take out the cardboard base if there is one.  Some prefer to turn them inside out to keep fading at bay, as over time multiple washings will eventually fade them, although a gently faded Vera bag is not always a bad thing.  Again, air dry.

Other Images

Riviera Blue (January 2008 - October 2008) - Cell Phone Case

Petal Pink (January 2008 - Novermber 2007) Bucket Tote and Umbrella

Pinwheel Pink (January 2008 - May 2009) - Large Backpack  - This roughly marked the beginning of the era of "bolder prints" and manufacturing in China.

Cosmetic Bags Small and Large, Some with Handles, Some with Bows

Backpacks in Bermuda Pink, Apple Green, and Petal Pink


  1. Must say Pierre Deux was the first and the premier French Country design in this country. Recall happy days shopping in the PD shop in downtown San Francisco. Bags, napkins, etc. PA

  2. Heartily agree that the older patterns were the loveliest; Nantucket Navy is my favorite. You can still find many of the older pieces in good condition on Ebay and Etsy.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. The new patters border on garish, the price is absurd and the quality has declined.

  4. Because of your earlier post on Vera Bradley bags, reprised here, I now look for them whenever I am at a Goodwill. Since your earlier post on Vera Bradley, I have managed to gather quite a collection of them and adore them all. Who could part with some of these colorful, classic bags. They are so useful too! Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Love both my Pierre Deux ( their sample sales were the best) an my Vera Bradley. This post has inspired me to take some out of storage in hopes for an early spring!

  6. These were certainly the days! I have two pieces of the American Red, the backpack and the carry-on, whose handles are threadbare, and I will carry and use them forever. VB is trying to appeal to a much younger demographic these days. ☹️

  7. Love my Veras, certainly my collection pales when I see yours. Agree that the new ones are both garish and lack quality.


  8. I still have a few older Vera Bradley bags and agree that the earlier patterns were much nicer. Although they are pretty, I always considered Vera Bradley an American interpretation of the French originals by Pierre Deux and Souleiado. I also don't like the use of "Vera" in the company name; I feel it (perhaps purposely) creates confusion with the original "Vera"--the boldly colored printed textiles by Vera Neumann, which flourished in the 1960s and '70s.

  9. Love the much older VB patterns. I still have and use my Greenbriar collection, which ran in production from 1987-1996. The brightly colored retired patterns remind me of little country quilts.

  10. I love that Bean bag with the multi-colored stripes on the handles! I've never seen one like that before.

  11. Does anyone happen to know the name of all the styles released in the green Apple pattern in 2004- the ones made in the us- or where to find a list?
    Thank you.