I agree that your friends are just teasing. I would also say "be you". I know of Vera Bradley but I don't know anyone who buys her bags other than older (60+) women and even that is rare. I had a VB wallet because it was red (and I like red) and it could stow into my purse but I personally wouldn't have a purse like that. I think a side effect is a very smart option for someone who wants something purse like but also has a lot of functionality. I find purses these days either don't have character or they don't have functionality. I have a purse right now that I like but I do wish it had o-rings inside
And I agree with "Do you".