Were you watching your wallet over the holidays? Or perhaps, buying a nice new one for yourself or a loved one instead? Or a handbag... or luggage... In another prime example of the consumer's renewed appetite for luxury, today upscale leather goods provider Coach (NYSE:COH) raised guidance for its second quarter, citing the holidays' positive impact on sales.

Take that, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), and Sears (NYSE:S). Forget the faux leather or no-name mittens. The holidays left discounters out in the cold while shoppers picked out pricier products from big names like Saks (NYSE:SKS) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN).

Coach said it now expects to report second-quarter earnings of at least $0.48 per share, as compared to its previous guidance of $0.44 per share. Sales rose 33% on a year-over-year basis. Direct sales, from Coach stores and outlets, improved by 24%, while indirect sales, like those from department stores, grew by 49%.

In addition to a successful holiday season, the company waxed enthusiastic about early consumer response to its spring line and its popularity in the Japanese market, where American luxury goods are considered pretty hip and Coach continues to be a hit.

Foolish colleague LouAnn Lofton commented on Coach back in June, lamenting the high share price when so many other aspects of the company looked so attractive. The stock is currently trading near its 52-week high, even though it followed most stocks lower in trading today. Shoppers obviously think Coach looks pretty good, but investors might still find it a bit too pricey.

Shopping for stocks, but wishing for lesser-known ideas than, say, Coach? Think about trying Motley Fool's Hidden Gems, a newsletter that helps you find growth stocks overlooked by Wall Street. Discuss whether luxury leather goods were on your holiday gift list with other Fools on the Coach discussion board.

Alyce Lomax welcomes your feedback at alomax@fool.com.