This post has been in the works for a while, but I finally put the finishing touches on it after receiving so many follow up questions to my #GLAMWeekly series! I’ve briefly talked about why I invest in designer bags and how I try to score the best deal — but I’m getting into the nitty-gritty today and spilling all my secrets!
Why designer bags?
It’s my opinion that a bag can totally make an outfit. I definitely don’t discriminate and love all bags equally, but I love that a designer bag is actually an investment. I’ve purchased (more on that below), got my wear of them, and have been able to sell some of them and make my money back (and then some in a few cases). Like anything luxury, designer bags tend to hold their value and the price usually increases over time.
What are your favorite reputable shops to buy from?
I am all about the hunt when it comes to designer bags. I will admit (with the exception of traveling to Europe this past summer), I have never walked into a designer store and just purchased whatever I felt like. For me, the hunt is half the fun. While it’s totally fine to purchase designer bags and accessories from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Barney’s, you’re going to pay top dollar– plus, pay any import taxes from the country it came from (which is why it ends up being better to purchase when overseas). If you’re looking for a brand spanking new bag, I would highly recommend checking out sites like Farfetch, Jomashop, and Luisaviaroma. Farfetch is one of my all-time favorite sites to browse on — they bring together independent fashion boutiques to provide a wide selection of styles. So, instead of shopping one boutique which would likely have a limited selection, you’re shopping with partnering boutiques all over the world. This is perfect if you’re searching for a hard to find item — like I was with this Ginvenchy ‘Antigona’ bag. I was specific and wanted matte black with gold hardware only and searched for months before finding it.
If you trust me and want a deal, go the pre-owned route. I’ve talked about this over and over again here and will preach until your ears bleed. This is the best way to score that dream bag of yours! I’m not suggesting you go on eBay or Craigslist, but purchase from a reputable third-party seller who handles all the hard work. I love sites like Portero and Vestiaire Collective — I have purchased from both of those myself, and have saved thousands!
How do you decide what bag to invest in next?
I talked about this in my GLAMWeekly series a few weeks ago, which actually prompted this blog post. Due to the price point, I never ever let myself impulse purchase anything designer, and every bag I add to my collection is well thought out months (and sometimes years) in advance. My very first splurge was my CELINE Luggage Tote which I purchased from Portero back in early 2013. I had been wanting this bag forever, had been working two jobs (the blog and my full-time job then) and was able to save enough to treat myself! Since CELINE isn’t even something you can purchase online and since the Luggage Tote was the “it” bag of the year, the all-black version I wanted was insanely hard to find. I ended up stumbling upon it on Portero and took the plunge. It arrived in perfect condition and I still use it and love it to this day.
I usually start off by thinking about what I actually need (okay, need is a strong completely unnecessary word, but go with me) in my closet. Am I always envisioning a neutral top handle bag with an outfit? Or, am I always wishing I had a fancy bag that could be used for both formal occasions and casually? I let myself simmer with those thoughts and make a mental note. If I spot something that fits a need, I usually start by doing a ton of research. I’m very cautious not to purchase a bag that came out this season — as trendy as I am in my other wardrobe choices, this is not the place for me to do so. The last thing I would want to do is invest in a limited edition bag that would appear branded the year I bought it. I look for bags that have stood the test of time and are now considered classics. I fell in love with the Chloé Drew Bag when it first launched a few years back and didn’t end up adding it to my collection until last fall. I was so afraid it was going to a trendy bag and I would get sick of seeing it on everyone, so I made myself wait and kept checking in at certain points (do I still even want that?!) to see if it was worth it. When I finally had the opportunity to add it to my closet, I chose the color very wisely.
That brings me to my next point… I never double up. I made sure to go with a color that I didn’t already have a chain crossbody in. Although I initially loved the Chloé Drew Bag in black, I had my Chanel 2.55 flap bag from a few years earlier and didn’t want them to compete in my closet. I went with a neutral grey that I knew could be used in any season and would be different from something I already have.
How do you store and take care of your bags?
When we move into our forever home (we’re currently house hunting!), I am planning to invest in some built-ins that would let me store my bags a bit better. For now, I use the top shelf of my closet and line up the bigger bags in a row – usually stuffed with their dustbag and a few old tee-shirts to help keep their shape when not in use. For my crossbody bags, I have a hook on the back of my closet where I hang them up (without anything touching so the hardware doesn’t get scratched). For my more delicate bags (like my Chanel), I keep it in the dust bag it came with and store it on a shelf.
As hard as I try to keep everything looking pristine, it is a bag and it will get bumped and scratched with time. To clean them up from time to time, I’ll take a damp paper towel with a mild dish soap and wipe them down to remove any dirt or residue (I always wipe with the grain of the leather instead of against it to protect the leather). My black bags actually get the beating the hardest, so I tend to rub a little leather shoe cleaner into any scratches and buff it away with a microfiber cloth. My husband has some nice shoes and always has amazing shoe kits like this one, so I’ll borrow a little polish and use the brushes that come with it — it works wonders.
If you have any other questions, make sure to leave them below!
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