Something that I’ve been considering posting about on the blog is considering – and making – luxury purchases. I’m not sure why I’ve been so hesitant on the subject but seeing as I started this blog on very humble beginnings of a meagre student loan and, six years on, can finally “treat” myself, I figured that plenty of my readers might be too. My parents always taught me that if I wanted something, I could work damn hard for it. I used to get 50p pocket money in return for wiping down the dining table, taking out the empty milk bottles, helping to wash up, etc.
PS. I’m really not doing a humble brag here, I just wanted to make some points for you to consider if you’re hankering after a little somethin’ somethin’!
It’s very easy to get caught up in trends and It bags and while the latest bag might be good for everybody else, it might not be for you. Set aside your adoration of the object in question and think about your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re dreaming about a clutch but you don’t like going out-out or you’re a serial hoarder considering the Celine Trio… try and be rational and think about how it’ll work in your collection. If you like pockets and compartments, I would recommend Anya Hindmarch, Chloe, the Chanel Classic Flap or Prada Saffiano. If you like sleek and sophisticated, something like Sophie Hulme is good. Saint Laurent Paris are excellent for evening and dark glamour aesthetics. Mulberry and Louis Vuitton are almost untouchable in terms of BEST QUALITY EVAA.
When I started buying luxury designer bags and accessories, etc. I already knew that it’d be for a capsule wardrobe full of classics with a Michelle edge. And when I say classics, I don’t mean buying old-timey styles or the-one-everybody-else-has, I mean that I wanted to create an edited selection of bags/clothing that I could pair with any occasion or outfit. For example, I don’t own a Mulberry Bayswater because it’s too stuffy for my own taste but I do own the Shoulder version. It bridges the classic Bayswater style with the edgier PS11 by Proenza Schouler that I’m arguably not edgy enough to pull off. (It’s still in my list though!) My ancient Alexa is in Petticoat White with rose gold hardware which suits me more than most things I own. I opted for my Chanel Boy over the 2.55 or Classic Flap – for now – because it retains that classic simplicity with a youthful edge. I injected a splash of colour with my red Celine Trio for ‘running errands’ (i.e. a bag I’ll wear with black leggings and tees) and my Chloe Drew serves as my girlier, polished number for day-to-night. Each of my bags has a “purpose” behind it and they all go with my already-established style.
Cost per Wear and 5 Outfit Rule
I don’t 100% recommend working this out because it’ll freak you out but do also consider how much you’ll wear the bag. It’s easy to say, “oh my gosh, I spent so much on it, of course I’ll wear it every day” but realistically, you won’t want to take it to work, the supermarket, etc. ALL the time, eh? I have bags that I’m planning to rehome because, three years on, I certainly don’t do enough going out to warrant this amount of clutches! Hand in hand with that, I also try and style the piece with 5 outfits that I already own, whilst I’m in the store. If I can’t match it with things I already own, then it’s a brutal no.
This one might seem odd but having worked in luxury fashion for more than a year, I’m a bona fide expert when it comes to the quality of luxury things. Just like how not every Topshop item is a dud, not every designer piece is of out-of-this-world quality. Look at things like lining, the seams, the type of hardware (plated will last you hella longer than non-), bases, strap fixtures, the leather grain, the leather treatments. RTW-wise, consider the washing and care instructions because, y'know, dry cleaning problems. If you want, you can drop me an email or Tweet and I’ll help you as best as I can!
Hope this helped some of you out!
My picks for first buys: