Oooooh Fancy: What To Consider When Buying A Designer Bag (To Get The Most From Your Investment Fashion Piece)

Handbags have always been a weakness of mine; I’ve been known to need extra luggage after a break away to ensure I can get all my purchases home, and every weekend trip involves a minimum of three different options. There’s just something about a great bag that I can’t resist: they instantly update or add a touch of elegance to an outfit, but if you make a great investment that purchase can pay off for years to come. After years of buying up every new design from Primark, New Look and River Island, I made my first designer bag purchase ahead of my 30th birthday; bought with my Christmas bonus as a gift to myself, the black Mulberry Lily was finally mine and treasured in the months and years to come like no other possession. The experience I get when carrying a designer or investment piece is like no other, making me feel like a million bucks and giving me the confidence I need to walk with my head tall. I can’t really explain why, but I’ve become a bit obsessed with luxury bags in the few years since that first purchase – maybe it’s because I know I’ve worked hard to be able to afford that piece of arm candy, and it’s the embodiment of those late nights and missed holidays. Although designer bags aren’t for everyone, if you are thinking about making an investment purchase then it’s important to consider lots of different elements before you settle on your chosen bag and hand over the cash.

A TIMELESS SHAPE 

If you want to get the most out of your bag in the years to come, it’s important to buy a shape that won’t date. It’s all well and good to opt for an on-trend bucket bag or slouchy number, but if that feels outdated in a few years (or even a few seasons) it won’t be the best use of your hard-earned cash. I personally prefer to opt for classic shapes that I know will always offer the look I desire, so instead of becoming obsessed with this season’s hottest bag it’s wiser to look into the styles that are always available – and retain their value. Great examples of this include the Mulberry Lily, the Givenchy Antigona, the Saint Laurent classic quilted monogram bag and the Louis Vuitton ‘Neverfull’ tote.

A CLASSIC COLOUR 

Every season designers release new colour-ways, textures and materials in their classic and iconic shapes, but unless you’ve got oodles of cash (or absolutely fall in love with one) it’s wise to stick to a classic shade that you know will go with everything. Baby blue, burgandy or bright yellow may seem like the best idea ever, but in a few years you may find it looks really ‘last season’ and the shine has rubbed off; you then have to wait for a decade for it to become vintage and desirable again! Most of my designer bags (with a couple of exceptions that came from Bicester Village and were therefore half the usual price,) are in black, grey or cream – they’ll stay looking hot in the decades to come.

A DESIGNER YOU LOVE

There’s always a new designer on the scene and a style you’ll see all over Instagram, but that doesn’t mean they’ll still be around in five years time. Do you remember when everyone had a Chloe Faye, only for it to be replaced by the Gucci blogger bag? Now everyone is onto J W Anderson and Loewe, before they’ll be swapped out for something new. Brands such as Saint Laurent, Prada and Louis Vuitton will never go out of style and will always add a certain something to your look, so take into consideration the ‘you’ in ten years time.

A SIZE YOU’LL USE

I’ve made the mistake of getting excited about a gorgeous clutch or cute cross-over, only to realise that practically speaking I need a tonne of space to shove in all my stuff. You need a size that will (at a minimum) fit your purse, phone, keys and makeup bits – so think logically and don’t get carried away with how cute or fabulous it makes you feel. Unless you can do with only a card holder and lipgloss for the whole day! 

A PRICE YOU CAN JUSTIFY

Designer bags are expensive, there’s no denying it. For some owning one will always be a pipe dream as they just can’t justify spending that much on a singular item, while others will save for months (if not years) so they can treasure the piece they want so badly. The most important thing to remember is that no handbag is worth getting into crippling debt for, and no piece of arm candy is worth eating only beans for the foreseeable future. Set yourself a budget and stick to it, rather than stretching for the pimped-up version or a purchase that will make you weep.

A BAG THAT WILL RETAIN ITS VALUE 

Finally, there are certain bags that will retain their value (or even increase in value over time) and bags that will hemorrhage value quicker than a brand new car driving off the lot. It’s always worth doing your research and finding out which pieces you’ll be able to sell in the future for a decent amount, and which are increasing in their retail price year on year – Chanel, for example, are well known for increasing their prices by 20% annually. Shop wisely!

Have you made a designer bag purchase or significant fashion investment? What other things did you consider before jumping in and handing over your debit card?

Thanks to Kirsty from fashionforlunch.net for taking the photos!

ASOS Gingham Dress | £45.00 | LINK

M&S Camel Trench Coat | £45.00 | LINK 

Faith Espadrille Sandals | £25.00 | LINK 

Givenchy Medium Antigona Bag | £1465.00 | LINK

INVESTMENT BAGS I LOVE 


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11 Comments

  1. Beekeyper
    August 15, 2017 / 8:48 am

    This is a great post. All I have ever wanted is a black Chanel wallet on chain… one day!!!Beekeyper – Latest: Surratt Grisaille

    • Hayley Carr
      August 15, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      Keep that dream alive – you'll get there!

  2. Vivian Yuen
    August 15, 2017 / 9:09 am

    I had no idea that Chanel increased their prices so much annually! These are really great things to consider~Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVEIG | @viviyunn_~

    • Hayley Carr
      August 15, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      It's insane right! It's to keep them premium and aspirational.

  3. Jane O'Sullivan
    August 15, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Oooh I do love a new bag, designer or high street. I am lucky enough to own a couple of high end designer bags, mostly bought for me by my lovely hubby as birthday/Christmas gifts. My most recent acquisition is the Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM in the Damier Azur fabric – I had wanted this one for years before it actually became mine. I definitely considered size before making the purchase as I didn't want something so small it would be impractical but, being just under 5ft I also didn't want something that would swamp me. The Neverfull is perfect for work and for travelling but to keep my stuff neat and safe I bought a felt fabric organizer from Etsy. My dream bag would be a classic quilted Chanel bag but unless I win the lottery I have got no chance!! lol

  4. Hayley Wells
    August 15, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Love the gingham! X

  5. Imperfectly Rachel
    August 15, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    Love your tip about a designer you love and not someone that is only "hot" in this moment!! Rachel | http://www.imperfectlyrachel.com

  6. Karen Sadler
    August 16, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Like you, I used annual bonus to purchase my first Mulberry East West Bayswater in Oak (10 years ago). It's well used, unusually the finish seems to improve with age…Much loved. Still looks fab – my early Autumn "go to".

    • Hayley Carr
      August 23, 2017 / 2:51 pm

      I love bags that only get better with age – my Neverfull looks better now than when I bought it about 5 years ago!

  7. Leanne Marshall
    August 23, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    So I have have had a bit of a shitty couple of months with a pretty serious break up. I am so so proud of myself, I have had tears and anger but I think I have handled myself pretty bloody well so as a treat to myself I bought my first proper Designer bag. Its been on my wish list for months and months but I just thought I should treat myself! So so glad I have! I flipping LOVE it! Leanne | lemblog.co.uk

    • Hayley Carr
      August 23, 2017 / 2:52 pm

      I love this! When you deserve something it means so much more – you'll always remember how strong you were when you look at that bag.

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