The world of luxury fashion is a world of its own. Some people love it, some people hate it, a lot of people just don't understand it - but YOU can invest your money in any way that makes you happy. That being said, it's easy to get lost in the glitz of the designer world and it's even easier to make a regrettable purchase. I have always had a job and been a good saver, and I'm very careful with my money - but I've also been able to enjoy nice things for that reason. Here are five things I always ask myself before taking the plunge with a new expensive handbag (but these tips can hold for any purchase)!
1. Why do I want it?
Just because a bunch of people - even people you admire - might seem to have a particular item doesn't make it a universal "must have". For example, every fashion blogger and their mother seems to have a Louis Vuitton Neverfull conveniently placed in their passenger seat or slung over their arm in every picture. Of course it's a cute, classic, and affordable LV bag - and I even have times where I desire one - but it's just not for me right now. I like it, however there are a lot of bags I love a lot more. It doesn't have much going on, and my main complaint - it doesn't have a zipper! So many products have a lot of "must have"-ness surrounding them and it seems like it could be the end of the world without it, but unless you really want it for your own reasons, don't fall for the hype.
2. How will I use it?
Art is something that isn't necessary, but makes you feel something. You can love it, be excited by it, and be inspired by it. I would definitely say many bags are like art - they're beautiful creations that make you feel something. While many pieces are aesthetically pleasing and a great investment in theory, logically, they may not make the cut. What if the function just doesn't fit your life? I definitely have things I own that are more beautiful than functional, but they are far and few between. If you're trying to be practical, which I still usually am even when buying luxury, keep function in mind. I do a lot of research on functionality before I make a big purchase - I watch videos of people reviewing pieces, discussing everyday wear and tear, packing their travel bags. I want to know exactly how I can use this bag, and if I can't really use it, I'm not going to buy it.
3. Is it the best or just the priciest?
There is certainly some correlation between the price of an item and the quality of it, but that doesn't mean there aren't outliers for both variables. Some LV toiletry bags run a minimum of hundreds of dollars each, however my $99 Coach Cosmetic Cases are still my overall favorite (and sometimes they go on sale)! They have endured years of travel and daily use, and are still in great condition. Plus they come in such a fun variety of colors. Don't ever just go for the highest price item. Take the prices out of the picture completely, and list your pros and cons so you can judge based on practical qualities like material, color, design, functionality, etc.
4. Is it trendy or classic?
Trends come and go, and that's just another fun part of the fashion world. However, if you're making a true investment, you don't want to try to do this with a trendy piece. Investing means you purchase something for gain - so what will you gain from your handbag purchase? A trendy item won't stand the test of time, and therefore there will be nothing to gain. You'll likely make a better choice spending mucho dinero on something classic that will hold up to your use for the next five, ten, or twenty years (think price per use) versus something you're stuck with after only a season or two of use.
5. Five months or five years from now, will I still want it this badly?
Unless a bag is going-going-gone, I tend to sit on wishlists for a while. There are only a few occasions that I've seen something online or in-store and made a quick purchase. Often, my tastes and immediate needs change and suddenly that "to-die-for" item is something I could easily live without. If I can, I will wait 6 months or even a year or two before making a big purchase on a bag, to be absolutely certain that it's not just puppy love. As with the Neverfull example above, I'll keep waiting on it. If I keep going back to it, maybe it is for me after all.