I’ve spoken in the past about the importance of cost per wear for me and there’s no area that I apply it more to than my handbags. I am all about quality over quantity. I will often hold out for a designer bag as I know that it will withstand everyday wear and tear as they’re so well crafted. Also, I’ll often go for classic styles so they have longevity. Case in point: I’ve had the above Chanel handbag for years and it’s still going strong.
If you’re going to splurge on a designer bag it’s important to make sure you get it right. After all you are spending not an insignificant amount of money so it’s the type of fashion purchase that needs some planning behind it first. Here are some things to consider before buying:
Think of your lifestyle
What kind of lifestyle do you have? For me I have to carry everything from Sophia and Grace’s snacks to my phone and wallet so I need something that’s quite roomy. For the kind of life I lead a tiny handbag (as much as I like the look of it) just wouldn’t work.
It’s crucial to tailor your bag to suit your lifestyle and needs. If it doesn’t then you’re never going to use it as often as you’d like and that’s a lot of money that’s wasted.
Consider the brand
If you’re going to have a bag that you use every single day you want a classic style. I think you can justify splurging on a bag if it’s something that can be used every single day. Everyone has their own favourites but if I was going to splurge on a designer bag I would definitely go for Céline, Balenciaga, Jil Sander or Chanel because they do classic, timeless styles.
Check out it’s extra features
Little details can mean you get double the wear out of a designer bag. For example it may seem a small detail but consider the handles on your bag. I like two handles on a bag—smaller handles so I can just carry it on my arm and a longer strap so I can carry it on my shoulder. Having the option to do both expands the use of a bag. Also some bags now come with detachable pouches that can be used to carry things like cosmetics but can be used as separately as a clutch. Win-win!
Opt for simplicity
A statement bag with lots of embellishment is great but if you’re going to have just one designer bag that you’re going to carry all the time make sure to keep it quite pared back and stick to neutral colours. A subdued colour palette makes it easier to work back with your wardrobe. Minimal amounts of detailing also makes it less likely to look overly on trend. Also keep in mind that plain leather generally won’t date as easily as patent leather.
Avoid ‘it’ bags
When it comes to designer bags I like to have something that no one else has. For this very reason if there is an ‘it’ bag I tend to steer clear of it. However I might get inspired by a brand and choose something that is within that collection. If you can afford to have a new designer bag each season then definitely go for the ‘it’ bag. If however, you are buying a designer bag that’s intended to see you through season after season I’d steer clear of the bag of the moment and opt for something that’s not as common so it doesn’t date as easily.
Choose an ongoing style
I will always ask a shop assistant if they’re continuing a particular type of bag the following season because some are just one-offs and I think that can really date a bag. When choosing a bag opt for one that’s a signature style to the brand because then it is recurring every season rather than being the 2018 summer bag which everyone will know is a couple of years old.
An example of a signature style is something like Chanel’s 2.55 black quilted leather handbag or the Hermes Birkin. It’s a bag that’s done every season which means it won’t date and it’s great quality so it lasts year after year. I’ve had my Chanel bag for 10 years and I still wear it all the time so the cost per wear is great!
Tell me—what designer bag do you have your eye on?
Photography: Sophia Athas