Questions to ask before making a designer purchase

25th May, 2022

I love a designer purchase but it’s not something I take lightly. A lot of thought goes into every single investment piece I buy. As most designer purchases aren’t cheap, it’s always worth spending time thinking it over, and asking myself key questions to ensure I’m making a worthwhile spend. Because while I’m all about quality not quantity, designer purchases require a significant financial outlay so it requires the appropriate amount of consideration. These are a few questions I think are worth asking…

Can I really afford this?

This is probably the most important question of the lot! Designer purchases are great but not if it puts you under financial stress. Answer this question honestly as no matter how beautiful something is, if it means you’re scrambling to pay your other expenses, it’s not worth it. If you really want something it’s definitely worth saving up for rather than putting yourself in debt.

Will I wear this a lot?

Clothes, accessories, bags, shoes… they’re all designed to be worn. The more the better I say. I always make sure that anything I purchase will end up getting used plenty of times as it then makes the cost per wear worth it. Also, why spend a ton of money on something that you’re going to just keep in your closet?

Do I already own something like it?

It’s easy to fall in love with something and not realise that you have multiple other pieces in your wardrobe that are very similar. When you’re spending a fortune on something expensive, you need to either be filling a gap in your wardrobe, or if it’s something that you will wear a lot but is similar to other pieces, perhaps consider selling the others to fund your new purchase.

Will this last more than one season?

There are some designer items that are a signature piece of a particular collection or season. These are great, but unfortunately come next season they’ll be out of date. I always make sure that if I’m buying something designer that it’s not a one-off and that it will appear in future collections. That way I can guarantee it will have plenty of longevity and it won’t date.

Is this really me (or do I want it just because someone else made it look good)?

A quick scroll through Instagram often results in me falling in love with myriad outfits and pieces. While this is great for inspo, it’s not so great if you end up buying something that doesn’t really fit in with your style aesthetic. I always take a step back and honestly ask myself if something is me. Because I don’t want to waste my fashion dollars on something that won’t feel “right” later on.

If this wasn’t [insert designer here] would I still want it?

There’s often a halo that can come with designer goods and something that doesn’t look great can sometimes seem okay simply because it’s got a particular brand attached to it. Don’t fall into this trap! Fall in love with the design, as opposed to the brand. Because even if something is Chanel, if it doesn’t fit in with your style, if it’s not something you’d reach for in your closet right now it’s not worth the money—interlocking Cs or not!

Do I have room for this in my closet?

From a practical perspective, this is always a question worth asking. I like ensuring that everything has a place in my wardrobe so I will always keep in mind whether a new purchase has a place to go. If it doesn’t, then it might be time to do a wardrobe tidy to see what pieces are no longer being used. If there isn’t room it also forces me to ask the question of whether I really need something or not.

Is this the best price I can buy this?

You don’t always have to pay retail. I will always sign up for sale alerts on my fave websites to let me know when one of my wishlist items has been reduced. Also there are plenty of resale sites such as Vestiaire Collective and The Real Real which sell designer products (some with tags still attached) at a fraction of the price that you’d get them in store. It’s worth shopping around to ensure that you get the best price possible.

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