Shopping Christmas sales

With festive season fast approaching I thought it will be a good idea to write something about sales… They will traditionally start on the Boxing Day but nowadays more and more retailers offer them mid-December. I am all about buying quality without overpaying but shopping Christmas sales requires some preparations and forward thinking…

I have touched on this subject already (previous post available here) but as December sales are a little bit different that any other sale, I decided to list all the items worth hunting for as well as all the preparation stages I take in order to buy only things I really need and save myself some money…

My usual starting point would be to make a list. Planning ahead of what is missing in your closet, homeware, accessories etc. is crucial. The more specific the list the better. If you are interested in particular brands, list the retailers that stock them and add the appropriate links to your favourites. Regardless, if you prefer online shopping or traditional approach it would be my starting point.

The second step is to make the list smaller… Ask yourself three magic questions:

  • Do I want it ?
  • Do I need it ?
  • Can I effort it ?

Lately, I have added the fourth one that is more a rule that a question.

  • Can I buy it twice ?

It will be hard initial but the more I practice this approach the more conscious all of purchases are.

Step three is the most difficult in my opinion and consist of shopping but with ability to restrain myself from buying anything that is not on the list or not perfect. Sometimes I will see something that ‘will do’ but I know that I will end up going to my original item over and over again. So not settling for any thing than perfect is the key !

To prove that shopping sales can be a good idea I am going to include my five top purchases made during sales. All of the examples featured here are in my opinion good options to buy on sale as their initial price point will be higher but they hopefully deliver on quality of the finish and durability…

  • Outerwear (coats, jackets, parkas etc. made out of quality fabrics)

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Amazing Joseph coat bought in 2016 during Christmas sales (with nearly 70 % discount)

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AllSaints leather jacket bought in Bicester village (60 % off)

  • Shoes (especially designer heels and boots that will be used for many years to come)

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Most wanted pair of Gianvito Rossi plexi pumps (over 50 % off original price)

  • Occasional pieces (dresses and jumpsuits with limited amount of re-wear)

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Maje dress bought in Bicester village (30% off)

  • Swimwear (may be an odd choice but I only ever buy higher price point swimwear on sale as the initial price is far too high to justify the spending)

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Swimsuit from Solid and Striped (bought during summer sale for 40 % off)

  • Handbags (this one can be tricky as classic designer models sporadically if ever go on sale, but worth exploring)

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One of my most loved bags by Bottega Veneta bought in Bicester village (with 50 % off the full retail price)

Let me know if I missed anything and what are you planning on buying if anything this time ?

I hope that you find this guide useful and I would love to know you thoughts.

As always many thanks for stopping by…

Love,

Aggie xx

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Designer handbags- are they really worth it and where to start ?

I love quality products. Anything from beautifully designed pair of heels to handmade bag or clutch. As a result, when I started working professionally I got my first designer handbag and that is how my collection started. I used to buy more, constantly adding new styles and brands. Over time I became much more selective, not allowing my heart to rule over my brain… Buying process became much more structured and detailed.

I have a mixture of designers in my collection anything from Mulberry to Chanel. What all handbags have in common is the quality of the finish, their practicality as well as the resistance to constant wear. I have one or two bags in my possession that I had from the very beginning and they are as good as new !

With all my experience and mistakes that I have made I though it will be useful to write dos and don’ts post guiding you through the buying process and helping to make the right choice. Whatever you budget is, I hope everyone interested in the luxury market would be able to find something useful !

Starting with dos: 

  • Do some soul-searching… Before you starting investing in the luxury handbags think about what is important to you and what do you need the bag for ? There is no point in buying £700 Charlotte Olympia clutch (I love this one !) if you do not get out very much !
  • You budget is key… Be realistic and whatever the top limit is, there are some options. Sometimes it may mean that you will need to wait a little bit longer for you dream bag but it will happen eventually if you work hard and truly want it.
  • Buying expensive handbag is considered an investment and as with variety of investments it can be more or less profitable… There are brands which in general keep their value better the others. My top three to invest in would be French ones like Louis Vuitton, Chanel or Hermes.
  • Seasonal bags or bright coloured ones are always less desired when it comes to resale market so going as classic as you can is probably the best choice. My criteria when buying a new bag would be: how well it would date and how much use would  I get out of it.
  • It is worth setting up an additional saving account and naming it after a bag you want to buy. Transfer the money regularly and even small contributions every month will add up eventually. Giving the account a name will help to keep you on track and motivate to keep saving.
  • With all that written in mind, you need to love you purchase. It is very unlikely that you are going to make a fortune selling your possessions so be honest with yourself. Your handbag is a material thing that should spark the joy within you and it is there to serve a purpose.

And now don’ts:

  • Never settled… Do not compromise on the bag that you do not want or need just because it is cheaper or more accessible. You will still end up wanting the one you had originally in mind.
  • I would not recommend to buy of eBay or less reliable sources. If you want to buy second-hand (nothing wrong with that and you can pick a bargain from time to time) try websites with a team of experts that will verify the authenticity of your handbag. The ones I would recommend are Vestiaire Collective and HEWI London. The commission is high if you are selling with them, but you are guaranteed hassle-free process.
  • Do not buy into trends that will last a season or two… Classic models constantly in production are the best way to go. One of the best examples of that would be Louis Vuitton bags like Speedy or Neverfull. Their prices got doubled in the last five years or so with very little change to the actual bag itself.
  • Do not allow to get influenced by media, celebrities or YouTube channels. Listen to your heart, assess the needs and go for something that you truly want and need.
  • And finally… Do not go beyond you means ! I did that quite some time ago when I bought the most expensive bag in my collection hoping that I will get a bonus at work… I did not and although I cannot regret that I bought the bag, I have learnt my lesson. Never spend the money you do not have !

And few of my favourite ‘investments’…

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It will be controversial but it is probably my favourite ever bag by Bottega Veneta… light and understated, beautifully made and the colour is to die for !

I really hope you liked this post !

I am more than happy to answer any questions and help if you need my guidance on the subject…

Love,

Aggie xx