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

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Discount shopping anybody ? … Bicester !

I am sure we all agree that everybody likes a bargain ! I hate wasting money and by wasting money I mean buying something not worth the money of poor quality or unnecessary.

Quite some time ago a good friend of ours introduced me to the outlet shopping village called Bicester. It is enormous and as the official website tells me it has more that 130 fashion boutiques. All the shops are descent space and the selection of goods is surprisingly current. The choice is endless as both high street and high-end are represented here. My favourite brands present in Bicester will include All Saints, Barbour, Tommy Hilfiger as well as Dior, YSL or Burberry.

Bicester is an extremely interesting place to shop for one more reason (apart from the minimum discount of 30 % from the retail price up to 70 % during sales). You are not allowed to film or photograph inside the shops only to keep you guessing of what stock shops have ? It is unpredictable experience and you will never know if you are able to find anything you like or your trip will be unsuccessful.

Transport links are very convenient as the village is located in close proximity to Oxford. You can travel from London by train, bus or car. More details are available on Bicester official website which is linked here.

It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The only think I cannot stress enough is the unpredictability of the shopping experience. Stock will change very frequently so be patient and be prepared to go home without all of the items on your shopping list !

Taking this opportunity I would like to share some of my best finds with the brief description of the item and some advice. So let’s begin !

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One of my oldest purchases and the most loved beautiful dress by L.K.Bennett worn to the wedding of my friends back in 2015 ! I got is as a sample sale item and paid less than £50 for it !

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Finding comfortable bag that is as light as the feather is tricky… This handbag delivers that and is of beautiful quality by italian brand Bottega Veneta. I bought it back quite some time ago and it was definitely money well spent !

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The most recent purchase Maje dress with detachable collar. It was waiting for me in the store with only one left in my size and over 50 % off the original price.

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Handbag that I was searching for over the year… When I discovered it, it was already sold out. Never in my life I would have guessed that I find it in Bicester. It is by Tod’s and when the shopping assistant brought me this burgundy one I started jumping up and down. Price reduction was 50 % and in my opinion it was a complete bargain !

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Finally, my most recent jeans purchase (more pictures available here and here). They are by Belstaff the brand my husband loves. The quality of the coating on that pair is unbelievable and with 60 % off it was difficult to complain !

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That is just a few examples of the stars you can find in the village. Whatever your budget is, I am sure you will find something to suit your needs.

Do you know of any other outlet villages around the world worth visiting ? If so, please let me know !

As usual, many thanks for stopping by !

Love,

Aggie xx