My dad always said I have “champagne tastes on a beer budget,” and that is so true. I purchased my first Louis Vuitton on my 20th birthday, a Speedy 30 handbag. I was working at a law firm at the time as a billing clerk, and I had saved my money for months in preparation for that monumental trip to Saks. I also purchased the iconic Burberry cashmere scarf that day, and I remember feeling so conspicuous walking through the store. I was trying to play it cool like I had money to burn, instead of like I had saved and planned for everrrrrrrr. I purchased a pair of Prada sunglasses in 2007 on my “senior trip” to the beach, after graduating high school. I used all my graduation money. In the summer of 2008, I purchased a gorgeous blue patent leather Longchamp bag in Paris (half off, though) from the legendary Printemps.
All my friends have always thought I was crazy (except one, looking at you Ashley!), but I can’t help it that I have expensive tastes. Now, as an adult making my own way in the world, I only have one of those purchases still in my possession – the Longchamp. The Pradas have just poofed away – I DEARLY hope they turn up one day at my mom’s but it’s been over 10 years, so… – the LV I sold for $500 to repay my parents for wasted rent after dropping out of university the second & final time, and the Burberry I sold for $65 when my hub & I needed some quick cash for bills a few years ago. My point is, I clearly have zero silver spoons lying around but have still been able to maintain a designer wardrobe that keeps me (mostly) off the edge of FOMO.
I believe that if you can follow a few rules, every girl can have the designer pieces she longs for…
- QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! Choose pieces that are timeless, that you won’t tire of & that won’t be out of style in a couple of years. Choose iconic pieces that will ALWAYS be desirable, & choose pieces that you genuinely love! Don’t purchase that Gucci belt just because all the bloggers are wearing it. Purchase it because you can’t stop thinking about it, because you have the perfect outfits in mind for it, & because you LOVE IT. Think of these pieces as investment pieces.
- PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE! Plan ahead & BE PATIENT. Choose the piece you’re after, & budget for it. Figure out how much you can afford to set back per month/paycheck, & start saving! That’s what I did & still do. Have a few extra bucks to spend? Throw it in your designer savings fund; don’t spend it on a Forever 21 tee that you don’t even need (not throwing shade AT ALL at F21, just saying stick to your plan). I personally would always rather have a few quality designer pieces that will last me YEARS rather than tons of cheaper pieces that wear out after a few washes.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO BUY PRE-LOVED! There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with buying pre-loved. The US alone reportedly spends more than $250 billion per year on fashion, & we send about 21 billion pounds of textile waste to landfills each year. Only 10-15% of donated clothing actually ends up in the secondhand market. If the piece is coming from a reputable seller (like The RealReal, where they do the authentication for you), then have no fear! You’re doing something great for your bank account AND the environment. What could be better?! I will do another post on how to buy pre-loved anything safely & confidently, but for now just stick to my recommended sellers below!
- MARIE-KONDO ALL THE TIME! I love how she has become a verb, Marie-Kondo’ing. I have been Marie-Kondo’ing for years, and it really does feel so good. The WORST & most GUILTY feeling to me is having a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear, when there are starving kids, etc. Now, I am a firm believer in personal responsibility & a hard day’s work (with subsequent reward), but I am also against waste. Do not hoard! If it doesn’t “spark joy,” then get rid of it. Pass it on. There are maaaany resell platforms where you can recoup some funds, & if ya can’t sell it then we all know people who know people in need if you don’t know anyone yourself. Talk to a church or other charity organization for specific needs before you dump a bag full on Goodwill’s doorstep.
- REMEMBER – YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU! At the end of the day, it’s all just stuff. We love our stuff, it makes us happy, but it’s not as important as the intangible joys of life. If you have to skip a week’s savings for your Chanel to take your kids bowling, thank God that you have children with whom to spend time. If you have to sell your Burberry scarf for a measly $65 so you & your husband can pay the internet bill on time, thank God you have your sweet husband to keep you warm in lieu of the cashmere.
These are my favorite sources for luxury. Buy with confidence!
- Bags by Syl for Louis Vuittons – She is a highly recommended & 100% trustworthy Facebook seller who uses PayPal Invoicing & provides 18-week “lay aways” for your LV pleasure. She has many pieces that are retired & rare, & super fair prices. I purchased this Zippy Organizer recently, & am paying weekly on another bag. She hosts “Up for Grabs” raffles at least once a week, & is super knowledgable about all things LV.
- The Real Real for all luxury – Guaranteed authentic, tons of designers, also offers consignment for your pre-loved piece which you may not love so much anymore. They use crazy authentication methods that are, like, failsafe, so you know you’re good. I like that they obtain the item from the individual first to authenticate it.
- Poshmark for anything – You are buying directly from a person here so be cautious, but if the item is over $500 then it gets authenticated by Poshmark after you purchase. Be sure to read the seller reviews & ratings before you purchase, regardless.
Good luck, fairies! Leave any of YOUR buying secrets in the comments!