Tips For Choosing Your First Designer Bag

Purchasing something extravagant for the first time can make you cringe, regardless of your age or budget. It is particularly the case when that is simply the purchase for your own happiness. You experience a whirlwind of emotions when breaking a certain spending threshold on something you’re not certain about for the first time.

Nevertheless, the heart wants what it wants. Buying your first designer ‘starter’ bag can always be nerve-racking. You involve plenty of guesswork about how the bag will make you feel and whether it is the correct choice to make in the quest for your first high-end designer bag. Either way, your first experience with a designer bag is going to be memorable. It’s perfectly normal if you’re daunted by this. Trust me, I’ve been there. So I am going to help you by giving you some helpful advice on picking your first designer bag.

Tip 1: You Don’t Have to Spend A Fortune

If you do your research and look for it hard enough, it’s entirely possible to invest less than a thousand dollars in a marvelous designer handbag, even from a high-end brand. For example, I used to browse the official websites of these designer brands and find Chanel Small Flap Wallet that sold for $950, Gucci Marmont Camera Bag that was priced $980, and Céline Strap Clutch with a price tag of $730.

Nevertheless, the sizes of these items are all pretty small, which I totally understand because they used fewer materials and involved less craftsmanship. If you have a limited budget and just intend to raise your social status by getting an item with a designer brand logo on it, then a small item within your budgetary reach is perfect for you.

However, if spending $1000 on a tiny bag such as a clutch or wallet doesn’t sound financially rational to you, you might as well try your luck and search your coveted bag on resale websites or get a high-quality replica designer bag as I did.

I used to be a regular designer handbags shopper, but I simply love their designs. Surprisingly, the quality of luxury designer bags declined these years while the replica quality improved. After being amazed by the quality and details of several knockoff purses, I honestly can’t justify the decision to pay ten times of a replica’s price for the authentic piece.

I still purchase authentic designer bags but only when I couldn’t find a good copy. There’s nothing wrong with mixing authentic bags with fake ones, as long as it makes you happy.

Tip 2: It’s Not Necessary To Go All The Way

Getting your first designer ‘starter’ bag doesn’t mean that you need to start with something truly classic such as the Lady Dior Bag or the Chanel Classic Flap. Those classic bags usually have steep price tags which are always out of the budgetary reach of new bag lovers. For beginners who are still figuring out whether designer items are what they’re really going for, it is a huge financial commitment to fork out several thousand dollars for these classic items.

Even if you have the fund, it is very important to be frugal and smart with your spending. Instead of focusing on your holy grail, you can try out other cheaper pieces before you inch towards your ultimate dream piece. During this process, you will become clearer about whether you really want to spend all that money on that bag later.

Or if you can’t wait and insist on getting your dream bag as your first designer bag, I strongly recommend you to try out the replica version first and see if you like the style and the usability of it. I ordered a fake Chanel Boy Bag of superb quality and I absolutely adore it!

Tip3: You Can Totally Buy Something Trendy

A great deal of fashion spending advice will suggest that you should only spend big bucks on sophisticated and classic items that will last for decades, especially when you are young and inexperienced. If you are someone who always dresses in that style or toting a Bottega Veneta bag will be advantageous to you in your work at the office, then go for the classic ones.

But it’s also fine if you love trendy or highly-embellished bags. You should invest in a fashion that brings you joy, even though you’re not likely to profit from it in years to come or pass it down to your granddaughter. It’s totally ok to love a bag for two seasons or ten years. It really depends on how you feel about it when carrying it.

Tip 4: Usability Matters

Try to ponder over how often you will be using the bag before you even pull the trigger on one. Use the cost per wear formula, which is equal to the cost of the item divided by the number of times you wear it, to decide whether the purchase is a smart one or not. It is of great help to your future purchases as well.

Choose what you’ll like to carry frequently. If you prefer tiny bags or clutches, go with your gut and get one of those. If you’re a big fan of a roomy purse in a neutral color, stick to that and you will feel less nervous when spending that money. Also, you’re less likely to regret making the big purchase. Don’t just follow the trend and purchase anything impulsively. Only you know what is best for you.

However, if you’re still too cringed to splurge on a costly designer bag, you can always start with a duplicate version which costs only a tenth of the price. I was planning to buy a new gym bag and the idea of investing thousands of dollars on a bag that I am going to abuse simply prevented me from hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button. So I ended up getting a fake Goyard St Louis Tote GM which is very durable and versatile.

Tip 5: Buying Pre-Owned Items Is A Good Option

For someone who first takes an interest in designer bags, buying pre-loved bags from third-party sellers is actually a pretty good option/alternative when they have a tight budget or simply have second thoughts about their new high-end habit.

If you’re ok with using a secondhand bag that sometimes has the scent of its previous owner on it, just go for a pre-owned item in the resale market. And if you figure out you don’t like the bag in ways you imagine you would, you can always put it back on sale on eBay with small devaluation. Personally, I don’t like the thought of my stuff being used by others before. So this option is not for me.

As a side note, many self-proclaimed designer resale websites are not as dependable as they appear to be. Some unscrupulous sellers even on eBay pull the wool over complete fashion newbies’ eyes by providing them high-quality replicas. They reap huge profits from shenanigans.

This is another reason why I don’t shop for authentic bags as often as I used to. The quality of knockoffs is comparable to that of the authentic bags, yet the real thing costs ten times as much. Sometimes I am just sick of paying for brand premium.

Tip 6: Be Aware Of Return Policies.

For first-time buyers, it’s fairly common to feel full of remorse for making a big purchase, especially the ones for your enjoyment. If you decide to purchase a new bag, remember to learn the retailer’s return policy, the documentation, and the time frame you’d need to keep track of to get your refund. Without a question, you will feel more confident in spending that amount of money when you are aware that this decision can be undone if you change your mind later. And you can spare yourself from the remorse and guilt it comes with.

Tip 7: Perfect Choice Doesn’t Exist.

Stopping waiting for a flawless dream bag to come along! Because such a perfect bag doesn’t exist. It all depends on personal preferences.

For me, I don’t have a ‘favorite’ bag. Since every bag that I purchased has the good features that I fell for. I like the monogram pattern on the Louis Vuitton Sarah wallet that I gave my mom and the aged gold GG logo on my replica Gucci Marmont wallet. If they combine these two features in one wallet, it would look totally weird. Why? Just imagine a wallet made out of the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram canvas with a big Gucci logo on it.

So every bag is unique and there’s something good about it. If most segments of the bag take your fancy, you should make your move. If there is one thing about the bag you’re not comfortable with, forget about it and move on! Don’t make do with something that bothers you.

For those who make it till the end, thank you for your time and support. I hope you successfully get your first designer piece soon!


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