Fashion, OldVenue

To buy or not to buy

I think it’s safe to say most people desire a designer item or two at some point in their lives. Whilst this desire may not amount to an actual purchase (due to the heavy pricing) but the desire is there nonetheless. Designer clothing and accessories have always been notoriously hard hitting on the wallet, which brings us now to the age old question “To buy or not to buy?” Unless you’re a very impulsive buyer, you’ll go through stages of questioning yourself as to whether you really need it, what you would wear it with, how you’d look in it and more – unless the price is merely a drop in the ocean that is your bank account balance.

Some people want to know why designer bags are so expensive, unable to justify spending that much money even if they have plenty of it. Nevertheless, I would argue that we’ve got to respect the classics such as Chanel, Hermes and Celine. All the replicas I have seen fall short of the artistry these bags portray. If buying a £2,000 Celine bag is out of your budget, either save up or find an alternative brand that may make a bag of similar design. However, unless you find an amazing replica – just don’t go there. People can tell when you’ve got a fake if it’s badly made, so you’re far better off getting something equally beautiful but gentler on your budget.

One reason why designer brands are expensive is because they’re supposedly more durable. This is debatable. Bags made from real leather will be stronger than your average £10 bag from Primark, however its not a one size fits all analogy. I can agree that bags retailing over £1,000 are generally good buys, and I’m yet to see substantial complaints regarding these top designer labels. But have you considered that the reason some of the women who are handbag collectors have their designer purchases for years and years, still in such good condition, is because they own quite a few bags and have them in rotation. They’re hardly used in the same way as your shredded Urban Outfitters backpack. If you’re considering taking the plunge with a designer purchase, you should bear this in mind – if you want it to last in good quality, it can’t be an everyday item. Secondly, designers feel their artistry should be appreciated, resulting in more expensive designs, which is understandable as some designers really have earned their stripes (all hail Mr Lagerfeld). Thirdly, some designs go through stages of production that require more labour, be it extra fancy stitching or bedazzled embellishments, hence the overall costs are higher, and by extension, so too are the retail prices.

There is still the option of cheaper designer bags. There are a lot of designers whose entry level designs are very affordable. The likes of Michael Kors and Ted Baker sell bags and purses ranging from £100, sometimes even less. These two designers have a large variety of designs, and if you’re seeking the “I’m wearing a designer bag” satisfaction this is the perfect option. Although, particularly with MK, you may be subjected to the copycat sneers. Nevertheless, the air of exclusivity is still present, and you can wear a brand that people can easily spot without breaking bank. You won’t be starving for months just so you can buy a brand name purse.

If you love designer bags but cannot afford any of them, the next best option is the high street. Shops like MANGO and Aldo are notorious for almost duplicating designer bags, but at least they don’t stamp on the fake logo. So technically you’ll have an 100% authentic MANGO touch bag that closely resembles the Prada Saffiano, for example. The advantage in this is you’ll pay anything from £20-£80, and dependant on your usage you’ll get good wear out of your bag. If that particular style ceases to be trendy, you’re not too gutted as you’ve hardly spent a lot of your money in the first place.

Yes, there are a lot of things to consider when thinking about splashing the cash on any material item, especially in fashion, and no, designers are not for everyone. But if you’re really in love with an item and it ticks all the boxes… well, money is meant to be spent, right?


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January 2022
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