A GUIDE // Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Buying The Next Luxury Item

In a world with social media being so present, we're constantly exposed to all the newest items, trends, collections every single day. A lot of things we don't even personally like but seeing on every influencer makes us think "Wait, maybe I do need that too", but let me tell you - you don't need every piece you see on social media. Let me help you find out what you actually like and what you should stay away from. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you run out and buy the next it-piece.

1. Do I have something similar already?

Unless you're one of the lucky people that have millions, you might want to look into your closet and see if you have similar items already. With that being said, there are a few exceptions. If you work in an office and wear blazers every single day, yes, of course, go ahead and buy that 5th Balmain blazer. But if you already have 2 pairs of hot pink heels while you barely ever wear heels and/or pink shoes.. you probably don't need a third pair. Or if you are like me and barely ever wear blazers, you're fine with just one black blazer, no need to get a second one in the same colour. Another example would be black leather bags; if you already have 3 black medium-sized shoulder bags, you probably don't really need to get more than that. Yes, I know what you're thinking - "But they're different". I know, the hardware might be different, one might be smooth leather while the other one has quilts or whatever, but at the end of the day, you have your one or two favourites that you keep wearing. You might think that you'll rotate but realistically, you'll always have favourites that you wear more than the others so what's the point of owning too many similar items? There's none.

2. Can I actually afford it?

I really cannot stress that enough - NO designer item is worth going into debt for. Please always keep that in mind. It's super easy to get into debt but it's far harder to get out of it. 

Realistically, you should have enough money in your account to buy it twice. If you want to buy a handbag for 1000€ but you only have 1100€ in your bank account, I don't consider that "being able to afford it". Make sure you do really have enough money aside for emergencies. Depending on your lifestyle you might need to buy a really expensive book for university that you can't buy now because you just got yourself a new YSL bag. Or your dog suddenly gets sick out of nowhere and needs expensive surgery. Maybe your car breaks down and you need to get it fixed or else you can't get to work anymore. You can't plan these things, it can happen to anyone at any time, but you'll then need to have money quick so always make sure you can absolutely afford what you want to buy. 

3. Is it my style or do I like it because I keep seeing it everywhere?

This is another good point because we're exposed to all these beautiful designer items all over social media constantly. I find myself asking this question a lot, and most of the time, I actually don't even personally like it. 

Take a step back and think to yourself "Is this even my style? If I went shopping with my friends and saw this on display, would I actually go out of my way to go in and try it on?". For me, one of those items was the Bottega Veneta Pouch bag. It's been everywhere on social media, every big influencer and celebrity wore that bag and at first, I was like "What the hell is that?" but after seeing it for weeks and weeks, I actually considered getting one too. I don't even like clutches or handheld bags without a handle/strap. I also don't really love unstructured bags that basically are just one big black hole - so what would I even do with the Bottega Pouch bag? Luckily, I did realize that in the end and never bought that bag. 

4. What outfits would I wear with it?

It is always a good idea to think about at least 3-4 outfits that you would wear the item with. If you're a very visual person, it's even better if you take everything out of your closet and build the actual outfit. Some designer items are very unusual and hard to style so if you don't plan ahead and have an actual idea beforehand, chances that you won't use the item are very high. 

If you need inspiration, you can look up the item you're considering on Pinterest or Youtube to see how other people style it but don't forget that just because they can make it work, doesn't mean you can too. Different people have different styles so be sure you'd actually wear it in that way too, even better if you already have every piece of the outfit at home. You definitely don't want to buy an expensive designer item and be like "Oh but to make it work, I need to get X and Y too." No. Be sure you can build the outfits with items you already have in your closet.

5. Will it hold up for many years? Consider materials, trends, etc.

Designer items come in many different materials, so you should be aware of the material the item has and if it's long-wearing and robust. 

If you're looking at a leather bag, make sure you know what type of leather it has. Is it delicate lambskin which scratches extremely easy or is it calfskin that's sturdy or maybe even pebbled leather which usually is a lot more scratch-resistant; is it exotic like ostrich or snakeskin (which is delicate as well)? 

Maybe you're considering velvet or satin shoes that easily scuff and scratch. Are you looking to get some costume jewelry from Dior, Chanel, etc? Keep in mind that at the end of the day, it is only costume jewelry and you pay the brand name and not the quality material. Costume jewelry will scratch, tarnish, or even chip. 

Really make sure you know the material of the item you want to buy and think about how it will hold up over the next 5, 10, and 50 years. You don't want to be spending thousands and thousands of $$$ on designer items and have them look dirty and old within only a few years. If you spend that much money on things, you should be able to use them for many years to come and not worry about the wear and tear constantly.

6. Does it even fit in with my lifestyle?

This is a great way to see if a designer item (or any item really) is worth buying. Even if you made it here and the item is something new to your closet, you can afford it, it's good quality and it fits your style and outfits perfectly - maybe it is not working out for your lifestyle though.

Coming from someone like me, who absolutely adores beautiful shoes, especially high heels - this one is a big point. I love high heels, if I had all the money in the world, my closet would be full of Manolo Blahnik's, Christian Louboutin's, Jimmy Choo's, Rene Caovilla's, you name it. But at this point in my life, it's not worth it because they just don't fit my lifestyle. I barely ever wear heels, and even on occasions where I could wear them like a fancy dinner or a wedding, I usually end up switching to flats last minute. So what's the point of buying 800€+ shoes if I'm only going to wear them once or twice a year? 

Maybe you saw a super cool pair of jeans but realistically, you wear jeans only like three times a year because you find them uncomfortable, there's no point in spending that much money. If the only jewelry piece you ever wear is a watch (because you work in a bakery or as a surgeon and aren't allowed to wear jewelry), does it make sense to buy a bracelet that is over 3000€? Probably not. 

Consider your lifestyle - your job, do you have kids, do you walk around a lot, are you a home-buddy rather than a going-out-girl, are you chaotic, do you need to carry a lot of items with you on a daily, do you live in a big, crowded city with pickpockets. Things like that often make you realize that even if you love the look of something, it just doesn't make sense for you personally.

7. Does it hold its value if it ends up not working out for me?

Even though you shouldn't buy designer items solely for their resale value, it's still something to keep in mind. Don't worry if you went through all my points and still ended up buying that luxury item, it happens to the best of us and you can always resell it. But the amount of money you get back on that item depends on the brand and type of item you bought which is why I say the resale value is worth thinking about.

Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton are brands that generally hold their value very well, especially with handbags and SLG's; while brands like Dior or Fendi only have specific, more classic items that do well in resale. You can check out websites like VestiaireCollective.com or LuxuryPromise.com (you can use the code "ME7T0YY5GY30" to get £30 off of your entire order) to see what prices the item you're considering sells for. It's also a good way to shop if you don't want to spend retail, maybe you can find a good deal on the item you were looking at on the resell market. 

If you thought about all 7 questions and the item ticks all these boxes, you're probably good to go and if you go ahead and buy it, I really hope you enjoy your new designer item for many years to come.

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