There is absolutely nothing like the feeling of buying a designer bag, knowing that you worked hard and earned it! Let me start by saying that none of my bags were given to me – I bought my first when I was 22, and that was after years of thinking that I would never be someone who could own one. Once I finished college and started my job, I knew that a designer bag was something I wanted to prioritize saving for (for some people this may not be a priority, and that’s okay! Everyone has different goals, depending on what is important to them). I knew what I wanted and I worked for it! If you plan, work hard, and save, there is nothing to feel guilty about when you make the purchase. In fact, they are called investment bags for a reason – as long as you take care of your bag, the value is actually likely to go up over time! I did a ton of research before buying my first bag, and I wanted to share my experience and what I learned.
The first choice to make is your designer. This is totally a matter of preference! Louis Vuitton and Gucci are great common options to start with, but you have tons of choices – YSL, Chloe, Dior, Chanel… some might just require a little more saving than others! Don’t get too tripped up on thinking a certain designer is out of your realm of possibility. If you are already investing so much, you should wait a little longer to get the bag you really want. And don’t be afraid to check pre-owned sites (more on this below)! I actually found an amazing pre-owned Chanel Grand Shopping tote (below) at a similar price point as Louis Vuitton, and it is in amazing condition!
Once you have your designer, it is time to pick your style! I definitely recommend thinking about what you would get the most daily use out of when you make this choice. Again, this is completely personal. Will you use a tote bag, a crossbody, a bag with removable straps? I have some of the most popular LV options below! But when I tell you I went through every option on the website, trust me, I did 🙂 The key is to research what is right for you.
Next, time for your color or pattern! Some designers are known for their patterns, while others stick to incorporating their signature logo or bag shape on a wider variety of colors. The key here is to research what you personally like! I knew I wanted Louis Vuitton, and I wanted the Damier (checkered pattern) instead of the Monogram, because at the time I felt it would be more subtle for my first designer bag. However, these days I lean towards Monogram! If you would rather have a solid color, that is great too! Totally preference. I was torn between the Damier Ebene (brown) or Damier Azur (white), but the sales associate suggested to go with a darker color for my first bag, as it’s less likely to show wear. A very helpful tip!
Next comes the hard part – saving. Once you have a bag, you know what your goal will be. I suggest starting a “Louis Vuitton Fund” (or designer of choice!) and contributing whenever you can. Here are my tips:
- Eat or make coffee at home – if you live in a city like me, that can save you about $10 a day!
- I don’t drink alcohol, and skipping a night out will certainly save you quite a bit.
- Contribute any cash you may get for birthdays or other holidays.
- If you get any bonus cash from work, consider contributing some!
- Skip out on clothes, bags or jewelry that you like but don’t really need or love. If you take all the money you would spend on less expensive bags that you don’t end up using too often for one you will use every day for years, it doesn’t seem quite as impractical!
I’m not saying you will have enough saved overnight, it took me quite a while, but small changes like this will add up faster than you would think! It is still important to save as you would normally, but if this money would have been going towards other things anyway, you won’t have to give up any of your existing savings, or what you typically budget out to save! Again, the timing will depend on how much a priority it will be for you personally, and which other things you are willing to give up.
As I touched on earlier, I also prefer buying pre-owned now – I find it much more sustainable, and cost efficient! You can get a bit of a discount on current bags, as long as they are not rare or out of stock. Or, if you want some great unique options, you can find them as well (they may just be a bit pricier). Many of the bags on pre-owned sites are good as new. I have bought a few from Yoogi’s Closet, and my experience has been great. Just make sure you read the condition notes carefully. Fashionphile, Rebag, and the RealReal are some other sites with great options. Local consignment shops are also great, and tend to have better deals. The only problem is they may go fast! Shop around and see what you can find!
After a ton of research, I settled on the Louis Vuitton Iena MM (pictured below) for my first designer bag. It is not a popular bag by any means, but it was perfect for me. I wanted an over the shoulder bag to stay practical for my job, and I definitely wanted something that zips (which is why the Neverfull was out for me). It was the perfect size, not too big and not too small, and I couldn’t be happier with the purchase (although let me tell you – I was still sweating when I bought it!)
I don’t recommend buying if you are on the fence whatsoever – when it is your dream bag, you will have the feeling, and you will know! If you feel any guilt or uneasiness, it is probably not right for you. However, if you do change your mind or get tired of your bag (which you probably won’t), designer bags maintain their value very well, so they are so easy to sell for similar or higher value. If you hold on to a rare bag for a few years and keep it in good condition, you can certainly sell it for more than you paid! These bags are extremely durable, and will last for decades if you take care of them. The longer you have it, the rarer (and more valuable) it is likely to become!
Having a designer bag was a childhood dream of mine, and to me it always seemed like something I would never have. It feels great to know I worked hard and earned it! In my opinion, designer bags take any outfit to the next level! And unlike clothes, they are something you can re-wear every day! So if you are thinking about your next designer bag, plan, save smart, and most importantly, enjoy because you deserve and earned it ❤