Whether you’re choosing your first designer bag, or adding to your extensive collection, it’s important to make the right choice. And writing this article has made me realise that for me, it’s a process! I put a lot of time and energy into ensuring I’m delighted with every purchase. So, I’d love to share my top 7 tips for bagging a winner.
1. Review what you already have
It sounds pretty obvious, but an important step. If you’re thinking of adding something new, first think about what you have. What styles, colours, and hardware do you have in your current collection? Do you have a mix of carrying style; top handle, shoulder strap, cross body? Consider what you use most and why and what you feel is missing.
2. Define what you want and why
Be clear on what it is you’re looking for. Is it a fabulous clutch in a bright colour, a shoulder bag in neutral, a cross body bag for casual wear, or perhaps it’s time to invest in a diamond encrusted Birkin a la Paris Hilton!?
At this stage I always like to consider the purpose of the bag. Do you want something for work, casual wear, travel, evening or something transitional? Also consider a rough colour palette and hardware preferences. I tend to be quite specific with hardware when I’m looking for something new and then more flexible on the colour.
3. Do your homework
See what’s out there! With social media and the wonderful Pursebop community there’s so much inspiration around online. Take a look at the runways shows, trawl through magazines and soak it all in! YouTube is another great place to do your research. There are tonnes of bag reviews and comparisons which can be really helpful when you’re considering a certain item.
If you’re lucky enough to live near the boutiques, then connect with your SA, let them know what you’re looking for, pop in and look around.
It’s especially important if you’re buying from luxury brands to be informed of the products. Know the names of the bags you are looking for, leather and colour options. Take the time to research, so that when you’re shopping you are best informed and can create meaningful dialogue with your SA.
4. Narrow down your options
Once you’ve seen what’s out there and what you like, start to narrow down your choices. What are you drawn to and what’s going to fit best into your lifestyle and fashion style.
It’s important that whatever you chose is “you” and you can see yourself getting a good cost per wear out of your new purchase
I’m a pretty decisive person, so usually narrow it down to one bag, with specific size and hardware preferences and adaptability on my own little colour palette.
5. Prepare to be adaptable
We all know the diamond encrusted Birkin is not going to be accessible to all of us (damn it!). So, prepare to be adaptable. Can you compromise on colour, size, leather, hardware?
Or are you prepared to wait it out and keep searching if you have something very specific in mind? It’s good to consider these things ahead of time, so you don’t feel pressured into making a purchase that might not be right for you.
6. Be clear on your dealbreakers
This for me is key. While it’s great to be adaptable, you also need to set your dealbreakers. What are those things that you are just not willing to compromise on? One of mine is leather type. I never buy smooth leather. It scratches too easily for my liking and I if I’m spending a lot of money on a piece, I expect it to last a lifetime. I will not compromise on this no matter how much I want a bag! Side note, I very nearly broke my dealbreaker with the Gucci Dionysus smooth leather navy striped bag. I was in love! I somehow managed to stick to my guns and bought a beautiful emerald green grained leather one instead. Her name’s Dorothy and we’re very happy together.
7. Take a moment
Go on admit it, you’ve seen someone with something on Instagram and 5 minutes later it’s in your shopping cart and you’re checking out! Then a little voice says, Diane, you don’t even like that!! I’ve found myself in this position a lot, and it’s important to take a moment and reflect if this is what you really want. After all, it’s likely to be costing a pretty penny. I’m the girl that has been told to “breathe” in Chanel by my SA, when the excitement had me screeching and my SA in hysterics!
So, listen to that voice. And don’t be afraid to ask your SA to hold an item if you need a minute. Even for a couple of hours while you have a coffee and debrief with a friend. I’m sure I’m not the only girl reading this that can debate the pros and cons of a handbag for hours over coffee?! I’m a great believer that if it’s meant to be it will be, so take your time and don’t let anyone rush you.
But most importantly of all, enjoy the shopping experience! I love the whole process from planning, to shopping, unboxing, admiring in my wardrobe and using my bags every day! I hope you’ve found this useful and happy shopping!