My Tips for Making Your First Designer Purchase

sarah lloyd duchess of cambridge navy blazer styled in smart casual outfit in blog post about first designer purchase tips

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While my financial position may have improved somewhat since I bought my first designer bag over 10 years ago, my approach to purchasing designer is still very much the same.  If anything,  I’m even more cautious now before pulling the trigger.  During my early years at university, after my living expenses and other essentials were paid, any leftover money earned from my various part-time retail jobs was used to treat myself to clothing. In about my third year of university, I started setting aside cash for my first designer bag and after a few months of diligent saving, I was able to treat myself to a pre-loved Miu Miu Vitello Bow Bag that I found on eBay.  At the time, it was a big deal for me and I still remember the excitement when I unboxed the bag.  I enjoyed the bag for many years and took it with me everywhere.  To this day, it is still one of my most rewarding purchases.   

Buying a designer bag, whether it be new or pre-loved, is always a big deal, so I thought I’d share the key things that I considered (and still consider today) before deciding to purchase.  

Sarah Lloyd blazer* (sz 8 – use my exclusive discount code WVW20 for 20% off Sarah’s collection), Everlane tee, Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, preloved here), Tony Bianco mules (sold out – shop the real deal here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#1 – The design

One of the most important considerations that you can give is to think carefully about the design of the piece you are interested in.  The purchases that didn’t work well for me were pieces that I convinced myself would work for my lifestyle, but in actual fact required some form of compromise – ie. handbags with fussy closures, heels that I could never walk in, print dresses that were making too much of a statement to be worn regularly.  Obviously you’re in the best position to consider the design features that work best for your lifestyle, but it’s important that you’re honest with yourself before making the splurge to avoid disappointment in the long run. 

#2 – The style

Another key aspect to consider before purchasing a big ticket item is to think about the style of the piece.  While it might not be a key consideration for your first designer purchase, you can never go wrong opting for a classic item.  To use the example of handbags again, while I’ve owned my fair share of trendy bags in the past, the bags that remain steadfast staples are my timeless black handbags by Chanel and my beloved Celine collection.  Indeed, some of my Celine bags have been used lovingly for over six years and they’re still in fantastic condition with many years of wear left.  It is hugely satisfying to purchase a timeless piece that you know will transcend shifting trends and will last you for many seasons to come. 

sarah lloyd duchess of cambridge blazer styled in smart casual outfit in blog post about first designer purchase tips

Sarah Lloyd blazer* (sz 8 – use my exclusive discount code WVW20 for 20% off Sarah’s collection), Everlane tee, Everlane jeans*, Gucci belt (review here), Celine bag (review here, preloved here), Tony Bianco mules (sold out – shop the real deal here), Ray Ban sunglasses

#3 – The price

I know, I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but if you’re like me, you want to ensure you get the most bang for buck and approach any big purchase sensibly.  Making sure that designer pieces are bought with money that is put aside specifically for that purpose (and won’t compromise any living expenses) will be one of the best decisions you can make.  Not only is it the more sensible way to go about things, it plays a big role in maximising the joy you get out of the piece. You don’t want to look back on a designer purchase and be filled with a sense of regret or guilt, particularly if it’s your very first designer purchase. 

#4 – The feels

And having factored in all the sensible considerations above, it’s important to ask yourself whether you really do love the item!  Does the prospect of adding the piece to your wardrobe excite you?  Is it something that you know you’re going to enjoy? Does it give you the feels?!  If that’s missing, it’s worthwhile asking yourself why you want to buy the piece in the first place.  And if there’s even an ounce of uncertainty, I would recommend that you wait for something else that to come along that’ll truly sweep you off your feet.  Any purchase you make should bring you joy every step of the process, so make sure you choose something that in equal parts gets you excited to style it and feels financially right – fashion should always bring joy to your life in some way!

If you’re looking to make your first designer purchase, I hope you found these tips to be useful! As always, thanks for stopping by!

P.S. My tips for caring for your handbags so they last and my designer bag regrets – the bags I’ve sold and why.

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