Buying designer luxury items on a budget can be tough. It's difficult to know how long something will be in style, how much you'll actually use it, and whether the splurge is worth it. Here are some tips to help guide you:
ONE | Understand WHY It's Expensive
I have a degree in fashion merchandising, so I was actually trained to know why luxury items cost as much as they do. But, I do understand that it can daunting to see a designer handbag you LOVE and then look at the price tag and think "WTH?!". So, the next time you see an item you love and want to determine whether it's worth the price, look at the following:
What is it made of? (100% Cotton and cotton blend are not the same thing, take the time to understand what you are buying)
Where was it made? (Does the country of origin specialize in this? ie Italian is known for high quality leather)
Check the stitching, lining, etc. (High quality items will have even stitching, no loose ends...this is also how you spot a fake, if there is bleeding in the painted leather or uneven stitching, it's almost certainly not real)
TWO | Is It Evergreen?
Meaning, can you use it season after season without it going out of style. If you don't have the budget to keep up with luxury trends, don't try. Find a dupe (NOT A FAKE, that's a discussion for another time) to try out trends, and splurge on items you can use for years.
(Think black leather tote bag, blazers, loafers, black heels)
THREE | Can You Find It For Less?
Often, an item you find at full retail at the mall can be found for slightly less elsewhere (Such as Rue La La). Just be mindful of where you purchase from, there are quite a lot of scammers out there so use a service that authenticates their products to ensure it's real.
FOUR | Buy Used
This is honestly my go-to. I actually prefer to get items slightly used so I can pay a fraction of the price. Sites like Poshmark and The Real Real will authenticate items for you and you can find things brand new with tags at a hefty discount.
How to find the best items on Poshmark:
Try different searches
Sellers can use whatever titles and keywords they want for an item so try searching a few different ways
Such as if you're looking for Chanel flats, try "Chanel Flats", "Chanel Shoes", "Chanel size #", etc.
Be wary of the price
If the price is too good to be true, it is. Poshmark will authenticate any purchase over $500, because of this a lot of scammers will price fakes around $480. No one is selling a new Chanel bag or Louboutins for that price.
Ask for specifics
Ask if they have the original receipt, shoe box & bag, photos of the tags, etc.