I hadn’t done any research before buying my first big piece, and I wish I had. I bought a cream colored Celine bag with smooth leather and gold hardware, it was gorgeous and I was in love. But after two weeks I had realized I had made a giant mistake, I had to clean my bag after every use and had to be incredibly careful about the handles. I tried to correct my mistake by getting the exact same one in black, thinking that would fix all my problems, again it was a mistake. I finally corrected my mistake a few years later with a black Celine trapeze with pebbled leather and silver hardware. To this day, that bag looks impeccable.
I wanted to share some lessons I learned in hopes that other people will learn from my mistakes. This isn’t a definitive list of features you should never buy, I’ll probably buy a bag with one of these features again I’ll just be smarter about it next time.
One does not just buy a luxury piece without doing research into it, or knowing exactly what you’re using it for, your lifestyle choices, etc. Some things to consider before choosing a specific handbag could be:
• How do you go from point A to point B? Car, train, bus, walk?
• What will this bag be used for? Sports bag, everyday bag, grab and go bag, special occasion, night time?
• What color clothing do you usually wear?
• How rough with your stuff are you?
LIGHT COLORED LEATHER
I love the look of a tan bag, or a cream color bag or even a very faint pink, BUT if you’re using this an everyday bag there can be a lot of problems.
- Color transfer, if you wear blue/black jeans, they will rub off on your handbag, sometimes you can get it out, sometimes not.
- Oil transfer from your hands on the handle of the bag.
If you have a bag that is strictly for special occasion, and you won’t be using all the time, then light color bags could be great, or if you’re wearing it with a lighter jacket or vintage jeans that don’t have any pigment. But every time I’ve bought an item not in black, I’ve almost always regretted it afterwards.
This depends a lot on the type of suede, I’ve found that traditional suede does not wear well, it can look really old and used even with less than a year of using it vs microsuede that tends to hold up longer.
Also again, color transfer, if you have a lighter colored suede it’s going to get dirty. And suede is pretty difficult to clean. Also can be a tricky material if you live somewhere with a lot of humidity or rain.
This summer I was in New York and one day I saw a girl with a black Chloe Faye bag, which used to be my ultimate dream bag, and I was shocked by how aged it had looked. I watched tons of reviews on YouTube afterwords and not one person recommended it because it ages so poorly.
This one is so tough for me because I love the look of gold, I think it adds such a luxe look. The bag above I’ve had for 4.5 years and I’ve barely used it, and you can see where the chain rubs up on the loop has gone silver.
Back in the day designer companies used to actually plate their hardware with either 18k or 24k gold, nowadays it’s just a gold color. The metal that is underneath the gold will eventually show through with wear and tear. If you want real gold plated hardware, but a vintage bag like Chanel(before 2008) or Dior or buy an Hermes bag which still plates their hardware. For myself, when the gold part wears away, it starts to make the item look rather cheap, now I almost exclusively buy bags with silver hardware.
I absolutely love the look of smooth leather, but it’s just not that durable. Smooth leather shows every knick and scratch. I was recently in a YSL store debating between two bags, my friend preferred the one with smooth leather as I preferred the one with pebbled, and even though all this bag does is sit out to be viewed, it had multiple big scratches on it. If a bag looks like crap on display, how could you expect that to look good for years to come?
Smooth leather can look so luxurious, just be incredibly careful because it can lose its smooth look very quickly if you’re not careful.
BUYING THE WRONG SIZE OUT OF EMBARRASSMENT
One of these shoes is 1/2 size too small, and the other shoe is 1 size too big. The shoes on the left I saw and immediately wanted them to be the shoes I got married in, when I went to get them I debated between 39.5(US 8.5) and 40 (US 9). I was so embarrassed of my feet being too big, I got the 39.5. Two days later, I call my shoe salesman to exchange them for 40 but because I had warn them around my house and got scratches, I couldn’t.
*I bought the Louboutins purposedly too big because they’re known to be uncomfortable.*
This one is more targeted toward shoes and clothing; I’ve always been really embarrassed about my feet since they’re a size 9 or a European size 40. I’ve made this mistake with clothing where I’m used to seeing a specific number, but in other brands maybe I have to go up a few sizes than my regular one. At the end of the day people who work retail see various sizes of bodies and feet, don’t be embarrassed about it and buy the size that fits you best. Sometimes with my luxury shoe purchases, I’ll go up a size larger depending on the brand just so that my feet won’t hurt!
I recently bought a new luxury piece, and I debated heavily between a few models but I used my own advice to pick the perfect bag… et voila, my perfect bag
I hope this list helps you with making more informed choices before investing in your next piece! What’s your dream bag or shoe that you have on your list?