I learned early that although you may look chic and Carrie Bradshaw in the trend of the moment, once that moment is gone, your once envied piece turns into a worthless dust collector that may or may not make a fashion comeback in the next decade. It’s difficult not to be tempted to invest money in the pieces that everyone is wearing right now (peplums, harem pants, jeans so destroyed that they make you look like a homeless person who was run over by a truck) – but it’s always best to keep these purchases to places like Forever 21 and H&M so that you don’t feel so robbed when the fashion gods decide something is no longer in style (thereby turning you from Carrie to Miranda real quick).
This is especially true for investment bags and shoes. I always buy my pricey Louboutins and Manolos in neutral colors (black, nude, gold) and save the trendy styles for Steven Madden (but ALWAYS opt for real leather). Handbags are a particular weakness for me. Every year, there seems to be a new “It” bag that becomes lusted after by all women after some high profile celeb is seen wearing it. The issue is, the fact that a bag is so recognizable will also be what ultimately dates it. If you’re going to invest real money in a grown-up bag, make sure to go for something that is:
- Functional in size – big enough to carry all your crap during the day but small enough to bring out to dinner with you at night.
- A neutral color that will go with most of your wardrobe – think black, oxblood, navy blue, browns.
- If you really really love a popular, uber expensive bag of the moment, look for a comparable with similar features.
- Structured handbags typically wear better than slouchy bags, and grained leather is less sensitive wear than smooth calfskin that can scratch easily.
With all that being said, I am a strong believer that handbags are an investment piece. The expensive bags that I’ve bought for myself have always lasted for years and have the ability to dress up any outfit and make it look more expensive. If you’re working with a tighter budget, check out lines like the Coach Classics collection, which is centered on iconic archival designs that won’t break the bank.