How To Make A Solid Fancy Bag Purchase

Need some justification? I’ve got your back…

So a few weeks ago I made a rather ridiculous purchase. Actually it was an insane purchase. One of the biggest I’ve made when it comes to my wardrobe and the kind that makes you feel a little bit dizzy when you look at your bank statement and think that a call from the fraud prevention team is incoming. Say hello to the Loewe Small Puzzle Bag in Midnight Navy (side note: here’s the Mango dupe that I linked up on IG stories that I’ve seen a few people asking for). Being a big purchase, it was something that I’ve mulled over (and saved for!) for months and I have to say that I’m beyond chuffed with my new lady. I’m planing a big ol’ bag video with my current collection, reviews of each of the bags and little insight into why I recently sold two of them that will be up next weekend; but in the meantime I thought I’d give you the deets on how such a purchase is made. Baked beans for dinner tonight, yeah? 

Save, save, save. It goes without saying and it’s as boring as hell, but it is NEVER worth getting yourself in a financial pickle for the sake of a material purchase. Whenever I plan on making an ‘OH MY WORD I HOPE MY PARENTS NEVER FIND OUT ABOUT THIS‘ buy, I plan well in advance; making sure I cut back my budget in other areas. It might seem unachievable when there’s zero in your bag pot, but by skipping your daily £2 morning coffee every morning and slinging it in there instead, give it six months and you’re well on your way. There are so many apps these days to help you monitor your spending too. I know Lily has been working with Cleo recently and Mark loves the Monzo app to analyse his spending. There are some great recommendations here as well, and I quite like the sound of Chip – give me a shout if anyone has any other recommendations. Personally I like to firstly find the bag to work out just how much I need to set aside and then move whatever I can monthly into a separate savings account.

Analyse your wardrobe. Here is where I’ve gone wrong in the past (and is why two of my bags recently ended up on Depop – but thankfully they raised a load of money for charity, so it definitely had a silver lining!). In the past, I’ve seen a bag, fallen in love with it, saved up, purchased it and then a few months later realised that it just wasn’t fitting into my wardrobe like I thought it would. I’ll chat about this more in my upcoming bag extravaganza video, but it’s really worth looking at your wardrobe – the colours you reach for the most, the style of your existing bags, any bag slots that aren’t currently filled – to see how you can add to it, rather than replicate what you’ve already got. It’s also worth thinking about the practicalities of the bag you wish to buy. Do you want something that’s small and suitable for the evening? Do you like wearing bags over your shoulder or cross body? Is a detachable strap important to you? How much do you need to fit in there? What colour would go with the majority of your wardrobe?

Do your research. This is the fun bit. I’ll talk you through my process with my latest purchase. Over the past year I’ve got a tonne of wear from my Celiné Trio Pouch. In fact it’s practically the only bag I’ve worn because one, it goes with everything and two, I can fit everything I need into it comfortably. I knew that I fancied adding another everyday/practical bag into the family, so I began to look for something that was slightly more structured than the Celiné, that wasn’t black and that I could fit a similar amount of things into. Thanks to Lizzy and Lindsey I already knew about the Loewe Puzzle and once I started to look at the sizes, the colours available and how multi-functional they were thanks to the detachable and adjustable strap I was SOLD. I’d recommend a google to find any specific blog post reviews, YouTube ‘What’s In My Handbag’ videos are handy to gauge how much you can fit into them and then I like to have a look on Pinterest too, to see how people have styled the bag in different ways. A look on re-sale sites like Vestiaire Collective, will not only give you a chance to see how much you could get for it if you do decide to sell it at a later date, but also give you a glimpse at how the bag wears over time.

Don’t be afraid to return. So fun fact: the Loewe Puzzle wasn’t my only recent fancy bag purchase. There were a few others that I ordered, posed around in my bedroom with and realised that they weren’t for me. If it isn’t love straight out of the box then it ain’t gonna work out. I first ordered a Loewe Leopard Print Barcelona Bag which is now annoyingly discontinued so is a real bugger to find. I was so excited to buy it, but unfortunately the buyer decided to pull the sale and give me a refund. BOO! Then I started to look into the Marni Trunk Bags, which fulfilled the brief of being everyday friendly and coming in a large range of colours. However when it arrived at the doorstep I realised that it was too structured and the compartment-filled inside is actually a pain to use and exactly why I sold my Chloé Faye. Just because they are high ticket items don’t be afraid to send them back. Keep all the tags on and packaging handy until you are 100% sure that it’s the right bag for you.

USE IT! If you’e going to go balls out with a purchase then make sure that it’s something that you’re going to use often. Of course there’s the possibility of an item being truly sentimental, or often just a little too formal or fancy to prance into work with it every single day, and so there are always exceptions to the rule. However, when it comes to bags I like to feel comfortable and think that I could wear every single one for all occasions if I fancied it. Of course it’s worth following the care instructions and investing in a leather protector spray if you want to keep your bag in tip top shape. I always make sure I purchase bags that I don’t need to worry about getting wet (because I’m the person who always forgets an umbrella and ends up looking like a drowned rat), or colour transfer (because I’m constantly in denim). Enjoy it! Use it! GET THAT ‘PRICE PER WEAR’ DOWN GIRL!

Photos by Lauren Shipley

Photos shot at the Artist Residence Brighton