We all have weaknesses and mine happens to be this ridiculous obsession with designer bags that come with a pocket-incinerating price tag.
In my perfect world, I would be able to have a different type of bag for every outfit and occasion. Exquisite clutches for formal events, soft leather totes for everyday wear, structured top handle bag for board meetings, cute mini crossbodys for dinner dates — the list goes on.
Alas, reality is cruel. My paycheck cannot support this bold dream of mine. Dropping a portion (or sometimes all), of my next month’s expenses on a new designer bag is a scary thing, and certainly not something to be entered into lightly. Hence, there are plenty of things I take into consideration before committing to a purchase.
Here are 5 things you have to do before you decide if you want to to splash out money for that bag in the window display.
#1 Identify the function of the bag
The bags you buy could either serve a function in your life or enhance your personal sense of style. If you want a practical bag that will give you great mileage, you should select one that you can use everyday. Carry laptops and documents to work? You might want to consider a structured A4 friendly tote.
However, getting maximum mileage does not always have to be the goal. I have friends who save on their daily work bags but will splash out good money for statement clutches, even though they might be seasonal. They are obsessed with the details and find joy in collecting these one-of-a-kind bags that will set them apart from the rest during formal functions.
#2 Go through your current collection of bags
Before you decide to blow you money on something, always remember to go through your current collection. This applies to not just bags but clothes and shoes. In this way you should be able to identify what you lack and what you have in excess. Found plenty of simple black totes but not a single coloured crossbody in sight? Probably time to splurge on one.
#3 Your style preference
You’ve probably heard the piece of advice that it’s best to invest in a classic timeless piece in a staple colour (i.e. black / nude) because the seasonal styles will probably fade with the seasons. However, I have a different take on this. You should buy the bag that you truly love! I have a girlfriend who adores colours and shuns anything classic. She buys plenty of seasonal pieces but she manages to incorporate them into her wardrobe seamlessly. You have to follow your heart’s desire, especially when you are spending so much money.
#4 The maintenance required
I love satin, but I’ve never had a bag in that material. I am not the most careful person around, (I tend to find mysterious scratches on my bags from time to time) so I know for a fact that I would not to able to keep a satin bag nick-free. For our climate here in Singapore, suede bags are also hard to maintain, so you need to make sure that you are willing to put in some extra effort when you are storing your suede items.
#5 Research, research and more research
After you’ve narrowed it down to the bags you might want to purchase, start researching online to see the available options. Different colour ways, how is it carried and style, to give you further affirmation that you have made the right choice. You should also look out for price differences. Many brands have recently adjusted their prices globally to make them more uniform. So even though our tax rates might be on the high side, buying in stores might actually be cheaper than buying online. Exchange rates are always fluctuating too, so remember to select the one that is most beneficial to you at that point in time!