Similar to investing in our most beloved designer garments, purchasing a rather luxurious designer handbag proves no easy task. Whether it’s the hefty price tag or stylish aesthetic, there is much to consider prior to swinging that lavish piece of arm candy over your shoulder.
Australia’s fashion market is now inundated with luxury goods, the range of designer handbags available to consumers, is far from limited. Whether it’s Dior’s classic Book Tote you’re after, or Chanel’s iconic Full Flap Quilted Shoulder Bag, the chances of you getting your hands on it at an Australian stockist are significantly high.
With stock and variety proving no issue, choosing the right designer handbag boils down to analysing the accessories four main components, of construction, functionality, price tag and aesthetic.
Understanding the importance of these components prior to purchasing, will ensure your little slice of luxury is an investment piece you will be swinging from one season to the next.
The first step when shopping for a designer handbag is to consider the type of materials that have been used in the bags initial manufacturing process. With Leather, Suede and Synthetic materials each having their own timely life-span, choosing a handbag with suitable fabrication is more important than one may think.
It is also important to remember that, just because a designer handbag has been produced under the guise of a luxury fashion house, will it necessarily equate to being of great quality.
Just like a hefty price tag may not accurately reflect the handbags craftsmanship, it is vital you research the brand and their quality control prior to purchasing.
The quality of the raw materials used (leather or fabric, thread, zippers and other hardware), right down to how the bag is constructed (cutting, stitching, edge-dyeing, finishing) is what should and does matter most.
Although materials and construction have the power to either prolong or shorten the lifespan of your new accessory, the level at which you care and look after your handbag will also dictate how long it will remain in prime condition.
Splurging on a designer handbag usually means you are wanting to wear – and enjoy – your new accessory time and time again, hence it is crucial that functionality is not overlooked for aesthetic reasons.
Like most high-end luxury purchases, many consumers tend to be so heavily attracted to the item's visual aesthetic that they do not consider nor acknowledge the item's primary purpose of being functional.
Whether you're looking for the perfect tote, sling or crossbody, it is crucial to think of the bigger picture. Ask yourself, can I use this handbag everyday?, and more importantly… Will I still like this bag style, in say, twelve month’s time?.
Once answered, these questions will assist in determining whether your chosen handbag is in-fact, fit for the purpose you are intending to buy it for.
For an avid shopper like myself, I prefer to purchase designer handbags which act as the ultimate transformer piece – meaning the style of the handbag allows the wearer to style and wear the bag more than just one way.
Whether it’s detachable straps you’re after or rather interchangeable zippers, a versatile handbag, has no limits.
Notably one of the biggest dilemmas consumers face when shopping for their first designer handbag, is of course the question “how much should I spend?”. Although this question may vary depending on the bags' style, fabrication and brand name, it is important to research and investigate the bags origin, fabrication, typical lifespan and popularity. These factors all contribute to how a designer has or will price their brand's handbag, both in Australia and overseas.
Although it is great to support luxury brands and shop from their stores directly, you will commonly find that online retailers and department stores (which stock branded handbags) may price the accessory at a slightly reduced price point – hence it is essential to do your research and compare prices.
At the end of the day, remember to be realistic about what you can and cannot afford. As a ‘loving handbag veteran’ myself, trust me when I say, you do not want to be splurging into designer debt.
From shape, structure and style to colour, pattern and fabrication, visually, there is a lot to consider when choosing your new shoulder accessory.
Although bold colours, intricate patterns and trendy monogramming may seem appealing at the time of purchase, it is important to consider what will compliment what is already in your wardrobe, and also what styles and colour-ways will remain timeless.
For your initial purchase, opting for a handbag in a neutral or monochromatic hue will prove useful when pairing your new accessory with either day or evening wear.
That said, if you have been eyeing-off a rather bright statement making handbag – DELVAUX’s ‘The Hero’ Shoulder Bag, is a personal favourite – by all means go for it, invest.
As we have been told time and time again, aesthetics are all about personal taste. Don’t purchase a designer handbag because it’s trendy or on sale, purchase it because you absolutely love it, hopefully now and forever.
Words by Phoebe Blogg.