• Kaitlyn Hackett

Guide to Buying Designer Items: Deciding to Save or Splurge?

Updated: Jul 12

Lady Gaga once said, “Gucci, Fendi, et Prada. Valentino, Armani too. Merde, I love them Jimmy Choo! Fashion, put it all on me” and I couldn't agree more. The world of designer goods is the alluring devil on my shoulder telling me I should buy the very expensive Louis Vuitton biker boots when the angel, aka my bank account, pulls my greediness back and says I should wait or get something more practical. The designer lifestyle can pull you in with shiny things and spit you right back out when the charge hits your credit card. If you have an affinity for expensive brand names stick with me and we will see where to spend it and where to save it!

The 3 Basics of Splurging:

Rule # 1: No impulsive buying.

An on the whim buy is fantastic at the moment, no one loves a last-minute treat yourself more than me, but when it comes to designer items it works a little differently. When you have a chance to think about what you actually want and allow yourself to think about it for a few weeks (or months) the purchase feels much more satisfying. An impulsive buy may net you with an item that you won’t really like, use, or enjoy in 5 or 15 years.

Rule #2: Don’t always follow a trend.

The Gucci slides and belts are a perfect example of this. Gucci is a beautiful, luxurious brand that has thousands of designer products available. But somehow the only two Gucci items I see most often are a pair of slide sandals and the famous belt with the simple Gucci logo. The slides retail for $200 and the belt for $450, this is a pretty steep price for simply following a trend that will certainly not be around in the next 2 years. Unless you are absolutely head over heels in love with a designer trend, save your money. Buy a dupe for the product if you like the look, or buy an item that is higher quality and more exclusive. Be the trendsetter rather than a trend follower.

Rule #3: Price + Function/Use = Splurge?

Before you splurge, whether that means $300 or $3,000, consider a few key things.

Price: Is the item reasonably priced? Of course, all designer items feel slightly overpriced because you are paying for the brand and the quality of materials, but really consider is the price worth the item you are buying. For example, do you think it's worth to pay $630 for a Dior phone case that will most likely need to be changed in less than a year when you upgrade your phone or is it better to save to get a cheaper phone case with a similar look?

Function/use: What are the actual function and use of the item? Remember those Louis Vuitton biker boots I mentioned? Well, the function is that they are durable bike boots which is a justifiable purchase but the use is what made me stop buying: they are $1,200 boots that I would not wear too often because I live in a warm environment. However, choosing the right pair of sunglasses, such as a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses, is something that you could wear and/or use everyday. If you are on the fence or have to think about where/ when you can wear the item don’t splurge on them just yet.

Don’t buy to keep something in its box for years, splurge on the items that you can always pull out and use.

When & What to Splurge:

Now is the fun part, after considering all the rules of splurging let’s dive into when and what you should be splurging one!

  1. Staple Closet Items: Any item that you regularly use and find yourself buying because of wear and tear is an item you should consider splurging on. A quality pair of jeans, a purse, shoes are all common items that people end up spending more on when they could have saved if they just splurged a little more for higher quality. So if you are on the fence about a higher-end bag or pair of jeans go ahead and splurge a little. The item will be apart of your closet for a very long time and you won’t waste money on rebuying a cheaper purse or torn jeans.

  2. You Are 100% Sure: When you are 100% confident that the designer item of desire is one that you will use and love for years to come then splurge for it.

  3. Brand Loyalty: Not all designer brands are created equal, and neither are their prices. But that is warranted because brands all have a unique quality and style about them. You want to splurge on a brand that you trust, respect, and know the quality from which you are buying.

  4. It Reflects You: When spending more money than you normally would on an item you want it to showcase a small piece of you within the product. A designer item truly reflects your style because you are willing to drop the money to show it. Buying an item that is completely “off-brand” of you or just not your style will end up not being used; because its essence isn't really you and you won’t gravitate to it in 10 years.

What and When to Save:

Now is the time to learn about when and what you should actually really be saving on rather than dropping cash on a designer item.

  1. Trendy and Fast Fashion: When something is trendy that will be sure to leave the fashion world in a year or two stick to items that aren't as costly. H&M, Zara, Express, and retail stores alike have gotten very good at following fashion trends, making cute and quality clothing at very affordable prices. Rather than splurging on a designer fast fashion trends, save your money and shop elsewhere.

  2. No Function or Use: If you don't immediately know the function and use of your prospective purchase, then save and shop for less expensive items!

  3. Style or Lifestyle Change: We all have a slightly different style then we did 10 years ago, but if you are doing a complete overhaul of your personal style or a huge lifestyle change is occurring don't start buying designer just yet. Wait until you have a defined personal style again, in the meantime try out less expensive brands to find a style that you enjoy.