How to afford designer bags

This post is also available in: Italian

how to afford designer bags

I’m perfectly aware that I have a little passion for designer bags.

I have been collecting them for years and, although over time my desire to own more has been greatly mitigated, every year I have 1 or 2 that I desire. Even  in the interview recently dedicated to my blog  (in Italian only) I was “mocked” a little bit for my weakness!



What has changed, compared to the past, is that now I don’t buy so many more and, when I buy them, I know exactly what I want. And, if the desired model is not available immediately in the desired color and size, I learned to wait patiently.


how to afford a designer bag


In any case, through the blog I very often receive requests related to my bag collection and how to create a personal one. The most frequently asked questions are usually these:

  • Which “investment bag” to start with to create a small personal collection of designer bags?
  • Which bags promise to remain great classics for a long time to come?

And also:

  • How do you finance the purchase of a designer bag in a sensible, reasonable and responsible way?

That’s why I’ve put together some financial tips, so to speak, to enrich your wardrobe with a bag or even another luxury item.

But first, a very important premise:

Remember that the purchase of designer and designer items is a luxury and not a necessity. Nor is it fundamental to dress well and with good taste.

It is fine to indulge in luxury from time to time, as long as you can afford it and the purchase is not at the expense of much more important categories: the quality of our daily lifestyle (home, food, health etc.) and our saving for more important goals.

There are certainly advantages in buying high-end luxury items from time to time to elevate your wardrobe, but they remain a luxury and not a necessity.



Here then are some tips to follow so that you can afford to buy your dream bag (or other luxury item) without feeling guilty.

  1. First, save for the really important things

Make sure you continually save money for your future before you think about any voluptuous purchases.

It means saving money for a house, a car if you need one, but also saving for retirement, to achieve your short and longer term goals, and above all to pay for all your basic monthly expenses.

Your financial goals are far more important than buying any designer bag.

But, if you already take care of these aspects properly, you don’t have to feel guilty.

On the contrary, while you are saving up for the important things in your life, you may also realize that owning an expensive designer bag is not that important and that there are other goals to which you should allocate the money.

Another important aspect is to make a budget for your purchase: establish how much it costs first and gradually set aside the required amount. While you’re doing this, don’t let yourself be distracted by any impulse purchases: over time, the bags I loved the most have always turned out to be the well thought out ones!


how to afford a designer bag


  1. Avoid comparisons: it’s not a race!

The continuous exposure to photos of celebrities, VIPs etc. on social media or, simply, the regular attendance of spendthrift, ostentatious people with poor financial management can easily lead you to think that owning and showing off certain luxury objects in large quantities is “normal”, due and even a necessity.

In reality, this is not the case at all. Luxury items, including designer bags, are not at all necessary to dress well and be fashionable.

Besides, you have no idea of the real financial situation of those people, which could be decidedly not very rosy.

Unfortunately, the habit of flaunting a lifestyle beyond one’s means, even at the expense of far more important financial goals, is all too common.

So focus on your finances, and think that being smart, financially wise and responsible people is a much more chic “accessory” than any purse.

Buy ONLY what you love and can afford.

You should only buy something because you want it and it is useful to you and not because of what others think.



  1. Quality over quantity


Occasionally buying luxury garments and designer bags (and not necessarily designer pieces, because not all designer clothes and accessories  are necessarily of good quality) is also important to “train” us to assess the quality of things.

You will inevitably find yourself much more demanding. Think for example of all the times you have bought something cheap that was already worn off after a short time.

Among other things, buying beautiful and durable things that give joy and usefulness over time is also and above all a must for the environment, as well as for your wallet.

Also economically speaking, buying high-end clothes or handbags will save you money in the long term precisely because they last longer.


  1. Buy secondhand

Once you have decided what to buy and you have all the money you need, consider a very good secondhand or vintage piece.

But be careful, not every secondhand bag is born equal!

Personally, I strongly advise against buying from unsafe sources: the authenticity of the item is a top priority and only reliable retailers can guarantee it 100%.

If you buy directly from private individuals, I recommend you at least ask for it:

  • The original invoice
  • The tags that accompany the object
  • Original packaging

Believe me, these are heartfelt and important purchases for everyone. And, for this, we all keep at least the original invoice or some other “proof document”. If these no longer exist, either the item is really old or it’s probably a fake.

I have bought several times “pre-loved” bags. I’ve always done it from my favorite luxury used items online store, Vestiaire Collective, and I’ve always been very happy with them.

The reasons for my choice to buy a designer bag second hand are the following:

  • buying a used bag or even a new one, but from a previous owner, is an environmentally conscious choice
  • it saves a lot of money, possibly freeing up resources for other purchases
  • there is a 100% guarantee of authenticity
  • all objects are subjected to strict quality control
  • an almost infinite selection of objects, constantly updated by new arrivals: if the designer bag of your dreams is no longer available in the desired color in the stores, on Vestiaire Collective you can find it for sure and at a much lower price.
  • Often it is also possible to find there also absolutely new and folded objects (maybe they are unwanted gifts etc.): they are always my favorite choice.
  • Even secondhand objects arrive in perfect condition, and generally they look much better than what you can see in the photos. They look perfectly new most of the times.


The best international choice of pre-loved designer bags from Gucci, Fendi, Vuitton & Co.: HERE
A huge selection of Gucci bags: HERE
Wide choice of Louis Vuitton bags, from pre-loved to new: HERE
Save 15% on first purchase using the discount code NOTIMEFORSTYLE20
A guide to the best investment bags to buy now and enjoy for a long time: HERE


If you choose this route, and I recommend it, I also have a gift for you: use voucher code NOTIMEFORSTYLE20, for your first buy and save 12 USD every 150 euro on Vestiaire Collective!



  1. Buy on sale

Although the most classic and famous designer bags rarely go on sale, if you have patience sometimes miracles happen, especially if the object of your dreams is not the most classic version of the object in question, but perhaps in a particular color, a variant, etc..

Even in luxury outlets all over the world sometimes you can find good deals. But even in this case, however, often you have to forget the exact model you are looking for in favor of some variant.

From my personal experience, I suggest to avoid settling and to prefer instead a good second hand purchase of the exact luxury handbag you are looking for.


  1. Avoid buying on credit

Avoid buying the bag of your dreams without really having the necessary amount.

It is an unhealthy and wrong practice for any purchase, especially if it is a designer bag that is not really necessary.

Instead, wait until you have the full amount available, either in cash or on your account.

Waiting, by the way, helps you decide if you really still want the item and then, once you have it, you will appreciate it even more.

You can create a separate savings account for your luxury purchases or opt for the classic “piggy bank”, where even small amounts can be set aside.

This will also give you time to think about your purchase and make sure it is something you really want and will use before you buy it. It also makes it easier to find a good deal when you are ready to buy.

You can wait until you find the perfect item and the perfect deal and then pay cash for it without feeling guilty!



  1. Cut small, unnecessary expenses

I see a lot of people making the same mistake: maybe they want to buy a certain expensive object, but then they squander much more than they would need to buy it in continuous and completely superfluous expenses: 2-3 totally useless, poor-quality garments every time they enter any low-cost store, cheap and bad quality make-up products that remain unused, magazines, etc..

Things, in short, that become useless and polluting (in every sense) “junk” within a few weeks or even faster.

I dare you to try to consciously set aside what you decide NOT to spend in this nonsense: it’s incredible the speed with which these small amounts accumulate, to form a considerable amount in a short time.


how to afford a designer bag


  1. Stay away from expensive and super trendy designer handbags

Unless it’s your 28th designer bag, or you’ve fallen madly in love with it and it’s also a color you always wear, stay away from expensive but very trendy bags and other items. It is for this kind of trendy items, if anything, that you should resort to low cost, certainly not for handbags or other luxury accessories.

Ask yourself: “Will I still want to use it with pleasure in a year’s time?” and orient yourself according to your answer to make your purchasing decisions.

Also make sure you choose items that match many of your outfits and don’t go out of fashion soon.

If this is your first or one of your first designer handbags, I would personally avoid materials that are too bright and very particular colors (with the only exception of the color that suits you best and that you use often, even if it’s purple or orange) and I would stick to neutral colors instead, so that they match many of your outfits and remain fashionable for a long time.



  1. Be picky

Of course, you want what you invest in to last a long time, to be useful and give you joy and satisfaction for a long time.

Therefore, be picky and selective when you choose your new designer bag or another expensive item. Don’t overlook defects, no matter how small.

Maybe the shoulder strap is too short? The seams are poorly finished? The closure doesn’t hold well or the bag already has a scratch on it, but does the saleswoman assure you that “they’re all like that”?

Move on! Otherwise you’ll end up with a designer bag that you will inevitably wear very little.



how to afford a designer bag ysl


  1. Mix it up

29.90 USD dress by Zara and your Chanel bag? A fantastic couple!

There’s nothing wrong with mixing luxury garments and handbags with low cost or cheaper things, on the contrary. The overall effect will be modern and youthful.

At the same time, mix your luxurious and maybe a little bit classic accessories with more modern, gritty and rock stuff: that’s how they look their best. Creating a kind of capsule wardrobe, made of things that match each other and your new, luxurious purchase, is an idea to rationalize other fashion expenses and make the most of your new designer bag.

In short, buy the luxury handbag of your dreams and then make it your own, adapting it harmoniously to your style!


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how to afford designer bags





P.S. …

Do you speak Italian? 🙂 

If yes, have a look at my new Style and Wardrobe Management E-Course! It will show you step by step how to transform your wardrobe in a small luxury boutique and create many fantastic new outfits that suit you and your style!   


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