It is a phenomenon that I have observed both online and in real life, and one that never fails to puzzle me. Why do so many women tote high-end designer handbags by prestigious brands such as Chanel and Hermès, which range into the many thousands of dollars, yet pair said bags with clothing brands that are a steep step below high street fashion. To make matters clear, I am not talking Zara or H&M here (where you can find fashionable items of decent quality). I am referring to the very cheap labels that grace the shelves of discount superstores or worse.
I feel that a woman who is willing to buy into the steep entry points of a designer handbag, must do so because they are either highly interested in fashion, care a lot about quality, want to own a timeless piece that will last generations, or fourthly, be buying said handbag solely for the appearance. If a woman buys a handbag for any of these reasons, then wearing cheaply made articles of clothing that are ill fitting, comprised of nasty fabrics, and fall apart within a few weeks doesn’t seem to fit into that rationale. No amount of Birkin will counteract poorly tailored, or worn out threads because “if you’re cheap” as Karl Lagerfeld famously said, “nothing helps”. The most expensive handbag in the world will never be able to salvage bargain basement rags and make them look chic.
Of course I understand that most of us out there cannot afford to have a whole wardrobe of high-end designer clothes, let alone update them season-by-season to keep up with trends. That is why a timeless designer handbag or a pair of shoes is often a woman’s first venture into the high end designer world, as these pieces transcend seasons, can be worn frequently and when well cared for last a lifetime. However with the amount of options available, there is no need to settle for poor quality clothing. It is possibly to have a fashionable, high quality yet affordable look if you take the time to look around.
- High Street: High street labels are great options, but always make sure you try everything on first to ensure the right fit for your body shape. Check the composition label too for quality.
- Vintage and consignment stores: Great deals on luxury designer clothes can be found at vintage and consignment stores, if you are prepared to put in the time to search. Fashion is always doing the full circle so it is inevitable that you will find something trendy from a decade ago being resold for an affordable price. A true story - I once picked up a genuine pre-loved Chanel silk shirt from a recent collection for only $300 USD online.
- Sales: There are so many tempting sample sales, factory outlets and pop-ups that are a Google search away. In Australia the site “Missy Confidential” is one of my favorites to keep me in the loop for notable fashion bargains taking place locally. I also ensure that I am subscribed to the newsletter of my favorite stores so that I never miss out when items go on sale.
- Local and up-coming designers: Local and emerging designers generally offer a unique range of clothing without having to spend high-end designer prices. Asilio, Aje, Scanlan & Theodore, Zimmermann and By Johnny are some of my personal favorites.
- Handmade: Another option is going down the Etsy route and supporting an artist who has made something truly special. Etsy is really great for costume jewelry in my experience. You can also try local markets to look for similar products and this way you can inspect and try the pieces on in person.
I hope that my list is helpful. What are your thoughts?
What Adrianna is wearing
Adrianna is wearing an Asilio top, which she purchased, pre-loved for only $50, paired with pants from the same label. The outfit is accessorized with a Chanel minaudière from the Spring/Summer Airlines Collection and Bruno Frisoni pumps.