Opinion    PurseBlog Asks

Are Handbags a Gateway to Luxury RTW?

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Like most of us who collect handbags, I like nice things, and those things span beyond the scope of just things to tote around my belongings. If I had it my way, I’d be walking around wearing head-to-toe designer and refreshing my wardrobe seasonally. However, another commonality I share with many of you (I would venture to guess) is that I do not have unlimited funds. That means that when it comes to my luxury items, I’m only able to purchase high-ticket items about 5-8 times per year (sometimes more if I’m also parting with items).

Accessible Accessories

For the better part of my adult life, my designer purchases were strictly limited to handbags and the occasional small leather good or sunglasses. Accessories have always felt the most accessible in price point and practicality. I’ve always believed that purchasing a $2,500 bag that you’ll repeatedly use throughout the year is a much better investment than purchasing a top limited to one or two seasons, which you’ll only wear 10 or so times a year. And while that still rings true, the older I get, the more I want to buy into other luxury items.

Stepping It Up

After collecting handbags for over a decade, I decided I was, quite literally, ready to dip my toe into the world of luxury shoes. Second to handbags, a good pair of designer shoes you’ll wear often also makes sound financial sense from a cost-per-wear perspective. I can personally attest to this, as in the last year+ that I’ve owned my Bottega Veneta Tire boots I’ve worn them dozens of times. Since then, my designer shoe collection has expanded to include Bottega Veneta Puddle Boots and most recently, Celine Lug Sole Loafers.

A Gateway to RTW

My handbag collection is in a really good place, and I don’t plan on parting with or adding anything to it soon. Of course, if a new bag drops that I have to have, that may all change, but as of now, I’m content. I am lusting for the addition of some designer ready-to-wear into my rotation, and I’ve found that my progression from handbags to shoes was the catalyst for this craving.

I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d asked me a handful of years ago if I would have ever considered spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a single piece of clothing. However, I feel that a quality item is a good wardrobe investment, as it can elevate the rest of the pieces in your closet, especially if you’re like me and wear a lot of vintage. Be it a logo tee, a statement jacket, or a nicely tailored piece, I’m finally gravitating toward the world of designer RTW, and I have my bags to thank for that!

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Terri
Terri
1 year ago

Same! Handbags then shoes then RTW.

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
1 year ago

I don’t foresee myself spending hundreds of dollars on luxury footwear. Mostly because I have bad feet. I’ll just skip that. For the last three years, I’ve been into buying ready-to-wear to mix in with my lower priced items.

In all honesty, I’ve literally stopped buying luxury handbags. It’s been at least two years. My last few bags have been from Coach. Nothing from the luxury market has interested me. Now, I’m spending my expendable cash on jewelry.

daveloeweyou
daveloeweyou
1 year ago

Of course, that happened to Loewe. It began as a brand of bags and accessories in 1846 and it was not until the 70s when it began to do RTW, reaching designers such as Narciso Rodríguez or Stuart Vevers, even Giorgio Armani and Karl Langerfeld made specific collaborations. But it has not been until today that JW Anderson has given the boost to the brand that. He needed to reinforce the RTW line, making it very visible and putting the bags and accessories at the top creating it bags such as the Puzzle and Hammock or the new interpretations of the Flamenco or Amazona.

E. L.
E. L.
1 year ago

I found it to be the opposite for me. I was always drawn to capital F fashion and avant-grade looks over bags and shoes. I felt like I could express myself more fully and build a more unique look through mixing and matching interesting pieces rather than putting on a bag and shoe and calling it a look.

I’ve since grown to appreciate both though! How a bag and shoe can complete a look, or elevate a simple look, or even just add more to what’s already on my body.

I still find it easier to drop money on a beautiful jacket or pair of pants over a bag though. I just love tailoring, cutting, and silhouette. My bags and shoes tend to be nice but simple while my clothes will make you look!

Kim
Kim
1 year ago

I started with designer shoes first but as I aged and had more income to allow the bags I loved, I put most of my budget toward a nice bag collection. As I push 60 I am not only fine tuning my shoe collection but like others walking thru that gateway to nice RTW staples.

Ed B
Ed B
1 year ago

Interesting thought. I also first went with accessories then RTW BUT my reasons were:

  • I was younger and my style changed often, and while handbags often aren’t SUPER tied to subtle changes in style, RTW mostly becomes unusable as soon as your style changes even in the hues you prefer, let alone fit and cut. No way would I waste money on clothes I wouldn’t like in a year. At that time I rarely bought clothes in general, and went for smaller brands at mid-range at most.
  • Again, I was younger, so didn’t have as much disposable income even if I had WANTED to throw it at luxury stores. Me a decade ago couldn’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on seasonal clothing
  • As my style settled, I quickly satisfied my need for handbag and leather accessory shopping. I still need different colors of scarves or jewelry here and there, but in general, my accessory game is pretty much done. That means what little spending I still do is often on clothes.