It's no secret that I am a huge fan of high end handbags. Louis Vuitton is my personal passion, but i think there is a case to be made for any high end bag. There is something to be said for having a really great handbag that looks great 7 years after you've bought it. All of my current LV are between 5-7 years old.
When handbags cost the equivalent of a months rent or more they shouldn't be bought with the reckless abandon that most people use when buying a bag. There are a lot of beautiful bag in the world, but they are not all going to work for you. Here is the process that I use when I start thinking about buying a new bag.
1. Take an inventory of your current purse and your future purse needs.
Seriously, take out every thing you carry in your bag. Do you really need 15 lip glosses and 4 packs of gum? Does your purse need to hold an iPad or book. Would you be lost without your checkbook or umbrella? Could you benefit from having a make up pouch or key holder to keep your purse more organized? Do you want this bag for going out on dates? Would you find more enjoyment from a daily driver that brings a bit of luxury to your trips to get grocery?
2. Research, Research, Research
The first place I always go to find out about a bag is The Purse Forum. This community of ladies and gentleman are always there to listen to you prattle on about the pros and cons of this or that bag. With almost every designer covered there is almost always someone who has the bag you are looking at. Plenty of modeling shots and What's in my bag threads. Plus most of the bigger brands have a clubhouse forums where you can see a collection of the ladies who have a specific bag or material a bag is crafted from. You can even find Sales Associate recommendations. That can be key when tracking down a highly sought after bag!
Since I bought my last high end bag in the Fall of 2008 You Tube has exploded. There are several really great channels that have honest and great reviews and unboxings of handbags. Here are the top 5 I make sure i watch regularly!
This Aussie lady is one of my favorites to watch. She is honest and tells it like it is. Even when something doesn't unfortunately work out (check out her Birthday Haul video and then her review of the Multicles)
This busy mom does amazing comparison videos. Her video showing the business card holder is what helped me land on that love SLG a few weeks ago. Also check out her adorable blog where she talks about beauty products and more!
This fashionable lady has an LV collection to that is to die for. I love how she shows what each bag will hold and modeling shots! Her videos about her clutches have made me change my tune on smaller bags!
She does such a great job of doing comparisons across the lines. I also love that she talks about ideas for for jewelry and handbags storage. When you make such a big investment it's important to thinknabout those details too!
He does amazingly detailed reviews. His goal is making high end purchases less intimidating. (one that i can totally get behind) Check out his review on the the LV Favorite MM. This video alone has me saving my pennies for this bag as a birthday present.
3. Consider setting a budget to save for rather than handbag.
You may drool and love a bag online but when you get to the store or get it home it just may not be as amazing as you thought. Set a budget based off a few different bags that you like. Have an open mind when you get to the store. When I bought my Neverfull GM It was a brand new style and I hadn't really considered it, I had gone in to buy a different shoulder bag. When I tried on the Neverfull GM I knew I had to have that bag.
5. Make sure you take what you want to put in your bag to the store.
Self explanatory, you really want to make sure this purse fits your needs. I did this for my business card holder and it was great to help me weed out the other options available.
6. Enjoy that bag.
You've done your homework, saved those pennies it's time to fill that bag and use it.