While you’re doing your capsule wardrobe planning, it’s also a good time to start talking about handbags – specifically, what bags you should have in your arsenal. I talk to Mica Teh, blogger at Away From The Blue, who has an enviable collection of designer handbags, about the type of bags we should own, and her strategies to saving for your own designer handbag.
According to Mica, women should have at the very minimum 2 investment bags – one “everyday” bag, which could be a tote bag or a crossbody bag, and one weekend or clutch bag. By having two bags to use, Mica says you are able to alternate the use of each bag, so you’re not constantly using just the one bag – this way, the bags last longer. Investment bags are also better quality, last the test of time, and if you’re savvy, you can even make a little bit of money if you resell them later!
For the everyday bag, Mica suggests a tote such as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull as a high-end investment – “it’s a classic style that you can bring to the office, to the beach, or to a picnic,” she says. The LV Neverfull is definitely a versatile option that you could wear to work with your suit and heels just as well as with leggings and a tank top to the gym!
Another designer option for your everyday bag is the Longchamp Le Pliage large tote, which Mica says is more at an entry-level price for a designer bag, but is just as versatile and classic as the LV Neverfull.
If you’re after an Australian designed and made bag, you can’t go past the State of Escape carry all – it’s strong enough to be an everyday bag with enough space to carry all your essentials, while still being lightweight and soft to the touch.
As for the weekend bag, Mica recommends a bag with removable straps so you can use it as a crossbody bag (perfect for casual weekend outings), or as a clutch for the evening by simply taking off the straps. She says the Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac bag is a great option as it is an ideal size for your essentials, as well being able to wear it in different ways. (Mica’s tip: you can always find this bag on sale somewhere so it’s good to shop around!)
Looking at her gorgeous collection of designer handbags, I ask Mica what strategies she uses to save enough money to buy them. Her first tip? “Never buy full price!” she laughs. She suggests going to resale websites (eg. Reebonz) and consignment stores (eg. Designer Archives in Brisbane) where you can buy pre-loved designer items at a lower price than retail. She also says Shopbop also has frequent sales and you can snap up a quality bag at a good price.
If you’re serious about investing in a designer bag, Mica says it’s worth cutting back on little things – for example, cut down on takeaway coffees; if you go out for drinks, have 1 or 2 less drinks than you normally would – it’s surprising how much these add up over the year. “Get your essential [expenses] out of the way first,” she says. “Then with whatever you have left over, consider how much of that you want to save for your bag – how much you feel comfortable saving.” Mica also suggests considering selling bags you already have to fund the purchase of another one – depending on the bag, you could even make more than what you paid for it! If you won’t be needing those bags after your purchase, why not use them to help buy your next one?
Do your homework, research different stores and websites, and consider what you like and dislike before you make a serious investment in your handbag. Be realistic about how long it may take to save for your bag – it took Mica 3 years to save for her first designer bag, the Chloe Paddington. Also, check out the $1000 project series here on the sugarmamma.tv site for tips and tricks on how to save and build on long-term passive income that can go towards your designer bag.
Hopefully this will give you some ideas on what bags you should include as part of your capsule wardrobe, as well as providing some tips on what you can do to invest in your very own designer bag. Got any comments or questions? Leave a comment below!
Mica works part-time in IT as well as being a full-time mum to a toddler (with another baby on the way!). Read more about Mica and how she styles her bags at her blog Away From The Blue. You an also check out her YouTube channel and Instagram.
Eileen is a blogger at 5feetofstyle.com, where she writes about style inspiration, how-to-wear ideas, and capsule wardrobes. She is also a busy mother of two little ones. Visit her blog or follow her daily style posts on Instagram.