How often do you shop?Right now, I’d say a couple of times every few months. Shopping for beauty is at a higher frequency since I’m consuming what I buy. I know this sounds weird, but I’ve come to a place in life where I don’t want to come home to a ton of stuff. It feels so suffocating. However, my goal is to get a place in my life where after all of the adult responsibilities are taken care of and I’ve given back to charities, I want to purchase a classic bag at least once a year. My ultimate dream is to get one nice bag on a quarterly or at least, a biannual basis until my dream bag collection is complete.
Do you ever buy second-hand?With prices going up (I’m looking at you, Chanel), I feel like I would have to by the time I get started on my handbag collection. But at the same time, I have no shame in buying second-hand, especially when it comes to my wardrobe. It helps the environment and I love consignment shopping just for the thrill of the hunt. And aside from that, it’s not like anyone is going to know where anything is from unless you tell them. For pieces that are no longer “on trend” that I’d love to have in my closet (like the Chloe Baylee bag), I don’t mind buying second-hand.
Do you ever feel societal pressure to buy more?Not really. I mean, I do follow influencers who have amazing wardrobes, but I just don’t have that “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Although I love fashion, I think my anxiety would get worse if I put myself into debt just for the sake of fashion. I can deal with affordable, but good quality pieces like my new rose gold MVMT watch.
Do you consider bag purchases as investments?Absolutely, especially if it’s Chanel. I know that once I make a Chanel purchase, I can get almost all of my money back years down the line if I want to sell. Chanel really holds their value against the test of time. However, I’d like to shift my mindset to purchase bags with a wealth growth strategy in mind like the woman in the Closet Confessionals article.
What is your most expensive/least expensive bag?Aside from my Chanel, my Stella McCartney Fabella is my most expensive and my cute little vegan leather bag from Francesa’s is my least expensive.
What are the most important brands or pieces in your collection?I can’t say for sure because I haven’t started my “serious” collection yet. However, I will say that I know what handbags I would love to be in my collection someday: Dior Diorama, Chloe Nile, LV Pochette Metis, Chanel Quilted Vanity Case, classic black flap quilted Chanel bag, chevron Chanel boy, Chanel Rue Cambon 31 tote, Gucci Soho crossbody, Valentino quilted shoulder bag, Prada Cahier shoulder bag, Dior Diorever bag, Givenchy Antigona and Bvlgari Serpenti bag.
What age did you get your first designer bag, and what was it?I got my first handbag at 26. It was a surprise gift from a friend. And boy was it a surprise! As for myself, I got myself a Tory Burch Robinson Tote in a camel color a few years later. I wore that thing to death and still have it.
Any particular bag that holds special sentimental value?I’ve yet to make my own first major designer purchase. However, my Chanel boy wallet has sentimental value to me. My brother and his now-wife came back from Vegas and he gifted me my first Chanel SLG for my birthday two years ago. I couldn’t believe it! He videoed himself in store picking out my gift and sent it to me, but thought he was asking me for my opinion for his girl. I didn’t know it was for me, haha! Then a few months later, his wife passed on a black patent Chanel tote to me as she was doing a closet cleaning. I don’t wear that bag often as it’s not really my style. But I can’t give it up either because it’s Chanel!
THE TABOO TOPICS
Do you feel like your style changes people’s perceptions of you or how you’re treated?Yes, I do. Here in Dallas, we have a thing called $30K Millionaires, people run around putting themselves in debt to show a lifestyle they want, but can’t afford. I’m not the type to play pretend just to flaunt what I wish I had. It’s important to me to work hard to succeed. I don’t want it handed to me a silver platter nor do I want to fake it. I try to own the fact that I’m not making bank (yet) so I wear what’s within my budget. However, I love challenging myself to style expensive looks because when I wear my best, I just feel better. Call me shallow, but my confidence is boosted when I wear/use anything designer. Maybe it’s because I finally understand how fast fashion version high-end fashion really feels and looks on my body. But I do notice that people pay attention more when I’m wearing a high-dollar outfit or rocking an expensive piece.
Have you ever purchased a counterfeit because you couldn’t afford a designer item?No and I don’t think I ever could. It’s not from a “snobby” standpoint, but from an ethical point of view. I just can’t support money laundering, trafficking, illegal business practices and adding to our landfills. Moreover, the fashion nerd in me is all about craftmanship and the story of how long it takes for a piece to be constructed from beginning to end.
Do you ever hide purchases from your significant other?I don’t have a significant other (yet), but no, I wouldn’t. I’d like for him to buy what makes him happy (i.e. video games, cars, clothes, etc.) and for me to have the same freedom. However, it’s important to me that he knows that I don’t want material things to rule our lives. Spending money on charities and experiences to make memories is money better spent.
Do you think your shopping is ever a problem? Have you ever felt like you were struggling with a shopping addiction?When I was in college, yes. I went through a period where I spent all of my paychecks on Forever 21 and Old Navy. Did I know I had an addiction at the time? No. When I look back, I cringe at the thought that I could’ve saved up for a nice designer bag or shoes that I can still use to this day. Oh well. Lesson learned. On a positive note, my spending habits have changed drastically after watching an Insta-blogger for several years spend all of her time shopping. Her addiction to shopping helped me cut wayyy back on my spending. I now think twice, twice over when it comes to my purchases. She’s the reason why I stopped shopping high fashion and moved on to mid-tier designers and brands like Club Monaco.
Shopping high-end fashion can teach you how to spend your money more wisely and that less is more.I really do believe wearing designer outfits does two things: 1) you learn about quality versus quantity and 2) it helps us own our identities. And there’s nothing wrong with that. To me, fashion is all about having confidence in your personal style. And when you have that kind of confidence, you feel good about yourself and attract people you want to be around. Since I’m a fan of the arts and am not a talented musician or artist, I see high-end fashion as my kind of art to inspire others. It’s a form of expressing oneself.
SHOP THE POST
Black Dress (super old; similar LBD, love this casual black dress) | Zara Leopard Coat (old) | Rose Gold Watch c/o MVMT | Michael Kors Selma Mini Crossbody bag c/o Clotheshorse Anonymous (still current, comes in 6 fall colors) | Jeffrey Campbell Pearl Booties (this season’s) | Rose Gold Filigree Earrings | Tom Ford Cat Eye Sunglasses | Matte Lipstick in Sell Out