The paragraphs below provide a few ideas to help you judge whether something is really the best designer handbag deal or just some smart smoozer just trying to get rid of old stock on sale. Lots of people speak of “designer” and “deal” but what does that mean for you?
Who decides what’s “best”?
Well you do. Best for me, you, my mum and the woman down the street are all different and you know what – it doesn’t matter. We could get all analytical and talk about material quality, manufacturing standard, does it do what you want it to do and relative price. Yes all those things in combinations and in various proportions could come together to determine right here, right now what is the best designer handbag. (taa daa!)
But let’s take a slightly different and more subjective approach…..
- Is this bag cool?
- Does it make you smile?
- Will you friends ask where you got it – and not be able to get one for themselves
- Does it meet your basic standards for size, quality and price?
If the answer to more than two of those questions is “absolutely!” then right here, right now for YOU it could be the best.
Does “Designer” actually mean “name”?
Well partially. Clearly the major fashion names have become major by consistently producing quality designs and bags which your peers i.e. every person who’s ever owned and used a handbag, have judged to be a cut above the rest. Not average. Better and worthy of the accolade “designer”. So this means that if you’re considering the top names like Gucci, Hermes, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, Louis Vuitton among others, you can expect them, in general, to have the attributes and subjective benefits of being “designer”.
You will note that I said “in general”. All brands are made up of a series of individual designs and products. The name brands trade on their name especially in terms of the prices they ask for. Be critical. Assess whether this individual product is really designer and worth the money being asked. Often the answer will be an unqualified “yes” but sometimes you may not be so sure.
We prefer to think of “designer” more in terms of the quality of the design itself. So for us to include something as a best designer handbag it’s probably more about it being clever, made of sustainable or unique materials or having an appealing combination of texture and color. None of these things are the sole provenance of the established names. Handbags are a competitive business so to get established new comers needs to have a point of difference, an innovation or even a better design. For us, these are the things that make a bag “designer” and worthy of your consideration and even your money.
What’s a handbag anyway?
Way back when the answer to this question was a sack probably with handles. In the modern world we are faced with a huge variety of stuff we need to carry round. To the staples of makeup, tissues and a purse we now include cell phones, tablets or lap tops, keys, kids stuff and the general detritus of busy lives. As well as being held in the hand, lugging all that weight now often means a shoulder or even a back comes into play. Increasingly this is not simply a female issue with modern men adopting the genre taking up man bags, shoulder bags and the like.
So our sack with handles has needed to develop. No longer is it sufficient to have a handbag. The handbag has become a collection of fashion accessories suited to the lifestyle and activities of the modern moment. Even the basic work and around town handbag and purse combination come in a bewildering range of styles – tote, shoulder, cross body, round, clutch, belt and even backpack. Then there are the special purpose varieties:
- gym or sports bags
- beach / swimming
- sustainably made
- baby, toddler and children’s bags
- vegan bags
- special event – cocktail, evening or bridal
- basket bags
- groucery shopping
- canvas tote bags
- make up – short term and travelling
- cabin bags and weekenders
Fortunately industry has come to the party with a range of handbags and purses to suit every requirement. The only real issue is that we still only have two arms, two shoulders and a back to carry them all.
Deal or just junk on sale.
The key determinate of whether something is a deal or not comes down to value. That’s not value in the academic sense but value to you. Value is a relative measure and, at least partly, it depends on your personal circumstances. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to regularly spend several thousand dollars on a new handbag then finding something for $1,500 could be a deal. For others considering the same $1,500 bag, it would be outrageously expensive.
I can tell you want’s not a “deal” and that’s simply “cheap”. For a deal to be a deal, the handbag has to meet the basic criteria we talked about earlier then do it at a price that is better than the norm. Putting it another way, if money were no object and, putting price completely aside, you would buy a bag for say $500 because that represented fair value then anything less than that is a “deal”. The greater the amount below 500 then the better the deal. The lowest you can find is the best deal.
Often the best deals come at the end of a season or product run. The quality is still there but to make room for the new range suppliers and manufacturers often provide some significant price reductions. So, as long as the bag meets your functional, quality and aesthetic requirements, then this could be the best deal for you. Remember the biggest enemy of the “deal” is the desire to have the next new shinny thing. Next seasons items will always be fully priced – even when on special !! If you’re looking for the best deal then accept that you may be a season behind – live with it.
Often manufacturers will produce a set of matching items. These frequently provide very good value for money and who doesn’t like matching sets of things anyway.
It’s really about you….
So that’s a quick trawl around my thoughts on what constitutes the best designer handbag deals out there and how that relates to you. I haven’t touched on specifics or how you find them but I’ll share some tips in future articles, through specific product reviews and in our periodic newsletters. I’d welcome any feedback and thoughts you have so please leave a comment below and feel free to share this through the social media links on the page.
Ultimately this is all about you and how you feel. Whether you have some urgent and practical need for a new bag, just see something that appeals or simply want the lift in spirits that comes with a cool new purchase, it doesn’t really matter. The hedonist in me says if it feels right, you can afford it and you’re not hurting anyone …. as Nike says “Just Do It”.