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Shop Like A Winner: A Guide On How To Afford OTT Luxury Items From Designer Brands

Shop Like A Winner: A Guide On How To Afford OTT Luxury Items From Designer Brands

The question of ‘do I need it or do I not’  gets about a million times tougher when the fashion item at hand is one that you may have to break your bank for. What is it, you ask? A luxury item, of course. Coming to terms with the truth, even a new designer brand or luxury item may cost you a lot more than you would want to indulge in. And while the compulsive streak in you forces you to shop no matter what, saving a little for a rainy day is also essential. Without further ado, we take you through a lesson in affording luxury items and designer brands that have been on your wishlist for quite a while now, but cost too much for you to take any further action. Read through the basics, the essential tips on saving for these coveted products, be it apparel or fashion accessories, and a brief guide to shopping wisely. Thank us when you have that Louis Vuitton bag as arm candy!


Image source: Instagram

Tips On How To Afford Luxury Items

Habits To Help You Save Money

Designer Brands For A Lesser Price

Things To Avoid While Looking For Luxury Items

Buying At Discounts

Smart Shopping Tips

What Are Luxury Items

Fashion enthusiasts are now privy to several overseas brands. With a multitude of designer brands taking over the system and fast fashion making its mark on the millennials, how does one differentiate between luxury designer brands and ones that aren’t? To put it simply, luxury brands are the ones that have been around for quite some time now and have a certain sense of status attached to their names. These have also been established and well-known before we had the knowledge of trend cycles and design processes. Needless to say, they have a recall value too. Think a Chanel logo or the ultra-popular Louis Vuitton mark we are now so familiar with. Would you ever fail to identify any of these if you come across them? We don’t think so. With a surge in Instagram usage and availability on the internet like never before, more and more niche luxury brands have become known in the fashion circles.

Saving For Luxury Items & Designer Brands

The main problem that one encounters with respect to shopping luxury items is not what to shop, but how to save for it. Not all of us can just walk into a store and shop a luxury item without a care in the world, and that’s all right, for you can always save for shopping your favourite designer brand and indulge in some delayed gratification! It may not be as easy as it sounds but if you put your heart to it, anything is possible. On most counts, designer brands and luxury items come with a certain price tag that affirms their unique identity and prestigious stature. Which is why more often than not, you could be on the waitlist for a luxury item for months before you get the chance to shop for it or receive it. The practice is not entirely new to the fashion circles. Did you know that Cristobal Balenciaga opened the doors to his stores only for a select few clients and did not entertain window shopping? Even then, the practice did not deter his prospective clients from shopping, leading to huge demands for his remarkable silhouettes and genius designs. On the positive side to the waitlists, it gives you more time to plan and save before indulging in shopping for your preferred designer brand. If you are concerned about how to start saving, we have the perfect solution for you. Read through our list of dos, don’ts, tips and long term habits which will help you save for your dream luxury item.


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Tips On How To Afford Luxury Items

“I like my money right where I can see it: hanging in my closet “, proclaimed a sassy Carrie Bradshaw to her friends in Sex and the City, and instantly inspired an entire generation of women who related to her sentiment. If you are of the opinion that a certain coat from Phoebe Philo’s time at Céline (now Celine helmed by Hedi Slimane) would look at home in your closet, go get it girl, and here’s how!

Pick Quality Over Quantity

When looking forward to owning a luxury item, be it apparel or an accessory, it’s important that you choose quality over quantity. One cannot have too many designer bags or shoes, you may debate, but remember that one product of value will be much profitable in the long run than a clutter of items you might not even be sure about using in the near future. Shopping for one product at a time before moving on to the next will help you take into account your expenses and give you ample time to build your savings.

Mix And Match

We have all read time and again of the pros of mixing and matching high-end and fast-fashion buys, but it’s time you put the learning to practice. Wear your Prada top with your favourite ripped denim from H&M, team your basic tee and trousers with a tailored blazer from Alexander McQueen, or pair your graphic tee from Gucci with a pair of thrifted shorts to take your style up by a notch.

Assess Your Want

The longing for luxury items and designer brands comes from a place of want, rather than need. But before you splurge on an Erdem dress, ask yourself whether you really like and want it or are simply craving for it because your colleague just bagged it a few days back. Worst case scenario could mean you spending tons on a dress that isn’t really something you like, so tread carefully before delving in.

Avoid Going Overboard

Ever entered a store and felt the need to just shop everything that catches your eye? We have all been there, sometimes experiencing it for ourselves and at other times keeping a check on that one shopaholic friend, and whilst it is a practice that may work just fine while shopping for fast fashion looks, you cannot afford to go overboard while looking for luxury items or shopping from designer brands. Know for certain what you wish for, and keep your eyes on the prize. Like Vivienne Westwood once said, “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.”

Ask For Help From Friends In Fashion

If you think about it, a friend (or maybe a friend of a friend) who works in the fashion industry could help you pick a luxury item of your choice. Considering you are extremely lucky, your friend could even help you score a discount (fingers crossed!) but even if that isn’t the case, a bit of first-hand information from an expert in the field could be of major help.


Image source: Instagram

Habits To Help You Save For Luxury Items

Everything in life requires a bit of time and patience. Consider the iconic Coco Chanel, who worked tirelessly as a stage artist before becoming a well-known milliner in Paris. And the rest, as they say, is history. Similarly, owning a luxury good may sometimes seem like an unattainable pursuit, but small habits can help you reach there in good time.

Invest Your Money

From a Public Provident Fund (PPF) to a Monthly Income Scheme (MIS), there are many low-risk investments you can put your money into. Not only is the interest great, but you could also use the money you receive from your long-term investments in numerous pursuits, getting your hands on a luxury item being one. Read more about such low-risk investments here.

Do Your Research

It’s always a better choice to do your research rather than ending up not knowing anything about the subject of shopping for luxury items. If you are already adept at picking out luxury fashion apparel and accessories, go right ahead but if not, get the hold of that one friend who shops vintage from London and retail from Dubai like a pro, or that colleague who secretly knows of all the good offers out there. You could also read to know about everything on the subject, ranging from information about the designer brand you plan to shop from to its market value.

Balance Your Expenses

Splurging on fashion is fine (we are all guilty of having too many pairs of shoes), but isn’t it better if you balance it by cutting down somewhere? If you look closely, there’s always some expense that you could let go of for a certain amount of time to balance your heavy expenses. Make dinner at home rather than ordering takeout every day (it’s super healthy), do your own laundry or cut down in some other department where you are currently spending the big bucks. Not only will these practices help you become more independent, but you could also create a fine balance and shop guilt-free.

Make A Budget

A monthly or a quarterly budget never hurt anyone, so why not make one for yourself! Get a planner to chart down and track your expenses, give yourself a budget and try to spend within its limits for a decided amount of time. You will see a hike in your savings that could help you buy the luxury item of your choice without a care in the world.

Take On Projects Or Freelance Work

Before Giorgio Armani took over the fashion world with his seamless tailoring and fit, he had to make the shift from the field of medicine to follow his passion. Nevertheless, the Italian designer started at a department store, followed by a job under designer Nino Cerruti and freelanced for several fashion houses. And that leaves us with an important lesson: If you are fortunate enough to have ample amount of free time in your schedule, make it count by taking up freelance projects which might help you make an extra buck or two. Once your savings rise, all thanks to your paid gig, you could bag luxury items from designer brands without having to go through much trouble. Moreover, you could convert a hobby like sketching or creative writing into your project, giving you a chance to do what you love while making money.

Buying From Designer Brands For A Lesser Price

Online shopping for luxury items or shopping from multi-brand outlets that stock a vivid range of fashion items from designer brands isn’t an entirely new practice. Remember that colleague who has 30 tabs open at a time, scouting for products? It’s a process that will save you time as well as money,  and who knows, you may find what you want in the sale section of a website! Here are few you could browse through for a seamless digital experience in luxury shopping.


Founded in 2007 by José Neves, this online platform allows you to shop products from over 700 designer brands and boutiques. From Valentino and Alexander McQueen to Givenchy and Miu Miu, there are a plethora of options to choose from.


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Net A Porter

Whatever luxury item it is that you need, chances are you will encounter it on Net-A-Porter. Founded in 2000 by Natalie Massenet, who previously worked with Tatler and Women’s Wear Daily, this e-commerce website is the go-to for anyone who wants to shop luxury items.


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Discover fashion accessories, apparel, and everything you can think of as you enter the online platform that is Mytheresa. Be it a sale on designer brands or the newest arrivals, you will find it all.


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Shopping Mistakes To Avoid While Looking For Luxury Items

While out there looking for the perfect shoe, luxury watch, bag or apparel from our favourite designer brand, there are certain mistakes that we fall prey to. Before you come back home with pants that refuse to zip and shirts that look too oversized once worn, here’s taking a look at the shopping mistakes to avoid while looking for luxury items and designer brands:

Rushed Buying

No one is going to benefit from you rushing into buying a luxury item, but you will be the only person regretting your decision in a couple of days. Most of us are guilty of making this mistake while shopping in general, but it’s one error to strictly stay away from while indulging in luxury shopping. Take your time to make your decisions, and be sure of what your heart really desires before jumping into it.

Brand Name Value

You may like a certain top that has been on your wishlist for the longest time, but another one from a more esteemed brand could be making it difficult for you to decide. Before you go after the brand value of a designer brand and buy something that you don’t like too much, remember that a brand name is of no use if you can’t wear what you shop comfortably. Vera Wang once said, “A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes.” (We agree wholeheartedly.) Opt for the designer brand you like, instead of falling prey to brand names that you are really not sure about.

Investing In Fads

Contrary to trends, fashion fads are short term consumer behaviours which catch on real quick and are gone before you can know anything about them. Trends, on the other hands, have a larger span and fashion cycle and may even cause a drastic change in dressing, going on to establish themselves as classics. Coming to fads, cargo pants, visors and fedoras are some examples of extremely short-lived fashion fads in the past. In case you are eyeing something that has just entered the market, it’s better to wait and watch if it’s fashionable enough for you to splurge all your savings on it.

Buying From Non-Reliable Sources

Designer brands sometimes find appreciation in areas which could be troublesome for you. With the market filled with imitations (we are looking at you, fake Michael Kors handbags) you need to make sure that you purchase from a reliable source, as opposed to a seller who might be covertly dealing in counterfeits. Buy directly from the designer brand’s flagship store, their online portal, or an established multi-brand outlet or e-commerce website.

Buying A Wrong Fit

Skipping the trial room may seem like an enticing idea at one point of time, but it could turn out to be a terrible decision. A wrong fit in apparel is just going to cost you loads of money, while it ends up sitting on your closet since you cannot wear it anyway. Try whatever you buy – from an outerwear to a basic tee of choice – to check its fit and tailoring. You will be grateful for doing so once you are back home.

Missing Care Instructions

Ever seen the care instructions label as closely as the price tag? They might not seem very important when you are looking at the luxury item you have longed to buy for the longest time, but reading the care instructions will give you a heads up on what your precious buy really is. Read thoroughly to know details you might not be aware of and follow them to a T once you possess the said luxury item.


Image source: Instagram

Buying At Discounts, Sales and Vintage Shopping

1. Make your purchase at the right time. In some cases, waiting for a while might lead you to a more reasonable price for the same product.

2. Be on the lookout for sale at online platforms. Subscribing to their newsletter will give you the required information at the earliest. Go on, ask the colleague who knows everything!

3. Designer brands too, have a specific sale season, which is usually two times a year. Visit the store during this time to get your hands on the product you desire.

4. Vintage shops sometimes have the best statement pieces, some of them dating back a long time ago. In case vintage luxury is your thing, pay a visit to such stores.


Image source: Instagram

Smart Shopping Tips

Observe Before Buying

It can’t be emphasized upon enough number of times how important it is to observe, learn and know as much as possible before making the purchase from a designer brand for a luxury item. Take your time, read and discuss with friends before taking the plunge.

Think Twice Before Buying

When the apparel or accessory in question is a luxury item, it’s best to think two times before handing over your credit card at the counter. Clear your doubts, ask questions and know why it is important to you.

Make A List

Your mum has said it a million times (so has mine and everyone else’s): Make a list. If you are out shopping for a number of miniature luxury items or even just one within your budget, it’s best to make a list of its pros and cons in order to remember why you liked it in the first place. Not only this, it’s a sure shot way of not going astray towards other products that you may not want in the long run.

Get A Shopping Partner

A shopping partner could be anyone, your mom, your best friend, your sister or just about anyone you are comfortable with. The benefit of having one? An unhindered opinion from them will tell you exactly what you might need.

Figure Out Multiple Deals

Imagine walking into a store but finding out that the luxury item you want is available for a value that is much, much higher. To avoid such last-minute hassles, it’s best to figure out multiple deals- both online and offline- to make your shopping a fuss-free experience, while giving you the most reasonable price possible.

All set to shop for the luxury item on your wishlist then?

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18 Jan 2019

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