One of Marie Kondo’s (from the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying) lessons is that if you feel any guilt about letting go of a particular item, you should hold it in your hands and say ‘thank you’. If it was a waste of money, then simply accept it as a lesson learnt and move on without guilt or remorse.
Bag buying is an expensive business, especially if you are prone to changing your mind a lot or are easily swayed by new trends. Over the years, I have bought and sold many bags and whilst it appears that it did take a little while for some lessons to be fully learnt, I truly feel like I have a better idea of what my style is and what my handbag-needs are.
I’ve been wanting to cover this topic in a video for the longest time but rather than make the video an hour long, I thought I would discuss here what I consider to be some of my key lessons learnt. I touch upon these briefly in the video but below I flesh the points out a little more:
1. Buy for your actual life, not your dream life
This is such an obvious point that it’s a wonder it took me so long to realise. I have bought so many bags that I dreamed about wearing, in very specific outfits to very specific occasions. The flaw in all of this dreaming was that I didn’t have that particular lifestyle and so these bags, once acquired, just sat on the shelf waiting for this alternative Amie-life to happen. I have now come to terms with the fact that teeny-tiny bags and glamorous top-handle bags are absolutely, 100% not useful for me and do not fit in with my current lifestyle. At all.
2. Buy things that will get use, not just what will look pretty
Again, this should be an obvious one and yet…. Let’s face it – mini bags with quirky designs are considerably cuter than big ol’ shopper totes which probably accounts for the number of cute little mini bags in my collection (despite the fact that at least 5 days out of 7 require humongous tote bags to schlep all my stuff around).
I’ve sometimes gone to the extreme with this, buying bags that are not only very small, but also very impractical. Now, if I do consider mini/ delicate/ otherwise impractical bags, I try to really make myself justify it and picture how I’m going to wear it. If I can’t think of at least 5 different outfits, it doesn’t get the go ahead.
3. Only buy items which you can afford to replace
I’m in two minds about this rule. On the one hand, I completely believe in saving up and buying one investment bag as opposed to wasting money on a bunch of high-streets bags that you don’t love. And even if that takes you 3 years, I do think it’s worth it. That said, I also know myself and I know that if a particular item is so expensive that I can’t replace it, I’m not going to want to wear it for fear of damage.
This is a big reason why I don’t own any high-end luggage – there is no way I could/ would replace a LV carry-all for over £1K and so as a result, I can’t buy it. Knowing that I’m able and fully willing to replace an item should it get damaged gives me a certain sense of freedom and allows me to stress a lot less. If that means that certain items are out of my reach, then so be it – I’d much rather enjoy what I can comfortably afford without fear!
4.Think carefully about colour and what you actually wear on a daily basis
In my head, red is the perfect colour for me. I’m always drawn to the shade and I love the way it livens anything up. In reality, I find red really difficult to pair even as a pop of colour and as a result, my beloved red bags don’t get a whole lot of use. That isn’t to say that I don’t love them but if I were to do it again, I *might* reconsider going for my red Chanel jumbo for example. I am much more mindful of what colours I buy now as I find this really can make or break a bag for me.
5. Think about cost per wear
I find it incredibly odd that often my cheapest items are the ones that get worn the most. This rule stands for clothing but also extends to bags and accessories: my work totes such as my LV Neverfull, Tory Burch Perry and Longchamp Le Pliage are amongst the cheapest bags in my collection but because of my lifestyle, are my most frequently used bags.
Conversely, I have Chanel flaps which cost more than all three put together which have only been used a handful of times. Sure, it’s nice to have special occasion bags but honestly? I probably have enough of these to see me a lifetime. Sometimes, it’s impossible to know how much you’ll use something until you own it but I do try and apply what I’ve learnt from past bag purchases to new ones. If anything, it makes me more mindful – which is always a good thing!
If you would like to watch the video, you can do so here:
As always, thank you so much for reading! If you have any bag-buying life lessons, please share below! I would love to read them 🙂