These days there are so many ways for you to fill your closet. Whether you’re dropping off at a consignment shop, browsing the internet, or walking into a luxury boutique, the opportunities to shop are endless. So what are the best ways? In today’s post I’m breaking down all of the options and my thoughts on each.
Last Fall I signed up for the Rent the Runway Unlimited package. We had just returned from Europe and I knew I was going to be on a budget for the next few months (especially with the holidays around the corner). That being said we had a number of social engagements coming up in addition to my blog and social media posts and I wasn’t sure how I was going to swing a refresh. Then a friend suggested RTR and after a month I fell in love. As with anything there are pluses and minuses: I loved the idea that I could try something out and wear it with no strings attached. Even better was the fast that I could purchase the item at a discount if I loved it (I actually purchased the See By Chloe handbag seen pictured). Negatives - the only way to make this worthwhile for me was via the unlimited package which wasn’t inexpensive. I ended up stopping because I felt pressured to wear, send back, and pick again, “get my money’s worth” so to speak. However I would absolutely use the service again and I think its a great way to refresh your look for a period without breaking the bank!
Before The Girl Guide I shopped a little differently. The majority of my closet was made up of investment pieces especially when it came to accessories. I get asked a lot about the two bags I shoot with most often: My Chloe mini Marcie in light blush and my Chanel Wallet on Chain in black. I purchased the Chanel over 10 years ago and the Chloe was a Christmas gift from my parents a little over three years ago. I’ve never regretted either of them and even though they may not be the newest styles out there, I still wear them because I LOVE them. I guess thats really the theme of today’s post, no matter how you choose to create your wardrobe, love what you buy. For big purchases I always suggest a minimum of the 3 month rule - if you still love it, go for it! I waited for a year before I purchased these sandals and 7 years before I purchased the Cartier Love bracelet.
There has been a lot of talk about '“Fast Fashion” in the last year. The term, which refers to inexpensive clothing rapidly created by large retailers in response to current trends, has had a negative connotation. Critics suggest that it is creating a shopping environment that promotes excess and that although one saves money on an individual piece, in the long run you are actually spending more. I agree with part of that statement - if you fill your closet with only Zara, H&M, ASOS, etc. and purchase every season you will end up with far too much and no place to house it or eventually sell it. After much thought on the subject and discussion with clients I look at it differently now. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for many luxury retailers) many of these large retailers have become insanely good at creating the look “for less”. The sweater below purchased at Zara (which I have worn countless times, is machine washable, and still in great shape) is almost identical to a style I fell in love with for $1,750. Had it not been for the $49 sweater I would never have been able to create this look that I love! So there you have it - if you LOVE it, buy it! Just be aware that multiple inexpensive items can also add up to a larger price tag!
THE GENTLY USED
I actually really love this one. I can’t say I’ve purchased a ton of “second-hand” but I can almost guarantee that my next luxury handbag purchase will be from The Real Real or Fashionphile. I’m currently looking for an ivory with gold hardware Celine Box Bag and while I’m not willing to pay the 5k price tag, I would splurge on the same style gently worn for less than half the price. I’ve helped multiple clients purchase luxury for less this way and the result has always been positive. Note: make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company willing to stand behind authenticity and refund you if there is an issue.