… you decide.

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When it comes to splurging on a designer piece, I personally don’t have the money to be shelling out hundreds and hundreds of pounds on designer pieces.

Every season more and more designer pieces that I want  need are added to my unrealistic ‘WISH LIST’ – oh a girl can dream. But for now I have to restrain myself. Ever since I’ve been old enough to even dream of owning something from Saint Laurent or Gucci I’ve wanted to build up a timeless collection of iconic staple designer pieces, but I had to start small.

I began by investing in the more less expensive but still well-made pieces that could be worn daily. That way I knew I wouldn’t be wasting my money on pieces that wouldn’t get a lot of use.

I have attempted to justify which designer pieces (I think) are worth the extra price tag…

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A purse is something that gets a lot of use, and I wanted a very specific shape and size – big enough to hold cards, cash and coins, but not the size of a card holder or rectangle wallet. I had been looking for a leather good with this grain of leather because I knew it would wear the best and being black it would be reluctant to showing signs of wear. I knew Prada and Louis Vuitton made small leather goods in this type of leather, and I preferred Prada’s designs. I can safely say that after 2 years of good use it still looks basically brand new, except the inside gold-print ‘Prada’ sign has worn away slightly but only because that section of the purse is where I keep my coins and so I knew this would scratch the leather. I really recommend a small coin purse or card holder to be a first designer investment because they’re never crazy-priced and if you do your research on what leather wears best it will last you a life-time.

Next up, that smiley-face silver bag – I had been lusting over Anya Hindmarch’s Smiley Collection as soon as they came out. This was a christmas present and I was absolutely shocked to open the box to a shiny new smiley bag. It’s been my go-to bag for every occasion – town trips, London dinners and even airports. The size just about fits everything I need in a bag. I hate lugging round big bags because if I did have lots of room to fill, I would just end up chucking in a load of useless rubbish. With a bag this size I really condense what I need. I was debating which colour I would get, but I love my metallics. The silver adds an accent of sparkle and the fun design livens up any outfit. Unfortunately the silver has worn away a bit at the corners and thethreading has broken slightly around the tassle, and I thought that would happen because you pull the tassle to open and close the bag, and being silver-painted leather the colour would inevitably wear over time.

This next piece has more of a sentimental value to it. I had been earning some extra money via a part-time job and I wanted to use the money to buy something that would remind of all that time and effort. I initially wanted the bracelet form of this YSL necklace and it was sold out everywhere, but according to YSL’s website a store in London had only one left in stock. As soon as I earned enough money for the bracelet I raced up to Sloane Street, hoping I would come out the marble-gold shop with bracelet in hand. To my extreme disappoint they no longer had the bracelet in stock, but luckily the lovely sales person said she had necklace in a very similar style. I was in luck because I never would have bought the necklace if I didn’t try it on in store because online the chain looked a lot longer than it actually was and that’s what put me off buying it. I was so happy with how it looked because the iconic YSL logo loops through a hook to make a sort of adjustable necklace. I love it because I can adjust it to be a choker with the ‘YSL’ hanging like a pendant or I can pull the chain so that the YSL sits in the middle of the chain like a normal necklace. The lady in the shop also showed me a way I could double-up the chain and clip it in a way that it would fit my wrist – it was a win win.

I could say the Gucci belt was an impulse buy because I didn’t go to Bisceter Designer Outlet in search for this specific belt. However, I fell in love with Gucci’s previous summer collection that used bamboo details, and I never knew they did a belt with the bamboo detail. I had been eyeing up the GG Gucci belt, but so many people had it that I was kind of put off it. When I saw this I was immediately in awe of the unusual bamboo detail, and I loved the width of the black leather band. I have to say that out of all my designer purchases – this being the most recent one too – it hasn’t worn that well. The bamboo part has left scratch marks from where you pull the black leather band through the belt loop, which is annoying because I can’t exactly prevent this unless I don’t wear it!

I’m not going to say I buy these pieces because they are ‘SO pretty’ and ‘OMG designer label’, but it’s important for me to be investing in pieces I really see myself still wearing to death in years to come, and also knowing the heritage and respecting the designers of the brand. Quality over quantity – I would rather spend more on something I know will last me longer than buying poorly made cheap pieces that will fall apart. Seeing the piece you’re about to spend a fair amount of money on in the flesh is also really important.

I keep all the cards of authentication and receipts in a separate box just in case I do end up re-selling the item or I want to take it back for future faults etc. Nevertheless, I do love a good designer dupe, they’re hard to find but once you do you won’t regret the money you save. Dupes are great for more unusual one-hit-wonder pieces you know won’t be in fashion for long.

Jemima Plume Xx

P.S. my top is from Brandy Melville.

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