When I first started buying luxury goods, I was young and had NO idea what my personal style was or even what I liked. I bought what I saw everyone else had and what had been marketed to me as the ultimate symbol of luxury — a monogram Louis Vuitton handbag.
I remember how proud I was walking out of the LV boutique in Las Vegas with that bag thinking I had really and truly “made it” and I had an outward symbol of my hard work and success. What a mistake — and unfortunately, not my last buyer’s remorse experience.
Why was buying that bag a mistake? Well, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a Louis Vuitton monogram purse. My mistake was in just following the herd, rather than taking time to discover my own preferences and buy something that was more “me.” I realized pretty quickly that I don’t actually like labels and my personal style is more low-key and understated. Carrying that bag made me uncomfortable and I ended up using it rarely. I just recently sold that bag and I was pretty sentimental about it since it was my first luxury buy and I had a strong memory associated with it, but it had almost never been used. What’s my most used purse, you may be wondering? The Gucci Ophidia large top handle (similar one here). It has a small Gucci signature stripe and the little interlocking GG, but it’s pretty subtle and simple.
I wish I could say that was my only fashion regret. But sadly, I recently did the exact same thing!! Hopefully I learned my lesson this time.
Last year, I decided to buy the Christian Dior large monogram book tote that literally every influencer and celebrity is carrying when they travel. I had seen it ALL over social media and it seemed to be the symbol of a chic, well-traveled lady, which I feel like basically describes me. I didn’t go look at them first or do any research, I just made a purchase entirely based off a trend. And yeah, you can guess, I rarely if ever use this bag. It’s just not very practical — it’s stiff and doesn’t close at the top, so if you need to go through airport security, everything just spills out. Same thing if it tips over. And it doesn’t sit that well on top of a suitcase, plus the handles are fixed and short so it’s hard to roll a suitcase with it on top. I like a more practical bag, like my YSL super large bucket bag that closes at the top with a drawstring.
And my regrets are not limited to handbags; I’ve been swayed by enthusiastic salespeople to buy clothes that I KNEW in the fitting room didn’t suit me. Just last year, I bought a very expensive black tweed and white lace dress from Chanel that is made to look like a two piece set, but is really all one piece. It’s very elegant and chic, but here’s the issue — I know my body and everything I buy has to be tailored and brought in at the waist.
I’m a classic hourglass with 10 inches difference between my chest and waist. I’m a Marilyn, not a Jackie O. Tailoring is my friend. And this dress has a waistline made of delicate sheer lace which the tailor said could not be messed with. So the dress just didn’t fit my body well and I didn’t feel comfortable in it. I knew that in the dressing room, but the sales girl kept telling me how great I looked and how exclusive this dress was, it was the only one on the West Coast, blah blah blah. I bought it well over a year ago and have worn it once. Total waste of money and total buyer’s remorse, because I just don’t feel comfortable in it.
So what’s my advice if you’re starting your luxury journey and don’t want to make a pricey mistake? Do your research, and look at ALL the options in your price range. Don’t let the media or trends dictate what you like — trust your preferences and your gut. If you love something and can’t stop thinking about it, then go for it. But if you’re not sure in the store or in the fitting room, you’ll feel even less certain at home. Let your personal style come together organically, don’t try to look like anyone else. And of course, be comfortable in your own skin and with your own style — you don’t need to follow trends or conform to anyone’s expectations. You are the person who knows you best.
Which fashion purchases have given you serious buyer’s remorse? What have you learned in the process? Let us know in the comments!
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