Is Luxury Pretty Much Over for You, Too?

nycmamaofone

Member
Jul 26, 2013
3,537
7,662
Hi, fellow New Yorker here. I waver between quitting luxury and being obsessed with it, but it’s a hard habit to break as I’ve been like this for over twenty years. I have barely worn my luxury bags and have generally gravitated towards contemporary designers since the quality is just as good if not better for a fraction of the cost, and it is safer to carry those. I feel like I’m almost done with luxury bags and have considered downsizing too, but my problem is I worry I will regret it since I have no interest in repurchasing bags I’ve sold. (I’m the type to just deal with it; I won’t ever repurchase it.) My current obsession is with fine jewelry since to me it gives me more pleasure than bags now. I also wonder when I will fully get off the luxury bandwagon.
 

poleneinblack

Member
Mar 16, 2022
648
1,620
I just started my luxury/handbag journey and so far I've stuck with contemporary brands, particularly Polene. I think that's good enough for me. There are a lot of other priorities in life I need to account for, and handbags are ultimately a utilitarian investment. If I can't use it, there's no point getting it. I recently took my mother handbag shopping and she didn't buy anything either. We just don't feel comfortable spending that kind of money and using handbags that cost that much regularly.

Another thing is how social media has made luxury handbags more commonplace and much more recognizable, and I'm not into that. I would prefer to not get that kind of attention, and it's nice to have something good quality but not a lot of people have.
 

rose60610

O.G.
Mar 8, 2011
3,182
24,009
How do we define "luxury"? Overt luxury logos vs under the radar luxury? There's identifiable designer items like bags and many clothes/jewelry/accessories that one wears when out and about, then there's luxury items for the home. During my career in the investment field I'd see people dripping in designer labels that were leveraged to the eyeballs then see people who looked very "plain" who were extremely wealthy. If we just look at bags, then I'll say I've cut down on new purchases only because I'm content for the most part on what I already have. As for selling off things, I'm willing to part with a few things but not to the point of gutting my closet. I admire those who have relatively fewer but high end clothes etc but wear them a lot vs those with tons of clothes that don't get worn.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
Great post, rose60610. Appearance vs. reality. Some people are literally wearing and/or carrying their credit card debt.

I've just reread my original post, and have an update. The Chanel Metallic Silver (Chanel calls this color Ruthenium) I mentioned as being on the way to me is a keeper. I've been busy these past few weeks!

I've been clothes shopping, no longer wanting to spend my days in sweats or other comfy/frumpy clothes. Yesterday, I removed everything from my closet and replaced only what I feel I will wear. Gone are the "not today" garments I thought I'd wear someday but never do. The result is a closet where the hangers move with ease and everything in it fits both me and my lifestyle.

Recently, I tackled jewelry and am now left with pieces I feel comfortable wearing on a typical day plus a few pieces for special occasions. During that process I nearly fell down the rabbit hole to buy an important bracelet in partial exchange for all of those goodies. Fortunately, I pulled back when I realized that buying it would be the opposite of what I was trying to do. Hermes Clic Clacs and Tiffany Sterling bracelets are what work well for me these days.

As for designer handbags, that's been a work in progress. I've found it problematic to have too many choices. Instead, carefully curating my collection has made it easier to understand what works best for me and what gaps exist.

So, what survived the past year's purge? Three Hermes bags: a 30cm Hermes Chartreuse Clemence Birkin; a 32cm Black Boxcalf Kelly; and a Black Chevre Cinhetic Clutch. All the Chanels were sold. Yes, all.

And what was added? Two Hermes: a Rouge Grenat Clemence Bolide; and an Anemone (Purple) Clemence Evelyne TPM. Plus three Chanels: a Ruthenium (Pewter) Metallic Lambskin Rectangular Mini; and two SO Black Lambskins: a Jumbo and a Rectangular Mini.

That’s a total of five Hermes and three Chanels. Add to that a perfect Judith Leiber Micro Mini Silver Metallic Crossbody for hands-free cocktails, and these nine bags are what survived the purge.

I'm now seriously considering downsizing even further. The Chanel Black and Pewter Mini Rectangular are keepers, as well as the Hermes Anemone Evelyne TPM and Judith Leiber Micro Mini. Everyone woman needs a clutch so the Cinhetic stays, too. These five are keepers. The jury is out on the other four.

After more than two years of cancelling plans for evenings out, vacations, parties, family celebrations, concerts, operas, plays, movies and dinner out with friends, coupled with the extraordinary and frightening rise of random violence in the New York Metro Area, I find it hard to imagine that the world will ever be the same. Going on as though nothing has changed, feels both foolish and dangerous to me.

MillStream
 

ctsq7

Member
Jun 22, 2022
12
46
I no longer wear a bag, or a watch, or earrings
Even though I never used anything too flashy, I feel safer without
I've redirected the income I set aside for those things into clothes that are more high quality, and artwork for my apartment
I've also had a newfound interest in some accessories which aren't on display, like writing instruments and pocketknives
I do feel like I have less freedom than before, but at the same time it is more physically comfortable when I go to work or out in public
And of course, no more sudden chills down the spine from thinking I accidentally set my bag down and didn't pick it up
 
Jun 24, 2022
81
319
I stopped buying luxury items a few years ago. I gave my luxury handbags to my sister-in-law. Even though I would wear those pieces I do feel that those pieces are a prime target. I would get more attention from people when I would carry those pieces. I am the type of person that doesn't like attention. I always for some reason felt like a fraud. I do not have that same feeling when I carry more contemporary bags. I also do not get the same type of attention. I do still have some of my luxury clothing pieces that are very understated but I still choose not to wear them. Especially since the pandemic. I pretty much live in lounge wear and now everything can be delivered including groceries. I am also questioning how to downsize. I have downsized in the past and I always regretted it and I end up looking for those pieces after I got rid of them. I was thinking this time around just enjoy what I have and not downsize and if it does not get used the pass it on.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
I stopped buying luxury items a few years ago. I gave my luxury handbags to my sister-in-law. Even though I would wear those pieces I do feel that those pieces are a prime target. I would get more attention from people when I would carry those pieces. I am the type of person that doesn't like attention. I always for some reason felt like a fraud. I do not have that same feeling when I carry more contemporary bags. I also do not get the same type of attention. I do still have some of my luxury clothing pieces that are very understated but I still choose not to wear them. Especially since the pandemic. I pretty much live in lounge wear and now everything can be delivered including groceries. I am also questioning how to downsize. I have downsized in the past and I always regretted it and I end up looking for those pieces after I got rid of them. I was thinking this time around just enjoy what I have and not downsize and if it does not get used the pass it on.

Allthingsheart, Seller's Remorse is very real. In the past, I have rebought, too. I literally bought the same bag three times. Number three is still in my closet. Hard to say if will be here same time next year, but can say that I've sold many bags this past year and don't miss any of those.

I think what's different for me now is the desire to embrace the "less is more" way of life, but not exactly minimalist. I downsized from a large home to a nice-sized condo six years ago, and it's been a work in progress to decide what works for me in the retirement phase of my life. This extends way beyond handbags for me. Letting go of most of my more formal clothing has been cathartic. My closet is now filled with clothing I actually wear. I've done the same purge of jewelry, sold a bunch, and find I'm happier with only those pieces that made the cut.

My last thought on your post is that you are the only one who truly knows what works for you. If you prefer to hang onto what you have, enjoy it and leave it to loved ones, that's the answer. If, instead, you'd prefer to turn those items into cash to invest, spend or leave to loved ones, that's the answer. From what you've written, it sounds like you already know the answer.

Millstream
 

purly

"It's been 84 years..."
O.G.
Sep 30, 2006
5,071
554
For me, it started changing around 10 years ago. I moved to an area where people give you funny looks (and not in a good way) if you carry a high end luxury handbag. So I've had to mostly switch to brands like Coach, which is somehow considered acceptable by people. I get away with high end eyeglasses and to some extent shoes provided they're flats. No one seems to wear heels here at all, so it's weird if you do. I was unprepared for what a shock it would be to my wardrobe, or even how casually people dress at weddings here. There was literally no reason for me to keep wearing high end things, so I've largely sold them or put them in the goodwill bag. I switched to things like loafers and Birkenstocks as my everyday footwear. I mostly use a coach bag, Kate Spade, or MK (or even sometimes a Lands End canvas tote, or a Lululemon bag). I kept anything that doesn't immediately scream designer though, since it flies under the radar. I might give Polene a go because it's not so obvious that it's a luxury. People tend to gravitate toward inexpensive trends, such as more hipster-ey or boho clothing here, so even if I want to dress up it looks a little odd in comparison to everyone else. Most people in the city I'm in seem to just wear jeans and t-shirts literally everywhere though. Even in high end steak houses.

The general rule here seems to be no more than one or two designer items, which should be either mid-tier or not obviously designer.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
purly, your post reminds me of what life was life for the few years my husband and I lived in Ann Arbor, MI. Luxury footwear was Mephisto rather than Birkenstock, and luxury clothing was Eileen Fisher. The Prada nylon backpack was the ultimate in handbags.

MillStream
 
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KittyKat65

O.G.
Feb 27, 2007
4,684
2,924
I don't see anyone in Prada nylon bags, though I have seen Eileen Fisher. It's not so bad really.
It's funny you say that. I just got back from a 5 week vacation in Europe and I brought along my Birkin 35, a YSL bag and a Prada nylon crossbody. I literally used the Prada nylon 95% of the time. It was convenient and light and I didn't have to worry about scuffing it or getting it dirty. I took it on rides at Disneyland Paris, hiking down a mountain in Austria and on the beach near Venice. It was perfect :smile:. But, back to the topic, this has pretty much proven to me that I don't need luxury; I just need what works for me in my own closet. I won't be buying any more.
 

lalame

O.G.
Apr 30, 2011
2,508
14,382
Hmm I wouldn't say I'm over luxury items because if I need to buy a purse or jewelry or something I will usually look to a luxury designer first. But I am kinda over luxury as a subject of consumption frenzy and entertainment. Social media has done its work on me over the last few years training me to shop for $5,000 handbags the same way I'd buy new cosmetics to try. That hype urgency and excitement is no longer there. Also, honestly, as my income grows the less I feel luxury has any meaning and so I often question whether the premier price point of a logo is worth it anymore (quality is a different matter though). The aspirational component is no longer there since they are so common now and really what type of aspiration is it to own a luxury item? Baristas these days carry Vuitton and millionaires carry Longchamp! Personal style and comfort is more important.
 

MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
573
Not only do I agree with you about Eileen Fisher, purly, I also wear it. My point about living in Ann Arbor and Eileen Fisher was just that it was considered Designer clothing. No Chanel, Akris, Valentino, Celine, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Balmain, etc. in sight in Ann Arbor. I started wearing Eileen Fisher more than 40 years ago, when she opened her first store in Manhattan, and have been wearing it ever since. That said, I also have and wear what I consider designer clothing.

As for Prada nylon handbags, I never had that iconic backpack. I do, however, have a wonderful Prada Ardesia (Grey) Nylon Quilted Bomber Flap (think Chanel Classic M/L Flap in Nylon) that works both as a shoulder bag and crossbody. I think retail on this was close to $2,000 several years ago, but I was able to get it at 50% off at the Prada Boutique in my local Saks Fifth Avenue. There's one in blue on Fashionphile right now at a great price: https://www.fashionphile.com/p/prada-tessuto-nylon-bomber-flap-chain-shoulder-bag-bluette-977561

MillStream
 
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MillStream

O.G.
May 15, 2006
1,871
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KittyKat65, so smart of you to bring that Prada Nylon Crossbody with you on your European vacation. Your 35 Birkin was probably great for the airplane, but not so much for your every day excursions. The less one has to worry about and/or baby one's possessions while on vacation, the better. I find that a hands-free bag is what works best for me as an every day bag, both at home and when traveling.

MillStream
 
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