Price Rationalization, bags vs costume jewelry vs RTW

harley

Look out Singapore!!
Jan 10, 2006
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If I am not mistaken, I believe most of us can (or will ourselves;)) into rationalizing the price of a Chanel. Let's just use a 2.55 as an example - even with the recent price increases and all the economic problems and purse bans - we still buy and for the most part are somewhat ok with the roughly $3,000 (avg benchmark) price tag. This would be your basic (not that Chanel could ever be basic!!) model - no fancy embellishments or exotics. but you are getting leather - high quality leather whether it is calfskin, lambskin, caviar, treated, metallic.

At the same time, an avg necklace - costume jewelry wise, costs about $2,500 dollars. To the best of my knowledge - the components are usually synthetic - pearls are not real, elements are resin, crystals and the hardware is surgical steel (so I was told by an SA). So no real silver or gold or gemstones. These would only be in the fine jewelry line.

Then you have RTW which I don't know much about but it is off-the-rack and I assume the materials are standard.

My point or question is, do the price points make sense considering the item you buy?

It is ok to buy a leather bag for 3 grand, but for me I can't rationalize the prices for the costume jewelry (and yes I do have pieces). So why do I buy it when I could get say a strand of real pearls (maybe not from a Mikkimoto) for the same price? Have I bought into the "It is a Chanel" thing where in my mind I actually think that KL himself had something to do with the design? With a purse, at least you know you are getting leather.

Same issue for the clothes. How do I rationalize spending $3,000 on a wool sweater when I could get one for $100. Is it that I am buying into the Chanel 'Myth'?

Opinions please. Thanks.
 

ItsMyWorld

Member
Dec 28, 2006
4,378
5
I wouldn't spend $2000+ on costume jewelry regardless of the brand. Then again, I'm not a huge jewelry person in general though so after a few great pieces, I'm happy anyway.
As far as clothing, I will spend a lot on clothing but I won't buy a $1000+ tank top or something like that.
I think it ultimately comes down to priorities. I don't really rationalize any of it to myself. I just have those things that I like. My priority is really fashion in general. It is where most of my disposable income/fun money end up being spent and while I like bags, they aren't the only expensive items I want.
 

jmen

O.G.
Jan 15, 2007
5,720
800
Personally, I'm balking at $3K for a purse but keep in mind I can't carry a jumbo so $3k for a smaller purse that's not exotic is causing the wheels of my logic to grind to a stop so much so that the emotional self isn't standing a chance in hell of winning.

Jewelry, I just bought the carousel single strand with the glass beads and am thinking I'm insane. I have several necklaces and this is the first long strand that has cost a wad of money. I probably won't go down this road again but there's something about the carousel.

The rtw pieces -- you will never see the fantasy fabrics anywhere else, nor the attention to details in seaming (construction), buttons, etc. that go into jackets and the coats. There are usually a few pieces that I love in a collection, although some collections are a bust, imho. I have played the waiting game and gotten things on sale or even off Ebay. One has to realize in retail everything is marked up at least 100 percent. Why pay full retail when you know sales are coming and even at sale time, retailers are making a profit. If I had that much disposable income, I'd be donating to a worthy cause such as rebuilding New Orleans or such.

Back to purses, if it's a classic or a reissue, chances are you're stuck in paying full price unless you buy a vintage or pre-loved piece. But in a time where greed or shall I say capitalism reigns supreme, some buyers pay above retail, which I won't even bother to elaborate on how I feel about both buyer and seller in that instance.

If you want rtw, sit tight for the sales. When all the retailers are offering events to suck you in, you know sales are down for them.
 

NY_fashionista

Shopping Sherpa
O.G.
Nov 15, 2007
671
2
Interesting thoughts, Harley. Here's my .02:

I can justify making an investment in a good bag in a classic style that I will use the rest of my life, which is one reason I like Chanel. I feel my Chanel bags are eternally chic and will never go out of style.

I do not invest in costume jewelry because I have so much of the real thing (not Chanel, though) and I don't really care for most of the Chanel costume jewelry, which I think is priced too high for what it is. I adore jewelry (and have inherited a ton of it) but costume is not my style and I would rather wear my beautiful real pearls than fake ones with a CC logo.

I also do not invest in RTW because, unfortunately, my weight fluctuates too much and I'd hate to be looking at a closet of expensive clothes that I cannot wear because they don't fit right (that's one reason I love accessories, they are always there for me regardless of my size). Also, I don't think clothes last as long as bags, making it harder for me to justify the expense - I have a beautiful Chanel flap that was my grandmother's that's still in perfect condition, but I don't have any of her clothes, KWIM?
 

GirlieShoppe

HermesNewbie
O.G.
Jun 2, 2008
8,098
278
I wouldn't spend $2000+ on costume jewelry regardless of the brand.

I agree. I would much rather spend that kind of money on real jewelry. Most of the time I wear real jewelry but I do have a few pieces of inexpensive costume jewelry that I love. I would never spend more than $100 on a single piece of costume jewelry, but that's just my opinion. If you can afford Chanel costume jewelry, I say go ahead and splurge!
 

Luccibag

O.G.
May 11, 2006
9,986
1,782
Some of Chanel's costume jewelry is gorgeous. I plan on buying the timeless classic pearls one of these days and I love their earrings even though I have had problems with quality in the past.

I think having a nice balance of bags, rtw and costume jewelry would be ideal!
 

Fauve

Member
Oct 9, 2006
822
2
$3,000 is a lot to pay for a purse. However if it is something that you will wear a lot then I think you can justify it. I own about 8 Chanel purses now (this forum has not been a good influence on my budget.) I feel they will all be very wearable for a long time to come. My most trendy are the mushroom (yummy color) Bubble flap, along with a chocolate mini Reporter. I don't see either of them going out of fashion any time soon. The others are the classics in black, black and more black... caviar and patent.

I can not, however, justify spending alot on Chanel costume jewelry. I have heard so many horror stories that the quality is just not there. I would be upset if my rhinestones continually fell out or if a chain discolored. To me costume jewelry should be inexpensive. It should be fun.

I might feel differently if I had oodles of money to burn....
 

REYNALD0C

Birkin or Bust!
O.G.
May 10, 2006
2,267
12
This thought ran into my head earlier! I was at the Chanel store picking up my bag and decided to go upstairs and take a look. I was introduced into a pair of loafers that were $695 or so and was thinking well thats a hundred less than the classic strand of pearls ($795) Which one is worth the money in the long run though? Great shoes made out of patent leather or a necklace made of surgical steel and plastic?!

I think the pearls might have won for me though, might be my next purchase!
 

REYNALD0C

Birkin or Bust!
O.G.
May 10, 2006
2,267
12
$3,000 is a lot to pay for a purse. However if it is something that you will wear a lot then I think you can justify it. I own about 8 Chanel purses now (this forum has not been a good influence on my budget.) I feel they will all be very wearable for a long time to come. My most trendy are the mushroom (yummy color) Bubble flap, along with a chocolate mini Reporter. I don't see either of them going out of fashion any time soon. The others are the classics in black, black and more black... caviar and patent.

I can not, however, justify spending alot on Chanel costume jewelry. I have heard so many horror stories that the quality is just not there. I would be upset if my rhinestones continually fell out or if a chain discolored. To me costume jewelry should be inexpensive. It should be fun.

I might feel differently if I had oodles of money to burn....

Well said! Louis Vuittons fashion jewelry is reall affordable and always fun. I dont think costume jewelry should cost an arm and a leg.. if they did at least bump up the quality! Make the metals precious silver and at least gold plated. I understand that the pearls are coated with pearl shavings or something, so I guess thats worth it? But like yeah at least add some more to it you know!
 
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ronsdiva

NE Born OH Bred
O.G.
Jul 6, 2007
8,665
1
I also can rationalize the purses because they are all ones I will be able to carry for years. I have a jumbo flap, a gst, a medium flap and am working on getting a WOC.

The jewelry has been tempting, but only the classic pearls. I have sensitive skin so I don't wear costume earrings. I have not done it because I am looking at how much I would wear them compared with the "real" jewelry pieces I have.

I have not seen rtw in my size, but there is no way I could afford full price rtw. If I had the funds and found a great piece in my size that I would wear for years (a classic) I would consider it.
 

harley

Look out Singapore!!
Jan 10, 2006
1,218
0
I guess the problem lies with the costume jewelry. I love their lines but what I am paying for is not worth the price. My DH bought me a charm bracelet and only b/c it was my birthday - the $1000 price tag, even I could not swallow that. My DH of course asked the SA why it was so much $$ especially when there is not one 'precious' element to it - she replied "It's Chanel". I mean the fine jewelry line I can understand. I own a J12 and I know Chanel competes with major luxury brands in the watch dept.

But with costume jewelry - I can't think of another line that charges so much for said items. I own pieces from Tiffany's and Cartier that are real gold or silver and are less than what a synthetic pearl Chanel necklace costs. Yet stupid me buys anyway.

I am not asking from an affordability point. It just seems this one aspect of Chanel is completely out of wack with respect to what you get for your money. I mean did "The Devil Wears Prada" movie really jump start the interest in the costume lines so there is such a demand that Chanel can charge $500 for a pair of resin (plastic) earrings?
 

ItsMyWorld

Member
Dec 28, 2006
4,378
5
I didn't mention it from an affordability stand point either. IMHO, the 36" strand of pearls was hard enough to swallow at $695 but I can't get myself ot pay more than that. I also couldn't bring myself to pay $300 for the CC earrings. I don't think it is really so much how it is justified but simply that I find it crazy. Whether I have the money or not, I just think that as far as costume jewelry goes, it is so easy to find fairly decently quality for $50-ish depending on what you want. I purchased a very long string of costume pearls from Nordstrom for $55, the pearls are huge, the qualit is great and sadly, it blows Chanels out of the water. The only thing missing would be the CC logo. I think that just because you can afford Chanel doesn't mean that you will just wildly throw money at anything just b/c of the name. I'm not suggesting it is right or wrong, merely, I totally understand where you're coming from.
 
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