How to Start a Luxury Wardrobe

Emma Does Fashion
by Emma Does Fashion

Obsessed with designer brands but not sure how you'll ever afford that perfect Chanel bag? Me too, to be honest! But not all brands are priced as highly as Chanel, so there is hope for your luxury wardrobe yet. Keep reading for both style and saving tips to start building your designer collection.

Do not embark on your luxury fashion journey without first pinning down your personal style!

It's important to know your style well and be aware of which items you are likely to wear and which are likely to have the novelty wear off, because these are expensive pieces! I'm not saying you should impulse-buy cheap items either but when it comes to luxury hauls, you really need to have a good think about what you're adding to your wardrobe.

I had the Burberry scarf on my wishlist for years before I finally bought it in an early Black Friday sale in 2021. It's every bit as beautiful as I dreamed! But not only did I collect a lot of Pinterest inspo before purchasing, and dream up lots of ways to wear it, I also went into a Harvey Nichols and tried it on to be sure I liked it before ordering it online. I knew it would be worth it because it is very much my style - classic, neutral and smart, as well as being made of a luxurious material (cashmere, one of my favourite things to wear).

Designer fashion has a high price-point so you need to think carefully about where you're splurging and where you're saving. For instance, I wouldn't ever spend too much on a dress or a jumper because they have to go through the wash so often and are likely to wear out much more quickly than a bag or a scarf. (You can decide how much is "too much" according to your budget and lifestyle.)

When I bought my Burberry shoulder bag, I had a few designer handbags on my wishlist. However I chose to buy this one first because I knew that it made the most sense to buy a luxury handbag for work. I needed something durable and high-quality because of how much I'd be using it and all the items I'd be filling it with. I also needed something that would elevate a lot of different outfits, since we spend so much of our time at work.

(Those other designer bags are still on my to-buy list so hopefully you'll be seeing them soon!)

When building a luxury wardrobe, or any wardrobe for that matter, you need to know what's important to you. Do you love coats, like I do? In that case, you might want to spend more in that area and save money on your basic tops and jumpers. Most women love shoes and handbags so that's the area where a lot of us like to buy the odd designer piece.

The above coat is from Ted Baker, which is a fantastic brand for coats, but I do have my eye on a Santinni Couture one for a future designer purchase! They make the most beautiful winter coats.

Finally, some tips on how to afford luxury fashion:

  • Enter competitions and giveaways. I bought my Loewe belt (pictured above) after winning a £200 voucher in a FashionMumblr giveaway (JosieLDN on Instagram). I therefore only had to put £50 of my own money towards it, which felt like a steal since I'd been planning to pay full-price for ages anyway.
  • Visit designer outlets such as Bicester Village in Oxfordshire. You can of course buy whatever you like at these, but I'd recommend looking for pieces in classic colours, as trend colours can end up looking dated and are not as easy to style as neutrals.
  • Avoid buying luxury fashion on credit cards, overdrafts or payday loans. Pretty clothes are not worth getting into debt for (I won't pretend I haven't made that mistake myself!). When you get paid, put some money into your savings straight away. I have a few savings accounts and one is specifically for designer clothes and accessories. You can also buy those money pots that you have to smash to open - I bought my oven this way!

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