I'm sure I'm not the only one who wistfully stares at the wildly expensive, incredibly attractive handbags in designer stores. I have fallen in love with the beige-and-brown beauties from the Gucci stable, the glossy black leather from Louis Vuitton, the silvery platinum from Dolce and Gabbana... and then have had to sigh ruefully and turn away from the shop window.
Those were the days when I believed that a handbag was an investment, one to be preserved and used carefully for several years on end.
Since growing a sense of fashion, however, it has become absolutely necessary to have at least half a dozen affordable handbags on hand. With a small collection of versatile handbags, I can now match bags to outfits, and choose the right bag for an occasion. I hope you agree that this is a huge improvement from my previous policy of "Black backpack for travel, black leather handbag to work, black-and-white clutch to parties".
Now, how do I get hold of handbags that are:
a) Fashionable b) Durable c) Affordable? The answer is quite simple, actually. Get hold of fake handbags!
The reason a designer handbag is so expensive has little to do with the materials it is made out of. The prices of designer goods go up because: 1. The high price establishes it as "premium". 2. The designers get paid extremely high amounts, and the profits have to justify them 3. Advertising campaigns are expensive 4. Designer stores are usually located in high-profile areas, and pay high amounts of rent
Clearly, none of this has anything to do with the product itself. This is why an absolutely identical fake handbag - right down to the materials - is going to be much cheaper than the designer item itself. And THIS is how I have built my collection of "Gucci"s, "Louis Vuitton"s, "Prada"s and more - all for under $100 each. You just have to keep looking.
The biggest problem with fakes is that you do not get the brand's guarantee. While a real Gucci falling apart at the seams will definitely cause a stir - and get you a free replacement - a fake that cannot handle weight is only to be expected. People shopping for fakes usually end up spending quite a sum of money initially, trying to figure out which fakes will last and which will not.
The best way to find good fakes is to find out what the real article looks and feels like. Get into a mall, run your fingers along the goods you will never be able to afford, and familiarize yourself thoroughly with their look, feel and texture. When you go to buy a fake, make sure that the same look, feel and texture are there. Also, check the lining and stitches - they should feel soft, supple and strong. Anything that feels hard or brittle to the fingers should be avoided completely.
The best fakes are not the cheapest. They will cost you a certain sum of money, but are much, much cheaper than the original. Only this time, you're paying for the quality of the manufacturing rather than the fees for the supermodel on the posters.