Why you should invest in handbags instead of clothes

Of course, it's easy for a handbag company to say you should invest in handbags instead of clothes. In the same way an ice cream company could say that you need to instantly fill your freezer with 20 pounds of raspberry popsicles (which, by the way, you do).

But there are many reasons why investing in handbags is more reasonable than buying expensive clothes.

Handbags are made to last longer than clothes

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. But in general, you pay a lot for craftmanship when you get a handbag, and it's meant to last you much longer than just a year.

While many clothes, even though they are expensive will look visibly worn after a while. Some leather bags even look better as they're worn. A weekend bag with well-used leather has always been a classic on celebrity shoulders.

Bags have longer trend cycles than clothes

Many handbag trends last for 5 to 10 years, while some clothing trends seem to only last a season (zebra prints, anyone?). While we also see handbag models that seemingly never go out of style; for example from Chanel or Hermès.

And while every handbag doesn't have the potential to be handed down to your sons or daughters when you die, most of them have staying-potential much beyond a fancy dinner jacket, meaning it can make sense to invest more in handbags than in clothes.

holding weekend bag on shoulders

Cost per use is less for handbags

A handbag also gets worn much more frequently than most pieces of clothing. If you have a handbag for work, you might use it five days a week, most weeks of the year over several years.

If you think about how much you invest per time you use it, often it will be much less for a handbag than for a pair of shoes or trousers.

A pair of trousers that cost £300 and gets used once every two weeks for two years cost £5.7 per use while a £1500 handbag that gets worn two times per week on average over five years will cost you £2.9. And to be frank, the handbag will probably stay good for much longer.

Only if you use the trousers once per week for two years will it cost the same as the purse per time you use it. But that's before taking re-sale value into account.

Handbags have good re-sale value

If you take good care of a handbag you've invested money in, you can also often sell it back to someone else and recover a part of the investment.

This doesn't mean that you will make money on the bag, but your total cash paid will be less. Since handbags still are in fashion a few years later, this is possible.

There is also a bigger re-sale market for handbags, with sites like vestiairecollective.com attracting a lot of potential buyers for your bag.

If you add a re-sale value of £500 for the handbag in the example above and assume that your cost of capital is 5% per year, the total payment per use goes down to as little as £2.1 per use instead of £2.9.

While you could potentially only expect to sell a worn pair of trousers for £50, meaning the price per time you use it will drop to £2.4, which is more than for the purse.

You don't lose any time to wear a bag because of the weather

Handbags can be worn throughout every season. While some people claim that you only wear small and colourful bags during the summer and big and boring bags during the winter. That isn't really true.

If you have to bring your laptop to work, no one cares if the weather is hot or not. So a handbag you like can be used the entire year, while a cute top or shorts are only wearable for a few months each year. And when the weather is ok again, the style might not be modern.

Handbags don't have to be altered if your size changes

Handbags do not care if you put on or lose weight. It's a weird point to make, but many people, including me, have felt bad whenever a favourite piece of clothing doesn't fit anymore, even though a change in appearance shouldn't make you feel that way.

A bag can always be worn, and you don't have to make any adjustments to it just because your size has changed.

A favourite bag can pair with many outfits to make them pop

A good handbag can elevate most outfits, while you wouldn't necessarily always be able to put on a sweater or pair of trousers with everything else you own.

And if you feel like you already have something that represents you and your style, you don't have to put as much effort into the clothes.

Of course, some people love to think through every outfit down to the smallest detail, but with a sassy handbag, you already have something that makes you stand out.

Think like an investor when you buy

So while you might not think of a handbag as an investment object, you should still weigh the pros and cons the same way you would with any expensive object you buy.

And thinking about it from a financial investment perspective help you get the true cost of what you're buying. It might also make you think twice about buying lots of cheap fast fashion when you know that the cost in the long-run is lower when you invest in a handbag.

For more handbag inspiration and tips, follow us on Instagram or sign up to our Women in Business Newsletter.

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