Certain fashion pieces stick around season after season. Sure, they’ll get updated with a tweak here and a tweak there, but all in all, you can bet that you’ll wear them out before you get sick of them. More often than not, these items come with a hefty price tag, because quality isn’t cheap… so how do you know which ones are worth the splurge? Lord knows you don’t want to spend a whole paycheck on a pair of shoes ‘you’ll wear all the time’ only to have them sitting in the closet for the next five years.
One way to dabble in the “investment” fashion area is to look around for new/sale/used/vintage markets. Some items, like the Burberry trench you can find in several different places, get one at a consignment shop, find the trench coat on sale or buy vintage. Each has their plusses and minuses, where spending the money sucks, because we’d all rather keep our cash, but at the same time vintage is not the holy grail in terms of getting quality on the cheap. I’ve had my issues with buying vintage over the years, but it’s still a viable option for certain pieces, especially if the price difference is big. Here you’ll see what you can get with your dollar new vs. vintage.
Burberry Trench Coat
There is nothing more timeless than a beautiful trench coat… and who do we think of first when it comes to trenches? Burberry. Of course getting that perfect fit may entail either buying vintage and taking it to the tailor or shelling out that $1,870, either way, you’ll have a classic in your wardrobe for years to come.
- New: Burberry Trench Coat $1,870 on Stylebop
- Vintage: Burberry Trench Coat in good condition $235 (Vintage Burberry Trench Search Results)
Gucci Bamboo Cross Body Bag
Gucci has gone through a lot of ebbs and flows over the years, but having a Gucci bag? Always a great thing.
- New: Gucci Bamboo Hip Bag at Nieman Marcus $2,350
- Vintage: Gucci 2-Way Bamboo Bag at CharmofVintage on Etsy $420 (Vintage Gucci Bamboo Bag eBay Search Results)
Ferragamo Vara Shoe
The Ferragamo Vara pump is a classic. I’ve had several pairs over the years, and is a great option to wear instead of your basic ballet flat. The difference between new and vintage is a few hundred dollars, and prices can be found as low as $50 if you are obsessive enough to scour the internet. One thing is for certain, these shoes are indeed timeless.
- New: Ferragamo Vara pump at Neiman Marcus $450
- Vintage: Vintage Ferragamo Vara Pump on eBay $128 (Vintage Ferragamo Vara Pump eBay Search Results)
Bottega Veneta Woven Bag
One of my favorite luxury labels that don’t get a lot of attention in the blogosphere is Bottega Veneta. They are best known for their woven leather bags which are super soft and luxurious… as well as understated and versatile. The only problem with buying vintage is you have to be careful to see the condition the leather is in (with all vintage pieces as well).
- New: Bottega Veneta Small Cross Body Bag in Black at Nieman Marcus $1,350
- Vintage:Vintage Bottega Veneta Woven Bagon eBay $369 (Vintage Bottega Veneta Woven Bag eBay Search Results)
So basically the search that started this whole post. I was looking for cross body bags, and saw a vintage MCM bag which lead me to wonder about hidden vintage treasures out there. MCM is a German heritage brand (kind of like the Louis Vuitton of Germany) who has recently made a comeback in the US. Fun, funky and a little off the beaten path, this is certainly a label to look into.
- New: MCM Drawstring Shoulder Bag at Saks Fifth Avenue $795
- Vintage: MCM Drawstring Shoulder Bag $248 at Eternel on Etsy
Hermes Silk Scarf
If I knew how to wear scarves, I would totally be into the Hermes silk scarf business. Beautiful motifs, they also retain their value over time as well in case you get sick of your scarf. Although that probably won’t happen.
- New: Hermes Silk Twill Scarf Della Callaveria in Blue $435
- Vintage Hermes Silk Scarf Caraibes Pattern $225 on eBay (Vintage Hermes Silk Scarf Search Results)
There is nothing more timeless, nor more glamorous than a pair of oversize, Jackie O style sunglasses. While you can score a good deal buying vintage with sunglasses, for the most part, in the eyewear world, a pair of vintage designer sunglasses in excellent condition will retain their value. Don’t expect to save a ton of money for buying vintage designer, but once good reason is to find a rare pair, or in a particular style that you like.
But still, you can find good deals in the vintage market.
- New: Balenciaga Oversized Square Sunglasses in Black at Saks Fifth Avenue $360
- Vintage: Balenciaga Vintage Sunglasses $135 on Etsy
Just because it’s vintage, doesn’t mean it will be “cheaper.” Case and point… Halson. 70′s Halston is a coveted label with iconic and timeless gowns. Halson Heritage is a diversion line to modernize archival looks from the famed designer. Therefore, you’ll be able to snap up some amazing dresses without having to worry too much about the baggage that comes with buying vintage.
- New: Halston Heritage One Shoulder Pleated Dress at Nieman Marcus $166
- Vintage:Vintage Halston IV Dorian Dress $295 (
With all the hype about Celine these days, one thing that gets overlooked is that the label has a long history of making quality bags. There are lots of older versions of the “Box” bag available in the vintage world. Of course the hardware is the dead giveaway that it’s vintage, but I find with Celine some of the horse carriages and the opulent double “C” endearing. Besides you can get a Celine bag in decent condition for about $400.
- New(ish): Celine Medium Box Bag (Authentic Celine Box Bag Search Results)
- Authentic Vintage Celine Box Bag $528 on eBay (Authentic Vintage Celine Box Bag Search Results)
What vintage luxury pieces do you have that no one can tell?
Top image credit: Death by Elocution