New or Vintage? 9 Luxury Fashion Pieces (Almost) No One Can Tell

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)

Balenciaga Sunglasses


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


Halston Dress


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 (

Celine Box Bag

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

jennineNew or Vintage? 9 Luxury Fashion Pieces (Almost) No One Can Tell

Comments 26

  1. Lisa

    All my “vintage” is just stuff I have owned for decades:).

    But, I so agree with you about Bottega Veneta. Absolute favorite, have owned several over the years, and am now keeping the storage bags and receipts precisely so that they might become “vintage” for someone else if I get a bug about some other brand that I can’t resist:).

    1. Post

      Haha, me too. I have some GREAT vintage Vivien Westwood, that I just can’t bear to part with. Although, I do wish I hung onto some of my other designer pieces, or took better care of them at least. I HATE dust bags and shoe boxes, but it seems like if you want to sell it later, it really makes a difference in the value!

  2. save. spend. splurge.

    I LOVE this post. Definitely going to link to this in a future roundup.

    I always buy vintage because I find the quality tends to be better (avoiding the polyester era). I found a vintage Cole Haan work bag the other day in a thrift store for $300, and it looks like it cost $2000!

    1. Post

      Oh my gosh! Thank you so much!!
      I do love vintage, but I don’t always have good luck with it. Yes, the quality can be great, but there are certain things like how the leather becomes more brittle, or fabric begins to deteriorate. For stuff I use every day, I prefer not to have things more than 20 years old. I’ve just had some horror stories of spending $500 on a vintage dress from a reputable seller only to have it disintegrate on my body while wearing it the first time.

      Then again, for those special pieces, or those great deals, vintage is a no brainer!

  3. Lollie Shopping

    What an AWESOME post!!! Now, I have a tricky question… I love the dark buttons and buckle on the new Burberry trench coat. BUT, I love the price of the vintage. So… would you dare change out the buttons and buckle on the vintage piece for dark buttons and buckle? I mean, would it be sacrilegious to change up a vintage Burberry? When one buys luxury vintage, does one have to keep it as-is?

    1. Post

      Thank you so much!
      You know, that’s a great question… I would prefer to keep the original buttons (also they probably have the brand name inscribed on them), and although Burberry will send you a replacement leather covered buckle if the leather has worn off, I’m not sure if they will send new buttons.

      I’ve seen consignment trenches for around $300-$400 which have the black buttons and are newer… which may be an option as well!

  4. Gisela

    Honestly I prefer some of the vintage items then the newer items, like that wonderful MCM Purse and that gorgeous Halston dress. And in some cases the fact that some of those items were made when the original designer was still around (like the Halston) is a great thought! My favorite personal piece to date is a vintage Halston monogram 2 piece suit I have, I adore it!

  5. Francesca

    So very true about those incredible pieces that shine in your closet and no way will you ever part with them. I am a ‘preservationist’ by nature, and I adore this like-minded convention of minds.
    My craziest vintage piece is a pair of cream Ferragamo ‘Vera’ found for $20 (swear!) in a consignment store of a hospital in Fort Lauderdale. A hole in a wall that sells belongings to deceased patients and whose revenue goes to benefit the hospital’s foundation.

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  9. Ashley

    This is a great post :) I’m obsessed with vintage goodies, and since I’m only shopping secondhand this year, this post has me itching to get back to the thrift store immediately!

    xo Ashley

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  12. Roxanne D'souza

    Lovely post. Pity is right now I can’t afford the new nor the vintage!
    But except for the sunglasses and scarf, I prefer the look of the vintage pieces over the new ones.


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  14. Rei Fujita

    Love this ! I actually don’t have a lot of vintage things but it would be great if I could find more ! I really love those Ferragamos !

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  18. april

    I love this post…very informative….I’m actually considering of getting a vintage celine

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  20. linda

    All my vintage are things I’ve bought twenty or thirty years ago, or have passed down to me from my Mom. Galanos, Halston, Holly’s Harp, Geoffrey Beene, YSL dresses from 1970′s and bags: Chanel mostly. the 1980′s were a great time for accessories ! I keep thinking I should sell the dresses to someplace like Decades in LA, but I just cant part with them. The fabrics and workmanship are so superb.

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