In Discussions, In my closet, Shopping, Style

Birkins are over. Find your own iconic item.

Even Jane Birkin doesn’t see what the big deal is and doesn’t want to be associated with such animal crueltyΒ to make these bags.

Honestly, I think the Birkin looks like a cute bag:

http://bonjourart.blogspot.ca/2011/02/hermes-birkin-bag.html

If I saw one for $1000 pre-owned, would I buy it?

Probably. It looks nice, has a good shape to it, style.. but ultimately, it is just a bag.

To me, Birkins at $10,000 a pop or higher up to $150,000 for more exotic skins are as rare as diamonds that is to say not at all.

You can find Birkins pre-owned for sale, or if you know the right people, get on this “list”.

It is just a bag and they know very well like the diamond industry does, how to limit the supply of these bags so that they SEEM rare when in fact they are not.

I find it hard to believe that there can be so much hype around this bag and frankly, I think it is just another way to show how uber rich you are. Like a Black Credit Card or something.

All that said, if you really want one and love it for the shape and look, by all means go for it!


AVOID CHEAP SUBSTITUTES

What I really don’t recommend is buying cheap substitutes (faux Birkins) or buying fake designer bags that look like Birkins from Hermes but are knockoffs.

AVOID ENTRY LEVEL LUXURY FOR THE SAKE OF IT

I also don’t recommend entry level luxury items like a Louis Vuitton Speedy just for the sake of having one, or a Chanel flap bag UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT ONE.

Stop trying to buy iconic handbags just to own an icon.

Own the handbag because you loveΒ it.

This is the reason why I tend to avoid buying iconic handbags. I like offbeat bags, I like bags that are a little different because I don’t want to be carrying an “entry level” luxury bag just to show that I have the means to do so.

I prefer independent designers, but I am not immune to iconic items like my beloved Burberry trench coat.

Burberry-Bridle-Lake-Trench-Coat-Long-Cotton-Gabardine-Two-Styles

I hear the J. Crew version is very similar for a fraction of the price, but I take great pleasure in wearing my Burberry coat, knowing it is THE ONE I wanted, and the coat (each time I wear it), gives me great pleasure in addition to keeping the rain off me.

The only real iconic bag I’d want but can’t justify is the Givenchy AntigonaΒ in a nice, classic black.

I love the shape, the style and the look but refuse to buy it for the price tag. For now anyway.

What about you? What’s the one iconic item you lust after?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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25 Comments

  1. Tania

    If I lived in an area a Burberry Trench made sense (not much use for one in Hawaii!), I’d want one (assuming I could maintain my weight/size, which isn’t always a given with me). I’d consider that a classic, which is very different in my perspective from a status bag. In regards to the Birkin, I wouldn’t want to carry around a bag that I might get mugged for because of the resale value πŸ˜‰

    I prefer bags that are not the bag of the season. I also like rehabbed vintage pieces and lesser known indie designers. I also don’t care if a bag very popular and recognized as being a hot bag during a certain year/season if I still like it and it matches my style. I have older bags that fashionista types may say “that is so 2005” but I really don’t care. However, the real reason my more expensive bags are so old is because I don’t spend that kind of money on handbags any more so anything I have that is luxury is going to be old.

    I used to lust over Chanel tweed jackets and the flap bag but not anymore. I have a black nubby IRO jacket that makes me pretty happy (not cheap but much cheaper than Chanel and a similar feel/versatility – fits me perfect as it’s a crop style). And the flap bag would be much too heavy now given my back issues and like I said above, I don’t find it interesting any longer to spend that much on a bag. But hey if someone put a quilted Chanel mini-bag in my closet, I wouldn’t kick it out, just saying.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      ME TOO! I like vintage items (designer or NOT) and indie bags. Something cool, interesting, stylish.. pockets… you know πŸ™‚

      I like Chanel jackets but can’t pay the price. Got one from Zara & DIY’d it to remove the bow and I love it πŸ™‚

      Reply
  2. shortstack

    I have the J.Crew Icon Trench and although I like how it looks, the lining is ripping in the armpit area (a common problem I’ve had with J.Crew coats) and the belt gets a bit crumpled. I hope the Burberry trenches are built to last without these kinds of issues. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll get out of the J.Crew trench. I’ve had it for about five years now. I would love a Burberry but have been too frugal to consider one. I’d be more likely to get an expensive trench than a pricey bag though. I agree with your thoughts on designer bags. I wouldn’t get one for the sake of having one. I’m glad I don’t actually like many iconic designer bags, so I’m glad I don’t even have the itch to get one. I don’t like buying overly cheap-looking vinyl handbags but I have a limit on how much I’ll spend on a bag (or any clothing or accessory). I think there are a lot of good quality, stylish mid-range priced bags ($100-$500) out there that are good quality, have some style and won’t break the bank.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The Burberry trench gets wrinkled a little but smooths out without a problem. NO crinkling in the fabric or rippling, the belt doesn’t get crumpled, the lining is impeccable.

      5 years for $300 is not that bad. $60 a year. I’ve had my Burberry for.. oh goodness about the same time I think. I’m at $400 a year but my coat looks like new.

      Why not a Burberry trench on consignment?

      Reply
  3. Ruth

    This comment has nothing to do with this post, but I feel I must inform you that David’s Tea currently has 25g tins of ceremonial matcha in the online sale section for $8, or 36% off regular price plus a cute tin πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      THANK YOU RUTH!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  4. Jaime

    I lust after the Caran D’Ache 80 Luminance Wooden Gift box set, priced at $518. They’re lightfast colored pencils. Lightfast means that the colored pencils will last and not fade, and pro artists like them for coloring pencil art that they sell to clients.

    http://store.carandache.com/us-en/582-coffret-assortiment-80-luminance-6901.html

    Reply
  5. AC

    You are absolutely right about not buying an “entry level” luxury bag…just because….
    I remember having a Speedy bag when I was in high school. Now, it is just collecting dust in the closet. On another note, the prices of luxury bags appreciate yearly. I remember buying the LV Speedy for roughly $600~ 10 years ago. It now retails for over $1000~

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You could consign it perhaps and recoup the money?

      Reply
  6. Sense

    I can’t with the luxury items. Paying more just because it is a certain brand??? It befuddles me.

    I only know how to shop by NFQP. First, do I Need it and/or does it fill a gap in my wardrobe? 2) Does it Fit well? 3) What Quality is it? Will it last a while? and finally, 4) can I afford it? (Price)

    My purses are all $20 or less and last me years. I have a brown, slouchy, cross body, faux leather one, a similar slouchy black one, a business one that can fit my laptop, and small going out purses in brown and black (short straps so that they are out of the way while dancing/eating/drinking–I don’t know even what that style of purse is called!). Done, I always match and always have a size option for whatever I need to carry with me. I still get compliments on them.

    I spend where I am going to get the most bang for my buck. Warm coat and boots? Yes, that is somewhere where I admittedly rely on other people’s reviews and brand reputation. I have been bit before by going cheapie and then freezing my butt off. Purses? To me, their function is to HOLD STUFF. Bonus if it doesn’t clash with my outfit/shoes. Those two requirements can be met at any price point!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I like this NFQP process!

      Bang for the buck is my thing. I want designer items now for a fraction of the price and consignment is where it’s at for me.

      I am on board with your philosophy as well, I spend more in coats & boots than I do in let’s say a blouse or some pants.

      Reply
      1. shortstack

        Can you do a post on some of your fave consignment places/sites? Would love to hear how you find good stuff and where!

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          Vestiare Collective
          Mine and Yours (Vancouver)
          Ebay
          Winners
          Sharyn Scott Boutique (Montreal)
          Lab Consignment (Toronto)

          Reply
  7. Alison Hegarty

    The Birkin LOOKS gorgeous but that fastening looks totally impractical. Imagine trying to get your purse out for your bus fare and fiddling with all these straps and padlocks……or maybe people with Birkins don’t take the bus πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You’re telling me. Birkin folk must have drivers and carry only a tiny little wallet and some keys.

      Reply
  8. Gina

    I just finished reading The Lure of Luxe and learned that entry level products are sort of looked down on. They are the lowest/cheapest possible products by the luxury companies. Wealthy shoppers will avoid Louis Vuitton or Gucci because of the trademark logos and the cheapened affect they have on the brand name. It sort of changed my outlook on women who parade around with logos. They are fooling themselves – but not everyone. Granted- wealthy do carry logo bags – but I believe they are one of many luxe items and clearly the cheapest within their closets….just food for thought.

    Reply
    1. Gina

      I didn’t mean to offend with this post – I just found the book interesting – I love quality brand names as much as the next gal πŸ™‚

      Reply
  9. Mimi

    I don’t get the fascination with the designer bags…it is JUST a bag! I can’t fathom spending that kind of money on a bag.. perhaps if I was SUPER rich it would be a different story, and if I was… the only one I would covet is the Chloe Marcie

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I can’t covet any bag. If I were super rich I am not sure even then I’d buy one…

      Reply
  10. raluca

    I would love to be the kind of person that can wear a Burberry trench, but I’m not. I short and stumpy and thrive on a diet of short coats. Also, I’d hate to have to iron my outercoats.

    So that’s settled it, my iconic item is jeans with a chance of T-shirts.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Burberry makes short trench coats πŸ™‚

      LOL “with a chance of tees”.. nice.

      Reply
  11. Erika

    I do like some of the very classic and understated iconic items, but find that most simply wouldn’t fit into my lifestyle. I would love a Burberry trench, but I would likely never wear it and therefore cannot justify the expense.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m the opposite, I wear mine constantly .. even when it’s too cold to do so πŸ™‚

      Reply

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