How to Wear Designer on a Budget

Ever wondered how some people manage to build up an incredible, lustworthy designer wardrobe? How DID she afford that new Chanel? Is that Birkin bag real? Well we might just have the answer. Designer bags, accessories and clothing are an expensive investment there’s no denying that, but there are ways in which you can purchase beautiful luxury items on a budget! Buying second-hand designer is a fast-growing trend, it’s a fantastic way to get your paws on that stunning Gucci bag or pair of Fendi sunglasses without having to break the bank. You know what they say, one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure and if that treasure happens to be a Tiffany bangle then count us IN. 

This week we caught up with H&T, a second-hand watch retailer, who let us in on exactly what to look for when shopping for a designer watch…

“If you’re looking for a designer watch on a budget, it’s definitely worth shopping pre-owned. Firstly, you will you make an immediate saving on the 20% VAT that doesn’t apply to second-hand pieces. In addition, your watch’s value could go up if a brand’s desirability increases. Furthermore, if your pre-owned purchase is discontinued by the maker, it is likely to be worth more too.”

There are of course a couple of hiccups that may come about when you’re buying designer items second hand, whether it’s on eBay, somewhere like Rebelle or anywhere else. You may find that you are sold a fake, which can be absolutely devastating. You’ve yearned after than Hermes tote, Chanel backpack or Rolex watch for months, years even, only to find your hard-earned cash has gone on a fraud. H&T offered us a few top tips when it comes to buying second hand designer goods such as watches…

“When it comes to buying a pre-owned watch, there are a few things to consider. It’s always best to buy from a reputable jeweller as, like it or not, there are fakes out there that can fool the untrained eye. Look for a dealer that provides a warranty, as any issues you have will be covered. It’s also worth haggling over the price of a pre-owned watch when you’ve found one that you like, as they are no longer subject to an RRP and sellers have more flexibility.”

It’s important to be careful when it comes to purchasing designer, but as long as you know the jewellers or seller is reputable and legitimate then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in a little affordable luxury! After all, life’s too short NOT to buy the bag, right?

Want to get ahead of the game? Michael Ayres, head of valuations at H&T let us in on a few of the best investment watches out there…

“Some great vintage watches to look out for include: any 1950s piece with a Swiss chronograph, a 1970s Steel Omega Seamaster, and a Tag Heuer Aqua Racer Calibre S. Each of these models will make for a stylish investment that will cost a fraction of a new piece.”

Noted, thanks Michael! Not that we needed anymore excuses to go shopping, but it’s an investment and therefore doesn’t count. Ok that’s what we’re telling ourselves. So the Stella McCartney bag, Louise Vuitton Scarf and Tag Heur watch may not be totally out of the question then! Just remember to do your research, follow your heart and most importantly ENJOY your new purchase. You deserve it.

Happy shopping!

Tilly-Jayne Kidman

Tilly is a graduate in fashion marketing and currently works in social media. She writes for various publications including the Huffington Post as well as her own fashion and lifestyle blog In her spare time she's usually wandering around her home city of Cambridge, making travel plans or finding a new restaurant to try out.