I took spring cleaning to a whole new level during lockdown, selling many of my (still) loved designer goods that had been left forlorn and unworn at the back of my wardrobe. As someone that assigns very little sentimental value for material things, the idea of minimal possessions – with maximum style – very much appeals to me. So does an extra few hundred pounds! Find out which ‘it’ accessories are the most affordable second hand designer items to buy now, compared to brand new and full price.
They are forever chic, albeit reminiscent of the Rich Kids of Instagram days and Asian housewives. Nonetheless, everyone needs a great quality, lightweight scarf or shawl that can be worn through every season. Scarves as tops are also making a huge comeback thanks to the #y2k trend, so a purchase will go a long way if you opt for one now. Take the classic Louis Vuitton Monogram Shawl that retails for £405 at the time of writing. It’s 60% silk, 40% wool and 100% likely you will treasure it forever. While there aren’t hundreds flooding the second hand market, the ones you will find are in great quality and often comes with its original box. The resale price? A very happy £250 average while they’re on sale (click the images to see the discounted prices).
Chanel wouldn’t be a usual suspect when it comes to affordable designer items but I’ll prove you wrong. Unless you’re dead set on a current season’s bag or the classic flap in small or medium (hard to find), the most lusted-after handbags in the world resale for substantially less brand new one. And with two to three annual price hikes, it makes a lot of sense to look to great condition bags from those that are letting them go to new homes. From experience, the smooth calf leather is so delicate, even light wear shows quickly. Have a look at my vintage and second hand picks and prepare yourself for that second take when you see the amazing prices.
The word is that this line will be discontinued, to be replaced with the already popular Montaigne bag. For true bag lovers unswayed by trends, Diorama is more than worth the investment. Who knows, in 10 years there may be a reissue – hi, Saddle! The original cost of a medium bag was about £2400 and the small metallic bags, still available online, go for £1300. The good news is that resale prices of this iconic, elegant style is going for well under £1000.
Loewe Puzzle Bag
As one of my favourite bag designs ever, this model has been on my watchlist for months. The small size ranges from £1800-£2100, depending on the design and colour way. Secondhand, you’re able to save almost a grand, where many of the bags are in ‘very good’ or ‘unworn’ condition with dustbag.
Brand new Puzzle bags (small)
Second hand Puzzle bags (assorted sizes)
Manolo Blahnik Hangisi shoes
Even if it’s not your style, it’s a forever one – and even for an ‘it’ item that’s rare. The timeless Hangisi with its signature sparkling embellishment has seen many an ‘inspired’ take from other designers. But there is only one designer who has claimed that “men have told me I’ve saved their marriages”. While resale designer shoes are generally much cheaper (unless its an Amina Muaddi Begum), this is one of the most affordable second hand designer items on the market. Its original price is a sizeable £795 upwards for the heels or flats. Soles are easily recovered for around £20 at most cobblers and barely noticeable, so long as the satin isn’t damaged. Totally worth the trouble when you’ll be paying nearly half the retail tag!
Brand new Manolo Blahnik Hangisi shoes
Second hand Manolo Blahnik shoes (sizes 35-41)
Interested in sustainable ways to shop and stock your wardrobe? Take a look at these three low maintenance DIY projects.