While I am not a big label fanatic (although I have had a Betsey Johnson obsession since my teens), sometimes I like to add a few higher end pieces to my wardrobe. Today, it was my Burberry winter hat and scarf, which I have had forever btw. Last week, however, I found the cutest pink Coach bag that was calling my name from Love Thy Curves. Love Thy Curves is one of my favorite consignment shops that specializes in plus size clothing! I ended up snagging it and then grabbed this awesome skirt because it was like $4 (I could not say no to that). It looks practically brand new too, so I call that a super deal!
However, I know what you are thinking? How do you know it is real? Well, don’t worry, I am going to explain how you can find designer things too without worry that it is counterfeit.
For those of you who have ever shopped fashion and accessories on Ebay, you probably have run into counterfeit designer merchandise at one point or another. My first experience was with this coveted Juicy Couture diaper bag that I just had to have when my first daughter was born. Remember Juicy Couture? No? Well, it was 2006, and it was totally an IT bag. While browsing through Ebay one night, like you do when your kid won’t sleep, I found the diaper bag of my dreams, and it was like $40 less than what I had seen it for at Neiman Marcus (don’t judge me). I bought it. I waited weeks for it to come, and I was totally heartbroken when it came. It just looked off. The bib that came with it wasn’t seamed correctly. The changing pad looked sorta like the real deal, but the straps were definitely not Juicy quality. I got scammed. By the time I got the bag and tried to complain, the seller had closed shop because apparently enough of us caught on to the scam. It sucked, but I swore never again would I get duped like that. From then on out, I bought my designer goods straight from the designer store or from a reputable department store that sold their goods.
However, as I started getting more involved in consigning my clothes that I no longer wore, I got introduced to places like Clothes Mentor. Clothes Mentor sells designer bags, clothes, and shoes as part of their regular inventory in most of their stores in which I have consigned. Plus, since most of them are super picky about what they take, most of it looks almost new. The one closest to me consistently carries Coach, Kate Spade, and Michael Kors to name a few. I knew one near West Chester, PA that even had Louis Vuitton bags from time to time. I learned that these were most definitely the real deal. Because they are a chain, they have to look things up, so they want to uphold their reputation by carrying authentic items. I have purchased designer shoes, bags, and even my favorite Coach bucket hat from Clothes Mentor stores.
Some other reputable consignment stores are starting to carry designer labels as well. I just got an email today from Love Thy Curves with a list of items they are currently seeking, and designer bags were on the list. Stores like Love Thy Curves has a reputation to uphold, being one of the top 10 best consignment stores in Ohio. Obviously, they know what they are doing and don’t want to risk jeopardizing their reputation by carrying non-authentic items. I felt confident in my purchase, knowing I was getting exactly what I wanted. Going to reputable consignment chains and stores reduces the risk of buying something that is a knock-off.
To be honest though, if you want to wear a designer label, you should know your designer label. While you can get items cheaper by doing what I do, I recommend that you do the following first!
How to Buy Designer:
- Don’t just buy something because it has a label.
- Buying second hand will save you money, but always buy somewhere where you can authenticate it
- Know the ins and outs of the labels in which you buy to be able to spot a fake
- Check out the selection of your favorite designers at their stores. Feel their products, look inside for the nitty gritty details. With handbags, get to know the stitching
- Buy labels you know that are going to last. For me, my designer labeled merch is an investment. I do have some things that I have bought brand new from the store and some that I bought used, but I buy from designers I have grown to know and love. Also, I buy for classic pieces that will last. I have a pair of Ferragamos that I have worn in photo shoots and for special occasions. They have lasted for years and look brand new.
Having something designer can seem like a status symbol, but you don’t need to break the bank to have nice things. Also, in all actuality, you don’t need designer things to be anything than what you already are, which is pretty awesome. I like treating myself now and then, but I am super particular with what I buy. I buy designer pieces mainly because I want something that lasts. Because I am a bit hard on my handbags and shoes, I am a little apt to spend a bit more on them for higher quality.
Do you have a knock off nightmare? If so, I would love to hear it! Also, what pieces of your wardrobe have you had the longest? Please feel free to share in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe and share this post too!
Basic Black Tee: Lane Bryant
Coach Purse: Thrifted
Sailor Moon Denim Jacket: Torrid