Whether you’re looking for a classic and pragmatic handbag to see you through seasons to come or want to invest in a print that’s sure to be a collectible one day, when it comes to fashion and accessories, there are plenty of little and not-so-little luxuries worth splurging a month’s rent on.
The key to the ultimate indulgence is that it needs to be timeless. Sure, the Fendi Silvana Color Block Flap Leather Shoulder Bag is great now – and Fendi has proven that it can create “it” bags that withstand more than one season – but odds are that over the next few seasons, the Silvana will go the way of the Spy, the Baguette, and the Croissant bags and hold little fashion (or resale) value. Of course, there are no sure bets when approaching an ultimate indulgence from an economic perspective, so always make sure you pick a style that gives you joy and pleasure no matter what it's worth in the future.
Alexa Chung with Chanel 2.55; Victoria Beckham with one of her many Birkins
While it’s true that most classics are years in the making, that’s not always the case (the instant classic Bottega Veneta Napa Veneta, for example), so the most important factor when choosing a designer indulgence is the quality of materials. If it doesn’t look like it's made of materials that could outlast you – don’t buy it (as some may have learned the hard way with Givenchy's Nightingale).
For surefire handbag indulgences, look into a Chanel 2.55 (its prices seem to climb on a fairly regular basis, so buy now and technically you're saving), a Gucci bamboo-handle purse, a Louis Vuitton Monogram Speedy, a Judith Leiber crystal clutch, a quilted Lady Dior bag, a Nancy Gonzalez exotic, and of course, a Birkin, Kelly, or Plume from Hermes. In fact, Hermes bags are so perpetually in demand that the brand famously began breeding its own reptiles, making it one ultimate classic that’s not only expensive, but hard to come by without getting on a wait list, especially in your desired shade and material. A more subtle classic often looks beautiful accented with a print scarf, and in that regard, Hermes delivers once again, along with Salvatore Ferragamoand Emilio Pucci.
Diamonds, Jewelry, and Watches
Moving from handbags, they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and with the launch of Cartier’s e-commerce site, getting your hands on covetable baubles has never been so conveniently tempting. Invest in a Cartier watch and you’ll have it forever. Similarly, the brand’s LOVE collection (above) is timeless and can bring a deeper meaning to indulging. When it comes to watches specifically, however, there’s nothing like the handmade quality and unbeatable craftsmanship of a Patek Philppe (above). For the architecturally-minded, Frank Gehry has a slew of gorgeous pieces in his exclusive Tiffany collection, including some one-of-a-kind items.
Ready-to-Wear and Outerwear
As for ready-to-wear and outerwear, how can anyone go wrong with a Prada or Miu Miu print? Bananas and monkeys may date your look if you indulge in one of Prada’s S/S 2011 prints now and wear it in a year, but in a few seasons, they’ll be impossible to get, equally as chic, and likely in demand by collectors (think of them in the vein of owning a Stella McCartney-designed Chloe print or a Tom Ford-era Gucci look now). More understated, but equally covetable, is a classic coat from MaxMara, a trench from Burberry, and fur anything from Fendi.
Lastly, they may not hold all that much in the way of resale value and they inevitably tend to deteriorate faster than any of the aforementioned items, but Yves Saint Laurent Tribute Sandals, Stubbs & Wootton Slippers, and Christian Louboutin Black Pumps have proven to hold seasonless appeal.
Decisions, decisions, decisions…