Let’s just preface this post by saying that said handbag is an authentic Chanel Le Boy and I did NOT spend $5000 on it.

Which is the actual original retail price including tax.
Nosirree!!! Have you known me to purchase anything at MSRP?
I know it’s horrible to admit but I don’t believe in paying full price for ANYTHING guys.   Especially when there are hundreds of gently used consignment shops/ ebay/ discount e-tailers/ trade boutiques/ vintage shops/ blogger closets that I can easily score fabulous designer deals from.  It’s all about being resourceful and doing a bit of homework before taking the plunge.


While these designer goods cost more than some people make in a few months, I’ve gotten smarter about my spending habits and don’t beat myself up for pricey purchases anymore.  It’s really quite simple to stay focused as long as you are committed (and consistent) in your approach.

How to Shop Smarter

Mine’s super easy- I just run these costs by my tried-and-true quickie questionnaire and not only have I significantly reduced the amount of shopping I do but it also helps to curb my appetite for retail therapy.  Especially during the holidays with previous bouts of overspending!  Now I’m on a mission to help YOU do the same!

Simply ask yourself these FOUR questions before buying just about anything and I SWEAR you’ll be one step closer to a happier, healthier, more sensible YOU.

#1: Will this purchase ADD VALUE to my life?

Value doesn’t just equal cheap and inexpensive.  Value means am I getting more bang for my buck?   Does the Cost Per Wear (CPW) of this purchase significantly reduce its actual retail price?  If the piece costs $1000 and I wear it 10 times per month it’s actually MORE valuable than the piece I spent $200 on and have only worn once this season.
You see the difference?  
Value therefore, is very subjective and relies heavily on your own commitment to the cause.  Purchase quality items that add value to your lifestyle and never squander measly dollars that may add up to crazy amounts over time.  You’ll cherish the quality item that you spent more on vs. cheapy bulk items you added to your cart because it was trendy and on sale.  Quality purchases mean just that.  You’ll have it forever.  It won’t deteriorate over time.  And who knows?  If you have an authentic Chanel bag on your hands, it may appreciate and you can resell that baby for more than you purchased it!  Scoooooore!!!

#2:  Do I have anything SIMILAR in my closet?

This one’s a toughy for those who don’t like change, lol.   And I have plenty of friends of this variety.   You know who you are- the gal who buys the same top in 10 different colors because she likes the cut and it only cost $20 each.  The gal who collects black booties because she swears they all hit her ankles at different spots. Seriously babe!  Live a little!  
Try to venture out of your comfort zone and make purchases that are special and unique in their own individual ways.
Already have 5 leather crossbody bags with metal chains and quilted details?   Do yourself a favor and save up for that one incredible splurge!  Trust, you will never look back once you’ve done your due diligence to make intelligent purchases versus the spontaneous spending that has quickly become a bad habit.

#3:  Can I see this STYLED at least 5 different ways?

This one requires a bit of visualization my loves.   You must be able to see it styled in your head before placing it in your closet. Otherwise, the purchase will simply be added to the rubble and you’ve forgotten all about it because you don’t know what to wear it with!  Can this piece work with everyday casual looks?  Can you wear it to the office?  Can you rock it for date night?  Can you wear it to a wedding?  How about Girl’s Night Out?  How about Girl’s Night In?  Chances are if you can see it working TONS of ways, you’re on the right track.

#4:  Do I keep THINKING about it?

 I have this little trick I do when purchasing anything online.   Be it apparel, luxury items, electronics, subscriptions, books, pretty much everything…  I’ll add it to my virtual shopping cart and just leave it there on hold without placing the order.  If I have an account with the e-tailer, I will get email notifications to see if I still want the item or remove it from the cart.  If I still want it after a certain amount of time (usually the next payday for something small, typically months for big-ticket items) I will bite the bullet and make the purchase.  More often than not, I find that I’ve forgotten about the item as it was simply a shotgun desire to shop.  If I can’t get the item outta my mind and keep thinking about it, I’ll know that I was definitely meant to have it.
I tell ya, old habits die hard which is why you MUST condition yourself to shop smarter.   If self-control was that simple, buyer’s remorse wouldn’t exist, right?
You hear it all the time:  It’s ALL about quality, not quantity
In this day and age, I can’t be buying loads of crap for the sake of retail therapy.  Can you imagine how much hoarding I’d have to do to simply keep up with the growing demands of consumer spending habits?  Which is precisely WHY I became an interior designer!  So that I can shop for a living and spend OTHER people’s money!  Lol.  It satisfies my need for on demand purchasing yet I don’t have to spend a dime.  Win-win!!!
But seriously guys, being a professional shopper I’ve learned from my mistakes and my immediate gratification purchases followed by immediate buyer’s remorse.  The goal is to arm you with an arsenal of quality tips to combat the potential overspending.  Especially during the holidays when that shit runs rampant and you can’t help but buy everything in sight!

Closing thoughts

So to answer the question at hand: Why did I buy that $5000 bag?  
Well first, I have to admit I only paid $3500 for it on Tradesy.com.
Secondly, I find that it adds a lot of value to my wardrobe.  I don’t have anything like it.  I’ve been shopping for the perfect quality luxury item since 2014 when I first spied this limited edition Polished Gold Hardware Chanel Le Boy Small at its inauguration.  Its been sold out in all stores since it was first released.
I even tried to hunt this baby down on my honeymoon in Paris, Nice, and Amsterdam to no avail.  They were ALL SOLD OUT, all over France and US I couldn’t even get it shipped from other boutiques!  So I did the legwork and tried sourcing at my favorite previously loved e-tailers and low and behold, there she was, at a whopping $1500 discount from the original retail price and ready for the taking.  She barely had any signs of wear and still smelled like new leather when I received her.  Ahhhhh, patting myself on the back for this one guys #winning ;D

Check out my list of FAVORITE online gently used/ consignment/ buy-sell-trade boutiques for the BEST daily deals below:

Simply ask yourself:

Would I purchase this item if it WASN’T on sale?   If your answer is YES, then you’re one step closer to becoming the smart shopper you’ve always dreamed of guys!
If your answer is NO, then put that baby back right this instant because you didn’t NEED it anyways!
If you’re able to spend the full amount on an item than you have just proved to yourself that you are a savvy spender. I know you can do it guys!!!  Hopefully next time you’re out shopping, my questions will ring true in your head until you’ve kicked your bad habits to the curb!
Happy Smart Shopping luvahs!!!


  1. Julie, this is a brilliant post !! I have a girlfriend who is a shopaholic X10. She does exactly what you've described as awful, grabbing anything if it's cheap. I, on the other hand, only like luxury. And, I so get the handbag! Seriously, even with jeans you've upgraded your entire look by carrying this bag. And, WHERE can you NOT wear it? Nowhere !!!

  2. Great tips! I try to follow these same rules when purchasing too, but sometimes on an especially stressful day, it can feel really good to just indulge in some impulse shopping!


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