Buying an expensive handbag isn't as much of a splurge if you plan to use it for many seasons to come. Think about how much you pay per use: If you spend $400 for a bag that you will wear almost every day for four years (let's say that's 1,300 uses), then you're spending about 30 cents per use. Not bad, as long as you've bought a bag that will last that long, and which you'll actually use regularly.
Consider the following when making your purchase, caring for your bag, and making peace when it's worn out:
Opt for a Classic Style
Pick a timeless look that you won’t need to replace year after year. For example, you might want to opt for a classic brown Audrey purse by Coach ($400), rather than Louis Vuitton's Foxtail Fur Tassels Messenger Bag (not in stores yet, but it's estimated to be $1,500 to $3,500).
Handle With Care
Store your beauty in a soft pouch (with tissue paper), keep it dry, and don’t haul pounds of books around in it. If you’re always on the go, carry an additional tote so that you don't have to overload your designer bag. This is true of all sorts of purses, whether leather or otherwise, as even cloth purses can become dirty and rip easily. Think of your handbag as an investment, rather than a mere accessory; you want to nurture your investment to make the most of your money.
Get It Fixed
Luxury bags often use materials that can be easily repaired, so even a well-worn purse doesn’t need to be discarded. Insure that your bag has a longer life by repairing it when necessary. For example, getting a zipper replaced at a shoemaker could cost as little as $15. In the end, this can save you hundreds of dollars over buying a replacement purse.
Know Your Leather
Leather can be useful, durable, and pricey. Make sure to waterproof your leather and make the most of your leather goods.
Consider the Resale Value
Your Gucci, Marc Jacobs or Dior purse will fare better than the random croc-embossed bag you spent your paycheck on in Italy. Help your bag be worth more in future consignment by sticking to well-known brands. For example, a Channel bag that'd normally be about $1,800 retail can sell for $850; meanwhile, Yves St. Laurent bags can go for $400 or less. If you decide to hang on to your bag until it's lived a full life--and until it's really worn-out--reselling should still possible, though the bag's value will drop. Since a purse loses value with time, we like using it as long as we can, and then consigning it to recoup some money, rather than trashing it. Be sure to keep original tags and packaging as proof of authenticity, for when the time comes.