5 Ways to Make Your Purse Look Designer Imparting an Expensive Aesthetic  

Achieving an expensive look while shopping affordably is within reach, even without the luxury of purchasing new designer bags every season. Social media often flaunts a series of trendy “it” bags like the rattan purse for summer, the tan crossbody for fall, a textured tote for winter, and something vivid and playful for spring. Yet, budget constraints might limit our ability to indulge in these designer accessories regularly. However, with the right shopping tactics and styling guidance, there are ways to make affordable bags exude a designer vibe. Expert tips on materials, structure, and various details can elevate your outfits, instantly imparting an expensive aesthetic.

5 Ways to Make Your Purse Look Designer     

1. Seek sturdy hardware.

Trendy outfit woman with black bag. Girl with bag over his shoulder outdoors. Shoulder Bags for Women. Fashion look woman outfit. Stylish women's beige handbag. Close-up.

Much like high-end apparel, designer bags boast a certain heftiness. Opting for a bag with substantial hardware adds to its expensive appearance.

“Whether polished or matte, aim for gold, silver, or gunmetal hardware that has weight and a refined appearance,” suggests Elizabeth Kosich, a certified image stylist and the founder of Elizabeth Kosich Styling. “Look for metal feet on the bag’s bottom—a luxurious detail commonly found in high-end handbags.”

Pay attention to the metal’s colour; unnaturally bright or excessively shiny finishes can detract from an upscale look. Zippers can be tricky to elevate, so consider a bag that omits them entirely.

2. Steer clear of unconventional finishes.

Closeup of red small bag in hand of woman. Fall spring fashion outfit red coat and trendy blue jeans

The bag’s overall construction significantly influences its appearance.

“While opting for vegan or faux leather is acceptable, a shiny, plastic-like, or prone-to-peeling material will immediately cheapen the bag,” notes Sheila Anderson, an image consultant and stylist at Image Power Play. “Quality materials, whether real or faux, exude a distinct sophistication.”

Moreover, avoid most printed designs.

“Authentic animal-inspired textures are expensive, so avoid handbags with embossed crocodile or python materials, as they can indicate a counterfeit,” advises Kosich. “Instead, opt for a basketweave style with double thickness or anything displaying boxy, structured construction.”

More structured bags often convey a higher-end appearance.

3. Explore alternatives.

Stylish woman with pink coat and handbag

Dupes are widely available across various retailers today, from Amazon to large department stores. Surprisingly, not all duplicates are poor quality.

“They offer an affordable option for those who admire a design but can’t afford the high-end original. However, they might undermine designers’ creativity and authenticity,” points out Anderson. “If a dupe doesn’t directly copy a design or violate copyrights but takes inspiration, it can serve as a valid alternative for budget-conscious consumers.”

While promoting original designs is crucial, consider setting a savings goal for a desired designer bag. Achieving this goal can be incredibly fulfilling.

4. Dress up thoughtfully.

Smiling Woman Outdoor Portrait. Short blonde hair fashion model wears stylish clothes, double-breasted jacket, leather handbag, ochre knitted scarf and glasses. Fashion trend of autumn or spring

A pivotal strategy to elevate your bag’s appearance is by ensuring your entire outfit exudes sophistication.

“The bag should harmonize with the attire’s colour scheme and style,” remarks Anderson. “Minimalist and monochromatic outfits often serve as a perfect canvas, allowing the bag to become a focal point.”

Kosich favours bags in rich neutrals. For added flair, consider tying a scarf to your bag’s top handles.

5. Retire wisely.


Affordable bags typically don’t endure as long as designer ones, necessitating more frequent replacements.

“Watch for visible signs of wear and tear like frayed seams, colour fading, stubborn stains, or broken hardware. Also, assess if the bag loses its shape or functionality,” advises Anderson. “If the bag no longer aligns with personal style or current trends and doesn’t bring joy, it might be time to retire it.”

Routine maintenance, including regular cleaning to remove stains and scuffs, significantly contributes to maintaining the premium appearance of an affordable bag.

Priya Singh

Hey readers! I'm Priya Singh Founder of (MercerOnline.com), I am full-time Digital Marketer, Organic Affiliate Marketer & a Blogger.

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