Shop Well – Not Cheap

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It’s no secret that I love to shop. I love it so much that I recently became a personal shopper at Neiman Marcus – you can see all the fun I’m having with this new gig and all my favorite looks on my Insta @inrachelstyles. As I have grown older and wiser, I have learned the secret to shopping for shoes, purses, and clothing. Shop well- not cheap.

When you are young and living paycheck to paycheck, it is so easy to fall for fast-fashion and snap up everything for your closet from stores like Forever 21 and H&M. Now hear me out – you can find some good looks at stores that sell cheap clothing. But, the problem is these clothes do not last, and people can tell they are cheap.

Instead, it is much wiser to shop well rather than cheap. I’d much rather spend more money on clothing that is well-designed, well-made, and long-lasting.

Longer Lasting Clothing

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When you shop cheap, you are simply looking at the price tag when you should be factoring in the number of times the item will be worn. Fashion experts refer to this as the cost per wear equation. As Glamour explains, “The simplest version of that math is dividing the price on the label by how many times you think you'll wear the item.” Glamour also has a cost per wear calculator on their site for easy use.

What you will likely discover is that you end up spending less money in the long run on higher cost clothing this way. For example, the cheap shirt you purchased may only be able to be worn a few times before it shows wear and tear, whereas the high-quality coat you purchased is worn for several years.

Higher Quality Materials

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The reason the more expensive products typically last longer is that they are better made. Rather than being mass-produced at fast speeds (resulting in less than the best seams, embroidering, and such), these products are developed with better materials, such as natural fibers like silk and wool, in a less demanding amount of time.

Better Resale Value

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Women change out their closets pretty regularly as fashions change. Therefore, it is important to consider the resale value of your clothing when you purchase it originally. For example, you will likely get pennies (if anything) for that shirt you purchased at Forever 21, but you can earn a nice chunk when you resell high-end designer goods.

Less is More

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Finally, it is wise to embrace the notion that “less is more.” Wouldn’t you rather have a few, high-end, well-made, designer goods than a bunch of cheap items that fall apart easily before the next season? I know that matters to me. It is easy to get caught up in the idea of “more, more, more,” but if it gets in the way of looking good and feeling good, that’s a hard pass for me. Less is more, ladies, less is more.

It’s Time to Treat Your Handbags Like They Are Investments

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Lately, I have been shouting my love for handbags all across the blog and social media. I love my handbags – and I know you love yours, too!

Here’s the thing, ladies. If we are willing to spend big bucks on our designer bags because we see them as investment pieces, then it is time we treat them as such.

No more tossing them around or laying them on the floors of our closets. If we choose to hold on to a bag rather than ship it off to Rebag, then we better treat that bag like it is worth the money we spent on it.

Rookie Mistakes

If you are storing your bags in plastic storage bins, it is time to stop. This is a bad environment for your bags because of moisture. Moisture leads to mold. Mold on my precious purse? No thank you. If you must store bags away seasonally, then store them using some of the other methods we will discuss below.

Store Handbags Upright

Whenever and wherever possible, storage your handbags upright rather than laying them on their sides. This is better for the bag’s shape and material overall. The problem with storing bags upright is that if you do not use purse inserts, they will flop over. This is not good either.

Store Handbags with Purse Inserts

With that being said, it is important to store your handbags using purse inserts. Now, since every purse is shaped differently, there is not one set purse insert you can buy. However, you can use household items such as scarves or acid-free tissue paper to stuff the bag. This will ensure the handbag keeps it shape.

Store Handbags in Dust Covers

Since we are talking about designer bags, then surely you know about the importance of a dust cover as all designer bags come with one. These dust covers are given to you with the handbag because they protect the bag while it is not in use from dust and grime.

If you made the mistake of tossing the original dust cover, you can purchase a handbag dust cover from The Container Store or simply use a cotton pillow cover.

Switch It Up

Quite possibly the most fun care and storage tip – switch your bags up regularly! If you use the same bag daily, it will show wear. Instead, have fun switching your bags to match your outfits and moods.

Clever Ways to Store Your Handbags

Now, I know everyone has different amounts of storage space. Some women have to be more clever about how to take care of their handbag collection. So, I have compiled a few of my favorite examples for handbag storage to share with you. I’m sure you will find a handbag storage option that is perfect for your home.

Acrylic Purse Shelf Dividers

Over the Door Purse Organizers

Closet Rod Hangers

Clutch Organizers

Bookshelf Display

Partnering with REBAG to Make Your Handbag Dreams Come True

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I’ve shared recently about my love for purses and handbags. But, it’s time for me to let you in a little secret. I’ve found a way to make sure I always have the newest, most desirable handbags season after season. I have discovered Rebag and my handbag collection will never be the same, which is why I’m partnering with Rebag, the ultimate destination to sell your luxury handbags and sharing my secret with you.

Why Rebag is Unique

At this point, we are all familiar with consignment shops and Rent The Runway. What makes Rebag different from these online stores is that it works to make sure you are constantly able to refresh your handbag collection by allowing you to sell your purses, exchange them, or earn credit for other Rebag handbags. It is THE luxury handbag destination.

Rebag is unique because they:

  • Generate upfront price quotes

  • Purchase bags outright (no consignment hassles)

  • Pay via check or direct deposit instantly

The Easy Way Rebag Works

Rebag has made it super easy to sell the handbags you are no longer in love with. All you need to do is take photos of the bag you want to sell and submit them to the app or website. Then, Rebag will provide a quote. At this point, you deliver your used handbag to Rebag.

Upon approval, you will receive instant payment. Approval also isn’t a huge worry like other resale shops because they provide clear guidelines for approval. Trust me - Rebag is the simplest and most straightforward way to sell your handbag. When submitting a bag to sell, use my code RachelChoy for preferred pricing.

Ladies of NYC, Rebag is Handbag Heaven!

If you live in NYC, Rebag is going to be your new favorite thing. When you sell a bag, you can have your bag picked up from your home OR you can visit one of their retail locations to receive an instant quote and immediate payment. It can not get any easier. Plus, a visit to their retail locations is like a trip to handbag heaven! You can even opt to exchange your Rebag handbag at at a Rebag Bar within 6 months to receive at least 70% of the purchase price.

Plus, Rebag is Granting Wishes for Women Across the US

For those ladies who do not call NYC home, Rebag is still the perfect option for keeping your handbag collection fresh. They offer free shipping anywhere else in the US. All you have to do is use their app or website. Get preferred pricing for your handbags with my code RachelChoy when you submit them for a quote at Rebag.com.

It’s Never Been Easier to Have an Endless Collection of Luxury Handbags

No woman wants to carry the same bag all the time. Here’s a way to have a new bag right when you want one without breaking your budget.

For when your it-bag becomes your forget about it bag. Sell your handbags on Rebag.com using my code RachelChoy to receive preferred pricing!

Why Purses are the Perfect Fashion Accessory

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Women are spending more money than ever before on purses and handbags – a lot more. According to one study, “US women spent $11.5 billion (£7.9 million) on handbags last year.” We love our purses and the fashion industry is noticing. Today, purses are seen as status symbols with women willing to spend a nice chunk of change on designer purses. Studies show I am not the only one.

As Caroline Cox explains, “It's partly because they've become a unique outward statement of a woman's status, fashion savvy and earning power - and the rising popularity of handbags over the past 100 years has followed the increasing social independence of their owners.”

Just a Few of the Reasons Women Love Purses

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All women know the importance of a owning a purse. It is necessary for holding the things we need daily and in case of emergency. Most women would feel naked without her purse – I sure would! But, there are far more reasons for purse love than simple storage.

  • The right purse can dress up any outfit.

  • Purses come in so much variety – size, shape, color, material, and cost all vary greatly. This allows women to pick out a purse that is more personal to her taste and a reflection of her style.

  • You can change out your purse as often as you’d like – much easier than changing your hair. Purses can change depending on your outfit, the occasion, or the season.

  • Purses look good on all women – no matter your size.

  • Purses are now viewed as investment pieces. Women are willing to spend more on purses for this very reason.

Some of My Current Favorite Purses

Since women aged between 18-45 own an average of 13 handbags from seven different brands, you should not bat an eye when I share some of my favorite purses with you. I’m betting you have several in your closet, too.

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I am in love with my Delvaux purses. These purses are all high quality, fine leather. Plus, they are the official purveyor to the Royal Court of Belgium.

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My love for my Loewe bag knows now end. All the heart eyes for this one.

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Fendi is known for stylish handbags like this one. I love the shock of color.

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If you haven’t figure it out by now, I am a huge fan of pink. This one from Celine makes my pink-loving heart happy.

Ultimately, women are purchasing purses for style and quality rather than merely purchasing for a brand logo. While I am all about a designer bag, even I know quality and style trumps a logo. But, when I find the perfect combination of designer plus style and quality, I know it is a win!

Shout out your purse love in the comments!

How to Clean and Take Care of Light-Colored Shoes and Bags

Ladies, why do we save up the money to purchase designer bags or shoes just to let them show wear and tear before the season is even over? If you are like me, you hate to see your most valued possessions lose their luster because of stains or scuff marks.

High-quality shoes and bags should be treated as investment pieces, but too often, we don’t take the steps we need to take care of them in the first place. I’m here today to help you out with some basic care and cleaning tips for light-colored shoes and bags.

Protect Your Valuables

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First things first, you need to protect your valuable shoes and bags. You need to treat them with care! For instance, shoe horns and boot shapers were invented for a reason. These handy tools keep your precious shoes in great shape. The same concept applies to bags, too. If you are not using a bag, stuff it so that it maintains its shape in the offseason. Additionally, your designer bags come with dust bags for a reason – to protect the bags from dust. If you have a dust bag, then use it!

Take Prevention into Your Own Hands

If you have a pair of shoes or a bag that you absolutely love and hope will last for years, then you should invest in a protector spray. Protector sprays work to protect the material by creating a barrier against water and dirt. This is especially important for light-colored bags and shoes!

The Material Matters

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I cannot emphasize this enough – the material matters! You will treat and clean leather very differently than you will suede. For example, you should avoid using water as the main cleaning agent for suede unless you want to damage your shoes or bag even more. Similarly, there are specific cleaning tools for different types of materials – i.e., suede protectors and leather protectors.

Read the Instructions

Next, after you have purchased care items, you should always read the labels and instructions. As I explained above, you should not use a suede cleaner on a leather item and vice versa. Additionally, some leather cleaners require water and others do not; therefore, it is important for you to read the instructions. If you want your shoes or bags to return to their original beauty, then follow the care instructions and cleaning product instructions.

Test a Small Area First

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You should always test a small area first to be on the safe side. Some shoe polishes are designed to work with certain colors. Don’t make the mistake of applying a shoe polish designed for black shoes all over a light-colored pair of shoes. That would be a major shoe emergency!

Three Products I Recommend

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You can google and find all sorts of home remedies for cleaning light colored shoes and bags. But, when it comes to my favorite possessions, I just don’t want to risk it. I’d rather not try to combine white vinegar and water and ruin my favorite pair of heels. Instead, I trust those in the shoe business to tell me how to clean and take care of my valuables. Below I am recommending three products for leather shoes which can also be used on leather purses. Even better – these products are designed to work on light-colored shoes and bags!

Apple Brand Leather Cleaner & Conditioner

The Apple Brand aims to preserve and restore leather – not to damage it. So, you can expect their products to be gentle. In addition to the cleaner, I love that the conditioner is easy to apply using a makeup sponge and works to moisturize and leave the leather feeling smooth.

Meltonian Boot and Shoe Cream Polish

As it is available in multiple colors, it is easy to find a polish that will match the item you love. The cream works to clean and make shoes return to their original glory. It goes on easily, and all you need to do is buff the shoes with a soft cloth.

Saphir Medaille D'or 1925 Pate De Luxe Neutral Wax Shoe Polish

Unlike dark shoe polishes, this one is wax-based, clear and designed to be used on neutral or odd-colored shoes. For those looking for a polish that does not have to match various colored shoes, this is an excellent choice.

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