Upping Your Fashion Net Worth

November 23, 2010 by Lila Delilah

The biggest shopping season of the year is moments away and we know everyone is hyper-sensitive about the best way to spend their hard earned money. We have grown so tired of hearing fashion editors, stylists and retail sales associates go on about “investment” pieces that we thought it would be a good time to actually research the topic.

It’s hard to believe that a great pair of skinny jeans or a fitted jacket is a good investment, no matter how good they look. A true investment turns a hard cash profit. Truthfully, fashion is like a great car that depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot. There’s not a lot of items that will hold much value once you walk a mile or even cut the tags. There are some items, however, that do tend to hold their value better than others.

Basically, items that are limited in quantity or produced from iconic fashion houses tend to hold the best value, according to Corri McFadden, who owns Chicago-based eDrop-Off, the second largest seller of luxury goods on eBay. eDrop-Off sells about 1000 items per week on eBay but the items that hold their value best are Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

Corri laughs that some of her clients’ closets are worth more than their husband’s stock portfolios. “A mother of five children might love Hermes, but how practical is it for her to own five Birkin bags?” she says. “I might suggest that she sell three and spend the money on items that are more useful to her daily life.”

In addition to the bold name French fashion houses, some fast fashion collaborations have held their value. “Jimmy Choo for H&M still sells for above retail,” Corri says. “Lanvin for H&M is going to be a good one and even some of the Target lines have shown great resale values.”

Tammy Fluhr-Gates, a third-generation family member of the famous Madison Avenue consignment store Michael’s, agrees with Corri, “Chanel, Hermes and Pucci are always popular brands.” It’s the classic and distinct style that has kept Pucci relevant through all this time. “When you want Pucci there’s only Pucci.”

“Some very well known designers who have fallen off in the secondary market are Armani and maybe Valentino and Versace,” Tammy says. The reason why these icons have decreased in value is unknown, but it’s clear that they aren’t as desirable as they were in decades past. The great thing about fashion is that they can always come back.

When it comes to jewelry, Divorce Your Jewels‘ Missy Schorr has helped clients unload everything from a 12-carat flawless diamond to scrap gold. Her advice is to stick with full cut diamonds and colored stones. Jewelry with semi-precious stones and pave diamond settings are very hard to sell. You want to buy 18-karat gold jewelry and find stones that come certified with GIA papers, Missy advises. Brands like Cartier, Harry Winston and Van Cleef tend to maintain the best value of the high-end jewelry houses.

When it comes to watches, even the ladies should go for the men’s styles. Men’s watches hold their value better than women’s, Missy advises. The Rolex Daytona, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet tend to hold their value best.

Like all designer items–from bags to watches– Missy suggests, holding on to boxes and paperwork. “The more information you have, the better off you are.” We would say those wise words hold true with all investments.


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