Designer Resale: Vintage Designer Fashion as Investments April 19 2022

I will be the first to admit: fashion is an investment. Sure, we’ve all been sucked into buying those $2 tank tops and $5 sale tops during one clearance event or another and walked out of the store thinking “Yes!  Deal of the century!”  Fast forward 10 washes later, and that cheap-o shirt has lost its shape, its color, or its stitching.  And off it goes into the back of the drawer and the newest deal replaces it.

Even knowing this I still get surprised I own 15 black t-shirts and 12 pairs of verrrrry similar dark wash jeans every time I do a much-needed closet cleanout.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a sale.  BUT—and here’s a big BUT—the pieces I’ve spent a little more on, splurged a little more of that hard-earned money – those pieces tend to stand up to daily life better because they start out with a higher quality base.  This is not true of everything, of course, but if looking good makes you feel good, and investing in some key pieces is important.

Vintage Chanel eagle necklace (or belt), for sale at Rice and Beans Vintage.

So now let’s get to the good stuff. Just because you pay a little more for a piece doesn’t mean you’re completely throwing your money away and you’ll never see that investment returned to you.  Here’s the great news:  vintage designer pieces of particular designers are always a good investment.  Vintage pieces are less expensive than what’s currently in stores, and they still hold their resale value well.

Vintage Chanel ballet flats. Visit for more details.

A recent study that was highlighted in Christina Brinkley’s Wall Street Journal article “Ranking the Resale Value of Designer Fashion Labels” showed that brands that are not easily found on sale tend to hold their value better than those that do—so an investment in Chanel and Hermes pieces, for example, is a smart move.  The study also showed that darker colors tend to hold their value better than lighter colors—probably because it hides the imperfections and stains better, which is also why my wardrobe happens to be primarily darker colors (I know I’m not alone there, so you may as well just admit it).

Vintage Chanel ballet flats. Visit for more details.

Further good news: your handbag infatuation is actually a good thing. The study also showed that designer handbags retain the highest value out of all fashion items—the better the condition, the higher the value.  So go ahead and splurge on that vintage Chanel tote bag you’ve been eyeing on the Rice and Beans Vintage website—it’s the smart thing to do.  (And if anyone gives you a hard time, you can just tell them there’s verifiable data behind it!)

For sale at Rice and Beans Vintage: vintage Chanel caviar leather tote.

Written by Heather Cox for Rice and Beans Vintage.