How to Afford a Louis Vuitton Bag

(UPDATED POST 11.01.17)

Head over to this post on How to Buy a Luxury Bag


I have had a handbag obsession lately and my most coveted purchase last year is this Louis Vuitton Alma bag! Squeal! This brand has been around since 1854 (crazy isn’t it) when Louis Vuitton created the famous trunks fabricated out of the iconic Damier Ebene canvas to combat knockoffs (funny they still have to fight off the counterfeiters to this day!)


Damier Ebene

Yes, despite what you may have thought, the material is NOT leather but a coated canvas that has been through a 100 step process to a make it pretty indestructible. Look at my beauty that is 20 years old and the canvas is impeccable! They combine the canvas with leather (on the Monogram bags a vachetta leather that patinas over time, hence the golden color on my bag).



Louis Vuitton passed away and his son George took over and designed the legendary Monogram pattern that we know today with the quatrefoils, flowers, and the trademark LV logos. In 2006 LV released a white version called Damier Azur using colors from the French Riveria with the white/blue. Look at the detail in the pattern! I’ve never really noticed the level of detail until I started loving the bags.


 Damier Azur


My Alma bag was designed in 1930. HELLO? 1930 and they still sell this bag today! That blows my mind that a simple design is still revelent and in demand today. Tell me if that is not considered a classic, I don’t know what is! This is today’s version of the Alma Bag:

louis-vuitton-alma-mm-monogram-canvas-handbags--M40878_PM2_Front view

Theses bags are classic and I have found appreciation for nice quality bags, their history, and appeal. I used to baulk at paying $30-40 for a “pleather” handbag at Target as I think bags should be worth $20 or less-haha. Little did I know that I would pay much, MUCH more today!

These icons are EXPENSIVE! No joke! But remember everyone has a hobby that they use their money towards. Some people love saltwater reef keeping (I used to be one of those crazy people), some people love new cars, some people shop at Whole Foods-Haha. The point is it’s OK to allocate money towards things you LOVE. You just can’t LOVE everything though! It’s about compromise!

Now this does not mean rent/mortgage vs. hangbag! Keep those priorities in check girl! Roof, utilities, student loans, add to that savings account and IRA/401K, feed those kids and take care of your business. Stop spending here and there on little things that are “cute” at Target (I love Target BTW) :).  Pack your lunch for a couple days/week. Skip Starbucks and make your coffee at home. If you are motivated to afford an LV Bag, you can DO IT!!

So how does one afford a Louis Vuitton bag?

Option 1: Create a savings account for your bags.  Stash away $30 here and $100 there until you have enough for a new bag. A brand new LV Speedy25/30 costs $950/$970 + sales tax. A Neverfull MM costs $1260+tax (2017 prices)

Ideas to buy a bag in 5 months (20 weeks) or less:

  1. To save $50/per week, skip out on 5 lunches @ $10 per lunch= $50 (20 weeks)
  2. To save $80/per week, skip out on the above plus 5 Starbucks trips =$30 (12 weeks)
  3. To save $100/per week, skip out on the above plus 1 dinner= $20 (10 weeks)

Option 2: Buy a preloved bag. I bought my vintage Alma off Ebay from a seller in Japan. Apparently Japanese women are obsessed with LV bags among others and buy them in droves in Paris due to the lower Euro values. Once they are done, they resell them to sellers that put them online at Ebay. Tips: check the seller ratings (big clue) for positive reviews, check out Ebay’s guide for spotting fake bags, and review every single photo to make sure you are OK with it’s flaws-every used bag will have something minor. If you aren’t comfortable with the risk, The Real, Real authenticates all items and they have an amazing selection of Louis Vuitton bags. See my post on the Ray Ban sunglasses I got from them! And if you sign up, you get $25 credit! Woohoo!!

Another fave place for preowned is Fashionphile in California. Literally I check out their website daily as they get the latest styles. Love their selection and high quality comb over of the best bags!! You need to stop by if you are in Carlsbad-such cool shopping experience!

The point is if you really want something, you gotta sacrifice some things! Be strong girl! Who knows, by the time you have $1000 saved up, you might not want a bag. And if you do, don’t feel guilty because you earned it girl!! Be proud! And remember, you can always sell it and get at least 70% of your value back. All is not loss as LV is classic!

See my post on How to Buy a Luxury Bag on tips!

Currently Craving

Green epi

LOVE this Green Epi Speedy 25

I used to like larger slouchy bags, but lately I am loving smaller bags as I am moving away from carrying everything under the sun and only minimal things: wallet, accessory pouch, keys, done!

louis-vuitton-speedy-bandoulière-25-damier-ebene-canvas-handbags--N41368_PM2_Front view

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 Bandouliere in Damier Print

I am obsessed with crossbody bags! They are so easy to sling over your shoulder or across the body. With hands full with kids, it’s nice to have a compact crossbody bag! I am thinking this print would be better long term with the dark handles. BUT then I see this:

louis-vuitton-speedy-bandouliere-25-monogram-canvas-handbags--M41113_PM2_Front view

Louis Vuitton Speedy 25 Bandouliere in Monogram

And fall in love with the classic monogram with beautiful vachetta handles and strap! Decisions, decisions! Just trying to decide on what I like.

LV 2

I am thinking of restoring up my vintage bag and found a couple items to help:

Leather: Cadillac Boot and Shine

Hardware: Blue Magic Metal Polish

Buffing: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (think gently cleaning like your face, it can take off the outer topcoat and leave you with raw leather-not good)

Canvas: Baby wipes

Would love to add a crossbody strap but not sure if I want to make the investment of $250 for new or $15 at ebay that is just leather and not LV.

See this post for more details on restoring steps.

I know that you can take any authentic LV bag to the store and have anything fixed and replaced. Handles on my bag are in the $300 range but replacement of all leather is $700+ which brings me to the new bag syndrome :0)

Do you have an LV bag or currently craving one? Do tell!

Note: Louis Vuitton is not sponsoring me for this post (although I wish!). These are my opinions and my opinions only.


(UPDATED POST 3.19.17)

Head over to this post on How to Buy a Luxury Bag





2 thoughts on “How to Afford a Louis Vuitton Bag

  1. Pingback: Style with a Budget -January | Limelight Lane

  2. Pingback: How to Afford a Louis Vuitton Bag Part 2 | Limelight Lane

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