Accessories make an outfit. You can wear designer clothes and shoes, and that's well and good. But it's the accessories that’ll complete your look and push it in the right (or wrong) direction.
If you want to ensure that your accessories always elevate your style, go for timeless, classic fashion pieces – those so-called wardrobe staples. Naturally, these could be expensive, but they are undoubtedly worth the splurge. And you can buy pre-owned designer accessories for better value.
The following are five designer accessories you should seriously consider adding to your wardrobe.
1. Cartier Tank Watch
It can't get more classic than this.
Join the ranks of Princess Diana, Jackie Kennedy and Michelle Obama by wearing a Cartier Tank watch. This is one watch that immediately makes a statement as it has one of the most recognisable watch silhouettes today.
Cartier launched the Tank in 1919, so this watch has a rich and long history of more than 100 years. Louis Cartier himself designed it, inspired by the rhomboid WWI armoured military vehicle named, you guessed it, the Tank.
Did you know that the shape of the modern Cartier Tank is not the same as the original Tank watches? The original had a square face, whereas the current Tank is rectangular. There was also a curved Tank variant.
Then Cartier introduced an Allied countries series, including the Tank Americaine, an updated version of the curved Tank, the Tank Francaise, the Tank Divan and the Tank Anglaise. And this is not the extent of the Cartier Tank range.
The Cartier Tank comes in different sizes, makes and movements. Popular combinations include steel and leather, yellow gold and leather, and white gold and diamonds. They come in large, small or mini, and they either have automatic or quartz movement.
Whichever Cartier Tank you choose, you can be sure it will be the right one as a Tank never goes out of style. Cartier Tanks are pretty expensive, but you can check out second-hand designer accessories stores online for great deals on vintage Cartier watches.
2. Hermes Birkin
If you want a bag that anyone who knows fashion will immediately recognise, get a Hermes Birkin bag. According to that famous Sex and the City line, ‘It’s not a bag. It’s a Birkin’.
This is the bag of mythical tales and urban legends. Hermes doesn't display their Birkins.
If you're lucky, a sales associate might tell you it’s available and offer you the chance to gawk at it or – even luckier – the opportunity to buy it. And this usually only happens when you spend a dizzying amount of money at a Hermes store.
In the past, people had to line up for the chance to buy it. There used to be Birkin waiting lists. Today, Hermes still limits the number of Birkin bags one can buy in a year. Yes, even for regulars.
They're so highly in-demand that a used Birkin is typically among the most expensive pre-owned designer bags at second-hand designer shops online and offline.
Singer and actress Jane Birkin inspired this eponymous bag. She was on a flight with Hermes’ Jean-Louis Dumas. When she spilt the contents of her purse, she got into a conversation with the Hermes executive about the bag she wanted, something practical and capacious to carry all that she needed. And, so the Birkin was born.
Unlike its very practical origins, however, the Birkin quickly rose to iconic status. Not surprising because every Birkin is handmade, and French artisans at the Hermes workshop spend 48 hours making one. Every bag, moreover, is superbly crafted, and it’s a bag you know will last you for decades to come.
Birkins are so impeccably made that you can find decades-old bags still in excellent condition in used designer bags stores.
3. Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Necklace
This is another accessory for the books. Add this timeless necklace to your accessories collection, and you will always have something you can use to elevate your style.
The Alhambra motif is one of the most famous designs of the Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery house. It is patterned after a four-leaf clover and evokes the Moorish quatrefoil, and it is supposed to bring good luck and fortune to the wearer.
The Alhambra line of jewellery is designed to bring timeless style to daytime wear. So, it works really well with a pair of jeans and a crisp shirt. But because of its classic elegance, it transitions nicely to evening wear; perhaps with a soft, billowy dress.
Alhambra necklaces come in different lengths. Some have one, ten, and twenty Alhambra motifs. Necklaces are made of yellow gold, white gold and rose gold, and the motifs can be made of gold, diamond, mother-of-pearl, chalcedony, agate, rhodonite, onyx, or malachite.
To complement your Alhambra necklace, you can also get other complementing Alhambra pieces, such as an Alhambra bracelet and earrings. If you shop at a second-hand designer jewellery store, you may be able to score a whole set of Alhambra jewellery for the price of one brand new necklace.
4. Hermes Scarf
A Hermes scarf is something well-worth the splurge. Wear it on your neck when it gets chilly out, or just use it in any way you want to enhance your style.
You can wear it on your hair, as a belt or use it to accentuate your bag. And yes, you can even use it as a handkerchief. That’s how functional a Hermes scarf is.
But its beauty – and the reason for its iconic fame – is its superior quality, unique hues and extensive range of designs.
These qualities make Hermes scarves a true wardrobe staple. You just can't go wrong with one. It’s a good thing it’s something you’re likely to find in second-hand designer goods stores.
5. Gucci Sunglasses
A pair of sunglasses almost always works to upgrade your look. For the ultimate accessory, however, get a pair of Gucci sunglasses.
There are different shapes available: round, oval, square, rectangular, aviator, and cat-eye. The important thing is to select a style that complements your face shape. For easier mixing and matching, choose a dark shade; grey or black should be perfect.
If you want a selection of Gucci sunglasses to fit every one of your looks, you can visit a luxury shop online that sells pre-owned designer items. You’re sure to find Gucci sunglasses there.
The excellent value for money offered by second-hand designer wear shops means you should be able to afford more than one pair of these.
Go for Timeless Wardrobe Staples
When deciding on which designer accessories are worth splurging on, choose ones that have withstood the test of time. Stick to timeless pieces or items you’re sure will always be in fashion. You also want wardrobe staples that will always work to upgrade your style.
Check out our range of preloved designer accessories and find great deals on timeless, classic fashion pieces.