This Was My First Designer Purchase, and I’ve Loved It for More Than a Decade

It’s a story as old as time. Girl sees designer item she cannot afford, girl subsequently falls in love and saves for an entire year to make it hers, and the two live happily ever after. Of course, in this somewhat autobiographical tale, the girl was a 16-year-old me, and the designer item in question was a beautiful, hand-illustrated Fendi silk scarf that I saw in an airport. I worked a very unglamorous job at a local bakery in order to afford it, and honestly, every single flour-covered hour was worth it. 

As far as designer purchases go, I’d say a scarf is the ultimate first luxury buy. You get all the excitement of shopping a designer brand without the eye-wateringly high price of a leather handbag or a clothing item. 

Designer scarves are also hugely versatile. Within the first few years of owning mine, I wore it as a necktie, a belt, and a headband. I tied it around handbags as an additional accessory and even folded the scarf in half to fashion it as a top. In the years since the item has claimed its rightful position as a piece of artwork on my bedroom wall. (The scarf features illustrated images of Fendi Baguette bags in an array of colors, so really, I should have known it was artwork all along.) 

For a first designer purchase, I couldn’t recommend a scarf enough, and with each luxury fashion house creating its own unique designs, it can be quite easy to fall in love with a scarf (or two). From timeless monogrammed styles—of which Burberry and Gucci excel—to artfully drawn prints and patterns, keep scrolling to see scarves worth the first investment.

Style Notes: Tying a scarf around a bag is a simple way to add an interesting element to your accessory. 

This would look so cute tied on a handbag. 

Styles Notes: Wearing it in a very classic way, here Camille Charriere ties a scarf around her shoulders. 

Such a classic. 

Style Notes: Here, a silk scarf creates an interesting back detail. 

Who wouldn’t love a tropical-themed Gucci scarf?

Black and white is so timeless. 

Style Notes: An attendee at Paris Fashion Week shows how a scarf can totally alter an outfit. 

Practical and chic. 

Style Notes: Wearing a scarf over your shoulder is a simple way to dress up an all-black outfit. 

Burberry scarves are always a smart investment. 

Remember when Mary-Kate Olsen wore this circa 2004?

The plaid print recognized ’round the world. 

Hurry: This J.Lo-inspired scarf is selling out. 

Square scarves have limitless potential. 

To have and to hold. 

This is very Kate Moss. 

If you want to pretend to be a Lady Who Lunches.

Cherry prints are so sweet. 

You can’t find many other Versace pieces for under $200. 

I’m picturing this with a slouchy pantsuit. 

Virgil Abloh always adds a kitschy element to his designs. 

This is probably as close as I’ll get to French-girl style. 

Next up, a celeb stylist told me the jeans brands celebrities buy for themselves.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.

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