The Postdoc Wears Prada

The truth is, I’m a label snob.  There I said it.

But…I have my reasons!!

  1. Often, designer labels are made with better quality materials, often have a better fit, but mostly, are simply more aesthetically pleasing.
  2. If you are a savvy shopper, you can usually get high-end, designer items at a cost similar to what you would pay for something that is not a designer item.  How, you ask??  Well, for one, if you shop online, ALWAYS look for coupons, discount codes, or promos.  You are guaranteed to usually get at least free shipping.  Some of my favorite sites to check for discounts are (duh!),,  Perhaps I will compile a list soon if there is enough interest from you, the readers!
  3. If you are anti-online shopping and prefer to shop at the store, look for coupons in the mail, via email (sign up for their newsletters, or email promotions), or simply ask the cashier if they have any promotions going on, or if they happen to have any coupons available that you can use.  It happened to me before, and I was able to purchase a wool blazer from Banana Republic for $50 simply because I asked for coupon and they had one to give!
  4. Finally, as anybody who is close to me knows, I am the ultimate eBay seller, consigner, you name it.  If I am able, I will resell it!  And, the fact of the matter is, designer labels don’t depreciate in value as quickly, and have greater odds of reselling even when they do depreciate more than expected.

So, when able, I opt for designer labels over non-designer labels.

Take for example designer bags.  Have you searched eBay for either Chanel or Louis Vuitton bags?  Years after purchase (I’m talking years!  Sometimes decades!), these name brand bags will resell for 60-80% of the original price.  So let’s think of a purchase this way:

Say I buy a Louis Vuitton Bag (I am currently coveting a Speedy 30).

Current purchase price is $875 + tax, which in Jefferson County, Alabama brings the purchase price to $962.50.

Because big ticket items often require some budgeting, that often also means that you have had some time to plan and wait for the purchase of the item.  In my case, I have been planning for a few months now, and also know that within the month, will be traveling to California where sales tax will be 1% less.  That now brings my purchase price to $945 (money saved: $17.50).

Second, I am an American Express card holder.  With American Express, one can sign up for their rewards program, which awards you points for purchases made using your AmEx card.  Thanks to the frequent travel associated with my academic position (yay for conference travel and faculty interviews!!), I now have enough points to redeem for a $300 gift card to Saks Fifth Avenue.  There are Louis Vuitton Stores in select Saks Fifth Avenue locations, which DO accept Saks Fifth Avenue gift cards.  That now brings my purchase price to $645 (total money saved: $317.50).

Third, coupons come by way of store promotions, online promotions, or discount deals like those offered by or  In my case, I was able to snag a Saks Fifth Avenue LivingSocial deal where I paid $20 for a $40 credit.  This can be applied to the purchase of my bag!  That now brings my purchase price to $605. ($625 if you think about the $20 I paid. Total money saved: $337.50).

Okay, so $625 is still a lot of money for a bag you say??  Well, let me turn you on to the idea of reselling your goods once you have gotten tired of them, or are looking to upgrade to something different.

If, after 1 month of carrying my bag, I decide I no longer want it, I resell it on eBay (or other venue for online resales, like Craigslist, Poshmark, etc).  LV Speedy 30’s are currently ranging in price between $650-$800, depending on how used the bag is.  Even if I were to sell it for $650, I still make $25 on the transaction!  That means I carried the bag I was coveting for as long as I wanted and still made money on it!  Seriously, you can’t tell me that isn’t amazing.  Really??!

And that, my friends, is how the Postdoc [is able to] Wear Prada. 😉

Travel with my current, and favorite, LV. :)

Travel with my current, and favorite, LV.

5 thoughts on “The Postdoc Wears Prada

  1. LE says:

    you should charge for the advice you’re offering! i vote you post a video of you achieving the ultimate designer “couponing” experience. who cares about couponing in the supermarket — your version is way better for TV… Get on it!!! 😀 Can’t wait for the next, Doc!


  2. Chic in Academia says:

    Thanks, LE! There is definitely more to this story, but I will save the rest for a later post. 😉 Thanks for the TV series suggestion! Haha! Not only would that be AMAZE-ing, but it would be a ton of fun I’m sure!! Sigh, a girl can dream.

    Thanks for the encouragement and for your blog support!


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