Top 10 Entry-Level Luxury Accessories to Invest In

An image of four models, all dressed in black, clad in many pieces of Chanel costume jewellery.Image © Chanel 2017
Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Co-Founder & Specialist[email protected]

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In today’s world, the desire for luxury accessories has transcended mere fashion statements. Investing in high-end items is no longer just a matter of style, but has evolved into a strategic financial decision due to their ability to diversify your investment portfolio and the potential to yield impressive returns. While alternative investments have been gaining traction in recent years, luxury accessories in particular have become increasingly popular thanks to their unique appeal and potential for appreciation.

In the past few years, luxury accessories such as timepieces, jewellery, designer handbags and shoes have solidified their status as profitable investment opportunities. While it can be daunting to enter this market, this article will explore the driving forces behind the ever-growing popularity of investing in luxury accessories, delving into the factors that contribute to their long-term value and the benefits that come with owning these iconic pieces. We hope this will guide you on how to best make a decision about how to decide on which entry-level luxury accessories to invest in.

What makes a good entry-level investment piece?

When starting your journey into the world of luxury investment, accessories at the entry-level category provide the perfect opportunity to acquire assets at a more affordable price point. Investing in entry-level luxury items, such as handbags, jewellery, watches and fashion allows you to explore your passions while building a valuable collection. These passion assets marry the best of both worlds, offering the pleasure derived from owning and using exquisite items with the potential for financial appreciation over time.

The starting point for building any collection should be embracing one’s personal interests and preferences. Passion assets hold their value not only because of their intrinsic quality and craftsmanship but also because of the emotional connection they create, which causes people to give these objects appropriate care. Furthermore, you would ideally like something that can be worn or used frequently, as those items offer the added benefits of operating as status symbols and as functional accessories. 

As you begin building your collection, it is essential to look for entry-level items that boast a certain level of rarity or exclusivity while maintaining a reasonable price point. Limited edition releases, unique collaborations or pieces from well-established brands with a history of appreciating value are worth considering. These items are more likely to retain or increase their value over time, making them attractive investments with great resale potential.

Starting your luxury investment journey with entry-level pieces allows you to explore the world of passion assets without breaking the bank.

An image of a black dial Rolex Oyster Perpetual.Image © The Watch Club / Rolex Oyster Perpetual 2019
1.

Watches

A luxury watch is not just a timekeeping device: it is an emblem of prestige, craftsmanship and enduring style. For those considering an entry-level investment in the world of high-end timepieces, there are several factors to keep in mind. Firstly, it's crucial to consider the brand’s reputation and history. Renowned brands such as Rolex, Omega and TAG Heuer have a strong heritage and proven track record of creating high-quality, reliable timepieces that are more likely to retain or appreciate in value over time. They all also offer iconic entry-level options that showcase their craftsmanship and expertise, with models such as Rolex Oyster Perpetual, the Omega Seamaster, and the TAG Heuer Carrera being notable examples.

The mechanics of your watch also influence its investment value. Though quartz movements are generally more accurate and affordable, mechanical movements are highly regarded for their intricate engineering and craftsmanship. Entry-level mechanical watches, such as those from Seiko or Tissot, offer an affordable introduction to luxury timepieces, providing a taste of the craftsmanship and attention to detail that define high-end watches.

Limited edition timepieces and collaborations with renowned designers or celebrities can also make for attractive entry-level investments. These watches often boast unique design elements and are produced in limited quantities, contributing to their exclusivity and potential resale value. Brands such as Oris, Longines and Hamilton frequently release limited edition models worth considering.

An image of a model wearing a bright pink Chanel Wallet On Chain.Image © Chanel 2019
2.

Luxury Handbags

Luxury handbags have long been seen as great representatives of the pinnacle of fashion, craftsmanship and exclusivity. Over the years, they have also proven to be a sound investment, with some iconic bags greatly appreciating over time. While brands like Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton have a long history of creating timeless and desirable handbags that increase in value, they can be incredibly pricey. Entry-level versions of their most iconic models, such as the Hermès Evelyne, Chanel Classic Wallet on Chain or a Louis Vuitton Pochette, make an excellent starting point for your collection. You can also consider investing in bags by newer, yet well-established designers such as Jacquemus, whose Le Chiquito bag is already considered a must-have in any collection.

The quality of materials and craftsmanship will play a crucial factor when selecting a luxury handbag for investment. Bags made from durable, high-quality materials like leather or exotic skins are more likely to stand the test of time and maintain their value. Investing in handbags with timeless designs and versatile functionality can help ensure the lasting appeal of your investment. Classic silhouettes, neutral colours and minimal embellishments are more likely to remain in style and be sought after in the resale market.

A collage of images from Tiffany’s T collection.Image © Tiffany T 2019
3.

Jewellery

In many ways, jewellery has been the original symbol of wealth, status and facilitation of personal expression. The choice of precious metals and gemstones plays a significant role in the value of your entry-level jewellery investment, with gold, platinum, and silver being popular choices for their durability, shine and ability to hold value. Additionally, diamonds and other precious gemstones like sapphires, rubies and emeralds are sought-after for their rarity, beauty, and value retention.

However, investing in luxury jewellery is not only about indulging in the allure of precious metals and gemstones, but also about the feelings they inspire. When most people think of jewellery, they immediately think of iconic brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Van Cleef & Arpels. These makers have a long history of creating timeless, high-quality and sophisticated jewellery that retains or appreciates in value over time. Consider investing in their classic designs, such as the Cartier Love bracelet, Bulgari B.Zero1 ring or Van Cleef’s entry-level Alhambra collection. The Tiffany T collection is a perfect entry point in the jewellery world, and part of Tiffany’s wider effort to appeal to a younger audience through more accessible pieces.

However, even without a big name brand attached to it, you can protect your jewellery’s value by choosing classic designs such as stud earrings, solitaire pendants or simple bangles, which are more likely to remain in style and be sought after in the resale market.

An image of an orange pair of Air Force 1 sneakers from Nike’s 2017 collaboration with brand Off-White.Image © Nike x Off White Air Force 1 2017
4.

Sneakers

The sneaker market has undeniably exploded in recent years, having evolved from a niche subculture to a global industry that seems to finally be reaching its mature stage after a slight decline last year. Nevertheless, limited-edition releases and collaborations have been driving up demand and prices – as evidenced by the resounding success of Sotheby’s 2022 sneaker online auction, which sold 200 pairs of sneakers and brought in a total of £20.4 million. With most pairs at the auction having sold for over £80,000, the sneaker market can seem a daunting one to enter.

Models matter very much in the world of investment sneakers, with brands like Nike and Adidas largely dominating the primary market. Consider investing in the classics such as the Nike Air Force 1 or Air Jordans, which have proven their enduring appeal in the resale market. Limited edition sneakers and collaborations between luxury brands, designers or celebrities are also an attractive entry-level investment option due to their high probability for appreciation. These shoes often feature unique design elements and are produced in limited quantities, contributing to their exclusivity and buyer appeal. Examples include collaborations between Nike and Off-White, Adidas and Kanye West's Yeezy line or Puma and Rihanna's Fenty collection.

A collage of three models, all wearing Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses.Image © Town & Country Magazine 2018
5.

Luxury Fashion

Luxury fashion is one of the most traditional ways of investing in high-end brands, and has long been synonymous with status and personal expression. As elsewhere on this list, iconic brands and timeless designs are most highly coveted in the primary and secondary markets. The key to getting the most out of your items is to invest in classic designs, such as the Burberry trench coat, the Calvin Klein slip dress or a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress.

Investing in versatile and wearable luxury fashion pieces can help ensure the lasting appeal of your investment, and make it more functional for everyday use. If your purchase has high-quality materials and craftsmanship, it is likely to be more durable. Materials like leather, silk or cashmere are some of the most likely to stand the test of time and maintain their value.

When purchasing an entry-level luxury fashion piece, it's essential to pay close attention to its condition and only source items from reputable dealers or authorised retailers. This ensures the authenticity and quality of your investment. Retaining the original tags, dust bags, and boxes can also enhance the resale value of your fashion items.

A black and white image of a model wearing a vintage-style pair of sunglasses.Image © British Vogue 2021
6.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses offer one of the most accessible and functional ways to begin your luxury accessories collection. They are easily storable, highly wearable, very durable and relatively affordable when compared to most items by big name brands. They also usually offer better protection for your eyes too, which means they do their job better than cheaper ones. Sunglasses are often easy to resell due to their portable quality and ease of shipment, and are a great way to create a sense of self-expression.

Most high fashion brands now stock their own sunglasses, meaning you can own a great collection full of impressive names for a fraction of the price of other accessories. Some popular choices for sunglasses include Cartier, Gucci, Dior, Chanel, Versace, Prada, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. The vintage sunglasses market has been booming, and the platform Vestiaire Collective has reported a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in searches for items.

An image of Dior’s black D-Fence Belt.Image © Dior 2021
7.

Small Leather Goods such as Wallets and Belts

Luxury brands are famous not only because of their names, but because of the quality of their items. One easy way to own an item of such craftsmanship is through small leather goods such as wallets, belts, keyrings and gloves. Their lower price makes designer labels more accessible and add a special touch to our everyday looks.

According to Rebag’s Clair report, notable amongst this category are cardholders, which retain an average of 105% of their original retail value. This is especially true for the Chanel models (+126%), who remain a status symbol due to their iconic double C, the monogrammed canvas pieces by Louis Vuitton and cardholders made by the workshops of the Maison Goyard.

Designer belts are also an affordable way to invest in style. As usual, try to invest in timeless designs that will withstand the changing trends and that offer an identifiable trademark of the brand – whether that is a logo or simply the quality of the material.

An image of two pairs of feet clad in Gucci horsebit loafers.Image © The RealReal 2017
8.

Shoes

Shoes are a decisive element for any outfit, and for many are a passion asset that defines their style. Many shoes remain in the collection of brands for years, so while they may not be the rarest of assets, there is still always some demand for these timeless items. Classic examples include the Chanel slingbacks, Gucci loafers and Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps. Many of these shoes have entered pop culture consciousness, with Queen Elizabeth II being a big fan of Gucci loafers and the tv show Sex And The City making women covet Manolo Blahniks everywhere.

Vestiaire Collective named Christian Louboutin, Gucci, Prada, Hermès and Jimmy Choo as their top-selling shoe brands of 2023. As such, you can also choose to invest in any models by these brands and rest assured that they seem likely to increase in value with appropriate care and time.

“Costume jewellery isn’t made to provoke desire, just astonishment at most. It must remain an ornament and an amusement”
Coco Chanel
9.

Luxury Costume Jewellery

In recent decades, luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior and Hermès have all reliably released iconic pieces of costume jewellery. Despite the fact that these are not made of fine materials such as real pearls, gold or gemstones, their design and association with high-end brands make them reliable investment pieces.

Chanel’s faux pearl necklaces are an iconic example, having become synonymous with the brand and recurring in almost every collection. Another example are Dior’s Tribales earrings, which come in many different colours and iterations, and have been beloved by fashionistas since their inception in 2015. The Hermès Clic H bracelet was first launched in 1978 and has remained a staple of the brand since, charming buyers around the world.

An image of Hermès’ Isola Di Primavera scarf.Image © Hermès 2023
10.

Scarves

Designer scarves may be low on your investment list, but they can change your wardrobe and become a real asset within your portfolio. Due to their high-quality, these scarves are able to maintain their integrity and last you for many years, holding its value in case you wish to sell. In order for this to happen you should pay close attention to the materials of your scarf: silk and cashmere stand out as the fabrics of choice by the top scarf designers because they are breathable, light, surprisingly durable and feel soft against the skin.

Hermès is famous for its silk scarves, which are silk screened and stitched by hand, a process that takes six months. A giveaway of their exquisite quality is the fact that their ends are hand-rolled, a testimony to how involved the creative process of a luxury accessory is. If you wish your scarf to maintain its quality, you should store it in its original box, dry clean only and anything that may cause pulled threads or fraying. This will guarantee that your investment is protected.

Close up model walking a runway holding a Gucci fur handbagImage © Fashion United Gucci FW23 / Launchmetrics Spotlight

Invest in Style

Personal style is one of the many ways in which we can express ourselves. By carefully curating what we wear and by which brand, you can choose to send whatever message you wish onto the world. By investing in items that you love and genuinely resonate with you, you are more likely to appreciate their beauty and uniqueness, leading to a deeper understanding of their value and potential for growth.

As we have seen, buying luxury items that cater to your sense of style can also be a solid investment if you wish to start your own collection. While it can be daunting to enter the market of luxury accessories, there are many entry-level items that allow you to diversify your investment portfolio while still enjoying the fruits of your labour. Remember that when it comes to luxury investments, it's not just about the money; it's about the passion, the craftsmanship and the joy of owning something truly extraordinary.