Do you have a “thing” for designer handbags, shoes or scarves?  You’re not alone.  In a recent survey, the ACNeilsen Company asked 23,000 female shoppers around the world which designer accessories (excluding jewelry) they were currently buying online.  From Manolos to Cartier key chains, the top nine categories appear below.

Scan the list to see if your favorites made the cut – and to maybe even glean a few ideas for your Christmas list in the process.

The top luxury accessories bought online include:

1. Shoes

A whopping 46% of survey respondents said that they bought their Manolos and Jimmy Choos online.  What the report DIDN’T say was that shoes are also the number one item that’s returned – which makes sense, since you can’t try them on until you get them.  If you want to buy shoes online, look for your favorite brands where you already know the sizing, and always be sure to check the return policy of the store from which you’re ordering.  You want to be able to send them back if they don’t fit.

2. Handbags

More than one-third of the respondents (38%) said that they have bought a designer handbag online, with Marc Jacobs, Fendi, and Coach leading the pack.  A lot of women who don’t ordinarily buy luxury apparel will scrimp and save to get a designer handbag, which have become more and more popular in the last dozen years.  If you’re thinking of getting a handbag online, always buy from reputable dealer, and always buy authentic bags.  Don’t do business with pirates or counterfeiters.

3. Sunglasses

Coming in at number three are designer sunglasses, with 30% of respondents saying they’d bought this item online.  Hermès, Gucci, Chanel – all popular brands.  But like shoes, sunglasses can be hard to fit, so be sure to check the return policy if you buy them online.

4. Wallets

What better way to make a statement with your designer handbag than by reaching in and pulling out a designer wallet?  This little luxury is another area where women tend to splurge, and 24% of respondents – nearly one in four – said they had bought a wallet online.  Want to surprise your favorite fashionista this holiday season?  This is one way you can do it.

5. Belts

Belts probably wouldn’t have even made the list a few years ago, but with a returned emphasis on the waist in recent seasons, 14% of respondents said they’ve bought a belt online.  If you’re going to spend the money for a designer brand belt, make sure it’s a classic style, with a color, width, and hardware that can last for years.  Remember:  invest in classics, go cheap on trends.

6. Stationery

Do people still write on paper any more?  Absolutely!  Just ask Kate Spade and Vera Wang, both of whom of have entered the luxury stationery market in recent years (10% of the survey respondents said they’d bought designer stationery).  There’s nothing like a handwritten note to make people feel appreciated, and there’s nothing like writing on top-of-the-line paper stock to get the job done — unless, of course, you compose your note with a top-of-the-line pen. 

7. Briefcases

Savvy executives have long know the power of a statement briefcase, and savvy businesswomen are turning to this luxury item more and more to give themselves an edge (8% of respondents have).  But we’re not just talking the standard attaché – think styles that suit many different professional needs, including totes, messenger bags, and stylish laptop holders.  Thinking about a new briefcase this year?  Drop a few hints to the gift-givers in your life and see what comes of it.

8. Luggage

Nothing conveys the jet-set image more readily than a matching suite of leather designer luggage (6% of respondents have bought designer luggage online).  “The Louis Vuitton luggage set is iconic – both in the world of fashion as well as in travel,” said Frank Martell of ACNeilsen Europe.  “It symbolizes the ultimate in designer travel.”
But is also attracts the attention of thieves, unfortunately, so unless you’ll be traveling by charter plane or private jet, you could become a ready target.  Just something to think about before you buy –

9. Key Chains

Can’t afford a designer handbag, shoes, or wallet?  Try a key chain, as 6% of the respondents have.  This is a fun little way to indulge both yourself and the fashion-lovers in your life.  I’ve even heard of some realtors turning over the keys to luxury properties attached to designer key rings.  It’s a nice touch.  Want a fun way to partake of luxury goods?  Try a key ring.

So how do your favorite indulgences stack up to other brand lovers around the world?  Any surprises?  Or were you too busy working up your holiday list to notice?  I understand.  A little luxury every now and again is enough to make any woman smile — especially when the “keys to your kingdom” are dangling from a decadent keychain.  Try it yourself and see!

Need a little help finding the accessories to create your own head-turning style?  Download a copy of ACCESSORY MAGIC to see how satisfying – not to mention budget-stretching – proper accessorizing can be.


Diana Pemberton-Sikes is a wardrobe and image consultant and author of “Wardrobe Magic,” an ebook that shows women how to transform their unruly closets into workable, wearable wardrobes. Visit her online at .

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