Perhaps you’re new to Hermès bags, hoping you’ll get a suggestion quickly. Or, maybe you’re a longtime buyer, ready for the most recent addition to your wardrobe. Both approach, you will have some vital selections to make when shopping for a brand new purse.
Since we’re speaking about Hermès, we’re in all probability speaking concerning the Birkin and the Kelly (and likewise the Constance, however that’s a totally completely different bag which deserves an article of its personal!). Though each are highly regarded, every has a unique construction, and every has its personal milieu of followers. Each designs are produced in a wide range of leathers and colours each season. Whereas many Hermès collectors wind up shopping for every type in some unspecified time in the future, many have a choice for one over the opposite. Let’s look at the construction and the professionals and cons of every design and dimension.
Editor’s Observe: That is half two of a two-part sequence, you should definitely read part one for an in-depth overview of the Hermès Birkin.
The Kelly, whereas at occasions thought-about much less common than the Birkin, is simply as fascinating, and in some methods is extra practical and stylish. A extra female, top-handle bag which, just like the Birkin, additionally has a flap, sangles and clochette, it has considerably of a extra vertical design, with a base barely wider than the highest. It additionally has the rear zip and slip pockets on the inside. The Kelly, nevertheless, is distinguishable in that the flap is structured and can’t be tucked in. It additionally comes with an identical shoulder strap (and Hermès additionally produces different shoulder straps which can be utilized interchangeably on the Kelly) in order that it isn’t only a hand/arm carry bag just like the Birkin however will also be worn on the shoulder, and, with one of many longer straps, cross-body (relying on the bag and strap dimension).
Execs of the Kelly
With a traditional, extra elegant (vertical) form than the Birkin, the Kelly, particularly within the smaller sizes, can lean formal, however nonetheless works on informal days as nicely. The flap just about must be closed, which may be very safe and – in contrast to the Birkin – the Kelly comes with a shoulder strap, which makes the bag extra versatile. Observe that although the Kelly is extra vertically proportioned than the Birkin, I don’t discover it tougher to seek out my issues in a single over the opposite (and once more, if that’s a priority there’s at all times a bag organizer).
Cons of the Kelly
The flap of the Kelly can’t be tucked in and, if the bag is left open, it has a clumsy look. Usually folks discover the strap-and-turnlock closure “fidgety” (for need of a greater phrase) and inconvenient, and so many house owners “compromise” by tending to only pop the flap over the turnlock and twist the turnlock with out placing the straps on, which makes it simpler to get into and out of the bag, however shouldn’t be nice for the bag structurally (it places an excessive amount of of the load of the bag on the turnlock, fairly than displacing it through the straps by to the construction of the bag.
Sellier or Retorune?
Would you like your stitching on the within or the surface of the bag? That’s basically the distinction between the 2 structural variations of the Kelly: Sellier, which has the stitching on the within, is the stiffer, extra structured model (it was known as Rigide), and Retourne, with the stitching on the surface, is the softer model (previously Mou, though a Kelly Mou was a particular kind of Mou bag). The construction you select will dictate a few of the particulars of this bag: sure leathers are used for every (presently Sellier is normally made in epsom leather-based, and in chevre in 20cm or through particular order; it was obtainable by order in togo as nicely, however not for the previous couple of seasons; it’s also produced within the unique leathers), and concomitantly sure colours are solely produced in sure leathers. Extra importantly, the completely different constructions every give off a unique vibe, whether or not formal (the Sellier) or casual (Retourne). Additionally keep in mind that the extra relaxed construction of a Retourne bag permits it to carry greater than the Sellier – however that ultimately the Retourne will even slouch (the quantity of slouch relies on the leather-based used and the way cautious you might be with it), whereas the Sellier is not going to.
Just like the Lakis?
Whereas the Kelly Lakis is changing into tougher and tougher to seek out (sometimes a push provide, then relegated to Particular Orders, the Lakis sadly appears to be nowhere to be discovered this season), it’s one of many extra enjoyable iterations of the Kelly, with back and front zipper pockets. Wayward Kelly designs additionally embrace the Kelly Elan (assume Kelly Danse with out the waist straps), the Kelly Flat (with a strap that ties as an alternative of turnlock-and-straps), the Kelly Sport (slimmer and solely bearing a shoulder strap, no high deal with), Kelly À Dos (backpack), the Kelly Longue (the longer, unique model of the Kelly Lower, which is uncommon however nonetheless in manufacturing), and the So Kelly (bucket bag model of the Kelly, additionally with no high deal with), amongst others.
Which is one of the best dimension for you?
20cm (a/okay/a The Mini Kelly or Mini Kelly II): Out of all the luggage I’m going to debate on this article – and most if not all are very a lot in demand and exhausting to seek out, to various extents – for no matter purpose, that is presently the “hottest”, most in demand, and hardest to seek out bag. I’ve had multiple Gross sales Affiliate inform me that these are available solely hardly ever (one stated the Mini they’d simply offered was the primary they’d seen on the boutique since 2019; one other stated their boutique has solely obtained one, ever***). We’re nonetheless on the peak of the mini bag pattern, and that, together with the mentality of many Hermès clients who’re used to buying the not possible, has led to ever-increasing demand at a time when manufacturing continues to be simply beginning to ramp up once more after the lockdowns in France.
– The Mini Kelly solely comes within the Sellier construction and it’s the excellent little night bag. It suits solely the requirements and completely nothing extra. Proportionally, it’s very visually enticing, interesting to us in the way in which that excellent little dollhouse furnishings and child animals are enticing to us: tugging at our innate intuition to have the lovable little small issues, no matter they’re. From the candy little turnlock to the right little strap, it’s cute and absolutely practical. Good as a bag for formal occasions (except you’re of the ilk that received’t carry a leather-based bag formally), it’s nice for dinner, and I’ve even seen it used as a really small daybag for journey.
– The factor that it’s essential know, nevertheless, is that this bag is small. It’s tiny. It’s – to make use of an outdated phrase – wee. It doesn’t match very a lot in any respect; in actual fact, when carrying this bag one’s austerity abilities, of necessity, grow to be an artwork type. You may match: a calvi, a mini hand sanitizer, a masks, possibly a lipgloss, the smaller iPhone, and, if it’s not large, a key. That’s it!
25cm: This dimension may be very common, and works nicely for each day and evenings (whether or not Sellier or Retourne) and dressier occasions (typically Sellier).
– Once more, it’s an important on a regular basis dimension, in case you don’t carry a lot. Utilizing the strap makes this bag fairly simple and handy
– This bag continues to be on the small facet, with the identical watch-what you-carry caveats suggested for the 25cm Birkin; you’re going to need to play a little bit of Bag Tetris to get this to work, particularly if you’re new to smaller sizes. You want to be considerate when carrying a 25cm Kelly, though possibly a bit much less so if it’s Retourne; a Sellier shouldn’t be going to suit rather more than a small pockets, keys, cellphone and small pouch.
– Keep in mind that as a result of its proportions a Kelly will at all times maintain lower than the Birkin of the identical dimension, and (as beforehand acknowledged) the Sellier will at all times maintain lower than the rRetourne.
28cm: That is what many individuals presently contemplate the “candy spot” for Kelly sizes, though it’s a troublesome name between this dimension and the 32cm; just like the 30cm Birkin it holds most of what you would want, however maybe not fairly, relying on how a lot you have a tendency to hold (particularly if it’s a Sellier).
– the 28cm Kelly is probably one of the best day-to-evening dimension the place you don’t have to significantly compromise what it’s essential carry (not an excessive amount of of a Bag Tetris quotient right here).
– It’s extremely elegant on this dimension as a Sellier, and really fairly but barely cooler on this dimension as a Retourne.
– You could notice I’ve been dropping professionals and cons on this part for every dimension, however I actually can’t consider any “con” to place right here for the 28cm Kelly – which, I suppose, says all of it.
32cm: Previously the “candy spot” previous to the nice bag downsize pattern, the 32cm continues to be a wonderful dimension, particularly if it’s essential carry extra or are a much bigger/taller particular person. Whereas the unique Birkin was 35cm, the Kelly was made in each the 32 and the 35cm sizes.
– The 32cm Kelly is nice (although possibly only a bit on the small facet) for work and fabulous for journey. It would match fairly a bit whereas nonetheless remaining elegant (as a Sellier) or tremendous cool (Retourne).
– A 32cm Kelly is ideal for on a regular basis and proportionally fits most individuals.
– No matter construction, that is undoubtedly extra of a day bag.
35cm: When you get to the 35cm Kelly, the proportions do begin to get fairly massive by present traits, nevertheless these proportions work fabulously in their very own approach.
– For a 35cm Kelly Sellier, it could appear as if a briefcase for a lot of average-sized ladies. This does make it an important and stylish bag for work or mild journey. You may both “go together with it” and be formal, or costume super-causally, which highlights the traces of the bag and makes it work in a wholly completely different approach.
– The 35cm Kelly Retorune reads fairly otherwise; with the dimensions and the slouch, the bigger proportions appear to present the bag an much more informal look, like a tote.
– Many followers of the 35cm Kelly describe it as a “casual cool” dimension.
40cm: Once more, this dimension is tougher to seek out, just like the 40cm Birkin.
– Whereas these have been made in each Sellier and Retourne, they’re tougher to seek out than the opposite sizes, and presently appear to solely be obtainable in retourne.
– Whereas it might undoubtedly be used for enterprise or journey, I nonetheless discover the 40cm Kelly very enticing, particularly as a super-cool slouchy bag.
– That is additionally an important dimension for taller folks, or those that want to hold lots securely.
– Simply remember that this bag can get fairly heavy, particularly when full.
Kelly Danse: The Kelly Danse was re-released recently and has grow to be common once more.
– It’s basically a waist bag, though the straps could be configured for backpack or shoulder carry; nevertheless the shoulder carry choice is awkward.
– Comparable in dimension to a Kelly Pochette, it will possibly maintain greater than a Mini Kelly and as a result of straps has a wide range of carrying choices (or can be utilized as a clutch).
– I used to be on the fence about together with the Danse as an choice on this checklist, primarily as a result of it doesn’t have a deal with in any respect and I ponder whether typically one would contemplate this when going by the Birkin/Kelly decision-making course of versus simply selecting a secondary bag (for night solely, or palms free, or journey, and so on). Nevertheless, this bag has grow to be highly regarded, and for some might even be the best choice due to the strap versatility.
Kelly Pochette, Lower, Dépêches Pouch 25, and so on.: These luggage are, of their approach, probably not part of the decision-making course of right here: these luggage are “Kelly” due primarily to the closure, however aren’t actually alternate options to a regularly-sized Birkin or Kelly.
– Every of those items is Sellier solely.
– The Kelly Pochette and the Lower are night luggage, competing solely with the Mini Kelly; the Pochette has a flat backside whereas the Lower, which is longer lengthwise, however thinner widthwise, doesn’t.
– Every will maintain a greater than a Mini Kelly, and though of the 2 the Pochette is probably extra sensible as a result of flat backside, neither has the choice of including a strap (though folks get artistic by including a twilly or necklace underneath the flap to permit for shoulder carry, this may ultimately harm the bag).
– The Kelly Dépêches Pouch 25 is taken into account a males’s bag, though I discover it an important unisex choice; a really elegant wristlet with a removable strap, it really works fantastic as a clutch too (just like the Kelly Danse).
– Though as a males’s bag it’s only supplied in neutrals, the Dépêches Pouch 25 can be a lot simpler to seek out for buy (it’s typically obtainable on the Hermès web site).
Comparability Pictures of the Numerous Kelly Sizes (and a link to a thread of what fits in them):
Birkin and Kelly Comparability Pictures – that can assist you resolve (or obsess)!
Click on this link for the PurseForum thread of photographs.
*** Full disclosure: these two quotes have been each stated to me by my Gross sales Associates (I store at two boutiques and they’re each conscious of this); every instructed me this with reference to the Mini Kelly I used to be buying on the time. Take a look at my enjoyable Mini Kelly unboxing video!