Parisian ladies and their handbags.

Being somewhat of a handbag connoisseur (or perhaps simply psychotic, depending on your point of view) observed and made  copious notes on the kind of handbags that show their face in tres chic Paris. Would you like to know?  

I came across an interesting selection of lesser known brands, seasonal Chanels and many a discreet Hermes, (observed just the one Birkin. It was a rather glossy pink crocodile skin, size 25, carried by a beautiful Asian lady, in white CHANEL tweeds – and that was inside an Hermes store) In general I’d say almost all the bags I saw during the day were quality items in ‘well used’ condition. Practically nothing screaming I am ‘new’ or pristine and practically nothing that was clearly ‘cheap’, inferior quality.

A lot of chic younger women carried longchamp le pliage, in various state of dilapidation, some older style Hermes fabric bags, (such as fourre tout) plus some other brands and designs I am not familiar with.

Notable in their absence were the ‘fake‘ bags, Parisians seem to have too much self respect for those, (exception were some tourists with blatantly fake 2.55, but they were clearly identifiable tourists.) being British, I was embarrassed for them.

What I thought was particularly interesting, a lot of the CHANEL and Hermes carried were old models from past collections, (old rather than vintage) seasonal pieces and discontinued designs. The ladies carrying them, were on the whole well groomed and beautifully dressed in the latest fashion, but their bags were unmistakably old, well used, though good quality.


These ladies are not afraid to use their ‘investment’, and they don’t seem to skimp on their everyday clothes to buy the latest  ‘must have’ handbag. (Something that is becoming endemic in the rest of the world, promoting sweat shops and unacceptable working conditions.) Thinking about it, my own fashion budget (you can see it here & here) may be a little heavy on the handbag front.

I liked the French lady approach very much. Food for thought to reinforce the fashion transformation.

What do you think ladies? Do you use your bags with abandon? If they show a few scuffs here and there, so be it. Or do you like to collect and keep for best?

© Ladysarahinlondon

(We stayed in 6th arrondissement, st Germain L’Hotel here)

Sent from my iPad


9 thoughts on “Parisian ladies and their handbags – anthology #4

  1. Cressida K

    A lot of people are tired of chasing after the latest ‘it’ bag, the whole waiting list thing is beyond joke now. Here in London too, I see more well ‘used bags’, most of the people with the latest models are middle eastern or asian tourists. me? somewhere in the middle – i use my bags but still get palpitations when i see damage . 🙂 Love your maintenance post, thank you for the password.

  2. Julia M

    I would most definitely put you down as a handbag connoisseur! Nothing psychotic about having a passion for all things handbags. When it comes to my bags I tend to use them until they fall apart. A few scuffs here and there don’t hurt, if anything they just add to the character of the bag 🙂

  3. Virginia

    Ah, Lady Sarah, definitely a connoisseur of fine quality good – handbags included. I think summertime brings on a bit more relaxed attitude towards bag condition – maybe a bit more bag refurbishing by fall!

  4. Coulda shoulda woulda

    I find birkins are much more south of France than Paris. But I love handbags too. While I use my pockets more I still keep my bags and I still have a bag that I got when I was 5 so you can say I am loyal to my handbags. I don’t mind scuffs at all and in some cases I think they improve the look. But I am thinking I should start using my bags more instead as my keys and things only make my pockets fuller making my hips look wider hehe!

  5. silkpathdiary

    Oooh how lovely – style and handbag watching – sounds like heaven to me 🙂 I think you already know my answer to your questions … I try to improve the general condition of my bags as best I can and take reasonable preventative measures to prevent excessive wear and tear but I am a sensibly careful user so on the whole my bags don’t get as roughed up as they could considering my lifestyle. And I never save anything for best anymore. On the other hand I am much less tolerant of wear and scuffs on my shoes 🙂 .. a post on that pretty please when you return? 🙂
    Hope you’re having a wonderful time!

    1. ladysarahinlondon Post author

      Enjoying every minute thank you. Afternoon tea at hermes post coming up. Not sure you really want to see my shoes, I walk, cycle and kick a** so they look it…. Lol.

  6. madmils

    There is a certain charm to well loved ‘good’ bags.
    All the vintage Hermes’ and Celine’s I have get used, I much prefer this ethos than the ‘baby’ it one.
    I have just bought a gorgeous vintage Chanel, can’t wait for her to arrive.


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