CÉLINE Frame Bag

 

 

 

I haven’t done a bag review post in awhile, so I thought I would do due diligence for my most recent purchase: Céline Frame bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First released in the Resort 2017 season, the Frame bag is a rather lesser-known bag of the brand’s highly-coveted collection which includes the famous Luggage tote, however with its modern and minimalistic aesthetics, the bag has been favored amongst many Céline fans.

 

 

 

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The Frame bag is, unsurprisingly, designed like a frame. It is beautifully structured, yet incredibly soft, making it an easy everyday bag. The wide shoulder strap provides extreme comfort to the already lightweight bag.

 

 

 

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With simple compartments, the inside of the bag is very spacious and roomy. It can fit my DSLR camera and much more, which is rare for a medium-sized bag like this.

 

 

 

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Moreover, its functionality and versatility is outstanding. This bag can be worn as a tote handheld, on your shoulder, as a crossbody (relatively falls short but just the way I like to wear my crossbody bags), or even as a clutch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Frame bag comes in a variety of bi-color combos (which all seems to be seasonal), and this Ruby/Nude color-blocking is just another proof that Céline is a true genius with colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now onto the (possible) con’s:

 

  • Prone to scratches. I tend to be pretty careful with my bags, but given the nature of the calfskin leather, I have already noticed some scratches. This does not bother me so much, because I prefer my bags to show signs of usage — which I think makes them more beautiful, and more “mine.”

 

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  • Unadjustable strap. Again, this does not bother me because the strap length is perfect and there is no need for me to adjust it. In fact, had there been buckles and holes on the strap for adjustments, I think it would have taken out the whole  ‘minimalistic’ design out of the bag. I prefer the bag without it as it provides cleaner lines and simple structure.

 

 

 

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What I Got For My Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Trip to Italy

 

 

I initially planned to go back to New York, but I cancelled my flight very last minute and spontaneously booked a trip to Italy. It had been over 10 years since my last visit to Italy, and I am not sure why it had been that long – I guess I have been just a bit too obsessed with Paris all this time (which I still am of course). Since I have done all the touristy rounds to Rome, Venice, Milan, Naples, Capri..  I wanted to tick off two very special places that have been on top on my travel bucket list: Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast. Let’s just say, it was the most amazing 10 days of my life and I cannot wait to return very very soon.

 

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Chanel Boy Bag

 

 

This dream bag of mine was an early birthday gift from my mum and I have been thoroughly enjoying it ever since. Read my review of this Boy here.

 

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Gucci Marmont Bag

 

 

When your birthday falls on a National Handbag Day... it would only be right to celebrate by getting another handbag, amirite?! While on my birthday trip to Italy, I spoiled myself by indulging in this heavenly velvet Gucci Marmont bag. You can read my review here.

 

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Hermes Heure H

 

 

I decided it was about time for me to invest in a classic timepiece. While all of my watch connoisseur friends recommended Cartier, I couldn’t find anything I wanted. I needed an everyday leather watch, something not too flashy. The Cartier Tank Solo was my best bet, but I just wasn’t too sure about it on my wrist. I know Hermès cannot compete with Cartier when it comes to watches, as the latter has a longer history as a watch manufacturer, but I knew I had to go for the one I felt good in.

I was initially looking at the Cape Cod, as the Heure H is quite over-saturated in my opinion, and too “Hermès” with the H face. However, after several try-on’s, the face of the Cape Cod was too big and the straps were too long on my wrist that it would stick out at the end. The SA recommended this Heure H TPM (tres petite model, the smallest), and I thought to myself: this is it. Although I never thought I would purchase the Heure H, I really liked how it wasn’t too “in your face” thanks to the small size of the watch, and overall how good it felt wrapped around my wrist.

Although I am more of a gold person, I decided to go with the silver hardware because the silver was much more muted, and since my everyday jewelry is gold, I thought the silver was a nice addition to my wrist that provided a good balance. I have also been quite obsessed with the taupe color lately, and Hermès Etoupe was the perfect shade of taupe. With the interchangeable straps, I am very much looking forward to switching them up in different colors.

 

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Stuart Weitzman Highland Boots

 

 

The 50/50 boots have been a fall/winter staple of mine, so I decided to invest in another pair of OTK boots. SW’s price points are definitely far from affordable, but given the frequency of wear and versatility, I highly believe they are worth the investment. I did, however, purchase both pairs for 40% off (first pair with a VIP promo code on SW website, this pair on sale!) The Highlands were actually not on my radar because of its relatively high heels, but the sale was just too good to pass up, and I absolutely adore this Topo Suede color, which is even more gorgeous in person. These boots are a must-have and will undoubtedly be my go-to this season!

 

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Santa Maria Novella

 


This is not so much a birthday gift, but a souvenir I got in Florence, Italy.
I first discovered the brand Santa Maria Novella, 10 years ago during my first trip to Italy, and purchased this exact Crema Idralia, and all I can remember is that it made my skin feel like butter. 10 years later, my one day pit stop in Florence was the perfect opportunity to stock up on the magical Crema Idralia, along with some other products to gift to friends and families.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gucci Marmont

 

I know it’s only been less than 2 months since I got my Chanel Boy Bag, but what better way to celebrate my birthday trip to Italy than with a cute little Gucci bag, especially when your birthday falls on National Handbag Day? I couldn’t justify not to.

 

 

 

Here is the truth: I remember seeing the Marmont bags for the first time and thinking I would never buy them. I saw them everywhere (which, strangely, made me not really want one) and I immediately thought they would be a trend that would eventually phase out after a few seasons, which is why I stayed away from it in the beginning.

 

 

 

And here I am, with the bag I never thought I’d bring home. What a hypocrite, I know. Looking at my handbag collection, I was very content with all the classic pieces I own, thus I felt OK with my decision to add in a trendy piece for the first time.

So what eventually changed my mind about the Marmont? Definitely the velvet material of this bag. With the rich and luxe texture, velvet is one of the most coveted fall trends, proving to be a favorite staple throughout the colder months and into the early spring.

This Marmont in velvet, in comparison to the leather version, is more structured, and overall more attractive, in my opinion. The leather ones looked and felt a bit flimsy to me, and I didn’t like how malleable it was.

 

 

 

 

I opted for the mini size (L 22 cm x H 13 cm x P 6 cm) as I thought it was the perfect size for my petite frame. I also enjoy wearing my bags in multiple ways, and the next size up was a bit awkward on me when worn cross-body.

Another factor that won me over was the descent price point, at €1090 (with the VAT tax refund of €141, the total would come out to be €949). Knowing that it’d be a trendy piece and that I most likely won’t wear it 5-10 years in time, I probably wouldn’t have made the purchase if the price was too high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On top of the gorgeous velvet material, and the reasonable price, versatility is another strength of this bag. This bag is such a great day-to-night piece that I am able to wear it to work, and of course at night, thanks to the lovely gold chain that gives the bag more of a dressy feel. I, without hesitation, chose the classic black color, as other colors available in velvet (turquoise, cobalt blue, rubin red) were too funky for me, and would not have been suitable for everyday use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negatives

  • Velvet material: While the velvet is surely beautiful, it also happens to be my concern of this bag. This is my very first non-leather bag (although my Gucci Dionysus has some suede on it), and I know the velvet can be vulnerable especially when it comes to rain/snow. I tend not to baby my bags, but I do try to be careful with them especially when I’m in a crowded area, so with the velvet, I am a bit extra careful. No questions asked, this bag will not be worn out in the rain/snow, and I guess I could use some sort of a protectant spray, but we will see how it stands the test of time.

 

  • Structure: As I’ve mentioned before, the velvet version does have more structure than the leather one, but overtime I can see it slowly losing its shape. Moreover, I noticed the sides of the bag oddly sticking out, more and more compared to when I first got it, and I believe this is due to me wearing it on the shoulder with doubled-up chain, and my arms pressing against the bag. Because of this, the bag is not fully covered and there are spaces in between the closure, thus I will have to be cautious not to put small items (like coins, earrings) as they might fall out of the bag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other than these menial concerns, I have thoroughly been enjoying this bag, and while I don’t expect the Marmont to remain as a classic, I do believe it has more staying power than the typical trendy bags I thought it once was going to be.

 

 

 

Shop Gucci Marmont bags below:

black blue redturq

 

 

 

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CHANEL BOY BAG

 

 

Oh Boy. This finally happened. I’ve been on the hunt for a Chanel Boy bag for the longest time, as I have never came across the combination I liked. Every time Chanel released their new collection, I visited and re-visited the stores to check if my preferred combination (old medium / beige taupe / chevron / lambskin / ruthenium hardware) was available. No luck. I knew it was going to be a waiting game and that it would come when the time is right. Fast forward to now, I had come back to Rue Cambon in Paris, aka my lucky place (and danger zone), where I got my Classic Flap 5 months ago, to test my luck again.

 

 

 

As soon as I stepped inside the store, I saw an array of new arrivals in variety of designs and colors, but I had one goal and one goal only: The Boy. Probably looking like someone on a mission, I headed straight to my SA (I will share her information if anyone is interested), and asked for the Boy, with my combination specifics. She showed me a Boy VERY close to my desired combination, but only in black with caviar. While it was indeed beautiful, since all of my other Chanel bags are in black, I wanted something different this time. When my SA opened the Boy Bag closet, one particular color caught my eye, and it was this beautiful, buttery beige color that I instantly fell in love with, and even though it didn’t meet all my combination checklist (the hardware was gold, not ruthenium) I knew it was the one.

 

 

 

 

Color: Dark Beige

I may be biased but this is by far Chanel’s prettiest beige pink color I have ever seen. The official designer color name of this bag is ‘dark beige’, somewhat resembling of a caramel popcorn topped with pink sea salt (although I don’t know if such flavor exists, and what that would even taste like). I am a big fan of neutral beiges and pinks, and this is the perfect shade of beige pink. I also love that this color can appear differently under certain lighting: beige, pink, or even taupe. I have only had it for a few weeks now, but the color really grew on me, and still does every time I wear it.

 

 

 




Hardware: Gold

Since the brand Chanel itself screams ‘Chanel’ (not that that’s a bad thing), I wanted something more understated and muted. So with the gold hardware, I was initially concerned that it would make the bag look a bit fancier than I desired it to, however, I believe there must have been a reason why Chanel only made this in the gold, and I think the dark beige color of the bag and the gold hardware compliment each other very, very well. Funny thing is, had it came in the ruthenium hardware, I still would have chosen this gold hardware over it.

 

 

 

 

Pattern/Leather: Chevron Lambskin

Since my Classic Flap is in caviar with classic quilting and my backpack in calfskin also with classic quilting, I wanted something different this time. I also think the Boy Bag looks much better in the Chevron quilting, although that’s personal preference. I am aware that I have to be more careful with the lambskin, but I wanted something more feminine and soft, which I believe the lambskin exudes, whereas the caviar has an overall edgier look to it.

 

 

 

 

 

Size: Old Medium

Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 9 cm / 9.8″ x 5.9″ x 3.5″

There was no doubt the Old Medium was the perfect size for me. The small one was adorable, and as a lover of mini bags, I was slightly torn, but there just wasn’t enough space. It was also too long to wear it one chain on the shoulder or as crossbody, so there was only one way to wear it with doubled up chain, which is a total deal-breaker for me (I need to be able to wear my bags in more than just one way). New Medium, on the other hand, which is the next size up from Old Medium, was too big on my petite frame. The Old Medium is perfect and fits everything I need to and more. I will be showing you what fits in the next section.

 

 

 

What Fits?

Goyard Passport holder
Chanel Card case
Rayban Sunglasses
Agenda
Keys
Cosmetics
(Dior compact, Korres lipstick, Byredo perfume, Byredo hand cream, Caudalie face mist)

 

 

The Boy (old medium) vs. Classic Flap (medium) Comparison

You can see that the Boy can hold much more (sunglasses, hand cream, face mist)

 

 

Negatives?

For the time being, I am so happy to finally have a Boy in my collection. Due to its versatility and functionality, I already know I am going to get a good use out of it, more so than the Classic Flap, which is suitable for more formal occasions.

The only downside if I had to come up with one would be the price point, €3980. Previously €3720, Boy Bag (and some other bags) went through a price increase and we all know they’re only going upwards from now on. It is definitely one of the most expensive handbags in my collection, but with the VAT refund of €517.40, I know I have made a smart purchase by buying it in Paris.

Another possible con of this bag would be the lack of compartments. With the Classic Flap, there is the main compartment with two mini pockets, one in the front, and also in the back. On the other hand, this Boy Bag only has one main compartment with a thin pocket inside. Regardless of the number of compartments, as I’ve shown you in the previous section, the Boy bag can fit much more than the Classic Flap, but I guess this could be an inconvenience for some.

I have only had this bag for a few weeks now so I will have to keep an eye out on its wear and tear, but I have no doubt that it will age beautifully, as all the other Chanel bags do. Quality is never questioned with Chanel.

 

 

 

 

nyc1

Q&A || Designer Handbags

 

To say that I am a handbag addict would be an understatement. Even my birthday falls on National Handbag Day. That being said, I do have quite a large collection of handbags, and I frequently get asked all sorts of bag-related questions. Although I am no expert (I buy what I like, but with thorough contemplation), bag buying is something I have years of experience with and here I will share some of my thoughts/tips which I hope can be resourceful in your decision-making process:

 

 

Q. How many bags do you own?

A. 19, plus 6 pouches.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. How do you afford it all?

A. The answer is simple: I work. I have a full-time job that allows me to indulge in my expensive taste in handbags. I am a career girl, fortunate to have the opportunity to build and expand my professional career, and buying handbags is simply one of the ways I treat myself after hard-work.

But, of course, this comes after taking care of all the fun grown-up stuff (bills/rents) and I think it’s really important to prioritize your spending. If you can’t afford your dream handbag right now, then that’s ok – as a matter of fact, I think it’s admirable to be smart about your finances instead of spending money you don’t even have, often times to impress people you don’t even like. Especially for me, each handbag has its own story and a memory that goes along with it: the Chanel Backpack was a graduation gift, the Gucci Dionysus celebrates my new job. I wouldn’t want a handbag to remind me of something like maxing out on pre-approved credit cards or struggling to pay rent the next month.

Just remember, if you can’t have what you love, learn to love what you have.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. How do you make the decision to buy the bag?

A. There are a lot of factors I consider before buying a bag, and it really is a long process before I make the purchase. Once a bag catches my eye, I will do a ton of research, look at photos, try it on in the store, visualize wearing it with different outfits, while asking myself all sorts of questions like:

  • Longevity: “Would I be able to wear it next year?” – This is a big factor for me. I want to buy bags that I can still wear next year, 5 ~10 years from now, which leads me to the next question.
  • Trendiness: “Is this a trend?”   I have a tendency to stay away from “trendy” bags that don’t hold their values after a season, and gravitate more towards classic pieces with staying power. This is not to say trendy bags aren’t beautiful – it is just a matter of preference. How to tell whether a bag is going to be a seasonal trend or a classic is something of an acquired sense, in my opinion. My recommendation is to research, browse through magazines and shops as often as possible, to be more “in-the-know” so you can get a sense of which bags are being advertised/over-exposed (which is often times for the trendy bags; you rarely see an ad for the Chanel Classic Flap)
  • Usage/Value: “Would I be able to get a good use out of this?” –  I think about occasions and outfits I would wear the bag with. If I’m spending $2000+ on a handbag, it would have to work well into my lifestyle and I would want to get my money worth and a good use out of it. Also, I’ve realized that a bag might look great on its own (or even on someone else) but not necessarily on you. Some bags are just meant to be admired from afar.
  • Similarity: “Do I have something similar?” Having a pretty big handbag collection already, I am trying not to buy handbags that overlap in terms of functionality. For instance, I have the Givenchy Angitona in black, a structured bag I usually wear on formal occasions, so I won’t be purchasing another black/structured/formal bag, unless the Antigona falls apart, which is highly unlikely.
  • Availability: “Is this going to be available next season?”  If the bag is something that’s always going to be available, season after season, I would probably save it for later and instead prioritize on getting other bags on my wishlist, whereas if the bag is a seasonal piece or relatively hard to get, I would take the plunge.
  • Resale Value (Investment?): This is not so much of an issue for me as I don’t buy bags thinking I would re-sell it at some point, but I know it can be an important factor for some. Basically this is how much profit you’ll get out of if/when you are to sell your used handbag. Chanel is one of the brands that has a high resale value, meaning you will definitely get close to what you originally paid for or sometimes even more, as their prices increase periodically.

 

+ Trying to decide between two or more colors? My best advice (I received from my Store Associate from Céline) is to just keep trying them on, with different outfits until you can make a decision. I don’t see this as bothering the Sales Associates, but more so as being careful in your decision as you don’t want to regret your purchase. It’s your money you’re spending so you have the right to take your time until you can be fully confident in your decision.

 

 

 

 

Q. How often do you buy bags?

A. I have no set period of time, but it seems like the average has been 7 bags per year. I know this is a lot, but it’s not something that’s going to happen every single year, as my collection has grown and there are only a few handbags left on my wishlist.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What is your favorite bag brand?

A. Céline, with no hesitation. I love the brand’s aesthetics and Phoebe Philo‘s artistic vision, so much so that people ask me if I work at Céline (I don’t, but I should at this point). The minimalistic and understated design just gets me every time. Chanel is a close second.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What is your most worn bag?

A. Definitely my Céline Luggage Nano. I’ve gotten so much wear out of it that I would consider getting it in another color. People thought the luggage would be a trend that would phase out, but I think this nano size has proven to be a classic. It holds a lot, and is so functional and practical (can be worn cross-body/shoulder/by hand). This is also a very rare color combination that I always get compliments on everywhere I go 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Q. And the least?

A. I would say the Chanel Classic Flap, mainly because it’s such a beautiful “special occasion” bag, at least for me. During the weekdays I wear workbags and on the weekends I like to dress more casually, so I don’t really reach for this Classic Flap, which is a bit more formal, unless I’m going to special events. Nonetheless happy to have it in my collection!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. Which bags have you sold and why?

A. I’ve sold 4 bags, all for the same reason being that I wasn’t getting much use out of it.

  • Celine Trapeze: I had initially wanted a beige/navy combo, but this hot pink color caught my eye which resulted in an impulse decision. Had I bought the beige/navy, I might have kept it, as the Trapeze really is a beautiful bag. Would I buy it again? Maybe not.
  • Prada Saffiano: Long story short, this one I didn’t necessarily “sell” but was defected so I returned it to Prada and got a store credit, with which I bought their double bag. I ended up selling the double bag, and vouched myself I won’t buy Prada bags, at least for awhile. Would I buy it again? No.
  • Celine Luggage: I use the nano version of this luggage way more frequently, so I sold this big size, as I didn’t want to just sit in my closet and thought it would be better if someone else could get a good use out of it. Would I buy it again? No.
  • Balenciaga City: I thought the classic City was too dull so I opted for the metallic edge, to give it a bit more.. well, edge. The leather was more durable, and therefore making the bag heavier. The bag also has no firm structure, and I, being more of a structured-bag person, wasn’t reaching for this bag (I only wore it twice). I sold it and got the mini version (which is more structured). Would I buy it again? Maybe. But in the classic version. Not at full price.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What do you recommend for a first designer piece?

A. For the first designer piece, you definitely want something you can get a lot of use out of, so I recommend classic pieces that go well with many outfits like the Givenchy Antigona, Balenciaga City, Louis Vuitton Speedy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. For girls on a budget?

A. I think Mansur Gavriel makes some great quality handbags, and even after thieir revolutionary “bucket bag” phase they still continue to release beautiful pieces and remain relevant in the handbag industry. Other brands I recommend are Proenza Schouler, 3.1. Phillip Lim, and A.P.C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What is next on your wishlist?

A. Definitely the Chanel Boy Bag, but I haven’t come across the combination I want just yet. I always seem to want the leather/hardware/color combination that doesn’t exist, but I am in no rush and no position to settle for anything else but the combination I prefer. It’s a waiting game, as it’s always been for me!

 

 

 

 

 

Shop my bag closet

by clicking on the photos below:

                     give       Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.58.10 PM    dionysus     Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.45.10 PM

           lv balen Screen Shot 2017-06-22 at 12.49.02 PM        clarev

xx,

nyc1

Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis

 

 

Ever since I first saw the Pochette Metis, I couldn’t get it out of my head for the longest time. I went into the store on Champs-Elysees in Paris a few months ago just to have a look, only to be told that they only get a few pieces per day in the morning, and they get sold out within minutes from opening (!!!) There seems to be a ridiculously long waitlist for the bag in other parts of the world and I heard that there are over 200+ people on the waitlist who pre-paid for the bag and are just aimlessly waiting for one to come in stock for them – which is something I could never do.

 

 

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Since then, I repeatedly put it on/off my wishlist, and prioritized on getting other bags on the list in the meantime, but on my recent trip to London, I was able to easily locate one at Selfridges, which was quite unexpected.

There were actually several pieces available that I was able to choose from. Given the notoriously strong British pounds, I usually never shop luxury goods in London, and tend to do most my shopping in Paris, however, with all the Brexit situation, when I calculated the price, there wasn’t much of a big price difference. (Read article here)

 

 

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The Pochette Metis is really all I could ask for in a bag. Ever since the moment of purchasing, I have been wearing it non-stop. It really goes well with any outfit, and is very easy to style. With 3 compartments inside and a zipper on the back, it is very roomy, and fits a ton without looking too big/bulky. It can be worn crossbody, also on the shoulder, by hand, and as a clutch without the straps. It’s probably the most practical/functional bag out of my whole collection.

What I love most about this bag, though, is the “availability” of the bag – or lack thereof. The Pochette Metis, being a discontinued bag from previous season, was recently brought back due to its popularity, and is not available to purchase online. (You will notice a “call for inquiry” button, where for other bags it will say “place in cart”). As I’ve mentioned, it is very hard to come by even at the boutiques, and you hardly see the bag on the streets (I only saw 3) Needless to say, Louis Vuitton’s marketing team is surely doing their job right, if they got me sold on this bag.

Another pro is the (relatively reasonable) price point: that might be especially true because I got in in Europe and am getting my VAT refund, but generally speaking, the price isn’t ridiculous and doesn’t break your bank – I think Louis Vuitton could have charged more for this, with the scarcity of the item, but I’m glad they didn’t.

 

 

 

DIMENSIONS

25 x 19 x 9 cm
( length  x height  x width )

 

 

 

 

Now on to the negatives:

  • Snap Closure: One major problem I have with the bag is that I find the snap closure a bit difficult. Opening of the bag is done by pushing the metallic piece, which is easy, but to close the bag you have to find the tiny hole to snap back in, which will also naturally cause scratches on the metallic surface. It’s even more difficult to close when the bag isn’t full.
  • Glazing: Another problem I heard several people encountered with the bag is the glazing. I have not experienced this yet so I can’t say much but will update if I do.
  • Leather Tan? I know some people use bandeaus to cover up the vachetta leather to prevent the leather from damage/stains, but I actually love a good natural patina on my LVs. I prefer the weathered look and natural aging that the passage of time provides. If you are not like me and are concerned about the tan, do consider getting a bandeau or using a stain repellent spray.

 

 

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WHAT FITS? 

 

  • a book
  • notepad
  • iPhone 7+
  • my Daniel Wellington watch
  • Goyard passport holder
  • Acne Studios card case
  • Byredo hand cream
  • Sudio Sweden earphones

… and I could easily fit in some makeup items and sunglasses if I wanted to, as there is a lot of room left.

 

 

 

 

The Pochette Metis is truly a classic piece that will never go out of style. I can definitely see myself wearing this even as a 60 year old grandma, which is why I love it so much and plan to cherish for life.

I hope this review was helpful in some way, and would love to answer any questions if there are any so feel free to ask away!

 

 

 

 

xx,

nyc1