Although you may have heard of the Hermès Birkin, but not the Kelly, it’s actually the Birkin’s more elegant older sister. The Kelly has an interesting history and got its name from American actress Grace Kelly, who used the bag to conceal a growing pregnancy bump from the eager eyes of the paparazzi. The Kelly bag is designed in a way that means the base is slightly wider than the top, giving it a structured, vertical shape.
The shape of the Kelly bag has a lot to do with how elegant it looks. The structured sides mean that, unlike the Birkin, the bag doesn’t slouch. For the bag to look its best, the flap should be closed and securely fastened shut. The Hermès Kelly may also have a huge advantage over the Birkin if you’re a sucker for a shoulder strap. The Birkin doesn’t come with a shoulder strap at all, so if this is a dealbreaker for you, the Kelly wins.
Unlike the Birkin, which has a more rugged look when the flap is left undone, the Kelly can look awkward when the flap is undone. You may hear other buyers say the strap-and-turnlock closure is a little difficult to get done up. Many end up putting the flap over the turnlock and twisting the lock to secure the bag. However, this isn’t good for the bag itself as it means that too much of the weight is resting on the turnlock rather than the rest of the bag. So, if you find yourself always rushing out of the door to leave, the Kelly bag may not be the right fit for you.
There are two different versions of the Kelly, each with different fabrics. The Sellier is the more structured version and has the stitching on the outside. Whereas the Retourne fabric is the softer version of the two, and the stitching is located on the inside. These two different materials give off two different vibes. One is more formal, and the other is slightly more casual.
It can be difficult to know which size is the perfect one for you. You don’t want to purchase a Hermès Kelly to find out that your laptop doesn’t fit in it. So, be aware of the sizes before you take the plunge in purchasing.
Currently, the Mini Kelly is the bag of the moment, which also means it’s not the easiest to find. That’s great for people wanting to sell their Mini Kelly, but not so great for people wanting to buy. The Mini Kelly is the perfect evening bag, and to be blunt, it doesn’t really fit anything else in it apart from your necessities.
The 25cm size works well for both day and night, again, if you’re someone who doesn’t like to carry too much with you. It’s essential to remember that because of the Kelly’s structured design, it will always carry less in it than a Birkin of the same size.
The 28cm Kelly is the best bag for those of you wanting a day to evening bag, but you don’t want to compromise on anything you carry.
Now, you’re getting into your larger Kelly bags. The Kelly comes in 32cm, 35cm and 40cm so these are your more everyday wearing bags. Although the Birkin bag is most popular in a 35cm size, the 32cm Hermès Kelly bag is the most popular of the sizes for this particular style. This would best fit someone who likes to carry a little more around with them, or is planning on using the bag for work.
At the end of the day, it’s all about personal choice. Nobody can choose the right Hermès Kelly for you, except you. We can give you all the information, but the final decision is yours to make. Our advice is that you should choose a bag which fits with everything else already in your wardrobe. If you know you like your handbag to carry the kitchen sink in it, then opting for one of the larger Kelly sizes is the best thing to do.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.