Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How To: Decide Which Hermès Bag To Buy

I had an overwhelming amount of  emails about when I would do another "How to.." post.
Remember this post where I wrote about the Celine bags? 
Well...I recently caved and bought a couple of Hermès bags. If you have not seen already, click on these links: Hermes Evelyne TPM in raisin veau box (calfskin)
So guess what?  I will share my tips for Hermès bag(s) with you! I hope you will enjoy this post as much as you have enjoyed my Celine post.

First off, let's talk about the leather and trust me, there is a lot to choose from.

  1. Veau CrispeTogo - scratch resistant, textured calfskin leather. It is lightweight and holds it's shape, making it a popular choice for Hermès Birkin bags.
  2. Taurillon Clemence - scratch resistant, textured baby bull leather. Similar to Togo but the grain is not as prominent and is softer to the touch.
  3. Vachette Crispe Fjord - scratch resistant, textured adult bull leather. This leather is more durable than Togo and Clemence, and is treated to be water resistant. The down side is the leather is heavier and the grain is larger than that of Togo and Clemence.
  4. Negonda - soft smooth male calfskin leather. Only available for the Hermès Garden Party bag. It is too supple and slouchy for Hermès Birkin or Hermès Kelly bags.
  5. Chevre Myzore - scratch resistant, textured, shiny, rigid male mountain goatskin leather with fine grain.This is a super lightweight leather and is more expensive than the calfskin leathers. It is also very limited so is usually only available in the Hermès Birkin 25 and small accessories.
  6. Chevre Coromandel - same as Chevre Myzore, with medium grain.
  1. Veau Epsom - The new Courchevel. Processed male calfskin leather. This is a scratch resistant leather with very fine grain. Lightweight and durable. It is very stiff and holds its shape well. 
  2. Vache Trekking - Processed male cowhide. Similar to Epsom with medium grain.
  3. Vachette Country - Processed female calfskin with medium grain. Known for its firmness. Introduced in 2012. Popular leather for the Hermès Garden Party bag.
  1. Swift - smooth and soft male calfskin leather. Known for its ability to obtain superb colouring.
  2. Natural Barenia - yet another variation of smooth male calfskin leather. Like Chamonix, it is frequently combined with white topstich and is distinguished by natural "Hermès Made In France" blindstamps. Can be re-conditioned. 
  3. Veau Box - classic smooth, polished (shiny) male calfskin leather. A more rigid structure than the grainy leathers. Because it is a smooth leather, it will show scratches, but this leather can be re-conditioned by Hermès. 
  4. Chamonix - smooth, matte male calfskin leather. Frequently combined with white topstich. Looks great on Hermès Kelly bags. Distinguished by natural "Hermès Made In France" blindstamps instead of the usual printed texts.. Can be re-conditioned.
  1. Buffle - water resistant. Mostly available in Hermès Garden Party bags. 
  2. Crocodile and Alligator - they range from crocs from the Nile, Mississippi, and Africa. Available in matte and polished (Lisse finish). Mainly available in wallets and Hermès Birkin 25 bags.
  3. Autruche -  Australian and South African ostrich. A very expensive leather known for its "polka dots" design. 
  4. Lezard - Derived from Southeast Asian lizards. A very expensive leather known for its lined spots design and rarity.
Quick French lesson.
Veau = male calf under one year old
Vache = male cow
Vachette = female cow
Cuir = cow leather
Chevre = goatskin
Buffle = buffalo
Autruche = ostrich
Lezard = lizard

Hermès Colours

Sigh...this list goes on and on and on. Even if I give you all the colour variations, you may not even be able to get it in store. So let's stick to the basics and more popular colours.
  • Rouge Hermes  - deep wine
  • Rouge Vif - bright cherry
  • Vermillion - bright tomato red
  • Blue Jean -bright sky blue
  • Gold - rich tan
  • Black
  • Thalassa -  Mediterranean Sea blue (similar to Blue Jean, but deeper)
  • Chartruese - green with yellow undertone.
  • Etoupe - a very nice medium grey (I personally am dying to get a Hermès Birkin 25 in this colour)
  • Classic orange -  Hermès signature colour - bright tangerine
  • Potiron - orange with brown undertone
  • Fuchsia - bright pink
  • Raisin - deep purple 
Hermès Birkin, Kelly and Evelyne

Note the prices below are in Canadian $. I did notice that Hermès bags cost at least 10-15% less in Europe and you save even more because you get VAT back at the airport if you live outside the European Union. So save your money, buy a plane ticket and go straight to Paris instead. They also have more selections. 

Hermès Birkin Bag

*Photo from Google.
Hermès Birkin Mini3-3/4" W x 3-3/4" H x 1-3/4" D, 1-3/4" drop handle, 29"strap   
Hermès Birkin 259-3/4" W x 7-1/4" H x 5-1/4" D  // $8,000+
Hermès Birkin 30 - 11.8" W ×8.4" H × 5.7" D   // $9,500+
Hermès Birkin 3212.6" W × 9.8" H × 6.7" D    
Hermès Birkin 3513.7" W × 9.8" H × 7.0"D   // $10,500+
Hermès Birkin 4015-3/4" W x 11-1/2" H x 8" D  // $11,500+

*Photo from Google.
Hermès Shoulder Birkin 16.5" W × 7.1" H × 8.3" D, 16.5" handle   // $13,500+

Hermès Kelly Bag

The Hermès Kelly bag has two stitching techniques - Sellier: Exterior stitching.This model costs a little higher or Souple: Interior stitching.

renee zellweger hermes kelly crocodile black bag Renee Zellweger Matches Hermes Kelly With Converse And Aviators
*Photo from Google.
Renee Zellweger is wearing the Kelly 25 in black crocodile. Last time I saw one in store, it was around $25,000 before tax. I reluctantly returned it to the SA and walked away. :(

Hermès Kelly 20 / Kelly Mini 7.5''W x 6" H x 4"D, 4" handle
Hermès Kelly 25 10" W x 7-1/2" H x 3-3/4" D
Hermès Kelly 28 - 11" W x 7.9" H x 4.3" D   // $6,400+
Hermès Kelly 32 - 12.6" W x 8.7" H x 4.7" D  // $8,300+
Hermès Kelly 35 14'' W x 9.5" H x 5.5"D   //  $8,500+
Hermès Kelly 40 - 15.74" W x 10.23" H x 6.1" D   // $9,000+

*Photo from Google.
Hermès Kelly Shoulder - 16" W x 7.5" H x 6" D, 7" handle

*Photo from Google.
Victoria Beckham is wearing the Kelly Pochette in vert amande lizard. 
You can also see my Kelly Pochette in orange chevre (goatskin) here.

Hermès Kelly Pochette - 8-3/4" W x 5" H x 2-1/2" D  // $4,600+

*Photo from Google.
Hermès Kelly Cut12-1/4" W x 5" H x 1" D

*Photo from Google.
VB with her Kelly Longue in gold swift.
Hermès Kelly Longue - 13" W x 6-1/2" H x 1" D   // $4,000+

Hermès Evelyne Bag

*Photo from Google.

Hermès Evelyne PM in Celeste epsom.

Hermès Evelyne TPM - 6.5" W x 8" H x 2" D, 7" handle   // $2,600+
Hermès Evelyne PM - 11" W x 11.8" H x 2.9" D   // $2,890+

Hermès Evelyne GM - 12.8" W × 11.4" H × 4.1" D   // $3,300+ 

Hermès Date Code

Hermès includes an embossed "blindstamp" using a letter and shape to represent the year the bag (or product) was manufactured. 
Letter "A-P" framed with a square: 1997 - 2012 
Letter "A-Z" framed with a circle: 1971 - 1996
Letter "A-Z" no shape: 1945 - 1970

*Photo from Google.
Example: "I" framed with a circle = 1980

Hermès Dustbags and Tags

Hermès bags do not come with a paper tag. and Hermès does not include a metal nameplate inside the bag.
Hermès bags are housed in tan velour dust bags (vintage bags), orange heavyweight cotton flannel and tan herringbone toile. 

*Photo is my own.
Tan herringbone toile on left and orange cotton flannel on right.

Hermès Hardware
Made of previous metal, heavier than hardware found on other bags. Hermès hardware and metal accents do not tarnish.
  • 24K plated gold
  • Silver palladium
  • Ruthenium - burnished
  • Guilloche - diamond cut pattern palladium
An authentic Hermès Birkin or Kelly has an engraved lock and key set. The lock will have Hermès etched on the bottom, and the keys will be numbered to match the number of the lock. 

As for my next Hermès? It would certainly be a Hermès Birkin 25 or Hermès Kelly 32. I have not decided which colour or leather to be certain yet. 

Now tell me, which Hermès bag would you buy?


  1. Wow these bags really have a hefty price tag! Although you can tell the amazing quality to them, just wish I could splash out on one! xox

  2. Great advice! An Hermes would be a dream come true :)

    Following your blog now! Hope you can check mine out!

    Love and Ace

  3. Beautiful blog!! Would you like to follow each other on bloglovin?? Let me know ;)

    xx from Italy

  4. Great post and tips, thanks! Not that I'll be buying one anytime soon but, who knows right?

    Kisses from Dubai!

  5. love all of them!
    we'll follow you soon ;)
    would be nice if you would follow back :) love your blog!
    xxx http://lovefashionbeautyshoes.blogspot.de/

  6. Unfortunately, I don't have this kind of dilemma...

  7. wow this post is so useful!!!
    thanks a lot for your comment...would you like to follow each other?:)


  8. oh! I can't afford it! so y don't have that kind of dilemma!

  9. Hmmm... I guess I'll be happy to have any of those Hermes bags
    especially a Birkin one.

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Thank you for your kind words. I always visit and comment back. And if you would like to follow, I would love to keep in touch. :)

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