Advice on selecting a leather sight unseen

  1. I have decided to take the leap into the H pool with a gold Kelly. However, I won't have the chance to see the bag before I choose it. I can exchange it if I don't like it, but I would rather get it right the first time. So, my questions are:

    (1) Which of these leathers would you recommend: swift, epsom, veau grain lisse or togo?

    (2) Is a 32 a lot different than a 35 and is it more important to pick the leather you prefer versus the size?

    (3) Do you like gold or palladium hardware on a gold bag?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Hi Patois,

    If there is absolutely NO WAY to see these leathers in person, I suggest reading through the reference library. Honestly, leather type is such a personal choice and really depends on the kind of Kelly "look" you are going for.

    Size is definitely a factor as the piece really needs to work with your body type and height or it can look really strange. I personally think the 32 and 35 are VERY different in look and it does depend if the Kelly will be retourne or sellier. A retourne 35 and a sellier 35 look very different, IMO.

    And the last one, well, my personal taste? Gold with GH. Palladium looks great, too, but just not as warm.
  3. AuthenticLux - Thanks so much for for your response. More to think about! I have been poring over the reference library, and my head starts spinning after a while looking at all the gourgeous bags. I think the only thing I have absorbed is that the swift leather is very smooth anf soft compared to the epsom, veau grian lisse and togo. If I may ask, what is the difference between a retourne and a sellier? Also, if it helps, I am 5' 2" but I usually carry a fairly large bag.
  4. Togo would be my first choice (especially in gold) followed by Swift. Epsom can look a little stiff and I do not think H still carries veau grain lisse for bags. (I have a Bolide in Gulliver, now called Swift, and it is lovely but I adore the Togo in gold.)

    32 and 35 look very different, as others have explained, especially if one is retourne or souple (stitched on the inside, with a little slouch) and the other is rigide (stiched on the outside, very structured). I have a 35 souple and a 35 rigide and my very first Kelly was a 32 souple. I definitely like the souple better in a larger size because the rigide can be overpowering. I could get a lot of stuff into the 32 but not books or newspapers. For 32, either souple or rigide would work; rigide would look dressier. For 35, my vote is for souple.

    I like either color hardware, but the gold hardware really complements the warmth of the color gold.

    Tell us what you decide!
  5. There are much better Kelly experts than I but it's Saturday night and beggars can't be choosers!:p

    If I can explain this correctly, a retourne (also known as souple) is where the seams of the bag are sewn from the inside and a sellier (also known as rigide) is the opposite, sewn from the outside. There are a lot of pics in the reference section of all types and sizes of Kellys.

    Honestly, I would try to somehow check out the leathers in person. I personally do not like Epsom for bags but that's just personal taste. Togo is textured but completely different from Epsom (and a lot heavier) and so on. There are just a lot of nuances. Sorry, I know that's not much help but I am sure the real Kelly experts can chime in.
  6. You (and BlueParrot) have been a great help already! :tup:
    I took a chance when I saw there were 52 members on the Hermes forum.

    I am going to ask about the stitching tomorrow. I do know that the togo and epsom have gold hardware and the swift has palladium. Don't know about the VGL -- it must have been on the shelf for a while if it is out of production. Maybe if I can narrow it down to two they will send them both so I can see them.
  7. Anyone else have any advice?
  8. Togo if you like textured leather; swift if you prefer smooth.

    I would personally choose gold togo w/ make things

    I also prefer retourne over sellier...but all choices are very, very individual...

    My suggestion...make a "cut out" to represent the dimensions of the 32 and 35 cm Kelly bags and evaluate personal size preference in mirror...
  9. patois, i have kellies in lots of sizes and here is my take for you:

    35 is a BIG bag. if you like big with a single handle, go for 35. 32 is better if you might ever want to carry it at night although it's not a strappy dress kind of small bag. almost everyone likes 32.

    gold hardware is dressier. palladium is nice and bright, more modern kind of.

    swift is smooth and more casual, box is dressy, togo and epsom are more casual. swift can be dressy but also casual so you get best of both worlds.

    gosh i hope this helps. there is a thread dedicated to the kelly in here somewhere, that would be beneficial reading for you as well as HG's leather book. good luck!
  10. I knew I could get great insight here; you H ladies are a knowledgeable group. Thanks for all of the detailed advice; I think I am going to start making a chart.
  11. patois what color are you going to get, have you made up your mind?
  12. I am planning on getting the gold leather. I fell in love with the thalassa blue looking at the color reference threads, but I found out that color can only be special ordered and would take 18 to 24 months. I can't wait that long! :nogood: I liked the gold because I have a lot of jewel-tones, as well as grays, creams and pastels in my wardrobe and I thought it would be a nice complementary shade.
  13. good choice! you cannot go wrong with a gold kelly, especially in 32. swift would be BEAUTIFUL!
  14. I have a gold togo birkin w/gold hardware. It's classic. Gold with PH is more modern.
    I saw a gold/PH kelly in clemence that was fabulous!
  15. Gold Togo or Swift with palladium HW and white stitching. YUMMY!