Alto Camilla, Viola, or Saddle?

Which Alto? Camilla, Viola, or Saddle?

  • Camilla - Black

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Camilla - Saddle color

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Viola - Black

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Viola - Saddle color

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Saddle Bag - Black color

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Saddle Bag - Saddle color

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    9

gianelle

Member
Aug 21, 2012
94
0
Hello! I would like to take advantage of the sitewide 20%off sale and FINALLY get an Alto bag. I have wanted an Alto bag for more than 5 years and never bought one. Now I can't decide what to get: Camilla, Viola, or Saddle? As far as color, I can't decide between black and saddle. I love the saddle but I'm concerned about scratching and marring. This will be an everyday bag for me. I don't "special occasion" any of my handbags. I use them! Thank you for your help. :smile:

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Aug 13, 2014
5,812
2,204
Alto bags are beautiful, and the ones you picked are all winners.... but very different. I have the larger Camilla (they also make a small one, but I found it too small). The Viola is a stunning handbag, but to me it's very small, a beautiful dress bag. I didn't buy the Viola when I could have, on sale, and I'm sorry. But I know it would not have been very useful to me.
I think you need to think about how much room you need in a handbag before making the decision and look at the measurements carefully. The Camilla is a much larger handbag than the Viola or the Saddle bag.

Also, if you want a bag to carry in your hand vs. a shoulder or cross body, that will also affect your decision.

As for color, the Alto leather in black is very understated. But it will show less wear and scratches can be more easily hidden (I use a permanent fine tip Sharpie). The saddle color is rich and beautiful and easier to fall in love with.

I baby my Alto handbags. I'm sure someone else will pop in to give you input on how the colors hold up and their style preferences.
 
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G.Allyn

Member
Dec 12, 2013
365
50
I agree with lavenderjunkie. The bags are very different. I purchased the Viola bag years ago and have never used it. You may get more use out of the other two bags.
 

Twoboyz

Member
Jan 1, 2014
13,221
367
Chicago Suburbs
Those bags are stunning. I have been eyeing and swooning over the Camilla and Viola for so long now. However I just can't seem to make the investment because I don't carry my Emelia at all. I would love to see these to IRL to get a better idea of what they are like. They are so stunning to look at though.
 

gianelle

Member
Aug 21, 2012
94
0
Thank you for the responses everyone, especially Lavenderjunkie! I'm waiting for a better deal, but once one comes along I will get the large Camilla. Smaller bags just don't work for me.
 
Aug 13, 2014
5,812
2,204
Thank you for the responses everyone, especially Lavenderjunkie! I'm waiting for a better deal, but once one comes along I will get the large Camilla. Smaller bags just don't work for me.
Call one of the Dooney retail boutiques (you can get the phone # from the locations tab at the bottom of the Dooney.com site). The retail boutiques usually have a 50% off sale this time of year.... selected items only and for a limited time. But in the past, some Alto color and styles have been included. It's worth a phone call. Just know that items in the sale are final sale and you won't be able to return or exchange them. So, if they have what you want, at the right price, be sure to have the sales associate check the bag over carefully and report any defects, scratches, etc. to you so you can make a decision.
 

DeDe15

O.G.
Mar 1, 2011
131
10
Thanks for the comments here, I'm deciding on things as well! For those with the Viola -- does the handle at the top get in the way when getting into the bag? The measurements seem to suggest a medium size bag, but with the divider in the center plus the top handle, does it "feel" like a smaller bag?

Also, how big does the large Camilla feel? I had the small one and a store finally took it back as an accommodation (hence now a gift card to use up) but I'm scared to make the same mistake twice and go for the larger version. I'm also considering the Florentine Bristol and the Sabrina. Is the Florentine Bristol a heavy bag? (Had a Dooney rep tell me that its among the lighter of the Florentine bags, but for those that have it?) Sorry to be all over the board but as you can tell, I've not seen most of these in person and it's hard to buy long distance! My other thought altogether is to try the new Toscana Domed Satchel or the Side Zip, both also beautiful but no sale there (too bad, although returnable!) All comments welcome! Thanks!
 
Aug 13, 2014
5,812
2,204
Thanks for the comments here, I'm deciding on things as well! For those with the Viola -- does the handle at the top get in the way when getting into the bag? The measurements seem to suggest a medium size bag, but with the divider in the center plus the top handle, does it "feel" like a smaller bag?

Also, how big does the large Camilla feel? I had the small one and a store finally took it back as an accommodation (hence now a gift card to use up) but I'm scared to make the same mistake twice and go for the larger version. I'm also considering the Florentine Bristol and the Sabrina. Is the Florentine Bristol a heavy bag? (Had a Dooney rep tell me that its among the lighter of the Florentine bags, but for those that have it?) Sorry to be all over the board but as you can tell, I've not seen most of these in person and it's hard to buy long distance! My other thought altogether is to try the new Toscana Domed Satchel or the Side Zip, both also beautiful but no sale there (too bad, although returnable!) All comments welcome! Thanks!
I much prefer the Alto Sabrina to the Alto Camilla, for a number of reasons. While the larger Camilla is a beautiful bag, I do find it large. Also, aside from the center zip compartment, the top of the bag is largely open. The tab that keeps it closed is a pain to deal with. And because the leather is thick and structured, the sides are open at the top. The handle structure is also a bit strange.

The Sabrina is a generous medium sized handbag, with a wide base, and very user friendly. It has a top zip and the size and style just work well. I love the Sabrina.

The Florentine Bristol is my favorite Florentine style. I love the shape, the top zip, and the leather.

Choosing between the Sabrina and the Bristol is difficult, because the leathers are so different. I don't think either is overly heavy, and I'm sensitive to handbag weights. But Florentine leather is probably heavier than Alto, and also the Bristol has extra leather trim in the belting, that adds to the weight.

I'd say to make the choice based upon the kind of leather and handbag style you prefer.... structured in the Sabrina or softer (but not slouchy) in the Bristol. Colors might also be a factor, as the Bristol is only available in limited colors. Scratches might buff out in Florentine, they won't in Alto.
 

DeDe15

O.G.
Mar 1, 2011
131
10
I much prefer the Alto Sabrina to the Alto Camilla, for a number of reasons. While the larger Camilla is a beautiful bag, I do find it large. Also, aside from the center zip compartment, the top of the bag is largely open. The tab that keeps it closed is a pain to deal with. And because the leather is thick and structured, the sides are open at the top. The handle structure is also a bit strange.

The Sabrina is a generous medium sized handbag, with a wide base, and very user friendly. It has a top zip and the size and style just work well. I love the Sabrina.

The Florentine Bristol is my favorite Florentine style. I love the shape, the top zip, and the leather.

Choosing between the Sabrina and the Bristol is difficult, because the leathers are so different. I don't think either is overly heavy, and I'm sensitive to handbag weights. But Florentine leather is probably heavier than Alto, and also the Bristol has extra leather trim in the belting, that adds to the weight.

I'd say to make the choice based upon the kind of leather and handbag style you prefer.... structured in the Sabrina or softer (but not slouchy) in the Bristol. Colors might also be a factor, as the Bristol is only available in limited colors. Scratches might buff out in Florentine, they won't in Alto.
Thanks so much for that, I appreciate the feedback. I may hit a Macy's or Dillards tomorrow to see what the Florentine is all about in person -- I can get a feel for it, even though it's not the exact Bristol style. I'm going to call Dooney customer service as well and get the weights on some of the bags I'm considering. By any chance have you seen the Viola? My suspicion is that it comes across as a smaller bag, so I may be ruling that out as well as the large Camilla. I'm generally more casual (I engrave, so my "busy" season has just passed) and I'm not in an office or in business situations regularly. The Sabrina comes across as more business-like, but I like the sleekness of it. The Florentine is likely more up my alley, but sometimes I'm into the tassels and all the decorative things on it, sometimes I think, "why do I want all that stuff on my bag"?! Can't make up my mind on these things! (I'm sure I'm not alone!) Thanks again!
 

applecidered

Member
Jan 19, 2014
1,506
369
Texas
I vote for the second to the top photo. The handles look long enough to swing over your shoulder, I hope. I love the saddle color.
 
Aug 13, 2014
5,812
2,204
I much prefer the Alto Sabrina to the Alto Camilla, for a number of reasons. While the larger Camilla is a beautiful bag, I do find it large. Also, aside from the center zip compartment, the top of the bag is largely open. The tab that keeps it closed is a pain to deal with. And because the leather is thick and structured, the sides are open at the top. The handle structure is also a bit strange.

The Sabrina is a generous medium sized handbag, with a wide base, and very user friendly. It has a top zip and the size and style just work well. I love the Sabrina.

The Florentine Bristol is my favorite Florentine style. I love the shape, the top zip, and the leather.

Choosing between the Sabrina and the Bristol is difficult, because the leathers are so different. I don't think either is overly heavy, and I'm sensitive to handbag weights. But Florentine leather is probably heavier than Alto, and also the Bristol has extra leather trim in the belting, that adds to the weight.

I'd say to make the choice based upon the kind of leather and handbag style you prefer.... structured in the Sabrina or softer (but not slouchy) in the Bristol. Colors might also be a factor, as the Bristol is only available in limited colors. Scratches might buff out in Florentine, they won't in Alto.
I do some of my best thinking in the middle of the night............. Another thing to consider, and it's important, is the inside of the handbag. The Alto handbags generally have only 1 zipper pocket and 1 small pocket for cell phone, and no key leash. They haven't been upgraded to more pockets as the rest of the Dooney line has. The Florentine line has the standard zip pocket, large slip pocket, and 2 other medium sized slip pockets, plus the key leash. Don't get me wrong, I love Alto, and am willing to put up with it, but I much prefer the interior of the Florentine and other Dooney handbags. It makes a difference in usability.
Also, the Alto does not have a shoulder or cross body strap. Most of the Florentine do, check the description on the Bristol to be sure.
 

DeDe15

O.G.
Mar 1, 2011
131
10
OMG just got back from Macy's to take a look at the Toscana leather in person and wow, it is gorgeous! They had a few styles, Espresso, Elephant and Ginger, no other colors. Very impressed with those bags! They did not have the two styles I'd most like, the domed satchel or the side zip satchel, but just to see these in person was very helpful. (Another customer was gushing in general about the florentine leather, heavy or not, she loves it!) So now it gets narrowed down. I'm going to talk to customer service about respective weights for what I'm considering but the Alto may hit the back burner in favor of one of the newer bags if I can catch it on a D&B sale. Thanks for the input!
 
Aug 13, 2014
5,812
2,204
OMG just got back from Macy's to take a look at the Toscana leather in person and wow, it is gorgeous! They had a few styles, Espresso, Elephant and Ginger, no other colors. Very impressed with those bags! They did not have the two styles I'd most like, the domed satchel or the side zip satchel, but just to see these in person was very helpful. (Another customer was gushing in general about the florentine leather, heavy or not, she loves it!) So now it gets narrowed down. I'm going to talk to customer service about respective weights for what I'm considering but the Alto may hit the back burner in favor of one of the newer bags if I can catch it on a D&B sale. Thanks for the input!
You can also check the QVC website and Zappos web site to see if they have the styles you are looking at and the weight listed.
 

DeDe15

O.G.
Mar 1, 2011
131
10
You can also check the QVC website and Zappos web site to see if they have the styles you are looking at and the weight listed.
Yes, thanks. I figured that out as I was on hold with QVC after talking to Dooney... I think the Dooney weights are all over the board, as QVC lists them as up to as much as a pound lower! Started digging around on QVC and saw the weights just before I ended up talking to the QVC rep. Even the Dooney rep said she wasn't 100% sure of the weights they were quoting. So, no real right answer until I handle them in person, I guess!
 

DeDe15

O.G.
Mar 1, 2011
131
10
As a follow up... I used most of the gift card on the Alto Sabrina, still have some money to play with! In the meantime, I've been stalking the QVC "as is" department and was quite lucky to find the Toscana Domed Satchel in Espresso and later the Toscana Side Zip Satchel in Bordeaux (and that was my first choice even before the Domed Satchel, love that color!) The Domed Satchel arrived today in really good condition, and it's weight is 2.6 pounds on a very accurate scale. Not bad, not great. The Sabrina may show tomorrow and I'm sure that will be lighter. The Side Zip weight is TBD once it gets here. So, Sabrina is mine, final sale. The other two I'll decide between but wow, the Domed is a really pretty bag! I need to stop! :smile: