carson vs. clarke (everything and more you never wanted to know!)

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  1. I'd chatted with a couple of you about how similar the new carson is to the older clarke. According to, the carson's dimensions are 8''h x 12.5''w x 1.5''d and the clarke's dimensions are 8''h x 12.6''w x 1.5''d (although when they were first posted they were both 12.5 w). Bizarre that they'd have two almost identical bags for sale full price, right?

    Here's my black clarke next to my new atlantic blue carson!

    The clarke's leather has a bit more shine to it (although not nearly as much as the flash makes it look like!), but I'm willing to guess it's because I've been using it--and occasionally conditioning it--for a year. As I noted when I originally saw them online, the only (barely) noticeable difference is that the carson has a curved zipper flap whereas the clarke has a straight one. Pretty sure the differences in 'structure' are because the carson is fresh out of the box. Though the clarke isn't structured at all, it looks great whether it is stuffed insanely full or almost empty.


    See? They're the same size. It's worth noting that my clarke looks way more beautiful in real life than these photos are making her look. I'll have to take some photos in natural light/sans flash later.


    Inside they are a wee bit different--clarke has a shallower pouch (for lack of a better word).


    Ah hah! I found another difference--the straps attach differently. The strap lengths are the same, though, with the same level of adjustability. Point one to the carson--looks much nicer (although it's not noticeable when you're wearing it).

    And a couple of photos with the clarke's and carson's much more popular cousin, the little minka:

    (actually looking here you can see that the clarke and carson are put together differently, with the clarke having an extra panel along the bottom)

    Took these photos with my flash and the colors are way off. The atlantic blue is really a dusky periwinkle (not as bright purple as it looks in these photos) and my little minka is a very saturated, but somewhat darker and greener, turquoise (my favorite colored bag ever--it's called jenkins blue but the photos online don't get it right either).

    Anyway, I love love love my clarke, I use it so much, so I'm excited for a practically identical purse in another color. The clarke holds way more than you'd expect. At some point, I'll definitely take some photos and post them in eehler's "What's in Your Kate Spade" thread so you can see. In general, I can get wallet, coin purse (x2), phone, keys, glasses case, pens/other random things I accumulate, and a full sized hairbrush in there and it still looks great. On most days, that's pretty much all I need!
  2. And my kindle! Forgot to add that it fits my kindle on top of all those other things.
  3. thanks for posting this! I'm waiting for my Carson to come in.
  4. Thank you so much for all this information! I was actually trying to figure out the difference between the Clarke and the Carson during the last surprise sale and this thread was so helpful. I meant to thank you for all the side by side comparisons and descriptions last month and just totally forgot until now.
  5. Does the zipper on the Clarke work any better than on the Carson? The curved design seems to be a reason the zippers are sometimes hard to pull closed when open all the way on Minkas.