^^ this is so true. I find the retourne more casual than the sellier, and it's the retourne construction that opens up the top automatically anyway. I love the sellier because I know the shape will hold up so much better. I do choose to use the retourne or the sellier according to the nature of my outings for that day.
Mrssparkles, I totally agree. I love both retourne and sellier. I've been using a Kelly 32 retourne in Chevre de Coromandel for years and it has held its shape extremely well. Absolutely no sagging whatsoever!
I've been using my Kelly 35 daily for months now, longer than when I use my Birkins, so that says something. The shoulder strap makes it very easy to wear, and once you get used to the straps, the Kelly will be a cinch to wear
My first H bag is a gold kelly. Love! Love kellys! It is elegant and yet can be casual (esp in the grained leather). I think box is a little more formal looking. Then the kids came so I use my birkins more often these days.
I guess my point is that it depends on your lifestyle and/or ocassion. Both are wonderful bags.
I know this is not within the topic but another option to the kelly vs. birkin is the bolide. I believe it's a cross between the kelly/birkin in terms of practicality. It's definitely easier to access things out of a bolide and the zip takes care of the I-hope-nobody-takes-my-wallet issue that's present in a birkin.
It also has a shoulder strap so you can use that and have your hands free. It is casual and can be made to look a little formal if you use the handle vs. the strap.
I have been carrying my Kelly for a little over a month now and I have had no problem accessing its contents. I usually keep the straps undone, but at times, when i want it to look more formal, I will close it entirely, straps in place et. al. I definitely can access it quickly and easily. I carry my kelly everyday.
I adore the look of the Kelly but I do find it a bit annoying trying to deal with the flap at times. Much easier if it is hanging from you shoulder to lock the flap without doing the straps; however, I'm pretty particular and don't like leaving the straps hanging unless I'm in a big hurry.