Natural Barenia Owners: How wearable is your Barenia....really???

psaseattle

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As an owner of a 35 Natural Barenia birkin, I LOVE the leather and its evolving nature does not trouble me at all. However....I struggle with the size (it seems to bang into corners and feels wider than my other birkins which are box), the weight, and the wearability with my wardrobe. I am wondering how others wear their Natural Barenia - a lot with everything? Only sometimes?

I would love to hear from Natural Barenia lovers who have no trouble with pairing the saddle leather with lots of wardrobe choices (enable me!!!). I am also wondering if Natural Barenia in a 30cm would be better for me (assuming I can find one!) or whether I should resign myself to loving the look and smell of Natural Barenia but realizing its not that wearable for me.

Thanks for the help!;)
 
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880

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I adore my natural 32 barenia HAC ghw, but find it very heavy empty. I do wear it in all weather - it came to me pre4-owned and I had it treated by the docride method.

I only wear the natural barenia with jeans or with casual day wear that is somewhat sartorial - borelli, attolini shirts; brunello cuchinelli separates; some etro or Carolina Hererra dresses and skirts. For occasional use with fashion RTW, I could also wear it with leopard print (either leopard with splashes of white - like alaia or Valentino, or the more natural, or brown based dolce or YSL leopard); dolce denim jackets and skirts (polished look but no hardware or logo); or some old YSL khaki separates. Or Anne Fontaine shirts. Its great with white jeans - but heavy to lug around in the heat of the summer.

I don;t find it as versatile as a dark brown bag or with more polished, urban RTW ( and it is not just the fact that it is brown; I have a marron fonce fjord paris bombay that is a ) as I often mix dark brown with black, beige, navy. But I don;t wear colored bags - in fact natural barenia is a bright in my bag wardrobe.

I find that natural barenia is not fashion enough for Chanel RTW - even the resort collections - if that makes sense to you. Perhaps if it were phw, that would be different, but even then I don;t think so.

I don;t wear Armani RTW, but to me a barenia bag would suit such clothing perfectly - polished country casual.

JMO

P.S. it is strong enough that I can carry it filled with several wine bottles to my favorite casual BYOB restaurant or a casual dinner at a friends house. I am not a Hamptons fan, but I can also imagine its great as a market bag or beach bag - but I am more a user of my bags than a collector - the way I use things might make some tpfers faint lol.
 
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psaseattle

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I adore my natural 32 barenia HAC ghw, but find it very heavy empty. I do wear it in all weather - it came to me pre4-owned and I had it treated by the docride method.

Because I dress in a very urban fashion, I wear the natural barenia with jeans or with casual day wear that is somewhat sartorial - borelli, attolini shirts; brunello cuchinelli separates; some etro or Carolina Hererra dresses and skirts. For occasional use with fashion RTW, I could also wear it with leopard print (either leopard with splashes of white - like alaia or Valentino, or the more natural, or brown based dolce or YSL leopard); dolce denim jackets and skirts (polished look but no hardware or logo); or some old YSL khaki separates. Or Anne Fontaine shirts.

I don;t find it as versatile as a dark brown bag (I have a marron fonce fjord paris bombay) as I often mix dark brown with black, beige, navy. But I don;t wear colored bags - in fact natural barenia is a bright in my bag wardrobe.

I find that natural barenia is not fashion enough for Chanel RTW - even the resort collections - if that makes sense to you. Perhaps if it were phw, that would be different, but even then I don;t think so.

I don;t wear Armani RTW, but to me a barenia bag would suit such clothing perfectly - polished country casual.

JMO

P.S. it is strong enough that I can carry it filled with several wine bottles to my favorite casual BYOB restaurant or a casual dinner at a friends house.
Thank you for that answer....that is actually really helpful. Your comment about "sartorial" wear struck a chord with me. I think that is a real sweet spot for Barenia and one that I could do alot more of with only a little more thought. Since becoming a mom I seem to have slipped into that place where I am either wearing dressy-ish and hence grabbing my box birkin or box kelly or very casual in which case i seem to grab a Balenciaga or my Herbag (and am dreaming about a mou Bolide). But with some effort....I could pull off a sartorial style I think:graucho:
 
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LailaT

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880's post was far more detailed and helpful than mine will be, i'm sure. still i will offer my opinion ;) ...
a natural barenia 35 birkin should work with any daytime wardrobe unless you dress in chanel suits or frilly dresses*. so that leaves everything else that's potentially in your wardrobe ranging from modern/drapey, classic/tailored, preppy/simple, to workout wear!

* if any members wear theirs with these, i'd like to say in advance that i could be wrong! i'm just not picturing it :smile:

as to your considering a 30 over a 35, that does change everything. not sure what stature you are, but i'd think a 30 natural barenia birkin would work best on a small person. otherwise the scale of bag to person i think wouldn't give the casual tote look it seems to have (in my mind). from your post it sounds as though your 35 box birkins serve your needs well.

i'd say hang onto your 35 barenia (it's a coveted bag, you must know!) and carry it whenever you "dress down." it's good that you're not dealing with it as too precious -- i'd liken it to a child's beloved teddy bear that gets taken wherever ...

p.s. my 35 is not natural, but i carry my 32 HAC natural (phw) everyday, as i would if it were a 35.
 
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psaseattle

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880's post was far more detailed and helpful than mine will be, i'm sure. still i will offer my opinion ;) ...
a natural barenia 35 birkin should work with any daytime wardrobe unless you dress in chanel suits or frilly dresses*. so that leaves everything else that's potentially in your wardrobe ranging from modern/drapey, classic/tailored, preppy/simple, to workout wear!

* if any members wear theirs with these, i'd like to say in advance that i could be wrong! i'm just not picturing it :smile:

as to your considering a 30 over a 35, that does change everything. not sure what stature you are, but i'd think a 30 natural barenia birkin would work best on a small person. otherwise the scale of bag:Person i think wouldn't give the casual tote look it seems to have (in my mind). from your post it sounds as though your 35 box birkins serve your needs well.

i'd say hang onto your 35 barenia (it's a coveted bag, you must know!) and carry it whenever you "dress down." it's good that you're not dealing with it as too precious -- i'd liken it to a child's beloved teddy bear that gets taken wherever ...

p.s. my 35 is not natural, but i carry my 32 HAC natural (phw) everyday.
Thank you dear LailaT - your answer is equally helpful;) The size is a little bit of an issue too in reality. My particular Barenia 35 is a smidge on the "fat" side at the base/width when compared with my other 35s. If you put it side by side with my togo or box birkins, you can definitely tell it was made a smidge wider by the craftsman - and wider in a way that is not just the leather being different. It is wider. Its not noticeable to the eye really except I AM on the smaller side - ahem - all of 5'3 on a good day and about 120 pounds. Its funny that slight width difference wears pretty differently on me - it hangs out from my body more than my other birkins and I do have trouble with corners, etc. I am really wondering about a 30 being better for me in this leather.....would it be much "cuter"? I have never seen a Barenia birkin in 30 in real life - only togos and exotics.
 

LailaT

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^ well i think you'd be best off trying on a 30 in the boutique (in clemence or togo, since barenia is unlikely to be in stock) to see how you like the look on you. maybe a 32 HAC is the right size/shape for you??? although the shorter handles may not work with your lifestyle. on a different note, the difference in size between your barenia and togo 35s sounds curious. you notice the difference when you try one on one side and the other on the other?
 

Graciella

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I like the colour of Barenia paired with blacks and greys - I don't own any (unfortunately), but I have many bags in the tan/barenia-like colour family which I wear with just about anything from my mostly black/grey/purple wardrobe.

As for the size issue, I think you should try finding a 30 Barenia B, I've seen them occassionally on reseller's sites, so you might find one. But hold on to that 35 until you do find a 30!
 

psaseattle

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Apr 4, 2008
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^ well i think you'd be best off trying on a 30 in the boutique (in clemence or togo, since barenia is unlikely to be in stock) to see how you like the look on you. maybe a 32 HAC is the right size/shape for you??? although the shorter handles may not work with your lifestyle. on a different note, the difference in size between your barenia and togo 35s sounds curious. you notice the difference when you try one on one side and the other on the other?
Yes, my Barenia feels/looks like its just a bit bulkier. I showed it to Manuela years ago and she shrugged and said its an individual piece made by a person. The variation is slight, but I can personally feel it. More so between the Barenia and the box birkin, less so between Barenia and togo. You might not see it though I guess if you were looking at me....
 

irishlass1029

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WooHoo 880 - fantastic answer!

I can't speak to the size as all I have in natural barenia is a picotin, which I adore. As for the color, I find myself wearing it with everything as if it were "the new black" or something. Of course I don't wear it with suits and the like, but I think that's more the style of the bag rather than the color of it. I have a very casual lifestyle, so it fits right in. It's such an easy bag to carry that I am not noticing that yummy patina yet as it still looks brand new. But maybe in a few years it will have it.

Sounds like maybe the 32 HAC is worth trying for you though. I am 5'1" and about 110 and it's THE perfect size on me.
 

lovely64

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Great answers:smile:

I have one in 35 but I have only carried it once so far. I actually never think about what I´m wearing versus which bag to carry (maybe I do it unconciously?). I am almost always in jeans/cashmere cardis/boots so my Barenia goes well with my style. I am a casual dresser, and when I want to "dress up" a tad more I put on a nice jacket. I think Barenia goes well with most colours.

I think you should hold onto your 35, they are rare, and they will age beautifully (IMO)
 

880

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Hugs to you, LailaT, IL :biggrin:

psaseattle,

Re the scale and weight of a 35 barenia birkin on someone near my height.

I am 5'2 inches and medium build with muscular shoulders - 42 dolce; 38 chanel, probably a size 6 american. I am asian, but even at my slimest, I am bulkier than many asians my height.

The 32 HAC is as big as I think I can go. . . in fact when I carry it, even people from the boutique at first glance sometimes think it is a 35 because of the scale/size of the bag on my body. My particular HAC reads as more square than others especially batwinged out. I prefer the HAC strapped up and flap closed over the straps to minimize its size and breadth.

Having said that, a 30 birkin is best on me (scale wise) with batwings pulled out. A 30 birkin looks a bit skimpy to my mind when the bag is closed because I am medium build. The 30 holds a lot of items: when I went to a recent tpf meet out of town for the day, it held 2 one pound boxes of mochi flour (gifts for tpfers); a GM c/s for the plane; a large wallet similar to the azap; an iphone; a kindle; a copy of Portal (gift for a tpfer); and I had room to take home a box of macaroons and caramels. . .

If it helps you figure out whether we are on the same wavelength in terms of aesthetics, I am a 28 sellier BBK gal. The 32 is too briefcase-y on me. To me, centimeters really matter.

Here is an old pic of me trying to wear the barenia with fashion rtw - dolce trench, etro scarf (it was too busy but I am not a minimalist)
DSC02111.jpeg

to me, a kelly arguably is more versatile as a bag that can be worn both in a sartorial or a fashion sensibility - old pics with a chanel jacket:
chanel jacket, porc, LV scarf.jpeg

and a ysl jacket:
porc kelly, ysl jacket, lv scarf.jpg

To me, a 30 birkin is too dainty closed,
DSC02390_2.jpeg

but perfect batwinged out.
DSC02644.jpeg
 

thimp

Loving my babies!!
Jul 19, 2007
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Love natural barenia! For me, it's very wearable. But then, I am also a very casual person. I love wearing my natural barenia with jeans (it looks esp. great with whites!) Really, natural barenia looks great with almost anything...when done in a casual way. Here's a very old pic of me and my 30cm natural barenia.
 

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