I am also looking for an everyday bag that will last a long time.
Here's my take...
Elise love it in the quilted patent--Ursula style, not so in love with the plain calfskin version. Something about the quilted patent really MAKES the Elise.
The downsides of the Elise is that it's hand-held only--no shoulder option and it's on the "smaller" side.
The Blake can do hand/arm held or shoulder and has LOTS of room. But due to the two pockets, some think that the Blake can look a little dated. I think bags are getting a little more simple when it comes to the outer pocket look, i.e. Muse, other new MJ bags for fall, etc.
You definitely need to try out both bags and put your things in there while you're at the store. That's the best way to "test-run" a bag.
I totally agree with Wicked. =)
I love the Quilted Patent (Ursula) Elise, it's very stunning!
If you prefer Calf leather (smooth) over Patent_Quilted leather, go for Blake. In addition to the extra room on the shoulder (longer handles), Blake is certainly heavier than Elise because it has 2 pockets (more hardware), multiple compartments, and suede lining (yummy!). Blake & Elise are 2 of my most favorite bags, they can be dressed up and down. Since Ursula Elise is patent leather, it is easier to maintain -- dust/dirt can be wiped off easily.
Ursula Elise is harder to find now, it's sold out at many stores.
I prefer the Blake; I see it as being a more classic bag. I do like the Elise, but I prefer it in the patent leather, and that might be more difficult to use for an everyday bag. I also like the fact that the Blake can be shoulder or handheld, and the 3 compartments. I'm thinking about getting a Blake for my next bag purchase.
The Blake is a fabulous everyday bag. It can be carried as a satchel or on the shoulder. It has three compartments, which is very convenient. I own two Blakes. I can't say enough good things about this bag. IMO it's the best bag MJ ever put out on the market.
I'm considering getting the Blake. I really like the styling. I talked with the SA at the MJ store, and he says the Blake is a classic and one of the most popular bags that MJ has ever done. I just have to decide between the quilted and the plain.