The Kelly bag: A love but "not useful" relationship

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  1. I would love to note right off that I love the Kelly bag. Based purely on design, I prefer the style to the tote-style Birkin. I have always loved it and I was over the moon when I bought one from the store last year. I have the black Togo with gold hardware, size 32.

    However, since I bought it, I have used it probably about 10 times. I use my Birkins all the time! I never expected to use them as much as I do, but I find I am always reaching for them.
    It turns out I am not as classy as I would like to be. Everyone loves the pictures of Grace Kelly with the box Kelly bag. But while I would love to hone that look - and I have tried - that is just not me. My lifestyle includes consistently reaching into my bag for my cell phones, wallet or something else and the Kelly just makes it so hard. (I am guessing Grace Kelly never needed to reach into her bag consistently for cell phones) It has a shoulder strap but it is impossible to open without both hands, which makes it a pain for me. I don't like the look of the Kelly with the strap but that is a moot point.

    To me, the Birkin is a workhorse - I use the bag for work, errands and travel. Size 35 for work/travel, 30 for weekend errands. When I try to look more ladylike ("try" being the key word here), I find myself reaching for my Channel flaps always. For evening or more formal events - I am covered with Jige clutches and a Kelly cut. Actually, on days I have after-work events, I'll use a Chanel flap with my laptop bag and I ditch the laptop bag after work, so I find my flap bags to be the most versatile.

    So I guess it took me owning the Kelly to figure out it just doesn't work for me. I have read some threads here about ladies who have multiple Kelly bags and I always want to ask, "how do you use this bag daily"? "How do you quickly dig in and out"? Any tips??

    Full disclosure, my kids are teenagers - I do not particularly need a hands free bag for work or for errands. I do not find the Birkin size 35 heavy and I have other tote style work bags that I absolutely love and after so long, I have finally realized what works and what doesn't. I do not feel the need to buy tons of bags. I have the classic colours (black, blue, red, gold/tan) that I love in Hermes and Chanel, and I am content with those. I am not looking to add more.

    Sadly, I admit that the Kelly doesn't work for me. I put it up for sale, but I read a comment here a while ago that got me re-thinking. Someone made a comment to the effect that different bags suit our lifestyles at different stages in life. That is so true. Maybe I should keep it after all....

    I would like to hear other people's opinions about using the Kelly. Do you find it frustrating to use or you figured out how to use it? Have you sold one only to regret it? I am usually quite decisive about bags - for the first time I am wondering whether I should keep a bag just for an appreciation of the style alone...
    abg12, Birkinitis, LDDChanel and 6 others like this.
  2. hi there, i should be your twin sister. i have a very similar choices of bags with you. i prefer b over k, and now after downsizing i own only one kelly 32 in clemence, bleu izmir. i will probably not add anymore kellys to my "cleaned up" collection and am neither looking into selling my only kelly 32. as you explained well, kelly is too fussy to go into. as high a craftsmanship is with H, i intend to use birkin as my daily bags in different occasions; work, shopping, traveling, run around, outing, etc. although H clutches and smaller bags are popular, i prefer chanel design for party and formal scenes. i am drawn to b25 recently but the function will stay the same as the other bs.
    as for now, i would say to keep your kelly, you can see how you feel over few more months. i too have grown up kids and just one teenager at home left. my lifestyle is not weighed by young children and i am quite free to choose my daily lifestyle. i know i will appreciate kelly from time to time.
    cheapsk8 and yai like this.
  3. I love my Kelly, I use my phone and stuff all day long. If I know I"m going to be in and out of the bag frequently I just buckle the straps under the flap, it takes two seconds to grab anything. Granted I have a K35 with nice soft Togo straps but this also works with my vintage Sellier.
    I'm realizing you put it up for sale but you have a great bag, you should practice using it!
    Here's a photo:

  4. Funny how you think you are for sure the only one experiencing something and you find someone else going through the same emotions! And like you, I will for sure not be buying any more Kelly bags - I'll admire them on other people.
    I have been going back and forth for a while, but I would hate to sell it and regret it later...
  5. Your picture is my problem right there - that bag is so beautiful!

    Thank you for the tip - I'll try using it with the straps buckled under the flap..
    MSO13 likes this.
  6. Yai. I totally agree with you. I use my Bs more often than my Ks. As a result I have more Bs than Ks. Also, I tend to buy Ks that are more classy and formal like black box coz I only use my Ks for formal events. My Bs are for casual everyday use.
    yai likes this.
  7. Love!!
    What color is your Kelly?
    Btw, I love my Kelly bags and my Birkins but the Kelly is my favorite.
  8. If you consistently carry it that way with any weight in the bag, you run the risk of damaging the turnlock and leather under it. The straps, when buckled, support the weight of the bag. Just something to consider.
    steffysstyle, yai, Keren16 and 5 others like this.
  9. I haven't thought of this. I always carry mine the same way as the picture. Thanks for the info Mistikat.
  10. It's Etain with white stitch, thanks!
  11. I don't carry the loaded bag like this all day, every time I use it but in/out of the car with keys, phone, glasses all going in and out of the bag this is a quick fix. I've gotten used to the straps and can open and close it fairly quickly, it just takes a little practice!
  12. I carry mine like that all the time. I admit I'm being lazy and if I were to carry the Kelly all buckle up, I might end up not using them at all. Having said that, my ebene k32's turnlock was a little crooked due to heavy use for 4 years - my bad I carry even my MacBook Air in it. I sent it to spa and had the turnlock replaced for a very reasonable price. That's why I love H bags! With other brands, the bag would have to be thrown away if the same damage happened. And this gives me confidence and peace of mind to really use my bags as I know they can be repaired.....
    yai, Orangefanatic and tonkamama like this.
  13. This is exactly how I use my Kelly also... I don't think using it all buckled up all the time is very practical!
    Txoceangirl likes this.
  14. So pretty. I have an Etain Kelly with GHW but I really love yours with the contrast stitching.
    So crisp looking.
    MSO13 likes this.
  15. I carry mine like this too although I tuck the flap in.
    Much easier with my box sellier Kelly bags than with my retourner styles
    Allinbee likes this.