Review: Prada Saffiano Lux / Galleria Double Zip Tote Bag

Today’s post is a belated review of the Prada Saffiano Double Zip tote bag. I recorded this video a while back in a rush, and scrapped it due to fluctuating lighting and choppy content. Since several readers have been asking questions about this bag, I figured I’d post anyways in hopes of answering some of those questions.

As a preface, this bag was probably my most mulled-over purchase to date. I’d like to think that every one of my larger purchases are carefully-considered, but unfortunately, some of them could’ve used more thought and research on alternatives. I’ve been trying to shop more deliberately, which starts with discovering what the biggest “voids” are in my closet. I realized early this year that many of my work and casual outfits could use a simple brown, medium-sized bag. I needed one that was durable, lightweight, and preferably weather-resistant. I fell in love with Prada’s Saffiano tote, and spent half a year trying on all the options, scouring the pre-owned market, and looking for any small ways to save. There was no rush to buy, and ultimately I ended up with something that I am in love with and do not regret (so far, anyways).

Change to “HD” (4th button in from bottom right) for better quality:

What exactly is “Saffiano” leather? I couldn’t find any authorized information directly from Prada, but this thread on The Purse Forum contains some member opinions that sound right. Based on that thread and a few other articles, Saffiano leather is treated for increased durability, scratch-resistance, and water-resistance. Several other handbag designers use it as well.
Prada Saffiano Tote Review5Sizes 
There are so many sizes and variations of this bag that I often get confused, but the sizes that I have tried on include..

**Prices are as of 9/2012 and will probably change**

Mini Double Zip w/ strap – 7″ x 10″ x 4.15″ – $1520
Small Double Zip w/ strap – 8.25″ x 11.5″ x 5″ – 1730
Medium Double Zip w/ strap – 9″x 15″ x 5.5″ – $1810
Medium Double Zip no strap – 10″ x 14.5″ x 6″ – $1960
Large Double Zip no strap – 12″ x 15.75″ x 6.75″ – $2100

Open Tote no strap– I’ve seen a range of online measurements and don’t know exactly which one is right…approximate size is 10″ x 14″ x 7″ – $1730
Prada Saffiano Tote Review4

Trying on various sizes to find the most proportionate one (for reference, I am about 5 feet tall):

Prada Saffiano Tote Review

Top left: Medium #2 double zip tote in caramel, medium #1 double zip tote in cammeo
Top right: Open tote in caramel

Below: Open tote in cammeo (for some reason, this one definitely looks wider than the caramel one above)

Prada Saffiano Tote Review2

Issues: As mentioned in my video, I am not a fan of the nylon logo lining nor the less structured base. The base, however, should be an easy fix with a base shaper. A bigger issue that I did not mention in my video is the inconsistency of quality I’ve personally experienced. In the photo directly above, the front panel leather looks almost wrinkled – I thought it was a bag that had been used and returned. And out of the two double zip totes I ordered, one was perfect but one also had a slightly wrinkled front panel. I am disappointed that a product at this price point does not have better quality control, so be sure to carefully inspect your purchase before using it.

The open tote easily fits a 15″ laptop, small makeup bag, wallet, plus baggie for shoes:

Prada Saffiano Tote Review1
Where to Buy
After I decided on the size/style/color combo, I combed eBay for a pre-owned bag that fit the bill. There are so many options available with this tote that it was hard to find the exact one on the secondhand market. I am also not an expert in gauging Prada authenticity via photos, and was worried about purchasing a counterfeit. The similar ones I watched on eBay went for about $1,200-$1,400, so it was a lot to pay for the risk of unauthentic merchandise, plus not getting the exact bag sought. I ended up buying mine from Neiman Marcus at full price, choosing them over the Prada boutique because I trust their customer service and return policy more.

Relatively Lower-Priced Alternative
Ever since I started looking at Prada’s Double Zip Tote, a few readers have suggested Tory Burch’s rendition. This bag is also made of Saffiano leather and comes in a variety of colors, including “luggage” brown. At 10″ x 16″ x 5.5,” it is approximately comparable to Prada’s larger medium size but has a detachable strap, and has the same inside compartments.
Prada Saffiano Tote Review6

Readers – Do you own a Prada Saffiano tote? If so, please share your thoughts on it and whether you’ve encountered any issues over time.

112 thoughts on “Review: Prada Saffiano Lux / Galleria Double Zip Tote Bag

  • alermy September 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Just make sure you DON'T clean your saffiano bags/wallets with wipes with alcohol in it. I learned this in a hard way…

  • Megan September 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    The Robinson tote with the strap is definitely a great "dupe", however, I found it to be so heavy in itself!

    I've wanted a bag similar to your Prada (without the strap) and ended up getting the Tory Burch Robinson Saffiano East-West tote, which is light and very roomy. Plus it's about half the price. That's another great option! Someday I'll have my own Prada bag though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Yikes, did cleaning it with alcohol wipes yank the color off??

  • Sheila September 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Jean! I was waiting for your review of this bag before I took the jump, but I ended up being impatient and ordered one in red last week.

    I also looked at the Tory Burch alternative but I decided not to go that route based on two reasons:
    1) Members of the Purseforum have noted that their Tory Burch bags have had the Saffiano "pattern" rubbed off their bags after just a few weeks of use, meaning the "pattern" isn't very well stamped onto the bag
    2) The strap of the Tory Burch is placed diagonally of the front and back panels of the bag, and not actually on the sides, which means that if you carry relatively heavy in the bag and you use the strap, the strap will pull on the fabric of the bag, making it look deformed and then maybe even rip.

    Quality-wise, the Tory Burch alternative might not last very long, which is a disappointment because the whole point of it being Saffiano leather is that it is supposed to be super long lasting.

    For those who like the style of the double zippered sides with the bigger compartment on the inside, Michael Kors also has a similar style for about $300. It's not saffiano leather but it's still real leather.

  • alermy September 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I used it on my blue prada saffiano wallet. It removed the saffiano texture and some color. I stopped right away. It looks ok. Only I know the texture is messed up on some parts of the wallet.

  • Katherine September 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I've always been curious, do you usually pack lunch to work? And if you do, would you carry it in your purse (ie, the Prada) or separately? I've been looking to purchase a new work bag and was wondering about this!


  • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I do pack lunch if I have food at home, and I store it in a plastic bag (sometimes double plastic bags) just like the one shown in the "inside the bag" view in this post. If you really care about the bag, then I'd double up to be safe and avoid packing liquids.

  • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I'm sorry to hear that! I use chlorox wipes on a lot of stuff, so thanks for that warning.

  • PetiteAsianGirl September 30, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Thank you (& Megan up above) for the advice re the Tory Burch alternatives.

    Did your red one arrive yet?

  • RnRMom September 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I have the camemeo (read "blush" in color) bag you show in your pictures. At first I had the Small Double Zip with Strap. I was dissapointed that I couldn't fit my Ipad in the one of the zipper compartments but it did fit in the center. I had a few other items/essentials in my purse. After about a month, the trim (which looks like molded rubber?) started pulling away from the bag revealing the seams underneath. Also, on of the strap hooks which is only held by one stitch! came off from the outside leaving it only attached to the liner. I immedately took it back to the Prada store where they happily exchanged it for me. I ended up with the Medium Double Zip with strap instead – for two reasons. 1. they advised that the strap broke because of the weight I had in the bag and the small couldn't handle this much weight. 2. the medium holds my iPad in the front zipper with no troubles, which I prefer.

    One word of caution that the Prada sales manager told me was that the straps shouldn't be used that often as they cannot handle any real weight. (then why have the straps I wonder??) I have since transitioned to being a handle-only purse wearer as I love the bag dearly. *sigh*

    Also, for those that mentioned cleaning above, the manager also said that I should use the dust bag and rub in small circles to clean the bag. She said that is what it is intended for and that saffiano leather will blend the color on and over any stains or scratches.

    I do love my Prada despite some of the issues I shared above. It is so classic and holds everything that I need for work or as a hockey mom. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for the review, Jean! Just wondering, does your Goyard tote still get much use since you've acquired your gorgeous Prada tote?

  • Ann September 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Such a thorough and helpful review! Makes me want to purchase one!… But alas.. I'm still a student and have a buttload of student loans to pay off when I graduate. Sigh. Maybe one day…

  • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Good review. I do have the money for expensive things as a young professional but will probably not spend $1000+ on a bag. The most expensive bag I have is about $400 and it works just fine. Where do you buy a cheap base shaper? I need one for my Kate Spade bag. Thanks. -Angela

  • Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    A better way to buy Prada bags is to wait for NM gift card event.
    They usually offer $300 gift card for a $2000 purchase. And sometimes they have double gift card event–that's $600.

    I got my Prada double zip Saffiano bag during that double gift card event, which saved me a lot of money–I got a pair of Louboutin shoes with the $600 gift card. Isn't that sweet?

  • Ping September 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    you know that i been working at a new job. well a lot of my clients are non-profit and i been feeling bad about carrying my LV bag to appointments. ever since you wrote that article about wearing designer items to work, it totally made me feel that i wasn't only one who felt that way! i been on a a hunt for a new work bag (w/o logos) and have considered that tory burch bag. then i thought about purchasing and thought it looked like your prada Double Zip tote bag. then i ended up thinking about buying your prada bag, but am not ready to splurge, mb one of these days! thanks for the great review though.

  • Fiona Wu September 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I'm really glad you did this review and that you're happy with your new totes! I fell in love with the zippered tote while watching Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, then made up my mind about it after seeing it in person. I agree with you about the lining, it looks/feels cheap. I didn't know it was nylon! Unless it's an easy clean-up, I don't understand why such a bag warrants a nylon lining. I'm hesitant given the QC problems you mentioned, but it's too perfect to pass up. I'm bookmarking this review for (much) later when I have the need (and the money!) for this bag. Thanks again, Jean!

  • Julie September 30, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    So happy to see a new post! I seriously check back… every single day… especially before going shopping. Haha Is that a pathetic thing to admit? I just wanted to emphasize how much I love your blog! Ok I have a question.. I've been showering at night and trying to recreate your loose waves.. I did as you said and tied my hair in a loose bun when I sleep.. However, my hair is a mess in the morning. It's frizzy and not as soft as usual after just-showered hair.. How does your hair stay so soft after the bun trick? Do you still go to sleep with your buns? Btw, I'm sure we have the same texture hair.. I'm asian and my hair is naturally straight. Also I don't straighten or put much heat on it, so it's not damaged or anything.. I just feel like it doesn't look as soft as yours after the overnight bun trick. ๐Ÿ™

  • Julie September 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Also, do you twist in a certain direction? Sometimes one side of my hair flip out while the other flips in.

  • Miriam October 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

    i absolutely love my prada bag! it was such a great buy! <3

  • Esther Yoo October 1, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Thank you so much for your informative review on the beautiful bag. I was wondering why the medium sized bag with no strap was more expensive than the one with the strap? Is it just because it is bigger in size or are there other features to the bag with no strap?

  • faye lu October 1, 2012 at 1:24 am

    great review jean – i've been eying a prada bag for the longest time ever as an 'investment' .. thinking should i? shouldn't i? … this is definitely making me lean towards should!! =)

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:29 am

    I LOVE the striped dress you're wearing in the bathroom pictures. Do you know who makes it? Thanks!!

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Thanks for this review. I wonder what if it rains ? Will the onside get
    wet since its not completely closed?

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Sorry for the typo, I meant to say "inside" not "onside"

  • Sheila October 1, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Thanks for the reply, Jean! No, mine hasn't arrived yet. I just ordered it on Thursday and then it got shipped out Friday morning. It should be arriving tomorrow but then it's signature required so I'll have to pick it up over the weekend. I'm so impatient normally with mail, I don't know how I will be knowing that it's waiting for me at the post office…

  • Sheila October 1, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Sorry to butt in on your question to Jean, but I also recently bought the same model bag as Jean and to answer your question, yes the medium without strap is slightly bigger than the medium with strap, which accounts for the increase in price.

  • Danielle H. October 1, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Hi Jean,

    Since I read your blog so much, I wanted to know your thoughts on a specific designer bag that I just recently purchased. After your review on your Prada, I began to think why I never considered this an option when I was shopping for my first designer purse. Anyway, since I don't want to get carried away with another huge purchase, I wanted to know what you think about the Givenchy Pandora bag in large?

    Looking forward to hear from you!

  • Skylar Grey October 1, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Button available to close…

    New Fashion Fantasy

  • Susan October 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

    Thanks for your thorough review. ๐Ÿ™‚ The bag looks lovely.

    Quick question. What are the functions of the double zip compartments? I can't imagine putting anything more than a few (small) pieces of paper or tissues before the body of the bag gets lumpy or misshapen. And it looks to small to carry office documents unless folded.

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tang October 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I have the Tory Burch Robinson zip wallet that's made with the same saffiano leather. I've had it for about 5 months now and love how the leather has held up!

  • lin October 1, 2012 at 9:50 am

    thanks for the thorough review. it's very helpful and informational. i'm going to bookmark this so when i finally do decide to purchase a prada bag, i'll know what to look for.

  • The Glitter Life October 1, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Love the shape of that bag! I have a TB version that's similar.

    We're kicking off October at The Glitter Life!

  • Ashley October 1, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Did you keep both or just one?

  • Dazzle October 1, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I have a Saffion Leather Prada bag in Black. Its small size with detachable strap. I ordered SAND color before, but it came in a very bad shape. The bag was dirty and it was just wrapped in a plastic bag (bad quality bag), no shoulder strap… I ordered from Neiman Marcus and the bag came with abill like ebay seller bills… weird! My tax was very less too…

    then I returned it back and bought one from NM store. I told them my issues with the earlier bag, So they sent home a clean, nice crisp amazing PRADA Black bag… ๐Ÿ™‚ The tax was waay too much when i purchased at store. Have not used much… Prefer lighter tone bags in summer.

    Michael kors makes a bag, that looks similar to this leather leather and I have a wallet from DKNY and Furula with same leather.

  • Lawgirl October 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Wow, not to be judge-y, but it's stunning how you'll fret over spending $40 polyester skirt from H&M;, and then drop ~$1800 on a bag. In my wildest dreams, I couldn't justify spending that amount on a purse, and I've been a decently successful corporate lawyer for 15+ years. I'm not a luxury goods purveyor, but I'd imagine that the target demographic for this kind of purse is a C-level exec, owns a nice home, has kids in private school, drives an Mercedes, and wears Chanel. I know it's unscientific, but those are precisely the type women I see in Neiman Marcus buying high-end clothes and accessories. I guess it's all about priorities…

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Technically, Jean didn't just "drop" $1,800 on a bag. She took time to think about her purchase. Who are you to judge what people can or can not do with their hard earned money. She has a successful career herself, so don't go around thinking she's not part of that demographic.

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Lol Lawgirl, your comment reminds me of this article.

  • CynthiaC October 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I have the small double zip – I've been looking for a more classic black bag for a while, to replace another one that I've used for a few years. I like how it's relatively light weight compared to other bags I've seen in stores and the size isn't overwhelming (something that is difficult for petites to deal with). I could have gone with the medium sized bag, but felt that the shoulder strap made it a little overwhelming (which you can see in Jean's video – I'm a little bit taller than Jean).

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Everyone spends their disposable income in different ways. As a decently successful corporate lawyer, I'm sure you have your fair share of such income, and I'd be curious to take a stroll through your home and see what things make me go "lawdy, I can't believe she spent her money on THAT!". To each her own…no need to judge.

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    It's all about how much value Jean gets out of her bag. Considering that this is a beautiful, well-made purse that she can use for work and play for years to come, I actually think it's a great buy. Sure, she can probably carry around her stuff in a $0.99 grocery bag, but it would be a sad, sad day if people stop valuing beauty and only look at function.

    Also, I believe the only requirement to buy a Saffiano is "adequate funds." I wasn't aware that you had to fill out an application or sign an affidavit saying you are a C-level exec with a nice home and a Mercedes before you can buy a handbag.

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I have the BN1874 which has a middle zipper (I find that it fits more and I can actually put something in the zipper pocket) around the same size as yours in cammeo. I took it on vacation and got 2 scratches on the back and one on the front, have no idea how that happened. I thought the saffiano leather was durable, but guess not. Also I noticed that the stitching on the handles were not even and some spots kind of bumpy, maybe if you could check yours also. Other then that I think it keeps its shape pretty well. I heard some people with the handles peeling, but mine is fine so far. This was going to be my everyday/work bag. but after the scratches I'm kind of scared to use it.

  • Rhobi October 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I wish I could afford the Prada Saffiano Tote. No matter how I slice and dice it, it is not affordable. I will just have to admire it on others from the side lines ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I am new to your blog, Jean, and loving it! I am petite at 4'11" (albeit curvier) and really find your outfits and pictures very helpful. I actually used your blog to help me locate a pair of boots! So thank you! ~ ChristineN

  • Lawgirl October 1, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Womp. I got the slapdown, but ladies, based on the posts, it seems that you guys are early to mid-20s. Nothing wrong with that. I'm 42 years old, 2 kids, and I've done some hella dues paying to get where I am, and I'm sure Jean is working hard for the money too. Just a different perspective. And mos' def, Jean can spend her money however she pleases. She's a certified financial planner, for heaven's sake. It's just the juxtaposition of sweatin' a $30 top at H&M; and then buying (after much due consideration, reflection, and gazing) $1800 designer purses that make me go: "Huh?"

    And with that, I'll go back into Lurkdom… Go 'head, Prada!

  • Petitetomatoes October 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Very informative.

  • A October 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I don't know how you even think that juxtaposition is comparable… A $30 top at H&M; can be easily replaced, while this bag is something that one can wear frequently and will last for a lifetime. That top can easily be substitute by other top, tear and fray after a few wears, or simply sit in the back of the closet collecting dust. It can be a heart-of-the-moment purchase that Jean has probably experienced and regret, and it's understandable if she mulls it over before buying such a small, yet easily regrettable purchase. But as Jean mentioned, she's been eying this bag for a long, long time, and it is something that she can see herself carrying for a lifetime. Everybody has something "big" that they want and have things that are "small" that they don't need. It's the same thought process as "Is that $10 toaster necessary when you already have one at home? No, but that toaster sure is cheap… hmmm. Maybe I should buy it to see if it works better than the one at home… but I really don't need one.." It's cheap, but it's not a necessary purchase. That car that you will be driving to work on the other hand, is something that you will be using on a frequent basis, so what's wrong with getting a nicer one? Why would you want to drive a beat up, hunkered down car while going to a fancy work environment where everyone is driving fancy Mercedes? If one can afford a nice car, it's perfectly fine to purchase it especially when it will make you much happier.

  • VieLondon October 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Very useful review! I bought mine back in april and i have to admit my biggest issue is the lack of any base. I hsve the larger version and unfortunately that makes the less structured base even more evident. On the whole though, almost 6 months on, i still love wearing this bag!

    If you have any tips on the base, that would be awesome! <3

  • Lawgirl October 1, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Points well-taken, all. And in full disclosure, I have $1800 worth of bags in my closet, but it's more like ~$100+ x 18 or so. LOL. And my purses aren't museum quality specimens, so therein may lie the difference. My purses hold, among other things: ink pens (that leak), Equal packets (that break open), snacks for my kids, snacks for me, notepads, laptops, legal briefs, tampons, random receipts, you name it. They get sodas spilled on them, and they wack people on the knees in trains. And during my 15 hour days in the office, they go underneath my desk or in a drawer, never to be seen of again… Difference makes the world go 'round.

    Jean, you made a great video, btw. And I enjoy your site. I'll just be the grumpy old lady from time-to-time ;-D

  • Lawgirl October 1, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Ok, and last point (sorry, drives my husband crazy…:-) I guess it's also a difference of where we value quality. I can't abide polyester blouses in all but the rarest of cases. I love the feeling of silk, and it looks better and drapes better. I don't care if they have to go in the garbarge after 25 wears, I don't feel classy and elegant in poly. I just don't. But, I'm fine with mid-market "bridge" handbags, like Cole Haan, Kooba, Minkoff, if I can get them at a sample sale for <$250... LOL.

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Not completely

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Now, Lawgirl, that last one about quality and value difference I agree and can deeply relate to. I can also understand why Jean bought the purse, this is called "aspirational buyer" in marketing lingo. I shop at NM contrary to your description of their demographics, but I do it mainly when they have sales, not at full price. You can even find a sales lady there who will be very helpful and keep things for you at pre-sales, even if you never buy from her full price, you just need to know how to find that type who are not snooty about it (typically older and wiser looking). And I would rather buy a cute Chanel piece on sale [which is still awfully expensive even after 40% off] or a Ferragamo bag, than load up on cheaper things. And potential for everyday abuse is not an excuse to avoid stylish objects, life is too short to blend in! Just be careful with what you got and if accidentally spoiled something, look at it as an opportunity to go hunting again for a replacement ๐Ÿ™‚

    Truly Yours, 41yo professional, 2 kids, one in college, mortgage, only non-luxury Asian cars in the household, and no C-level execs in the family.

  • Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    ^ Love this comment!

  • maybejessmaybe October 2, 2012 at 12:57 am

    zara's "office city bag" is a knockoff of this bag, i just realized. i purchased it online for around $89 and it has a similar crosshatching to the saffiano leather, but it is PU. in addition to the 2 zippered compartments, there's a padded pocket for an iPad as well as one for a large laptop. love the extra compartments. it's my every day work bag ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rachel October 2, 2012 at 1:25 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Rachel October 2, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Hi Jean, I've been following your blog for a while now, but this is my first comment! I bought my Saffiano bag in Paris when I was in Europe this June. Love love love my bag. I went to the store 3 times before committing to the purchase, so understand how you thought about it for so long. I bought the bag one size up from yours in the grey colour with no strap. It's the perfect work bag for me, as I often have to take documents home to read, and it fits my A4 documents perfectly, plus all my other work necessities. As I was new to buying 'designer bags', I didn't think to check my bag when the SA brought a new bag out from the store room, thinking it should be OK. When I was at the airport doing my tax refund, I realised there was a dent on my bag! Oh no, but I was already at the airport. Spent the whole trip home worrying about the dent! (I live in Sydney, Australia which means a long long plane journey home). Luckily, I was able to exchange my Prada bag at the Sydney store. The SA agreed the dent was rather obvious so exchanged it with minimum fuss. So despite how exxy these bags are, there can be imperfections. I still love my bag though!

  • Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 1:55 am

    "And potential for everyday abuse is not an excuse to avoid stylish objects."

    I thought Cole Haan, Kooba, Minkoff were stylish.

    "Life is too short to blend in."

    Everyone and their mom and grandma has a size or version of this Prada bag.

  • Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Hi! Thank you so much for the review. I am considering about buying Prada bag and your reveiw is really helpful.
    But I wonder what is the code of caramel bag in top picture. Is it BN2274 or BN1801? Because I am 5 feet and think that the size of caramel bag would be perfect for my height.
    By the way, what on your thought about durability of Prada bag compared with Louis Vuitton bag? (Because I am considering Brea MM from LV as an alternative)
    Thank you so much!

  • Madalina Tita October 2, 2012 at 9:28 am

    love the open tote, the color is so cute…


  • Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 10:11 am

    "Everyone and their mom and grandma has a size or version of this Prada bag."

    I was looking around on the train and while walking from station this morning. No Prada bags spotted. I wish I had one with me, it would definitely not blend in. But wait … may it was just because it was raining! Hopefully tomorrow, if it is dry, they will all bring out their Pradas for me to see.

  • Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    To lawgirl: I agree with you in that I would never spend this much money on a purse (my upper limit for any fashion item is $100), and I, like you, may never understand why others will choose to spend that much money on a single item. However, I recently had a revelation where I took a look at myself and said, "have I spent my money on anything that others might find incomprehensible?" And I have. I spent $600 on a camera, and I'm planning to spend $1000 on an even better camera maybe 5 years down the road. I also love to travel, so that's a ton of money I've spent on plane fare, train fare, exhibit tickets, etc. When I look at it that way, I tend to stop making judgments about what people choose to spend their money on.

  • Kat October 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    If anyone is looking for a bag that is very similar to the Prada Saffiano tote above but at a much lower price tag, I recommend the Furla version. I was at Nordstrom Rack and they had a shelf full of the Furla version, which is pretty much identical (got it because it also has the Saffiano leather texture) except for the Prada logo. It has the snaps on the side and the handles are made the same way as the Prada one (not the Tory Burch one where its one handle attached to material on the bag, that is then attached to the bag). I got it for $180. The base is wider than Prada. I take it to work and it's been great. It holds its shape, holds all my papers, everything I need for a day at work without looking too "large".

    It's great for work, for casual outings that can hold quite an amount if needed to, and very classy at a great price.

    Just wanted to note that when I took it on a trip and went to the Prada store, the sales associate asked me who made the bag because it's very well made. I've noticed that the quality of Prada seems to have improve from years and years ago. The design of the bag is very practical and the leather can take a lot from everyday use.

    My Saffiano Ferragamo wallet has been with me for 10 years and it's still doing great! You can probably tell that I highly recommend saffiano leather, regardless of brand.

  • Lawgirl October 2, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Yes, @anonymous, no argument from me; you make good points about your camera vs. Jean's bag. I'm rightly chastised for being judgmental. I continue to see these bags as badges of the ridiculously affluent, and the market is much broader than that, and includes non-rich, aspirational buyers.

  • Anonymous October 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Lawgirl: Thanks for being so calm and reasonable. Please don't think I was calling you judgmental; I was actually referring to myself. I do tend to be judgmental when I see college girls my age (21) carrying a Louis Vuitton purse. I'm prone to think, "I can't believe her parents blew that much money on a bag for their little princess." I'm not proud of entertaining those thoughts because they are rude, assuming and stereotypical. But I am only human after all.

    The reason I personally don't care for high-end brands, other than the fact that I'm stingy, is that I've come to associate some of them with political corruption. There have been several cases in China where the mistresses of high-ranking politicians were busted with a huge collection of Hermes handbags that were purchased with bribe money. I think by pricing items so high, some fashion designers have turned their artistic creations into little more than status symbols, which is unfortunate.

    (I'd like to say more on the subject, but I'd rather not. I don't believe that anonymity on the internet grants me the privilege to say things that I wouldn't say to Jean's face in real life. I do think this Prada purse is lovely, and I think it's great that she thought about it long and hard before she pulled the trigger on it. I'm a little younger than she is, and I hope that one day I'll get to be in a similar position where I can afford to splurge a bit on things that I like.)

  • Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 1:37 am

    When it is dry, keep an eye out for Kooba too!

  • Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 1:45 am

    …or Furla! (per Kat, below)

  • Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Great review!! Can I ask what colour & brand red nail polish and lipstick you're wearing in the video? Love both! Thanks so much!

  • lisacng @ October 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Wow, the convos that happen right in the comment section. Awesome! Great purchase and I really like that you take much time to research and mull over big purchases like these. Recently, I was considering buying a $25 polyester satchel but then decided if I really found it functional for my life and could see myself loving for a while, why not take the plunge and buy more leather! I'll definitely check out PurseForum before I buy!

  • Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Bravo to Lawgirl; you took all those snarky comments with so much class! Everyone has their own opinions… and when one has a blog that allows commenting, they need to take the negatives (to a degree) as well as the positives; the downside of going public with yourself.

    One can only hope that many of the young'uns here can mature as well as you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Hi! Can you put the name of this Furla bag? I went to their website and couldn't find anything similar to Jean's Prada bag…

  • AubreyOhDang! October 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    ooooh this TB one is a good alternative. good pick.

  • Anonymous October 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    It was dry today. Alas, still no Pradas. But one YSL with metal Y on the side really nice, looks like a briefcase. And MANY Longchamps, lost count! (very practical I guess, see also Jean's review of them to navigate among variety of styles)

  • Vivian October 5, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Lucky that Prada allowed you to take a picture with the bag, I went to Prada to check out and maybe invest in one too, because I remember you mentioning taking pictures really help, but the saleslady didn't allow me… Weird. But that's a great bag!

  • jennell chang October 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    the robinson collection from tory burch looks so great in pictures. even in person, without closer inspection, looks great. however the quality really isn't there at all. i bought the bag and a matching wallet from neiman marcus and ended up returning both due to poor quality. the leather was uneven, stitching wasn't lined up, ripples and wrinkles especially at seams and edges… the list goes on. since i didn't use either item i can't say if the embossed saffiano texture would fade like other readers have mentioned.

    great review on the prada bags! i see them all the time and have considered it for a new work bag.

  • Frmcoasttocoast October 7, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Furla Practica Large Tote

  • RnRMom October 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    It was pouring cats and dogs one day when I was leaving a shop. I went back and asked for a large plastic shopping bag then put my bag in it to protect it until I got to the car. I would think that the rain would leave water spots on the leather.

  • RnRMom October 7, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    the back zipper can hold my Prada wallet and sunglasses with extr room to spare. I use the front pocket for papers and my iPad. tons of room in the medium with shoulder strap for all of that.

  • Anonymous October 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    The Robinson collection (and the whole Tory Burch site) is 25% off on Tory this week with the code TBFRIENDS. FYI, Nordstrom honored the discount, I had just ordered the double-zip Robinson online over the weekend…it shipped today after I saw the TB discount and IM'd Nordstrom requesting to cancel the order…they couldn't cancel the order since it had already shipped out but were happy to refund 25% back onto my credit card.

    With the 25% off it took $143.75 off of the original price and brought the price down to $431.25 instead of $575 + @ $50 tax for a total of $625.

  • michael kors coffee monogram logo satchel October 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

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  • the married maiden October 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Jean:

    After much deliberation I also purchased Prada BN2274 from Saks (apparently it is Saks #1 selling bag according to the SA and that in of itself says a lot).

    I purchased mine in the Cameo color (blush pink) and do worry that it will get dirty as the color is light. Especially with the price point, sometimes I'm nervous to carry it around so if anyone has any good tips on how to keep the bag clean (i.e. with what protectors/sprays that would be helpful)

    I love the utility of the double zippers for putting important items like passports and wallets and the open middle for everyday items like make up bag and scarf for a windy day (here in SF).

    I hear what everyone is saying about the quality especially for the price. I did notice a few very slight minor defects on the bag. I do know the bag has a one year warranty so for those who just bought it, maybe use it often so if there are any hardware issues they can be brought up before the warranty =) I should practice what I preach.

  • Unknown October 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Hello gorgeous, may I know what is the model number please for your caramel medium tote, BN….? I am so confused with the model number there are so many. And the one you showing here is an exactly the size I really wanted to get it. Thank you for sharing and love to hear from you! cheers, Best , Jane

  • Libbeh October 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I concur. TB quality doesn't even compare to anywhere near Prada, and even at that price point, I consider it a huge rip-off considering that there are cheaper alternatives. I was very disappointed when I ordered the Robinson tote and matching wallet, and saw the uneven stitching on the tote. I ordered mine directly from TB, so I ate the $7 return shipping price since there were no TB retail stores in my area.

    Lesson learned – don't settle for less. Save up if you have high expectations.

  • Anonymous November 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    To "Bravo To Lawgirl": Yes, it's nice when a blog provides a forum for many different opinions. However, the comments section of a blog shouldn't be used to dole out inane judgments about other's shopping habits. It's one thing to offer constructive criticism but chastising someone for actually being smart about all their purchases whether big or small is another thing entirely. By the way, not all of Jean's readers are of the younger set, myself included. Jean shows us with her blog that you can be a smart shopper at any age.

    -A 30-something fan of Jean's blog

  • Anonymous November 2, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Reading Lawgirls comments makes me suspect that her issue with Jean isn't about the quality of a product dictating a purchase. I believe the real issue is that Lawgirl wishes she could make the same kinds of purchases, bag-wise, as Jean but can't justify the expense, which she stated. But in doing so, she feels CRAPPY because she really wants one of her own. And what can you expect from someone who can't get what she wants? Answer: Cry-baby behavior. Typical, very childlike. If I can't have it, neither should you, unless you are of the targeted demographic. Being older doesn't always make you wiser!

  • Ran November 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    The Marc Jacobs Whitney satchel is quite similar. The shoulder strap can be detached but I don't think it's meant to be.;=1354447271&cagpspn;=pla&site;_refer=GGLPRADS001

  • I Am Alexa November 25, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Hi, Jean!

    I just recently purchased my first designer bag, the Prada Saffiano Lux bag BL0823 from the Prada Store in Venice. I initially thought of getting it in black or camel but selected the military green version in the end because it's such a great alternative to black and it's Autumn/ Winter 2012's IT color. I'm a petite girl as well so I chose the medium sized one. I'm really pleased about getting this because I absolutely love its classic design and the Saffiano leather. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here's the blog post that I made on the bag:

  • Anonymous November 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I just bought a Michael Kors bag in Saffiano leather. I am a germ freak and cleaned it with Clorox disinfectant wipes immediately after buying. (the sales associate wiped it with toilet paper to get stains off from packaging) and it DID NOT ruin the leather or color. Looks and feels the same. Thought I would let anyone know who wants to clean their bag.

  • Anonymous November 26, 2012 at 10:45 am

    The DKNY Saffiano Tote is another cheaper alternative to Tory Burch. Retails at Macy's at full price of $374.

  • Anonymous December 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Great choices. I have BN 2274 in Nero (black), BN 1801 in Bruyere and Cameo. I am still rethinking about the cameo. Is it really a classic? I am wondering because the color is somewhere in between beidge, pink, gray, light purple all mix in one. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous January 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I have the medium double zip with strap in black. I spilt coffee on it a couple of weeks ago and immediately cleaned it with warm water which seemed to work at the time but have noticed the stain come back over the last couple of days. I'm not game to use an alcohol wipe. Does anyone else have any cleaning suggestions? Also when I purchase mine from a Prada store I had the voice between the standard black and the 'shiny' black as the sales assistants referred to it. I went with the standard black as the shiny black one seemed to be wrinkled like Jean mentioned above so make sure you choose carefully! I do love my bag very very much.

  • Nancy January 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Nancy January 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Jean
    I am falling in love with your posts. Well at the same time loved this handbag and it is sold out in caramel all over USA. No luck at ebay either. Other color close to above is "Cammeo". For Caramel Prada SP said "NO" , they may not get it any more, they have in a bigger size (bigger medium) but then it does not have strap..:(.
    I was not a big fan of Prada before, but your review of this handbag is so nice, making me buy this. Any suggestions which other color. My main concern was to buy this for my work. Any help with color choice please !!!!

  • Just A Gurl In Seattle January 18, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Love this review…. I'm a HUGE Prada fan…..

    I have to ask…. Who is the maker of the dress in the photo of you…
    It looks like it is black and white stripped??
    or navy and white stripes????

    I am seriously in love with that dress, can you share some info on this…

    Thank you.

  • Destination Unknown January 19, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Very useful video I enjoy watching you very much. I own a same Prada purse as well, But I dont use it quite often because everytime I use it (If I carry it as a purse its perfect fine but when I put the shoulder strap on those two buttons always keep open.Its very annoy, Is it happen to you too? Or its just my purse?

  • Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I have the same one as well and also in caramel! Anyway my problem with it is that the front panel of leather is also quite wrinkled. I compared it with my two friends' who have a cornflower blue and a purple one respectively (so darker colours) and theirs hold up really well. The leather on theirs just looks stiffer and are better quality in general. So the front of my bag just looks bumpy with or without things in the bag, could this be classified as a fault?

    Also how do you care for your bag when you don't use it? Do you put stuffing in the bag to keep it's shape or use a dustbag etc ?

  • Anonymous February 14, 2013 at 6:32 am

    I've noticed DKNY and Furla is mimicing structure of Prada bags for this season :

    DKNY Saffiano Large Work Shopper, price $483.00–large-work-shopper

    Furla Urban Tote 498.00 $

    If you don't want to spend over $1000 for a bag those are good options.

  • Anonymous March 7, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I have been eyeing the Kors Selma saffiano satchel as a more every-day addition to the Prada.;=cat000000cat8501cat8520&isEditorial;=false

    Do you have thoughts on the comparison of quality, etc.?

  • Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I love my saffiano doble zip black mag, large strapless. I got it with auth and cae cards in the dust bag for 800sgd! I think the seller was male who just had a divorce and didnt know the worth of what he was sellig.. he even shipped it in plastic, i almost cried! But it regain its form and i love every inch of it

  • Angela May 3, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I use the Michael kors rain and stain repellent. it is 9.99 online with free shipping. just spray it lightly all over and let it set for about 24hours. repeat this once a month or every couple months as you see fit.

  • Nur Baizuhrah May 10, 2013 at 3:48 am

    I own a saffiano lux cammeo with strap and its been 1 year already. I can say that it was a good investment and you will never go wrong to match it either with casual or formal wear. you can keep many things inside as it has many compartment and also will never go mess and never gonna have trouble finding your stuffs due to its large opening. however, it can contribute you a lil weight if you put too many stuffs. I store my prada with the dust bag provided and stuffs it with bubble wrap to keep the shape. To those who are still in doubt I strongly encourage that just go for it. You will never regret =)

  • lala June 2, 2013 at 7:04 am

    is that price in singapore dollar or usd?

  • Streamzriverz July 13, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Hi, what is the code for your medium size saffiano with strap, love the size.

  • Simply Sarah July 27, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    These are some nice bags! Love the bag!

  • Anonymous September 20, 2013 at 1:04 am

    hi! may i know how did u make the shoulder strap shorten? i'm also 5ft tall. if i used the strap, the bag will be way below my hip. for me the strap is too long for me. did you add extra hole to it? thank you

  • Anonymous September 26, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Hi!!! Heard that cameo colour can get stained easily even on a pair of jeans. Is it true? How to take care the light colour bag from this especially casual wear. Tq

  • Anonymous October 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Just got it in red, oh my god I'm amazed, love it!

  • Mary Hurley November 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Such a beautiful photos!

  • classyposh December 2, 2013 at 2:48 am

    I love it. I finally got one. I got the BN2274 (Medium Double Zip w/ strap – 9"x 15" x 5.5") in black. The price is now $1995 plus tax. It does get heavy when there are a lot of things inside. I did purchase the base shaper as advised and I absolutely love it even more, no bag sag yay! I am so glad that I read about "not cleaning your purse with an alcohol based solution" whew! So far, I've been wiping it with a wet towel. Thank You for this post and all the information in it.

  • classyposh December 2, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I got this one in black and I absolutely love it. The difference with this one is that it has straps whereas the other does not. And, it is slightly smaller than the one without straps. I prefer having straps. Happy Hunting ๐Ÿ™‚;%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446621557&R;=8054411788646&P;_name=Prada&N;=4294912360+306439461&bmUID;=k6DDul1

  • Anonymous December 31, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I have the same problem here!!!

  • Misha February 25, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    LOVE your blog! As a petite asian girl myself, I find my self struggling with sun glasses and handbag issues. I wont go into getting bracelets for my super thin tiny wrists! I am planning to get the prada bag you reviewed, can you please let me know the exact specifics of your bag? Thank you!!!

  • Jackson April 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Wow! I love handbags and your collection is just wonderful. I can smell it that how wonderful the feeling would be to collect stylish handbags in your wardrobe. Well, i also have bought handbag from tradesy where Coach Discount was available. I liked it too.

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