A while back I shared a post on my most used handbags from over the years, and several of you mentioned you’d be interested in reading about the less used ones as well! I wrote this pre-quarantine days and have been holding off on publishing, since frankly, none of my handbags have seen daylight over the past weeks!
Regardless, I hope this can be a casual read and useful for anyone considering one of these bags. Each of these are still in my collection because they’re special to me for some reason, but just haven’t been very practical for my lifestyle in recent years. One of them previously got a lot of use though, so style needs change over time and it really just comes down to personal preferences.
My less used handbags in recent years
1. Celine Small Box Bag
Old review post: Paris bag shopping – Celine small vs Medium box bag.
It pains me that this purse is on this list, as in my mind, few bags rank as timeless as the Celine box. It’s also a great option for those who prefer minimalist non-logo bags. It’s beautifully made, and the strap is adjustable via a sliding clasp and also removable. After owning my small box for a few years, though, I just haven’t reached for it.
When worn as a crossbody, the capacity of the small box is notably less compared to my very frequently-worn Gucci Soho bag (which holds quite a bit for its size), and the box bag strap is not as pliable like the soho strap or chain bag straps. When worn as a clutch, the shape of the Small is a little boxy and feels more like a cube than a flatter envelope clutch. Note this is not a problem with a bigger box bag size, as the Small is 3″ deep while the larger Teen is actually only 2″ deep despite being bigger overall.
When I initially bought this bag, I debated endlessly between the small vs medium size (see comparison in this post), but now there is a newer in-between “teen” size which I think would be more ideal for someone petite!
Old review post: Prada Double bag vs Saffiano Lux bag comparison.
This is still a beloved bag in my collection and one that I’d recommend in a heartbeat to others. There’s lots to love, from the sophisticated shape and structure to the durable, low-maintenance and lightweight saffiano coated leather (much lighter than regular leather like on a Celine tote).
I don’t often buy multiples of one style, but this is a bag I wanted in ALL the neutral colors (black, brown, navy, grey, cammeo blush…). After I stopped working in a corporate setting, however, there have been much fewer chances for me to use it. I do love using it to polish up an outfit for meetings or presentations every now and then, but it’s a little too formal for my everyday life. Since the inside of this bag is divided into two compartments (which helps with the structure and prevents a saggy base), it’s a little more limiting compared to my most used totes with one large interior cavity. Along the same vein, my Tory Burch totes have also gotten minimal use after I left a corporate setting.
If you have a dressier or more business-oriented lifestyle, I still think this is a timeless bag. Or, my friend who tends to dress very casually has this bag but in a much smaller size that she wears crossbody-style.
3. Hermes Kelly bag
Although this bag was on my wish list for years, I always recognized that it’s not a style that would get frequent use in my current lifestyle. In my personal opinion, the more recognizable Hermes styles are a little much for a professional workplace, and those same bags in larger sizes are harder for me to incorporate into everyday wear (at least in our very dressed down city of Boston!). I feel the smaller sizes can be worn a little more casually for everyday wear, cross-body style.
For Kelly bags, it also makes a difference whether you choose retourne (softer, rounded edges which result in a slouchier structure over time) versus sellier (more structured, sharper edges and structure), since sellier bags tend to look more formal. As my bag is a size 28 sellier, it’s not an everyday bag for me. If it’s in my cards to buy another Kelly down the road, I would get a smaller sized Kelly in retourne to round out my collection.
4. Chanel petite shopping tote (PST)
(Super) old review post: Chanel PST and wallet on chain.
I feel inexplicably attached to this bag even though I haven’t used it in years! Perhaps it’s because it was one of my very first luxury purchases as a young professional. Or because it’s a discontinued style, one that I feel my older self would love down the road. As a toddler mama these days, I’m either rocking a smaller hands-free crossbody bag (plus diaper bag in tow), or a super light & roomy low-maintenance tote like the ones in my most used bags post.
There are plenty of Chanel Petite Shopping Totes and Grand Shopping Totes on the pre-owned market, so if you’re considering one, note these tend to soften in shape and structure over time if you use them regularly (as you should). The pebbled leather is thick and nice quality so it’s not a lightweight bag, but it’s also not too heavy compared to Celine Luggage totes in the same medium to larger size (which are pretty weighty, in my opinion).
Do you have any purchases in your closet that haven’t gotten as much use as you’d like? Do you sell / get rid of items when that happens, or have a tendency to hold on to them?