I was talking to my friend Tanya the other day about her next handbag purchase, and the subject of patent vs. regular leather came up. Patent’s having a huge moment right now, with everyone from 3.1 Phillip Lim to Chloe remaking some of their most successful designs in the stiff, glossy material, but the look isn’t for everyone or every design, no matter how hard brands try to make us think it is. The perfect example: The Chloe Madeline Satchel.

Don’t get me wrong, I often like patent and the material itself has several advantages. First, it holds its shape better than many types of regular leather. Second, it does much better in inclement weather because of its smooth, shiny finish. And of course, it offers a level of polish to certain types of bags (usually petite and very structured) that regular leather can’t quite attain. Sometimes, though, a more matte and casual look just works out better.

I’ve loved Madeline bags since Chloe introduced them, but my gut reaction to the patent version can best be described as, “Huh. I don’t know about that.” I love the shade of aqua that Chloe used, but I’d love it so much more if the leather were the matte, soft, insanely luxurious stuff that the company has used on the bags in the past. Patent can be fun in certain situations, but when buying a high-end bag, I’ll always prefer the alternative. How about you?

Buy the Chloe Madeline via Net-a-Porter for $2395 in patent and $2130 in regular leather.

  • maniacboom

    patent leather in this case cheapen the bags. it looks like something from furla instead of 2k++ bag

  • Andreza

    I prefer natural leather 90 percent of the times, it fits better on my style. Love the blog Ksses

  • Elise Ronan

    Not a patent leather fan to begin (however, in shoes once in a while it is fine)with and  agree this cheapens the bag. Chloe is known for its amazing leather and it should stick with that.

  • Ashleyg

    Me no likey the patent.

  • mga13

    I love patent leather and I don’t think it looks bad here, but next to the lovely leather version, it does look a bit cheaper. Maybe IRL it will look as luxurious as the smooth leather version. Pictures are tricky.

  • 19yearslater

    I like patent and regular leather pretty much equally. I have bags that I love made of both.

  • Ciba

    I hate patent leather! yes indeed it cheapen the bags

  • Leah

    I have tried to love patent leather but to no avail… It’s just cheap and plasticky.

  • Resham

    Patent is Plastic….I personally don;t like it…but if ever I have to buy, i wont pay more than 150 USD/// 

  • Silversun

    I like patent leather on my shoes, but not on bags for me as a general rule.

  • Louch

    Patent looks cheap here – I think a darker colour might work better. Bright aqua = tacky.

  • Marie Martell

    $2395 for patent?? WOW! bananas…
    http://nyorkeratheart.blogspot.com

  • La

    Typically, I don’t like patent, and this is no exception.

  • klynneann

    I do like patent when it’s done well, but I don’t like it here.

  • http://justj.ca/ MizzJ

    I agree. I like patent for fun, trendy items, but for larger and definitely more classic shapes, you just have to go with real leather. It seems wrong to pay 1000s for patent.

  • Riley

    I think the color options shown above make sense in the different leathers but I personally prefer regular leather.

  • mga13

    By the way… patent is varnished leather.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MiyannaJoye Miyanna Godsgotaplan Joye

    You can buy these styles at Chloes boutique at Woodbury Commons Mall in NY. I work there and we have the best prices. Mrs Joye is my name call the store and I can assist you by sending pictures of items in stock. we have this and other items 35-60 percent off original price0. 845-928-6260 ask for Mrs. Joye your sales associate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MiyannaJoye Miyanna Godsgotaplan Joye

    Here is one style that we are selling for 1,244.