Few pieces in fashion cause more chatter or stronger feelings than the iconic Hermes Birkin. The look, the price, the exclusivity – love it or hate it, the bag is an attention-grabber, not to mention a beautiful piece of handbag lore. The smell coming off of a brand new leather Birkin is nearly intoxicating, and for what people pay for those bags, they probably should get you high. It’s only fair.

That being said, I’ve always had slightly mixed feelings about Hermes’s most famous bag when it comes to whether or not I want to own one myself. And as my therapist always says, it’s good to talk these things out, so join me after the jump for my personal list of pros and cons. To Birkin, or not to Birkin? That is the question.

The Pros:

1. The Hermes Birkin is the ultimate handbag. Whether or not you’re a fan of the design, the Birkin has a very special place in the fashion industry that doesn’t appear ready to change any time soon. And handbags are kind of my life at this point (that and Real Housewives, someone pass me a cocktail), so it seems only fitting that I acquire one at some point in the future, right?

2. Birkins come in virtually every leather and color combination imaginable. I’m a big fan of getting exactly what I want as often as possible (and although true, I’m not as insufferable as that makes me sound) and the laundry list of colors, leathers, sizes and hardwares that are available from Hermes appeals to the stickler in me. Forget about waiting until the right season for the right color – if you know who to ask and where to look, you can probably find the Birkin you want right now.

3. A Birkin is neutral, no matter what color it is. Come on, who’s going to question you for carrying Hermes? No one, that’s who. And if someone does, you can just tell yourself that she’s incredibly jealous, which might actually be true. Haters gonna hate, and they’re gonna hate on your bag. But if you spend that much money on something, you have every right to carry it as much or as little as you please. Even if you’re just running to Rite Aid to buy a candy bar and some hand soap.

4. I feel left out. I now live in a neighborhood where it seems like even the homeless people have Birkins and I’m starting to feel entitled to one. Why wasn’t I issued my Birkin upon entering the Upper East Side? Did I slip through a crack of some sort? It was surely a very expensive, well-bred crack, if that’s the case. But now that I’ve figure out that I was overlooked, someone needs to make this up to me. I’m just going to grab the next one that I see. What? That’ll get me arrested? And beaten by the NYPD, in all likelihood? Well then.

5. Take away the name and the prestige, and the Birkin is still a beautiful piece. It wouldn’t command the five-figure price tags if it weren’t. Prestige can get you a lot of places in the fashion industry, but the Birkin wouldn’t have been sustained this long (and Hermes wouldn’t still be growing rapidly year-on-year) if the construction and finishing of the bag weren’t impeccable. Even someone who’s not interested in fashion can look at a Birkin and tell that it’s a special piece. It just has that special aura about it, which is so hard to find in a day and age when nearly every manufacturer has moved to mass production.

The Cons:

1. They cost more than many used cars. As jaded as I am when it comes to prices in the fashion industry, five figures is still quite a strong pill to swallow. With tax, that’s the starting figure for a Birkin big enough to be carried as an everyday bag, and I can think of a lot of other ways to spend ten grand. I’m sure you can too, unless you’re the lucky lady who looks at $10,000 as though it’s pocket change. In that case…would you like to buy me a Birkin?

2. I don’t have much use for bags that sit in the crook of my arm. I already have a Celine Luggage Tote, which I love dearly and carry any time that I feel as though I should look extra fashionable. Other than that, I’m a shoulder bag and crossbody girl, through and through. That’s only been dialed up since I moved to the city and realized that arm-carried bags get heavier and heavier, the further you walk. Birkins are heavy to begin with and only get heavier when filled, so until I’m car-service rich, maybe I should consider an Hermes Jypsiere instead.

3. I’m not really in the Birkin demographic. Although I’ve seen many women my age carrying Birkins and I’m a firm believer that fashion has no age requirement so long as you’re self-confident, I’m not sure that the Birkin really fits my look. I’m more of a slouchy bag person, whereas the Birkin requires a certain sort of buttoned-up sophistication that I’ve yet to adopt. Perhaps if I worked in an office, I’d be ready for a Birkin. Maybe then I’d also have that law degree like my dad always wanted.

4. Everyone has one. Sadly, this con goes hand-in-hand with pro number four. I prefer to be ahead of the curve instead of behind it, and although the Birkin doesn’t really have a curve of which to speak, sometimes I feel as though buying one would be like pledging an exclusive sorority that doesn’t really need or want new members. I only lasted for a month in my actual sorority in college, but thankfully that didn’t cost as much as a Birkin would.

5. I’m a fickle pickle. $10,000 handbags really aren’t a great idea for someone who likes to follow her fashion whims. If I were to spend that much money on a handbag, I would be fresh out of whims for at least a year and probably resent my bag for killing all of my other options.

To me, I think the clear answer is that I don’t need a Birkin for a very, very long time. What about you – could you ever see yourself buying one? Already have a dozen in the closet? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Lulugurl

    Price alone pretty much guarantees that I will never own one. A BBag is about as expensive as I can go. But they are drool worthy!!!

  • mochababe73

    I agree with most of your arguments. As much as I would love to have one, my biggest reason for not getting one is price. If I had $10,000 in expendable cash, I would use it to put a down payment on a silver Range Rover.

  • binkysmom

    they are gorgeous, but not really my cup of tea. I will take a Medor clutch though!

    • chloehandbags

      Yes, I’d take one of those, too (if they were about half the price!). :D

  • JolieLaide

    This bag has been duplicated and copied by almost every brand out there. It’s that kind of thing that still cheapens it to me.

    It’s not my style and I can’t imagine it ever being so but I do agree with you there is an air of sophistication to that bag.

  • Ashleyg

    I love them, but like others (and probably more will say) that price tag gets me every single time. I’d love to have one, but I’d also love to be RICH, not wealthy, but RICH in order to justify (and not feel kinda silly) for toting something so extravagant. Not hating on any Upper East Side hobos (haha) that have one but for me, I need THE house, a couple of THE cars, no debt and then I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have one of those beauties hugging the crook of my arm!

  • KoutureCrochet.com

    To me, I see something missing from the pros and cons in your list: Do you WANT one? If you don’t really love and want it, there are other bags, including many from Hermes that are simply amazing!

    http://www.KoutureCrochet.com
    handmadeexceptionalist.blogspot.com

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      That’s what I’m not so sure of – maybe I do? Maybe I’d be better off with a Jypsiere? But a post is coming later today on what I think might be the right Hermes bag for me!

      • KoutureCrochet.com

        Personally, I think the Jypsiere is a more versatile better bag for today’s woman. My partner loves the Evelyn. But to me a smaller Jypsiere is what I would get. :) to me the birkin is TOO iconic, too expected. Unless you are getting a very exotic leather like lizard. Maybe that’s just the result of living in NYC and seeing them on many arms and hands.

        http://www.KoutureCrochet.com
        HandmadeExceptionalist.blogspot.com

  • Graciella

    I love Hermes for its quality and range of great bags – there really is an Hermes bag for everyone. However, as much as I admire its craftmanship, the Birkin is not my cup of tea, I prefer the Bolide!

    • Fiona-Brazil

      The Bolide is very classy and not so conspicuous.Nevertheless Hermes bags are all very expensive.The price range of a Bolide is just a little lower than the Birkin or the Kelly, even the Constance .

  • Fiona-Brazil

    Though choice!!!I guess Birkins are for rich ladies and/or unreasonable one’s….

  • Chels K

    I cannot imagine a situation where I’d buy a new Birkin, under any circumstances even if i was wealthy enough to afford one. It is just too extravagant. To each their own, though.

    • chloehandbags

      I know.

      Even if I suddenly woke-up to find myself a billionaire (chance would be a fine thing!), I know I would still baulk at $10,000+ for a perishable item, like a bag (even if it was one I loved).

      I’ve always had psychological limits with things.

  • Hiew Mui

    it looks like a office bag to me(although im a fashion student and know birkin’s history) and i will not spend soooo much on a office bag(even if im rich enough to buy 10 birkins everyday)

  • Purse Pixie

    I agree with how you feel and think I’m kind of in the same boat. Besides the price, my biggest hesitation is that it is just not my style right now. I love the design of the Birkin, but it would not fit well into my current wardrobe and more casual way of dressing. Maybe some day.

  • Mama M

    Birkins are not for me. Besides the fact that I would never carry a bag that cost $10,000 for fear of ruining it, that’s just too much money for one bag. The first time I spent $1,000 for a bag I got a little light-headed and didn’t carry it for 2 years. However, I have spent $10,000 on a diamond, and that didn’t bother me at all. It made my husband a little light-headed however…… :-)

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      Poor dad.

  • Emily

    I love the Birkin; it is a classic bag. However, as a poor grad student, buying a Birkin would mean that I would not be able to buy any other bags for quite some time, which makes the Birkin a deal breaker for me. I also think a large part of the allure of the Birkin is the exclusivity associated with it, but as that decreases so does my fondness of the bag. I honestly prefer the Celine Luggage Tote to the Birkin and would rather splurge on that and be able to eat still.

  • Lucinda

    Dare I say it I much prefer the Kelly… but the Birkin is a truely beautiful bag. As previous posters have already said the price of these bags is entirely prohibitive, but then I suppose that’s the point, these are ultra luxury items. I think for me the Birkin is for women who are where they want to be and not women on their way there, I’m in my mid 20s and think they look out of place on girls my age, they are far more befitting of very smartly dressed 40+ women (no offence intended). I would love to own one but right now they just would not fit in with my style of my lifestyle and there are so many things I want first.

    • Purse Mommy

      I am with you Lucinda I have always loved the Kelly. Now that’s a classic

  • gpc

    Amanda, I think your cons far outweigh your pros. I love my Collier de Chien cuff, but even more so because I don’t see them EVERYWHERE. Also, with so many Birkins floating around and in the arms of just about anyone, it really leaves me questioning how many are real. I vowed to never buy a bag that was so overhyped that when I carried it, others might suspect it to be a fake. That said, I think you did very well with your choice of the Celine luggage in lipstick red than you ever would with a Birkin. If you are going to buy a Hermes bag, I would go for the Messai or Lindy.

  • CacklingHens

    Give me a Balenciaga bag any day. The have a variety of colours as well, and is closer to my price range. Still expensive but I would splurge on one.

  • Amy

    I like the Birkin, but like some others, vastly prefer the Kelly. Your comments about a bag carried in the crook of your arm getting heavier with each block….all I can say is that I am very glad for the shoulder strap on my Botkier Howard. Also, I know I will never buy an Hermes bag because they are just too expensive. I have always wanted a Kelly and thought I would get one when I “made it” but after visiting the new Chicago boutique and learning the price of the bag, I realized that I could never justify it. I have re-set my sights on either a Chanel bag or a Louis Vuitton. Both are classic, quality brands. I have been saving birthday money and hope to buy one in a couple years.

  • bb

    I own two. I don’t live in NYC so usually when I carry them nobody even knows I’m carrying a VERY expensive bag. I do get comments on how pretty they are. My gold togo 35 gets the most comments. I will admit to feeling “different” when I carry them. I have a bolide, garden party and picotin and think the bolide is the most practical for everyday use just because it can be both on the arm or use the strap. Whether or not they are your style….they are beautiful…but very expensive…and if you don’t LOVE them spend the money on things you love. Life is short only get the things YOU love, not what others tell you to love.

    • Kat

      “Life is short only get the things YOU love, not what others tell you to love.”

      Very well said, bb.

  • Kat

    The Birkin is, and I daresay never will be, not my type of bag. While I suppose that some may argue that the beauty of it is in its simplicity, I find the design to be quite bland. Even in the brightest colors, the bag looks quite “meh” to me. If it wasn’t Hermes, I probably wouldn’t give it a second look.

    That would be quite the experiment, would it? If there were an alternate universe, where bags have no brands and were all comparatively priced (ha!), and they are just what they are, would the Birkin, the Kelly, the Chanel Classic flap still reign supreme?

    http://dontaskmetosmile.wordpress.com

    • DJ

      I agree with you — Birkins are a staid design IMO, and what a pain in the butt to get in and out of.

      • poloprincess

        You must not have one! If you did you would know that the flap tucks in and you can just reach in and out at leisure, Now the Kelly on the other hand must be set down the strap removed the top lifted the bag pulled open after it has been set on a level surface of course, riffled thru since mine is black on black , then all those steps reversed to put her back together before walking out of the store. Then you also have to make sure that the shoulder strap is coiled up and held in hand to make sure it does not get caught on something. Birkins are easier, but Kellys make a bit of a more formal statement! I love them both! You can carry one for years and resell them for more than you paid for them , better investment than the bond market for me right now! Only lost about a million since August 2010 but my Birkins and Chanel bags keep on giving! and appreciating!

    • chloehandbags

      I would say no; definitely not.

      I’m all about the look and the feel (never the cache) of things and I just see Emperor’s New Clothes, when I look at them.

  • Ollie

    I’m always so torn over the Birkin – I always carry bags in the crook of my arm and I like to think I have quite a clean and formal sense of style, plus it’s been my holy grail since I was about 16…

    But is it ever really that satisfying to own your holy grail? Plus living in London I’d feel like such a target with it, I mean, having $10000 invested in a single item is so precarious to me, to think that all it takes is to spill one coffee or turn into a wrong alleyway and that it could be gone. I’ll stick with Celine for now!

  • ninjaninja

    I couldn’t even afford a used Birkin, but every time I see one in real life, I swoon!

  • Diane

    Love the look…Tried a cousin of the Birkin, which is the Lederer Town and Country bag in a size I thought I wanted. It was pretty. Realized it just wasn’t for me so I sold it on Ebay. I found it doesn’t work with my life style. I don’t run with the “ladies who lunch” crowd. I’m a working mom who runs kids around when not planted in front of her desk. Mostly I wear jeans. I live in a rural state, lots of fake bags everywhere around here. Occasional authentic LV can be spotted. If I had the 10K to spend on Hermes I still wouldn’t. I can’t spend over 1k on any bag ever. Almost pushing it at that level too.

  • newmommy_va

    I always believed that Hermes was beyond my reach and never considered adding this brand to my handbag wish list… until I started seeing them in blogs, TPF, the Galleria… now I wonder what it would be like to own one. But I’m with you on con #5 (fickle pickle). What holds me back is the fear that I wouldn’t love it as much, once owning it was a reality. And the fear that it would only be a matter of time before I’d be dreaming of acquiring yet another handbag. Of course… that’s not to say that I wouldn’t love finding this out for myself, one day!

    My Blog
    http://threemcmahons.blogspot.com/

  • Pradameinhofgang

    Yes, the birkin is an iconic bag. i have a 30cm in Vermillion but because to me tt was a Special bag its seen the light of day for three weekends away in 4 years! like you i don’t have a high-octane lifestyle that suits the Birkin and dont want the worry of carrying a pristine, mega expensive bag daily thats gonna get shoved in my gym locker, put in the back of my double buggy and occasionally rained on with the fickle UK weather…
    i prefer my vintage Kellys for daily use, and, Amanda, don’t be fooled by the Jypsiere as a “take everywhere” option. Mine is a 34cm Barenia Toile and its HEAVY. even without anything in it you could keep your chiropractor in $$$ for years carrying it on a regular basis!!
    Basically only get one if you think you will use and love it and it fits with your lifestyle and wardrobe; otherwise theres so much more you could spend the $$$ on and get a bigger sense of satisfaction!

  • Kymmie

    I would love to walk in to my Kindergarten classroom everyday, and set a big, pink Birkin on my desk. Until then any of my Balenciagas, Chloes or Vuittons will just have to suffice!

  • Jenn-christine

    I think the Birkin is such a beautiful bag, but I agree about your demographic con. No one wants to look like LL in baggy sweats and an stretched out, leave on the floor, mis-shapen Birkin – That pic made me cringe!
    Also, the way I am about large purchases, I would feel ashamed to spend that much on a bag and prob would only admire it in my purse closet – LOL!
    I just purchased my first Maxi CC flap and I’m already worried I’m not going to use it as much because of the similar reason.
    But then again, Life is short and you should have/enjoy what you want, if you earn it :)

  • Vivid Texas

    Amanda, can’t hardly wait for your post on what Hermes will be the best for you!

    As for the Birkin, it IS my holy grail….hopefully one day attained. Unlike some of the other posters, I would use it daily, as I have with all my other bags, expensive or otherwise. (not being a fickle pickle, I have 20 yo bags I still carry. Carrying LV Noe today I purchased new in 1990…..) As bb put it so well, life IS too short not to have the things YOU love, regardless of other’s opinions. Is $10K a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a handbag? Yeah…but I still want one =)

  • Chris

    I think you have very valid reasons not to buy a Birkin, at least not yet.
    For me, the biggest obstacle is the price. I have to be seriously rich before I will buy a Birkin. And I am not sure if I love it enough for the price.
    And then, I love shoulder bags and crossbody bags. I have to admit, the Jypsiere is a beauty. I would love to at least try and carry one for a few minutes, to see if it is as perfect as I think it is.

  • LAltiero85

    They are gorgeous…I definitely wouldn’t mind owning one…but I’d need to take out insurance on it!! Because if anything would happen to it…it would be the death of me! I think BBags are as high priced as I go.

  • Jen

    I think that the Birkin is stunningly beautiful – in person more so than in photos. But alas, my “cons” list is exactly the same as yours (with the exception of the law degree, which I have, along with the debt that comes along with said degree – yet another reason not to buy the Birkin). I feel like I see the Birkin everywhere, at least in Chicago. I rarely go a day without seeing 5 or 6 women (unbelievably, often times in the 20-something set) carrying them. I don’t need to join that crowd. It no longer feels like a classic, timeless bag to me – more like an “it” bag, and I don’t need to spend 5 figures for that. I feel bad enough about the purchase of my Chanel flap (also feeling like an “it” bag purchase to me).

  • Maria

    I recently got my first Birkin after much thought, saving and milestones…and I absolutely LOVE it. It was my 40th birthday milestone and as crazy as it sounds to spend $10k on the bag, I really love it and wear it everyday. You can hardly pry it off my hand!I was scared to death to spend soooo much on just one bag but I streamlined my collection (sold what I wasn’t using) and saved for holy grail. I wear it with everything, office, weekends, jeans, kids events, everything. I always forget it’s a 10k bag, because to me it’s just so beautiful and practical or my life here in the Burbs. So the key is, you have to really just love it!

  • Seejayluvsbags

    Good article and well put. I sort of like the Birkin but IF I were honest with myself, I really don’t want or lust after one. True, it does seem like everyone has one & that would be the driving force. I recently purchased my first Chanel and while I truly love it now, I admit I purchased it because it seemed the next thing to add in my collection but I felt REALLY guilty over the cost (at first!) I don’t think I’ll be spending $10k on one bag.

  • pltprincess

    There is no rhyme or reason, I just want it!!

  • daniela

    Great post! I would hope eventually in this lifetime of mine, I could own a birkin. It jus eludes some sort of elegance and some sort of status that you’ve made it, you know you got IT! I think what Hermes eludes what it is pure LUXURY, and luxuries are never practical or needed for common usage…do we really all need these bags that we love and possibly cannot live without, i would say no…but once again its just some sort of gratification knowing you own one…I’m sure any person who buys their first luxury handbag feels like they’ve made IT, birkin or not, they spent their “hard earned” money for a splurge or gratification for themself.

  • CoCo

    The bag looks gorgeous but heavy to me. I will never buy one which may load pressure onto my shoulders by its price and weight.

  • KN

    I love love love this bag, but I agree that it really goes with a certain level of elegance and sophistication, and I just can’t pull it off. :) I have a few Chanels that I rarely use for that same reason.

  • Laura

    I would definitely buy one if I had an extra $10,000, no doubt. More than an expense, I see it as an investment. It’s actually better than buying a car because it retains its value better. However, car is a necessity. On the other side, if you live in NYC and you use public transportation, you can justify the expense by saving the money and buying a Birkin instead of a car, you would probably use it more, don’t you think? I hope this makes sense.

  • anonymous

    your comment “I now live in a neighborhood where it seems like even the homeless people have Birkins and I’m starting to feel entitled to one” really irks me. i live in UES, maybe not around where you live on park ave, 5th ave or even madison ave, but there are real homeless people in UES and this is rather insensitive of you. i understand you’re trying to make a point that anybody and everybody owns one but this statement is just tacky.

  • PJ

    I would love to own a birkin someday. It is my ideal bag, classy, elegant, and never out of style. It is out of my price range at the moment but I still dream that I will own one. But even if I never get around to owning one, I would still be fine. I mean I can put $10,000 as a down payment on a new Mercedes or BMW. Only time will tell…

  • Devora

    The price tag says I won’t have one until I hit the lottery

    • Tara

      That’s when I’ll get mine,too.

  • rose60610

    Of all the Hermes bag styles, I like Kelly best. That isn’t to say that if a Birkin presented itself I’d turn it down… The Birkin in gold is ravishing!

  • Mirna

    I like the Birken but it’s not really my style. I also would NEVER spend that much money on a bag. I can pay for my kids college instead! They’re way too over priced and they are really played out.

  • mia

    i LOVED Pro #4. LOL And I wish I could find one at 10K. It makes me realize – my entire handbag collection would sum about to about that much. But i’m not sure if i’d trade it all in for the birkin. =/

  • Willbuy

    I never thought I was one who would carry a Birkin. I always loved Chanel, and still do. But once I acquired my first Birkin, I was hooked like an addiction. I think it is a most simple but beautiful bag and doesn’t look dated as many bags do after a few seasons. It holds everything I need, is easy to get anything u need out of it. While it is heavy, you get used to it very quickly. I have a quite a few at this point , but still crave more.I guess it’s my addiction,just affects my bank acct ,not my health!

  • louch

    I thought I wanted a Birkin unti I realised that it wasn’t a shoulder bag (and sorry, I don’t like the shoulder Birkin) and the bag I actually wanted was the Kelly. I think the Kelly is far more refined and elegant (just MHO). I know the Birkin is considered the “it” bag by H, but I think some of the under-the-radar bags are just as beautiful and less recognisable.

  • Sarah

    I have on Birkin, but I don’t use it as much now that I am retired. I find that unless your an office going person every day or you need to look polished ALL the time, the Birkin is not worth it. I do however love the Constance and Jypsiere. If you want a fashionable tote just get a classic Chanel one or maybe the new Celine tote or something from Bottega or Valextra. There are so many great choices out there now that are just as chic but a fouth of the price of a Birkin that I think you are better off with a different Hermes bag to adore.

  • Musette

    I had MBL (Massive Birkin Lust) for years. Two things cured it:

    1. At Barneys one day, in the shoe dept. 5 women shopping (not together). Each. One. Carried. A. Birkin. It just looked weird.
    2. HGTV’s Selling New York had an episode where the Kleiers went to the ‘burbs. They were in the kitchen of some bazillion-dollar house and all 3 women put their Birkins on the kitchen island.

    One Birkin is fabulous. Any more than that and …..

    xo

  • JazzCap

    While the Birkin is beautiful and iconic, it’s just not for me. I prefer the (in my mind) more streamlined and classic Kelly, which is also much more practical with the strap option. Plus the Birkin gets too heavy to carry and I too hate carrying a purse in the crook of my arm. I live in San Francisco and the vibe is much more casual here so my preferred every day Hermes bag is the Massai–love me a good hobo silhouette. I especially love how “under the radar” the Massai is–almost nobody recognizes it and I don’t see it coming and going all day long. In certain neighborhoods and cities (NY’s UES, Beverly Hills) it sometimes seems like Birkins are as ubiquitous as Starbucks.

  • bagsforlani

    I absolutely love the Hermes Birkin. The first time I saw one in person I was in awe and couldn’t stop staring. This bag is timeless and one that I’d hope to pass on to my daughter. I’m looking forward to the day I get one, then I’ll know I have arrived in purse heaven!!

  • graemester

    Thank you for this blog post! I am not a serious hangbag collector but I am a fan of top handle bags and for q

  • graemester

    Thank you for this blog post! I am not a serious hangbag collector but I have a few and would like to own more. For quite a while I was considering saving up big time to own not a brand new Birkin but a pre-owned one (being cheaper).
    The only reason I would want to get one is so that I can be different from my usual crowd and of course enjoy the swoons from others.
    But I realise now those are all the wrong reasons to be spending so much dosh on a bag which you will be so scared to carry if the weather looks bad or to go on holiday in case it gets snatched, etc.
    So thank you again for helping me make up my mind on the Birkin debate.

    • David Pylyp

      eBay

  • Eleanor

    I love the Kelly. I love the craftmanship, the heritage, the rigid structure, the handle, the frame, everything. When I see a picture of a Kelly I feel happy. I can accept that I may never own one, but if I become financially well-off in the future, the Kelly is at the top of my list.

  • Mk

    I bought my birkin 10 years ago when I was 27 and I cherish it every ti e I wear it. People stop me constantly to tell me how beautiful the bag is even though many don’t realize it is the birkin. I will use this bag until I die so it was worth the $7000 I spent at the time . I did have to wait two years for it then. Now I will buy the Kelly!

    • Jessica

      I’m 26 right now and am in the process of saving for a Birkin. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was 16. I finally decided that it was worth saving for. The fact that you still cherish your bag proves to me that I will do the same! I hope you get your Kelly soon!

  • Bir

    Personally I love the birkin it’s my every day bag I own a few and find the bag to be perfect for my life the birkin gives me the versatility I sometimes need From travel to lunching to work to going out. I do have to say that even though I purchased a birkin because of it’s “fame” I now enjoy it much more as a simple understated perfectly practical bag loose soft and used!!! fits all I need it sits on my arm or hand just The way i like. since I usually don’t wear shoulder bags, and to actually find an object that combines both the practical and the beautiful is not easy. I’m going on but…..it’s just I can not find a more perfect phrase to describe this bag so I leave you with this.
    ” it’s not a bag it’s a Birkin”

    • LAltiero85

      SATC….classic…

    • OliviaSara

      Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth! I feel exactly the same way. Can’t live without my Birkins!

  • 19yearslater

    I definitely don’t love them enough to buy one. My big fashion classic/holy grail bag will be a Chanel.

    • Clara

      I TOTALLY AGREE

  • onewithbooks

    There is no way I would pay that much for a handbag. 10,000 dollars for a handbag or a year of college, I am taking the year of college.

    Also it looks like it would be a pain in the rear to get into. I like purses that are easy to open and close. I don’t have time to fumble with that lock and key business, and then the flap on top of that – all to get into a purse that cost as much as my senior year of college, mmm I dont think so.

    My last reason for not purchasing one of these bags is how they look when they are open and on one’s arm. It just looks sloppy to me.

  • Abbi

    I think though if i were to spend that amount of money i would buy a 32 or 35cm Kelly bag simply because id like the option of wearing my bag on my arm or my shoulder.

    Im a few years away from being able to think about planning to get one though O.o

  • DJ

    Cons:

    They weigh a TON, even when empty.

    To some they are the “ultimate handbag”, but to me they are boring and stuffy.

  • SeleneP

    A lot will probably disagree with me, but I don’t get all the hype with the Birkin. Other than it being a status symbol, there really is nothing special about it other than the brand name and the hefty price tag. It looks like a glorified briefcase. It is not innnovative or elegant or young…and I’m in my 30s, so that’s not saying a lot.

    I definitely consider Chanel to be a true classic. Even if I had 10k to burn, I’d probably buy classic flaps in different colors than carry a very boring Birkin.

  • MZ

    Love it! Unfortunately i can’t afford at the moment. It’s my dream bag.

  • ping

    I love love my kellys more than my birkins, that said, my ultimate holy grail croc birkin i bought when i turned 40 will be the most cherished bag of all time in my collection….i actually use all my hermes bags as well as other brand bags in my closet, and i believe that is the main reason you should buy a bag, you love, care and use them. Ping

  • kellyx

    i love it and hope to have one someday. but given that it cost almost ten grand, i dont think i fit into the group the brand is targetting at. =\

    • Kate

      I have one for you.. You can have it for $1000
      Unused.. Camel color.. I got it as a gift and it’s not my thing.. I don’t have a box for it but it has everything else.. Lock , keys and dust bag along with rain coat…

      • Karen

        Is it authentic? Because if it is I would love it!

      • Tiana

        Ooooo I also waaaaaannnttt (only if it’s original/authentic) but it’s soo good to be true……(only 1000???) It’s really is my dream color, yesterday I just saw someone in d airport with it, just have d urge to grab n run… Haha…

  • Linda

    I am sure the craftsman ship puts this bag in the work of art status, but there is something about that bag that says “Get out of my way, I am rich” or “Hmm…is that a fake?”. Unless you are a millionaire who can blow money on whatever you want, who wants to worry about ruining a $10,000 bag? I am a fickle pickle as well and that amount of money can buy four or five other high end bags that I would love much more than a Birkin.

    • Chris

      ditto, I think I don’t ever want to be in the position of buying/owning a birkin unless I wouldn’t think twice about putting it on the floor of a restaurant or the airport – there’s no point spending any amount of a bag that you’re going to have to tiptoe around it.

      • kansashalo

        I agree. I think Amanda said it best (for me at least)…..until I’m AT LEAST car service rich, there is no way I’d pay 5 figures for a handbag.
        If was Oprah rich, I wouldn’t give it a second thought probably. lol

  • Bir

    Wow just wanted to add I usually read the opposite on on forums and blogs directed for the Hermes fans I find it veer very interesting how on this blog many truly seem to not like the birkin!!!

  • michelle

    I own a 35 blue jean Birkin. I love my bag. I had always wanted a Birkin and was on a waiting list. When Hermes did away with the list, I found my bag at the Beverly Hills store. It was meant to be.

    Pursepro.com

  • ethylove

    off topic. did anyone watch the most recent covert affairs? there were 2 birkins that were SCRUNCHED up in peoples laps. I almost cried. I would love a birkin one day… but if I ever had that money I’d get a kelly first.

    • Ashleyg

      OMG- I just came back on this post to mention the Covert Affairs episode too- now if that isn’t mainstreaming it I don’t know what is, lol!

  • Jenna

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Birkin and loved this blog entry. The thing that has always stopped me from taking the plunge is “ease of access”. Although I’ve never actually held a Birkin, the photos I’ve seen make it look difficult to get in to. I realize you don’t have to keep a lock on it but you still have to deal with clasps and stuff. For someone who is frequently digging around in their bag that just seems kind of impractical.

  • QQ

    I have never had the desire. They are too snooty for me. Also, I think I might rather have a 2nd car (albeit a used one)! It is too structured for me personally, although they are beautiful, I do think they are a bit overrated. I have seen some other bags half that price that I would love to own instead. With the Birkin, you are paying for the “icon” in a sense. If you feel that left out in your own neighborhood, maybe consider moving? Why try to be something you are not?

  • The Soul Coach

    I used to sell these bags in SF on Union Square back when they were $5,000. In the store was had a trained person who stitched leather by hand (Beatrice; I think she has her own shop on Clement St. now) anyway the bags are beautiful and if cared for will last a lifetime as much as it is an investment. And I guarantee you everyone doesn’t have one it’s like finding out your pregnant and all the sudden seeing expectant moms everywhere. Here’s the thing, imagine you have $12,000 cash in your hands, feel that money, see it, really see it. Now, would you spend on the purse?

  • Stacy

    I know that the minute I purchased this bag I would feel buyers remorse and would want to return it. Then hubby would tell me to just enjoy it, that’s why I bought it. But then a few days later I would begin web browsing and come across another bag I “desperately” want and couldn’t get because I just dropped a chunk of money on the birkin.
    It would be then that hubby would spout off, “You JUST bought that expensive-ass bag and you’re already looking for your next one?!?!?!…can’t you wait at least a year before buying any other bag?!?!?”. Then I would resent having bought the birkin because now it has prohibited me from buying other, albeit, less expensive, bags. LOL. Ok…I’ll pass. There are other bags I want more.

  • chloehandbags

    Thankfully, I’m all cons and virtually no pros with Birkins.

    The style just doesn’t appeal to me (even if it was a tenth, or less, of the price – heck, even if they were giving them away!).

    I don’t think I’d feel safe carrying such an expensive bag, anyway?

    Fine jewellery is, perhaps, one thing – as it could be costume for all almost anyone knows (so is, somewhat, less of an obvious target), it’s relatively small compared with a bag (so, slightly less noticeable), it’s worn and not carried (so, it’s harder to leave somewhere, by accident) and it’s hard (so harder to damage).

    Whereas, I think such a well-recognised, relatively large, relatively soft leather bag would be a total liability, in most situations (for me, anyway).

    I know other people really love them, though.

  • rose60610

    Wow, the Birkin is a real lightning rod for comments! Yes, they’re exorbitant, and there are many blogs in Purse Forum asking about guilt levels when buying costly bags and discussing insulting commentary from co-workers and others when they notice designer bags. Yes, 12 G’s+ is a precious sum to pop on a bag. However, how many people (especially men) buy luxury cars when they could buy a Ford Focus or something similar for a fraction? Not to mention that years down the road the car will be worth a huge % less, while a Birkin and some other bags appear to retain a higher % of purchase price. I’m not saying that justifies splurging on bags, but with proper care, knowing there is a decent resale value helps take the sting out of buying a bag that you may love for years. We all have our soft spots, likes and priorities.

    • Lauren

      Yes, what is it with those co-workers who make sarcastic comments about a Birkin bag. Envy , I suppose.

  • Danyelle

    I’ll be honest….Hermes is WAY….(do you hear me?) WAY out of my league and soooo not in my lane!! That being said, I like to be the gal where everyone says, wow…we weren’t even up on that handbag and she was rockin’ it hard! Sadly, I doubt anyone in my circles would even recognize an Hermes (which would burn me up for sure), if they did they would automatically assume it to be a knock-off and once you get on the fake n’ take list around here…it takes an act of God or the Lottery Commission to get off that list!

  • MizzJ

    YES. Without question, if I ever got my hands on that much money to spare, I would buy the Birkin, in crocodie, in black. As I grow older, I think the bag would only become increasingly appropriate for me and I truly feel it would become an heirloom to pass to my children, lovingly, wrapped in silk.

    http://highmaintenancewoman.blogspot.com

  • nvie

    Birkin is an icon! But the fundamental question, is it a user friendly bag? I don’t think so. Even if it’s several thousands cheaper, I think the stressfulness of carrying the bag kills me more than the cost!

  • pejo

    Lovely post, Amanda!

    A Birkin is a thing of beauty — seriously thought about buying this for a special birthday but in the end decided against it.

    I realised that I was just responding to the urge to buy to join the fashionable crowd even though I knew that I hate hand/arm-carried bags, thought the style was too formal for my usual way of dressing, and know that its way too heavy and big for my needs.

    I see a lot of these bags where I live to give me serious eye-candy happiness but Im glad I didn’t succumb to the orange pull (yet).

  • Cris

    It is a very nice bag, elegant yet fashionable. Of course I’d love to have one, but I couldn’t be “faithful” to a bag for so long. I would get bored in a few months and my eyes would start wondering to get something different. And for the price I would feel guilty, so no Birkin for me

  • erica

    10 thousand dollars is way too much. Not only because I can’t afford it. It’s just a bit too frivolous and I do love bags!! I would buy a Chanel for 1-2K if I were rich, that’s my limit.

  • Anna

    My boss has 6 birkins. 4 she bought before my time and 2 bought with me. Being a PA it’s my duty to carry her birkin frm the hotel to the showrooms on buying trips etc… I’m telling you now, unless ur on steroids these bags aint for carrying if you “really want to use it”… Just writing about it makes the pain come back into my forearms, they are ridiculously HEAVY! Sorry Hermes, I’ll stick to you cuff bracelets for now.

  • precy

    Looking at the Birkins in store makes me drool but I would be embarrassed to use one in public. I don’t want to pretend rich but in reality I’m just a step higher than a bum. If you’re a celebrity, a big time business owner, then no problem. But, having an income that is ten times less than te worth of a Birking is ridiculous, it’s a shame.

  • Kamille

    I LOVE THE BIRKIN SO MUCH…WISH ME LUCK HOPEFULLY BY DEC I WILL HAVE MY VERY FIRST ONE!!!! CANT WAIT!!!! IT WILL BE MY XMAS/BDAY GIFT TO MYSELF!!!

    • Kate

      I got one as a gift and it’s not my thing… No box but never used and it has lock key and rain coat and dust bag… It’s camel color.. I have pictures and can answer any questions about it if you r interested…

      • Karen

        Yeah. Let me know.

      • Claudia Sandknop

        Interested in pre-owned Birken or Kelly “authentic” Hermes bags.
        Thank you!

      • Tracy

        I have a Vintage Kelly Black box for sale!
        If interested contact me thestufttrunk@gmail.com

      • Saudath Moosa

        hi
        do you still have pre owned hermes birkin

        regards
        saudath

      • Claudia Sandknop

        Interested in pre-owned Birken or Kelly “authentic” Hermes bags.
        Thank you!

      • Claudia Sandknop

        Interested in pre-owned Birken or Kelly “authentic” Hermes bags.
        Thank you!

  • Nicole

    One look at that bag and UGLY is the word that comes to my mind. I can’t imagine how one would spend $10,000 on an ugly thing.

    I’m so glad I don’t have a taste for it.

    I own two CHANEL classics and a DIOR and that’s almost ten thousand!

    Hey guys, buy CHANEL and DIOR because they’re very elegant.

    I will say though HERMES has some good fragrance ;)

  • Paula

    a con for me: it does not look feminine. as seen in the photo above, it reminds of my fathers briefcase. yikes!

    Call me in for the Kelly bag in lime-green. Yup!

  • DD

    it’s a “status” bag

  • Linda

    Honestly, I think Nancy Gonzalez makes prettier croc bags in understated, classic styles, and they are much less pricey. Also, Nancy does not put her logo on the outside of the bag, which I like. She also uses very little metal that shows, so you don’t have to worry about scratching or tarnishing any metal. Her bags are timeless, for the most part.

    I agree with the person who said that Hermes makes good fragrance. One of my favorite fragrances of all time is 24, Faubourg, by Hermes. A very sophisticated lady once asked me (during a job interview, no less) what fragrance I was wearing because it smelled “expensive.” BTW, she also offered me a job!

    • Linda

      But, I must also add that Gonzalez uses Caiman croc, which I have read is an inferior skin in that it is less supple and can crack if bent. That probably explains why her prices are, while still high, not stratospheric, like Hermes, which uses superior skins. My research is from reading about skins on the Internet. Do your research before you buy!

  • Brynn

    I bought my 30cm Black Togo Birkin a couple of years ago and to be honest, I rarely use it. It was a handbag milestone for me, but the bag just isn’t practical or functional for me anymore. I prefer one of my other Hermes styles such as the Evelyne, Garden, or Victoria bag. I think every woman should own an Hermes piece at some point though, either it be a handbag, jewelry, or even a scarf!

  • catherine

    I just found one for $20 at a consignment shop – it’s a lovely purse!

  • lidia

    i have been holding my money in my bank account (gathering interest) and still deciding if i should buy one or not. they start from 13,000 in australia. still, its cheaper than my niece’s 24,000 wedding dress.

  • shoe diva

    Hi i just need to know even if i am willing to spend that kind of money on a birkin how do i get it as just stopped at hermes store and the lady was so rude and told ne that there is no waiting list and I have to buy other things on a regular basis and build up my reputation with them before they can hand me overa birkin……..now that is ridiculous!!!!! can anybody please tell me what is the best way to get an authentic hermes birkin as there are so many replicas out there. I would really appreciate it.

  • Leda

    I think that I could have a million of Birkins, in fact, soon i´m going for my second one, and for my third , as soon as I have this second, I´m intending to commande my third.One Birkin for a year …
    And to me it doen´t have to be A style to use one of these bags..
    Just look around and you´ll see every type of woman using Birkins in all colors and shapes, and lethers, and none of them seens to be taken off behing of the mirrows of the stores, or from the runways top model´s places…they´re all ordinary people, unknown wemen, they dont seen to have a care or corcerns about being in a standard model to use one.that´s foolish , that´s trash to think this way…

  • Edele

    I love my Birkin and Kelly. I feel lucky to own em, gifts from hubby. I agree they are heavy, bulky and hard to get into. I have to baby it in the plane, in the car, it has to have its own seat, and in restaurants its own chair, I’d die if I get a scratch mark on it. If you really want to own a Birkin, go for it, you deserve it. But after owning it a week or two, you just wanna get another one – its an addiction. I actually want to paint my powder room Hermes orange.

  • Kate

    I am 53 and just got my first Birkin. I am in love!!

  • Angelapowiro

    yes i know the bag looks uh,,..trendy with almost any outfits. but uhh.. well.. they r pretty boring after sometimes… and im not so comfy with bags that can only be on my shoulder or hands ALL DAYS. Its boring, not so practical things on earth. And it will vanish after some years. Pretty good investment ? huh… its not like diamond that lasts forever and the price will go rise from time to time never go down. A second hermes will be much cheaper than original price.
    What is soo drool with this thing. if i got one by free i will auction it soon for worthy cash than this bag. LOL.

  • Bblj1010

    I know the importance of the birkin and wanting one. I have been a collector for 5 years now. I have 7 birkins and 2 Kelly’s. I am just now wanting to see a few of them to make room for new ones. If interested in seeing pictures and good prices email bblj1010@yahoo.com

  • SL

    I’m IN EXACTLY the same boat…I now have 2 marco tagliaferri bags (PLUS 3 CELINES!!! and many Balenciaga bags) BUT I still covert the ULTIMATE BAG..One day It’s inevatable.

  • Stella

    I just got my black Birkin today, my boyfriend brought it home from work. It was suppose to be my x-mas gift but it didn’t come in till late. Honestly, I didn’t know I really wanted one till I had it in my hands. It’s lovely.

  • elizabeth

    This is possibly the greatest article EVER on birkins…thank-you fabulous author!

  • Hcc

    A Birkin is one of the few bags in the world that are timeless, if you want to be a fashion victim and be constantly buying the bag de jour knock yourself (and your wallet) out. When it comes to elegance you can’t go wrong with this bag, it looks sleek doesn’t show the world a label just a style, but if you’re the type of girl who won’t use this bag, there is no point in paying $10,000+ for a bag to sit in your closet. I am 14, and I love the birkin, I have a vintage blue birkin that my mother used to own, and for my 18th, I am going to get a classic orange birkin in crocodile. I truly love these bags and use my vintage one whenever I can, even if people don’t recognise it, it makes you feel amazing in the way that lingerie does, it’s for your own benefit not others so don’t get it just to fit in, you would be better of at Primark! The birkin is perfect when you need to carry many things with you, so the office or in my case when I go shopping. It is a fashion staple that if you do decide to invest in, you won’t regret if you maintain and use it.

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