Many of you have been asking for me to do another Purseonal and trust me, I have WANTED TO. But with a lovely vacation, Fashion Week and hiring a new member to the team, I’ve been a little swamped. This Purseonals entry is a treat for you and me, as its subject is considered one of the most iconic bags of all time (and in one of the most classic combinations leather and hardware combinations possible). Not to mention that this is one of my absolute favorite bags in my collection.

That’s right, I’m talking about the 35 cm Hermes Black Birkin in clemence leather with palladium hardware. This bag was my holy grail for many years, it was the bag I kept telling everyone I dreamed of owning, and it was the bag I was lucky enough to get a few years ago. The first year I owned this bag I wore it sparingly – I was almost afraid of it. But now it has become one of my go-to choices. I am not scared of it, I adore it and use it often. This bag has lived up to many of my expectations.

Here is how my Hermes Birkin scores in our PurseBlog Purseonals ratings:

Aesthetics 5 Stars

I feel like you either love the aesthetic of the Birkin or you don’t. Most people feel very strongly one way or the other, and I absolutely adore it. In high school my girlfriend and I were browsing a luxury lifestyle magazine and it was the first time I learned about the Hermes Birkin. She and I sat on her bed and dreamed of a future life where we would own one. This was my dream bag, this was the bag I saved up for, this was the bag I coveted.

The design is extremely iconic; any fashionista can spot a Birkin from a mile away. The boxy shape, double handles, and leather pull closures are what makes this bag. Of course the hardware stands out as well. The fact is, the Birkin is one of the three most iconic handbags EVER and I am a true lover of the bag. The aesthetic is what drew me in.

Usability + Functionality 3.5 Stars

Let’s just be honest. The functionality of this bag is not great. If you close the bag up properly it would take you a few momemnts to get in and out of it every single time you need something that’s inside. When you do not close the bag properly, you leave the bag’s contents easily accessible to anyone and everyone. This has just the Birkin norm. It is meant to carry a bunch of things, but it isn’t designed for ultimate usability.

The outside does not feature any additional storage, in fact all it has is the double leather pull handles that scrunch the bag and then close it via the clasp. This is very iconic to the brand and the bag, but it is hardly used by anyone.

The inside has a small pouch pocket, but the pocket is so slim not much fits inside. There is no other design aspect to this bag that aids in usability and functionality. In fact, it makes it all seem so simple when you really look at it. Other than that, the 35 cm version is great for everyday use because of its size and ability to carry tons.

Quality + Construction 5 Stars

The Birkin gets an easy 5/5. My bag is a few years old and the leather still smells brand new. It’s weird, but every time I take the bag out of its box I get excited. Hermes is known for the craftsman and the work done on the Birkin is impeccable. Every stitch was placed with care and every material is high quality.

This score for the Hermes Birkin was the easiest to make.

Value 4 Stars

And now to the category that is the hardest for me to score, value. The ongoing debate and constant question I hear is, “Is the Birkin really worth the price?” The answer varies from bag lover to bag lover for many reasons. Quality is synonymous with the brand, and I can tell you my Birkins have withstood the test of time and then some.

What is important to note is that the Hermes Birkin retains its value. A debate on resellers could follow, but it all comes down to the fact that the Hermes Birkin is one of the most iconic bags of all time.

The ‘It’ Factor 5 Stars

The Birkin is not trendy, it is timeless. Extremely timeless. In fact, this is the bag that many dream of owning and while it is easily recognizable it is equally as iconic. Year after year, season after season, this bag will not go out of style. And that gives it a major 5 out of 5 in my book.

Total Score 4.5 Stars

The Hermes Birkin scores high in my Purseonals ratings. I have learned to love to wear this bag and it only gets better with time. Truth is, it is not only one of my holy grails, but also it is absolutely superb.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • chloebagfreak

    I love this bag! Thanks for posting such great pics. Is anyone ever able to carry it on the shoulder?
    My dream is either a brown or blue jean color one:)

  • bells


  • mlle p

    Would love to hear your review of Birkin vs. Kelly sometime!

  • Amanda

    Thanks so much for sharing!  I love iconic bags like this.

  • 19yearslater

    I’m one of those who doesn’t like the Birkin, but I’m glad your holy grail is living up to expectations. 

  • Sigh you are so lucky to have a Birkin. I’m still one of the dreamers.

  • Harryavery

    The giant clic clac is so so Marlo from Atlanta housewives!!! Don’t get charged with battery now!!!

  • Liz

    Thanks for posting the Purseonal! One question … do you like this bag even more than your gorgeous blue jean Birkin?

    • Lily

      The blue jean one is Amanda’s 

      •  Actually, it’s Megs’ second Birkin. Slightly smaller at 30cm and with palladium hardware. We shall do a second Purseonal feature on the smaller sister.

      • Ellie

        Are we ever going to see the second Purseonal on the 30 cm? :)

  • Rashida_16

    Took you long enough! Lol but the bag is a beauty, classic, timeless, and elegant! So happy you enjoy the bag!

  • Silversun

    Thank you for the Purseonal and wonderful pics, Megs! The leather… wow.

  • Valentina

    I´ve never t thought having a Birking like as having one was something extra special or if it would make me someone special simply by using one, no, none of that.
    I bought one becouse I wanted one Birking, I´ve been in Paris for too many times in my life until I´ve decided to bay a Birking.
    And so I´ve made it, I bought one myself, and to me there´s nothing great about it.

  • Valentina

    oh yes, birkin….not birking

  • PhotoGirl

    Beautiful photographs.

  • FashionableLena

    I love the bag.  I think that it’s high quality and beautiful.  However, the functionality of it makes it a no for me.  I’ll just stick to my second tier designer bags.

  • Jaymeson

    I’ve always dreamed of owning this bag.  I’ve decided if I were to ever marry, I would want this bag instead of an engagement ring!

  • rogelyn along

    beautiful ..

  • weaslgrl

    LOL, I know exactly what you mean about being afraid of it.  A few years back, I bought a Lindy as my reward for beating breast cancer.  I took a taxi home from the Hermes store because I was afraid to get on the subway with that ginormous orange shopping bag.  Then, it sat in its box for about a week, staring at me, before I was brave enough to use it.  The first few times, I was actually a little embarassed to be seen with such an expensive bag.  Well, it didn’t take me too long to get over all of that, and now it’s one of my favorite go-to bags!

    • While the Lindy makes for a nice reward, ultimately it’s the gift of long life you got back! Congratulation on beating cancer! 

    •  That bag must mean so much to you – and it should!! Congrats on your health and always look at your Lindy and be reminded of that :)

    • Congratulation on beating cancer!!

  • golden’s mom

    If I could only keep one bag, it would have to be my 35 cm gold togo.  I love it, everytime it’s at away for a “spa” I miss it.  

  • krawford

    I have a 35cm black togo with gold hardware.  I love it so much.  It holds a ton. 

  • Fashiondoesntexist

    I lvoe this bag and your “review”, one of your most interesting posts!

  • Karin bag4bag

    I enjoyed reading about your love for this bag Megs. I also loved the pics of it. I appreciated your absolute honesty in what could be seen as useability issues with the Birkin. There you go, I wrote ‘birkin’ with a little b then thought No that bag deserves a capital letter !  It has got that sort of credibility !   

  • Jmerrilee

    I too dream of owning one someday and I appreciate your
    review. I’ve heard from others that getting into the bag is always a presentation
    and how annoying that is. Also heard it’s heavy to carry and you can only carry
    it on your arm and not shoulder. Keeping that in mind, to me it sounds like it
    wouldn’t be functional for everyday use. I still want one, it’s beautiful.

  • Kat

    Totally agree with you! I have exactly the same bag. I love it more every day. 

  • KVS

    Are Birkin’s available to buy on-line??

  • Mona

    I would love a pic of the interior!

  • Mia_na2002

    I’m still one of the dreamer. But I will have it one day. Birkin is rally timeless

  • Lt-1963

    I finally got a 35 black last May and recently got a 40 orange.
    I am truly in love. Also bought my pug an orange “Barkin” chew toy!

  • birkinlover!

    I just bought my first Birkin on The site is amazing, its an online luxury consignment site and everyday they feature new designer sales. I figure when I’m done with this one (black 35cm), Ill consign it back to them and perhaps pick-up and exotic skin when i’m ready (or when my husband concedes). A friend consigns a lot of her designer merchandise with them and she told me they even pick up for free and to contact

  • Nope

  • Amy Beth

    More Purseonals posts please!

  • ale

    which one type of leather would you recommend getting the birkin in togo or clemence?

  • fanshermes

    i am the fans of Hermes birkin bags at, what do you think about this site?

  • jumika

    great pictures and decent info but megs, did you really need to use words “iconic” and “love” so many times? i think an exquisite bag like this deserves a beautifully written review.

    • disqus_rYH9dID7vi

      LOL ……………………….. is this comment serious?

      This is why people fortunate enough to afford luxury items get so much hate. Material things are meant to be admired, but not worshipped. Get off your high horse.

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  • Jill

    I love this bag. Have a barenia but really want a black with palladium in 30 –

  • JDKR

    How much is this bag?

  • e

    whats your top 3 iconic bags?

    • Dylan

      The Hermès Birkin
      The Louis Vuitton Speedy
      The Chanel 2.55/Classic Flap