As a bag lover, I fall in love with bags frequently. I often see bags that catch my eye immediately, but it is rare that I fall in love as quickly and as hard as I did with the Louis Vuitton Onthego tote bag. Last summer I became absolutely hell-bent on obtaining an Onthego, and it still pangs my heart to remember when I came home from Paris last summer empty handed. I had traveled there expecting to purchase one, and I was devastated when I found out the bag was sold out in every store in all of Europe. I even contemplated paying double the price to buy one on the resale market, but your comments talked me out of that really quickly (thank you, by the way!).
I had my heart set on purchasing an Onthego in the khaki color, which is a pretty white and tan on one side and green on the other. Sadly for me, that color scheme was limited edition and unless I wanted to revisit the idea of spending double the value of the bag on the resale market, I was fresh out of luck. Financially and mentally I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that, so I decided to purchase the reverse monogram Onthego. To say that I have fallen in love with this bag would be an understatement.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
You are either going to loathe this bag or love it, and clearly I fall into the latter category. The most obvious design feature of this handbag is the oversized monogram pattern, which LV has aptly named the “Monogram Giant” canvas. Although the reverse canvas monogram wasn’t my first choice with the Onthego, I have become unexpectedly smitten with it and am ultimately glad this ended up in my collection instead of the khaki color I was originally lusting over. I have admired the reverse monogram canvas since it was released, but I wasn’t sure it would work in my wardrobe. I was so wrong, because the reverse monogram has become my favorite LV canvas and has seamlessly become a staple in my closet. It works with any neutral article of clothing and can make even the plainest of outfits look interesting.
Another aesthetic detail I love on the Onthego is that the design uses both the Monogram Giant and Monogram Reverse for the panels of the handbag. The juxtaposition of the different monogram color on the handles is my favorite part of the bag, it makes the reverse monogram pop against the classic monogram. The mini monogram on the handles against the giant monogram on the bag’s body is another tongue in cheek detail of the Onthego, which only adds to my obsession of this bag.
Usability + Functionality
The Onthego is a big tote, and as such, it is super functional for me and my lifestyle. If you need a big bag and carry a lot with you on a day to day basis, this bag is for you. The Onthego would also be an excellent travel bag, particularly for long flights or road trips. The coated canvas is very lightweight, so the bag doesn’t get weighed down even when it’s full.
I own the GM size of the Onthego, which is quite spacious with measurements of 16.14L x 13.39H x 7.48W inches. Louis Vuitton recently introduced the Onthego tote in a MM size, with smaller measurements to its GM sister bag (13.4L x 10.2H x 5.1W inches). The MM size wasn’t available for purchase when I got my GM, but as your resident huge bag lover, I would have gone for the GM size anyway.
For my personal purse size preference, the large nature of the GM Onthego tote feels just right. I can fit everything I could ever want to carry inside, I lovingly refer to this bag as my Mary Poppins bag. Because of the lightweight nature of Louis Vuitton’s coated canvas, my bag is never weighed down. I’ve been carrying a wallet, pouch of toiletries, mini iPad, sunglasses, and my MacBook Air inside and still have plenty of room to spare. I should note that I do drive most places, so while the weight doesn’t ever become unbearable for me, please reconsider loading it up and carrying it around if you commute on public transportation. The one downside to this bag is that it lacks a top zip.
The Onthego tote has dual handles for both shoulder and handheld wear. I tend to wear mine in the crook of my arm, but it’s nice to have the option to wear it by the shoulder strap when my bag starts feeling extra heavy or if I know I am going to be walking around longer than usual. The shoulder strap drop length is 11 inches on the GM size and 9.4 inches on the MM size. The shoulder straps fit me really comfortably with room to spare even when I’m wearing my puffiest winter jacket.
Quality + Construction
My Onthego was made in the USA and I have no quality issues to report. The hardware is shiny, the stitching is perfect, and the canvas is even. In fact, some of my Louis Vuitton bags have the monogram pattern misaligned, but my Onthego matches perfectly.
I own quite a bit of Louis Vuitton and I can attest to the fact that my Onthego tote bag is excellent quality all around. The coated canvas feels thick, more so than the coated canvas on any of my Neverfulls. The red microfiber lining is durable and I don’t have to baby the interior lining of my bag. Actually, this bag is a work horse and I don’t feel the need to baby it at all.
Price + Value
This bag is expensive, even for a premier designer such as Louis Vuitton. For an all canvas bag, $2,480 USD is a steep price tag and there is no sugar coating that. For reference, the MM size is $2,340 USD. I regularly purchase premier designer handbags, and I admit that this bag feels outrageously priced. I lusted over this bag for well over six months before purchasing it, so I knew it wasn’t an impulse purchase for me, which is how I justified my purchase.
This bag is expensive, but it is quite large. For that reason, the price point is a little bit easier to accept, although I still recognize it’s a pricy purchase. It feels better to walk out of the boutique with a huge bag versus a micro bag…but the bag is expensive, bottom line.
Objectively I must admit that this handbag is trendy and is not likely to become a classic in its own rite, which is why I am rating the staying power category a 3. However, fashion is cyclical and I know that even if this bag fades from view in a few years, it is bound to come back down the line. I also am not one to carry bags only because they are in trend, so the staying power wasn’t as big of a concern for me when deciding to purchase this bag. I know I will continue to wear it even if it doesn’t stay in style, so staying power wasn’t a big consideration for me. If you only buy classic handbags, this might not be the best choice for you.
I loved the Onthego from the moment I saw it. I know this bag isn’t going to be for everyone, but it is one of my favorite handbags I have ever owned. Yes, ever! This is a bold statement, but I am ready to stand behind it. I truly love everything about this bag. I’m knocking off a star because of the price point and the fact that this bag is trendier than most in my closet, however I know I will be enjoying my Onthego for years to come. I obsessed over this bag for months and am happy to report it was worth the wait.