I recently talked to a friend who was considering purchasing a new black bag when she posed a question that left me stumped for a minute, as it was one I’m not often asked. And trust me, I get asked A LOT, and I mean a lot, of questions about bags. The bag chatter begins whenever someone learns what I do for a living. They want to know what the hottest bag is right now, what designer is most appealing to me, and even what I would buy if I had all the money in the world. I’ve just about been asked it all.

So when a friend asked me if I preferred shiny leather over matte leather, I had to stop and really think. Which do I prefer?

To Shine or Not to Shine

At first, I thought my friend was asking me if I liked patent leather bags over regular leather bags because when I hear “shine,” that’s where my mind travels. She expressed that she wanted to buy a bag that would transition well from day to night but also wanted to be able to use it every day without it being too dressy. Hence, the question, as she thought that leather with a bit of shine was too fancy for everyday wear. Once I clarified that she wasn’t referring to patent leather for the fifteenth time, I stopped and realized I was not actually sure.

My friend was in a department store analyzing a Celine bag that was crafted from santinated calfskin, which offers a nice sheen but is not nearly as shiny as patent leather. While she liked the bag, she thought the sheen made the bag too dressy, and she decided to keep looking before pulling the trigger on a new bag.

For me, the jury’s still out on which type of leather I prefer; I guess I would say it depends on the bag. What do you think?

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bir
bir
2 months ago

For me it does not depend so much on the bag, it depends more on the materials like crocodile skin, i like in glazed, shiny finish, because matte crocodiles looks too much like embossed calfskin to me. If its leather i prefer matte and what would be almost cruel but truthful to call upholstery leather, grained matte and as soft as possible.still i love leathers like box leather tight and shiny……… but it really can be too severe for me and i just don’t enjoy it as much especially if its black.

psny15
psny15
2 months ago

Little shine / sheen

FashionableLena
FashionableLena
2 months ago

I like both. It also depends on the hardware. Black hardware looks good with matte leather. Old gold hardware looks good with shiny/medium sheen.

Jenn
Jenn
2 months ago

I don’t have a strong preference, but I will say I love what Louis Vuitton did with the newer leather on their damier ebene bags. I can’t stop staring, and the matte finish feels so nice in your hand.

Terri
Terri
2 months ago

I mostly prefer matte, but there are some brands that combine matte and a little sheen on the same bag very well.

Klara P
Klara P
2 months ago

For me, dressy or not depends mostly on the strap. I fell in love with a black Dionysus because of the blue enamel on the buckle. Then when I was about to take it out for an evening occasion, I noticed the chain strap was more “rustic” looking pewter color than the event calls for. Bummer.

GG Pastel