Orla Kiely Crosshatch Stem Shoulder BagSo apparently Orla Kiely already has herself quite a following. I’ve seen her patterned bags at a variety of places, including Nordstrom and Anthropologie. I’m not much for patterned bags OR non-leather bags, so I’ve been looking past them for quite a while now, until recently.

When I realized that Kiely had designed a small line of storage accessories for Target, I figured I needed to sit up and take notice. I’ve seen her bags in more and more places, and when an independent designer spreads into common culture like that, there’s usually a reason to pay attention. I can’t quite figure out what it is with these bags, though. Take the Orla Kiely Crosshatch Stem Shoulder Bag, for instance. It’s a cute tote, sure. The colors are unoffensive and the pattern is sorta cute, if a bit twee. But the bags are coated canvas, and patterned in a way that means they couldn’t possible be easy to coordinate with many outfits, so why have they become so popular? Any enthusiasts out there, please enlighten me in the comments. Buy through Nordstrom for $178.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • skiddo2000

    Have the bag in the larger size – use it for traveling, love the size, the pockets, the strap to hold my keys, and the fact that it’s waterproof. The designs are a tad dorky, but overall a useful bag that I wind up NOT flinching when I shove it under the seat in front of me on the airplane.

  • Emily

    I see a lot of moms with Orla Kelly bags. I guess the size and the coated canvas make it easy to tote around your adult stuff with the messy kiddie things as well. I agree though- they’re cute, but must be hard to match to many outfits.

  • DCPurseGirl

    I have 3 Orla Kiely bags and none of them is the coated canvas. She makes beautiful bags in bright, fun colors. I’m not a mom and I still love them. I always get comments on my Orla Kiely bags – moreso than any other bag I have. They’re perfect for summer, although I have a camel and navy one that is great for fall as well. I’m not a huge fan of the coated canvas myself, but if you find a store that has a wide enough selection, you’ll see that there’s a lot more to these bags than that. As for matching them to outfits, I’m not a big purse/outfit matcher, so I don’t really focus on it too much. She’s a British designer whose target audience isn’t necessarily someone who changes her purse to match her outfit. It’s more likely someone who uses her purse as her exciting accessory.

  • stephanie

    I have the multi stem large coated canvas bag and love it. I have gotten so many compliments on my bag..I don’t see it coming and going and it really does go with most of my summer/spring clothes. I am a mom with 2 little ones and I hate diaper bags!!! This is funky hip and functional for me.

  • Iona

    I have the Large Multi stem canvas bag. I use mine year round light to carry and easy to find things in. Always get compliments on my bag. I don’t really have a problem matching the bag to my outfits. Looks great with any solid colors I am wearing. I have had mine for over 1yr now and it still looks as good as new.

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  • jo boissevain

    The fact you call the pattern “a bit twee” says it all – you don’t get Orla!!!