Let’s talk about this little beauty here! Since my first impressions post just stayed in my ‘concepts’ for the past 6 months I’ll just skip that post and get straight into how I feel about this bag after six months of love and wear.
This bag was a gift from my husband to me after we got home from our wedding trip. In may this year we did a 3 week roadtrip to the southwest US and got married in Las Vegas. Once we landed back in Amsterdam, we made a quick stop in ‘De Bijenkorf’ to get this little beauty as a gift. And really, this color is just the perfect match for a wedding-gift-bag.
About the bag
The bag your are looking at is called the Celine Mini Belt Bag in the mini size. For those of you who don’t know about this bag style from Celine, there are three different sizes. You would think the mini is the smallest one, but Celine has the tendency to give weird names to their sizing. The biggest version of this style is called the mini, followed by the micro size and the smallest one is called the nano size. All look the same, so there is no difference in design, expect for the strap and how you can wear the bag.
The nano is a rather small bag, I wouldn’t say it’s a mini bag since it can still fit in a lot, but it definitely is on the smaller side and is designed to be worn as either a crossbody, shoulderbag or handheld bag. The micro is a bit in between, this is a good everyday bag with the same features as the nano one. The mini is the largest in this family and is significantly bigger, but not as large as a tote bag. This bag also comes with a strap, but it’s quite impossible to wear it as a crossbody bag because 1) the strap is too short and 2) the bag is too large. So it’s really designed to wear it as a handheld bag, in the crook of your arm or as a shoulder bag.
I choose the biggest size for several reasons:
- I love the design of the bag most as a big bag. The nano one kind of looks like some sort of miniature bag to place on a shelf. This is my personal opinion and of course there are people who love this style more, otherwise it wouldn’t sell… So that all comes down to your own personal preference.
- The mini is a big bag without it being a tote bag. So you still have the classic design and handbag feeling. It really looks put together – even when you know it holds your lunch.
- I like how the bigger one falls when you wear it as a shoulder bag. It’s a great bag to wear handheld and it looks really sophisticated, but once you throw it casually over your shoulder it just gives such an edge to your outfit. It screams: business woman on the run. However, I’m not a business woman on the run at all, but hey, doesn’t mean I can’t look like it 😉
Quality and material
As you can see on the Celine website, this bag is made out of grained calfskin, which is just the softest. I really love calfskin on bags, I feel like mostly it’s quite durable, scratch resistant and supple at the same time. I do take very good care of my bags and leather goods, But if feel my calfskin bags are really easy to maintain. The bag is completely made out of leather (except for the hardware) and has a leather handle, leather strap and structured leather bottom. The inside of the bag is suede so you do have to be careful of how you store your items in it. I will always store my make-up and if I carry my lunch in it, I will make sure it’s in a secured plastic bag.
You find one big compartiment inside the bag, but also an inner double flat pocket inside and a zipped pocket on the back. So this is really handy for carrying bigger things and if you want to place your phone in the back pocket. Only thing I must say is that the pocket on the back isn’t the biggest one, so if you have a large phone (like an iPhone plus-version) I don’t think you’ll be able to store it properly.
The hardware of the bag is gold colored, but this depends on the color combination you pick. I do find the hardware to be of very good quality and have no discoloration what so ever – again, I’ve only had it for 6 months, so it better be good… The bag can be closed with a zipper, but the sides of the bag don’t close completely, so beware for smaller stuff, it will be able to fall out if the bag falls. The bag closes by taking the flap and putting it under the belt and sliding it into the closure.
This does take a certain ability to do it and I’m never able to open or close the bag with just one hand. First of all, it’s to big and secondly you really need to close it well, since the top handle is attached to the flap and you will get deformation if it isn’t closed properly. It’s hard to explain, but the weight of the bag and everything in it leans on the closure. On the website it says you have two ways of closing the bag, but you can’t just close it with only the zipper and not use the flap closure, because this will cause the deformation of the bag. Again, it’s hard to explain…
It’s a bag you can wear handheld and it has a very sturdy top handle which feels soft to grasp and slightly molds to your hand over time. It also comes with a removable strap which is detached to the back of the bag. I had some concern about the placement of the strap because I thought it would cause deformation, but I’ve been wearing it mostly as a shoulder bag and haven’t had any issues with it at all. The leather strap has a 36 cm drop and isn’t long enough to use as a crossbody strap, but like I said, the bag is a bit too large for that. It does however fall perfectly as a nonchalant shoulder bag.
First impressions – After 6 months of wear
My first impressions were REALLY good to be honest. I loved this bag immediately and there wasn’t a negative thing I could say about it. It’s very well made, you can see all the effort put into it and it’s just such an amazing design. I did worry about the color and color transfer, but haven’t had any issues with it to this point.
I’ve used this bag a lot these past 6 months and it still looks pristine. You don’t see any sign of wear and it still feels so soft. Really, I can’t say anything bad about the wear of this bag for now. I have read and seen that it tends to loose shape after a while and that is the only downside. Since it’s such a structured and classic design, it looks best in this ‘new look’. But hey, if you care for it and don’t overstuff it, I think it will look like this for a very, very long time.
I want to write more about my first impressions, but it’s just as simple as I LOVE THIS BAG and the first impressions were really good and they still are after all these months. I can say it’s one of my favorite bags ever.
Is it worth it?
For me, 110%, I think it’s a really great ‘value-for-money’ bag. You should check the price for your area, but for me this was at a great price point for such a ‘large’ bag. You can store a lot in it – with limited weight – and it still is a nice looking handbag and not just a tote bag.
I think the quality is truly amazing and Celine is just such a great brand to buy at. Whenever I go into Celine I have such great talks with the S.A.’s . In this one store in Las Vegas I learned so much from the guy who was working there, he was so friendly! I almost regretted not buying one over there, but here in Europe we are so lucky to be able to buy designer handbags from these amazing houses for a much lower price than in the US.
But also here in Amsterdam I had such a great service at ‘De Bijenkorf’. I really walked out feeling like a valued customer, which is always nice when you buy a luxury bag, I mean, it’s supposed to be a great experience!
Pro’s and cons
To sum it up here are some of the pro’s and cons I consider this bag to have:
- A large bag that isn’t a tote bag but still has room for you to fit your lunch, planner, a book, …
- Amazing quality. I mean, really amazing. No doubt about that.
- It is such a classic, timeless design that just looks wow.
- The bag is very secure and isn’t one to get in easily.
- You do need two hand to open this bag properly.
- The larger style isn’t suited to wear as a crossbody.
- Used to be a trend bag, but definitely has earned its spot as a timeless piece.
- Great price point.
So, this sums it up. Hope you guys find this helpful when you’re doubting on buying this bag. Celine isn’t the easiest to buy, I think they’ve only opened their own webshop 2 or 3 months ago here in Europe. Before you could only buy at Celine stores. Now you can order (for certain countries) online. I don’t have any experience with buying Celine online since I went to a store to get this one and it’s my only Celine bag for now.
If you’re doubting on the sizes, I would definitely check them out in store since you have to see for yourself how the smaller ones look on you and how you plan on wearing this bag.
Do you guys have this bag still on the radar or what are your thought on this one? I’d love to hear!