Trendy bags are tons of fun – and I own my fair share – but as I’ve gotten older and entered the workforce I’ve started to realize how much practicality outweighs trend. I love my Michael Kors Selma for example, but when I’m off to work and need to carry my lunch, camera, wallet, keys, and on occasion my laptop – the Selma just doesn’t cut it. What I absolutely love is when a handbag can marry practicality with minimalistic, classic style. Enter: the Longchamp Le Pliage.
I’m already preparing myself for the influx of comments about how “every girl owns this handbag” and it’s “basic” and “unoriginal.” I’ll be the first to admit I can’t make it three blocks in San Francisco without seeing another girl sporting a nylon Longchamp, but my challenge to all the haters and skeptics would be that items are often popular because they’re actually amazing. This simple truth absolutely rings true for the Le Pliage. This purse has quickly become my day-to-day staple!
Where my love of the Longchamp Le Pliage started.
Le Pliage travel bags are my JAM is all I can say. My love affair with Longchamp began (appropriately) in Paris in 2014. I had been eyeballing this style and dragged my then boyfriend (now husband!) on a mission through the cobblestone streets of Paris to find a Longchamp boutique. He actually ended up gifting it to me as his souvenir for me to remember the trip by! I wore my first Longchamp for a year straight – and no I’m not exaggerating. I loved that not only was it the perfect partner for every outfit, but mine actually had a memory attached to it!
When we set off for Italy last year I decided to splurge at Longchamp once again. I actually purchased a Le Pliage in the three sizes I didn’t have (mini, small, and large) – KB was such a trooper as he came to know the Longchamp locations all across Italy and dealt with my insanity!
Pros of the Longchamp Le Pliage.
I love that I can use my Le Pliage as both an every day work bag and also an overnighter. I’m able to easily pack everything I need for a weekend into this one handbag! Not only does my Large Le Pliage fit everything for work, weekend, and everything in between – but from a styling perspective it’s just so darn versatile. While the Le Pliage isn’t exactly a formal tote, it’s classic enough in design (and color, especially if you go with a neutral) to be perfectly acceptable to wear to a work meeting, a dinner, or drinks.
There is also a lot of versatility in all the sizes of the Le Pliage available. The Longchamp Le Pliage Large is what you see in these photos, but you can find a Longchamp tote in just about any size. They even have a backpack version.
Le Pliages are also incredibly durable and even I’ve managed to keep mine relatively clean over the last several months – and I’m not the easiest on my handbags. The Le Pliage is rain proof and easy to wipe clean. My Le Pliage bags are the only handbags I own that I can comfortably toss water bottles or travel mugs into without an organizer – and without fear of leakage. Because even if it does leak – so what? The interior is a PVC type material that is one wipe away from looking brand new.
The only durability issue I’ve had with the Le Pliage is that the corners do tend to wear out and look frayed. My bags still look okay after a few years of use, but I’ve definitely seen some beat up corners on Le Pliages out there.
In my Longchamp Le Pliage review YouTube video where I talk about this potential issue, loads of awesome viewers have let me know that if you purchased your bag through a Longchamp store, you get a lifetime warranty. Which rocks.
Honestly? I’m tossing price for this bag into the pros column. Sure, most of the sizes will run you over $100 – but that doesn’t put it anywhere near luxury bag pricing. You can even occasionally find Longchamp bags on sale.
While traveling abroad is an expense all in and of itself – I will say I’ve had crazy good luck finding better pricing on my Le Pliage bags abroad than here in the United States. Between great dollar conversion, tax back, and also the fact that the price itself just tends to be cheaper in Europe, I’ve definitely spent less buying my Longchamps overseas than I would have had I bought the bags state-side.
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Cons of the Longchamp Le Pliage.
Lack of organization.
The biggest complaint I have about the Le Pliage is the lack of interior pockets. This is definitely a “carry all” bag, but there’s really no way to keep your contents organized as it’s essentially just one giant black hole. If you’re used to a bag (like a Vera Bradley tote or a Cuyana Structured Tote with the organizer) that has plenty of organization – you might struggle switching over to a Le Pliage. There is only one interior pocket and, to be honest, it’s sort of a joke. It fits some coins – that’s about it.
The way I’ve operated around this is to compartmentalize my things myself by keeping everything in it’s own little bag (my wallet, a little cosmetics case, etc). I’ll admit this situation isn’t really ideal because sometimes my little pouches can crowd the bag, but at least all the items inside are safe, tidy, and organized!
Okay – come with me on a journey for this one.
You’re racing out of your office, trying to catch the bus. And your darn purse strap just. Keeps. Falling. Down. And it’s SO annoying.
This really is the reality of my Longchamp Le Pliage – or at least for my shoulder bag styles specifically. I can’t for the life of me get the straps to sit on my shoulder without one of them slipping down. This means I either have to physically hold them in place with one hand OR, well, I just deal with it. Overall this isn’t a huge con for me. It’s manageable, but it’s annoying. I do tend to reach for my top handle versions of the Le Pliage more frequently because of this little shoulder bag strap pet peeve of mine.
My final verdict.
Are Longchamp bags worth it?
All in all I have zero regrets about owning all four of my Longchamp Le Pliages – each size allows me the flexibility to use them for different occasions and they’re all just as classic and durable as the one before. I also love that I have amazing memories attached to each one of a trip to Paris or an adventure through Italy!
I know the price for this bag can be a turn-off when you consider its nylon make, but I personally have found the actual quality and versatility of the bag to make the price absolutely worth it. I’m a big fan of looking at all my bag purchases in a “cost per wear” sort of fashion. Given that I’m able to take this bag to work, shopping, on airplanes, on road trips, or pretty much anywhere – I’ve absolutely gotten my money’s worth. The cost per wear, for me, on this $100+ bag is cheaper than a cup of San Francisco coffee at this point.
To me? WORTH it. I can honestly promise you that if you end up picking out a Le Pliage – it’ll quickly become a regular staple in your wardrobe. And you won’t even care that a bunch of other girls are rocking the same bag. You’ll just know that we’re all in the club – and we’re all onto something.
Other tote bags I love.
If you’re a tote bag lover like myself, you know there are SO many options on the market. When it comes to what I like to consider “mid range” price point tote bags, nothing really beats the Le Pliage, the Cuyana Structured Tote, the Madewell Transport Tote, and the Everlane Day Market Tote. I actually have a whole blog post comparing the Cuyana, Madewell, and Everlane totes you can check out.
Other handbag reviews I’ve written:
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What’s your favorite handbag? Do you own a Longchamp? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!