On collection launch day, I was scouring the internet for a Vera Bradley Harry Potter review and couldn’t find any from non-sponsored bloggers. So here I am, writing my own for ya’ll in case you too are on the hunt for insider knowledge.
I think it really goes back to my middle and high school dance days – but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Vera Bradley bags. Most of their prints are a little loud for my taste, but every so often there’s a pattern or limited collection that catches my eye – and as a MAJOR Harry Potter fan I flipped out when I saw a Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection was coming in 2020.
I signed up for the email list, stalked their Instagram, and finally last week the Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection launched.
I’ve got a lot of thoughts from the actual purchase experience down to the collection itself, so thought I’d cover ‘em in this lil’ Vera Bradley Harry Potter review. Let’s go home to Hogwarts…
I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter – the series had a massive impact on me as a child. The Sorcerer’s Stone released when I was in the first grade…and kids became obsessed with reading. I distinctly remember it. Kids carried around their HP books. I remember my mom dropping everything to drive me to Barnes and Noble or Costco when the stores opened the morning of new book releases. I remember curling up in my butterfly chair or craning my neck under my nightlights, binging the latest book. With the exception of Chamber of Secrets (which for some reason I really struggled to get into), I typically finished Harry Potter books the day they came out. It’s because of Harry Potter that I became such a voracious reader and learned to love to read.
But what’s broken my heart lately is J.K. Rowling’s recent anti-trans statements (amongst other BS she’s said in the last several years). Like, very much broken my heart. I’ve been trying to reconcile my love of the series she created with the fact that her values don’t at all align with what I believe the series stands for. I struggle to line her pocket with my money, supporting the series.
But for now, I acknowledge that I am doing just that. I still purchase special editions of the books. I still shop Harry Potter branded items. I still watch the movies and re-read the books.
Before jumping into this Vera Bradley Harry Potter review, I just wanted to acknowledge my conflict and not lessen the disgusting comments J.K. Rowling has made of late. Vera Bradley also released a statement against J.K. Rowling’s recent antics prior to the launch of the collection.
Straight up – the shopping experience on the Vera Bradley website the morning of the launch of the Harry Potter collection was trash. Actual trash.
The Vera Bradley website could not handle the amount of users flocking to the website to purchase. The website crashed multiple times during my shopping experience, my cart would randomly empty itself, or even more perplexingly I’d be unable to remove items from my cart. The whole thing was a mess.
It was because of this mess, that I ended up placing three separate orders. In the first wave, I was struggling to get any items into my cart (and also struggling with the selection of designs – more on that in a moment), so I raced to just get at least one item purchased and checked out. After that first purchase, the site was down for about an hour.
When the site came back up, I managed to snag the rest of the items I had my eye on – although I’ll admit I over purchased with the intent to return things. I don’t have a Vera Bradley store near where I live, and also don’t feel comfortable shopping in stores right now, so figured I’ll order what I can and return what doesn’t tickle my fancy. I ended up with a Vera Tote and a Campus Backpack…and more. Lolz.
The long story short – fans were not impressed by the Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection. And I do sort of get why.
Overall, the designs and silhouettes were wildly disappointing for most people. Did I personally purchase a ton of the collection? Absolutely (lol). But that doesn’t mean I don’t think they could have done way better when it came to design and selection.
Personally, my only real gripe of this Vera Bradley Harry Potter review really comes down to the house designs. There were 1) almost no house specific items to begin with and 2) preferential treatment was given to Gryffindor. There were so few items (literally a Campus Backpack, a Lunch Bunch, and a little coin purse) in house specific designs and only Gryffindor got a few extra items (like the Vera Tote and a duffel bag). My Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw – and wow was I disappointed. Like I love my house, but I don’t personally need house specific lunch bags in my life.
I also saw a lot of the complaints both in articles and on social media about the designs of the Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection were about the simplicity of slapping a house or Hogwarts patch on a plain colored bag (like with the backpacks). Honestly – this is where I disagree with the majority opinion.
I loved the simple designs of the Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection. In fact, that’s probably why I purchased so many items in the black Hogwarts option – because they’re super subtle vs the normal “loud” Vera Bradley designs. While I liked the “Home to Hogwarts” print in smaller accessories (like a cosmetic bag or a blanket), I personally thought a full Hogwarts pattern felt a little too busy for a larger piece (like a backpack or a travel duffel).
The all black Hogwarts styles were right up my alley (Diagon Alley?!). I kind of love the fact that I can walk out the door wearing a tote with a hint of Hogwarts magic…but you’ll really only notice it if you’re looking. I like repping my Harry Potter fandom a little more on the subtle side. Like, the wand pocket is hidden. So only I know about it.
While I know there were a ton of mixed reviews across the board about the collection, I really did personally love the black Hogwarts items. As a Ravenclaw – YEP, I’m pretty disappointed. I would have loved to rep my house a little more. But I do love the pieces I picked up.
The reason Vera Bradley bags are staples for dancers (lol, at least in my small town!) is because of the quality and design features. Vera Bradley bags are made to last. The materials are thick, the quilting is sturdy and beautiful, and there are pockets and organizational features galore.
The Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection is no exception – the quality is bomb. I actually have a Vera Bradley duffel bag I use for road trips and honestly…I kind of think the Vera Bradley Harry Potter Hogwarts duffel I bought is even better quality. The fabric of the Hogwarts duffel is corduroy, so while I may toss a protectant spray on it – it’s thick and built to last.
I’m also OBSESSED with all the pockets and storage options within all the pieces I purchased. My Cuyana tote is usually my go-to for work primarily because I bought the insert to organize the inside. Having stepped away from Vera Bradley bags for a while, I totally forgot some brands build the organization right into their bags. No purse organizer needed. There is definitely a price associated for the quality, but to me it feels fair.
While I know many a Vera Bradley Harry Potter review online of the less than positive nature – I really dig the pieces I purchased.
Were the items expensive/maybe a little overpriced? YUP – but I expect nothing less of a limited collection.
Do I wish there were more house specific designs? SURE DO.
But do I absolutely love my new Vera items? HELL YES.
Also, LORD, do I want to plan a trip to Wizarding World when travel is a thing again.
Let me know your thoughts on the Vera Bradley Harry Potter collection in the comments down below! P.S. I have other blog posts about vera bradley handbags, so feel free to check them out!
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