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Once you have more than a couple of bags, you move beyond functionality into collecting. Sure, I could put up some very good arguments justifying the need for multiple bags (the tote, the crossbody, the backpack, the evening bag), but they all serve the same purpose of holding your things which isn’t required beyond a single bag. Of course that isn’t why you’re here. You’re here because you love beautiful things and bags aren’t just practical items that carry our things but are vessels of joy and expressions of style!
I think of myself as a practical collector, as all of the high end bags I have in my collection are black. While I refuse to admit I have a type, the pragmatist in me can’t bring myself to spend my hard earned cash on a bag that won’t go with everything. I’m well past my ‘take risks’ era (which never extended to handbags!) and I’m drawn more to the classics as I get older.
Everlane blazer* (sz 0), Arket tee (sz S), Nobody Denim petite jeans* (sz 26), Gucci belt (review here), Gucci loafers (styling video here)
Right now, I’m supposed to be shopping for others, but here I am wanting a Gucci handbag. Having relied on Celine almost exclusively for over 10 years for my designer bag fix, I can hardly believe a Gucci bag will likely be my next designer bag purchase. I’ve popped into the Gucci boutique numerous times to have a play with their bags and I’ve whittled it down to a select few that I think are worth a double take. I always take you along with me for the ride and this journey’s no different, so in today’s post, I’m going to share my thoughts on each of the Gucci handbag styles that have been on my hit list and my thoughts on each style now that I’ve met each of them in the flesh.
Let’s kick off this Gucci bag try on:
#1 – Jackie 1961
It’s no secret vintage-inspired bags and revivals are some of the hottest bags on the market right now. Almost every designer house has dipped into its archives to bring back their classic styles with a modern twist. Arguably, nobody has done this as well as Alessandro Michele at Gucci. The Jackie bag was originally created in 1961 (and famously used by Jacqueline Kennedy who used the bag to shield herself from paparazzi) and was re-released in 2020 as the “Jackie 1961“. The handbag itself can be best described as a chameleon. It’s part-shoulder bag, part-hobo bag, part-dressy, part-casual and it can be worn on both the shoulder or as a crossbody thanks to inclusion of a practical second strap.
The most defining feature of the bag is the piston hardware and the curved half-moon shape with the modern version of the bag now offered in many variations including sizing, materials and colours. I tried the small patent black version of the bag and have fallen in love. It is up there as one of my favourite styles from Gucci right now. My only concern is whether the closure of the piston hardware is too fiddly and will ultimately annoy me, and whether the hardware will tarnish over time. Size-wise, the small version is the perfect every day size but it’s also available in a mini shoulder bag version, a medium tote bag and a mini version.
SHOP THE GUCCI JACKIE 1961 BAG
#2 – Gucci Diana
Here’s another bag from the archival revival train and named after Princess Diana, another stylish cultural icon who used the bag. The modern day version bears a striking resemblance to the original with the bag’s iconic bamboo straps featured once again. There are leather belt straps around each of the bamboo handles which is a modern take on the functional bands that featured on the original version to help maintain the handle’s shape. The Diana bag was reintroduced in July last year (on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday) and has been spotted on everyone from Alexa Chung to Elle Fanning to Sienna Miller.
The reintroduced bags come with contrast leather straps – most of which are neon coloured. I picked the most muted (ie. boring!) colour combination to try – black leather with grey straps. I really like the look of the contrast neon straps and I actually think it works better with this style as they pop against the bamboo straps. Size wise, the mini tote bag is my pick for an everyday style. The top handle style is adorable in this size and it comes with a detachable leather strap as well as a web shoulder strap to wear as a crossbody. Who doesn’t love a good multi-tasker?
SHOP THE GUCCI DIANA BAG
#3 – Horsebit 1955
Now we’re digging deep into the archives with the classic Horsebit 1955 bag. The modern iteration features two interchangeable straps – the classic leather strap and the web shoulder strap which transforms the bag into the modern day. The style of this bag is giving me strong Celine Classic Box Bag vibes – there’s no logo or monogramming but the simplicity of the horse bit is elegant but still identifiable. I was wearing my Gucci Jordaan loafers when I paid a visit to the boutique to try this on and I love how the bag and shoes match perfectly together.
The leather is hardwearing and robust, without being weighty or too structured. I just love how it comes with two different strap options that truly transform this bag. I tried on the mini size and it’s the perfect everyday size.
SHOP THE GUCCI HORSEBIT 1955 BAG
#4 – Marmont bag
One of the younger children of the bunch, the GG Marmont bag draws inspiration from ’70s glamour and the Chateau Marmont, the iconic L.A. hotel. The bags are made from matelassé leather in a pattern that mimics hand-stitched quilts made in Marseilles. I tried this bag on to satisfy my curiosity given how popular it has been for the past few years. All versions of the GG Marmont feature a sliding chain to transform the bag from a shoulder bag into a crossbody. It’s a comfortable bag to wear, thanks to the leather piece that sits on the shoulder for comfort, and while it matches my belt perfectly, I think the style is a bit too rock ‘n’ roll for my taste.
SHOP THE GUCCI MARMONT BAG
#5 – Aphrodite Bag
And for the youngest child of the bunch, the new crescent-shaped shoulder bag was shown on the runway and inspired by Gucci’s archives. It features the double-G logo first introduced in the 70s. The Aphrodite is available in a variety of sizes and comes with detachable straps allowing you to transform the bag. The medium size is a great practical option while the mini version is the ideal event bag thanks to the addition of the gold chain.
SHOP THE GUCCI APHRODITE BAG
Which one is my favourite?!
Each of the bags I tried are classic in their own right, yet starkly different when comparing each bag’s shape and details. Most of my weekdays require a larger bag for all the additional bits I need to take with me to the office, and for the past few years, a larger bag has been the go-to on weekends to cart around all the kid things, the days I get to pare down my bag feel liberating and are becoming more frequent as the kids are getting older. Fewer items, less of a hassle and a lovely little handbag is a great setup.
I was pleasantly surprised with how most of the bags I tried could be worn in multiple ways, some looking more dressier than others thanks to their shape. But my top two picks are the Jackie 1961 and the Horsebit 1955. Call me old fashioned for hopping on the archival revival train! As I let my thoughts simmer over the Christmas/New Year period, watch this space to see which bag I ultimately add to my collection!
I hope you found this Gucci bag try on to be useful. As always, thanks for stopping by!
P.S. My ultimate Gucci belt comparison and guide and you can read my other designer bag reviews here.
Horsebit 1955 all the way! Love it!
I love the Horsebit 1955. I’m thinking about the brown shoulder bag but lately, I’m torn because I really do love a crossbody style!
I wish the crossbody came in brown …
the horsebit 1955 is such a beautifully classic bag. i love the brown shoulder bag version too – the colour is amazing! – but the black version in the crossbody currently wins in my books purely for functionality!