This post is regarding my unboxing and initial impressions of the Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandoulière 30 in Damier Ebene. If you want more information on why I purchased this bag and my Louis Vuitton in-store buying experience you can check out part 1 of this post here.
WHY THIS PARTICULAR LOUIS VUITTON BAG?
- I wanted this for a couple reasons. Although this was the first designer bag I saw and fell in love with, I did compare it to some other popular designer brand bags to make sure this was the right choice. For one, this is a classic, one of LV’s most iconic bags and it never goes out of style. I really liked the idea of a timeless piece that I could use years down the road and know it will still look good.
- Picking a classic handbag also makes it a great investment piece. I read an article saying that collecting designer bags is a more stable investment than stocks and shares because of its re-sell value. That made me laugh, but at the same time it’s very reassuring to know if I ever did fall out of love with this bag (unlikely), or want to swap it out with another bag, or I need the money in future, then I could re-sell the Speedy and know I would get almost the exact cost of the bag back, and maybe more (since the price of Speedys have increased year on year). Not every designer bag/brand holds their value as well as the Speedy (such as Gucci or Prada bags), so that did help inform my choice and cross other options off the list.
- The style and design. When I had looked at other designer brand bags, nothing really appealed to me as much as the Speedy bandouliere damier ebene print. I love the uncommon brown checkboard design, the box-shaped structured look of the bag, the lightweight canvas material compared to say all leather, the easy maintenance and the versatility of how it can be carried and paired with most outfits, either dressed up or down. Also, as my first luxury bag, I didn’t want something that looked generic or a simple black bag (though the Givenchy Antigona was a strong contender), but something that would be unique and make me think wow everytime I looked at it.
Now let’s delve into some information about this Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30 in Damier Ebene.
The ‘Speedy Bandouliere’ refers to the name and style of the bag. Described as the perfect city bag, it has a unique box-style structure, with a one piece canvas material for the body, treated leather handles, leather trimming down the sides of the bag and a detachable 3-piece leather shoulder strap.
(There is the regular classic ‘Speedy’ bag which is a couple hundred cheaper and is pretty much identical to the Speedy Bandouliere, with the exception that it doesn’t come with the leather strap so it can only be carried hand-held or on the crook of your arm. It is also identifiable by the fact it doesn’t have a double zipper or the leather triming down the sides of the bag).
The 30 refers to the bag being 30cm in width from left to right and is the medium-sized, most common Speedy that people go for. In the damier ebene print this comes in 25 and 35 too, but the monogram also has an additional 40. Like most people, I debated between the 25 and the 30. In some pictures I thought 30 looked too big, but then 25 also looked too small which could be perfect for everyday but I wasn’t sure if it was as versatile for travelling or days when I needed to carry around more stuff.
I was initially leaning towards the 25, until I went to the store to try them both on and 25 just looked too small on my 5’4 frame especially with my coat on, and it just looked a bit silly. I think the size 30 is definitely more futureproof towards my needs as I get older, and size 25 is more for petitie young girls and people that don’t like/or need to carry around a lot of things.
Most people say that the 25 is better to wear crossbody because it doesn’t look as bulky but I find the 30 to look great any way I wear it, and in any case I rarely wear bags crossbody. I prefer on the shoulder or on the arm. Where I live was also a consideration too. The 25 looks good when I wear lighter pieces of clothes and is in proportion with my body. Since I live in the UK where it’s cold most of the time, and especially in winter when I’m wearing layers, bulky jumpers and coats, the 25 would appear even smaller. So I’ve definitely made the right choice to go for 30 to suit my lifestyle.
I chose the Speedy Bandouliere in the ‘damier ebene’ canvas, which is the brown checkboard print. This is actually the original print that Louis Vuitton first designed his luggage with when the company was founded and it wasn’t until his son took over that the more popular and iconic LV monogram design was created. I think this design is beautiful, looks classy and goes well with most outfits.
I didn’t choose the monogram canvas for 2 main reasons. One, I’ve never found the LV monogram design that appealing; perhaps because there have been so many fake imitations of it and just seems more tacky and common in my opinion. Two, the monogram canvas has natural cowhide leather (vachetta) for the handles and strap. Although this makes it softer and more flexible than the treated leather on the damier ebene, it also requires more care to look after because the leather will patina (darken) over time, and you have to be careful not to get it wet or have it exposed to things like handcreams & perfume, otherwise it can cause uneven staining and water spots.
The damier ebene is perfect for me because it’s low maintenance. It has dark brown, treated leather handles so water and handcreams aren’t a problem. The UK rains a lot too so if this gets wet, you just simply pat dry with a clean cloth. Or if it gets dirty, wipe it down with a damp cloth and water.
My Speedy Bandouliere came protected in a dust bag which was placed in a collapsable Louis Vuitton box (optional to have), and then given to me in a sturdy orange and blue shopping bag. I love the colour scheme of all the packaging.
I couldn’t bear to open the box initially because the blue ribbon was tied on so beautifully. It came attached with a card which you could write on if buying it as a gift for someone.
It’s interesting how the bag is packed. It looks horrifying when you see such an expensive bag squashed flat like that but the SA said the canvas is made to be durable and can be flattened to make it easy to travel with and pack in your suitcase. (It does have slight creases when you open it up, but I’ve heard these will fade in time. When I’m not using my Speedy, I plan to store it unfolded in the dust bag and stuff the inside so it maintains its shape.)
Some notable details on the outside of the bag:
- You can see that the body of the bag is made of one continuous canvas piece because on one side of the bag the ‘Louis Vuitton Paris’ written on two of the squares are right way up; on the other side they are upside down, as if the canvas has been wrapped under and around the bag.
- One side of the leather trimming has ‘Made in France’ embossed into it. Also on that same side, slightly hidden under the hardware to attach the strap, it has ’30’ written on it to indicate the size of the bag. (I’ve read of bags purchased in America saying ‘Made in USA’ and I’m not particularly fond of that since LV is French, I want my bag to be made in France, or Europe at least because I trust the quality more. If you’re purchasing in Europe, this is less of a worry because the SA said it wouldn’t be made in USA, they would all be made in France. (Some LV items may be made in Italy or Spain too, but that is unusual for their actual bags).
- The gold hardware on the bag is noticeably a different colour/coating to the gold hardware on the attachable straps. The straps have a much brighter, shinier gold coating. It bothers some people, but I’m not too fussed with that as it isn’t a defect, all the Speedys come like that.
Inside the bag is a lovely red textile interior, with a d-ring to attach your keys/accessories and an interior pocket with a zip which can comfortably fit my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge phone. I wish it was a bit deeper because I usually have lots of little items in my bag but it’s not a dealbreaker for me since I’m planning on buying a bag organiser to fit inside. The inside of the bag is very large and spacious so I can imagine without an organiser things will be rolling around all over the place and I would struggle to find anything. The opening of the bag also isn’t the widest so I’m not sure if that will be a problem for me at this point.
The Speedy Bandouliere also comes with a strap and a little drawstring pouch which contains a lock and key. I absolutely love this extra addition. The double zipper is great because it’s convenient that you don’t have to fully open the bag sometimes, but also because it allows for your personal items to be padlocked and kept safe if you go somewhere busy, crowded or are travelling with it as hand luggage. The only thing that might be slightly bothersome is that it can be quite fiddly and tricky to get the lock on and off and it hangs in a weirdly stiff way because it’s a tight fit. I will personally only use it for travel and keep it inside the bag when I’m not.
Another very important thing to keep safe is the authentication tag. It has a serial code that can identify your bag as an authentic LV purchase; especially important if you are trying to re-sell. This can be found in the interior pocket when you purchase your bag and I plan to leave it in there for safekeeping.
I am 100% happy with this purchase and very confident that I made the right decision. I absolutely love it! Of course I’ve not had this long enough to form a solid opinion yet but so far my initial impressions are that its such a beautiful, well crafted bag. The stitching and design is perfect; I can’t find any flaws in regards to that. The zip slides along smooth enough and is easy to open and close (although there is a slight bit of resistance which I think will loosen up as I use the bag more). I love the fresh smell of the leather and it looks smooth with no bumps or creases so far. The shape of the Speedy is also fantastic because I prefer my bags to look structured rather than floppy, yet this also has some natural sag to it so it isn’t too boxy.
Left: shorter 2-piece strap. Right: longer 3-piece strap
I’m loving how lightweight the bag is due to the canvas material, despite how big the bag looks. The three piece adjustable shoulder strap is also a great addition because it makes it so versatile to wear. With all three pieces of the strap on, it can be worn crossbody or on the shoulder. If you take out the 3rd strap and just have it on 2 straps, it can be worn on the shoulder as a handbag under the arm or left hanging while you hand carry it or hold in the crook of your arm. I can see myself leaving it on two straps the most. The leather strap is very stiff at the moment but with time it should soften with use.
I really don’t have anything negative to say about this bag for the moment but I will probably do a wear and tear update in 6 months or a 1 year, including my pros and cons of this bag once I’ve become more familiar with using it.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave it below or drop me an email.