Hermes Garden Party

Today I wanted to do a review on a bag which I have been carrying literally nonstop since the first summer days appeared – the Hermes Garden Party. The Garden Party is a classic style from Hermes and is one which thankfully is pretty easy to find – every time I pop into a boutique I see at least one of these in some color combination on the shelves. Around five years ago Hermes started making all leather versions (prior to that they were usually toile/leather combos) and I’ve admired them ever since! I was very happy when I was finally able to get one, it’s a wonderfully versatile bag at a less shocking price. Some details below:

My bag is in the classic Hermes “gold” color which I think comes out nicely on the Garden Party’s leather (Negonda). I don’t feel like Negonda takes all the different colors that as well as Togo/Clemence so I’d advise that you go see all the colors in person (since they are available to buy sometimes on the Hermes online site).

Negonda is a very nice sturdy leather but it does have the reputation of “sagging” more easily. My bag has actually been pretty stiff but I’ve seen others where the leather has puddled into a big smooshy pile. Depending on what you like, you might want to get either a Negonda Garden Party or one of Fjord, which tends to be stiffer.

The Garden Party is one of the few Hermes bags that is not lined in leather (it’s quite a bit less expensive as a result as well). It has just has one huge compartment where all your items go, and then one big zippered pocket on the side. I usually use the zippered pocket for my wallet and phone, and dump everything else in. There’s just one snap closure on the top, not the most secure but enough for me on a day to day basis.

The bag can be “unsnapped” to allow for more room- there are snaps on each side which allow the bag to expand – you can see an example of an expanded version below on Reese Witherspoon.

Reese Witherspoon - Hermes Garden Party Canvas Natural 04

A photo of my Garden Party on so you can get an idea of the size –

hermes garden party

One of my FAVORITE aspects of the Garden Party is that the handles are long enough to be carried on the shoulder – a very handy option! I know some ladies who used theirs as a diaper bag.

The bag can also be hand carried – you can see mine is “sagging” a bit here, but I love how it is so smooshy. That way it fits under my arm easily.

All in all I am a big fan of the Garden Party and think it’s one of the more versatile bags that Hermes has made. I often recommend the Garden Party to those who ask me about a good “starter” Hermes bag to introduce them to the brand (though I am by no means an expert!). It’s a classic design, easy to wear and priced between $2-$3.5k depending on the model. Not inexpensive by any means, but definitely one of the brand’s more friendlier priced bags.

Finally I will leave you with some of my favorite inspiration pictures of the Garden Party. Enjoy!

Jordana Brewster with an Etoupe Garden Party (girl has this bag in a least four colors!). Some more of Jordana with her gold Garden Party below:

You can see the Garden Party fits easily under the arm and still looks chic!

And finally a picture of Reese Witherspoon, who loves her toile/leather combo Garden Party.

If the Garden Party is a bit out of budget, a great option is this Michael Kors Saffiano tote, available at nearly 1/10th the price, in a variety of classic colors.

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  • Kira
    June 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Great summer bag! Could you please post dimensions πŸ™‚

  • Tabitha
    June 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Oh it’s lovely, very wearable, alas Hermes bags will remain a dream for me!

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

      Tabitha I think a GP would be perfect for you! There are many available that pop up for nice deals on the 2nd hand market πŸ™‚

  • Sarah
    June 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Love the simplicity of this bag! Such a classic that would look great with everything.

  • Tina
    June 4, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Such a great bag! Btw, I love your outfit in the picture, casual and fun!

  • Lilli
    June 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

    it is just fab!!:) xoxo

  • Mrs C
    June 4, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Good read! actually Garden Party is the Hermes that I like best.. it is easy, simple and of course the impeccable quality. Like the one Reese W was carrying πŸ™‚

    Come see my final part of maxi skirt styling!

  • Kira
    June 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

    is this TMP?

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Hmm I’m not sure what that means – it is the MM size, 36 cm

      • Kira
        June 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Not sure myself what it stands for. On purse forum they break it into TTPM, TPM, PM and MM.
        When you get a change, could you please post measurements.

        Thank you

        • Katherine
          June 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm

          I’m at work but grabbed this from another site (in inches): 14 W x 10.25 H x 6.75 D

  • Delilah
    June 4, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I love that bag!! Is that bag heavy at all??

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      No it is SUPER light! Another great thing about the bag!

  • laura
    June 4, 2012 at 11:41 am

    i want one of these SO badly – either in etoupe or the toille/leather combo πŸ™‚ perhaps if i save up enough i can nab one on my honeymoon in europe.

  • chanello
    June 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    This is going to sound bonkers, but at the H sale in NYC, they used to have those bags, SHELVES UPON SHELVES OF IT for more than 60% off…and no one would get them. And now…H doesn’t even do the sale.

    Sigh. Sadly, I totally want one now for traveling, it’s such a throw-around bag.

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Oh don’t tell me those things! It hurts my heart, LOL!

  • Joanne Vuong
    June 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I have the same one as Reese Witherspoon, probably the only one I can afford from Hermes. Lol. Love this post!

    xo Jo

  • hera
    June 4, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Argh thanks for bringing it up! I have been thinking about it as well. Love to be able to carry it on the shoulder for the larger size too. Maybe soon! My SA tried to talk me into buying one to fit in the 30cm birkin inside, which is great for travelling too!

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Yes it fits the 30 cm nicely! You need it L πŸ™‚

  • kiwifashion
    June 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Looks like a low key practical Hermes πŸ˜‰

  • New Petite
    June 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    That is perfect on you!

  • Cassie
    June 4, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I actually really like this bag. I can foresee it being my 2nd Hermes item, as I fully intend on buying a scarf first.

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      A scarf would be the perfect Hermes item to start with, so functional too!

  • anna
    June 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Sigh, I love the etoile one. This style would be so pratical. Now to start the savings funds.

  • Samantha
    June 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    LOVE this and thanks for sharing Katherine! I’ve been dreaming of the gold garden party ever since I saw it on Jordana on tpf! And thanks in advance for answering the question about the size – I was thinking it was the MM {which seems to be perfect}!!!

    xo, sam

  • chocolatecookiesandcandies
    June 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I love how Jordana Brewster and Reese Witherspoon carry their GP totes. I’ve seen so many pap photos of them with their bags. I often regret selling my TPM which actually comes with a shoulder strap. The size is comparable to a Birkin 30. I love your striped top and denim shorts! Looks like my uniform πŸ™‚

  • Lesley
    June 4, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks for introducing me to this. It sounds crazy, but my absolute dream bag is the Jypsiere b/c it would be super functional (but currently WAAAAAY out of my price range..maybe for my 30th bday??). This is definitely more affordable and probably a good start to Hermes, like you said.

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      I love the Jypsiere! So lovely – have you tried it on? Some find it a little “fussy” – a great alternative is the Evelyne which is also very functional and quite a bit less πŸ™‚

  • ChelsBop
    June 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Love this bag and the shoutout to Jordana, she is one of my favs!

  • Sarah
    June 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    What a lovely bag! It looks so classic and versatile – my favorite combination! πŸ™‚

    Keep calm and carry lipstick.

  • Girlie Blogger
    June 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    The bag is gorgeous. It’s a classic.

  • Fashion Blawger
    June 4, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    If you had asked a few minutes ago I would have told you I hated the garden party… [enter your post]. I love your style and appreciate your fashion sense so I opened up my mind to it. And while I do not love it you have made me look at it under a new light. When my SA suggested it in tosca to me I squirmed and pushed the box away without even trying it on. I just thought it would look way too big on me. But you are about my height (and I assume similar weight when I am having a good day, lol) so you showed me here that it might be able to work for me.

    Right now I am looking to add more structured bags to my collection so the garden party will not be on my list any time soon but it is no longer on the no list!

    A Preponderance of Fashion

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm

      Oh you are so kind – please try it on sometime but I agree if you are looking for a structured bag perhaps something else is better … though you can get an insert for the GP!

  • Sandy
    June 4, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Beautiful bag! Would you happen to know the handle drop length?


    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      I have no ruler and am lazy but looked it up online on a list and it says 15cm…which sounds right to me.

  • shirlyn
    June 4, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Kat,

    i enjoy reading your reviews, interviews & lovely modeling pics.

    i fell in love with the GP bag immediately, so much so that i bought 2 impulsively. first one, an all leather black negonda, second a toile/leather combo shoulder GP in etoupe. i love that it is not fussy with minimum hardware & its so roomy. its a great bag for work & play!

    when i realized that all leather isn’t too heavy & that i could use the regular GP as a shoulder bag, i returned the brand new toile/leather etoupe for a credit note. i am seriously considering getting the double sens in RC/RJ combination. What do you think of the DS? thanks!

    • Katherine
      June 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      I LOVE the double sens too! A great bag and similar price range as the GP right? Plus it’s reversible…the only thing that makes me hesitate is that the bag doesn’t stand up on its own which is important to me…is it to you? If not I’d definitely consider it! That red/pink combo sounds lovely!

  • Helen
    June 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    That is a great bag! I have been looking for a shoulder tote bag like the LV Neverfull MM. This is a very understated bag. I haven’t gotten the LV one because it’s kinda flashy with labels. I have to think about the Garden Party.

  • JJ
    June 5, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Agreed! The GP is a wonderful bag. Gold (along with Etoupe) is the perfect color. Casual chic at its best!

  • pam
    June 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

    what an amazing bag! it is such a classic and timeless piece! xoxo

  • Theresa
    June 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I can see why you can’t stop carrying it! I really love the fact that it’s one of those bags that you can wear for years to come. It’s very chic but at the same time classic. It’s a beauty! πŸ™‚


    The Habit

  • Alicia
    June 6, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Hi Katherine,

    I have the GP in marron something, can’t quite recall the full name. As for the leather, I have no idea if it’s fjord or negonda although I assume it’s the latter. It’s a very under the radar bag and I always get a trill when I spot other women wearing theirs. I am very sure that majority of folks won’t know it’s an Hermes.

  • kaloka
    June 6, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Hi Katherine,
    I am not sure if you have made a post about your experience with 2nd hand luxury bags. If not yet, please make a dedicated blog entry about it.


  • Sanita
    June 6, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Personally I would not get it; I think if you have a Hermes Birking & Kelly that’s already more than enough for me. Maybe one or two Chanel flap bags and couple of clutch bags one for fun and other one casual, perhaps in black to make sure its go’s with everything.
    I personality have 3 bags at the moment Prada Tote. Emilio Pucci fun bag as it’s got a fringe and mulberry clutch bag. every time I think of buying a new bag I think of money in my bank as I don’t have any credit cards & I love seeing my bank balance high πŸ™‚

    • Katherine
      June 6, 2012 at 8:14 am

      You have a lovely streamlined collection – I know I’ve been a bit bad lately, thank you for the reality check.

  • Nelah
    June 6, 2012 at 7:36 am

    This bag has never been under my radar because i personally feel it suit older ladies, but your post and photos convince me that it can look great on younger people. I first spotted this bag at Narita Airport this year when a ladya behind me put her bag in a bin at security check point. Hers wasin in black.

    The size and color you picked really looks good on you. I just love tote bag, very functional because you just throw stuff in there. I love a tote bag for everyday use. Would be nice if it comes in fun colors like orange, fushia or purple.

    • Katherine
      June 6, 2012 at 8:12 am

      It does come in fun colors! Orange and fuschia and purple too πŸ™‚

  • phiphis blog
    June 6, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    so beautiful!! i love the reviews on the hermes bags that are less “popular” but still wonderful classics too. the GP is stunning on you!! you are really highlighting the craftsmanship of H through these posts and pictures. *drooling* xox P

  • couturecoco
    June 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    It’s a beautiful bag on you! I’ve been lusting after a GP for the last several months but still undecided on the colour. I like both the toile (but not the natural colour) and all leather versions, it’s just the colour that’s the hardest to choose because it needs to be a ‘colour’ for me and not a ‘neutral’. The size I would have is the one smaller than yours 30cm or 12″ – better for my height and because I will use it as my more compact tote. Thanks for your review!

  • Mai
    June 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    oh, it’s absolutely beautiful! i would LOVE to have one…if i could afford it! lol

    i like the way you styled it!

  • greenpinkorange
    July 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I just discovered your Blog and your new Gold GardenParty via TPF and I LOVE both!!! This will be my first Hermes Bag in the next month…but I have problems to pick one (Gold, Etoupe OR a darker brown tone???) Will follow your Blog via bloglovin : )
    Maybe you want to visit me on
    XO and love from Germany

  • Anonymous
    July 16, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Fantastic stuff, these are the article types that pave the way for budding bloggers. A great starter kit for times of writers block too.Nice resource Kim!

  • Anonymous
    August 7, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    Would you mind showing us what fits in the Garden Party bag? For example, similar to your post comparing the 30 and 35 Birkin. It would be greatly appreciated, as I am considering this bag. Thanks Katherine!

  • Usha
    September 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Completely forgot you have this bag until I was prowling the PF thread! I bought mine in Rouge (country leather) last week from Paris and am ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE! The red is a fun play on the classic, understated plus I am a huge fan of colour πŸ™‚

    It is such great value for Hermes and a beautiful bag that I hope to use for many years to come.

    • Katherine
      September 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      YAY! Rouge Casaque? What a gorgeous gorgeous color, I love it! I’d love to have one myself πŸ™‚

      • Usha
        September 13, 2012 at 5:55 am

        Yes, a Rouge Casaque! I had a wonderful experience at the Rue De Sevres store too.

        (and goodness, I need to proof read before I post. Please excuse the many typos in my earlier comment)

  • grace
    January 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Love it!!! Is yours 36 cm? Is 36 cm the biggest gp ?
    I saw gold at the store but looks smaller than yours … My list will be etoupe even I love the gold color too πŸ™‚

    • Katherine
      January 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Yup its the 36 size πŸ™‚

  • B
    April 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Katherine,
    Thank you so much for the review! I am new to Hermes and I am planning to purchase my first Hermes bag. I wanted to ask you a question.. How’s your Garden Party holding up? I’ve heard from several people that it gets damaged easily especially on the corners, so I’m afraid to make the big purchase. How is yours so far? I would really appreciate it if you can share how it’s holding up so far. Thanks!! =)

    • Katherine
      April 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Mine has done well so far, no wear on the corners but I am careful not to drag it or set it on the ground since there are no feet to the bag. Plus the gold color should be fairly easy to touch up at Hermes spa, etc πŸ™‚

      • B
        April 15, 2013 at 5:27 pm

        Thanks! One more thing, do you know if the Etoupe GP holds up well too? The wear and tear might be deal braker for me since I’m ok with both etoupe or gold. (I have no one around me who has a GP) I’m thinking of buying it in one of the color and the Kelly in the other (in the future.. I hope.) Should I buy it in Gold since Kelly in Etoupe is harder to find.. Do you have any advice? Thanks, Katherine. I always appreciate your helpful response and advice!

  • Anonymous
    May 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    How do you organize your GP and how do you keep it’s shape? Mine is also in Negonda and it is so floppy and a big mess inside!

  • Anonymous
    December 26, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Hi Katherine:

    Just wondering–have your Garden Party handles become slightly darker? I have one in Etoupe and I have noticed a slight darkening.

    • Katherine
      December 27, 2015 at 9:43 am

      My gold ones did as well…you can always try tying Twillies around to save them πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    December 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Katherine: Thanks for your suggestion.