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