The Hermes Black Kelly

There is one item out there which I have always wanted to add to my closet: a black Hermes Kelly. To me it’s one of most classic and elegant bags out there – but in the past, I always thought that my clothes and general lifestyle were probably too casual for a black Kelly.

Since I started using my Vert de Gris Kelly however, I actually realize that the Kelly is a great casual bag. The strap makes it easy to carry (I’d love to add a canvas one), and the retourne style (versus sellier) adds a casual vibe.  Last year I mentioned to Mr. Feather that a black version was now on my future wish list, and he very charmingly blabbed that he had already ordered one, but had no idea when it was going to arrive. However, when Mr. Feather returned from a trip last week, he came through the door with a big orange bag!

Hermes Box

I was very happy to open up the box and discover what was inside – a black chevre Kelly in 28cm, with gold hardware. Yahoo!

Kelly closed

I’ve always admired the Hermes bags I’ve seen in chevre, and had told Mr. Feather that it was one of my favorite leathers. The only item that I have in chevre though, is a slightly banged up wallet (still in working condition) and he didn’t really see the appeal. He said that once he saw the leather in the shop, he definitely understood – it is lightweight, has a beautiful sheen, and even smells good! It has a wonderful feel against the hand.


I always love how sturdy the Kelly’s handles are and feel.

Kelly handle

And a little peek into one of my favorite details about the bag – the lining!

Peek of red

Red lining

I love red and was very happy when I saw this combination. I’ve always liked Hermes bags with color surprises, but am probably too boring to get one with contrasting piping or different colored panels (which I think can look super cool), so a relatively hidden lining is perfect for me. Whenever I open the bag to grab anything, seeing the lining makes me smile (and reminds me of my husband’s great taste!).

I also really like the 28cm size. It has been very difficult for me to find this size in stores, with perhaps the exception of Japan. The 28cm usually isn’t available (25cm is even more difficult) whereas the larger sizes in my experience have been more available. I think that 28cm is a wonderful size though, and can fit enough during the day while still being a manageable size for evening. It’s the perfect travel companion!  I have a size comparison post planned between the 32cm and 28cm size coming up, and will also share some of my personal learnings about finding the right Kelly. Thank you for reading along!


PS: I’ve received requests asking for other recommended black bags, as I know a Kelly isn’t the preferred style or price point for many. If you’re looking for fabulous craftsmanship in top materials, I can recommend these styles from Valextra and The Row.  The Row was a surprise for me, they have beautiful bags with nice, usable designs and leather linings. Saint Laurent also has a nice option (though it seems they’ve raised prices since the “Y” was dropped)!

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  • Sonya
    June 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

    This is the perfect classic quintessential bag. Wear it in good health!

  • tabitha
    June 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

    So jealous I can’t even finish rea….

  • tabitha
    June 21, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I have grudgingly returned :p

    Looking forward to the size comparison, and tell me more about chèvre, also black or etoupe as a first Kelly?

    First – make that one and only.

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

      Hi Tabitha, I will try and include as much detail as I can!

      You know it’s a tough call. Etoupe is very versatile and a lovely color and I like that it’s a different color than just “black”. I can see it going very well with a lot of your summer clothes – it’s lovely against white! Then again, I think black is the perfect color against a lot of the winter/fall clothes you wear – beautiful coats, trench coats, etc. A black Kelly with those is lovely. Please let me know what you decide and you can always email me too 🙂

  • E
    June 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Wow beautiful gift! Congratulations!

  • Khin
    June 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Ohhhh so thoughtful of Mr.Feather. Aghhh… I really need my DH to learn a few things from Mr. Feather; like taking initiative to place order H bags or Chanel bags just because you had mentioned.
    Enjoy your bag Katherine!!!

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Thank you Khin, it took a lot of training and believe me, plenty of mentions of mine go by and disappear into thin air, never to be seen again!

  • Amber
    June 21, 2013 at 9:33 am

    What a great bag! I can’t believe he remembered the leather you liked and that surprise lining is just so cool and stylish.

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 9:40 am

      Only due to my endless prattling about leathers…and he probably remembers box and chevre more keenly because I said they were more expensive… lol!

  • Adele
    June 21, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Oh Katherine! It’s beautiful. I love how you can trust your husband to get it right too!
    Would love you to check out my latest outfit post 🙂
    Have a fab weekend Hun xoxo

  • Call me M
    June 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

    This is gorgeous! I’m so jealous! hehe 🙂 I love the red lining, it makes it more special, like the red soles on Louboutins! 🙂

  • chanello
    June 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

    TOTAL. JELLY PANTS. amazing!!!

  • philip go
    June 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Beautiful! You (and your husband) have such a good taste. Am contemplating of getting my first H bag, but I don’t think I’m not worthy:P

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      You are definitely worthy, go for it!

  • Jo
    June 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Beautiful bag! Definitely on my wish list too. 🙂

    xo Jo

  • Anonymous
    June 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

    What kind of hardware does your bag have?

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Gold 🙂

  • Karen
    June 21, 2013 at 11:42 am

    The 28 Kelly is perfect, I got a Blue Lin this Feb in UK and thought it was too small at first but been liking it more and more on the size. Did you know how long did it take for the special order via FSH? I got very lucky and placed my 1st special on a 30 Birkin via local H store. Can’t wait to see that baby coming home with me. 🙂

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      28 in Blue Lin sounds lovely! It took about 5 months, orders seem to be faster nowadays (depending on the specs!)

      • Adelynn
        June 26, 2013 at 6:42 am

        Your bag is absolutely to die for! I got really excited when I read your post, I didn’t know you could order bags from Hermes in exact colour/leather/hardware combinations! Can I possibly ask how you do that, or if some countries allow it, because I’m told that in the UK, the only way is to go to the store physically to check for availability and just purchase whatever they have available. Thanks!!!!

        • Katherine
          June 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

          Hi Adelynn, it depends on your relationship with the store and the store in general…best of luck!

  • Anonymous
    June 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    She is a stunner!!! I couldn’t be happier for you!

    • Katherine
      June 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Jan
    June 21, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Your husband has exquisite and impeccable taste!

  • Trang
    June 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Slowly catching up on your blog. One of the perks of being a new mommy is that I get mandatory reading time at 1am!

    I am so happy for you (read: so jealous. So extraordinarily jealous). My hubby would never surprise me with a desgner purse, though he is fine with my purchasing them out of personal spending cash. I hope to be a hermes customer one day when I am back in the workforce. In the meantime, please share more pictures so that I can live vicariously through you. Please!

    • Katherine
      June 22, 2013 at 9:34 am

      Hi Trang, congrats on motherhood and thank you so much for the kind words!

  • Ava
    June 22, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Wow, your husband has really exceptional taste! How gorgeous and lovely and the perfect size for you!
    And THAT LINING! O. M. Goodness gracious, it is just outstandingly gorgeous!

    Hurry and send off your husband to France, again, let’s see what he brings you next! 🙂 lol

    As soon as I saw your bag I wondered, “I wonder if she will name it bc it’s such a little stunner!” ha!
    Thank you, as always, for sharing. SO GORGEOUS!

    • Katherine
      June 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Thank you my friend, I hope you are having a nice weekend and that you found some goodies at the Chanel sale!

  • Linda
    June 22, 2013 at 7:22 am

    Oh my gosh she’s a beauty, congrats!! I’ve been meaning to email you for awhile regarding questions on Hermes bags haha. I can’t believe your hubby found black and gold–so good. I love that color combo and have been trying to track down black and gold on my next CDC and it is taking FOREVER to find.

    • Katherine
      June 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Linda, I hope you find your CDC!

  • latkesanddimsum
    June 22, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Hi Kat!

    Such a sweet husband you have! Congratulations on this bag! I have a black Kelly 28 with GHW and it’s one of my absolute workhorses. It’s a great size, so easy to carry (and take along on trips). Enjoy!

    • Katherine
      June 22, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Thanks! So glad to hear that you’ve found yours versatile, it sounds lovely!! 🙂

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    June 22, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Congratulations, Katherine!!! I have a soft spot for Kellys but then again, you already know that. So envious of you at the moment. It’s so sweet of your hubby to come home with a SO Kelly.

  • audrinajulia
    June 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

    what a beautiful kelly bag and the ghw makes it more stunning and elegant to look at. Glad to know that after many pieces of hermes bags in your closet you finally found the right size and style that suits your taste and lifestyle. Mr. Feather is always a sweet man at the beginning while you introduce him to your article, and aside from that he has always a graet sense of taste.:) Congrats again for your new Kelly abg Katherine that you’ll be added in your amazing collection. And for me i will have a goodnight sleep now after seeing your beautiful Kelly.

  • audrinajulia
    June 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    sorry for the typing error Katherine, I just have so many thoughts on my mind to say. Swoon! Enjoy your Kelly.:)


    • Katherine
      June 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Audrina you are way too kind 🙂

  • Linda
    June 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Congrats on a gorgeous bag! I hope my next bag is a 28 cm Kelly- I have asked my SA for one but who knows when it arrives… Hugs Linda

    • Katherine
      June 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

      Thanks Linda you will love the size! I hope you get it soon1

  • June
    June 22, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    It’s gorgeous!

    I love the story about how you got it! Le sigh!

  • Sonita Lontoh
    June 22, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    How fabulous, Kat! A special order Kelly!

    I’m jealous you have such a fab hubbie like Mr. Feather! 😉 My hubbie would never get me anything fashion or jewelry-related ;(


    • Katherine
      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Hi Sonita thank you! Believe me it is a rare occasion!

  • roza1011
    June 23, 2013 at 12:50 am

    The kelly is GORGEOUS, how did Mr Feather manage to get it??? !!! I just got a vintage kelly 32 in box leather a week ago. Love it to bits too 

    • Katherine
      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Hi roza, thank you! He ordered it via our store 🙂 A Kelly in box leather is to die for, congratulations!

  • Amanda
    June 23, 2013 at 4:43 am

    Gorgeous bag! What a great treasure, and what an amazing hubby!

    I just wanted to let you know about purse organizer inserts so that the leather doesn’t get scratched.
    Google Samorga, you can also find posts about them on TPF.

    • Katherine
      June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks so much Amanda! I use them for my Garden Party but probably should add some more 🙂

      • Amanda
        June 25, 2013 at 5:26 am

        Great! Just found out about them from a friend a few days ago so I thought I would spread the word. Can’t believe I hadn’t heard of them sooner!

  • TC
    June 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    well done, Mr. Feather! you’re a lucky duck, Kat. if my husband ever surprises me with an Hermes bag, any Hermes bag, i would die of shock! so i just get them myself. trying to decide on my next special order now i have to think about another kelly after seeing your gorgeous bag.

    • Katherine
      June 25, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Hi T, thanks so much! I’m fairly certain this will be a very rare event…lol! I always love hearing about your orders, please let me know what kind of Kelly you ultimately decide on!

  • TC
    June 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    i forgot to add. i absolutely love The Row’s Day Luxe Tote. have you tried it? i suspect it is being discontinued or Barney’s won’t be carrying it anymore; either would be incredibly sad.

    Valextra is amazing as well. and much easier to place special order than Hermes.

    • Katherine
      June 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      No I haven’t! I’ll have to check the Barney’s here. I tried on the classic shoulder bag in black lizard at Wilkes Bashford here – it just caught my eye, I had no idea what it was, saw the price tag, then figured out that it was from The Row! Really a pleasant surprise. I love that tote and the sale price is really, really good. Now you have me tempted even though I definitely do not need another tote!

  • Nutty
    June 26, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Gorgeous bag! You are so lucky to get this bag!
    I enquired about a kelly bag the other day at my local boutique and was told the waiting list has been closed for the pass 5 years…sometimes I wonder if the staff are telling the truth!

    • Katherine
      June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am

      Hi Nutty, keep checking! Maybe one will turn up for you 🙂

      • Nutty
        June 27, 2013 at 12:06 am

        Am definitedly going to keep trying but its depressing to hear that those on the waiting list (closed 5 years ago) are still waiting for their bags…unbelievable right!

        Would love to know how you travel with this size…all along I thought the 28cm would be the perfect size for dinners since its so small…

        Do enjoy your kelly!!

        • Katherine
          July 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm

          I think this bag will be perfect for travel and will post how it goes!

  • B
    January 22, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Congrats! Such a lovely bag. I’ve been wanting to buy my first designer bag, but every time I’m about to pay for it, I chicken out and suddenly think it’s a huge amount of money for a hand bag! Also, it doesn’t help that my husband is completely against such purchases.

    What advice to you have for me? How do you justify your designer purchases?

  • Ombretta
    July 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Katherine! Is your blue jean Bearn wallet in chèvre? 🙂

    • Katherine
      July 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

      It’s turqoise and yes!

  • Kirsi
    July 1, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Hi If you by preused Kelly how you can be sure that bag is not copied? Is there in bag serial number and autentich card identification like Chanel bags? Thank’s a lot your answer beforehand. Kirsi

    • Katherine
      July 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      No but there are some other markers of authenticity – the best way is to take it into your local Hermes.

  • Kirsi
    July 2, 2016 at 12:27 am