Since I added an Hermes Bolide bag to my closet a few years ago, I’ve become convinced that it’s one of the best and truly classic bags that the brand has ever produced. It’s incredibly versatile, beautiful (though I give the top marks to the Kelly for beauty), and easy to use. My own bag was a little black version (see the review here) with silver hardware in the 31cm size – and I loved it!
Last year however, my mom mentioned that she liked my Bolide, and decided to “take it over” for awhile. Don’t we all love our moms? Mine is notoriously difficult to shop for, so I was thrilled to finally have an item that she actually wanted. After a while though, I missed the bag, and thought I would add another. I wanted black, but was very hesitant to get the exact same bag again…as sometimes my mom and I “share”. So when I had an opportunity to add a black Bolide, but in a larger size, I was very happy to do so!
With my new larger size, I thought it would be the perfect chance to do a size comparison between the 31 and 35 size (borrowing back the 31 from my mom for a day!).
Both Bolides are in black, with palladium hardware. The one on the left is clemence, and the right is fjord. Fjord in my experience takes dye more “lightly” like togo/clemence…and you can see the the black looks a bit lighter here as well.
The left size is also the 31 cm size – which I would equate to more of a handbag style. The one on right is a 37 – now called 35 from Hermes (yes the description shrunk two inches, but the size didn’t change at all). For someone of my height (5’1), I’ve always found the 31 to be an ideal size, but I was surprised by how much I liked the 35. Yes it was larger, but because of it’s shape, it’s footprint was significantly smaller than a say, 35 Birkin.
Above is a photo illustrating all that can fit within the two sizes (with room to spare). I’ve always found the 31 deceptively roomy – it’s definitely large enough for my daily essentials – a notebook, my Kindle, a wallet, makeup bag, phone and sunglasses.
For the 35, you can easily add an iPad (full size), shawl, and water bottle to the mix. For me, it’s the perfect size for travel and work.
Again – I don’t like my bags stuffed – so you could easily fit more. On a day to day basis, I usually don’t pack the iPad – but sometimes there is a substantial lunch inside!
Now – for some photos of the two sizes on! First up – the side view. I think it’s honestly when worn on the strap that the difference in the two sizes are really apparent. If you couldn’t tell – the 31’s on the left, 35’s on the right.
Now, the front (hand carry) view. You can obviously see that there’s a difference in the two sizes, yet it isn’t so significant.
And one more comparison shot, of the two side profiles. You can really see how much larger the 35 is here!
Overall, I am a fan of the Bolide in the 31 and 35 sizes, and think that both of them can have a place in most wardrobes. To me, for someone of my height and tolerance for weight, the 31 is much more of a day purse, while the 35 is a work and travel sized bag. If I could only have one, it would still be the 31 – but I know that many think the same as the 35.
I hope that this was a helpful post for some of out there who might be thinking of adding a wonderful Bolide to your closet! I would recommend this bag in either size, any day!
PS: For those looking for a more wallet friendly option to the Bolide, I like the “Roseau” by Longchamp (in the non patent), and the “Bleecker” by Coach. Each of these has a tote option as well as a longer shoulder strap, are full leather, and would be good options for work. Plus, they’re each under $500.