A Bag That Lasts Forever...

I think it was at least a decade ago, maybe more, when I first noticed the Longchamp brand. I had recently moved to Manhattan and within a few months I realized that I kept seeing the same tote bag again and again. I didn't know what the brand was or why everyone had it, but it was everywhere I turned and eventually, while cheek-to-cheek with strangers on the subway, I manage to take a peek at the discreetly embossed logo. It was the Longchamp Le Pliage tote.

Large Le Pliage tote in New Navy

Curious, I looked it up when I got home and my jaw nearly dropped. $125 for a small Pliage tote and $145 for the larger size. I didn't understand how a fabric tote bag with a few bits of leather for the handles and flap could command such a price and back then I also had no knowledge of Longchamp as a French luxury leather goods company, but eventually I gave in. All the girls at my law school seemed to have it, and by the time I was a 2L I just couldn't resist the urge to fit in. I bought the large Le Pliage in brown, chosen only because that was the color that was on sale. The brown turned out to be serendipitious choice, being a very practical color in terms of holding up well to heavy daily use  and also easy to wear no matter what else I had on, perhaps because it matched my hair rather closely.

In any case, the Pliage tote turned out to be an amazing magical bag. Somehow it could fit my laptop, textbooks, and various other important (and heavy!) items with ease, but it didn't it look sloppy or ungraceful. The bag itself weighs next to nothing, so even when it was stuffed full I could schlep myself to and fro around Manhattan without shoulder pain. Another point of practicality is that the fabric of the bag is coated on the inside to be quite water resistant, which I appreciated very much during the months of inclement weather when I of course continued to use public transport as usual- I never had to worry about my precious electronics, even when the wind and rain were coming at me sideways for blocks on end.

Even after I finished law school and left my city life behind me, the Longchamp remained at my side, ever faithful. It was a great diaper bag when I had my son, and now that I'm no longer dealing with diapers it makes for a fantastic "personal item" when traveling, being passable as a woman's purse and fitting neatly under the seat in front but also being extremely capacious and far better able to handle all the things I cram into it than any of my "real" handbags could. Basically it's an awesome bag when I need to carry a ton of stuff but still want to look/feel stylish. Which brings me to the present day. After a decade of constant use that involved no baby-ing whatsoever, this is what my dear tote looks like now.

Observe, the whiskering of the fabric down the side seams, the slightly mottled appearance of the fabric and the holes in all four worn out corners. However, also be aware that those holes have been developing for 10 years and yet the structure of the tote did not suffer critical failure even when it was absolutely loaded to the max and flung across floors and seats around the world. The stains on the brown exterior are actually hardly noticeable in person, which while partially due to the fact that dark colors always hide scuffs and stains better than lighter shades, is still really good for such an old and heavily used item. I've definitely gotten my price per wear money's worth out of it, and I'm not done yet! I'm going to try some DIY repairs and cleaning to see if I can improve some of the damage to my long-suffering tote. Stay tuned!

**This post is not sponsored in any way. All links are posted for informational purposes only and earn no commission.**


  1. Wow, that bag has certainly served you well, and has given value for every penny you spent for it!

    1. Yes it really has! It was used heavily and daily for years in a row, and even know it still does heavy duty work when called upon without complaint. :) I definitely appreciate the quality.


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