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When it comes to Paris, you can be sure of three things: The croissants are amazing, the architecture is beautiful, and the handbag game is on point. Whether it’s the fact that Paris is home to many high-end brands or there’s just something in the espresso, the women there have their hand on the pulse of the designer bags worth having. On my recent trip to Paris, there were two specific brands that I saw countless times. Here’s what they are and even how to get the look for less!
1. Goyard Saint Louis Tote
I couldn’t go two steps without seeing a Goyard tote bag slung across a stylish woman’s shoulder and I can see why. It’s no surprise that one of the most popular handbags in Paris is well, handbags headquartered in Paris!
Fashion lovers like yourself may have seen this bag around without really knowing what brand it is, as the logo is subtle and inconspicuous. Which, by the way, is the Parisian way of designer dressing- subtle and not showy.
Maison Goyard, or Goyard Paris, started out as a trunk and box-making business in the late 19th century, aka, a French institution. In time and as the business grew, the Goyardine canvas was invented and this is the pattern that you may recognize and love.
Just like any true artist, Edmond Goyard (a descendant), “signed” his canvas with his family name, and the pattern you see makes a “Y” for GoYard- the central letter in the family.
(Can I have a central family letter? Sounds cool.)
With its origins in travel luggage, Goyard has a focus on using high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship to make the products last and be suitable for travel. With the desire to create timeless silhouettes instead of trends, a handbag from Goyard means having a handbag that will last.
Okay, history lesson over. So what about the price?
As far as designer bags go, a Goyard tote is not completely out of reach, especially if you are shopping used. (Which, by the way, is a good idea because a Goyard tote can not be bought new online- head to a boutique instead.)
From sites like Tradesy, Fashionphile, Rebag, and TheRealReal, you can find a tote anywhere from 1-2.5k.
Why get a Goyard tote? Well, I certainly can’t say that anyone needs a designer bag as we all know that designer anything is a luxury and a want. But if you are considering getting a designer bag anyway, there are reasons why a Goyard tote would be a good purchase:
- A tote bag is more practical than a designer fad, like a micro bag.
- The leather canvas will last longer and not stain as easily as fabric.
- It’s a Parisian favorite.
- It’s inconspicuous and doesn’t try too hard as even the logo is hidden. A breath of fresh air from some other brands.
- It is not as widely seen as the Louis Vuitton Neverfull in America- a pro if you like having something a little more unique.
- The 1-2k price tag (while still hefty) is more reasonable than other designer brands.
Dupes can be a slippery slope. Not only because what counts as a dupe vs a knockoff is a blurry line at times, but some feel as if you should have the real thing or nothing at all.
If you’re looking for a dupe for the Goyard tote, then consider a tote bag by Lancaster Paris. It’s still a Parisian brand and similar style, though it clocks in at $320 new- a major price difference.
Some may say this comparison is like Michael Kors VS Louis Vuitton. (One tries but it’s not the same thing.) However, I have a Lancaster Ikon tote bag and I’m pleased with the quality. And it’s really easy to keep clean too!
Related: I’m Going to Paris and These are the 10 Essentials on My Paris Packing List
2. Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote Bag
Parisian fashion lovers on a budget rejoice! If you love the idea of dressing Parisian and having an affordable and classically Parisian tote bag that’s not a dupe, then a Longchamp bag is for you.
Just like Goyard, Longchamp’s origins didn’t start in handbags. What started as a small shop creating luxury leather smoking pipes has since expanded into a major brand producing well-crafted handbags.
This bag consisting of nylon and leather is meant to be sleek yet durable. The spacious tote makes it a perfect choice for traveling, weekending, and even using it for the office or as a “mom” bag. It’s an everyday essential and a French staple, but best yet, it’s a lot more affordable with a brand new bag only costing you $145.
Why get a Longchamp tote?
- The price makes this bag a lot more accessible, making it a perfect birthday, Christmas, or Mother’s Day gift.
- The large size is practical and versatile.
- The silhouette is simple, ensuring it won’t go out of style.
- It’s easy to clean and durable.
The price tag of this bag makes it a lot more accessible, which I personally see as a pro, but it does mean that I saw it way more and even on high schoolers too. Though I do see the budget-friendly price being the selling point, even if “everyone” has it.
If your goal is to have a classic Parisian bag that matches your whole wardrobe, then you can’t go wrong with either option!
To further get inspired and see what French women are wearing right now, then check out 20 Parisian Outfits I Captured on the Street, Part 1.