Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette Accessoires – First Impressions and Review.

I think that with all my reviews of this brand, the fact I love Louis Vuitton isn’t a particularly surprising thing. So when I went up to London a couple of months ago, I decided to treat myself and go into New Bond Street Store to buy myself a new little goodie.

It was part of my 24th birthday celebration, and I had some business to attend to whilst in the London flagship store (a post about that will be coming soon). So, 3 months in, and what are my thoughts on this very popular accessory? Have a read, and I’ll tell you.

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How I got a FREE piece of Louis Vuitton Luggage.

First things first — this is a completely true story. I’m not sure how, or why I was lucky enough to get this, but I did. So I can’t say this is a foolproof system or not. But this is my experience in the Nice and Florence boutiques of Louis Vuitton, and how I somehowmanaged to get a free piece of Louis Vuitton luggage.


 

Backstory

 

In May this year, my mother and I took our annual holiday together and instead of choosing a cultural city break as we normally pick, we decided to go on our first cruise. On this cruise, I knew it was the perfect time to add to my Louis Vuitton collection and had saved up enough money to buy my Jeanne Wallet (my full review on this is up on my blog here)

I found out that in our first port of call, which was Villefranche-Sur-Mer, there are direct train links to Nice, and Mother and I decided that this is where we wanted to spend the day. There was also a Louis Vuitton in Nice, and I thought to buy a French piece of Louis Vuitton on the French Riviera would be so chic.

The Nice Boutique.

 

So off we went on a day of sight-seeing. Nice was a lovely city albeit slightly overcast on the day. But we wanted to stretch our legs and walk along the famous promenade. One of our first ports of call was Louis Vuitton however, and upon entry to the Avenue de Suède boutique, we were helped by a lovely sales assistant who helped me find my exact wallet and pay for it very smoothly.

From what I gather, the Nice Louis Vuitton is over two floors and has everything from Ready-to-Wear Women’s and Men’s fashion, leather goods, perfume and books, along with a personalisation service. The shop was very clean and well-stocked, but did get very busy as downstairs can feel overwhelming if you’ve got quite a few people milling around. I didn’t venture upstairs, so I can’t comment if it goes back or out any further.

The Luggage Tag Story

 

This is the part of the story where I’ve got to mention that this cruise coincided with my birthday. And after not knowing what to get me whilst in the UK, my mother asked me if there was anything I wanted on the cruise.

And after deciding that picking an excursion on the cruise (these day trips tend to run quite pricey when they are organised by the ship itself) I also asked for a Louis Vuitton Luggage Tag. I had lusted after a luggage tag for a while after seeing a few people carrying personalised ones on their Speedy’s and thought it looked so classy against the Monogram print, and after scouring purse forums, I’ve found out that the best thing to do was just ask in the boutiques if they stocked them.

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So, my Mother and I asked the manager of the Nice boutique whether or not there was the possibility of buying a luggage tag from them. I had read that the luggage tags range from about £40-£100 (dependant on shop/source/size) and we were willing to buy one then and there.

The manager initially said no, but eventually disclosed that they may have them in tomorrow. However, as the cruise ship was departing for Italy the day after, there wasn’t a possibility that we could go back. So we explained that we would be in Florence the day after, and would have to leave it.

He then told us that we could certainly go and ask in the Florence boutique, as they may have something they could offer. My mother and I thanked him and left the Louis Vuitton boutique to enjoy the rest of the day in the South of France.

The Florence Boutique.

The next day we arrived in the beautiful city of Florence. After my birthday-present guided tour, we were allowed a few hours to grab some food and go exploring the historical streets before the coach took us back to the cruise ship.

My mother and I had a leisurely stroll around the city before making our way towards Louis Vuitton. To be honest, at this point, I didn’t care if I got anything. I didn’t want to make this whole trip about ‘Alice hitting up every Louis  Vuitton she comes across’. This was going to be our last shot.

Unlike in Nice, where I was carrying my Speedy and looking all glam, I had dressed down for the hot Italian weather and wasn’t every carrying my new wallet. (I like getting insurance on them before taking them out anywhere).

But we walked into Piazza degli Strozzi boutique like we owned the entire company. We, first of all, talked to a very helpful sales assistant who, after listening to our query, got the store manager. The manager was incredibly helpful and told us to wait a few minutes. He disappeared out the back, and after about ten minutes of us walking around the shop, he came back and led us upstairs. We were given water before sitting down with us and saying that he had luggage tags, and wanted to know would I like them personalised.

At this point I was stunned. I assumed that we wouldn’t get anywhere, and my only chance of getting a luggage tag would be through buying a huge piece of luggage or suitcase in the future.

(In retrospect, I think the manager had phoned up the Nice shop to confirm who we were, and that we had, in fact, bought something from Louis Vuitton the day before).

He showed us the different size lettering and fonts etc, before taking my initials down and having them take to be hot-stamped.

The whole process took about ten minutes, and I was thrilled when it came back.

But then it came down to payment. He put the luggage tag in its own little box and bag, and when I said ‘so, where do I pay? How much for it?’ (If it was more than I was expecting, I would’ve gone half or more with Mum. I genuinely had no idea how much it would cost) but he just dismissed us and said ‘No no. Free. A gift.’

I was beyond stunned.

So, here I was. Dressed down like sweaty English tourist, and walking out of Louis Vuitton, clutching my luggage tag and not having to spend a penny that day.

And from the minute I got on the boat, the luggage tag has sat proudly on my Speedy.

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But like I said, this is my experience. One that I still can’t understand or really know why it happened that way. Is that commonplace in Louis Vuitton? Do they think I was someone special? Who knows.

If anybody has any questions/queries about this, then please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Louis Vuitton Jeanne Wallet – First Impressions and Review

For readers of this blog, I’m sure it’s become apparent to you that I’m a big fan of Louis Vuitton. As you’ve read on my other reviews (Speedy, Neverfull, Coin Purse) I find the brand to have products that are both good value for money, as well as being highly durable. So when I decided that I wanted a new wallet, I knew that it was going to be a Louis Vuitton. But as the brand has over 30 different designs, with countless other colours/fabrics etc, I knew that this was going to be a hard decision.

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I was originally going for the Caïssa wallet, as I liked the design and the slimness, but then I realised that all my cards/cash wouldn’t fit in it. I’m definitely somebody who carries a lot with them in their wallet. I carry stamp cards, pictures, handwritten notes and receipts on my day to day basis, and I’ve done this for years. So I thought that I may have to save up more for something like the Insolite organiser.

But when I stumbled upon the Jeanne wallet on their website, I knew that this was the one that had caught my heart.

And upon purchasing it in the Nice boutique in the South of France in May, I fell more in love with the practicality of it, and how it feels so different from anything I’ve ever owned before.

The Wallet – Size/Design

The Jeanne Wallet is definitely a lot wider than some of the other designs – easily spanning the width of my hand and has an envelope design, as opposed to the accordion design of something like a Zippy. So if you’re wanting a slim, small wallet that will easily fit inside a narrower bag like a Chanel Boy or a Gucci Soho, this may not be the one for you.

With a metal button holding the wallet together (I preferred this design against the leather button of the Josephine, as I’ve heard that can get quite badly worn after multiple use) the wallet opens to reveal a-shaped slot in the front in which a card holder sits very snugly.

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Now, this is the beauty of the wallet for me. The wallet comes with one large open pocket along the back (this is where I’ve put my paper stamp cards and train/railway tickets) and inside it has 6 in-built card slots and one large open section.

Within this interior open section, a detachable zipped coin purse sits very snugly, with a V-shaped cut out design that is perfect for quickly putting a bank card or ID if you just wanted to put your cards/money into a smaller bag.

For my wallet, I have the Monogram print with the Fuchsia interior. You can also get it in the very popular Rose Ballerine colour, and I’ve even heard you can combine colours to make a trio of different colours for your wallet if you visit the right Louis Vuitton.

But I have mine in one whole colour. Although I’ve heard the Rose Ballerine is very beautiful to look at, it apparently marks very badly. And when you’ve got coins or notes rubbing up against the lining, this could very quickly become an issue.

Durability/Usability

For me, I love that the wallet features a detachable card holder and coin purse – as it offers a huge selection of choice. You can take out the card holder for a night out (the card holder has one slot in the front, and can hold two extra cards inside) or you can put your card in the coin purse etc.FullSizeRender (3)
Or, if you just wanted to grab your coin purse (perfect for car-parking/meters or public transport), you don’t have to carry your whole wallet out. Everything is completely detachable and sits very nicely together when completely full. The wallet is fairly heavy when completely stuffed – at the moment, I have quite a lot of coins and cards, so I can vouch for how weighty it is.

Like all Louis Vuitton products, this has the signature Canvas/Leather mix, so it is very durable. I’ve spilt suncream, makeup and toothpaste on my wallet, and all it needs is a quick wet wipe clean. The button closure at the front feels very secure and never pings open, but I am very cautious about completely overstuffing it.

What I have noticed about this wallet is that when you do fill it up, you have to be aware that the pockets stretch. I’ve noticed it particularly on the back open section, as it really has stretched a fair bit, and I’m not sure that even if I take all the stuff out, it may not spring back to flatness. So far nothing has fallen out of the stretched sections, but I will make sure I update this page if something has happened.

I know a lot of people don’t like this when it happens to their products, as they want them to remain fairly pristine, so you’ll have to bear it in mind.

Price 

Louis Vuitton prices range from fairly low to quite high in their luxury goods sections, and wallets are no exception. Online, the Jeanne wallet retails (as of June 2017) for £355, but as I bought my abroad, I paid £331. Now, whether this is because of the Euro-Sterling exchange rate at the time, I’m not sure. So definitely check your prices when you’re abroad.

Is it Worth it?

As you can probably tell, I’m a big Louis Vuitton fan. So I think that the whole brand is worth the money. If you’re wanting to dip your toe in the world of luxury goods, a wallet is a good way to go, as it’s not a huge investment like a bag, and one that you could probably resell for a little loss on authentic preloved sites.

What I love about the Jeanne wallet is that it’s almost customisable. You can take out what you want for the day, and know that it will always come back together well. So it works for both big bags and small bags. And for the price point (bearing mind its only a little bigger than a Zippy, and the wallets start at around the £500 mark), you’re well worth trying it out.fullsizerender-1.jpg

Jeanne Facts and Figures 

– 19 x 11 x 1 cm (length x height x width)
– 7.5 x 4.3 x 0.4 inches

Check out Louis Vuitton’s website for more information.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM – First Impressions and Review.

As stated in my Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere blogpost, I was saving up for my next Louis Vuitton bag. I knew that this bag would be the fruits of my worklife, and would take a lot of saving and time on my behalf, but I was excited for the opportunity.

Whilst shopping for my Bandouliere, I was shown a Neverfull as a comparison piece, and became enamoured. The structure of the tote bag was something I was sorely missing from my handbag collection, and I wanted this bag to be something that meant a lot to me.

Louis Vuitton Handbag Choices.

Now, like with the Speedy Collection, the Neverfull has different sizes that can make choosing the right bag quite difficult. With three concrete sizes:

  • The Neverfull PM (Smallest of the lot with dimensions = 11.4 x 8.7 x 5.1 inches
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  • The Neverfull MM (Middle size – Dimensions = 12.6 x 11.4 x 6.7 inches)
  • The Neverfull GM (Largest size – Dimensions = 15.7 x 13.0 x 7.9 inches)

The size you choose is all dependent on what you would use it for and what you would pack in it.

From what I can tell, the PM size seems to be quite dainty, the MM seems to be a good day tote/everyday bag, and the GM seems to be a monster of a bag, perfect for luggage/weekend away/hefty office work. However, I knew myself that I didn’t want or need the GM. I’m sure that in the future I’d love to purchase a GM as my definite oversized tote, but for my first Neverfull, I was happy with the smaller MM size.

Also, like with the Speedy Collection, there are a huge amount of different colours, interior and exterior design and personalisation options. I decided to go for the Damier Ebene print (the darkered checkered print) with the Red interior lining. Only a few weeks ago, Louis Vuitton did release the Ebene print with the beautiful Rose Ballerine pink lining, which is a gorgeous mixture, but due to hearing issues with the lining marking quite easily, I wanted to go for something hardier.

For the MM, I paid £835. Louis Vuitton had just done a price increase, which boosted the MM up from £795, which was unfortunate timing on my behalf, but luckily I had saved extra.

Shipping 

I bought the bag online via the Louis Vuitton website, which actually was bit of a palaver, but a phone call to customer service eased my mind. I found that with a bank transfer, Louis Vuitton didn’t confirm when the received the transfer, nor when it cleared. I had to physically ring up and check.

For a UK resident as myself, the bag took a good week or so to arrive from door to door. The shipping was free, and they did give you a tracking number. However, the UPS courier didn’t specify what time they would arrive, so I had to have it shipped to my work address rather than home, as I wouldn’t want it to be delayed or without a signature upon arrival.

The bag came with all receipts, letters and a dustbag, but not in a branded LV box which surprised me. However, I was thrilled when it turned up, and couldn’t wait to use it.

The Review.

As I’ve had this bag for over a month now, I’m comfortable enough to write a review on how it has fared, and what I use it with.

Firstly, the bag is plenty big enough for what I usually carry around. I was really wavering between the MM and GM, just because I couldn’t visualise how big it was going to be (my memory of the size I saw in shop is fairly bad). In my bag I can fit:

  • A Macbook Pro 13inch laptop with charger
  • An A4 notebook
  • Wallet
  • Keys on a large fluffy keyring
  • iPod
  • iPhone
  • A full size deodrant
  • A bagged lunch
  • A scarf
  • A fiction book
  • A 750ml waterbottle
  • A micro umbrella.fullsizerender-1

(Actual image of my Neverfull with everything inside)

Before you ask, yes this makes the bag very heavy. However, it never makes it dreadfully uncomfortable, and I don’t necessarily use the bag for long periods of time when I pack this full. In this brief time I’ve had it, I’ve not noticed any fraying of the straps or any wear to the bag due to how heavy I weigh it down by. This could all change over the years.

Unlike my Speedy, I chose the Damier Ebene print. This choice comes with the treated dark leather straps which are very different from the Speedy’s vachetta leather, that will patina over the time. The Damier Ebene straps won’t change colour, unlike the Speedy. The straps started out initially very firm and stiff, however I am confident that they will soften over the years of use.

Like with the Speedy, the Damier Ebene is a special canvas mix that is waterproof and easily wipe clean, so it’s pretty durable.

The interior of the bag is a gorgeous dark red with black piping, and comes with an deep interior zippered pocket and detachable pochette, that is attached to the bag with a D-ring. The pochette is in the Damier Ebene print and fairly spacious, but can bulge if you stuff it with bulky or circler items. I’ve found that it holds its shape with a compact mirror, small lipstick and tissues. I’ve also used the pochette as a clutch for evenings out, and is plenty big for my cards/iPhone/keys. The pochette can be also used as an extra pocket if you were inclined to keep things in pouches.

The bag also comes with a clasp at the top to offer some security and keep the bag partially shut.

Drawbacks 

The only drawback I’ve properly noticed with this bag is the lack of zip across tfullsizerenderhe whole bag. As the tote is open, all your belongings are on show constantly, which can deter the more safety conscious of us. It’s also a risk for rain. What I’ve done to combat this is I usually layer a thick scarf across my belongings, which can be used to keep some of the rain and eagle-eyed snoops off your possessions. You can also invest in a zippered bag organiser from retailers if you’re so inclined.

Also, as the bag isn’t particularly structured, there can be a deal of sag at the bottom. I’ve had to invest in a base shaper for mine, as I didn’t like how it looked and worried how it could damage my bag. I’ll be doing a review on that when it arrives in the post.

Conclusion

The minor drawbacks are the only issues I’ve had with this bag so far. I think it’s a beautifully designed bag, and spacious enough for my over-packing but couldn’t appear too oversized or out of balance. I love the Damier Ebene print, and I’m happy I chose the red interior. With the base shaper, it’ll help it in shape, and I love using this bag on my heavier workload days, and keep my Speedy for the rainy shopping trips.

However, give me your opinions? If you’ve got a GM, let me know and we’ll have a big handbag discussion in the comments.