Photobucket is down after a week or so of intermittent craptitude—therefore, in lieu of the Essie Retro Revival polishes I was getting ready to post, I’m doing a quick review of one of my favorite handbags!
Linea Pelle, the Los Angeles-based leather bag and accessories company, has been one of my favorite bag designers for several years. Their name literally means leather line in Italian. It’s a bit funny, because the first time I came across Linea Pelle bags, namely, their popular Dylan line, I didn’t like them much. They just seemed too laid back and casual to me, with their soft shapes and unfinished leather edges. But, when I spotted a well-worn Linea Pelle in the wild, I was bowled over! They’re gorgeous in real life! (This is basically the opposite of what happened to me with YSL’s original Muse and Sac de Jour bags: I drooled over photos of them, but when I saw and handled them in real life, I was quite disappointed.)
Their only drawback, in my opinion, is their poor-ish service to Canada: I recently tried to have an order shipped to a US-address, but they wouldn’t let me pay with a Canadian billing address even though they would, obviously, for a Canadian shipping address. Plus, then I tried to ship to myself in Canada, and they wouldn’t allow Canadians to use their current discount code. WHAT?! And, the one time I’ve ordered from their site to Canada, I think they shipped UPS, which is literally the worst service you can use for Canadians, since the brokerage fees are crazy. So, I don’t order from their official site anymore.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave many options in Canada for buying Linea Pelle bags! Hudson’s Bay used to carry them for a brief time, perhaps a year, but they aren’t to be seen anymore—replaced by Botkier and Liebeskind, it appears, neither of which is really my cup of tea. So, you can understand my excitement when I spotted some Linea Pelles at Winners back in 2011! Here was my chance!
They had a couple of full-sized Dylans, which I adore the look of, but functionally I dislike north-south bags and honestly, Linea Pelle leather at the time was so thick that it made these large bags much too heavy for me! I couldn’t imagine lugging the empty bag around, let alone filled with my personal effects.
But, I was in luck! There was one bag in my perfect shape, color, and hardware! To this day, I still don’t know what the style and color names are (though it looks something like a Linea Pelle Veronica, except that was a perforated style), but here she is in all her pumpkin-orange glory! She’s a bowler-shaped satchel that can be worn four ways: handheld or on the shoulder with the double straps, or on the shoulder or crossbody with the detachable, adjustable strap. Gotta love that versatility.
As a petite person, I am enamored of the fact that Linea Pelle’s crossbody straps all seem to be adjustable—well, at least on the styles I’ve seen. I can’t tell you how many bags I’ve passed on, or own and am unhappy with, simply because their crossbody straps are too long for me (I’m looking at you, Foley + Corinna). Not only are Linea Pelle’s straps adjustable, but they’re fully adjustable, with a sliding buckle. Some bags just have belt holes, and I’ve had to get additional holes punched in those types of bag straps since they were still too long on the shortest setting! I get that some bag designers don’t want to do adjustable straps, whether it’s for style or beancounting reasons—chains are easier and generally cheaper to use than leather straps—but it does make bag shopping more difficult for those of us who are on the shorter or taller side.
And can I just gush about the color? I love orange, and it can be quite hard to find a great orange handbag, not to mention paired with shiny gunmetal hardware. The bag’s leather is also fantastic: thick, pebbly, soft and smooshy, and seemingly indestructable. It looks as great today as it did when I bought it over four years ago! I think I did spray it with some leather protector when I first got it, though I’ve done nothing else to it since.
On a final note, the bag’s tag says “LP by Linea Pelle”, as opposed to just “Linea Pelle”, which you see on the Dylan line and other LP bags. I’ve literally no idea what the difference is. “LP by” makes it sound like a cheaper diffusion line, yet when I Google for it, I see that Linea Pelle’s official site sold some “LP by” bags, and they were priced at the same price range as their regular bags. The “LP by” bag is leather, very nice quality, and I can see no difference in quality from my other older Linea Pelle, a Dylan Crossbody Carryall. The only difference I see is that regular Linea Pelle bags have black and white zebra cotton lining; my “LP by” has plain brown cotton lining.
Sadly, I’ve found that Linea Pelle’s recent offerings have not kept up in quality. This is no real surprise, as many brands, including luxury brands, have been reportedly been declining in quality, as well. I purchased a Linea Pelle Dylan Mini Speedy (trust me, not as pretty a yellow as you see in the stock pic!) from the official site a couple of years back, and it is definitely made of poorer quality leather, and the dye quality is even worse. Some of their new designs are also a bit un-Linea Pelle, in that they’re more structured, as the trend is these days. (Structured just isn’t my bag! Except for small bags.)
If you’re looking for a Linea Pelle, I’d recommend hitting up sites like eBay and Bonanza for preowned models; this is what I did with the Dylan Crossbody, which was discontinued by the time I fell in love with it (saw a girl on the bus wearing a black carryall that looked sumptuous!). I also can’t imagine there’d be many, if any, Linea Pelle fakes, so that would make buying preowned feel a lot safer. You’d just have to distinguish them from the LPLP Linea Pelle for Target collaboration bags that are faux leather.
Do you have any Linea Pelle/LP/LPLP bags? What’s your bag: structured or relaxed?