Review: Rebecca Minkoff bags
I know this is a slight departure from my usual beauty product reviews, but I’m also a fan of purses and shoes too. I have an opinion about the two Rebecca Minkoff bags I purchased a year(ish) ago, so hey, might as well review them, right? I believe both have been discontinued since I bought them, but you can still find them occasionally on ebay or through off-price retailers. It may also give you an idea of some of the characteristics of current bags too. First up:
Wallet on a Chain in Ocean
The Wallet on a Chain (or WOC) is a medium-sized envelope clutch with a detachable chain strap. The strap is long enough to let you wear the bag as a cross-body, or you can double it up to make it a shoulder bag. I have it in Ocean, which is a deep teal patent leather. All the hardware is well-attached, and the stitching has held up fantastically – no small feat, considering I use it almost 100% of the time. I don’t actually even own another wallet, just a couple of small wristlets that I use sometimes if I only need my money and ID.
The back of the wallet has a Rebecca Minkoff nameplate, and a zip pocket. I actually tend to forget that pocket is there, and end up finding random things in it (like earrings or a bus pass) weeks later.
The inside is nice and roomy, and has all the little nooks and crannies you could want. It’s long enough to hold a checkbook (which I don’t have), with twelve slots for various cards. That’s really handy because in addition to my credic card and driver’s license, I have lots of store loyalty cards and various badges for work. The card slots have flat pockets behind them that I usually stuff with receipts. The center zip pocket is perfect for change or feminine products. There’s also enough room inside to store slightly less-flat things – the photo above shows small tubes of hand lotion and lip balm, and you can usually find a lipstick and my cell phone in there too. You can actually stuff it pretty full before it refused to close.
The wallet closes with a simple snap that seems to be reinforced nicely; in my experience snap closures are usually one of the first parts to fail, either by getting loose or tearing through the fabric. There is a little bit of discoloration on the area that isn’t covered by the front flap. I find it a little irritating, but since I do carry it without the strap a lot, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that could be due to lotions or natural oils on my skin.
Every wallet needs a home at least sometimes, so we also have:
Covet satchel in Dove Grey
The Covet is a small-ish satchel that has a top handle and a removable shoulder strap. The bag is made up of a grey glazed leather with brushed nickel hardware. The twist clasp on the front isn’t perfectly level, which makes the front flap sit a little bit unevenly. Normally I would have returned it for that, but I purchased it as a final sale and the slight misalignment is something that only drives me nuts if I think about it too much.
In addition to the front pocket, there are loads of pockets inside. The inside is divided into two main sections with a zip pocket and business card pocket in the back. The front half has two slip pockets. The whole interior is lined in cheetah print with leather trimming.
At the sides of the bag there are small snaps that you can undo if you’ve slightly overfilled the bag. Unfortunately, this feature and all the inside pockets just don’t let you carry anything you please. The flat format of the bag limits you to… well, flat things, and it’s not big enough to carry an 8.5×11 notebook. I’ve found that it’s good for carrying the basics, but not everything that a pack rat like me would want.
The back of the bag is pretty plain other than the Rebecca Minkoff nameplate, and a little bit of denim transfer. Pro tip – don’t wear light-colored bags with new jeans. The back isn’t nearly as cute as the front, so I’ve always made sure to carry it front-side out.
Even though I didn’t really find the bag big enough for my needs all the time, I still carried it to work most days for about seven months. Around that time is when I noticed an issue – the parts of the bag that aren’t covered by the front flap look like it’s been kidnapped by a chain-smoker (my house is smoke-free, as are all public buildings in the city I live in). The discoloration of the patent leather on my WOC isn’t very noticeable unless you’re really looking for it, but this… it just looks dirty. I emailed RM customer service to see if there was anything that could be done, even though I doubted there was. When they finally replied to me after two weeks, I was informed that this is “sometimes the normal wear and tear of a bag that gets used often.” I have to admit I felt kind of blown off and upset – for a bag that originally MSRP’d around $400, I would have expected it to look fantastic for much longer than it did.
In Short: I’m still very happy with my Wallet on a Chain, but I wholeheartedly regret buying the Covet (I’m just glad I got it on sale!). Between the poor quality relative to the price and the poor customer service I received, I have no plans to buy any more Rebecca Minkoff products in the future.