Although I believe passionately in “diversifying your purse portfolio”, I still typically skew towards two types of bags: 1) functional totes or 2) rectangular crossbodies/satchels. So when thinking about my next bag, I toyed with the idea of adding a completely different silhouette to my closet.
My shopping thought process usually consists of two main buckets:
- Investment: Handbags are most definitely not necessities, so spending money on an item (that I already have way too many of) prompts the following questions: does this bag fulfill my needs? Is there an area of my life or a type of occasion that I see this bag really paying off in terms of cost per wear?
- Optionality: If this handbag is out of my comfort zone, are there any other factors that would help it complement my collection? This question is important when determining how timeless a bag will become in my closet. If it’s an odd shape, I will most likely favor neutral colors to add balance. On the flip side, I also have a bright yellow crossbody because I love the boxy shape.
All roads eventually pointed towards the Alma – this bag features a perfectly tapered dome and a structured body, which I personally think offsets many of my apprehensions with a more uncommon silhouette. Additionally, like with many of Louis Vuitton’s handbags, the Alma is available in several sizes, materials, and colors.
When thinking about the perfect combination, I kept one thing in mind: this bag needs to outlast the honeymoon stage. I am a huge sucker for pretty things, but my biggest purchase regrets always came from buying things that I fell in love with on day 1 but then realized it didn’t fit into my lifestyle by day 100. For the Alma, I eventually settled on the black Epi leather – which is so sturdy and easy to clean that I feel like I could drip coffee on it and not feel like a piece of me just died.
As a careful shopper, I was lucky enough to have tried out the PM version (on lend from a friend!) of this combination before I bit the bullet. One thing I was (and am) not certain of is the size. The Alma is absolutely not a work bag. The top handle design already prohibits its versatility in many ways. That being said, I was not hoping to stuff my gigantic work laptop in it. So contrary to my initial inkling to use it purely as a professional bag, I see myself carrying it for more casual occasions.
Therein lies my very first-world problem. When I took this baby out for some test runs, I realized I didn’t have much to put in it…
Here’s what I did put in: sunglasses, small wallet, keys, hand sanitizer, lipstick, lip balm, portable charger, iPhone, and a few bits and baubles. More than half the bag was still empty. I’m now more inclined to pick up the bag in the BB size- especially since I’m more of a crossbody girl. If I had stuffed it to the brim, I feel like the top-handle would have made carrying this bag incredibly difficult.
On the flip side, this color and leather combination is exactly what I had wanted. I was also a little concerned with how the hardware would hold up, but after a few uses, it seems like the metal feet and zippers were pretty durable. I often see certain bags with very, very sensitive hardware which turns me off from the bag completely.
Let me know what you think about the Alma in the PM & BB sizes! Does it fit into your lifestyle?
You can purchase the Louis Vuitton Alma PM in black Epi Leather here ($2,120). This bag comes in four sizes: BB (smallest), PM, MM, and GM (largest). The BB size includes a shoulder strap.
For pre-loved versions of this bag, here are a few currently for sale: Tradesy ($980), The Real Real ($835), Poshmark ($1,299).