I have never so quickly and fully fallen in love with a handbag than with the Louis Vuitton Brea MM in ivory epi leather. I normally gravitate toward small to medium handbags, but this might end up being my gateway purchase into larger handbags. Here she is:
She just makes me swoon. Louis Vuitton discontinued this handbag a few years ago, and honestly, I never even saw it when it was in production. Instead, I stumbled upon in when searching for ivory bags on Fashionphile. (I needed a handbag to go with a pair of Valentino rockstud kitten heels I purchased on a whim.) After I saw it on Fashionphile, I started doing research on the bag and realized it had been hiding in plain sight all along. For instance, both Just Jennifer and Chic Professor have the bag, and they both seem to love it.
Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons, with an ultimate conclusion on whether I recommend the bag (spoiler alert, I do).
Simplicity: To me, the simplicity of the structure combined with the neutral color is perfect. To some, this bag might be too simple. I guess I might just a plain Jane, but it makes my heart happy. I’ve only had it for a month, and I can honestly say that its simplicity makes it work with nearly every single outfit. For example, I’m wearing it with polka dots today, and last week, I wore it with a floral skirt.
Color: As for the color, the ivory goes with everything. I’ve worn it with solid colors and patterns. I’ve worn it with all types of fabrics. I’ve never had a handbag color that so beautifully pairs with everything. The ivory is really soft and doesn’t shout the way some white bags do. It is just perfectly neutral. I’ll also note that I’m writing this post in February (i.e. winter) and have had no trouble incorporating it into my winter wardrobe.
Epi Leather: The epi leather is also amazing. In the past, I’ve shied away from ivory and white handbags for fear of color transfer and other damage. But the Louis Vuitton epi leather is the perfect antidote to that fear. So far, I’ve been able to wipe any marks off with a baby wipe. I also love the feel of the epi leather. It has a great texture. I’ve never had an epi leather handbag before, but I’m sold.
Structure and Capacity: The size is perfect. It even fits my 12.9 inch iPad Pro (the corners of the iPad barely show on the outer curve of the top):
I can carry pretty much everything. I normally carry smaller bags, so this one’s size seems infinite to me. I’m basically Mary Poppins. Is this how people who wear totes always feel?
Versatility: I also love that you can carry it by hand, on the elbow, and on the shoulder. Given that it’s winter, I love the shoulder strap for when I’m wearing a coat that interferes with my normal go-to elbow carry.
I really can’t say enough good things about the Brea MM, at least so far. There is one huge con, though. Unfortunately, you can’t buy it directly from the boutique anymore. So sad. Luckily, you can get some amazing deals on the preloved market, and since epi leather appears to hold up remarkably well, the bags are in great condition. Mine is from 2011, and it still looks brand new. (Here’s a review of my Fashionphile experience, which will hopefully help you navigate the preloved market.) And hey, maybe Louis Vuitton will bring it back? Stranger things have happened.
I’ll also mention that the zipper charm can be a little noisy when you walk. Since I gave up my ninja aspirations long ago, the noise doesn’t bother me. Regardless, if you just drop the charm inside the bag, the noise goes away.
If you’re looking for a structured tote, it’s definitely worth checking out the Louis Vuitton Brea MM in epi leather. So far, I am deeply in love with this beautiful bag. Hopefully you’ll love it too.