When I went to Paris, I knew that there was one purchase I really wanted to make: the Longchamp Le Pliage. I read countless Longchamp Le Pliage reviews before deciding to make the plunge—as a broke college freshman, the cost of the bag was a lot of money to spend on a single purchase.
The Longchamp Le Pliage had been on my style wish list for years, and of course, I wanted to get it in France, where Longchamp was founded. That, and purchasing luxury bags in France will save you some serious cash.
Although it had been on my wishlist, I could never bring myself to pay full price in the States. Sure, I’ve purchased handbags more expensive than the Le Pliage, but the thought of buying a handbag that was nylon and shapeless at the price Longchamp sells it for just really drove me crazy.
Really, a nylon tote bag over $150? I’d much rather have leather…or so I thought.
Longchamp Le Pliage Large Review: Is This Travel and Work Tote Bag Worth it?
I’ll admit that I wasn’t quite sold on the Longchamp nylon. My fear with nylon bags is that they won’t hold up as well as my leather bags.
I’ve now purchased several Longchamp Le Pliage tote bags over the years, and while they don’t have quite the durability of my leather bags, they are absolute workhorses for the price and the fact that they’re nylon.
My Le Pliage bags do tend to fray or get holes at the corner, but I also egregiously overstuff them, often carrying a 16″ MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, chargers, extra phone batteries, a water bottle, and a wallet. Basically, more weight than anyone should ever carry on one shoulder (let’s hope my doctor doesn’t read this). My friends, who carry far less in theirs, haven’t had this issue to the extent I have, instead only seeing minor wear on the corners, similar to what you would with a leather bag.
What I especially love about this bag is that the interior is incredibly easy to wipe down and clean. No need to go to a special handbag repair shop, buy any specific cleaning agents, or anything of the such to clean it out.
The leather handles and flap of the Le Pliage elevate the style and also help make it more sturdy. I underestimated the usefulness of the flap over the zipper. When I leave the flap closed and open the zipper to where the flap begins, it’s difficult for even me to get my hand in the bag. It makes me feel a lot better carrying this bag around the city, knowing that it isn’t all that easy for a pickpocket to access.
The one drawback I’ve noticed about this bag so far is that lighter colors pick up dirt really easily. To be fair, that’s kind of on me for choosing light colors, knowing that this bag will probably be dragged through hell and back with the amount of traveling and running around that I do (it might be a miracle that they’re all not just black at this point, all things considered).
Shop the Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote Bag by clicking the images below!
What Does the Le Pliage Fit?
The Longchamp Large Le Pliage measures 12 ¼”W x 11 ¾”H x 7 ½”D with a 9″ strap drop.
This is definitely my go-to travel bag, first bag I pick up for running errands, and (if my Le Pliage bags were cleaner) would also be my only choice for best tote bag for work.
Formerly, I carried my Kate Spade Beau Bag around for everything. While I still love my Beau, it’s heavy, being all leather, and the straps are too short for carrying on my shoulder. The Le Pliage so far has been ideal for travel as it’s big enough to fit not only my 16″ MacBook Pro but also my iPad, a water bottle, a couple of notebooks, a few chargers, and a cosmetic bag or two.
I’m thoroughly convinced that this bag has no real bottom because, for me, it’s like a Mary Poppins bag. It always fits everything and when it doesn’t, I reach for my expandable Le Pliage instead.
The bag is incredibly lightweight, and the straps are long enough to carry the bag over my shoulder but short enough to wear it on my arm.
Longchamp Large Le Pliage Price
Despite my initial skepticism over the price point, I now happily pay it. This tote bag is relatively affordable in the world of luxury handbags, and it’s the only everyday tote bag I own that I don’t feel guilty about throwing just about anything in.
At $155, the price point feels exceptionally fair for the quality. However, if it’s more than you’re willing to spend, keep an eye out for sales! Although the core colors are rarely discounted, seasonal colors go on great sales online regularly. Nordstrom Rack has the Longchamp Le Pliage Tote Bag on sale for 30% off or more all the time.
I’m really glad I purchased this bag directly from Longchamp and in Paris for two reasons:
1. I was informed by the Longchamp sales associate that if you buy directly through Longchamp, you get a lifetime warranty. Take it back into any Longchamp store, and they’ll fix it at no charge. I was reassured that if the bag gets holes, they will be fixed for me.
2. With the current price conversion between the Euro and USD, buying not only the Longchamp Le Pliage but luxury goods across the board is less expensive in France. In Paris, this bag came out to approximately $102 USD tax-included, whereas it would be over $155 USD in the United States plus tax.
The Bottom Line
Although initially skeptical of buying a nylon bag over $40, I really couldn’t love this bag more. I want to take it everywhere, and I want it in every. single. color.
The nylon actually makes this bag incredibly lightweight and easily cleaned, which is perfect for carrying it anywhere your heart desires. Whether you’re running around a new city or schlepping through TSA for the millionth hour, the Longchamp Le Pliage is the bag for you. I honestly mean it when I say that this bag is 100% worth the price, even the price in the United States.
Update: It’s been 4 years since I wrote this review, and I now own 4 Le Pliage bags (3 large Le Pliage and one expandable Le Pliage) and can confirm that this bag is still my travel bag of choice. It is just so easy, but light colors do pick up a lot of dirt, and holes form quickly with heavy use (I do definitely overstuff mine, though).
Click on the images below to shop the Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Weekender Bag:
The Longchamp Le Pliage frequently goes on sale at major retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus. Typically, only seasonal colors go on sale, while Navy and Black, Le Pliage’s core colors, remain at full price. I saved over $50 on one of my Le Pliage large tote bags by buying it from Nordstrom at the end of the season!
Pro tip: Nordstrom Rack almost always has some version of the Longchamp Le Pliage on major sale (think under $100)! Click here to look at their current sale styles.
Yes, absolutely! The Longchamp Le Pliage bag is a timeless, classic style that has withstood the test of time. I still constantly see people on planes, trains, and just walking around the city carrying this bag. If it’s any proof, celebrities such as Kate Middleton are still being spotted wearing the Le Pliage.
I recommend avoiding light colors. Speaking from experience, they pick up dirt really easily, and although they are washable, how often do you want to wash your work bag, really?
Prioritize purchasing seasonal colors if you’re between options. They often sell out quickly and never return. Core Le Pliage colors, such as navy and black, will always be readily available.
The classic Longchamp Le Pliage is available in three sizes: small, medium, and large (not including the other variations, such as the backpack and expandable weekender). The best size for you really depends on what you’re using the bag for.
The small Le Pliage is best if you’re just looking for a new everyday handbag—it’ll fit a small journal but likely won’t fit a full-size notebook, and definitely not a laptop.
The medium Le Pliage is a nice size if you need a little more space for everyday essentials such as a water bottle and chargers.
The large Le Pliage is the best all-around size, especially if you’re looking for a lightweight work bag or packable travel tote. The large tote bag can fit a laptop, chargers, water bottle, notebooks, and anything else you may need for school, work, or travel.
The medium Longchamp Le Pliage will only fit a 13″ laptop. Even a 13″ laptop is a tight squeeze and may cause the corners of your Longchamp tote bag to wear holes more quickly. The large Longchamp Le Pliage is the best option for carrying a laptop of any size.
Shop the Longchamp Le Pliage by clicking here.
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