Finally, I have gotten around to writing a full review on my beloved 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel per reader request. Truthfully, I never really considered writing a review on this because I didn’t think anyone was all that interested, plus Elle does a pretty good job of it here. But I supposed, everyone loves to read as many opinions on something as they can, so here is my take. I fell in love with this bag quite a few years ago. I don’t have a whole lot of disposable income (thank you, student loans!), so I am very selective when it comes to splurging on items. I generally allow myself one big purchase per year, usually, for my birthday. My birthday is in November, so I have had this bag long enough to write a good review on it.
Size: I have the full-size satchel and it’s big. And I like it that way even on my small 5’1 frame. I’m not a huge fan of small bags, I’m of the belief that I should “go big, or go home”. Measured it is: 15″ x 11.5″ x 4.5″.
The vertical zipper is functional giving a little more room at the top, if necessary. Personally, I don’t need that much space.
There is a 5″ drop from the top of the bag to the handstrap. The hand strap is not long enough to wear comfortably over the shoulder like a tote:
I have the ability to do it, because my arms are the size of toothpicks, butit isn’t all that comfortable. Personally, when I’m carrying a lot of heavy stuff, I like to use a tote. This bag on it’s own is kind of on the heavy side. It’s fine for me because I’m used to heavy bags, however, when I start tossing things in there like, an umbrella and a lunch (which for me is usually in a glass container), this thing gets crazy heavy for a daily commute that involves a bit of walking. For that reason, I generally only carry this bag when I’m not carrying a lunch. Actual weight empty is about 2 lbs according to several websites, although I did not weigh this myself.
It does come with an adjustable cross-body strap but I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to cross body bags, as they they tend to hurt my shoulder. I didn’t measure, but if you refer to retail websites, they say the strap measures 19″ to 23″. It also has a little clasp around the handstraps, which is a nice detail. I rarely use it, but it’s nice to have that option when you set the bag down.
Quality: This shark-embossed leather is extremely durable and resists scratches. At first, I thought I had wanted the smooth leather, but I realized it was too hard to keep scratch-free so I opted for the textured version, and I don’t regret it. The bottom, like most other bags will sink if too many things are carried, so I put in two pieces of cardboard in the bottom to hold its shape. Also, when storing, if you don’t hang the bag, the sides will have a tendency to sink over time despite being a made of a very thick cowhide leather. It is also fully lined, with what appears to be a reasonably thick polyester-like material. Overall it’s very sturdy, however, I will mention the closure is prone to scratches, which is probably not a surprise. Also the ability to close it can be a bit annoying for some. For me, I don’t really care if I can’t shut it in a snap. If you line up the clasp properly it close very easily, but sometimes you do have to fumble around with it, particularly if the bag is mostly empty.
Look: As I mentioned, I love the look of this bag. It’s a great size for me, and it’s both work appropriate and has a bit of edge, as well. The inside is also black, so it’s not always the easiest find things inside. It has one small zipper pocket inside where I can fit my train and work passes. Is it classic? It depends on your style, I suppose. I do not purchase handbags that often, and I do see myself using this for years to come. I’ve always loved a minimal and edgy look and I don’t think that will ever change. It is still also sells out on many websites season after season, so its popularity doesn’t seem to waning.
Overall: I’m very happy. I do wish I was able to carry it more often but I am unable due to its weight with all my daily “junk”, but I still love it. If you would like to buy one, check it out below. 3.1 Philip Lim comes out with awesome variations every season. Some more photos for good measure: