Hermès Mini Face-off: Birkin 25 versus Kelly 25

Part I: Official Size Comparison: Birkin 25 vs. Birkin 30
Part II: Official Size Comparison: Kelly 25 vs. Kelly 28
Part III: Official Style Comparison: Kelly Sellier vs. Kelly Retourne

This is the fourth part of a five-part series on Birkin and Kelly sizes and styles

By @e14bz

Let’s recap: As a newbie navigating my way through unknown, uncharted, winding roads of the elusive and complex world of Hermès, I have made many bag size mistakes. After considerable hits and misses, I am finally at a point where I feel like I know what works for me in terms of bag styles and sizes. And I thought I would share my experience with people who are starting their H journey. I am in no way an expert, but here are some snippets from my humble experience that I hope you find useful.

Today, we’re going to compare the Birkin 25 (25 cm x 20 cm x 13 cm) vs. Kelly 25 (25 cm x 19 cm x 9 cm) (here a retourne).



Pros of the Birkin 25

  • All your possessions inside a B25 are easily accessible because it’s essentially a tote
  • Suitable for more of a causal look, but can still be used for formal events
  • It’s a mini bag with a twist because it can still fit tons inside
  • A Birkin in general epitomizes something special and iconic
  • I’m sure most of us are familiar with the saying, “It’s not a bag, it’s a Birkin!”

Cons of the Birkin 25

  • The handle drop of a B25 can be very frustrating (if you are wearing bracelets or a thick coat, getting in and out can be quite a struggle)
  • Difficult to carry during winters when when wearing layers of clothing
  • The dimensions may make it look like a ‘toy’ bag to some. A tote is generally a bigger bag, so a B25 does not fit the mold of a true tote in that sense
  • Trying to balance a B25 while running errands or shopping for things can be a nightmare. It’s hard to juggle holding multiple things when carrying a B25
  • Hard to use as a travel bag when you are traveling with kids
  • Because there is no (easily used) closure, the bag is not as secure while traveling or shopping



Pros of the Kelly 25

  • The shoulder strap is a blessing, so the bag can be carried multiple ways
  • Unlike the handle drop of a B25 which is narrow and small, that of a K25 is perfect. One can easily slide their arms inside the handles, even when wearing chunky coats or bracelets
  • Winter or summer (or for that matter any season), this bag is ideal to carry
  • Can easily go crossbody for anyone preferring a hands-free look
  • Can be a perfect travel or shopping bag with its shoulder strap
  • You can carry multiple things at the same time while carrying a K25
  • The secure closing on the K25 makes it ideal to use anywhere with peace of mind
  • The Kelly bag in general epitomizes elegance, timelessness and grace
  • Can be used for both casual and formal occasions
  • Even though it is a mini bag, the dimensions of the bag are such that it doesn’t give the appearance of being a super small bag aesthetically (even though a B25 is technically bigger than a K25!)

Cons of the Kelly 25

  • The opening and closing of a Kelly can be cumbersome for some, unlike the B25 which generally stays open
  • It’s smaller than a B25 in size, so in practice fits less
  • The slouchy look of a Kelly retourne may not be an ideal look for everyone (though you could always go for a K25 Sellier)

@elbz’s Final Choice

The K25 wins by a landslide for me. And it’s no wonder—you can tell just by looking at the balance of the pros and cons! Even though I am always torn between my love for Birkins and Kellys, if I had to pick between a B25 and a K25, I would choose the K25 in a heartbeat. The shoulder strap for me is a game changer. It allows me to go anywhere and do anything without worrying about how I am going to be holding it.

Tell us: is it the Birkin 25 or Kelly 25 that’s stolen your heart? Has this article made you rethink things?

Read related articles:

Official Size Comparison: Birkin 25 vs. Birkin 30
Official Size Comparison: Kelly 25 vs. Kelly 28
Official Size Comparison: Kelly Sellier vs. Kelly Retourne

Published: June 27th, 2019
Updated: January 31st, 2020

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