Hermes Kelly Bag Vs Birkin Bag Comparison

I’ve written dedicated post about the Hermes Birkin Bag, and I’ve written dedicated post about the Hermes Kelly bag, but never before have a written article comparing the Hermès Birkin and the Hermes Kelly… Until now!

Hermes Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag
Diane wearing Hermes Birkin Bag (Left) Karla wearing Kelly Bag (Right)

As many of you know, I’m a huge Hermes fanatic! While my collection is still small, I can’t help but spend hours upon hours of research on the Hermes brand as well as the two best investment worthy Hermes Pieces… The Kelly and The Birkin! Before we jump into all the comparisons between the two bags, let’s take a look back at Hermes History.

History of Hermes

Founded in 1837, this French brand wasn’t always known for its luxurious handbags you see today. In fact, when Thierry Hermes started the company, he created wrought harnesses and bridles for carriages…eventually selling the famous Hermes Saddles. 

It wasn’t until the 1920s that Hermes started creating handbags, … almost 100 years since the launch of the brand. 

The Hermes Kelly bag was launched in 1935 (originally named Sac à dépêches) was made famous by Grace Kelly, while the Hermes Birkin bag was launched until years later in 1984 and made famous by Jane Birkin.

Birkin VS Kelly Bag Sizes Comparisons

Neutral Kelly and Birkin bags
Left: Hermes Kelly; Middle: Hermes Birkin; Right: Hermes Kelly

The Hermes Kelly Bag and the Hermes Birkin bag come in different sizes.

Below is the table with dimensions for both the Kelly and the Birkin. 

Kelly SizesDimensions
(L x H x W)
Kelly 2020cm X 16cm X 10cm
Kelly 2525cm X 19cm X 9cm
Kelly 2828cm X 22cm X 10cm
Kelly 3232cm X 23cm X 10.5cm
Birkin Sizes
Birkin 2525cm X 20cm X 13cm
Birkin 3030cm X 22cm X 16cm
Birkin 3535cm X 25cm X 18cm
Birkin 4040cm X 30cm X 21cm

Kelly VS Birkin Shape Comparison

Hermes Kelly and Hermes Birkin Bag
Left: Hermes Kelly Bag ; Right: Hermes Birkin Bag © bulliesbirkins

The biggest difference between the Hermes Birkin Bag and the Hermes Kelly bag is their shape. 

The Hermes Kelly bag is known for its trapezoid shape, single handle and long shoulder strap, giving it a more formal look. 

The Hermes Birkin bag is a more casual bag with its double handles, tote shape and top flap.  

Both the Kelly Bag and The Birkin bag take on average 48 hours to make, and the artisan working on the bag must spend at least 3 years sewing Hermes saddles before ever being able to sew a bag.

Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag Price Comparison

Hermes Kelly Vs Birkin Bag
Hermes Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag

Ahh, the question of the day, what is the price different between the Kelly and the Birkin. Prior to 2020 the Kelly bag was actually a good deal cheaper, however, due to its increasingly popularity the Kelly bag has slowly risen in price, making it almost comparable to the Birkin. 

You’re in luck because I’ve rounded up the exact prices of the Kelly Bag and the Birkin bag in Togo Leather. Prices as of December 2021.

Kelly 25$9,350
Kelly 28$10,200
Kelly 32$11,000
Birkin 25$9,750
Birkin 30$11,000
Birkin 35$12,300

Which bag should I get first?

Hermes Birkin Bag and Hermes Kelly Bag
Hermes Birkin Left and Hermes Kelly Bag Right © vintagemisty

This is such a tough question, which Hermes bag to buy first…The Kelly or the Birkin? The truth is, the first Hermès bag you should buy first depends on your lifestyle… Let me explain. 

I absolutely adore my Birkin bag, hands down my favorite bag in my closest. Do I wear it every day, no, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less! However, it does not have a shoulder strap, and for me, this is okay. I wanted a bag that I could carry on my fore arm, and I didn’t need a shoulder strap. 

On the flip side, my friend, who has a Kelly bag, absolutely wanted a shoulder strap for her bag and doesn’t want to carry the bag all the time. For that reason, she added the Kelly bag to her Hermes Collection first.

In short, if you had to decide which bag to get first, definitely choose a bag that fits your lifestyle. 

Both bags are the epitome of Luxury and can be used as an everyday bag. I highly recommend that you buy a neutral color first.

Which bag is a better investment piece?

Gold Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag © luxuryinsiders

As I mentioned above, the 2 best investment worthy Hermes bags are the Kelly and the Birkin. On the secondhand market, both handbags sell for more than retail value. 

I will take an equal comparison on the preloved market:

I found one Hermes Kelly bag, size 25, color black with gold hardware, Togo leather, Retourne stitching, and production year 2021 : reselling for 25k.

I found one Hermes Birkin bag, size 25, color black with gold hardware, Togo leather, Retourne stitching, and production year 2021 : reselling for 25k.

Kelly Bag$9,350$25,000$15,650
Birkin Bag$9,850$25,000$15,150

In Short, pricing as of Dec 2021:

Hermes Kelly Bag 25 Togo Leather – $9,350.00

Hermes Birkin Bag 25 Togo Leather – $9,850.00

The Kelly Bag is selling at 167% higher than the retail price ($15,650 more), while the Birkin Bag is selling at 153% higher than the retail price ($15,150 more). 

The reason the Hermes bags sell more on the retail market is because they are hard to buy in stores. It's not as simple as walking into a Hermes shop, picking out a color and a size. I've written an entire article about how to buy a Birkin bag and why it's so difficult, you can read about here. Hermes does a really great job of creating demand while limiting the supply.

In conclusion, The Hermès Kelly bag is slightly a better investment if we are solely looking at the resale value on the secondhand market.

Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag Recap

Hermes Birkin VS Kelly
Hermes Kelly Bag Left & Hermes Birkin Bag Right © PrettyPurses

In short, The main different between the Birkin and the Kelly bag comes down to the shape and design of the bag. The Kelly bags has a trapezoid shape, a single top handle, with a long shoulder strap that can be used as a crossbody. The Hermes Bag has a tote-like silhouette bag, with 2 handles and no shoulder strap. The Hermes Birkin bag is offers a more casual look, while the Kelly bag is structured, giving it a more formal look. 

In regard to pricing, the price difference between the Birkin and the Kelly is only a couple of hundred dollars. 

Both bags are investment worthy and can sell for more than retail price on the secondhand market. Both the Birkin and the Kelly use extremely talented artisans to create the bag and take over 48 hours to make one bag.

The Hermes Birkin and the Kelly offer Retourne stitching and Sellier stitching In addition, Hermes uses the same high quality leather for both the Birkin and the Kelly bag. Which bag do you prefer?

Sincerely Petite in Paris,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *