Hermes Kelly Bag Vs Birkin Bag Comparison

Today we will be comparing the different between a Hermes Kelly Bag vs Hermes Birkin Bag. There are a few main differences between the Kelly Bag and the Birkin bag including the shapes, sizes, price, cross-body strap, and which one is a better investment.

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

History of Hermes

Founded in 1837, this French brand wasn’t always known for its luxurious handbags you see today. When Thierry Hermes started the company, he created wrought harnesses and bridles for carriages…eventually selling the famous Hermes Saddle. 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 4 different sizes. The smallest Hermes Kelly bag is called the Hermes Kelly mini bag (also known as the Kelly 20) and the smallest Birkin is referred to as the Birkin 25 which is slightly bigger than the Kelly 20. The size next to the name refers to the length of the bag in centimeters.

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 SizesDimensions
(L x H x W)
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. Many people wear the Kelly bag when they are on the go and need their hands free.

The Hermes Birkin bag is a more casual bag with its double handles, tote shape and top flap. You'll find many people carry this bag with the top flap open which gives it that more casual feel and vibe.

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

The cheapest Birkin is the Birkin size 25 and the cheapest Kelly bag is the size 20 (Kelly mini). . Prices as of July 2023.

Kelly SizePrice USD
Kelly 20$8,250
Kelly 25$10,900
Kelly 28$11,300
Kelly 32$12,000
Birkin SizePrice
Birkin 25$10,400
Birkin 30$11,600
Birkin 35$12,700

Which bag should I get first?

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

If you are debating between purchasing the Hermes Kelly bag or the Birkin bag you should consider your lifestyle and how you plan to wear your handbag. If you are always on the go and wanting your hands-free then the Hermes Kelly is perfect for you because of the shoulder strap. The Kelly bag is a more structured bag and great for formal events. If you want a more casual, relaxed bag then the Birkin is perfect for you. I absolutely adore my Birkin bag I purchased in Paris years ago and wear it all the day. This is my favorite everyday bag.

Which bag is a better investment piece?

Gold Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag © luxuryinsiders

The 2 best investment worthy Hermes bags are the Kelly and the Birkin. Both bags on the Hermes vintage market retail for more than they cost in stores. I pulled vintage pricing from my favorite place to purchase authentic vintage Hermes Kelly bags, Fashionphile. Overall, the Hermes Birkin bag provides a slightly better return on investment should you ever decide to sell your bag.

Kelly 25$10,900$26,775$15,875
Birkin 25$10,400$22,700$12,300

If you were to purchase a Birkin 25 bag in Togo leather black, you will see a Return on investment (ROI) of 145%. If you were to purchase a Kelly 25 bag in Togo leather black, you will see a ROI of 118%. Both bags will give you over 100% return on your investment.

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 Hermes 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.

Kelly Bag VS Birkin Bag Recap

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

I always tell people to purchase whichever bag they will wear the most. That's how you get the biggest bang for your buck when you are purchasing an investment worthy bag. Personally, I love both the Hermes Birkin and Kelly bag, and in my opinion you can't go wrong with either one of them. I'd love to hear in the comments are you Team Birkin or Team Kelly?

Sincerely Petite in Paris,

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