Outfit: Almost a new bag


Bordeaux (Anthropologie) skirt – old
Splendid tee (1×1 short sleeve crewneck – unfortunately very hard to find now. I got mine on sale at Barney’s a while ago)
HELMUT fleece jacket
No6 Clogs
Madewell scarf (ticket print, sold out)
Jerome Dreyfuss Billy bag (with added long strap) – on sale at Shopbop right now in a nice black/brown/gray color

I am ridiculously excited about finding this blog, and adding a longer strap to my Jerome Dreyfuss Billy Bag. It has completely transformed it into a much more versatile and comfortable bag; it’s almost like I got a brand new bag, without actually buying one. For now, I’ve attached a woven long strap from one of my Kipling suitcases, but after a while I’ll probably order a leather strap from Etsy or something, assuming I deem it worthwhile.

And just in case you don’t read Grechen’s Codes every day, I posted several pairs of Repetto BB flats under $100 (at Otte & Creatures of Comfort). Also of note, my HELMUT leggings (last seen here) I LOVE are on sale at The Outnet for less than $75, but only in light & dark gray. They’re labeled wrong I think, they’re definitely the HELMUT cocoon leggings, NOT Helmut Lang leggings…

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  1. Sophie says

    Hi Grechen … so glad you posted about Billy Bag. I bought the bag 2 years ago, but hardly ever wear it because I having real practicality issues with it. You could also consider it a mini-review for your readers if anyone is thinking of buying it. It is a *beautiful* bag but it’s just not working for me.

    The bag’s open-ness is driving me crazy!! It’s got no structured bottom, and the leather is supersoft, so when you put it down the sides of the bag collapse so the purse is almost flat. God forbid I am driving and have to brake a little hard, and there goes everything flying onto the floor of my car.

    (a) The snaps. Since they snap on the *inside* of the bag, the handles pull the opposite way and stress the snaps so they pop open again.
    (b) The shoulder strap. Leaves the short handles folded sideways and flopping around, with same issue of open-ness except that now the open-ness is facing somewhat downward (worse)
    (c) No zippers on inside compartment. I might be able to deal with the top 2 problems if there was at least a zippered thing on the inside where I could stash my wallet. But nope. Just a light fabric pocket with no closure whatsoever.
    (d) a minor point, but nevertheless: the flashlight rolls around in the bag, unscrews itself and drops about a half dozen tiny batteries into the bottom of the purse. That’s a fun activity to sort out too.

    The end result is an expensive purchase which I hardly ever use, certainly not for travelling which i do fairly often.

    I’m exasperated with it and can’t figure out how to make it work for me. I’m wondering if the shoulder strap you put onto it was because of these same issues? Maybe you could start a new series on how to adapt ill-designed purchases LOL. I’m now looking into men’s bags (loving the Givenchy leather weekender) as they just seem to have their act together for menswear more than women. Thanks for letting me rant! Any ideas before I permanently break up with Billy:)

    • says

      i will definitely post a review – perhaps tomorrow – and be much more thorough, but for now, adding the longer strap has completely changed the bag. i do generally prefer my bags to hang lower (right at my hip) though. i have always thought the existing straps on the billy were a bit strange; i wanted the shoulder strap to be longer, because as it is, it’s an awkward way to carry the bag. i usually just carried it by the shorter handles…

      i agree with you on all points – it’s SUCH a beautiful bag, but there are just a few things that keep it from being PERFECT 😉 i do think adding a longer strap will help alleviate some of your issues though, it makes it much easier to get into, and the snaps not as big of a problem. but more on that tomorrow!!

      • Sophie says

        thanks for the thoughtful reply — concur completely re the longer strap that comes with it. Kind of slides around, doesn’t it. I haven’t really tried undoing that strap as it ends up making Billy into a kind of drawstrring bucket bag I can wear crossbocy. It closes the top well like that, but you have to unravel it to get inside the purse for your wallet etc.

        Looking forward to your post tomorrow!

        PS I am lusting after Wendy Nichol’s bullet bag … have you seen it in person/comments? (I haven’t, though I saw the circular bag and it appeared well made)

  2. Mamavalveeta03 says

    The pop of color with the scarf really MAKES the outfit! And aren’t you clever, with your bag! (I’ve got issues with my Claire Vivier, but I should have read your comments more closely before forking over the money! No pockets, and the black dye is ALL OVER everything in my bag! Including the edges of my cute new Kate Spade purple wallet… :-(

    • says

      i was actually going to ask you how you like your CV bag. i have ruled it out a million times because it doesn’t have any pockets, but i do like the style. and honestly, for the price, i think it should be lined…i’d be pretty upset to get black dye all over stuff!! and that’s something you wouldn’t think of happening necessarily. unless you had experience with it already.

      • Mamavalveeta03 says

        This is my first CV bag and I love the way it looks, but honestly, it was a royal pain using it in Chicago. The zipper is EXTRA long, and the suede is butter soft, but almost TOO much so: Everytime I had to open my bag to pay for something, or at the airport, I had to worry about everything falling out! NOT a good travel bag (note to self!). And I had no idea that the color would come off on everything like it has. (another note to self: NO white pants!)

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