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I’m generally the type of person who likes to plan my purchases. I budget, make a plan and wait until the prefect time in order to get what I want. I have a running list of luxury items I want to get and the order I want to get them in.
But sometimes, a sale pops up that’s just too good to pass up. And that’s how I got my Alma BB.
The Alma is a bag that I’ve had my eyes on for a long time now. but up until now, it just never seemed like the right time to buy.
But with fall time quickly approaching and Fashionphile’s $200 off coupon to boot, the timing just seemed right. So for today’s blog, I want to share my honest first impressions with the Alma BB.
Click to shop Alma BB bags on Fashionphile
Quick History on the Alma
It is believed that the Alma was created in 1925 as a special order for Gabrielle Chanel. She was in the market for a stylish travel bag and no one did luggage better than Louis Vuitton.
Design by Gaston Vuitton, the Alma (originally names the Squire) is a reflection of the art deco period it was created in. Better still, the lines and the curves of the bag mirror that of the Pont de l’Alma—the bridge for which the bag is eventually named after.
Chanel had originally commissioned this bag just for herself, but in 1934, agreed to allow Louis Vuitton to produce this bag for market. Of course, it was an immediate hit and has since been a part of the brands staple classic collection.
The Alma comes in a variety of materials and colors as well as sizes. There is the standard PM, MM and GM sizes, and then there is the BB size (the size I chose).
First released in 2010, the Alma BB is a smaller, more compacted option for the Alma that came with a removeable strap, giving users the option to now easily wear this bag crossbody or over the shoulder.
While the Alma BB may be the newest addition to the Alma collection, it is now the most popular, and the one that I personally opted for.
About My Alma BB
As mentioned above, I bought my Alma on Fashionphile during the end of summer sale. While they have several different options available for purchase, I ended up going for this gorgeous Rose Nacre pink epi leather piece with a metallic finish.
The bag didn’t come with a strap, but did have the original sliver lock and key and is in great condition. You can see a bit of wear on the corners (as what tends to happen with metallic bags) and a few scratches on the outsides, but other than that, the bag is looking great.
I have to say that I’m really excited about getting an epi leather bag. While I love the canvas that Louis Vuitton creates, it hasn’t been inspiring me much as of late. Their leather on the other hand has been catching my eye for a few years now, and I’m happy to add another leather bag to my collection.
I have to say that the epi leather feels AMAZING! Especially if you’re a tactile person or you really enjoy touch; the grooves on the epi leather is just fun. I’ve been eyeing a vintage St. Cloud piece and now I defiantly think I’m going to take that plunge.
My Slight Hesitation
I’m going to be honest here–when I first got the bag and really looked at it, I had a moment of pause. Not because the Alma in general didn’t meet my expectations; in fact, I wish I would have purchased one sooner! Rather I had a few gripes about this particular bag. Normally I’m super elated when a purchase arrives, but the slight staining on one of the chaps plus the lack of strap really seemed to bother me.
Addressing the strap first, As a mother of young children, bags without a strap option just aren’t the most functional for me. They can work out for date night, but I much prefer to have the option to go hands free if I wish.
Fortunately I remembered that I had the Montaigne BB in Rose Ballerine, which comes with a nice sized shoulder strap.
While this strap doesn’t work crossbody on me, just having the shoulder option really helped me to feel better about the bag. I decided to test it out real quick by taking our kiddos to get ice cream (a challenge in and of itself) and the shoulder strap worked perfectly for me.
The slight stain on the back right chap was also something that had bothered me. I really don’t mind a bag that needs a little bit of TLC, and this was such a tiny stain too. But the contrast between the tiny orange dot and the pink just kinda irked me.
It feels like such a silly thing to be bothered by. But I decided to try and wipe it away with a wet wipe and it cleared most of the stain up. After seeing it lift, I started to consider keeping this particular bag again.
I think the last real hesitation that I felt had to do with the color.
I love pink. The majority of the handbags and accessories that I have are pink. Pink generally works really well with my complexion. But when I envisioned getting this bag, it was always either in the Rose Ballerine, which is a cooler pink or the Damier ebene (a favorite canvas print of mine).
The Rose Nacre, is a beautiful and warm shiny pink with silver detailing. Just looking at the bag, I was afraid that it would be too dressy for casual wear but too casual for formal wear.
But after sitting with it for a while and comparing it to my Chanel WOC, I realized that this bag will probably be fine for most any occasion.
I wear my iridescent WOC both casually and for dressy occasions and the colors are very similar. So this one is likely to work out too.
Quickly, I wanted to also mention that to me, how the handles sit when you are wearing the bag by the straps is also a little awkward to me. This wasn’t something that actually bothered me, but was something that I noticed so figured that I should mention it in this section here since I noticed it.
What Fits Inside
- My diamond top pen and pouch
- iPhone 13
- Air pods
- Kola Agenda PM
- Le Main Hand Creme
- Round Coin pouch
- Key Pouch
- 6 Ring Key Case
- Card Holder
- Chanel Duo Liquid lip
- Le Beige Powder
- Flower Bomb Perfume roller
- Small lip Vaseline
- Small medicine container
When people say that this is a Mary Poppin’s bag, they are not lying. While I had done a ton of research on this bag over the years and knew that it could hold a lot, I was still surprised with just how much could comfortably fit.
The list above is just some daily basics that I like to have on me, but one could easily switch things around on this list as well.
For example, I generally like to carry a much smaller hand crème around with me. So I could remove the Le Main Crème form the bag and instead add my small camera.
It’s really nice to have a smaller bag that can hold so much! Thought I would caution to not over stuff it. If you fill it too close to the top, you can deform your bag.
Also, the bag would get really heavy if you tried to over fill it. I can only imagine that if you’re using the original straps, that it would start to get really uncomfortable too.
Organizers are available for this bag, however I’m not sure if you would need one. Because of the structure of this bag, you really can’t go more than 1 layer deep with your bulky things, meaning that most of your items, in order to fit will be lined up nicely and easy to find.
Overall first thoughts
While I did have some hesitations with the bag, my overall first impression with the Alma BB is that it’s wonderful! If I don’t end up keeping this one, I’ll be exchanging it immediately for another Alma BB instead.
While I don’t use them often, I love a good top handle on a bag, as it feels so feminine yet functional at the same time.
The structure of the bag is well thought out to maximize usage and allows you to easily carry your daily items in a more organized fashion.
I’m in love with the beautiful epi leather as well. It feels like a sophisticated play on the traditional pebbled and grained leathers you see more often. This bag has definitely inspired me to look into other epi leather pieces.
Having this bag now just makes me think that I should have purchased it years ago. While I went with the Speedy and Neverfull as my first luxury bags, I think I’ll start advising folks to check out the Alma as well. I think it will make a great starter piece and suited for many different lifestyles.
If you’re interested or love the Alma as well,I would love to hear from you down below. And for those of you still looking for something for the fall, Fashionphile’s end of summer sale ends on 9/22/2022 so you still have time to check things out.