Camel Bag Hunt Part II : YSL Cabas ChYc Leather Medium East West Satchel

October 05, 2012

After the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Tote failed to wow me, I moved onto what is currently considered the "it" bag of the moment. I normally try to stay away from ubiquitous bags but the YSL Cabas ChYc Bag had a sophistication to it that made it memorable.

I haven't been able to forget it after seeing it in person while making a return last year but its hefty price tag was more than a little intimidating. I wanted a bag that is timeless and will be something I can still wear in 10 years.

The Cabas ChYc fulfilled several critical criteria - it had (enough) structure, a top zipper, and metal feet. The sheepskin leather used to craft this bag comes in both smooth and saffiano; the bag is also available in calfskin, lambskin, metallic leather, perforated leather, embossed lizard, and calf hair.

The medium size in biscuit did not come with a shoulder strap but I was told that the mini size as well as some medium sized Cabas ChYc bags in classic colors (like black) come standard with an adjustable crossbody strap (flagship stores may be the only place that offer straps on medium bags though). There are no additional buckles to attach the shoulder strap to for the medium, so if you can find the exact match for your seasonal color in another YSL style (Say the Muse 2), you can just attach it to the rings that are connected to the top handles.

The bag has a concealed top zipper that runs east-west which keeps the contents of your bag secure; it also has a magnetic tab closure with signature "Y" hardware.

The bag measures 11-inches tall, 15-inches wide, and about 6 and a half inches deep. Weight-wise, the bag weighs just under 2 pounds.

The Cabas ChYc satchel is available in a myriad of colors as well as in several sizes, finishes, and shapes. The version I ordered is a medium east-west bag which has a rectangular shape but there is also another "medium" which is more square-like in appearance. I think there is certainly something for everyone when it comes to the ChYc.

As with most leather bags with a bit of structure built into the design - the larger a bag is, the sloucher it becomes. The medium is probably the biggest size I would consider as the large Cabas ChYc looks almost luggage-like in pictures I found online

The Cabas ChYc in medium has two small pockets and one larger zippered compartment on the inside. It's without doubt a roomy bag so more disorganized owners of this bag will probably benefit from using a handbag organizer.

Metal feet are absolutely essential to protecting the bottom of the bag (since it will have to be set down at some point) and I am surprised when expensive bags are designed without them. It's a feature I've come to expect from larger bags.

And the ChYc bags, as far as I am aware, are all made in Italy. Country of origin is not normally an element that is of importance on my rubric but I thought I would include that information in case it's a factor that is important to you.

As great as this bag is, it simply wasn't "the one." Again, like the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel, the YSL Cabas ChYc shines most in vibrant colors and the "biscuit" was lackluster in comparison.

The bag in medium retails for $1990 but can be found for much less. A friend of mine bought hers at a sample sale for about 1k - about 50% off retail - and many others have found the Cabas ChYc at TJMaxx Runway Stores for about $1200-$1300. And if you are particular about color, YSL is not usually excluded from the twice yearly gift card events at Neiman Marcus so if you can wait, it's a significant enough saving.

There is one catch...

With Hedi Slimane at the helm of YSL (or rather, Saint Laurent Paris), the ChYc is due for a redesign and I think the slightly ostentatious Y hardware will likely be eliminated in the process. Slimane's first design for Saint Laurent Paris is more Celine and less Tory Burch when it comes to understated logo's and if this duffel is an indication for what's to come, fans of the current ChYc should stock up before the redesign is complete.

Are you a fan of the YSL Cabas ChYc bag?

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