Review: Kate Spade New York Charlotte Street Small Sloan Satchel

May 28, 2013

Like Michael Kors and Tory Burch, Kate Spade has carved out a generous space for itself in the mid-range designer niche. Its main divergence from like brands is a strong injection of girly elements into many of its designs (bows, check. polka dots, check. stripes, check.). Apart from likable frills, the quality and design often leave a lot to be desired.

I originally saw the Small Sloan Satchel as a strong contender to fill my summer bag void but in person the bag fell short of exceptional in several significant ways. The saffiano leather looked slightly plastic-y under some lights and the top zipper had teeth that looked uneven (I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt but want to mention it in case it's a more expansive issue).

The bag measures 12"(L) x 9"(H) x 5"(D), weighs about 1.7 pounds empty, and the removable long strap adjusts from 15" to 18".

The bag has one main compartment with a wall zip pocket and two slip pockets. The bag is roomy for something of its size but don't expect to pack larger items, like a laptop, into it. And, as a general rule, carrying very dense objects on a regular basis will probably wear out the thinner strap sooner than intended.

Part of the bag's attraction, and what I expect will win it universal acceptance, is that apart from the shape, the bag is fairly "vanilla". There are few marks of true genius that make it stand out from a crowd but I personally prefer understated bags.
My chief complaint about the bag is that the handle straps are rigid (won't fold down) and will jab one's body repeatedly when the bag is worn on the shoulder or as a crossbody. It feels like a design oversight and one that I feel is inimical to the bag's appeal.
Buy the Charlotte Street Small Sloan Satchel in Limonium (Amazon or Bloomingdales), Cream (Zappos), Black (Amazon, Bloomingdale's, Zappos, Neiman Marcus, or Cusp), Light Gold, Coral (Cusp, Neiman Marcus, or Zappos), Coral with Canvas Panels (Amazon, Piperlime, Zappos, or Kate Spade), White with Canvas Panels (Amazon or Zappos), and Black with Canvas Panels (Kate Spade or Zappos).

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