Michael Kors Selma Bags Comparison and Review

January 28, 2014

The Michael Kors Selma Satchel was one of my favorite purchases last year for a number of reasons; among them are relative affordability and a pragmatic yet aesthetically pleasing design.

I have been intrigued by how members of the Selma family differ but have not had an opportunity to evaluate them closely until recently, when I needed to purchase a wedding present for a family friend whose wedding I cannot attend.

I ordered a few different styles during one of Macy's sales to contemplate and wanted to share some pictures and thoughts with you, in case you were curious about them too.
Mini Messenger | Medium Messenger | Large Satchel
I won't comment at length about their durability because I already discussed it in a previous post (and intermittently since then) and there is little difference in quality between styles. I still think the workmanship and material are, at a minimum, acceptable for a mid-range bag.

One of the differences I observed among these three styles is strap width. The width increased slightly with bag size but I don't quite understand why there exists a need to differentiate strap width when the differences are minuscule and the smaller bags would've lain flatter against the curve of a body better had the straps been slightly wider.

And on the topic of strap length for the mini and medium messengers, if you are shorter or have a short torso, you would probably need to punch additional holes in the strap as existing holes did not allow me to wear the bag at low waist (even at the shortest setting the bag still slung near my lower hip).
Top to bottom:
Mini Messenger in Fuchsia | Medium Messenger in Mandarin | Large Satchel in Luggage | Large Satchel in Navy
And as cute as the smaller bags were, they hold very little and their sizes impose a limitation that's hard to overlook for those of us who have trouble paring down our essentials (what do you mean two first aid kits are redundant?!)
Medium Messenger in Mandarin | Mini Messenger in Fuchsia
The Mini Messenger was very cute in person but personally I found it almost toy-like in size at 5.5" tall and less than 7" wide. It wouldn't fit a full-sized wallet or much more than a few essentials (coin purse, card wallet, a few beauty products, keys, and phone).

It is fairly light (about 10 ounces empty) which is unsurprising given its size and even if filled with osmium pellets it probably wouldn't weigh enough to cause any bag-related injuries.
The bag conveniently comes with built-in card slots and a slip pocket so you have the option of leaving your wallet at home.
And...moving on to the Medium Messenger (shown below in "Mandarin," an orange-y red that is very vibrant in person).

The medium messenger is a good size for weekend use but again I feel the size might be slightly too small for chronic overpackers like me. The bag measures 10.5" in width, 6.5" in height, and about 3" in depth. The advantage to having a smaller bag is that it forces you to strategize about which items to lug around and it's harder to lose items in the shuffle.
I am partial to smaller Selma's in vibrant colors and ended up choosing this bag for the aforementioned family friend.
Michael Kors Selma Medium Messenger in Mandarin
Looking ahead, I have reviews scheduled for the Coach Madison Small Kelsey Satchel and the Lauren Ralph Lauren Newbury Double Zip Satchel; these reviews will be posted within the next month.

I'd be happy to answer any questions that concern these bags. Leave a comment below or write me an e-mail.

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29 comments

  1. Love your reviews! Keep em' coming! (rosecitystyleguide.com)

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  2. Great reviews! I usually go for the large sizes but for this one, I like the small pink one the best. Love wearing smaller bags for weekends to run errands and go shopping. The big purses are too heavy and bulky to haul around in the mall.

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    1. The large Selma is definitely inappropriate for running errands (it starts to get heavy at around hour 2) but the mini Selma is almost *too* small (for me anyway). I think the medium messenger is a fairly solid choice for weekend use. :)

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  3. I'm bummed that my local Michael Kors don't have the many of the smaller Selmas in stock.. I've been intrigued since you first posted your review on the largest size! I've been looking in to finding a good small cross-body.. I'm currently sing my AWang Rockie and my shoulders could use a break!

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    1. My local MK has tons of smaller Selma's...maybe a trip to the U.S. is in order?! :)

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  4. I am obsessed with the Selma bags! I have the large satchel in black. I tried to buy the medium in black twice during Bloomingdale's sales over the holidays, but both times, there were imperfections. I bought one medium on eBay, but the zipper stop broke and after I sold it, the buyer told me she asked a SA and she said it was fake. I have not been having good luck with the medium Selma! But I'm awaiting sales to try my hand again! It is the perfect size for running errands. I am a chronic over packer as well, but I actually used it a few times during work instead of a larger bag! I love the small Selma too for going to a bar/ club/ late night activities. :) I would probably stick to black initially because I'm scared of stains and color transfer (not that I wear color! :P), but really want some neon yellow! I want all the colors and bags! :o

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    1. WOW. Thank you for sharing your eBay story with us...I don't think most people are wary enough of mid-level designer counterfeits. Good luck with your search (and go with the neon yellow!)

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  5. Love love love the Selma bags - I have the large Selma (http://ellaprettyblog.blogspot.ca/2013/10/bag-review-closer-look-at-michael-kors.html) and have already used it on holiday - it got so many compliments - and not even a scratch despite travel-related hazards (going on the security scan belt without a basket, being stashed in front of me on the plane).

    Am super tempted to get the medium cross body bag - the shape seems so classic and timeless (doesn't it remind you a bit of Kate Spade's first bags?)...Have you seen the Michal Kors Studded Clutches? That is also on my wishlist...decisions decisions!

    I also have to ask you - since I love your thorough reviews - have you tried the Mini Pashli - and what do you think of it?

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    1. Your review is super helpful, Ella. Thanks for sharing the link. :)

      I have tried the mini Pashli and I was a fan of the bag in green but had trouble justifying the cost. For the right person it's definitely worthwhile but I personally wouldn't find much use for it. Was there anything in specific that you wanted to discuss about the mini Pashli?

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    2. Glad you liked the link Elle :-)

      In terms of the mini Pashli - I already have a bag that is the same size (My Coach Mini Tanner) BUT I love how structured and cute the mini Pashli is (& the handles stand up) - so I'm seriously tempted!

      I guess the main thing I was interested in was the structure of the Mini Pashli - I like it because it looks really structured and not slouchy. I was wondering if you think it would keep it's shape over time :-) And also I wondered if the lock would be a pain to open and close over time.

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    3. The mini Pashli is a fairly structured bag (the leather is stiffer than even saffiano leather). I think it should keep its shape as long as you don't use it to carry really dense things (like bricks). I didn't play with the push lock closure on the mini too much but did struggle a bit with closure on the regular sized Pashli. It could be a dealbreaker so if you order it, just spend some time "test driving" the push lock before you make any decisions. :)

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    4. Thanks Elle - I'll have to find another bag to carry my bricks in LOL! But good to know about the lock - am going to check it out in store before making any rash decisions ;-)

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  6. omg i love the Selma bag in both the medium and mini. it is so so so cute!! i like the vibrant colors you've chosen. I'm putting these items on my wishlist. :)

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    1. lol but you just got that KS! But I am a fan of the Selma bags so won't stand in your way. :)

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  7. These bags are cute. I especially love the red one! What bugs me are the gaps on either side even after you zip it. There's no way of preventing that, is there? =\
    jessydust.com

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    1. P.S. Is there any reason that you switched out of Disqus? Sorry if you wrote about this already! Just curious. : )

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    2. The gaps are a bit of a nuisance and I meant to address that problem in the post but couldn't remember if I've complained about that in the past (at the last minute just took that paragraph out). Unfortunately I don't see an easy solution to the problem.

      And I switched out of disqus because it was linking somewhat questionable articles and posts alongside my own and I really don't want people to get in trouble (I know some people browse from work and at school) for visiting those sites by accident. As convenient and useful as disqus was, I wouldn't want even one person to accidentally walk into a NSFW situation.

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  8. There's actually one more size you missed out on! I think it's called the selma messenger, but it's somewhere between the mini and the messenger but with handles and long instead of wide!

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    1. Ah, I know which bag you are referring to! I didn't order that but should have just to cover my bases. Do you consider that a useful size? ;)

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  9. I bought the medium messenger selma in mandarin red with gold Grommets on the sides and I absolutely love it and it is my current favorite bag by far. It was initially hard to find this combo, but I think a few places are carrying it now.

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    1. What a unique combination! I haven't seen that particular bag in person but it sounds vibrant and fun. Will keep my eyes peeled for it the next time I visit an MK store. :)

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  10. Did you end up keeping the luggage Selma? =D

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    1. I did not. That would be overkill! :)

      And when are we going to have lunch?! It's been too long.

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  11. Great review, love Michael Kors bags!

    www.loveandclothing.com

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  12. What is the difference between the Michael Kors large Selma satchel and the Selma East/West?

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  13. Truly said, purses and purses are not only used for different reasons but, many fashionable purses and purses are used for activities, activities etc. I have recently bought one such purse for an event.Fashion Handbags

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  14. AnonymousMay 04, 2014

    So i am considering getting the medium selma messenger bag but I'm not so sure yet. Is it a good choice for a 17 year old? And if I do not want to hang it on my shoulder but want to hold it in my hand, will it still look good? or will it look too small. And for the large one, is it too heavy? I am going to New york city so i'm gonna be walking around, so which one should i get for the traveling but also for daily use?

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  15. I'm eyeing the Selma bag at the moment. Already own a Jet Set Travel Tote by MK which I recently purchased for myself and I'm loving it ^_^. Your post about this helps me decide if I want to go for another MK bag or not and I really do now want another one in my life :D. Your bag is gorgeous ^_^.

    www.crazypoplock.com

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