If there’s one French bag that I have relied on the longest, it’s the Longchamp Le Pliage Tote Bag.
This French tote bag has been a classic in my wardrobe for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Connecticut and pretty much every girl in high school carried one of these chic French bags to class.
I even remember my very first Longchamp tote bag! It was a pink one with a turquoise stripe down the middle – very preppy of me! At the time, you could customize your Longchamp tote bag with two different colors, an opportunity I jumped on!
Later on, I got a solid red Lonchamp Pliage bag with brown leather handles and flap – that served me well through my college years.
Most recently, I kept it classic with a solid black Pliage tote bag with black leather handles and flap, which I am currently still using.
Even though the colors of my Pliage bags have evolved, my love for this French tote bag has not faded!
If you’re thinking about purchasing this quintessential French girl tote bag, then I hope this Le Pliage bag review will help you decide!
Longchamp is a respected, luxury French designer brand from Paris. It was founded by Jean Cassegrain and his wife Renée who began as a high-end tobacco pipe maker in the 1930s and 40s. He decided to sheath them with leather and created a new concoction exclusive to his boutique.
Embarking as a leather goods maker, Cassegrain used refind leathers of calfskin and goatskin, as well as exotic skins like that of crocodiles. The pipes were particularly appreciated by the Allied troops and soldiers during the war.
The brand officially launched in 1948 as a maker of products for smokers (in fashion at the time) such as cigarette cases, leather goods, bags, wallets, and pouches.
Cassegrain originally wanted to call his brand “Cassegrain” but it was already in use by another member of his family. On his way to his production workshops, Cassegrain passed by one of the old windmills in Paris, at the end of the famous Longchamp racecourse.
He made a connection between the windmill and his last name which means to “break the grain” in French. Again, this logo is already in use by another relative.
So, due to the proximity of the windmill and the French racecourse, Cassegrain decided to call his brand “Longchamp,” creating a link between the equestrian world and the leather goods maker.
In the 1960s, Longchamp was one of the first to sell luggage in the airport. The Orly Sud airport had just been inaugurated in 1961 and Cassegrain was sure air travel would take off.
In 1971, Longchamp launched its first women’s handbag.
Longchamp is a family-owned brand, continuously operated by the Cassegrain family such as Sophie Delafontaine, its artistic director. Jean Cassegrain serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Longchamp whose headquarters are located at 12 Rue Saint-Florentin in Paris, France.
Longchamp Le Pliage Bag History
The famous Le Pliage bag was designed by Longchamp’s CEO Philippe Cassegrain (son of the founder) in 1993. Pliage means ‘folding’ in French, a reference to how easily the bag’s nylon material can be folded up when not in use. The Pliage bag remains the most popular bag the Longchamp brand sells today.
The Le Pliage Bag
The Longchamp Le Pliage bag is rectangular in shape with two long shoulder straps. It is not structured which means it adapts to fit whatever you have inside it.
It has a zippered top closure preventing any contents from spilling if the bag tips over. A leather flap that can be buttoned folds over the zipper providing extra security.
The bag has one small interior pouch which falls flat against the front part of the interior.
The bag’s body is primarily made of nylon which gives it its flexibility. The shoulder handles and foldover flap is made of Russian leather.
What fits inside the Longchamp Le Pliage bag?
If you go with the standard ‘Large’ size tote bag, you can fit everything you need for your work or school day. That’s why I love this bag! You could easily hold a MacBook laptop with a case, a large book, an iPad, a pouch with makeup, a small sweater, water, and a wallet inside it at once.
Longchamp Le Pliage Sizes
Due to its success, this bestselling Longchamp bag comes in several different sizes and numerous colors. I’ve picked different colors to showcase the bags below, but feel free to click through to see the different colors available for each bag!
Longchamp Large Le Pliage Tote Bag
The Large Pliage is the most popular size Longchamp bag. It’s the classic standard size tote bag that is best for most people’s needs. This tote bag measures 12 ¼ inches long, 11 ¾ inches tall, and has a 7 ½ inch depth. The shoulder strap drops 9 inches.
Longchamp Medium Le Pliage Tote Bag
The medium Longchamp tote bag measures 11 inches wide, 9.75 inches high, and has a depth of 5.5 inches.
Small Le Pliage Nylon Shoulder Tote
The small Longchamp shoulder bag measures 11 inches wide, 10 inches high, and has a 5 ½ inch depth.
Mini Le Pliage Handbag
The mini Longchamp handbag measures 9 inches long, 8 ¾ inches high, and has a 5 ½ depth.
Le Pliage Nylon Travel Bag
The oversized Le Pliage Nylon Travel Bag measures 21 inches wide, 14.5 inches high, and has a depth of 9 inches.
Longchamp occasionally releases unique, special edition designs of the Le Pliage bag which are typically available for a limited time. Keep an eye out for these distinctive designs!
How long does the Longchamp Le Pliage bag last?
The Longchamp Le Pliage bags will last you a really long time if you care for them. If I had to estimate I’d say this bag could last for up to 10 years.
My tote bags from high school are holding up well and they were purchased over 10 years ago. The only sign of wear and tear is on the corners where a super small hole has formed at the fold. Obviously, the bag is still usable but I prefer to carry a bag without small holes at the edges.
Longchamp Le Pliage Price
The Pliage bag is one of the lowest-priced handbags sold by the brand. The large Pliage tote bag comes in at a very reasonable $145.
The medium, small, and mini bags cost even less. The largest travel tote costs $170.
Is Longchamp cheaper in France?
Yes, if you’re able to travel to France to purchase the Longchamp Le Pliage bag, you’ll save some money. The bag is priced at 95€ (currently $105 USD) from Longchamp in France, a savings of around $40.
Is the Longchamp Le Pliage worth it?
Yes, if you need a spacious tote bag, the Longchamp Le Pliage bag is a fantastic option especially if you’re shopping on a budget. It easily holds all your daily essentials with room to spare. The design is French girl chic. As of now, 95% of Nordstrom customers gave this handbag a 4 or 5-star rating (out of 5 stars).
I hope you found this Longchamp Le Pliage tote bag review insightful!