Saint Laurent Small Kate Chain Bag Review
I’m here with another designer bag review! This time it’s on one of my favourite new additions to my closet – the Saint Laurent Small Kate Chain Grain de Poudre Bag in Black. This bag comes in many different colours, but black is the one that I picked up.
How did I acquire this beautiful YSL bag? I was in Selfridges in London with my boyfriend as we had gone to pick something up for him. As we passed the YSL department downstairs, I thought I would just try on the Small Kate in green for future reference as it was a bag I’d noticed regularly, but hadn’t intended to buy. I actually ended up falling in love with the size, design, fit, style… so I asked to try black, which they didn’t have downstairs, so I headed up to the women’s department on floor 3.
I asked the lovely sales assistant there if she could show me the Saint Laurent Small Kate in Black, as I just wanted to check it out and see it, for reference for a future purchase, however… this didn’t go as planned! As soon as I saw the bag and put it on, I knew that I had to take it home! It was everything I had dreamed of, but since I don’t really wear black bags that often, I was a little apprehensive about the colour. My boyfriend gave me a huge thumbs up though and said it’s stunning, and is actually his favourite bag that I own, so that worked out really well, ha ha.
So in short, I didn’t intend to get the Small Kate anytime soon, but I fell in love with it so much that I absolutely had to! I came home and sold some of my other designer bags immediately to pay for it. I’ve sold so many designer bags and shoes lately, to pick up a few new purchases, which I will be sharing with you soon, but carry on reading for the review of this bag!
Buy the YSL Small Kate in the UK and USA below:
*Tip – NEVER wear it with the chain doubled up (LIKE THIS) as my sales assistant at Saint Laurent said this damages the edges of the leather on the bag, due to the chain rubbing against it. This is not covered under the 1 year warranty, so please don’t wear it this way! I know down in the bag hall in Selfridges, London, they told me you can wear it on the shoulder this way and were totally unaware of the chain damaging the edges of the bag, which was kind of shocking. I was told if you want to wear it as a shoulder bag, to tuck the rest of the length of the chain inside the bag, and either tie the chain in a knot or perhaps use a hair tie or something along those lines, to secure it, so you just have one chain, not doubled up. I have worn it this way and it looks fabulous, so I just wanted to include this in the review!
The Small Kate Design
The Kate design from Saint Laurent has been a style of bag that I have loved for years, but hadn’t yet purchased. I originally fell in love with the version with the tassle, but after trying that on in person, I found the tassle to be a little too much for my personal style, so I opted for the original version.
It’s a gorgeous shape, isn’t it? It’s a small rectangle, which has a lot of depth to it as you can see from the side. The front flap has the classic YSL logo in gold, which is what makes the bag stand out, and there’s a matching, sturdy gold chain as the strap. This is quite weighty and of great quality. The front flap opens with a little magnetic closure, and inside is one main compartment and an interior slot compartment, so it’s simple and very easy to use, with a classic, elegant design. It’s also made in Italy.
The Small Kate Size
This is the Small Kate, as I mentioned, and it does come in size medium as well as envelope clutch versions. I have tried the medium on, however it’s just too big for my smaller 5ft 4, UK size 8, US size 4 frame. I am always better suited to the smaller versions of bags, and my bank balance appreciates that, ha ha.
The size of this bag measures 20cm, by 12.5cm, by 5cm, or if you prefer inches, that’s 7.8″, by 4.9″, by 1.9″, so you can see it is literally the perfect size to be worn as a cross-body bag for daily wear, or evening wear. The medium size is quite a bit bigger, especially in length, so it wasn’t as easy to wear.
The Leather & Hardware
The main thing that sold me on this bag was the leather! It’s 100% calf grain de poudre, however, the grain coating that it has means that it’s UNSCRATCHABLE! Yes, you read that right! You cannot scratch it!
I was so amazed by this when the sales assistant was showing me, she even told me to scrape my nail against it and I was extremely hesitant, but I did, after she showed me, and I was blown away. There’s not a mark on it! I don’t know what they do to this leather to make it scratch resistant, but it’s so cool! It does have a coated, pebbled, grained texture to it as you can see, so it’s not smooth, but it’s so durable, I’m amazed!
The hardware is coated in yellow gold plating, which can scratch, as can the chain, so do be careful with the hardware, unlike the leather. This hardware is so sturdy and well made though, as the chain is weighty and of really good quality. It’s not removable though, for anyone wondering.
The Details & Price
Since this bag is so minimal and sleek, there aren’t many details to include that I haven’t already said, and you can see them all from the close ups of my photos. There are 2 gold circle hardware holes at the top of the bag, which is where the chain goes through, so it wont scratch anything.
Now the price, I know Saint Laurent recently had another price increase and I purchased this bag in December 2022, where it retails for the current price of £1440. This price in the USA is slightly more, due to import, and it’s $2100. It is pretty much a standard price for a designer bag of this size, but I will say that I think the Small Kate is one bag that would literally last forever, and never look tired or old, due to how durable the leather is.
The Small Kate Wear & Versatility
I’ve worn the Saint Laurent Small Kate bag 4 times already and it’s extremely versatile! This outfit showcased here is a winter style look with a coat and layers, which it’s perfect for, but I’ve also worn it with a nice black, summery dress for another outfit, a turtleneck and skirt as another, a leather jacket etc. so it’s one of the most versatile bags that I have, while still remaining classy and not looking casual.
Even though it doesn’t look casual because of the shape, glossy leather, and shiny hardware, you can still wear it with a t-shirt and jeans and it looks just as good! It’s truly amazing! I love it so much that I want it in Taupe too. As with any chain bags, the chain strap can dig into the collarbone if you don’t have a fully covered top, but that’s nothing that us seasoned bag wearers aren’t used to!
I’m pretty sure you can see that my overall opinion of the Saint Laurent Small Kate cross-body bag in this review is a hugely positive one! There’s not one thing that I don’t like about it at all. I mean I would prefer if there was a proper way to double up the chain and wear it that way, but it’s no big deal as it’s designed to be cross-body more so than it is a shoulder bag. Other than this, I have nothing negative to point out at all. I love it! So if you’re looking to buy it, you will not be disappointed in this classic! I say go for it immediately!
If you have any questions about this bag review, please leave them below!
Buy the YSL Small Kate in the UK and USA below:
View this post on Instagram
not to enable you or anything haha, but i definitely think you should consider the taupe color as well! the small Kate looks like such a perfect fit for you. i’d love to have a crossbody bag like this, but i seem to carry around so much stuff with me, i doubt i’d be able to fit everything i need in one 🙁 i seem to always come back to celine bags myself, and i’m also looking at their origami flap wallet-for either myself or my husband. i really love the design of it, and the pattern is just interesting enough without drawing too much attention.
i’m actually interested in hearing more about your process for how you rotate what comes in and goes out of your closet, how you decide what to sell, what to keep, etc. would you consider doing a blog or youtube post about that? also, since you’ve done a fair amount of traveling recently, if you have any tips on what bag(s) to bring, if you use a purse organizer or smaller bags/accessories within to store things like passport, makeup, meds, keys, wallet, etc. i feel like my current travel bag, a simple longchamp le pliage, ends up becoming a black hole!
Hi Lis! Oh gosh, I have been trying to get the Taupe, but it got discontinued and my sales assistant has been trying to get it from Paris, but no luck yet! I think that one is a no go! 🙁
I do love Celine bags too! They’re beautiful, but I preferred the collection when Phoebe was designing, rather than Hedi. I LOVE Hedi and I adore what he did with Saint Laurent, huge fan, but not really a fan of the newest Celine designs.
My travel bag for me is my Saint Laurent Nano Sac de Jour! The top is open top, so it’s easy to reach in and out, and I carry my essentials in here like my passport, credit cards, medication, lip balm, hand gel etc, it’s big enough for essentials. And I have a back pack as my carry on bag 🙂 I don’t really carry a huge amount of things with me.
Regarding how I choose what to keep and sell, I actually decide on if there’s a flaw that I don’t like with the bag, if I don’t really wear it, if I have one similar etc. and I compare that to a new bag I want. If the new bag is better than most of mine, I can let go of some. I just make sure to keep various styles and colours. I can definitely look at doing a blog post on this, and a separate one on travel if you’re interested?
ugh, that stinks! that’s really good to have a sales assistant to help keep an eye out for one, just in case 😉
definitely phoebe philo all the way! i’m really excited to see what she comes out with when her new collection debuts.
oh wow, i never would have thought the nano size could fit so much! that’s a good point about being able to reach in and out; my husband seems to always be asking for a tissue, hand gel, etc when we’re traveling haha.
that seems like a good system to make sure you’re getting the most use out of your bag collection. especially if you can put your sales towards future purchases. if it’s not too much trouble, i think either topic would be a good blog post. we’re going back to england next month, so travel is definitely on my brain at the moment!
Yeah, I’ve been trying to get a hold of it for a while, lol! I don’t think it’s going to be an option, but I have a Mulberry Lily that’s very similar! 🙂
I saw she’s doing her own collection soon! I got so excited, ha ha!
The Nano actually does fit a fair amount in it! I can fit everything I need in there for travel all the time! Obviously it doesn’t really hold a bottle of water, that sticks out of the top, but all the essentials you need to carry. I can include what fits in there when I do the blog post.
That’s cool you’re coming to England next month! Where are you travelling from?
coming from america 🙂 my husband is from the hertfordshire/essex area and we are long overdue for a visit back to see the family! at the moment the exchange rate works out better to buy over there, so i’m considering my options. usually my suitcase comes back filled with chocolate, but it might be a bit different this time, haha.
Yes!! When my boyfriend was here in November/December, that’s exactly what he did! The exchange is perfect for shopping right now! Ha ha! 😀
Oh this is such a classic bag, it so fits your style! I can see why you fell in love and had to have it right away! 🙂
You wear it so well!
So glad you like it, Mica 😀
You look so happy.
Lol, thank you.