My Saint Laurent YSL Small Manhattan Bag Review

Saint Laurent YSL Small Manhattan Bag Review

Those of you that are regular readers of my fashion blog will have seen this gorgeous Saint Laurent Small Manhattan bag in a recent post of mine that featured the Levi’s white Ribcage jeans outfit, so here I am doing a new review for you, on this gorgeous YSL Manhattan Bag in Blanc Vintage!

A little backstory on my YSL Manhattan bag purchase – I had been wanting a new Summer bag that was cute, classy, elegant and in a totally neutral colour like white for a while. I’m a little tired of the traditional cross-body bags and was favouring something that I can wear on my shoulder, that stayed put (unlike the Saint Laurent Le 5 a 7) and was extremely versatile.

I came across the YSL Small Manhattan online when I was browsing the Saint Laurent website and instantly fell in love with the shape and design, while I was in the United States over the winter. I initially fell for the brown crocodile version (see here), but I then saw how gorgeous the Blanc Vintage white colour was, and how perfect it would be with everything that I wanted to wear.

After doing a tonne of research on YouTube and Google, watching other people’s reviews, I did order the Manhattan while I was out there and decided that I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t keep that one because I didn’t have room to bring it back to the UK in my luggage, plus the US prices for YSL are a lot more than the UK prices due to import taxes, but it was enough for me to know that I was in love with the Small Manhattan, and it was a bag that I knew I had to get!

I purchased my Saint Laurent Small Manhattan in Blanc Vintage from LuisaViaRoma when I got home. I had a £200 LVR credit voucher to use, so I got a good discount on the bag, but I also had to let go of some other designer bags and shoes that I owned to purchase this one! So I knew it was totally worth it if I was willing to part with other pieces to get her! Anyway, she arrived and here’s my review for you! There’s also a YouTube review of mine at the bottom of this blog post which you can watch! Please do subscribe!


Buy the YSL Small Manhattan below:


Buy the YSL Small Manhattan in other colours below:


YSL Small Manhattan Bag Size

I have the Small size Manhattan bag from YSL – which measures 24cm x 17.5cm x 6cm, or if you prefer inches, that’s 9.4″ x 6.7″ x 2.4″, with a total strap drop of 24cm. There is a Nano version which is a cross-body bag that looks very similar to the Nano Sac de Jour, and there is also a Medium version, which looks just like mine, but a fair amount bigger, if you prefer more space.

I’d personally say that this is the perfect size for my body size and height. For reference (if you’re not a long term follower) I am 5ft 4 inches tall and around a UK size 8, or a US size 4. I wear a 27 waist jeans. As you can see, it’s literally perfect for my frame and isn’t too big or too small. I’m definitely happy that I went for this size, as it’s very comparable to the YSL 5 a 7 (see my video comparison review below).

YSL Small Manhattan Bag Design

The Manhattan design is what attracted me to the bag in the first place. It’s very reminiscent of the Hermes Kelly in my opinion, but different. This is due to the magnetic closure it has on the front. The shape of the bag is a beautiful rectangle, it’s very structured and slightly wider at the base than at the top. The top flap comes over to the front from the back, and latches shut with a little magnet closure. Then you pull the compression tabs on the sides over and lock them into the magnet clasps, as you can see below.

It also features a shoulder strap in the same Blanc Vintage leather, which is adjustable in height, and I wear it on the second from last hole, almost at its longest. This is a very comfortable strap and stays perfectly on my shoulder, even when moving around a lot. You can also remove this strap entirely as it’s a looped through belt style strap, so you can wear it as a clutch. The bag features one main compartment inside, and one flat pocket for cards, so it’s a simple, elegant design!

The Manhattan Details & Hardware

The hardware on this Small Manhattan is bronze-toned metal, which is a signature of YSL. I think it matches perfectly with the Blanc Vintage colour, but I’ve also seen the other colours that Manhattan comes in (Rosy Sand, Black, Brown, Green, Navy, Red etc.) and the gold hardware suits those shades too!

Regarding details, since this YSL bag is so minimal and sleek, there really isn’t any heavy branding. It features a tiny embossed Saint Laurent logo on the main middle hardware square on the front of the bag, and that’s it, so it’s not easy to review in terms of details. It’s super sleek and perfectly minimalist. You can wear the compression tabs undone if you want to, which is a fun detail, just like Hermes Kelly lovers do.

The Blanc Vintage Leather

Now this leather is super soft! It has a leather lining inside the bag as well, in the same colour, so it’s Blanc Vintage all over. As you can see from my photos and video below, the colour is an off white, with warm undertones. I would say it’s more like a cream, but not as yellow. It’s very hard to describe, but it’s definitely warm white and not cool or bright. It’s muted and extremely feminine. It’s darker than a bright white (as you can see compared to my jeans). It’s more in line with my boots, which are a warm creamy, almost ivory white. The leather seems to be pretty structured and robust, with a coating on it, to make it easier to clean and more uniform. As it’s white, we will see how it holds up! Luckily since it’s a shoulder bag, there wont be any colour transfer from jeans.

The Versatility & Wearability of the YSL Small Manhattan Bag

Now when it comes to versatility, I would say this bag is extremely versatile in terms of the colours you can wear it with. Blanc Vintage is the most universal and will literally go with everything. I can’t think of a single shade that it wouldn’t pair nicely with, so I definitely picked the perfect colour.

In terms of wearability, since the Small Manhattan by YSL is a classy, minimal, elegant bag, there might be a few restrictions in terms of outfits. I can’t imagine this bag going with my Golden Goose sneakers and a t-shirt and jeans, but I could be wrong! It might be easy to dress down because it’s under the arm and not the focal point – it’s understated and blends in, so it could work. I will have to get back to you on that. I definitely love to wear this Small Manhattan by Saint Laurent dressed up though, in a feminine way!

It doesn’t allow you to go hands free as it doesn’t have a cross-body strap (the Nano version does), so keep that in mind as it’s only a shoulder or hand bag. It just depends how you like wearing your bags.

The Price Point – Is It Worth It?

Like I mentioned above, I got this bag with a discount from my LuisaViaRoma credit, however the retail value is quite high. It’s definitely one of the more expensive bags that I own (aside from my Chanel Boy bag). The price is £2045, which is very steep for such a small bag, but given how much of a price increase all the designer luxury brands are having at the moment, I am not surprised. The economy has gone crazy!

Do I think the Saint Laurent Small Manhattan is worth £2045? I’m not 100% sure. It really does depend on your level of income and how much you can afford to spend on luxury items. For me, getting a couple of hundred pounds off definitely helped, and like I said, I sold numerous other bags and shoes to pay for it. My view on that was ‘did I love the Manhattan more than other things I owned?’ and the answer was yes. So it’s an incredibly gorgeous bag, but the price point is very much down to personal opinion.

My Overall Opinion

My overall opinion in this Saint Laurent Small Manhattan Bag review is a very positive one! I give this bag a 9.5 out of 10, and that’s a very high score! It loses a couple of marks purely because it is a pretty expensive bag, and it’s a shoulder bag only, and with the compression tabs and top flap, it does take longer to get into than most of my other bags, however this makes it really secure. Other than that, I cannot fault it. If you have the option to get this bag, I 100% recommend it, jut make sure the alignment of the magnetic closures is right! I’ve seen two in person that were slightly wonky, which is unacceptable in my opinion. Mine is perfect though! If any of you own the YSL Small Manhattan, what’s your opinion of it? Enjoy my YouTube review below and don’t forget to subscribe and like!



  1. Mica - Away From The Blue
    April 7, 2023 / 12:15 pm

    It is a beautiful classic bag and really suits your style, I can see why you had to have it 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    • Lorna
      April 7, 2023 / 4:41 pm

      Thanks, Mica! It really is a stunning piece 😀

    • Lorna
      April 7, 2023 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you, Amy! Glad you like it!

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