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Read everything you need to know about the Hermes Constance crossbody bag, including its history, up to date prices, features and more.
Whether you’re a longtime Hermès devotee or a newly inducted member, you’ve probably heard about the brand’s Holy Trinity of bags: the Birkin, the Kelly, and the Constance. Birkin and Kelly get most of the attention, but don’t write off Constance.
With its longstanding history, iconic H clasp, and day-to-night wearability, there’s so much to love about Constance. For more specifics about sizes, prices, and materials, make sure to read our complete guide.
Hermès Brand History
Harness maker Thierry Hermès founded the iconic Parisian brand in 1837. What started out as an equestrian store soon expanded to include silk scarves, jewelry, and handbags.
The Kelly was the brand’s first hit, with the bag’s popularity skyrocketing in the mid-1950s. Next came the Birkin in 1984. Constance was released in between and shot to popularity in the 1960s.
These days, Hermès is a massive, multi-national brand known for its commitment to quality materials and craftsmanship.
Hermès Constance History
Hermès released the Constance in 1959. The simple, yet elegant bag was the brainchild of Catherine Chaillet, an Hermès designer. Chaillet worked on the bag while pregnant with her fifth child.
She named the style after her new daughter, Constance. Funnily enough, Constance was born the same day the bag left Hermès’ warehouse.
Like the Kelly, Constance owes some of its success to a celebrity endorsement. First lady Jackie Kennedy was often spotted carrying hers while running errands.
As you might expect from a Jackie O-endorsed bag, the Constance is elegant, yet functional. In particular, its sleek lines and small size make Constance a classic style that never goes out of fashion. In fact, the basic design has remained the same for more than 60 years, save for a few modifications.
Along with the Birkin and the Kelly, Constance makes up Hermès’ Holy Trinity of handbags. Although lesser known than the brand’s two superstars, Constance is equally sought after and tough to buy.
Read also: Birkin vs Kelly – which is the winner?
Constance is a slightly rectangular flap-top bag that fastens with a spring-loaded H buckle closure. It features an adjustable shoulder strap that can be worn long for cross-body wear or doubled for shoulder wear.
The interior features two slip pockets, with larger versions featuring a zippered pocket.
With the exception of the Micro Constance, this style can be made with a single gusset (one compartment) or a double gusset (two compartments). The double gusset option offers more space and helps keep your bag organized.
Aside from the staple style, Hermès also makes the Constance Elan and the Constance Cartable. The Elan is longer, slimmer, and more clutch-like, while the Cartable is wider and taller than the original style.
Spin-off products include the Constance To-Go wallet, a long wallet with a removable strap, and the Constance belt bag.
Hermès currently manufactures Constance in five sizes that range from micro to large handbag. Check out the table below to see the exact dimensions of each size.
|Hermès Style||Dimensions (inches)||Dimensions (centimeters)|
|Constance Micro (14)||5.5” x 4.3” x 1.2”||14 cm x 11 cm x 3 cm|
|Constance Mini (18)||7.1” x 5.7” x 1.6”||18 cm x 14.5 cm x 4 cm|
|Constance 24||9.4” x 5.9” x 2”||24 cm x 15 cm x 5 cm|
|Constance 25 Elan||9.8” x 5.5” x 3.1”||25 cm x 14 cm x 8 cm|
|Constance 29 Cartable||11.5” x 10” x 3.5”||29 cm x 25 cm x 8 cm|
In addition to these sizes, the Constance has also been made in 23 cm, 25 cm, and 29 cm lengths. However, these sizes are discontinued. That said, you may be able to scoop one up on a secondhand website like Fashionphile or Rebag.
What Fits Inside an Hermès Constance?
- Constance Micro (14)- Fits keys, a tube of lipstick, a few cards, and some cash.
- Constance Mini (18) – Fits a smartphone, keys, a small wallet, and a tube of lipstick.
- Constance 24 – Fits everything the mini can, with some extra room for items like tissues or hand lotion.
- Constance 25 Elan – Fits just slightly more than the 24 (e.g. some additional makeup items or a pen)
- Constance 29 Cartable – Fits a smartphone, keys, a small wallet, some makeup items, and a mini notebook.
Hermès Constance Materials
Constance was first manufactured in box leather. It continues to be the most popular material. Box leather is stiff and holds its shape. Unfortunately, it’s prone to scratches and blistering when wet.
Epsom leather is another popular material and is favored for its durability. Evercolor is another common option, and it is praised for its softness and durability.
Special editions of the Constance come in exotic materials like crocodile, alligator, and ostrich. Suede and canvas bags also make an appearance from time to time.
In most cases, Constance bags feature palladium or gold-plated hardware. However, some special edition models use rose gold, enamel, or even diamond-encrusted closures.
The interior of the bag is lined with lambskin.
Constance comes in many colors, ranging from neutrals like black and camel to brighter hues like sky blue, ruby red, and yellow.
Hermès Constance Prices
Like a lot of luxury designers, Hermès does not sell its most popular bags bags via e-commerce. As a result, knowing up-to-date pricing information is a challenge and is usually an estimate at best.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most current Constance prices. We weren’t able to verify prices on the Micro, 25 Elan, or 29 Cartable sizes, so we’ve left them out.
|Hermès Style||Material||Price (USD)||Price (Euros)|
|Constance Mini (18)||Epsom Mirror||$9,050||€6,700|
Pros and Cons of the Hermès Constance
- One of Hermès’ most iconic styles
- Adjustable strap that allows you to wear it cross-body, over the shoulder, or in the crook of the arm
- Easy to style and wear on a daily basis
- Double compartment helps with organization
- Holds its value over time and can resell for more than retail
- Some might find the H clasp too over the top
- Metal clasp scratches easily and shows fingerprints
- Buckle isn’t the easiest to use
- Strap isn’t removable
- Non-Epsom leather bags are prone to scratching around the clasp
- Double gusset interiors tend to make the bag bulky, especially when filled
- Can be just as hard to find as Birkins or Kellys
- Prices have gone up a lot in recent years
Hermes Constance Outfits & Inspiration
Where to buy an Hermes Constance bag?
Even though Hermes does sell some of its bags online (read our guide on how to score an H bag directly from their website), they do not include their most popular styles: Kelly, Birkin and Constance.
Therefore, if you do want to buy a Constance you have two options:
- Go to an Hermes boutique and try to buy it. This sounds simple for most brands, but as we all know, it’s not as simple with Hermes. You need to nourish a good relationship with an Hermes SA, which typically involves buying thousands of dollars worth of Hermes shoes, ready-to-wear and home accessories and then you might be offered a bag. We encourage everyone that lives near a boutique to ask to be put on a waiting list regardless of their purchase history at Hermes. The worst it can happen is that they’ll say “no”.
- Buy it pre-loved from a reputable website such as Fashionphile, Rebag or 1stDibs. The great thing about buying a pre-loved Constance is the big selection of bags at your disposal. You can choose between different colors, leathers, hardware and sizes easily – which is of course very different from the boutique experience.
Luxury alternatives to the Constance bag
If you like the look of the Hermes Constance but you’re not sure about the price or another feature, we recommend the following bags that are still great quality:
- Celine box : Price: $4,200
- Gucci 1955 Horsebit : Price: $ 3,250
- Dior 30 Montaigne : Price: $ 3,900
- YSL Solferino : Price :$ 3,200
Read also: YSL Solferino Review
- Louis Vuitton Mini Dauphine: Price: $3,950
How hard is it to buy an Hermes Constance bag?
The Constance is an Hermes quota bag, which means that they are not offered to everyone and even for loyal Hermes customers, there’s a limit on how many quota bags they can purchase per year.
It’s not impossible that you can get offered a Constance by simply walking in into a H boutique, but the chances are slim. As the Constance is getting more and more popular on social media, it seems like the bag is as hard to find and get offered as a B or K – at least in the US.
As per usual, the pre-loved market is much easier and with much more choice, although you will unfortunately have to pay a premium for a Constance bag.
Conclusion: Hermes Constance Guide – Is the Bag Worth Buying?
With its timeless style, versatility, and organized interior, there’s a lot to love about the Constance. On top of that, it’s one of Hermès’ most sought-after bags and has incredible resale value.
Although there are some downsides, notably the scratch-prone H clasp, the pros of the Constance far outweigh the cons. So, if you’re lucky enough to find one, either online or in an Hermès boutique, we suggest you pounce on it.
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