The Famous Hermès Bag Every Fashion Person Is Wearing—and It's Not a Birkin

Fun fact: I’m not even supposed to be writing this story right now. Earlier in the week, I was doing a little Instagram research for another handbag roundup when I realized that despite all the new designer bags out there, seemingly every fashion person on my feed was instead sporting an old, iconic classic: the Hermès Kelly bag. You know, the Birkin’s more structured, top-handled sister?

Whether in black or bright colors, smooth or textured leathers, small or large sizes, it was so prevalent within seconds of scanning social media that it just felt weird not to comment on it. Not to mention the bag (and its wearers) are so chic that the many photos I came across also serve as the ultimate outfit inspiration—and no, you don’t need to own an actual Kelly to get the look. While that would be great, the bag is as famous for its high price tag and exclusivity as it is for its timeless design. Even on the resale market, it can cost a small fortune, so we’re lucky there are plenty of other polished styles available to shop at a lower budget so anyone can achieve the classic look. 

Ahead, see how some of our favorite fashion people are styling their Kellys, and shop (or window-shop) pre-owned styles we're gushing over plus more affordable bags that can get the job done just as well.


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Now, this is how you do effortless-chic.


(Image credit: @babba)

The perfect complement to a denim-on-denim moment.


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

As a master of mixing colors, Emili Sindlev opted for a two-tone style.


(Image credit: @linaose)

The smooth leather styles have a vintage feel that I just love.


(Image credit: @annabelrosendahl)

Proof you don't need to wear colors to look interesting.


(Image credit: @threadsstyling)

These colorful minis are everything. 


(Image credit: @rosiehw)

No stranger to the Kelly, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley always wears it so well.


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

An oversize coat and polished bag make for a winning combo.


(Image credit: @chrisellelim)

Of course our resident Rich Mom totes this iconic bag.


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Kelly bags and French-girl style go hand in hand.


(Image credit: @lisafolawiyo)

The perfect outfit for pairing it with sneakers.


(Image credit: @anoukyve)

Classics on classics on classics.


(Image credit: @christietyler)

This makes me miss getting dressed for the office.

Next: I'm a picky fashion editor, and I would love any of these 68 holiday gifts.


Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently Editor-at-Large. It was a less expected route, seeing as she was graduating from business school at USC when this all began, but it has turned out to be the best one for her. Fast-forward to 2024, and she's moved to NYC from her hometown of Beverly Hills and spends her workdays a little differently from when she was an intern starting out. Currently, she focuses on a weekly mélange of shopping content. As far as her personal style goes, she's largely drawn to classic pieces and neutral basics but will always make an exception for something colorful, printed, or bejeweled as long as it's deemed worthy enough. After all, the only thing she loves more than a good party is dressing up for one. On weekdays, she can usually be found at home eating something delicious for dinner and trying to force her husband to watch Summer House.