Would You Wear a Cardigan Handbag?

Leandra Medine | April 28, 2015

It won’t keep you warm, but you can fit all the sweaters in it you’d like.

One of the great things about personal style is that it can reimagine a garment completely. By the rules of fashion, a sweater is a sweater is a sweater, right? But by the rules of style, a sweater (or cardigan, to be more precise) takes on several identities. It can be the tertiary party in a three-piece suit, a second layer of buttocks-cover over pants and even the shoulder cloak that functions as the entry ticket into a number of domestic country clubs.

One of the great things about fashion is that it’s not quite informed by trends anymore — we’re knee deep in the era of personal style and maybe as such, brand cues are being informed by that shift. Case in point: the most recent new way to wear a cardigan: as a Chanel handbag. Officially, it goes by the name “Girl,” ostensibly to contest the notorious Boy bag, and successfully hits certain important marks in its make.

It’s big, for one thing. Big enough to carry what any metropolitan woman would classify as “her life.” This is a feat no “boy” could assume. It’s also malleable which means that if she needs to carry “her life” plus, for example, a change of clothes in addition to her commuter shoes — she can do that. It also has two bands that are tied together to make the shoulder strap as long or short as you’d like depending on whether you’d prefer to wear it messenger style, with the cardigan body positioned over your hip, or hanging off a single shoulder, sack-like as though you’ve just emerged from a very evolved desert walk.

I’ve spent the last two years effectively renouncing handbags all together but I think I’m ready to get behind this one. It’s weird and kind of confusing and because of its inherent but contradictory (it is a tweed Chanel sweater, after all) boho-nature, I like how it mirrors my style, which tends to be a bit more structured and, I don’t know, “metropolitan.” So…give me a blazer and pair of ripped jeans and I will do my deed to fill my sack.

Fendi sunglasses, Zara tank top, Chanel handbag, Atea Oceanie jacket, Levi’s jeans, Prada sandals

  • i didn’t really love the Girl bag when i first saw it, but i’m kinda liking that one, Leandra! The tweed is classic Chanel, and the fabric works for such a slouchy handbag structure… unlike the leather versions of the Girl bag that i’ve seen everywhere else.
    xo, coco | millennielle.com

  • It definitely looks like a cardigan that someone knotted in order to haul their stuff around. But it does so in a remarkably elegant way. I dig it.

  • It looks amazing.

    I love to bring one.


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  • bb

    I bought one and then read all kinds of bad reviews…but, I live in San Francisco where I walk everywhere and I love the way the Girl accommodates all the stuff I pick up along the way!

  • There was a woman down the way who used to repurpose cardigans and aprons and whatnot into bags. Looked very similar to ‘The Girl.’ I should find her and let her know she can start sellin’ ’em for a premium.

  • monkeyshines
  • Natali

    I truly wanted to love this bag, but I just couldn’t! it’s too weird and one of the worst Chanel bags I’ve ever seen.


  • Totally!!

  • EarthtoLA


    Your hair is looking ESPECIALLY on fleekity fleek as of late. Just thought you should know.


    • Leandra Medine

      !!!!!! i stopped ironing it!

  • Carly

    Shoutout to Chanel for making the ever preppy tweed accessible to those who just can seem to pull of the look – many thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  • No, no I would not.

  • At first I didn’t like it; it seemed gimmicky. Now I like it, but I don’t want to have it. I wonder… if I stare at it long enough, will I start to want it? Commencing staring…..

  • Anon

    #BLINDEDBYTHELABEL that shit is ugly

  • Kelly’s Gross-o

    This reminds me too much of those DIY bags we made in Girl Scouts by sewing up the leg holes of an old pair of denim cut-offs.

    This dudette just can’t abide.

  • I might wear one over my sleek shoulders if it was fashioned in frayed denim!

  • I wasn’t a fan of this bag at first, but it’s growing on me!

    Christina | http://www.cuddlepill.com