Acne Studios Musubi Mini Bag Review

So as I mentioned before, this Acne Studios Musubi Mini bag was my one purchase for the month back in February and I purchased it secondhand (and for 20% off) at TheRealReal. I’ve been eyeing this bag for over 6 months and I still loved the look, so I decided to go for it. And I have to say, I have zero regrets!

I first was influenced to wanting this bag via Eva Chen’s Instagram (darn you Instagram) but when I polled y’all on stories only half of you guys liked it (which also truthfully sways my opinion). I myself was intrigued but wasn’t sure if it was cute or just too much. And I’m so glad I did hold off on impulsively purchasing right then and there because it gave me time to ruminate on it and now I know I really do love it. Also, during those 6 months, I got my favorite Celine soft cube bag (which I still really love but am currently letting it “rest” so I don’t wear it out too soon) and realized I love leather bags that look soft and pillowy. So I was pretty sure when I bought this in February that I would love it.

acne musubi bag review
acne musubi bag review

If I had a choice, I might have gone with the tan colored one, but since the black one was what’s available on TheRealReal, black it is! As for the quality of the calf leather of the Acne Studios bag, it’s really gorgeous. Comparing it to the calf leather of my Celine soft cube bag, I would say the grain of the Celine bag is slightly finer but not by much (but the Celine bag also retails for $700 more). And while the Celine bag is lined with calf leather, the Acne bag is lined with lambskin making the inside buttery soft but also helps keep the bag light (lambskin is lighter than calfskin).

Acne Musubi bag review (2 of 2)-min.jpg
Acne Musubi bag review (1 of 2)-min.jpg

Since I’ve been using this bag during the rainy California winters, I first protected it with some Chamberlains Leather Milk No. 3 (reviewed here). It gave the leather a slight sheen, due to the slightly waxy formula that’s meant to repel water, but the bag has held up in downpours with no issues so far. Also the durable calfskin has held up great with zero scratches or nicks.

acne musubi bag review

The interior of the bag is divided into 2 sections with a zippered pocket divider. It’s perfect for keeping my things organized with my wallet and phone in one section, my keys in the zippered pocket, and everything else in the other section. The bag closes easily with snap buttons at the top, but I’m also not too worried about the security of the bag when wearing it over my shoulder or crossbody because the thick top handle tends to hide or cover the opening of the bag.

Currently all my bags have pretty thin crossbody or shoulder straps so I love the thickness of the Acne Studios strap and top handle. It makes carrying the bag super comfortable. Also the long crossbody strap is adjustable via some pegs on the sides of the bag that’s hidden by the mini knots.

Acne studios musubi mini bag review

Having never tried Acne Studios clothing before, I wasn’t sure what to expect about the quality of these bags. But I have to say I’m quite impressed (and this is coming from a long time bag lover). These made in Italy leather bags are really beautiful and durable. Also the design is different enough so even though it’s a pretty minimal black bag, it’s not plain or boring.

Also the word musubi refers to my favorite rice ball snack (and in Hawaii, my favorite spam rice snack) which maybe makes me love the bag even more. But the word also works for the tying of the Obi sash on Japanese kimonos, which is what Acne Studios was referring to. Either way, I love this snack of a bag and can’t wait to get over 100 good wears with it!

Fendi Small By The Way Bag Review

(Ok so I know I put a poll out on Insta story earlier this week about which Fendi to get, but that was because after writing this review, and thinking about how great this bag is, I wanted a second larger one in a lighter color. Basically this one. But thanks guys for talking me off the ledge because I really don’t need two. Anyway onto the actual review!)

I’m not really a fan of Fendi. I’ve never liked their fashion/style (ick their F logos) nor their traditional specialty (fur). But 4-5 years ago, when this By The Way Bag was introduced by Fendi I fell in love. It didn’t matter what the designer brand was, I loved the style and simplicity (it almost look like it could be a Celine bag no?). Anyway I purchased this bag back in 2015 (at $500 off retail, but still at about $1300). A lot, I know but I loved that bag and waited for a year for it to finally go down in price. Also I should mention this is one of the few bags I’ve ever purchased new (that’s how much I wanted it).

And I’ve carried this By The Way (BTW) bag consistently for 3 years now and it’s probably the most used bag in my arsenal. It’s also one of the oldest, and it’s a testament to how great of a bag it is considering how quick I am to sell bags that I don’t find useful anymore.

Fendi By the way bag review

So it’s a surprise that I’ve never thought about reviewing it on the blog yet. It’s probably because this bag never really took off and became a trendy “it” bag (but that’s also why I love it so much too—it’s obscure). Also when a bunch of new things are constantly entering the closet, the really old stuff sometimes get forgotten. But I would be doing a disservice to the bag if I didn’t review it and let you guys all know about it (especially now that it’s been out for so long and you can find some really really good deals on this bag used like the one linked above).

fendi by the way 1.5.jpg
Emma Roberts Fendi By the Way.jpg

Some of the things I love about this bag are:

~ (ok this is the best thing about the bag) The handle straps that can be folded down flat against the bag to give it a sleek shape when carrying it crossbody. I usually carry my bags over my shoulder or crossbody but I like having the option of top handles, especially when I need to peer into the bag to get something. Most of my crossbody bags like my Celine Nano Belt (reviewed here) and Celine Soft Cube bag (reviewed here) have handles that stick out or flop down, which isn’t a problem. But this BTW bag handles are so discrete and yet so useful!

~ I’ve always loved the boston bag shape (rectangular bottom with a simple shape and two top handles). But this bag doesn’t look like your classic boston bag (think of Gucci’s Boston Bag or Dior’s Boston bag).

~ That classic shape also allows it to hold a lot of stuff. The top is slightly narrower than the base so the bag feels unobtrusive, yet because of the great rectangular base it can way more than you think! This is probably one of my larger crossbody bags that can fit the essentials and then some.

~ The leather is super durable (well the one I have is the smooth leather) and this is the bag I take on rainy days. No water spots ever. Plus it’s fully zippable so nothing inside gets wet.

~ Speaking of the inside, the bag is separated into three compartments. There’s a middle zipper one, perfect for small items and things you don’t want to lose ever. And then there’s two larger compartments that can hold your sunglass case or your larger wallet. One of the side also has pockets in the lining (though it can’t fit your iPhone). And then the whole thing can be zipped up securely with the main zipper compartment.

~ Because of the adjustable crossbody strap and the flatable top handles, there are a lot of ways to carry this bag. Over your shoulder with a shortened strap, crossbody with the longer strap, hand held, or push one side down flat and pop the other for a cool clutch (like the runway models below but I have to say I have never once carried it this way).

Large size

Large size

small size

small size

After three years of using and owning this bag here are some of the negatives I’ve learned:

~ The strap that the BTW comes with is great because the snaps make it fully adjustable. But for me, my hair kept getting stuck in them and it would end up pulling my hair out. No thanks, I need all the hair I can keep! So I ended up switching it with a different strap and it was no big deal.

~ There are no feet on the bottom of this bag so you have to be kind of careful where you set it down. Seriously feet would have made this bag near perfect in my eyes.

~ After 3 years of use and abuse the corners of the bag have started to indent in. But that doesn’t really bother me, it’s just a sign that this bag has been well used (plus have you seen the corners of my Everlane Day Market Tote? If I can handle that, I can handle anything. Well except when the corners start getting holes in them—ahem I’m looking at you Goyard St. Louis bags and Longchamp Le Pilage bags. The flatable handles of the BTW bag will also start bending with use but there’s no popped stitching or other wear on them.

So if you compare my pros and cons list, you can see that the pros far outweigh the cons (even 3 years later). So now you can see why I’ve kept this bag around as a workhorse. Seriously there couldn’t be a more practical crossbody bag for me out there, so I’ll excuse the fact that it’s a Fendi, lol.

As I mentioned above, because this style was never super popular and because it’s 4 years old you can find some major deals on this bag at my favorite online consignment store: Fashionphile. Here are the current ones available. Like I said in the beginning I currently have the black one in a small but I’m really loving the larger one in dove gray, which is priced at less than half of what I bought my black one for! So tempting but I will wait for now.

Anyway this bag really lives up to its name. Not flashy and almost an afterthought. Like “by the way, this is an awesome, minimal and useful bag!”