After fifteen years of running PurseBlog and PurseForum, you’d think I’d grow a bit tired of bags. However, what actually happens is my wants in a bag change with time but there are still bags that truly excite me and make me fall in love all over again, remembering precisely why this passion for bags first started. When I saw the Gucci Horsebit 1955, it was true bag love at first sight. This wasn’t a bag that I grew to love after use, it was a bag that I immediately felt drawn to and felt those bag butterflies for.
I was planning to purchase one for myself, but Gucci gifted me one before I even got the chance. They thought it was a bag I’d love to check out for myself and use, and use I have. When I’m not carrying a tote or backpack with kids items, this Gucci Horsebit 1955 has been a constant companion in my wardrobe, an easy carry that works for everything from errands to dressing up a bit as well. I’ve been using this bag a lot, so it’s time I give it a full review in our Purseonals!
The reason I was first drawn to this bag was for its aesthetic, as this is probably one of my favorite bags to come out in the past couple of years. Many years ago, I swore I was over logos, as many of us did, only to turn back on my own statement and embrace the logomania trend again. But Gucci’s logo is one of the most pleasing, it’s recognizable while also blending in as a neutral option (and color scheme) as well. When this bag first came out, I called it an ‘Archival Revival’ and that is precisely what this Gucci bag brings.
The design elements were taken from a bag from the archives, but updated in a modern way. It both looks as if I found this bag in my mom’s closet but also as if I just went to the store for hot off the shelves new Gucci, and I love that dichotomy. I adore how this bag feels entirely current and timeless all bottled up together.
The Horsebit detail on the front flap closure with its double ring and bar design is iconic for the brand, and on this bag it’s the right size to be seen but not distract from the final design. The Gucci Horsebit 1955 Shoulder Bag was introduced for Cruise 2020 with the same lines and forms from over six decades ago. The shape is that of a casual yet elevated day to evening bag, with rounded bottom edges and an interesting front flap with the horsebit detailing. The sides of the bag show the trio of internal compartments which gives a nice added dimensionality along with more equestrian inspired hardware.
While the other areas of my review are equally as important, I always find aesthetics to be the area that matters most for me: it’s what initially lures me in and gives me that feeling of love. This bag was love at first sight for me, and it still is every single time I take it out to use it.
Usability + Functionality
Some bags look great, but aren’t as functional, however with this bag – it’s the full package. I find using this bag to be incredibly seamless and it’s a bag that isn’t too large but still fits enough. To get into the interior, there’s an easy tab closure that slides under the Horsebit detail on the front of the bag and is further secured with a magnet. Because it’s a flap top bag, you will need to remove the bag from your arm to open it unless there’s enough clearance when you carry the bag with the longest strap drop (it doesn’t work as well on my body frame). The leather is stiff on this bag so it’s not floppy when you are looking to open and close the bag, but I find that makes getting in and out of the bag easier.
On the interior, you’ll find three gussets with one zipper and one open pocket. The slim pocket toward the front of the bag is a great spot for your valet ticket, cash, and even your slim card holder. You can actually fit your phone in there as well, so that is a great option too, but since it’s slender I wouldn’t put my phone with anything else as I’d worry it would take the other items up and out with it. The center compartment has a zip pocket along the back and features the largest open area for your items. I carried this bag quite a bit last week and was able to fit my card case, inhaler, sanitizer, medication (I had a bout of AFIB recently, long story but now I have medication), lipstick, facemasks and hair ties. I even fit Vlad’s glasses case in at one point and while that sent the bag to its max capacity, it all fit fine.
The back gusset is the slimmest and hardest to access for me, it’s part of the reason this category gets a marking down. I love the structure and stiffness of this bag, but it does not allow for give with the leather and that makes getting in and out of the back area tricky. What I have found that I like using the area for is my masks. How many of us (myself included) throw our masks into our bags is so haphazard as they touch our phones, wallets and other probably not very clean items, so that back pocket is a great place for my masks. Multiple internal compartments allow for organization and it’s an aspect I find to be highly important in a bag.
The shoulder strap is a thick leather strap and it is expandable. To adjust the shoulder strap on this bag there are snap buttons and you can adjust from 9.8″ to 17.7″ drop. Gucci gives you a small pouch which contains two additional button covers so you can cover the exposed studs if you choose to lengthen the shoulder strap all the way, and the crazed-mom-of-two-young-kids in me stresses a bit over losing either of those extra button covers. I’ve actually kept them in the zip pocket of the bag so I don’t misplace them, and that’s worked so far. It’s one extra step, and while it’s not a long one, it is another item to remember not to lose and a tiny bit more work.
Though this bag is structured and on the rigid side, it is not too heavy which I think is a special feat. I find the bag to sit on my shoulder really well, without the strap digging in, and it never feels too heavy to me. I love that when I put it down, it perfectly keeps its shape which is iconically Gucci at this point. Dimensions are 9.8″W x 7″H x 3.1″D.
Quality + Construction
I have been using this bag fairly often and it still looks brand new. In fact earlier today an older gentleman stopped me at the grocery store and said “I love your pocketbook!”. After I thanked him, I felt this pull to turn back and ask him if he’d like to be a guest contributor with his thoughts on bags on our site, but I didn’t. The leather trim on this bag is really durable, I don’t see a mark or scratch anywhere and I have really used this bag. The beige/ebony GG Supreme canvas not only is a material with low environmental impact, but it also is really indestructible. The gold hardware has kept like new as well and so when it comes to quality and construction of this bag, I have not one thing to find fault with.
Price + Value
The price of this bag is $2,350 which I think is pretty fair for a designer good that quickly became a staple. I do think if this bag was priced right under the $2,000 mark, especially since a good portion of the exterior is canvas, it would make sense. To compare, the full leather version is $2,690.
The only reason I didn’t give staying power 5 stars is because the bag is still relatively new so we have yet to see its longtime place in the bag world, but if I were a betting woman, I’d say this bag (and the entire Horsebit 1955 line) isn’t going anywhere. The move toward more archival pieces being used as inspiration for designs has really become commonplace in the fashion world and this bag combines the best of old with new. There is a version for everyone, from monogram with leather trim to full leather, and seasonally limited edition versions are released as well. The shape of the bag and the aesthetic make this bag a staple in any wardrobe and a great purchase.
This bag scores high in my ratings and in my heart, cliche but true! I really can’t express my love for this bag enough. It has every element I wanted in a bag and though it’s not a daily hauler, it can carry plenty of items and I think most of us have really pared down what we carry daily in our bags. You can dress this bag up or carry it casually and keep it for decades to come until you find someone else to pass it down to, who will love it and appreciate it as much as you. It’s that good of a bag.