Above: Photo from dior.com
Dior is a fascinating brand – one with a lot of history, but more recently has seen a revival like no other. Until the mid-2010s, most were only familiar with the classic quilted Lady Dior bag, made popular by Princess Diana in 1995. Now, Dior has numerous new hits from creative director Maria Grazia Chiuris that are beloved by many. While there is some contention around their aggressive influencer marketing push in 2018, it has clearly worked – with Google search interest for all things “Dior” consistently rising in the past three years.
Admittedly, most of these styles and colors are outside of my rather 9-to-5 lifestyle, but I admire them all the same. Some of my favorites include the latest Cruise 2021 bags, this Lunar New Year collection and their ultra-matte colors.
As a follow up to the last luxe inspired post, I thought it would be fun to do one for Dior. After all, these bags are not cheap, with most in the $3,000 – $5,000 range.
New! Dior Saddle Bag
When I originally wrote this post, I left this iconic bag off as I couldn’t find a similar look for less. However, Polene has been on a roll with their new styles this spring, and their Numero Dix or “Number Ten” bag may fit the bill here.
- Shoulder strap that loops through the ends
- Overall curved shape, no hard edges
- Monochrome leather look
- Generally slim or flat silhouette from the side view
While the opening mechanism is different (Dior is front flap, Polene zip top) and of course the kidney shape is very unique to Dior, the overall look is quite similar. And with a price tag of $350, the Polene Numero Dix is certainly more affordable at less than 10% of the Saddle Bag price.
Lady Dior & D-Lite Bag
Starting with a classic – the Lady Dior bag, which typically comes in a cannage quilted leather, but also in an embroidered version as the D-Lite. Prices range from $4,900+ for a classic to $5,800+ for intricate seasonal pieces.
- Very structured, square bucket tote
- Two top handles that are hard, not malleable
- Handles are attached with hardware rings, not directly sewn to the bag body
After searching quite a bit, I was surprised to find a lack of contenders for this one. The most elusive attribute is the handle attachment – many bags are attached directly, few have hardware in between. Except for the Coach 25 Rogue (speaking of brands with a revival), which comes in a range of solid and limited edition colors. At a starting price of $595, it is not cheap either – though it is still a fraction of the price of a Lady Dior.
Dior Book Tote
Launched in 2018, the Dior Book Tote comes in three sizes: mini, small, and regular. The small and regular are large enough to haul around quite a bit while acting as a canvas for some beautiful embroidery details. Most retail for $3,000+, which is a hefty price tag for a casual tote.
- Structured at seams, with some give in the fabric
- Very symmetrical rectangular shape
- Sturdy handles that are long enough to hoist on some shoulders
- Embroidery design details on fabric versions
Unsurprisingly, it was very hard to find an inspired look that wasn’t simply a knock-off dupe. However, the Book Tote does come in a solid color leather version, which gives us some more wiggle room.
Specifically, the cult favorite Telfar (also known as the ‘Bushwick Birkin’) Shopping Bag and the BEIS Work Tote (Mini too). Unfortunately, the former is notoriously difficult to buy, though it helps if you sign up for their newsletter. Both options use vegan leather, and come in at a friendlier price of less than $300.
May 2021 Update: H&M has a jacquard canvas tote that is brazenly similar to to the toile de jouy version of the Christian Dior book tote. I do try my very best to avoid buying from fast fashion brands (H&M, Zara, etc), but caved with this one. I’ve already gotten quite a bit of use from this bag, and plan to use it for a nearly full lifespan.
Launched in 2019, this structured flap bag can be both delicate and edge at the same time, depending on the colorway. The classic calfskin version costs around $3,800 currently.
- Boxy, rectangular shape with a top/front flap
- Middle ‘stripe’ vertically, taking up about ~25% of visual space
- Thin front logo clasp that is large covers most of the middle ‘stripe’
- Adjustable shoulder / crossbody strap
The Coach Alie line runs around $500 and has an overall similar silhouette, though the logo takes up less space and has less ‘bling’ as a result. DeMellier (previously reviewed here) has two styles that fit the bill around $450: the Mini Alexandria and the Adelaide. While not a perfect match – the Alexandria leather is less structured, and the Adelaide has rounded corners – they have a similar look overall.
Another good option is the Ateliers Auguste Mini Monceau looks very similar structure-wise, minus the hardware. So if you’re looking for a more subtle bag, this one could be for you.
As a bonus, the Greenwich crossbody bag looks like a lovechild between the Bobby and the Gucci Dionysus. I’m not normally an MK fan, but I do like the understated same-tone hardware and logo on this one.
The latest addition to the Dior family, the Bobby was released this past fall in both leather and monogram variations. Interestingly enough, it’s a very fancy version of a gun cartridge bag – more on that here from @thebaghag. It comes in a few sizes, with the medium calfskin version running $3,800.
- ‘Saddle’ or ‘Cartridge’ bag silhouette with smaller top opening
- Leather, has gold logo clasp in front
- Strap / belt closure (though not functional)
Because this is a classic silhouette, there are a good number of more affordable alternatives. Cuyana’s Modern Saddle bag ($245) has a similar shape in a minimalist hardware-free style. Kate Spade’s Roulette Saddle Bag ($198) is similarly minimalist, but with a softer more pliable leather.
If you prefer having hardware, Fossil has a more rustic saddle bag ($198) with clasp hardware hardware and a pebbled leather. The Georgie saddle bag ($140) at Coach Outlet has an even more affordable price point with a mix of different leathers.
Bonus Trend: Shearling
As a bonus, Dior has several styles in a camel shearling material, such as this Caro Bag that retails for $4,700. The Telfar x UGG collection (presale over, but sales should start again June) looks extremely similar, but in the $200 – $300 range for the shopping totes.
Partnership Disclosure: This blog post was not sponsored by any of the brands listed above. As always, all opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, in which I earn a commission on purchases.