The Kelly Sellier vs. Retourné: Which one to choose?


The Hermès brand has always stood out for its expertise, delicacy, luxury, and attention to detail, offering pieces of the highest quality, aesthetically very attractive, and with an economic value that even tends to increase over time.

Among these, the Kelly, with its iconic silhouette and rich history linked to Princess Grace Kelly, stands out as a symbol of timeless elegance. However, when we delve into the world of this emblematic bag, we are faced with a dilemma: opt for the rigidity and structure of the Kelly Sellier or the softness and flexibility of the Kelly Retourné?

Both styles have their charm and functionality, but which one is right for you? Join us on this detailed journey through the craftsmanship, design, and practicality of these two variants of the Hermès Kelly bag. We invite you to keep reading as we explore the key differences that could tip the scales in your decision-making process.

  1. Construction and silhouette
  2. How and where to use them?
  3. Durability and resistance
  4. Materials

Construction and silhouette


The distinction between the Kelly Sellier and the Kelly Retourné from Hermès, in terms of construction and silhouette, is one of the most notable aspects that separate these two iconic bags.

The Kelly Sellier, with its meticulously crafted external stitching, features a distinctly structured silhouette that highlights Hermès’ craftsmanship. This precision in construction not only provides an aesthetic of clean lines and a perfectly defined shape but also underscores the formal and elegant nature of the bag. It boasts pronounced corners and edges, and the rigidity of its structure ensures that the bag maintains its iconic shape over time.

On the other hand, the Kelly Retourné offers a palpable contrast with its more relaxed and soft approach. The construction technique of turning the bag inside out during the stitching process is what gives the Retourné its characteristic more flexible and less defined silhouette. This methodology not only influences its aesthetic appearance, providing a more casual and accessible look but also affects its functionality, offering a more comfortable and adaptable feel for daily use.

The softness of the lines and the absence of rigid edges make the Retourné the preferred choice for those seeking a balance between luxury and practicality without sacrificing the inherent elegance of the Hermès brand.

How and where to use them?


In this sense, Hermès’ Kelly Sellier features a rigid structure and defined profile, making it the perfect companion for gala events, high-level business meetings, or any occasion where formality and sophistication are paramount. This bag not only enhances the elegance of an outfit or cocktail dress but also projects an image of seriousness and refinement, highly valued in professional environments.

On the other hand, the Kelly Retourné offers a more relaxed and versatile version of luxury. Its less structured aesthetic and softly curved silhouette make it ideal for more everyday use or informal events where comfort and ease of movement are priorities. This bag gracefully adapts to a wide range of outfits, from casual weekend looks to more put-together ensembles that require a touch of accessibility. The flexibility of the Retourné not only refers to its physical shape but also to its ability to adapt to the personality and lifestyle of its wearer.

Durability and resistance


These are key factors to consider when investing in a luxury handbag like the Hermès Kelly. The Kelly Sellier, with its rigid and structured construction, not only protects its contents more effectively but also stands strong against the test of time. Its ability to maintain shape is unparalleled, thanks to the external stitching that reinforces its edges and corners. This feature makes it less susceptible to everyday damages that can alter the aesthetics of a handbag.

Additionally, the materials used in the Sellier version are typically harder and more resistant leathers, which withstand wear better, ensuring that the handbag retains its prestigious appearance and value over the years. This level of durability is especially appreciated by those seeking a lasting investment piece, which serves not only as an accessory but also as an heirloom.

In contrast, the Kelly Retourné, with its focus on softness and flexibility, may be more vulnerable to signs of wear over time. The corners and edges of the Retourné, due to its softer construction and internal stitching, may show signs of wear or even deform with intensive use.

This does not mean that the Retourné lacks quality or durability, but rather that it requires more careful care and maintenance to preserve its original beauty. The softer leathers used in its manufacture can embrace the natural shape of the bag’s contents, offering a more personalized experience to the user, but they can also be more susceptible to scratches and marks.



The choice of leather is a crucial aspect in differentiating between the Hermès Kelly Sellier and Kelly Retourné, as it directly influences the structure and final appearance of the handbag. For the Kelly Sellier, Hermès tends to use stiffer and more structured leathers, such as Epsom leather, known for its finely grained texture and ability to maintain the bag’s shape over time. This leather is lightweight, water-resistant, and scratch-resistant, making it ideal for the defined and structured construction of the Kelly Sellier.

Another leather commonly associated with the Sellier is Box Calf, which is soft to the touch but very durable, offering a smooth surface and an elegant finish that complements the formal aesthetic of the handbag.

As for the Kelly Retourné, Hermès opts for softer and more flexible leathers, which allow the handbag to be “turned” during its manufacture to create that soft and relaxed silhouette. Togo leather is one of the most popular leathers for the Retourné, appreciated for its grained texture and durability, as well as its ability to develop a beautiful patina over time.

Another frequently used leather is Clemence, which is a calf leather with a larger grain than Togo. It is extremely soft and flexible, making Kelly Retourné handbags made of Clemence feel particularly luxurious and have a more casual look.

As you can see, both pieces, although they have the same name, are variables that you can use for different purposes, scenarios, and adapt to different styles.

At The Birkin’s & Kelly’s House, we offer you a broad collection of Hermès handbags, including Kelly bags in Retourné and Sellier constructions. All of our handbags are 100% genuine and brand new in box.

Buy a new Hermès handbag today at the best prices!

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