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An Insider’s Guide to Buying Leather

Maiyet President and Co-Founder Kristy Caylor shares her pro perspective

The perfect leather bag is as essential for fall as the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. It’s simply synonymous with the season. That said, choosing just the right one takes careful consideration. Here, a few suggestions from Kristy Caylor, the president and co-founder of Maiyet (a brand universally praised for its impossibly chic leather goods) and contributor to the Estée Edit.

What should savvy shoppers keep an eye out for?
Leather quality, functionality and construction, especially of handles and shoulder straps—those are the most delicate areas.  Certain leathers will wear better than others and I personally love a quality that breaks in and gets more lush over time.

So details seriously count…
Look for quality stitching! This will ensure your product has a long life. Something that almost nobody pays attention to is the interior organization. You’ll fall in love with an article that looks clean and well designed from the outside but has a great study of pockets and compartments on the inside.

Kristy Caylor

Kristy Caylor

How many new bags should a shopper invest in each season?
I generally invest in two bags per season: one larger, work appropriate bag and one smaller bag. For winter, the smaller bag might be a clutch or an evening bag; for summer, a cross body or small shoulder bag.

What type of bag is best for someone who travels frequently?
I think a mid-sized tote with good pockets, a cross body detachable strap,and strong construction is great for travel. Our Como Large Satchel is my current favorite.

What mistakes do people make when shopping for leather?
It’s important to think about how you will use and care for your bag. If the leather is delicate, it will be less appropriate for every day.  If heavy, you won’t want it to be too large or to fill it with too many things.  Will you want to carry it over your shoulder? If carrying it in winter and over your shoulder, make sure to try it on with a coat.  And sometimes if you just love the bag so much, you have to have it… and that’s enough!