British fashion designer John Galiano made waves when he launched his Spring 2000 ready-to-wear line. Galiano captured the essence of the Gold Rush West with slashed satin dresses, leather harnesses, lashings of denim and of course the Dior saddle bag. These designs would change the Dior legacy irrevocably.
The saddle bag with its asymmetrical lower line and unique ‘kidney’ shape was Galiano’s first bag for Dior and, despite undulating fashion trends, it remains his most beloved. Here is our review of the 10 best Dior saddle bags to release your ‘inner cowgirl’.
Dior Saddle Bags: What You Need to Know
First conceived in 1999, the Dior saddle bag was quickly scooped up by celebrities across the world following its 2000 launch. Beloved by icons like Beyonce, J-Lo, and Sienna Miller, the saddle bags most famous fan was perhaps Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City.
The equestrian symbol was adopted by Sarah Jessica Parker as an integral part of Carrie’s look and as a result, became the aspirational ‘It Bag’ for many young women across the world.
Eventually the saddle bag fell out of favour, however in 2014, Beyonce pulled her saddle bag out of the closet and dragged the style back into mainstream fashion once more. Two decades later, with a sudden fervour for ’90s fashion in vogue, Maria Grazi Chiuri, creative director for Dior, the saddle bag is back and while it pays homage to the original, it’s very much a bag of today.
10 Best Dior Saddle Bags
There’s no way to definitively identify the best Dior saddle bags on the market right now; fashion is such a personal thing, after all. However, these 10 Dior saddle bags are some of the most popular and versatile. They can be worn anywhere with almost anything, and that makes them wardrobe must-haves for this season! Enjoy the review.
1. Red Calfskin Saddle (Shoulder)
The classic ’90s saddle bag with a vibrant, grown-up twist. Smooth, red calfskin has been shaped into the iconic saddle bag shape and detailed with beautiful stitching and a matching interior with a hand zipped pouch for makeup or other small items.
The hanging ‘D’ logo and metal details are a classy aged-gold tone which perfectly offsets the red of the leather. The short, strong strap makes it perfect for being worn over the shoulder or held in the hand.
Professional yet evocative, this is the perfect statement bag for those who like to wow in the workplace.
Dimensions; 25.5 x 20 x 6.5 cm
2. Camouflage Embroidered Canvas Saddle (Shoulder)
Reminiscent of the ‘American’ white and rhinestone saddle bag launched by John Galiano following the launch of the original Dior saddle bag, this white and gold embroidered offering is just as eye-catching, but perhaps a little less gaudy.
From a distance, the camouflage design is obscured by the pure white colouring of the bag, but on closer inspection, the embroidered design and logo make themselves clear. The effect is quite striking and with the gold emblematic stirrup and ‘CD’ handle fastenings this shoulder bag takes on a feeling of whimsical glamour that is hard to get right.
Of course, if anyone was going to get it right it would be Dior and Chiuri. The addition of a back pocket is a nice touch for this bag.
Dimensions; 25.5 x 20 x 6.5 cm
3. Oblique Saddle (Shoulder)
With a firm nod to the logo-fever of ’90s fashion, this oblique jacquard canvas bag is both nostalgic and modern.
Retaining the classic shape and size, this shoulder bag has a deep blue leather strap to hold the iconic ‘D’ stirrup and a pale, cream interior which contrasts the rather busy main body of the bag.
The result is somewhat old-fashioned but charming and the complementing, broad shoulder strap which can be purchased for each bag is, in this case just as embellished.
Far from taking it too far, this addition, replete with studs, makes this bag a little more cowboy-esque and is sure to bring a smile to your face.
Dimensions: 25.5 x 20 x 6.5 cm
4. Black Patent Calfskin Saddle (Shoulder)
The recent trend for mature matte and textured leathers has been thrown entirely out of the window with this shoulder bag. Transport yourself back to youth with this patent black and gold iteration of the classic Dior shoulder saddle bag.
The pale stitching is just the right detail to lift the bag and prevent it becoming aggressively plain when compared to the gold stirrup and the ‘CD’ handle logos.
The unassuming black interior, combined with everything else, does make the bag feel rather like the back patent bags which were so popular with school girls in the early 2000s, but shape and embellishments save the overall look.
This bag is a little fragile and can quickly become scuffed so it’s perhaps best saved for special occasions.
Dimensions; 25.5 x 20 x 6.5 cm
5. Cream Grain Mini Saddle (Shoulder)
With its soft, textured leather and warm, creamy colour this mini saddle bag is full to the brim with elegant glamour. In fact, despite being plain this is potentially the most ‘modern’ of the new iterations; it’s very easy to imagine the cast of Made in Chelsea sporting this bag.
Black trimming, and the usual aged gold ‘D’ stirrup and ‘CD’ handle fastenings elevate this bag and bring it into the realm of youthful sophistication and opulence.
Designed to sit comfortably under the arm or be held in hand, this bag is perfect for lunches and dinners. A little too small for day to day use. However, the inside is surprisingly spacious and the addition of a back pocket makes the most of what space is on offer.
Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 5 cm
6. Matte Grey Stone Mini Saddle (Belt Pouch)
Hailed as a contemporary interpretation of the classic saddle bag and its iconic lines, this pouch style belt bag is bang on-trend. In fact, it’s so on-trend that YouTubers are making videos about its applications and uses in day to day fashion… if that’s not the modern version of Sex in the City level stardom, I don’t know what is.
The grey stone colour of this calfskin pouch, too, is very much in vogue as muted, off-colour pastels have been in every fashion-conscious wardrobe lately. Missing the iconic ‘CD’ handle fasteners (as there is no handle) this cute pouch nonetheless has a matching stone grey ‘D’ stirrup.
Well… it wouldn’t be a Dior saddle bag without one, would it? This small but mighty bag makes up for its diminutive size with two inbuilt card slots and 1 zip pocket. You might not get much in it, but you’ll always have the essentials.
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 2.4 cm
7. Blushed Powder Calfskin Saddle Clutch (Belt)
The dusty, powdery pink favoured by Chiuri for this bag may, at first glance, seem a little behind the times, but as is her way the Dior creative director has seen an opportunity missed by others.
All out feminine styles are on the rise again, and while this dusty miniature belt bag may be far from saccharine girliness, it’s nod to that trend is effective. Retaining the classic saddle shape and aged gold ‘D’ stirrup this bag is a little more glamorous than the mini pouch belt bag.
With a contrasting black belt, replete with the ‘CD’ logo, and an optional shoulder strap this is an effective bridge between the classic saddle bag and the modern belt style interpretation.
The only drawback is its slim size; deep and broad enough for most essentials, it’s slim silhouette will be easily ruined by a bulk phone or wallet.
Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 2 cm
8. Blue Denim Oblique Saddle (Pouchette)
This compact denim pouchette screams early 2000s ‘Paris Hilton‘ style in the best of ways. The oblique denim, with overlapping logos and slightly off-colour trim is so gauche that it’s stylish.
The aged gold buckle on the long, slim strap and customary ‘D’ logo pop against the uniform colour of the bag as a whole and give it a bit of sparkle to lift it from teenagers first pouch to ironic, youthful accessory for the serious fashionista.
Despite being quite small, the interior space can carry most essentials and the patch pocket makes the most of every spare inch.
Dimensions: 21 x 13 cm (no depth dimensions given)
9. Scarlett Grain Calfskin Saddle (Clutch)
This large saddle wallet perfectly straddles the old and new iterations to stunning effect with textured scarlett calfskin. Maintaining the classic lines on the covering flap, it takes straight, modern lines on the lower edge of the bag.
As a slim, wallet-style bag it has limited space but makes good use of what it has with 4 card slots, 1 flat pocket, and 1 zipped pocket. In fact, this is probably the most easily organised of the saddle bags on offer.
It can function as a clutch, and so lacks the ‘CD’ handle embellishments, though of course keeps the iconic stirrup. For those who prefer to carry their bag over the shoulder, there is a delicate chain strap of the same aged gold hue as the ‘D’ logo.
Dimensions: 22 x 14.5 x 3.5 cm
10. Denim Blue Grain Calfskin Saddle (Clutch)
This is the only bag on this list which lacks the iconic stirrup ‘D’. Before you let that put you off, however, it does retain the saddle bag shape. In fact, it’s maybe the most quintessentially modern ‘Dior’ bag on the list because of the way it plays on expectations.
The shape of the bag is just distinct enough to evoke the classic saddle bag, but the lines are smooth, and where there is usually a flap for closure, this bag closes with a zip and has a delicate ‘C’ logo hanging from the mechanism.
The denim blue calfskin, too, is almost a tongue-in-cheek nod to that first show where ‘wild west’ chic met ‘gold rush’ opulence. The long, leather strap is not detachable, making the ‘clutch’ tag seem ill-fitting, but that too may be deliberate.
With this bag, Chiuri gave us just enough of what we wanted to get our attention, and then flouted the rules so heavily that it can’t be anything but purely Dior.
Dimensions: 21 x 16 x 3 cm
Popular Saddle Bag Types
Today’s fashionistas are spoiled for choice; you can get a Dior saddle bag in almost any style or size, in a range of materials and colours. With that said, there are some examples which are more popular than others. These four are the most coveted;
Shoulder Saddle Bag
The classic icon! A shoulder saddle bag loops over the arm and nestles firmly under the arm. Think vintage J-Lo or Carrie Bradshaw!
Belt Saddle Bag
Pretty much what it says on the tin, so to speak. The belt saddle bag clips around the waist and has seen a lot of traffic on the Spring/Summer catwalks this year.
Pouch Saddle Bag
Pouch saddle bags retain the iconic shape in the cover flap but have a square bottom line which makes them an interesting middle ground between the original saddle bag and more modern styles.
Clutch Saddle Bag
As you might imagine, the clutch saddle bags are Dior saddle bags which function in the same way as a classic clutch bag. Like many clutches, they often have delicate chain handles which can be looped over the arm or shoulder.
There’s no doubt that this new generation of Dior saddle bags is set to shake the fashion world. Soon they’ll be a wardrobe staple for the stylish and fashion-conscious, but that doesn’t mean every bag is going to be for you.
The Dior saddle bag has often been seen as a representation of a persons’ unique style; people go all out when choosing one. So don’t worry about what’s ‘in’ or what you think you should like; just get the bag that screams ‘buy me’ and you’ll already have got the best Dior saddle bag for you!
Before you go, I have put together a review of the most elegant designer handbags in a collection that I think you will enjoy.
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