After years of carrying a variety of bags from a both Kate Spade and Michael Kors collections, I figured it was time to share just how they compare and who wins out in a few key areas. If you have been thinking about investing in a good bag within the price range of these ($100-$400), you may want to take some of this into consideration before making the plunge.
I can safely say I have owned bags from both brands for more than 5 years now. I have also carried a bag from each brand for months at a time. Taking on the daily grind we put them through can be a lot for any bag. If you get a bag from Target you are often to only get a few weeks or maybe a few months of wear out of it before the weight of your contents overwhelms the straps or the color rubs or fabric stains. Michael and Kate both stand up to much more wear. Their bags are usually made of leather and are, therefore, going to be more durable. They are also taking time to create the shape of a bag and putting in the work to make sure that holds up. So you are going to see them hold their shape and look for the long haul.
Between the two, I have not seen my Michael Kors bags break or tear. However, I have had Kate Spades that show interior lining rips and leather that separated at seams on the corners of bags. I do tend to put a lot into my bag, especially if I am traveling. So some of the issue with one of my Kate bags doing this is on me for putting my laptop, a book, my wallet, and more inside to get on a plane. Since I have done the same with my Kors bags and never had an issue, Michael’s bags would be more resistant to true, heavy wear.
Winner: Michael Kors
Between the two brands and depending on the style of bag, Kors tends to weigh more (empty) especially when you are working with the larger styles. This can be a strain on your shoulders or back depending on what you then put into the bag. Kate Spade bags tend to start off lighter and would be slightly easier on you if that is a concern.
Winner: Kate Spade
Neither has shown color fading! I have been impressed with even lighter pebbles leather options keeping their color from both brands. However, most any white leather or faux leather will pick up blue from dark denim if you are constantly wearing the two together and they rub against one another.
Both has similar linings that are usually a silk blend material. I have only noticed a small tear in on of my Spade bags over the years (as I mentioned before). Kate bags tend to have pops of color with their interior lining where Michael’s tend to match the exterior color of the bag. That matching is something I prefer personally, but that’s more of a preference question you have to ask your own level of OCD.
Winner: Michael Kors
This will depend on the style you are after. Michael Kors bags tend to be more mainstream in their shape and style. The colors are prints don’t usually lean into being too bright or busy. Kate Spade on the other hand has options that are more girly with softer lines and unique styles. They tend to have options that take more risks in terms of shape, color, or print available alongside some of there more classic styles.
Overall, as I’ve entered into my 30’s I’m hit or miss with which I would lean to in terms of the style since I am after different bags for different looks. However, I would say that Michael Kors is more likely to get my money. They have been more resistant to wear over time and held their shape and color extremely well. Additionally, their styles and shapes remain in style regardless of the season because they tend to be more classic. If you are looking for a bag that will last the test of time in this price bracket, Michael Kors is the way to go.