Hermès Birkin Sizes: Yes, it matters

Birkin bag sizes

The Hermès Birkin was first made in a size 35cm  The handbag was first introduced in 1984, designed by Jean-Louis Dumas at Hermès for actress Jane Birkin.  It was designed as a practical ladies holdall and had to include space for the actress’ little girl Lou’s baby bottles.  You can imagine the space needed.  The bag that Mr Dumas designed for Jane Birkin was 35 size and measured 35cm wide x 25cm high x 18cm deep.

The size 35 Birkin is ideal for:

  • A large everyday bag
  • A workbag which will hold an iPad, phone, wallet, makeup, hairbrush
  • A baby bag to hold bottles, muslin cloth and essentials
  • A practical travel bag but beware, it will only just fit under an aircraft seat

40 size: Bigger is Better

Later in the 1980’s a 40 size Birkin was created.  This one measures 40cm x 30cm x 21cm and is more of a travel bag.  When you bear in mind that the Birkin is made in thick resilient cowhide and lined in goatskin, you begin to understand the weight bag of the bag.  It’s heavy.  This 40cm has gained some popularity amongst men but for most women it’s really only usable as a travel bag, and isn’t usually an accessory to be worn every day.


The size 40 Birkin is ideal for:

  • A travel bag as long as you are travelling business class or by private plane or are happy to place the bag in an overhead locker on a flight
  • A travel bag for car journeys
  • A large gym bag
  • A work bag to hold laptop, iPad, phone, wallet, makeup, hairbrush
  • A baby bag for bottles, nappy, muslin and food

Birkin 30 size: Down-sizing

The next to come along was the Birkin 30 size.  This was designed in response to complaints about the weight of the bag, and the increasing incidence of tennis elbow from carrying it!  Victoria Beckham was one of the first enthusiasts in Hollywood for the Birkin 30 size, before launching her own line of handbags.

The 30 size Birkin measures 30cm x 22cm x 16cm.  By today’s standard, when small bags are all the rage, the Birkin 30 size is still a practical bag, and mine fits everything I need.  Once I squeeze the kitchen sink in there as well it gets quite heavy, but usually, it feels reassuring present without being overbearing.

The size 30 Birkin is ideal:

  • As an everyday work bag
  • Lunching with the girlfriends
  • Shopping in Knightsbridge
  • To fit your phone, wallet, makeup, hairbrush and if you really want to squeeze it in, your iPad as well.

The even smaller Hermès Birkin size 25

The Hermes Birkin size 25 measures 25cm x 20cm x13cm.  When it first came out, it felt really small.  But most of us have become accustomed to smaller bags and now that I’ve swapped my wallets out to a small Constance purse it is occasionally manageable.  We tell our customers that the bag works well for a lunch with a girlfriend, or for an evening out.  I’m looking forward to saying that again when lockdown ends….

Beware, only small hands can fit through the handles.  And don’t try to fit too much in it, because you will stretch the leather which will misshape the bag.

The size 25 Birkin is ideal:

  • For lunches out
  • For shopping
  • For evenings out
  • It will hold your wallet, phone and makeup