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Saturday, September 10, 2022

Is The Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Bag Is the Perfect Tote Bag? NO!!!

Inspired by the Japanese art of origami, this folding tote bag has been one of Longchamp's most popular designs for nearly 30 years. While the original Le Pliage bag was always popular, the updated version with an expanding design is perfect for those looking for a little extra storage.

Made from lightweight yet durable nylon with leather accents, the Le Pliage Expandable Tote is an easy choice for travel, running errands around town or heading for a day at the office.

A zippered inset lets you expand the bag in a flash for added storage, and when it's not in use it conveniently folds up to roughly the size of a paperback book.

This tote bag has earned an impressive reputation among Nordstrom shoppers, who have rated it a near-perfect 4.8 stars. Hundreds of shoppers have raved about its versatile expanding insert, as well as it's space-saving design.

OK here is my disclaimer...My name is Michelle, but I do not speak French. Please excuse my pronunciations but I gave saying the French words my best shot in the video below!

Get Le Pliage Expandable Tote at Nordstrom here 👍 

Check out our full video review by clicking the photo below!

About the Company


Longchamp’s story began in 1948 when Jean Cassegrain, the father of today's President, began to craft luxury leather smoking pipes. After several successful years offering the finest smoke products in France, the company began to create small leather goods and eventually expanded the collection to include women’s handbags, luggage, ready-to-wear, shoes and men’s leather collections. What began as a small smoke shop, known for its expertise and excellent craftsmanship, soon expanded to a major luxury brand.


The emblematic horse logo is a symbol of the company’s inception. There is a famous horse racetrack in Paris called Longchamp or "long field."

Just next door was an old mill that Monsieur Cassegrain - which means "miller" in French - used to pass in front of every day.

The company soon found its name: it being only a short trot from the miller and onto the racetrack, the way was fore trod!


More than 3000 people work for Longchamp and 45% of them are employed in France.

Philippe Cassegrain’s Le Pliage has been travelling the world for nearly 30 years now. Iconic, reliable, long wearing and ingenious, you could say Le Pliage is everyone’s bag. It’s the perfect travel companion for the Longchamp woman. Keep hold of it, and it’ll never let you down. It comes in different materials, shapes and sizes, but obviously today we will review a customer favorite! The expandable Le Pliage

First lets look at aspects of its Appearance


Unexpanded it is about the size of a medium tote, but expanded it is noticeably larger than a large tote, making it perfect for carrying extras when traveling, to carry things like a laptop, sweater, toiletries, my personal safe, passport and more. Even when I put my 15" laptop in this bag it is very comfortable on my shoulder. I am not sure how they do it! I guess it's the great leather and smoothness on the strap. The actual dimensions are: 11 ¾" x 15 ¾"H x 7"D fully opened

The shoulder strap drop is: 9 inches

Material and Colors

There are so many bold colors available, and I found it hard to choose one! But I picked this color, which is called, Dahlia which ended up being a lovely berry color! I love it. Of course, black is a very popular color. I mentioned how great the leather trim is, and if you look at it closely, it is a textured camel colored leather, which gives it a classic Longchamp contrasting appearance. It has leather handles, closure and tabs. The body of the bag is a nylon with a pretty dense weave. I love that it is easy to wipe clean. Because of this I feel more confident taking this anywhere when I travel, and when I am at my destination, I will fill this with whatever I need and maybe even take it to the beach. I feel I could fit my sunscreen book wrap and towel in my new bag without any problem. 

The top pull tab and the hardware are nice. And you've heard me complain before that I love bags that can transition from day to night. The hardware helps with that requirement. 

Water-resistant lining

Speaking of taking this to the beach. Have I mentioned that the bag has a water-resistant lining? This makes me very happy especially when taking it to the beach. 

How does it expand?

You heard me say that this is expandable. That is probably the most important feature of this bag! It's quite easy to expand this bag. Just unzip this zipper in the center of the bag.  At the end you unhook it, just like you would a jacket zipper, pull on the bottom a little and voila! You now have a much larger bag. It's really large, of course now, but when you're traveling this is really nice. I don't know about you but usually it is when I'm leaving a spot and I bought a little too many things, I need this extra space. Of course, it's very easy to zip it back up again. 


Since the bag only has a single large compartment, you may just want to invest in some smaller pouches or a bag organizer to make it easy to find exactly what you're looking for inside.

Consider buying a shaper for it. You can find them easily online. If you have sagging issues with your bags in general, these are very helpful, and I will put a link to one of my favorites in the notes below. The other option is to use little pouches. 

Some of you may find the price to be a con. At $195 regular price, yes that is a lot. Certainly you can find many lower quality bags out there that look similar. I would look for this on sale at Nordstrom Anniversary sale if you can, like I did, or Black Friday.  

I wish this had a crossbody strap and there are versions of the pliage that do.  Of course they cost a little more money.  Also, the not for the expandable pliage tote bag which can only be found at Nordstrom. 

Where is an Inside pocket? There is none! For security reasons I will need to bring my personal Trova safe I guess.


Does the top pull tab match the zippers? No!

Lastly, I would love a trolley sleeve. The only way to use this as your personal carryon item is to sling it over your shoulder, which is very comfortable. Or you can loop the straps over your luggage handle. 

OK now I will be the most candid with you. Even at the sale price of $145 that I found, I think this bag is poor quality for the price. The quality of the leather is great and the functionality of this bag is great, but for that price I can find something a little more attractive like from Tumi. The stitching looks cheap long here with a lot of inconsistencies.  I don't see an overwhelming reason to keep this and it is going back. 

Get Le Pliage Expandable Tote at Nordstrom here 👍 


Ok. I wanted to check out this bag because it was on sale and it is one of the highest rated bags at Nordstrom. It has been around for a long time. Yes it is very functional for travel because of the comfort and expandability of it. But it is missing a lot of features that I would love to have, like a trolley sleeve and honestly a more quality appearance. The stitching looks cheap and I really don't love the appearance of it. Sorry to those of you that love this bag! It's just not for me. 

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