Gift Review: Kate Spade New York ♥ Gap Kids Tote. Are We There Yet?

kstote

Kate Spade New York ♥ Gap Kids small colorblock dipped tote, gap.com.

I have no children of my own, but am more than happy to play the role of cool aunt and godmother. So far, the closest I’ve come to having my own little mini-me is my goddaughter, whom I call my “almost-namesake.” Her mother would have named her after me had she been born during my birth month; sadly, baby girl missed winning the lottery by two days. That doesn’t mean that I won’t spoil her any less, though. 😉

When the Kate Spade New York ♥ Gap Kids collection came out earlier this month, I decided to start browsing for almost-namesake’s Christmas gift and was immediately drawn to the small “Are We There Yet?” colorblock dipped tote. I was fortunately able to snag one before they sold out. Hopefully, a few returns will pop back into stock in stores or online over the next couple weeks, so keep an eye out. A quick Google search indicates that a few people are trying to resell their totes on eBay, if you are so inclined to go that route.

I mainly chose this tote for sentimental yet calculated reasons. I own and love the Kate Spade “Tequila is Not My Friend #BaconEggandCheesePlease” Terry (also currently on eBay), and fittingly use it as my overnight bag for weekend trips to New York. The “Are We There Yet?” tote strikes me as the cute, G-Rated version of my travel bag. It is my hope that almost-namesake and her family will come see me in PA soon, so this tote also serves as a cheeky reminder to them that a visit is long overdue.

A brief tangent: If you are a true-blue Dorothy Parker fan like I am, you might freak out over this tote like I just did. If I didn’t already own the Tequila Terry, I’d totally get this one, but I honestly don’t need another Kate Spade bag with a clever quote emblazoned on it.

Anyways, on to the review…

Approximate measurements of the small colorblock tote: across top 9.5″, top to bottom 6.5″, width 4.5″, strap drop 4.25″. The size of the small bag is appropriate for smaller children (the tag attached to the bag indicates that it is not intended for children under 2). Note that these particular measurements are for the toddler girl version of the bag; there was a larger version of this bag available for older girls but I am unsure of its dimensions. Materials are 100% cotton shell, cow leather trim. The dipped color is navy.

Upon closer examination, the tote has several details reminiscent of my adult-sized Terry bag: the canvas is thick and durable; the color dipped and printed portions of the canvas seem scratch-resistant; there is a spade-shaped metal zipper pull across the top of the bag; the interior is lined with adorable illustrated fabric and has a small side pocket sewn in. The only gripe I have is that the leather strap on the KS ♥ Gap tote feels stiff (i.e., cheap and faux) right out of the packaging. I think that this can be overlooked considering the intended user of the bag.

The Upshot: For the most part, the tote is a well-made miniature replica of the original grown-up version. The bag straps are of lower quality compared to the Terry but construction-wise, the bag seems like it will withstand all the swinging, throwing, and tossing my young goddaughter is likely to subject it to. The price is more than I would usually pay for a little girl’s bag ($50). However, for me this is offset by the underlying sentiment of the gift.

– j.

P.S. I was in the store and came across the girl’s navy bow wool coat in person (my second favorite piece from the collection). The largest size that was available was a Large. Some petite women interested in getting Kate Spade for less might be curious about whether a larger girl’s size would fit them. As a matter of personal taste, I am not a proponent of women buying girl’s clothes mainly because childrens’ garments are not cut to accommodate grown-up curves and proportions (There are also other reasons too long to write about here… Maybe another time). But if you’re still curious, here is what the Large coat looks like on me (approx. 4’11, 32″ bust):

Clearly, the coat is boxy and small. However, even if I went up one or two sizes, for me the proportions would still be off in the sleeves and overall length. Definitely not worth the tailoring expense, in my opinion.

The cut of the coat is an A-line swing style. I think that the bow sewn on the neckline is a sweet touch and I like that the coat is fully lined with the classic Kate Spade bow print. The small details are well-executed. As far as quality is concerned, you get what you pay for here ($114.95). Compared to a wool coat that I own from the main KS line, this one is made with thinner, scratchier wool. That being said, the coat is more of a style statement than a functional piece. I don’t really think it would keep a person (child or adult) warm in the winter. Maybe save this one for dressing up the kids.

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