Your next designer bag should also reflect your personal style. Before investing, here’s a guide on Tory Burch vs Michael Kors with everything that you need to know about both brands.
When thinking about treating yourself to an affordable designer shopping spree, it can be incredibly hard to decide what brand should get all of your attention.
While it would be great to spend your hard-earned money at several different designer boutiques, it’s just not practical as you still need to pay for your Taco Tuesday nights with friends each week and your monthly pedicures.
Both Michael Kors and Tory Burch are considered affordable luxury lifestyle brands, or premium brands as they sell high-quality, fashionable pieces. Neither can be considered “true” luxury brands as they participate in sales, which is something that top luxury brands like Louis Vuitton avoid to maintain their exclusive image.
Even though their price points aren’t as high as Chanel or LV, the brands still produce excellent quality items. You can rest assured that your items will last, instead of falling apart after a few uses like that bag you purchased four months ago from Target.
In order to help you make the painstaking decision of shopping at Tory Burch or Michael Kors, we’ve compiled some history about both brands, their differences, and our favorite picks from both.
Tory Burch Vs Michael Kors:
The history of Tory Burch
If we found a magic lamp and a genie promised to grant us one wish, we would wish for an unlimited amount of money to spend at Tory Burch. We are truly obsessed.
Tory Burch first launched her self-titled brand in 2004. Initially, she opened a boutique during fashion week New York, where she grew up. It didn’t take long for fashionistas and handbag enthusiasts to fall in love with her feminine, bohemian, and whimsical bags and accessories.
Everything included in Tory Burch’s namesake brand is inspired by her own personal style. At a young age, Tory found herself intrigued by New York flea markets, traveling around the world, and upscale boutiques with unique, one-of-a-kind products.
Once the brand garnered a following in the United States and Canada, she launched the brand on an international scale, offering her fun and colorful bags and accessories to people living in Europe and Asia.
Today, Tory Burch has her sights set on philanthropy, volunteering, and helping young women entrepreneurs through financial support and mentorship as Tory once needed this kind of leadership.
Tory Burch’s Brand Style
When it comes to style, many consider the brand to be All-American preppy. Most bags, shoes and accessories sold at Tory Burch are embossed with its gorgeous double T emblem.
If your closet is filled with colorful, romantic, modern, and bohemian-style clothing, accessories and handbags from Tory Burch will fit in perfectly. In addition to carrying bags in eye-catching colors, Tory Burch also carries every model in neutral shades as well. It’s near impossible to stop at purchasing just one!
Who is Michael Kors?
Like Tory Burch, Michael Kors is also a New York native, which makes sense as it is the fashion hub of the United States. Kors first started his brand in 1981, launching a collection of handbags for women and then became an even better-known name in the fashion world after starring on Project Runway back in 2004.
Fast-forward two four decades later and Kors now has an award-winning affordable fashion brand with several other sister companies like MICHAEL Michael Kors and Michael Kors Men’s.
While Michael Kors is positioned as an affordable luxury designer brand, it did lose a bit of its spark in the early 2000s as the brand struggled to keep up with other popular names like Coach, Dooney & Bourke, and now Tory Burch.
Michael Kors’ Brand Style
The handbags and accessories sold at Michael Kors are modern and range from $50 to $600 for some of its limited-edition styles. Many of its products are sporty, cool, and reflect modern American style.
Michael Kors is also somewhat known for copying popular bag styles from other luxury brands, such as LV, Celine and Valentino, so it doesn’t have the best reputation among luxury fashion enthusiasts.
Some also think that this, combined with the previous over-exposure of the brand cheapens its look, especially when it comes to monogrammed items. (Of course, these are individual opinions, and not universally held!)
While Michael Kors does have some controversies as we stated above, there’s no denying that the brand still produces plenty of beautiful and well-designed bags, especially if you look at its runway pieces and top-end bags.
Thus, it’s no surprise that many of its more minimalist styles are popular among professionals as it has great pieces that are appropriate to wear into the office.
In terms of shopper demographic, those who shop at Michael Kors tend to be slightly more mature than those who spend their money at Tory Burch.
The main differences Between Tory Burch vs Michael Kors
1. Brand Aesthetic
The biggest difference between the two brands is their style and inspiration. Tory Burch found inspiration in other cultures and places she had traveled to, like Morocco.
The brand’s unique double T logo was inspired by the geometry of Moroccan architecture and the graphic designs of David Hicks’ interiors. The logo was always meant to be a very special, unique element added to its bags.
Michael Kors’ style is more sophisticated and less romantic or bohemian. Many people adore the brand’s selection of classic bags, clothing, and accessories that aren’t overly complicated in design.
Handbags from Michael Kors can often be recognized by distinctive diagonal lines and a crosshatch pattern on the leather used to construct each item. The production team uses a special wax coating on all of its bags, which allows the company to use cheaper leather that’s lower quality. We aren’t super keen on this.
When it comes to quality, Tory Burch uses textured and scratch-resistant soft leather and quality craftsmanship. Because of the fabrics used, colors, and gorgeous styles, we find Tory Burch to be a more superior designer brand than Michael Kors.
3. Resale Value
For those who like to give their old bags a second life, i.e. reselling them after using them for a year or two, we definitely suggest opting for Tory Burch over Michael Kors.
Like we mentioned, Michael Kors peaked in popularity at the end of the 1990s and lost some steam at the beginning of the 2000s. It will be much more difficult reselling a Michael Kors bag for a price that will make you happy compared to reselling a Tory Burch bag.
We have a whole lot of faith that Tory Burch will remain a popular, highly sought-after brand for years to come. This is most definitely something to keep in mind when choosing between both brands.
4. price difference
And last but not least is the price. Michael Kors is actually slightly more expensive on average than Tory Burch, as they have their runway collections and a few bags that retail above $1,000.
At the end of the day, both brands are very similarly priced, and most of the bestselling bags from both brands retail for around $300-$600.
Our Top Picks From Tory Burch Vs Michael Kors
1. Crossbody bags
Even though you can’t cram a whole lot into a crossbody bag, they are very practical for traveling, when you’re going out dancing with your friends, or when you’re walking around the city. Carrying around a large bag all day is a surefire way to give yourself a serious backache.
The Eleanor Small Bag ($648) from Tory Burch is exactly what every woman needs in their bag collection. It’s simple, sophisticated, but doesn’t lack detail.
The bag is made from smooth Italian leather and has a gold chain strap with an embossed gold double T emblem on the front flap. The gold chain can be doubled up, which allows you to wear the bag as a shoulder bag for when you go out for a fancy dinner.
This bag also comes in dozens of other colors, and even beautiful seasonal versions of the bag, for example with floral prints or jeweled hardware. See all the different options here!
The Greenwich Small Crossbody Bag from the MICHAEL Michael Kors collection can be easily dressed up or dressed down as it is sleek and uncomplicated.
The small crossbody bag features gold-toned hardware and an adjustable gold chain and leather strap. Inside the bag is a tiny pocket and enough space to hold your car keys and phone.
This bag retails for $298 and would add a stunning pop of color to any outfit.
2. Tote Bags
We love a few things more than the Ella Tote Bag from Tory Burch as it’s trendy and can fit all of the snacks that we require throughout the day. The large bag is made from durable, light-weight fabric the emblem bang on in the middle of the bag.
There are many different variations of the Ella Tote Bag so you can pick the option that best suits your personal style. The bag is spacious enough to fit your, laptop, gym, wear, or work essentials, making this tote ideal for any occasion.
Like Tory Burch, Michael Kors also has an impressive selection of tote bags, however, we are quite fond of the Chantal Large Top Zip Tote that’s made from coated canvas with a leather trim.
The camel and brown monogrammed tote bag features gold-toned hardware and has a handy zipper pocket on the inside to hold your phone or wallet. This tote retails for $328.
3. Shoulder Bags
Tory Burch’s Fleming Convertible Shoulder Bag is truly unlike any other shoulder bag. It’s covered in soft leather with diamond quilting and features the embossed double T logo on the very top of the bag.
The bag’s gleaming gold chain strap can be adjusted for use as a short shoulder bag or longer crossbody bag. It retails for $698 and also comes in many other fabrics and colors.
The Jet Set Small Shoulder Bag from the MICHAEL Michael Kors collection is timeless, trendy, and can be effortlessly tossed over your shoulder.
The bag is made with its logo-printed canvas and features silver-toned hardware and a silver chain strap that cannot be adjusted. This is a great option for people who prefer silver hardware as opposed to gold-toned. It costs a very modest $198. This bag is also available in black if you are looking for something a little more neutral.
While we encourage you to make your own informed decision based upon your own personal style and needs, we are a sucker for Tory Burch. We love everything from its logos to its designs and colors, as well as the brand’s mission to provide financial support for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
And while some of the brand’s bags can be pricey, don’t be afraid to splurge and treat yourself. We promise that your brand new Tory Burch bag will last you for several years!
We hope you enjoyed our analysis about Tory Burch vs Michael Kors. If you’re after more luxury fashion inspo, make sure to check out the related posts below!