We know our color naming conventions can be confusing, but we promise, it’s with reason. Since we offer a few different leather types (bridle, oil-pull, and vegetable tanned leather), we name our color selections for each leather type separately (what’s medium brown for a shiny polished bridle bag looks completely different than a matte oil-pull bag in medium brown). While this might sound a little confusing, the following guide attempts to illustrate our color and leather types much clearer.
Bridle Bag Colors
Simply put, bridle leather is a full-grain leather that has been stuffed with oils and finished with waxes to create a lustrous shiny finish. It’s a time intensive process, hence, it’s generally the most expensive leather type. Most of our lineup, regarding the more classic bags, are made from bridle leather, and this can be easy to spot. As a rule of thumb when looking at bags on our site, if the finish looks like it has a sheen, it’s usually bridle leather.
The only exception to this is our vegetable tanned bags, we currently offer a “natural” veg-tan option on all of our bags, and technically, since the underside is not stuffed with waxes, it’s not really bridle leather. Don’t get us wrong, the bag is protected with waxes and oils, the finish is still extremely durable yet supple, but the finish is not dyed to encourage a darkening of the leather. These bags, overtime, will darken with age (they start off as a very light tan color, and end up developing a beautiful medium brown patina in the first year).
In summation, if you see a bag on our site referred to as a “bridle” or “veg-tan” bag, rest assured, even if the option is not available on the site, it can be made in one of the following colors. Also, look below for a brief explanation of each color and what we like about it.
Bridle Color Choices
Sometimes referred to as Light Tan or Light Beige, this is by far one of our most unique colors. As described above, this bag is actually vegetable tanned leather–meaning, it is not colored using dye, but instead, it is treated in a bath of organic matter (think tree bark). And because there is a lack of dye, this leather type will darken / patina with age. Over the first 6 months to a year, it will actually end up looking much like one of our light brown bags.
Our newest color choice, Light Brown, a hue reminiscent of a classic English Tan is an offering we’re really excited about. Sourcing a light brown was a difficult task. For a full year, we just couldn’t source a lighter brown hue that we liked — some light browns are too gray; others, way too orange. And while this bag photographs more on the yellow/orange side due to a spectacularly lustrous surface, in person, it’s the perfect classic English Brown.
Probably our most popular and favorite color, our medium brown bags are not only extremely durable, but quintessential (this is a bag color that will just never go out of style). What we love about our medium brown bags is that the dye wonderfully highlights the leather grain — we cannot state this enough, our medium brown bags are one of our highest quality offerings for this very reason.
Also referred to as “Pullman Brown” our dark brown color choice photographs a bit on the dark side, so in person it’s probably a shade lighter. We actually named this color “Pullman Brown” because it is reminiscent of a UPS truck in hue (think less saturated, like raw umber; as opposed to burnt umber, which has a lot of red undertones). We love this color because it seamlessly matches any attire, from casual to formal wear, it’s a great fit.
We sometimes refer to this color as “Ink Black” because it has a subtle blue undertone. Our black bridle leather option is one of our absolute personal favorites, especially when coupled with one our large flap messenger bags.
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While many of our colors might appear to be the same, we have various options based on leather type.
Oil-Pull Bag Colors
Okay, after reviewing the bridle leather color options above, let’s move onto our “oil-pull” bags. Oil-pull is very different than bridle leather, in that, the surface doesn’t have a sheen. Instead, it has a waxy oil-imbued (almost matte) surface that is extremely durable (even self-healing). Oil-pull is just an amazing leather type because no matter how deep or severe the damage, it can always be restored without much effort at all. You do sacrifice the shiny lustrous surface of a bridle bag, but if you like the aesthetic, a better more affordable lifetime bag you cannot buy. Also, since oil-pull has a more matte surface, it cannot be made in the same color choices as our bridle bags. So, let’s review the color options for our oil-pull bags…
Like any oil-pull leather, our light brown oil-pull option is matte in finish, and probably one of the most durable light leather types. We love this color for totes (of which we have a few), but any of our oil-pull bags can be made in this color too.
We get so many compliments on this leather type regarding durability it amazes even us. As far as affordable bags go, our medium brown oil-pull is one of our best values, a truly lifetime bag with an agnostic aesthetic.