Ah... the iconic Speedy bag. It's passed the test of time. The stylish Audrey Hepburn wore it. And, many years later, it's still celebrated by countless fashionistas. With its durable canvas exterior, classic style, great size, and smooth vachetta leather, it's easy to understand why this bag is so loved. However, there is one very surprising issue with the Speedy: the way that it slouches when it is being used. A bottom shaper solves this problem!
It's surprising that Louis Vuitton did not make the base of Speedy bags more rigid. The boston bags always look much better when it's not slouchy, and stock photos of this bag always show it being perfectly puffed out with a flat bottom.
The sag problem gets worse as the bag gets larger, and the contents of the bag are increased. For instance, a Speedy 25 will certainly not slouch as much as a larger Speedy 35.
To make the bag more polished looking, many have added a shaper to the bottom of their bag! A shaper is a simple rigid form that is slightly smaller than the dimensions of the bottom of the bag. It fits into the bottom, and allows the bag to resist sagging.
We got 3 different shapers for this topic, so that we can adequately discuss differences and how they work.
The most common variations of shapers:
1. DIY! Simply cut out a cardboard rectangle that is slightly smaller than the base of your bag and then round the corners. For the Speedy 25, the dimensions would be 9.75 x 5.75 inches (25 x 15 cm). For the Speedy 30, the dimensions would be 11.75 x 6.5 inches (30 x 17 cm).
2. Flexible plastic cutout - may be covered (to protect bag from abrasive edges) or exposed.
3. Leather or faux leather rigid cardboard base.
4. Acrylic base. This is a hard plastic with rounded edges and corners. Usually clear for aesthetic reasons.
We avoided doing the DIY cardboard shaper and the acrylic base for wear and tear reasons. We kept reading warnings from sellers of the acrylic base that they were not liable for purse damage. The acrylic bases are slightly heavier than the other solutions and even when the edges are rounded, it will be much more stiff and more likely to cause damage in the longterm. If someone here uses an acrylic shaper, please let us know of your experience! :)
The DIY cardboard would have a relatively sharp edge. Even though it is light, the edges may be a cause for concern. Plus, it doesn't look as nice. :P
So, these are the closeups of the edges of the 3 shapers we purchased. The red one is a very rigid cardboard with a hard plastic rubber exterior. The white one is a semi-rigid cardboard with faux leather exterior. The brown one is a flexible hard plastic with nylon fabric on the exterior.
The rigidity among the 3 shapers did not make a significant difference. All solutions provided adequate support even when the bag was filled. None of the shapers moved about or had any issues. The only concern was the sharp edges that the brown plastic form had. Even though it was covered, it felt like it would cause damage to the inside of a bag over time.
Here is a Speedy 30 with just one large wallet in it. See how the shaper already makes a big difference? As you put more items into a Speedy, the more inclined it will be to sag.
And, here's how the shaper looks like when it's inside the bag:
A shaper can also keep the bottom of your bag clean. :)
I think the white one is my favorite.
Hope that you found this informative. :)
We recommend eBay if you are looking for a shaper. They have a good selection at very affordable prices.