fashion test drive

At Marie Claire, we love to be the first to discover what will become the hottest accessories and looks for the upcoming season. But instead of simply identifying the latest It items, we’ve decided to go one step further. Welcome to Fashion Test Drive: our ongoing series where editors demo must-have pieces before they arrive in stores—and in your closet. Next up: Dolce & Gabbana's Sicily Matelassé bag.

dolce  gabbana
COURTESY OF DOLCE & GABBANA

Dolce & Gabbana Medium Sicily Matelassé Bag

Dolce & Gabbana's popular Sicily bag is known for its structured ladylike shape, a nod to the classic Sicilian woman—the ever-present source of inspiration for the brand. This season it's been released in a quilted leather or matelassé, if you're fancy, which is the vibe the designers are going for in this new edition. This particular quilting technique arrived in Europe in the 1400s and was used in corsetry that women wore throughout the 1800s. While it was first used on fabric, the treatment has made its way onto leather, becoming a stunning technique on handbags. Displaying the craftsmanship required to work high quality leather into puffy clouds, the matelassé version of the Sicily bag is a welcome addition to the offerings at Dolce & Gabbana.

Let's Break Down the Facts

The wide shape of the quilting is a unique and supersized take on the technique that also gives this structured bag more of a cushiness. It softens the shape, which is a selling point for those who aren't into such a firm top-handle style.

I test-drove the medium size. The single open compartment of the bag is plenty roomy and lined entirely in leopard silk—totally classic Dolce. While it's not big enough to carry a bottle of red wine, it can hold a large can of tomatoes, which felt like a good unit of measurement for this Italian fashion house. In layman's terms, there is space for a large wallet, phone, portable charger, and hand sanitizer.

The removable strap allows you to wear it cross-body or on your shoulder (my personal favorite), or, of course, carry it as a top-handle, which is how it was intended. I love how this size and the structured shape meant I could carry more than enough of my essential items during the day, but still felt dressy enough to wear out at night (and not like I have my "work bag" with me). The classic, lipstick red was my favorite (Dolce knows how to do red right), but it also comes in poppy teal, orange, or a cognac tan, which is probably the most underrated of handbag colors, but arguably one of the chicest.

The Bottom Line

The Sicily bag from Dolce & Gabbana is a classic, ladylike stunner, made even more luxurious by this oversized quilting treatment that softens the structure. It's a no-brainer for someone who loves a retro look, and its versatility makes it a fabulous candidate for daily go-to.