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Review: Coach "Madison Phoebe" Leather Shoulder Bag

Updated on October 19, 2014

I had already begun my interest in the designer shopping world when I decided that I wanted to buy a Coach purse. In the same summer, not a few weeks before, I decided to buy a pair of Christian Louboutins that were nearly an entire paycheck. I maintained the same attitude I had with purse buying as I did with shoe buying: if I was going to spend a lot of money on something, I wanted it to be something on the practical side and that I could get lots of use out of.

When choosing my Coach purse, it was something I had done online before actually going into the Coach store in the Eaton Centre in Toronto. I knew what style I wanted, and was pretty sure of the colour. I wanted it to work with every outfit and be big enough to hold all that I'd ever want a purse to hold. I decided on the Madison Phoebe style, classic and beautiful looking. With taxes and the purchase of a beautiful silk tassel to tie onto the handle to give it a bit of flair, it came to over $500.00 CDN, but when I walked out I walked out happy, and I've used my purse more times than I can recall.


The purse is of a trapezoid shape, with thin straps that are just enough to make it a shoulder purse. Made out of soft beautiful black leather, it has a wonderful sheen to it and matches with literally any outfit that you could imagine. Business or classy, a day out or I even used it to carry my books in university. The Madison Phoebe comes in different colours of leather, brown, grey and light tan were in style when I was in the store. Although it is a shoulder bag, it can be easily carried draped over your arm as well.

The inside is made up of three compartments, two outer open pockets, and one middle zipper compartment for things such as your wallet or smaller more valuable items. It also has a tiny zipper compartment in one of the open pockets as well as a cellphone-sized pocket. The purse itself is shut by a snap closure.

When purchasing the purse, they offer you an option to buy tassel to tie around the handle of the purse to add some colour. There are various designs and colours but I chose a deep purple, black and gold design that has two sides, one with the Coach logo, and the other without.

The Madison Phoebe combined with Christian Louboutin heels and a stylish coat and belt.
The Madison Phoebe combined with Christian Louboutin heels and a stylish coat and belt. | Source


The Madison Phoebe comes in two sizes, and I chose the larger size. Both are shoulder bags but one has just a little more space. I personally love a big purse, you can put a lot in it, and the three divided compartments make things easier for you to organize the contents so that you aren't spending a bunch of time rooting through your purse trying to find things.

The two outer compartments are larger, and can be used to store items such as a book or notepad, a scarf, mittens, a hat, etc. The inner zipper compartment is perfect for such items as your wallet, your make-up, sunglasses, and so on. I have never had an issue where I wasn't able to fit something (of realistic expectation) into my Coach purse.


The practicality of the Madison Phoebe is generally very good. It matches with almost any outfit, can be appropriate during all seasons, and can hold basically anything you need in a purse before you want to make an upgrade to a tote bag. The only slight difficulty I've found is it can be a tad clumsy for getting things out of while the purse is on your shoulder (i.e. your wallet out of the middle zipper compartment while in line at the grocery store). The way the purse folds open can be a little awkward if you are not used to it because it is so large. Otherwise, no complaints. It's a great purse.


The Madison Phoebe is, so far, very durable. The handles are secure and are made of thick leather. I have yet to see any signs of intense wear. The zipper or the snap closure has also presented no issues. Being leather, it is fairly water resistant although I try to avoid taking my purse out in the pouring rain, understandably. When you purchase the purse you are given some leather-care lotion to rub on the purse to keep the leather from drying out and cracking. Definitely use it every once in a while.

A Great Shoulder Bag

The Madison Phoebe is an excellent shoulder bag to consider when buying a Coach purse, or a purse in general, if you want something larger and durable, yet organized, to be able to hold your belongings. The style is also very classic and of a simple elegance, allowing it to complete any outfit, regardless of the situation.

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      Sapinur 3 years ago

      Oh my goodness, I toaltly need this!My husband and I love taking photos...but carrying my camera along with my purse is soo impractical. This bag is perfect. ::crossing my fingers::