Thursday, February 11, 2016

Birthday Bag

There is a bit of a story behind this bag.

I had been going back and forth over what to get for my Mulberry voucher: There was the flirtation with Roxette. Then the infatuation with Cara. And the back and forth around her. I now started to look at the Kite - but for all of them I found one or more reasons not to take the plunge. 

And then my mum asked me for some "bag advice". Literally 2 minutes before little M and I were about to go through to our gate. We had spent 2 weeks at my parents' and not once had my mum asked. No, she remembered to ask just as we were about to wave goodbye. Anyway, I rolled my eyes and said, that this was really something to have a longer chat about, for example whether she wanted something structured or slouchy. "Oh, like that grey bag I have. Just another colour. And something a bit more... special..." We said our goodbyes and just before boarding I sent her an email with a few suggestions, namely these:

 Mulberry Small Bayswater Double Zip Tote Regal Blue
the Small Bayswater Satchel in Regal Blue

 Strathberry tote burgundy
The Strathberry Tote in Burgundy

 Strathberry Midi Tote Navy
And the Strathberry Midi Tote in Navy

Her reply was something along the lines of "Oh, that Mulberry is lovely but £840 [it was in the sale] is rather a lot" and I decided I'd finish all my dithering and we'd all give her the bag for her upcoming birthday.

Luckily Mulberry Manchester had one in store and a quick visit on Saturday (where I restrained myself immensely and didn't look at anything else, as little M and Mr. G were with me) resulted in me going home with this lovely bag.

So just before I bubblewrapped it, I squeezed in a review... and thought that this one might be for myself as well... here we go again. *sigh*

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Outfit Catchup: Bumper Issue

As I was between jobs and off for almost a month, I completely fell out of my outfit posting routine. Partially because I simply didn't really wear anything particularly interesting but also because I generally slacked in re. to keeping my blog up to date during this time. One the upside, I sorted through all of little M's clothes, some of my stuff and managed to get a fair bit of tidying done.

Anyway, I started my new job and have not caught up yet, so this is what I've snapped so far this year. 

Jumper: Topshop
Jeans: Next
Boots: Kurt Geiger
Jumper & Skirt: Boden
Boots: Zara

Jumper: Boden
Jeans: H&M
Boots: Hallhuber
Scarf: C&A
Dress: Boden
Cardigan: H&M
Boots: Hallhuber
Necklace: local woodworking club

Jumper: Boden
Skirt: Warehouse
Boots: Zara
Bag: Mulberry

Jumper: La Redoute
Skirt: All Saints
Necklace: Accessorize
Boots: Something Italian

Top: La Redoute
Skirt: Boden
Boots: Something Italian
Necklace: Primark

Shirt: La Redoute
Skirt: Boden
Boots & Necklace: Zara

Jumper: Primark
Stripy Top: Boden
Jeans: H&M
Boots: Kurt Geiger

Monday, February 08, 2016

Rustic Weekend Tote

So after my dream of that smart yet pretty Strathberry Tote didn't come true, I am still looking for something along those lines. 

I am also, however, tempted by something more weekend and casual. Something to just pop on my shoulder when I go to the shops, library... whatever I might do on a Saturday morning. I am thinking something where the leather looks better with age and where I'm not bothered about any minor scratches or blemishes. Something along these lines...

Park Shoulder Bag
Shoulder Bag by PARK, £137

Cuyana Letaher Tote
CUYANA Leather Tote, $150

Chicsparrow Tote
Chicsparrow Tote, $160

Whipping Post Tote
Whipping Post Vintage Tote Bag, $195

Maybe I'm just not happy when I'm not searching?

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Not So Sensible Tote

That'll teach me to finally be brave and spend money on something I think would be perfect...

The objective was to buy a handbag that would look smart, yet pretty, be big enough to hold A4 and have a long strap so I could carry it on my shoulder or even cross body. As I am a big fan of my Strathberry MC Midi, I ordered myself a gorgeous Strathberry Tote in burgundy. It arrived and I was over the moon. It was so beautiful I wanted to cry

I then had a closer look and found one small detail that would turn it into a complete deal breaker...


Very well wrapped and packed: 

 big sturdy box,

 another lovely box for storage.

Wrapped and stuffed with plenty of silk paper.

 And, as you'd expect with a bag of this value, it comes in its own branded dustbag.

The leather is a gorgeous colour, the burgundy is a very rich and lovely tone.

The bag is nice and light (so much lighter than my Bayswater).
Good size (fits A4 and/or my Macbook and has enough space in the bottom, due to the depth of the bag and provides enough space for my purse, Planner etc. 

The strap length can be altered at either end, which is much nicer than (how Mulberry do it) with a buckle in the middle, which might dig into your shoulder.

As I already expected/knew: uncluttered design, nice quality, understated, good balance when holding by the handle, not overly fiddly to open, inside zip and slip pocket, though roomy not too bulky.

This I knew but was ok with: 

Manmade fauxsuede lining; at £475 I would maybe argue that for a brand that builds on "no brand name but high quality" I'd expect suede
Very light lining, I would possibly be worried about marking it, only small zip pocket (not big enough for even the smallest purse)

And now the dealbreaker:
Due to its uncluttered and sleek design, the d-rings are attached right between the top bit, i.e. the clasp will sit slightly between the bits that are supposed to close snugly (with the aid of two magnets).  

And now (for me) the big no-no: any sort of weight in there (I know on the pic it has my Macbook but I tried this just my purse and planner) and the long strap will pull the sides outwards. As this bag is not only styled but "statically" designed around its structure (i.e. it's hard and doesn't bend or slouch), I'd expect the sides to be bent outwards eventually and become "ears"

If I was to redesign this bag I would move the the d-rings somewhere, where a the attached clasp will no longer sit between the top lip. As they fold down I would just move them up enough so - when folded up - they are clear of said lip. I understand why they were positioned where they are but for me this was a decision of looks over function. Good design ought to encompass both.

If I was happy to carry the bag just by it's grab handle, I would have put up with this but as I generally want a long strap on my bags. Also, the handle is so short you won't get it on your shoulder at all. I'm not one for just "holding" my bag.

Anyway. I'm absolutely gutted to have to return this bag. May the search for a smart, practical and pretty work bag continue! Any suggestions?

Monday, February 01, 2016

Pretty Sensible Tote

I know I have the habit of going on about stuff that I fancy getting - and then I never do. But every now and then I go beyond fancying something from afar and actually buy it. 

I've been intrigued by Strathberry since I discovered their fundraiser on kickstarter.  And I've been a big fan since I took delivery of the MC Midi. A satchel shape with a formal twist, it's the perfect work bag for days when I don't need to carry too much. Since starting my new job though, I have been wishing for a larger bag, which will hold A4 and can be carried on the shoulder. I love my Bayswater but find her too heavy for the everyday commute.
I had long been coveting a Strathberry Tote but had been unsure whether it would a) look too big on me and b) be practical. A quick search on Pinterest lead me to a Bethany's blog post with some lovely model shots and what tipped me over was her statement that she carries a 13" laptop in the bag. Perfect! After some dithering between colours I have ordered the Strathberry Tote in burgundy and it should be arriving tomorrow. Eeek!

Strathberry Tote Burgundy

So watch this space for the upcoming review!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

One Pouch For All

You might have figured that I like to organise the contents of my bags, which is why I'm such a big fan of Samorga inserts or the Mulberry Multizip Pouch. It doesn't always have to be that complex though and sometimes a simple zipped pouch to keep a few small bits and bobs together is all you need.

The Mulberry Mitzy Pouch is a really good size: big enough to hold more than a few coins but small enough to fit into smaller sized bags without taking up too much room.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Family Get Together

Sometime you search for a bag forever and never find it. And sometimes several come along together. 

I've done individual posts on the Mulberry Kelly in small, medium (though I thought it was small at the time) and large but now I happened to have all three sizes here together, so I thought I'd do a quick size comparison. 

Don't get confused by the picture, unfortunately the one in the printed teak leather is not included as she found a new home. It is roughly the same size as the large black one - though the black one is less structured and more slouchy. If I was to compare to the Hermes Kelly, I'd liken it to the Kelly Retourne as opposed to the Sellier, which is more structured.

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