Fashion seasons are so fickle aren’t they? I always think it’s weird how in the middle of August, when we should all be enjoying the sun (okay, I appreciate this really hasn’t happened), all everyone is talking about is school uniform, and things that are ‘new in for Autumn’, ‘new season’, etc. Still, I get it. If you’ve got kids going back to school (I haven’t – for the first time ever – sniff), you need to get uniforms and school kit organised, and if not, if you’re anything like me, those little glimpses of deliciously soft knitwear, leather boots and coats still make my heart do a little skip – autumn is by far my favourite season! Recently I’ve been considering investment handbags. I tend to buy a handbag – generally leather but not hugely expensive – and use it until I get sick of it, or ruin it. I’ve currently got a cavernous, ‘chuck it all in’ soft leather bag that I bought in John Lewis. But September, with all its back to school newness, does seem the season to maybe invest in something new and beautiful – a kind of new school bag for grown ups, if you will.
And yes, I know spending £200+ on something as non-essential as a handbag might seem excessive, but it’s something you use every single day to carry your most precious items, and if you work hard (‘all the women, who’re independent…throw your hands up at me), have a little something saved up, or maybe a birthday coming up, here are a few investment handbags that have caught my eye. Y’know, just in case.
A leather backpack
I love the idea of a backpack. You can’t get more chic – or practical – for travel than a gorgeous leather bag that you can fill with all your in-flight necessities and that leaves you hands free to drag suitcases/wander miles of airport/check in, etc. This Ellen backpack from Ralph Lauren (£235) therefore, is both useful and beautiful: not too bulky or heavy, not flashy, but so elegant in its simplicity. I love it.
A statement shoulder bag
I’ve had many a Boden bag over the years and they’re always well-made, great quality, and stylish. Remember my holiday fave, the cute little yellow one? It’s still available in a bright blue and a delicious strawberry pink in the sale at just £49 (in fact, you should definitely check out the Boden sale as there are quite a few really gorgeous handbags there, including the midi and maxi versions of those little tassel bags). I love a roomy ‘chuck it all in’ shoulder bag that just tucks under the arm – they feel very secure too. This Valence shoulder bag in tan leopard (£198) is brand new in and and the leopard print pony panel gives it amazing texture and interest. It comes in black too if you’re not feeling the leopard but honestly, it’s practically a neutral these days.
A classic framed mini bag
If your preference is for something smaller and neater, may I suggest you consider Lulu Guinness? I’ve only ever been lucky enough to own a purse but I love the brand for its quirky touches, attention to detail and femininity. This Daphne mini cross body bag (£275 at John Lewis) has Lulu’s signature lips on the clasp that closes with the most satisfying click, and the most gorgeous lining too. A proper investment piece.
A saddle/messenger bag
I had a kate spade (always lower case) flap-over messenger bag for ages and really liked it, but I did sometimes feel that wallying about trying to get under the flap was a bit of a faff. Still, it’s a classic shape (apparently this one is styled after a vintage bag from the Ralph Lauren archives) and great for security (Mr E is always pointing out that I wander around shops with my bag hanging open). I love the belt detail on this Ralph Lauren pebbled leather saddle bag (I also really like the smaller one of these in this fab oxblood shade):
A cross body bag
I know the Lulu Guinness one above is called an ‘across body bag’ but really I think of that one as more of a little grab bag (or whatever they call the ones with the handles). A proper cross body (or across body) bag to me is something more like this divine kate spade new york (did I mention I love kate spade?) Hayes Street Eniko leather across body bag (£178) smaller in proportion, designed to be hung from the strap and sit neatly just on the top of your hip. kate spade bags always have the most gorgeous leather, the most delightful details and – like Lulu Guinness bags, they pay as much attention to the interior too. Plus, if you don’t want to play it safe and choose the black, it also comes in the most mouth-watering coral called ‘prickly pear’. Sigh…
Wishing you a wonderful weekend, whether you’re shopping, or spending time with your family. I have it on good authority from a certain pilot that the sun might even shine! (but don’t hold your breath, he’s often wrong). xx