Style by Claire Lopez

Bags of Style

My son was born just under a year after I got married and I spent my first wedding anniversary in an unpleasantly hot hospital with a little froggy-alien who refused to feed, several midwives who thought it was ok to grab/massage and squeeze my breasts at any time of day, plus my brother-in-law and father-in-law. Not exactly the romantic time I would have planned, but such is life. My husband very sweetly trotted off (in a total panic) to buy me a gift to mark the occasion and ended up coming back from Peter Jones with a hideous Radley bag which, in my ungrateful and hormonal state was greeted with tears. Apologies to lovers of the little doggy brand but it just wasn’t my thing and seemed to shout ‘mumsy’ from the rooftops when I was most definitely not ready to hang up my semi-single boots. Since then, my poor husband has been scarred and is pretty loathe to go it alone on the present front for fear of getting it totally wrong. I should hasten to add he hasn’t, but last Christmas I didn’t want to take any chances and sent him the link to the Whistles bag that I wanted.

So now that it is November, it is just about ok to start thinking about Christmas and what you might want. If a bag is on your list and you don’t want the sales assistant in John Lewis to pick out your Christmas present, then here are a few ideas to pique your interest and to subtly send your loved one’s way.

The Slouchy Hobo is a good option if you want an everyday shoulder bag that is smart enough for work but not too stuffy for the weekend. Whistles Black Large Hobo Bag £260 looks very sophisticated in this navy colourway.


The Whistles bag I got last year was tan and has been so useful. Hobbs has this Highgate Hobo Bag £189 which would do the job.


&Other Stories has this Grain Leather Hobo £165 which comes in this fab dark green colour as well as black.


If you want to stay under £100 then Oliver Bonas has some good options including this Gunmetal Hobo Slouch £45. It does also come in black.


For a larger style then they also have the Navy Saira Leather Shopper Bag £85. Am definitely not a tote girl these days, I much prefer a softer, more versatile bag.


An alternative to the Hobo is the Bucket bag and in the absence of being able to justify a Mansur Gavriel one, &Other Stories has this great Sauvage Leather Bucket Bag £105.


The Saddle bag is still very much around and again Whistles has a couple of lovely styles including the Ashland Concertina Bag £250. Love the burgundy colour here but it also comes in black.


Boden also has this Maxi Saddle Bag in the traditional tan but also in black and these are now reduced to £149.25 (25% off which ends on Wednesday). There is a Mini version too which is 20×20 cm approx.


They also have this little beauty – Pony Saddle Bag also reduced to £81.75. It does come in a grey and a lighter beige with different skins but the classic animal is my favourite.


The Backpack is still a great option this season and one that marries style with practicality (unless it is fluroscent orange or yellow like my husband’s Underarmour one – in which case don’t do it!) . Jigsaw has this Blake Leather Backpack £179 which comes in several different colours from this light grey to burgundy, electric blue, light pink, tan and black.


What I really need is a smaller cross body bag as my black one from Topshop has died a death and it had been a real favourite (Christmas list hint here husband if you ever read this).

J Crew has this Mini Rider Bag £98 which is very simple and elegant.


They also do their Signet Bag £128 in a whole host of colours from this bright green, to prints and more classic black and tan.


Whistles Union Double Zip Crossbody Bag £110 is fab in the red but also comes in black.


Way under £100 is &Other Stories Structured Leather Crossbody bag £65 which comes in black, white and silver.


Total bargain from Topshop with this Leather Wand Saddle Bag £30.


Absolutely love these Baxter Print Camera Bags £110 from Whistles in leopard and zebra. Definitely no need for any more animal in my life though.



I have actually looked at Radley on the John Lewis website all in the name of giving them a fair trial, and the problem isn’t with the styles so much as the bloody little dog attached to them. However, this is a total travesty…




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