Bags of style
I am beginning to feel the love for bags once more. For the past few years I have been consigned to the nappy bag brigade and now I am finally out the other end. For a while there it was pretty grim – I needed one of those gigantic compartment ridden behemoth’s in which to stash nappies, wipes, hand gel, enough snacks for a week, drinks and spare clothes for everyone whatever the weather. My bag was 99% crumbs and raisins – a bit like my car – and I could never find anything in it. I was always scrabbling around on the floor, frantically searching for my keys which I had mislaid in one of the pockets.
But those days are long gone and I have celebrated my new clutter-free lease of life (thanks to potty training and having slightly older children) by buying a new bag. This bag is nothing about my children. It is about me and only me because it is not large enough to fit any of their paraphernalia in – none whatsoever. I love it and it has barely left my shoulder since I bought it several weeks ago because it feels like the beginning of a new chapter.
Bags, like accessories in general, are actually the easiest way to update your look without going overboard. Plus bags in particular are not body shape dependent. Not quite one size fits all as you do need to bear in mind your proportions, but definitely not the same minefield as buying clothes.
‘IT’ bags were all the rage about the time when WAGS were all the rage too. Thankfully all that nonsense has calmed down a bit but there definitely are styles out there which are spot-on for this season. If there was one bag to buy in AW15 it would be the Chloe Drew Bag – this one is £1050. But if you don’t want to sell your entire household contents to fund this purchase, there are still a great number of worthy imitations out there.
Sticking true to the 70s vibe, a tan saddle bag will give you the most fashion points and will work year round. These cross-body bags are super stylish but also very practical leaving your hands-free. Accessorize, as ever, is a great starting point and has this 70s Saddle Bag in tan £29.
It also comes in this gorgeous navy 70s Saddle Bag £29.
Zara has a nice selection of bags on-line and which you don’t always get a great sense of when you are in store. They have a couple of versions of the saddle bag including the Messenger Bag £25.99
I waved goodbye to my nappy bag with this black Tassel Saddle Bag from Topshop £30. It does also come in tan and grey but the black is my favourite – the PU looks a bit cheap in the other colours.
Fringing now: a suede, fringed bag is definitely a close second to the saddle bag. This is not a shy bag – this is loud and pretty fun. This little Fringed Suede Clutch Bag from Topshop £36 would propel your going out look into this season without being too over the top.
You can also go for a larger version for everyday such as this Leather Fringed Bucket Bag from Warehouse £85.
Alternatively go for something which has a small nod with a tassel detail like this Tassel Suede Hobo Bag from Accessorize £75. The navy colour is super stylish and I think this would be a very useful bag indeed.
I haven’t exactly been truthful, I cannot manage entirely with my lovely little cross-body bag and I do need a larger bag that I can cram more stuff into. It doesn’t have to be a prim and proper lady tote. You can still give the fashion pack a run for their money if you buy into another big trend – but one which has legs and stylish ones at that. I give you the duffle bag. Now this is the one to buy if you can: Leather Bucket Bag £565 . Mansur Gavriel is hot property as are his bags, and this is in another key colour for the season. The smaller black version is already sold out on Net-a-Porter.
Topshop has this Leather Duffel Crossbody Bag £35. It comes in black and burgundy and is a total bargain for a leather bag.
Somewhere between the two is this lovely Maya Black Bucket Bag Reiss £170.
Now, what could be more practical than a backpack? Practical but also on trend. On balance I don’t think I am far enough away from practicality to embrace this trend. Not that I am going down the frivolous route but I want style rather than practicality. This Backpack with Foldover Flap from Zara is, however, a great price at £19.99 and would mean you could quite literally be able to juggle a few extra balls.
They also have this Backpack with Zip Detail £35.99.
If the duffle bag or back pack don’t do it for you then you can’t really go wrong with a tote or shopper. I had a great one from Zara that I bought at the start of the year, but alas it is dying a slow fraying strapped death and I need to replace it. I saw this Leather Unlined Panelled Shopper from Warehouse £38 in the Times in the burgundy colour and thought how lovely it was, but I am well and truly sold on this grey version (it also comes in black).
Grey is where it is at for the AW but it is also a great bag colour which will keep working, even when your black bag just looks too harsh in the summer sun. This Kyra Leather Tote from Kin by John Lewis is a good buy at £89. Yes it is more of an investment but it will definitely work on and off-duty.
Cos also has a Suede Shopper which is reduced to £68.
You can count on Zara to have competitively priced bags including this Contrasting Tote Bag £29.99.
If black is what you are looking for, then they also have this Geometric Tote Bag £29.99 which is a bit more interesting than a bog standard tote.
So there you go, it doesn’t have to be an ‘IT’ bag or cost thousands of pounds for it to be full of style. What you put in it is up to you.