Bags of fun!

Handbags, that is, and apparently the reason that women love shoes and bags so much is because, whilst an overindulgence on even just one day can make out clothes feel tight the next, shoes and bags continue to ‘fit’. I can identify with that! 

I tend to change my bags as often as I change my shoes. Never do I just grab yesterday’s. Perhaps I inherited my love of bags from my mother who was always very colour co-ordinated from top to toe. Today, we seem to be less hung up on matching our shoes and bags, except for a formal occasion, and are happy with them complimenting.

As I wear a lot of black and navy, I enjoy brightly coloured accessories. Last summer I had a clear out of bags and still need to replace the bright red one I discarded. I am currently bidding on a gorgeous barely used Radley one on ebay. Out of my price range new  unless for a very special occasion, I’ve set a budget and am keeping my fingers crossed.  Next I’ll be on the lookout for an orange one to go with some sandals I bought last year just before breaking my foot, so they are still new. 

Many of my readers also follow Margaret Powling’s blog. As a former prolific writer of magazine articles, Margaret is far more diligent in her research than I am, and she recently wrote an excellent post on the history of handbags (part of a group of three which also covered gloves and hats) which makes fascinating reading, so if you’re not a follower, do take a look.   Click here to read

Bag 3Evening bags: the gold leather one on the right is by Tula, part of the Radley Group.  I bought it for a wedding to replace the other gold one in the picture: a much loved, but very old one by Bally (which looks considerably smarter in the photo than in reality). I had decided that it was too scuffed to do justice to the occasion but sentimentalism makes me hold on to it.   The silver grab bag and beaded clutch are not favourites but sometimes it’s silver that’s needed to compliment a particular outfit.

Bag 2The black multi beaded one was bought for me one Christmas by my brother many years ago. I know he reads my blog and I’ll bet that’s surprised him!  I’ll bet he’d not remembered it. I was out shopping with my mother and remember that my daughter was in a pushchair. She’s just celebrated her 34th birthday so it’s more than three decades old. Nowadays I’m forever re-stitching beads and tying off loose threads but I still love it. It comes out every year abound Christmas and has accompanied me on every cruise. Right now I’m wondering whether we’ll ever cruise again but when I voiced my thoughts to husband, his response was, “We may do so don’t throw them away.”  As if !

The two beautiful leather Osprey bags on the left – one navy, one purple – were very generously gifted to me by a dear friend. The purple Gabor was also given to me by that same friend and, if I had to say I have a most-used bag, it would be this one. I use it for work quite a lot. It was after receiving these, that I put several of my others into the charity bag. They look similar colours in the photo (at least on my computer) but the purple Osprey is really vibrant, where as the Gabor one is more of an aubergine shade.

Bag 9An Abbotsbury black and tan two-tone, super useful, winter favourite. Part of the Bolla company, launched in 2007, their bags are made of soft, excellent quality leather and sold through independent retailers and online.  Despite being of average size, it’s a ‘tardis’ of a bag and I’m always surprised at just how much it will hold. It’s a useful one for work as I can get my large water bottle in it with ease.

Bag 6

The Lime green one – possibly my favourite colour and a  favourite when it comes to my bags – is the same style as the navy and cream ones (the latter a holiday staple as it goes with lots and you have to be necessarily ruthless when packing bulky bags for holidays)! Since they close with one simple press stud, each has a detachable inner bag for safety.

Bag 5

This large purple textured one was a thank you gift from my son and daughter in law some years ago when I looked after their two girls when they were away. I love the look of it but it’s rather heavy, so ok for work but not for a shopping trip.

Bag 11

One of two newer ones,  this mustard one was an early Christmas present to myself last year. I knew if I waited and added it to my Christmas list, it would be too late. I already had the red, green and mustard scarf which goes well with it, but as it’s very lightweight, I bought myself the wooly winter one too.

One of my Christmas presents from Husband was this bright pink suede one on the left. I’d pointed it out and he took note!  The other pink one is an old Per Una velvet one with beading and embroidery, bought not long after the range was introduced.

Bag 1And actually not really a handbag at all but a shopper which Daughter bought me in New York last year.  She sent me photographs so that I could choose and I loved the black and gold combination.  I’ve not been to New York, nor do I have any longing to go, but if I did, Macy’s department store would be at the top of my list of shops to visit!

For the most part I avoid small bags except for evening, but I do have a couple of across-the-body bags which are useful if I’m just popping out and all I need are my glasses and phone.

And finally, black bags. I once read that a black handbag is a wasted opportunity. Whilst  for me, the complete absence of a black bag would be a step too far, it’s sometimes  exactly what’s needed but I can’t say that they ever excite me! 


  1. Oh I used to be such a ‘bag lady’.

    Such was my love for my leathery friends that I had a whole wall of them out on display, hanging from nails in a house I once rented. I would drift off to sleep gazing at my beautiful friends. I don’t know what it was that flicked a switch in me but suddenly I knew they had to go, and go they did. Sold on Ebay, at car boot sales and donated to charity shops. Until very recently I only owned one, now I have splurged and after getting one for Christmas and one for my birthday and buying yet another for myself I now own four. My old self would not recognise my new self … even with such a lofty number to my name.


    • I do rather like the idea of your displayed handbags, Sue, but I can understand something of what you say about not recognising your old self. For years I always wore ‘smart’ clothes. I had very few which would fall into the category of casual (and even then the look was smart-casual). Then, at 57 I became a full time student and became much less bothered. I do still love my shoes and bags though. But they’re not as important, if that makes sense.


  2. PS One tip for those who love to change over their bags regularly. I keep a pouch in my bag, a black, zip-top one that is really a make-up purse and was a giveaway with a magazine many years ago. In that I keep all kinds of things I carry with me, spare house key, notebook and pen, tissues, large handkerchief, wipes, lipstick and compact, small brush, paracetamol, etc, and this can then just be lifted out and popped into another bag. All that I need to add are my wallet, glasses (they’re in their own cases), phone and camera, and job done.
    Margaret P

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful collection of bags, Eloise, I especially love your evening bags but I’d have no use for them as we don’t go out after 6pm ha ha! I also love your lime green bag! You obviously have more space than I to store bags – perhaps if I got rid of my books and magazine collections I’d not have part with bags (they do take up space, don’t they!) I wish I had all the lovely bags I’ve had over my life. Had to laugh at your friend and Enny bags. My late friend Pat loved Enny bags, too! I have a couple of Radley bags but overall, and for price, the Fiorelli bags are very good. No they’re not Hermes or Chanel, but they’re still rather nice bags.
    Thank you for the link to my own piece on bags.
    Margaret P


    • Yes, they do take up a lot of room. I have a cupboard in the bedroom for them. Eveningwear and bags are now in my daughter’s wardrobe. I cleared the rest of her belongings out the other day ready to take to her. She now has a much larger house than me!


  4. Thank you for sharing your bag collection! My favourites are the lime green and pink suede. When I was training for a corporate company, I used to wear mainly black and navy, as a result, I liked to have bright accessories. I must confess that I have a penchant for designer handbags. I have no idea why, as I don’t have designer shoes etc! I don’t have many handbags…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have enjoyed reading about your handbags. It reminded me of a friend who loved Enny Bags and while we were in John Lewis she went to the handbag section and after looking around for a while went to ask the assistant if they sold Enny bags, of course the assistant thought she was asking for “any” bags and just looked around where she was surrounded by bags.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam. Haha, you’re friend probably went home and told her family about the ‘madwoman’ who came in to the handbag department asking for handbags.


  6. What a lovely collection of handbags! A long time ago, I had handbags in various colors with shoes to match. But, these days, I am more of a minimalist and use one handbag. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Macy’s was really interesting! They still have an original wooden escalator in use. The store is a bit of a rabbit warren with buildings attached to buildings!

    The handbag section was fantastic, something for every price range.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My daughter loves it, Linda. She’s been a few times and tells me I’d love it. I wouldn’t if it was too crowded though – whilst I’d love the handbags, I don’t like crowds!


  8. Big chuckles. I mostly have a black handbag with long straps, and a bigger one with handles. But I do love your collection. I have a small one bedroomed home with very little storage so I can’t have too much of anything (sigh) A friend always has an interesting little handbag over her shoulder, and they are always formerly expensive but she acquired them from the op-shop.

    Liked by 1 person

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