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
Evening 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.
The 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.
An 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.
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.
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.
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.
And 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!