handbag, messenger bag and evening bag
Aretha 141021 Signature Stub Italy Genuine Cowhide Leather Shoulder Tote Bag
Well, this is a good looking bag, roomy enough for purse, phone, keys tissues and all the rest of the detritus that accumulates in most ladies handbags ( Guilty!!) and yet well made so it will stay looking good. I really like these bags and one I had earlier for review has become my main bag to use, that one has an added shoulder strap – my preferred way of carrying a bag. this one can be hooked over the shoulder which is fine for most people but I need my arms to push my wheelchair and bags don’t stay up then so I need the additional strap.
It comes in its own protective fabric bag, and that makes it look great as a gift. Its genuine leather – the other bag I had from this company had a weird smell at first but that went after a couple of weeks, thankfully this one doesn’t have any unpleasant aroma. It comes in three colours and I’ve the brown, which is a lovely rich van dyke kind of colour. It’s fully lined and has gold plated hardware, which is great for preventing tarnish, and contrast stitching.
The outside is a close grained leather and the inside is fully lined in brown – I don’t know if its brown or a different colour in the red and black bags, with good strong zips and easy to grip tags.
The handles are padded and large enough to fit over should so bag tucks under the arm.
Inside the interior is very roomy and well thought out, with two zipped compartments and two open pockets for phone and keys.
The pockets are on one side of the bag, with a small zipped section the other and then the main compartment is divided by a large, full length zipped pocket. Plenty of room for everything.
Design wise it has a V shaped section in the sides which allow it to be larger at the base, and makes room for all the “stuff” we find essential to carry…..phone, keys, purse, pens, tissues, hand wash, throat sweets or similar, lipstick or lip slave, painkillers, notepad or paper, nail; file and/or scissors, penknife and for me my beloved Kindle. That goes everywhere.
You can see why I need a large bag! Every now and then I junk and pare down what I need but then it gradually creeps back.
I would like to have seen studs on the base to prevent scuffing – they’re on the other bag I had and are really useful.
I’ve still got an old Radley leather bag bought maybe 20 years ago, and I see no reason why this one won’t last as well if properly looked after. Leather is such a forgiving material, and looked after can last years. A little scuffing only improves the look IMO – makes it that Vintage appearance!
I use a little leather dressing from time to time on mine after wiping off any dirt. If it gets wet simply allow to dry naturally, away from heat and it’ll be fine.
Stars: Five, perfect bag for work and leisure
I really like the look and feel of this bag. Its a very retro feel, and the leather is incredibly soft when often on new bags its stiff and difficult to use. Back in the 70’s I had a leather satchel for school, the old two compartment, two buckle one and it took years to soften. I had it for the five years of high school, and wish I’d kept it but I was a bit sick of it then….
This bag is a heavy canvas and strong leather construction and the latches are magnetic, which is really useful in winter when fingers are freezing and struggling with zips and buckles can be awkward. The magnets are pretty strong too so flaps won’t blow open easily.
There’s a strong carrying handle, with reinforced fixings, which is very comfortable to hold, and also a thick, wide canvas shoulder strap for carrying across chest, my preference for safety.
There are several pockets on the outside and inside, with some pockets being open, some are zippered, and some have magnetic closures.
The large main inside compartment will hold a small laptop computer or tablets and is fastened with Velcro and lightly padded for extra protection.
The front has two front pockets with the magnetic closers, and a zip pocket, handy for phone, keys and cash.
There are further inside pockets besides the laptop/tablet one, two medium size and two small ones perfect for pens and pencils.
Its a great all round, practical bag which should last well. I’d maybe add a little waterproofing on the canvas, and some leather dressing to keep the leather lovely and supple whatever the weather. Looked after it’ll last years, and with this sort of bag a little wear just adds to the vintage look and in my opinion improves it 😉
Stars: Five, great for school, college, uni or less formal workplaces.
Emour Nina Silver Crystal Diamond Evening Clutch Wedding Purse Party Prom Bag Box
This bag comes comes in a really smart red box, lined with tissue making for a perfect gift.
It’s in a choice of either gold or silver trim and I’ve the silver version.
I’ve recently done reviews for several 1920’s style sequin and beaded dresses and this would work perfectly with it. I love it. Well, with my magpie all-things-sparkly-are-good quirk I would!My late friend Barbara used to call it my Bet Lynch tendencies.
Its got a beautiful diamante covered outer, with the crystals being in direct lines creating a very symmetrical, slightly formal look and making it perfect to finish the Art Deco look. Nan had a couple of bags like this from the 20s –30s.
Its fully lined, with a handy little pocket inside for items such as a card, a key or maybe a lipstick, easy to get at. Its got a simple clip top to open and close, also decorated with more crystals.
It can be used as a clutch but also has two chains included which clip on to convert to a handbag or a shoulder bag. I like those, keep hands free and I usually wear across my chest, though of course it could be hung from one shoulder.
Stars: Five, just gorgeous, great for cocktail evenings or xmas parties. and a terrific price.
Products supplied for honest review. All items undergo assessment and testing where needed before I give my opinion, and stars given accordingly.