I’ve decided to write about my new handbag for this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Okay, I know it’s not strictly a shoesday post without any shoes, but the handbag did come from shoe brand Hotter, so I think it’s the ideal time to talk about handbags.Now, I’m not someone who will buy a new handbag just because I like the look of it, or because it matches an outfit or follows a new trend. In fact, I don’t buy bags very often at all. I don’t have a different bag for every occasion or for different seasons. Nope, I tend to choose one bag and that one bag will do me very nicely until it falls apart. And that’s when I’ll buy another one.You may have guessed from this that I don’t see handbags as a fashion accessory. I see them as purely practical; something to carry my important stuff from one place to another. I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what the handbag looks like, because I have my preferences in the looks department too. But most important is that it can fit everything in, with lots of pockets and is easy to carry. My last two handbags have been Disaster Designs satchels. The first one I tried was the best. I really liked how it looked, with a map-print design and brown faux-leather flap. It was big enough to fit in everything I needed to carry, even notepads and ipads could fit in there. In fact, it was a little too big at times – if I only needed to carry a purse, it seemed to get lost in the vast space inside the bag, swishing around like a teabag in a bucket. But it lasted for years. I’m taking maybe 2-3 years before it finally started coming apart. I’d already ruined the lining with a leaky pen and plenty of spilled makeup by this point, but I was still sad to see it go.
So when it was time to replace this bag, I plumped for another satchel from Disaster Designs. This time I went smaller, having learnt that I didn’t always need a big satchel. But I suspect that I took it too far the other way, because it was difficult to fit everything into that handbag. A purse and phone almost filled it up, so I often found myself carrying an extra canvas bag with my other bits n pieces in. It was too small, and I needed one that was somewhere between the two – just right.Plus this handbag, rather disappointingly, started falling apart after only a couple of months. The magnetic clasp was the first thing to come loose, after only a few weeks. Then the faux leather on the front and back of the handbag started crumbling off. You can see from the photo that it was once a blue ‘leather’ which is now just a black lining fabric. Even so, I’ve stuck with the handbag for 8 months, but now it’s time for it to go. I’m not at all happy with how quickly it crumbled, especially considering how long my last Disaster Designs satchel lasted for.So when Hotter ran a competition on their twitter page to win an accessory from their current collection, I knew I had to enter. Having chosen comfy Hotter shoes for every special event I’ve been to over the past 4 years, I knew that the quality would be great. I picked out another satchel design – the “Romilly” cross-body bag – and kept my fingers crossed as I tweeted my competition entry.
Wahooo, I won! My dream Hotter handbag was on its way to me in the post. I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like in real life, and hoped that it would be big enough to carry my day-to-day things. Thankfully, it is one of those just right handbags that I always wanted; not so huge that it was like lugging a school bag around with me, but not too small to fit in my camera.With a zipped pocket on the back, a couple of pouches on the inside for my phone and lipbalms, a roomy centre section and another zipped interior pocket, it was everything I’d hoped for. My go-to satchel shape is a very sturdy boxy design, so I don’t feel like my make-up is going to get smooshed inside it. Plus, it’s in a perfect go-with-everything burgundy wine colour, that looks great with my navy coat.All in all I’m rather chuffed with my new handbag and I’d definitely go to Hotter again the next time I need a satchel. Although, judging by its performance so far, and how very sturdy it is, I’m sure that I won’t be replacing it for many years to come.
What do you look for in a handbag? Do you keep yours for years or change your handbag to match your outfit? And have you ever won anything in a competition that you really needed or wanted? I’d love to hear from you so please leave me a comment below.