Bag Lady

Some people are shoe people. I know the way to my best friend’s heart is through a pair of Christian Louboutin’s for example. And whilst I love shoes, I find spending masses of money on them quite difficult. I don’t mind spending a significant sum of money of a pair of shoes which, with a bit of TLC, will last for several years without going out of fashion. but the problem is even with the best will in the world, no pair of shoes will last forever.

But a handbag, a handbag could very easily last you the rest of your life. Granted, they need a bit of TLC, protector spray and keeping relatively dry, but if it’s well made they should last a really long time. So whilst shoes are the way to some girls’ hearts, bags are definitely the way to mine.

In a perfect world where money was no object I would have a small stash of Mulberry bags. They are gorgeous, well made and British (fewer fashion miles). What more could you want? Alas, I do not have a stash of Mulberry bags because they are a little , OK, a LOT, out of my price range. But a girl can dream…

Mulberry Love

That’s not to say that just because you can’t afford Mulberry you are limited to a life of crap handbags. There are a number of brands out there who make much more reasonably priced but still high quality bags. I am currently toting about a Ted Baker bag from about two years ago which has the most gorgeous soft leather (a random requirement of mine, bags should feel nice!) in a dark purple-y blue. I also have a nice selection (I’m up to three at the moment) of Radley handbags.

Radley is a company whose bags I love. They do sometimes go a bit overboard on the details but their more classic bags are wonderful. All of mine have been either Christmas or birthday presents although I am considering investing in another. My current favourite is modelled by Laura Bailey in one of their new adverts although I do confess I would buy it in my favourite purple rather than the cream advertised.

Laura Bailey for Radley

Laura Bailey for Radley

If not Radley then one option I have discovered recently is another British company (I like supporting British industry)  called Peony and Moore. One of Deborah Meaden’s Business Accelerators finalists and shortlisted for a Bath Life New Business Award 2012, this is a really up and coming company making classic but not old-fahsioned leather bags. There are two in particular, the Gilly and Lucia on my hit list and would be great additions to anyone’s handbag collection.

Peony and Moore "Lucia" bag

Peony and Moore "Lucia" bag

So if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach then the way to a woman’s definitely seems to be through her accessories!

Are you a bag or a shoe person? And what is your limit when shopping for these items?

Average Josephine x

PS. If you buy Easy Living magazine at a bargainous £2 this month (normal price £3.70) there is a code to get 20% off when shopping at www.radley.co.uk so go buy it!!

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Famous for the sake of being famous

I do try not to hate anyone but there is someone who seems to be high fashion’s darling, who can do no wrong according to every magazine you pick up, who I really can’t stand. I thought this was just me but a few comments on Twitter have shown that I’m actually not in the minority here.

The conclusion? Fashion designers may love her but Alexa Chung, I’m sorry but I really don’t like you.

Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung

My first issue is what does she actually do?! I remember her presenting some, frankly rather rubbish, music programme on T4 about a million years ago but since then has she actually done anything? Other than turn up to the opening of an envelope? There are a lot of jokes about celebrities who are famous for being famous, but Alexa Chung is famous for what exactly?

The second is that I don’t really see why all the fashion designers and magazines laud her as being this incredible fashionista! I’m no style queen and I don’t claim to be but I know when someone looks good and I’m afraid Ms Chung doesn’t. She looks scruffy most of the time and does she actually even know what a hairbrush is?! And as for the “ombre” hair trend? Sorry kids but I was rocking that look when I was at university… It’s called “I can’t be bothered to get my roots done”. She’s just lucky that her dye job was relatively close to her own hair colour or it would have been less of a trend and more of a faux pas.

Alexa Chung scruffy hair

Would you go to a Hollywood party with your hair like this?

And as for the Mulberry ‘Alexa’ bag? Unfortunately, I love it. Other than the name. It’s a bit vintage but without going overboard. An updated classic satchel. I just don’t get why Mulberry named it after her.

Mulberry 'Alexa' bag in oak buffalo leather

Mulberry 'Alexa' bag in oak buffalo leather

So to the magazines and the designers, I just want to say, she’s not all that. If you want a muse, choose someone who actually does something for a living and isn’t just a “celebrity”.

Do you agree with me or do you like Ms Chung?

Average Josephine x