I’m a big bag person – and I mean that in both senses of the term. I love bags, and I like ‘em big; even an evening bag (try saying that five times, fast) has to be big enough to carry my telephone, at least two lipsticks, a packet of tissues (one must always be prepared), a small coin purse and my keys.
Each new season brings with it – well, a lot of things, but mostly the opportunity to flesh out my pre-existing bag wardrobe with newer, brighter, shinier bags. My most favourite thing to do in the world ever, in fact, is to buy new things and sift out old ones, which I then throw Siopaella’s way so I can recoup at least some of my sartorial losses.
This season? Trends are for sheer fabrics, white-on-white and big ol’ florals. But when it comes to accessories, I care not for trends. Instead I care for fabrics and designs I love – usually simple and always roomy.
1. Whistles’ Rivington calf hair pouch, £120
This is the smallest bag I could ever own. I mean that quite literally. While other people get away with box clutches (honestly I have no idea how; what if you have your period? Where go your tampons?), I like my clutches to be sizeable. So this is a compromise; it’s neat and tidy, angular and discreet, but also big enough for all of the important items listed above and, in case of a secretarial emergency, an A4 page, folded in half. Don’t ask. (P.S. Remember the last Whistles bag I loved? Well I now own it! Love letters are the way forward.)
2. Asos’s cross-body grid-printed leather bag, €61.65
Another thing you should know about me (for my Wikipedia page, should anyone anywhere ever be arsed setting one up for me) is that I strongly – really strongly, vehemently – dislike faux leather. I have never met a faux leather item I enjoyed, and I don’t think I ever will.
So when I see a chunky cross-body bag that doesn’t cost the earth and happens to be constructed in leather, it’s quite likely that I will love it. It helps that this lil’ number from Asos is boxy and cool and wouldn’t be seen dead on a Barbie (also an acid test for me when it comes to accessories: would this come in a Barbie set?).
3. Sequin ham bag, £249 by The Rodnik Band (top pic)
Okay, this is going to divide people. For some reason, a reason that is beyond my comprehension, some people do not want their accessories to be food-related. I, personally, want everything to be food-related. This amazing bag by Scottish designers The Rodnik Band is a HAM BAG. A handbag that is a HAM BAG. Geddit? That pun alone is enough to make me fall for it. But honestly just look at it. A big ham! Covered in sequins! I love this more than I love my dog, which is a lot. Except for on Mondays when she is bold.
4. Victoria Beckham’s Harper shoulder bag, Brown Thomas
This may divide people also because, hallo, it’s €1,395. Also it divides me (so to speak) because it is totally something that Barbie would wear. But its boxy shape and satchel feel keep it from being too girly – even if it is the colour of Barbie’s perfect pink dreams.
I have loved the Harper since its debut last year, and I love Victoria Beckham since she wore wedge trainers to throw the first ball at some random baseball game (way before wedge trainers were cool), and I love David Beckham since my Dad told me that my boyfriend (who is very ginger) looks just like him. Which actually was a bizarre reflection on (a) my Dad’s eyesight and (b) his knowledge of footballers.
5. 3.1 Phillip Lim large black Ryder satchel, €1,027.06 at MyWardrobe
Phillip Lim is one of my favourite designers because his collections are just so utterly, incredibly cool. The Phillip Lim girl isn’t concerned with being sexy or trendy or “current” or anything – she just is effortlessly hip. That’s the kind of girl-slash-woman I dream of being, when I’m not too busy eating cronuts or lusting over shoes that everyone else bought two years ago.
This bag is so so cool because it’s not trying to be anything. It’s not obviously designer (no obvious hardware or labelling anywhere); it’s a little too big, even for me; it’s understated and almost boring, yet perfect in its chunky androgynous quilted leather. Perfection.