Today I thought I’d share with you what I wore on New Year’s Day. My outfit of choice consisted of a gorgeous new pair of jeans that I purchased from ASOS in their winter sale, which I paired with a simple black zip back jumper from Primark.
I seem to have collected quite a few black tops over the past few months, so I decided to invest in some colourful pieces to wear with them, and these Batik Skinny Jeans by Danish brand Only do not disappoint. Purple is my favourite colour, and I’ve always been a fan of batik/tie dye style prints, so as soon as I saw these I knew I had to have them. They’re an excellent fit as well. The sizing is accurate, and they have a range of leg lengths to choose from, so they are plenty long enough for my 36″ inside leg! These jeans cost me £12.50, down from £60.00, and they’ve now been reduced even further to £11.00, so I have ordered another pair as I love them so much.
To finish the outfit, I went for more black. A few weeks ago I received a couple of fashion items from BLOGGERS to review, so I decided to give them a whirl with this outfit. Despite only expecting one item from them, BLOGGERS actually sent me two (thanks!) – a gorgeous pair of black ankle boots, and a surprise black and gold clutch bag, both from H&M.
Those who read my blog regularly will know that I have a thing for black, and a thing for boots, so these Black Ankle Boots are right up my street. They’re made of imitation suede which looks and feels almost real, and they have a sturdy but flexible rubber sole so they’re easy and comfortable to walk in. One thing I always look for in simple black footwear is a little bit of a twist to make them a bit more interesting, and these pass that test. The boots have a curved panel on the front, and a lip at the top that sits higher than the back, giving them a slightly more unusual shape. At £24.99 these are a real bargain!
This Black and Gold Clutch Bag is a little beauty, and even comes with a chain strap hidden inside, so you can wear it over your shoulder if you so wish. The bag has a sturdy gold metallic shell, which is underlaid with soft black suedette, and it fastens with a large clip on top. Despite only costing £14.99, the bag oozes quality, and adds a touch of glamour to any outfit. It’s not the biggest bag in the world, but it’s roomy enough for your phone, keys, money, lipstick and chewing gum, which is just about everything you need on a night out.
What do you think of this outfit?
*These Black Ankle Boots and Black & Gold Clutch Bag were sent to me by BLOGGERS, on behalf of H&M, for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
If there’s one thing a student should invest in, it’s a good bag. During my five years at university I went through countless bags because I was buying cheap and filling them with heavy books, and in the end the straps or zips just gave up. Overall, I ended up spending a small fortune on bags, rather than buying one good quality one that would’ve lasted me years. Needless to say I’ve learnt my lesson, and though I’m no longer a student myself, I still work at a university, and I’ve discovered the perfect bag for all your university needs – a Vida Vida Satchel.
Vida Vida was started in 2005 by husband and wife Matt and Andreya Townsend. Their brand combines British design with a passion for travel and worldwide workmanship, and they work with suppliers and craftsman from around the world to create their beautiful range of bags, belts and jewellery. Reassuringly, Vida Vida have an excellent ethical policy, and all of their products are fairly sourced for a fair price, and Matt and Andreya visit their suppliers annually to ensure they maintain strong relationships. Their leather is also ethical, as they use leather which is naturally processed and coated, and is a bi-product of animals used for meat, rather than from animals killed primarily for leather.
The Vida Vida satchel I use is the dark tan Large Leather Satchel, which is made of soft and supple vintage-look leather that has a natural, earthy charm to it. One thing I love about the look of this bag is that it isn’t perfect. Due to the natural tanning process Vida Vida use, the leather has small marks on it that some would call imperfections, but they actually give each bag a unique character that gets better with age. It’s lined with a thick fabric too which is extremely hard-wearing, so is unlikely to rip or get damaged easily, even if you use the bag a lot.
In terms of size, this satchel is just right. 30cm high, 38cm wide and 10cm deep, to be precise. It’s big enough to fit everything you need for your studies, but not too big that it’s awkward to carry. The bag has a large compartment inside with a divider, which can easily fit a 15″ laptop, folders and books, an inside zip pocket, and another zipped section and a buckle pocket on the front. Vida Vida actually demonstrate what you can fit in each bag here, but I thought I’d recreate the image for myself to prove just how much you can pack inside this Tardis of a satchel!
As you can see, I managed to fit in an A4 binder containing paperwork and a notebook, a book, a pencil case, an umbrella, my purse, a hairbrush, my phone, my bus pass, a bottle of water, paracetamol and make up, and there was STILL plenty of space left for snacks, extra books and possibly more. Impressive, right? Due to the suppleness of the leather, it expands to fit what you need, and since the bag fastens with traditional buckles, it will still close. I like to use the front buckled pocket for things I need easy access to, such as my phone, bus pass and coins.
The satchel is also really easy to wear and carry. It has a carry handle on top, and an adjustable shoulder strap so it can be worn at whatever length feels right for you, and it’s also the ideal width for comfortable wearing.
I adore my Vida Vida satchel – it’s practical, stunning to look at, works great with any outfit (keep an eye out for styling posts coming soon), and is excellent quality. This particular satchel retails for £80.00, and it’s worth every penny if you want a bag that will last you for years and save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to keep replacing it! You can view the full range of Vida Vida satchels here. There are various sizes to choose from, so if you like this satchel but think it’s too big or too small for you, you can size up or down accordingly.
Which bag would you choose?
*This Large Leather Satchel was sent to me by Vida Vida for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
As my regular readers will know, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, and last week something special caught my eye through the window of my local Oxfam charity shop – a gorgeous little bag with a rabbit motif on the front. Unfortunately the shop was closed, but I knew I needed that bag, so the next morning I whizzed on down to buy it, with my fingers firmly crossed in the hope that it hadn’t already been sold. Luckily it hadn’t, and I was surprised to find that a) it was an ASOS bag (I half expected it to be from Primark), and b) it looked brand new!
A quick Google search revealed that, though ASOS no longer stock this bag, it was quite a popular design last Autumn/Winter, and cost £20.00 on their website, and is regularly being sold on eBay second-hand for close to that. I paid the small sum of £4.99 for mine, which I’m very pleased with considering it looks new!
The bag itself is made of mink coloured faux leather and is also lined. It has a nice sturdy shape to it and is accented with gold corners and, of course, that beautiful little rabbit motif. The strap is long so it fits across the body, and adjusts with a buckle. I just love it, and though it’s not a colour I’d usually wear, it’s neutral enough to go with almost anything.
What do you think of this thrifty find?
Last Friday I was among a few lucky bloggers and press who got to attend the Zatchels Factory Shop VIP launch event in Leicester. For those who don’t know (and I’m sure there aren’t many) Zatchels are a fashion brand who design and create leather satchels, saddle bags, barrel bags, duffel bags and other accessories, using traditional British manufacturing methods. Their factory is located in Leicester, where highly skilled staff make every single bag by hand, and everything is made to order. Leicester used to have a thriving manufacturing industry, which many of my relatives worked in, so as a Leicester girl born and bred I like to see a Leicester brand doing so well, and I was very keen to support them on their factory shop launch day.
The event started with a chance to meet the brains behind the brand, including Company Directors Dean Clarke and Brian Brady, and Zatchels Creative Director and celebrity stylist Gemma Sheppard, who it was great to meet. We also got to preview some bags from a few new collections which are yet to be launched, and they are absolutely stunning! This pretty little thing was my particular favourite…
Once everyone had arrived Dean and Brian took us on a tour of the Zatchels factory, which had a friendly atmosphere and bright interior, what with all the piles of different leathers – it was amazing to see! We got to watch how each bag is made by hand, from selecting the leather, cutting it and putting all the parts together, right up to quality control and packing. It was so interesting to see the process from start to finish, and I can assure you that so much care and effort is put into every single product.
After the tour, we were taken to the factory shop for its official opening. There were some yummy ‘Best of British’ nibbles on offer, including Zatchels cupcakes from Bitsy’s Cupcakery and Sweet Eve strawberries, and we had the opportunity to browse the bags on offer and have another chat with the other guests and Zatchels directors.
The Zatchels Factory Shop is based at 10 Charter Street, Leicester, which is located very close to the city centre (about a 5 minute walk) and has ample parking. The shop will be open every Wednesday to Friday from 12pm until 6pm, and Saturday 10am until 5pm, and there is a mix of factory seconds and sample bags for sale, as well as quality retail products. Every bag in the shop has been graded and priced accordingly, as follows:
Grade A – Perfect Quality – Full Price
Grade B – Slight Imperfections – 30% off
Grade C – Stitching Imperfections or Scratches – 40% off
I checked lots of the bags over myself to see how noticeable the imperfections are, and even the Grade C bags are still brilliant quality (I could barely find anything wrong with them) so you really can get yourself a bargain.
I had such a fun day at the Zatchels VIP event. It was really nice to meet some other Leicester bloggers and chat to the Zatchels team, and I loved having a look behind the scenes at the process that goes into making every single Zatchels bag. All guests left with a goody bag too, which was a really nice touch. I plan on doing another post soon with advice on how to style your Zatchels bag, so keep an eye out for that!