…at least that’s how I’m justifying this one
I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you that up until a week or two ago, all the bags that I owned were black. Everything, suitcases and all. All except for a little canvas purple rucksack that I take with me whenever I go camping, which never ends up getting used because I insist that Mark is a natural mountain goat and should carry all our goods whenever we go out for a hike. This all-black theme worked well for me because it meant that I could pair every bag I own with every outfit I put on and the decision of what one I wore each day was determined by how much I needed to fit into it and not much else.
This was all working well for me until my recent urge for a splash of colour in my wardrobe kicked in and before you knew it, I was typing ‘red bag‘ into the search terms of literally every website that I shop from. Initially I went down the designer route – somehow justifying it as a ‘wedding present to myself’ – and began eyeing up the J.W Anderson Pierce Mini Leather Shoulder Bag in this gorgeous tomato-red colour and if I’m honest I still can’t get it out of my head. However, the price tag had me balking. So instead I initially picked up the Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Leather Bucket Bag which had all the makings of the perfect summer bag (see the criteria below), but when it arrived it was more of a raspberry tone than a red one, so it was an easy decision to send it straight back where it came from.
In the end I found this Whistles Union Double Zip Crossbody Bag, which was exactly what I wanted. The colour was right, it ticked all my criteria for the perfect summer bag and was considerably more budget-friendly than the other two fancy pants ones that I’d been stalking. So what’s my summer bag criteria include I hear you ask?
1) Firstly, it has to be a colour that goes with everything. Now with this being a bright, almost orange red thankfully it still goes with everything in my wardrobe as red is the only colour that features in there. Although I think I’m more likely to wear this with a monochrome outfit like I am in the pictures here, because I like how it’s the one and only standout piece.
2) Secondly, it’s got to have the ability to stuff everything in. Not only do I plan on wearing it day to day, but I think it will be a great one for holidays too and whenever I’m away I like to carry around all the usual bits and my vlogging camera. This has passed the overpacking ‘imaginary holiday’ bag contents test.
3) Thirdly, it’s got to have the ability to work as both a day-out and a fancy evening-out bag as whenever I go away I don’t like to take a whole bag wardrobe with me – you know me, I like to be streamlined. This would work as a passport and document holder in the airport, an essentials holder as you wander around the city during the day and the straps can be removed so it works as a clutch at night too.
Seeing as this bag is now annoyingly out of stock (although it’s worth checking the Zalando website too because it might pop up back in stock there), I thought I’d share some of my favourite high-street bag picks with you that also caught my eye. If it’s an eye-catching colour that you’re after then this Warehouse Tab Front Cross Mini Body Bag in orange is a stunner, plus I’m loving this & Other Stories Saddle Stitch Leather Shoulder Bag in navy. Both have that pop of colour thing going on and seem to be a decent size too. I’m also going a bit heart-eye emoji over the woven trend because that just screams ‘SUMMER BAG!’ to me. This & Other Stories Tab Detail Braided Leather Bag is a beaut because it features stripes of orange and blue in it, whereas the & Other Stories Braided Shoulder Bag is more of a neutral affair.
MY HIGH-STREET SUMMER BAG PICKS
If you really want to splash out and have a ‘Treat Yo Self’ moment then I’d point you in the direction of these. The Cult Gaia Ark Small Bamboo Clutch is possibly the most impractical bag I’ve seen and doesn’t seem to fill any of my summer bag criteria but I can’t help but think it’s the cutest/most summery bag whenever it pops up on my Instagram feed. The same goes for the Muun Ninon Straw and Stripe Cotton Canvas Tote which looks impossibly small, but also equally adorable. For something slightly more practical there’s the aforementioned Mansur Gavriel Mini Mini Leather Bucket Bag and the Chloé Faye Mini Leather and Suede Shoulder Bag. I also find myself hovering over the Balenciaga Bazar Striped Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag because it reminds me of the deck chairs that they have on Brighton beach.
MY HIGH-END SUMMER BAG PICKS
I’m pretty chuffed with myself that my latest foray into colour has even made it into my accessories. It’s been years since I owned a bag that wasn’t black or adorned with leopard print. Right – now I just need a holiday booked so I actually test my little ‘holiday bag’ theory out. Who’s with me?
Photos by Lauren Shipley