The ‘Summer Bag’ Purchase

…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.



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.



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



  • I think red is a great choice as color, as it still goes with a lot of my summer clothes anyway. And it looks great against black, which is, lets be honest, still my most worn color.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • I love it! I bought a little red bag from M&S a few months ago and have had SO much wear out of it. I also thought I’d let you know I let out a little snort-laugh when you called Mark a mountain goat.

    Lynnsay x

  • Abi Street

    This bag is gorgeous! Love the pop of colour on the outfit too x

    Abi | abistreetx

  • So cute! Love the bag, the outfit and these shots. Thanks for sharing.
    -Kathryn xx

  • Your bag is gorgeous! I love the red!

    I hope you’re having a great Friday,

  • Laura Torninoja

    I love this bag – such a lovely drop of colour! I need a summery bag like this too, methinks 🙂 x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • Helen

    I had been eyeing up that same Whistles bag in a dove grey colour a few months back but it went out of stock before I got around to purchasing it. Instead I purchased the plain nude leather version of the And Other Stories Tab Detail bag you mention in this post and it is gorgeous. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and get the nude rather than black and I’m so glad I did. The leather has a very peachy nude tone to it – sounds hideous but it’s beautiful. It feels very weighty and looks far more expensive than it was. I mostly love it because it reminds me of a Chanel Classic Flap minus the quilting and I think it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to having a Chanel bag unfortunately!

  • Eva

    Love this bag, definitely perfect for summer – and red is the colour of the season! Seeing this outfit has also made me want some denim dungarees!

  • This whole look needs to be on my body right now! I love the combination of the dungarees with espadrilles. And of course the pop of colour!

    Fatima x

  • Leliforever

    I’m currently saving up for a Mansur Gavriel mini mini bucket bag. I want it as my graduation gift.,,

  • im loving the colour of this bag, so pretty xx

  • Meagan

    Obsessed with your overalls!

  • The Half Pint Blog

    That purse is the perfect size!

  • elisha mae

    Lovely post and really into your love affair with red right now!

    Elisha-Maé |

  • I love the Mansur Gavriel one… the leather looks so incredibly soft and lush!!

  • MaryAnn Mascena

    Love the way you purchase items, criteria in mind, you will never find youself in debt! Smart!

  • Red is a great colour for accessories, and I like the fact that the bag is very simple. Can be worn with everything, I can see it worn with denim dungarees and a striped tee as well!

    Julia x
    Last Post: How Much is my Makeup Worth? |

  • Tanya Wolfson

    I am driving myself mad for the ultimate travel bag. It should be big enough for me to take mini ipad, kindle, makeup bag etc needed for travelling ie I don’t like to put any of these things in my case. But it should also be lightweight as they are heavy enough, so I have been trying to look for something other than leather. It should be stylish and probably black and I do love designer but not willing to pay thousands. Also it should still be small enough to use whilst sightseeing etc, so not a tote. I am in my fifties so trying to be smart and stylish so I am not sure if a backpack will look the part. Any thoughts??? ps I travel quite a bit and this dilemma is driving me crazy.

  • Aaah, love that red bag <3

  • Shanice

    I love colourful bags for summer! your red one is just stunning! I have a little yellow number that I wear a lot during the warme months 🙂
    Greetings from Germany