Friday, 23 May 2014

H&M Gold Straw Clutch

An email popped up last week from H&M, which I always make sure I scan down because I love H&M, and this gold clutch caught my eye straight away. At £7.99, I thought why not? Being the patient type of person I am (just kidding!), I held out until my shopping trip to Dublin a few days later and found the last one on display, a sure sign that I should buy it in my eyes!

The gold straw look is effective, the straw giving it an excuse to be used for more casual lunch dates but also the gold for a night out clutch or a more glamorous holiday look.

The size is perfect for all occasions and is big enough to hold the usuals but still fits snugly in your hand. There's only one pocket inside, but it's zipped, so secure. I think with the material and lid being quite rigid, it's hard to fill the bag because if the magnetic clasp doesn't reach there's no give in it. But unless you're like my sister who has to carry everything including the kitchen sink (maybe because the bathrooms leave a lot to be desired sometimes!), then you wouldn't be trying to fit too much in anyway, so not really a problem.

So anyway, I love this bag and I'd recommend it as a must-have clutch this season. It looks fab with brights and tropical prints, the gold gives a touch of the classy safari look mixed with greens, or finishes off a nautical or white outfit nicely, blending in perfectly around the marina with some gold sandals to match. I can't wait for my next holiday to start getting some good use out this great purchase!

Here it is - go bag yourself one while they're still there!

If you found my review useful, or even better, you're heading out the door to your nearest H&M to buy one, please leave me a comment to say so.

Monday, 19 May 2014

City Shopping Trips

I was lucky enough to go on a last minute (booked 2 days before!) day trip to Dublin for a spot of shopping, which meant a flight overseas with no luggage, a slightly weird feeling as though you've forgotten something important! I took one of my bigger bags so I knew I had all my essentials with me for any eventualities the day was going to throw at me, and enough space to bring home some of my new purchases.

So here's what I had with me at all times...

Firstly, my purse - don't forget to change some currency for the day! I took 40 Euros for drinks and snacks but used cards to pay for everything else, which worked well.
A pen 'cause you never know when you'll need one, sunnies (Prada if you're interested), a mini brush as I knew the shopping streets were outside so I'd end up a blustery mess without one, a mirror 'cause you always need a mirror, my cosmetics bag with a little as possible in (don't forget no liquids over 100ml and must be in a clear bag!), an umbrella just in case, and most importantly, my passport!

Mr Kors did a good job too, see my review blog for a full breakdown, but the zipped pocket safely housed my passport and purse, there was plenty of room for the other bits and pieces, and the metal feet did a good job when I had to put him down on the sometimes questionable cafe floors.

Here's the results of my afternoon on Grafton Street...

Top left - neon green necklace from Warehouse, top right - palm and bright coral tops from New Look (loving the Hawaiian tropics look for this summer) and bag from H&M (check back soon for a review blog), bottom left - all from Primark (Penney's in Dublin), bottom right - saw-this-and-thought-of-me from H&M.

As I was actually over there with my other half, who had to disappear for an interview, he carried a case with him small enough to take as carry-on so most of my shopping conveniently ended up in there! Ryanair do allow you one handbag plus one small case on board for free now, so I wouldn't see a problem with taking home one larger carrier bag to squash your shopping in but worth checking first! Failing that, if you're staying over night then make sure you leave enough room in your case on the way out!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Ted Baker Cross Body Bag

Having browsed the usual favourites, Zara, H&M etc., I headed for House of Fraser just to walk through to the car park but veered off course slightly as the word 'sale' caught my eye, swaying in the air conditioning above the bag section.

I have to say, I'm not usually a big Ted Baker bag fan as I prefer a matte effect rather than the patent look that most of their bags have. So I was struck by this simple cross body bag hanging up for half price (yes, half price!) and had a nosey. The metal bar on the front was scratched so I asked the assistant whether there was another in stock and she brought out another, equally as scratched. She advised that ordering online is best as they arrive wrapped in their original tissue paper and dust bag so will be pristine for me; I did just that and collected it in store the day after for free.

I love the simplicity of it and the leather feels and smells exactly as you'd want it to. The rose gold metal, mixed with the subtle mention of the brand name engraved into it, gives it a classier look and matches perfectly with the shade of brown/fawn leather. I try to steer away from browns and neutral shades, but I can't help it, it goes with so many outfits!

The shortest length of the strap thrown over one shoulder lets the bag fall over your hip, but the best part about it is you can adjust the strap to three different lengths, not with the standard buckle which can sometimes be a bit ugly on simple bags, but with the hook/clip contraption at each end. Unhook one side and let it slide up into the higher clip for a mid-length, or unhook both sides to release it to its longest length, which allows the bag to hang just below your hip or sat on your hip if worn across the body. Absolutely love this feature!

The front has a magnetic close, which clicks into place easily, but watch the flap when you open it as the metal bar makes it slightly heavy and could scratch your dining table, or even worse, the bag! Inside it features a hot pink, sturdy, zipped pocket the width of the bag, and two open pockets (tops lined with leather) on the opposite side. Downside to those - neither fit an iPhone in! And of course, the whole bag is lined with the cute little Ted Baker French Bulldogs to welcome you every time you look inside.

I do love the look of this bag, and it fits most things inside like my Ted Baker purse, phone, brush, mirror, you know, the usual. But I'm afraid to say there are a few negatives on this occasion.

The metal scratched so easily that you have to be extra careful (I'd thoroughly recommend buying one online to ensure its kept in it's packaging), the strap is quite rigid at first so the bag doesn't necessarily hang naturally unless you've stuffed it to weigh it down, and the open pockets inside don't fit an iPhone in them so you either risk pulling it out when you pull your purse out and chucking it across the store, or keep it in the zipped pocket. The other thing is the price - It's real leather so you're definitely buying quality here, there's no doubt it'll last, if not a bit scratched as it does so very easily (as you can see in the photos). Up to you whether you want to pay £159, I paid £79 which I'm more than happy with. I mean look at it, sleek, soft and stylish all in one!

If you're not too keen on spending a bit more, but you love this style, then here's an option below from Dorothy Perkins in stores at the moment. It comes in tan, light blue, cream, pink, and even zebra and snakeskin. These are all only £12 so a good choice if you want to swap bags frequently.

If you found my review useful and you're off to the Ted Baker website as we speak, please leave me a comment!