Louis Vuitton Mini Pochette Accessoires – First Impressions and Review.

I think that with all my reviews of this brand, the fact I love Louis Vuitton isn’t a particularly surprising thing. So when I went up to London a couple of months ago, I decided to treat myself and go into New Bond Street Store to buy myself a new little goodie.

It was part of my 24th birthday celebration, and I had some business to attend to whilst in the London flagship store (a post about that will be coming soon). So, 3 months in, and what are my thoughts on this very popular accessory? Have a read, and I’ll tell you.

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Buying my First Chanel Bag – Part 1 -Introductory Blog Post

This is going to be my most pricey review yet. Buying and owning a piece of Chanel is such an investment, and if you’re like me, and you like beautiful, hard-wearing handbags, you’ll appreciate this review. I hope this will be a handy guide for whoever wants to decide what size/what leather and what hardware to buy when you pick out your first Chanel.

My Buying Story

I was very lucky when it came to buying my bag. I was gifted some money by my grandparents, and instead of saving it (I knew that I’d waste it on random stuff over a few years) I decided that this was a sign to buy a piece of Chanel. IMG_4887

Before you criticise, please refer back to my other designer bag pieces (Speedy, Neverfull, Wallet, Le Pliage) and see that I’m not just buying this bag because I could. Each one of my bags I adore and use on a regular basis, and apart from a hardy backpack I use for travelling long distances, I don’t actually own any other bags.

So I knew that to help top off my collection, I needed a good day-to-night bag that screams sophistication and class. And for me, that’s a Chanel classic flap bag.

But instead of buying it through the Chanel boutique, I decided to try out the pre-owned market. There will be My Experiences with Shopping on the Vestiaire Collective post coming up so stay tuned.

I had watched various YouTubers use and shop on pre-owned sites (videos that helped me):

Chase Amie’s video on buying pre-loved Chanel Bags

Lydia Elise Millen buying from the Vestiaire Collective

Jerusha Couture on her Fashionphile Collection

So I was confident that buying from Vestiaire Collective would be a great way to find high quality, authentic designer bags for good deals. I know that there have been some negative points made about shopping on Vestiaire, but during my one purchase there, I didn’t experience anything like this.

Questions to Ask

Deciding Which Bag.

This may sound obvious to the reader here. ‘Just buy a Chanel bag, they all look the same’.

Yeah it wasn’t that simple.

For me, buying a Chanel bag goes between two styles. The 2.55 Reissue Bag and the Classic Flap. I love the Boy Bag, but it just wasn’t for me as my first Chanel bag. I wanted to go classic.

With the Classic Flap, you have the interlocking CC’s for the lock, with the siluotte of the 2.55 bag, and with the Reissue 2.55, this is slightly different look and style.

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Image Credit – Designer-Vintage

 

I decided to go for the Classic Flap. I love the Reissue and would definitely purchase it in the future, but for my first one, I knew that I wanted the real classic look.

The second question I asked was, ‘What size should I go’.

Now this one really took a while to answer. I knew I was going to have to go for Medium or Jumbo (for my first investment piece, I couldn’t go Small) but as I never saw a side-by-side comparison in real life, I had to rely on YouTube once more to guide me.

Videos I found useful during this time:

What’s in my Bag – Alexis AKA MissTrenchcoat

Carol Summers – Jumbo vs Maxi

Chase Amie – Ultimate Chanel Guide

And after a lot of debating, I decided upon a Jumbo. The Medium Large was a close contender but I didn’t want to ever regret buying it when I couldn’t fit things in. I know that one day I’ll end up buying a Medium Large (probably in another type of leather – more about this further down)  but I really had to take time over my decision.

If anybody’s interested, sizing can be found on Chase Amie’s blog.

(If any readers have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!)

 

 Leathers

So, here I am. Decision has been made. I’m going to buy a Chanel Jumbo. I know it’s going to be in black, as I wear a lot of dark colours and it’ll just go. But now, I have to think. What leather? And what colour hardware?

Through my studies, Chanel Jumbos usually come in either Lambskin or Caviar leather. More exotic materials can be found on pricier models, but I knew that would be far out of my league.

So what’s the difference?

Lambskin is known to be the more luxurious type of leather. One that needs to be treated with just a little more TLC. Lambskin feels a lot richer to the touch, and is highly coveted for people who collect Chanel seriously. Smaller bags – like evening bags/special occasion bags look better in lambskin.

Caviar Leather is a lot more durable and can hold up to the daily bumping/scratching that can happen to your bags. It is worth to note that Caviar can look a lot nicer on bigger bags, just due to the surface area. Caviar is also preferrable on bags worn cross body. With its pebbled texture, Caviar bags can feel a little younger than its lambskin counterparts.

So for me, it was really a no-brainer. I’m not particularly babyish about my bags, so I decided upon a Caviar Leather. I knew I would be using it as a going out bag as well as a day bag, so I wanted to give it a fighting chance.

Videos I found useful during this decision making:

HappyPursuits – 20 Key Considerations between Lambskin and Caviar

Mel in Melbourne – Lambskin vs Caviar Scratch Test

Hardware?

Once again, this was a pretty tough decision. For me, Chanel looks its best in gold hardward. Gold and black really screams out C in class for Chanel in my mind, but I had to be serious about it. I wear very little gold jewellery, or have warmer shades of clothing. I’m far more a silver person. I also love the muted style of a Chanel Jumbo with silver hardware. It looks a little less showy-off than its gold version sibling. Chanel’s gold hardware is also a very yellowy gold, so you’ve got to bear that in mind.

black-classic-double-flap-chanel-caviar-bag

Image Credit: Lollipuff

Single or Double Flap

On the resell market, the Chanel Single Flap is quite a big deal. A lot of people prefer the single flap to the double due to it being lighter, roomier and now harder to find due to it only available on the resell market.

The double flap is know to be a lot heavier yet has the added advantage of being more secure. They are also known for holding their shape a lot better.

When I bought my bag, the decision between single and double flaps didn’t really cross my mind. It was only afterwards that I found out about the advantages of a single flap, but I don’t regret my decision in the slightest.

A video that explains this further is here

My Final Decision

So, here I was. I had made my decision.

A Chanel Jumbo Double Flap in Caviar Leather with Silver Hardware.

I couldn’t wait to buy it and try it on.

Please come back for my second installment which includes my four month review of this bag.

How I got a FREE piece of Louis Vuitton Luggage.

First things first — this is a completely true story. I’m not sure how, or why I was lucky enough to get this, but I did. So I can’t say this is a foolproof system or not. But this is my experience in the Nice and Florence boutiques of Louis Vuitton, and how I somehowmanaged to get a free piece of Louis Vuitton luggage.


 

Backstory

 

In May this year, my mother and I took our annual holiday together and instead of choosing a cultural city break as we normally pick, we decided to go on our first cruise. On this cruise, I knew it was the perfect time to add to my Louis Vuitton collection and had saved up enough money to buy my Jeanne Wallet (my full review on this is up on my blog here)

I found out that in our first port of call, which was Villefranche-Sur-Mer, there are direct train links to Nice, and Mother and I decided that this is where we wanted to spend the day. There was also a Louis Vuitton in Nice, and I thought to buy a French piece of Louis Vuitton on the French Riviera would be so chic.

The Nice Boutique.

 

So off we went on a day of sight-seeing. Nice was a lovely city albeit slightly overcast on the day. But we wanted to stretch our legs and walk along the famous promenade. One of our first ports of call was Louis Vuitton however, and upon entry to the Avenue de Suède boutique, we were helped by a lovely sales assistant who helped me find my exact wallet and pay for it very smoothly.

From what I gather, the Nice Louis Vuitton is over two floors and has everything from Ready-to-Wear Women’s and Men’s fashion, leather goods, perfume and books, along with a personalisation service. The shop was very clean and well-stocked, but did get very busy as downstairs can feel overwhelming if you’ve got quite a few people milling around. I didn’t venture upstairs, so I can’t comment if it goes back or out any further.

The Luggage Tag Story

 

This is the part of the story where I’ve got to mention that this cruise coincided with my birthday. And after not knowing what to get me whilst in the UK, my mother asked me if there was anything I wanted on the cruise.

And after deciding that picking an excursion on the cruise (these day trips tend to run quite pricey when they are organised by the ship itself) I also asked for a Louis Vuitton Luggage Tag. I had lusted after a luggage tag for a while after seeing a few people carrying personalised ones on their Speedy’s and thought it looked so classy against the Monogram print, and after scouring purse forums, I’ve found out that the best thing to do was just ask in the boutiques if they stocked them.

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So, my Mother and I asked the manager of the Nice boutique whether or not there was the possibility of buying a luggage tag from them. I had read that the luggage tags range from about £40-£100 (dependant on shop/source/size) and we were willing to buy one then and there.

The manager initially said no, but eventually disclosed that they may have them in tomorrow. However, as the cruise ship was departing for Italy the day after, there wasn’t a possibility that we could go back. So we explained that we would be in Florence the day after, and would have to leave it.

He then told us that we could certainly go and ask in the Florence boutique, as they may have something they could offer. My mother and I thanked him and left the Louis Vuitton boutique to enjoy the rest of the day in the South of France.

The Florence Boutique.

The next day we arrived in the beautiful city of Florence. After my birthday-present guided tour, we were allowed a few hours to grab some food and go exploring the historical streets before the coach took us back to the cruise ship.

My mother and I had a leisurely stroll around the city before making our way towards Louis Vuitton. To be honest, at this point, I didn’t care if I got anything. I didn’t want to make this whole trip about ‘Alice hitting up every Louis  Vuitton she comes across’. This was going to be our last shot.

Unlike in Nice, where I was carrying my Speedy and looking all glam, I had dressed down for the hot Italian weather and wasn’t every carrying my new wallet. (I like getting insurance on them before taking them out anywhere).

But we walked into Piazza degli Strozzi boutique like we owned the entire company. We, first of all, talked to a very helpful sales assistant who, after listening to our query, got the store manager. The manager was incredibly helpful and told us to wait a few minutes. He disappeared out the back, and after about ten minutes of us walking around the shop, he came back and led us upstairs. We were given water before sitting down with us and saying that he had luggage tags, and wanted to know would I like them personalised.

At this point I was stunned. I assumed that we wouldn’t get anywhere, and my only chance of getting a luggage tag would be through buying a huge piece of luggage or suitcase in the future.

(In retrospect, I think the manager had phoned up the Nice shop to confirm who we were, and that we had, in fact, bought something from Louis Vuitton the day before).

He showed us the different size lettering and fonts etc, before taking my initials down and having them take to be hot-stamped.

The whole process took about ten minutes, and I was thrilled when it came back.

But then it came down to payment. He put the luggage tag in its own little box and bag, and when I said ‘so, where do I pay? How much for it?’ (If it was more than I was expecting, I would’ve gone half or more with Mum. I genuinely had no idea how much it would cost) but he just dismissed us and said ‘No no. Free. A gift.’

I was beyond stunned.

So, here I was. Dressed down like sweaty English tourist, and walking out of Louis Vuitton, clutching my luggage tag and not having to spend a penny that day.

And from the minute I got on the boat, the luggage tag has sat proudly on my Speedy.

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But like I said, this is my experience. One that I still can’t understand or really know why it happened that way. Is that commonplace in Louis Vuitton? Do they think I was someone special? Who knows.

If anybody has any questions/queries about this, then please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Louis Vuitton Jeanne Wallet – First Impressions and Review

For readers of this blog, I’m sure it’s become apparent to you that I’m a big fan of Louis Vuitton. As you’ve read on my other reviews (Speedy, Neverfull, Coin Purse) I find the brand to have products that are both good value for money, as well as being highly durable. So when I decided that I wanted a new wallet, I knew that it was going to be a Louis Vuitton. But as the brand has over 30 different designs, with countless other colours/fabrics etc, I knew that this was going to be a hard decision.

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I was originally going for the Caïssa wallet, as I liked the design and the slimness, but then I realised that all my cards/cash wouldn’t fit in it. I’m definitely somebody who carries a lot with them in their wallet. I carry stamp cards, pictures, handwritten notes and receipts on my day to day basis, and I’ve done this for years. So I thought that I may have to save up more for something like the Insolite organiser.

But when I stumbled upon the Jeanne wallet on their website, I knew that this was the one that had caught my heart.

And upon purchasing it in the Nice boutique in the South of France in May, I fell more in love with the practicality of it, and how it feels so different from anything I’ve ever owned before.

The Wallet – Size/Design

The Jeanne Wallet is definitely a lot wider than some of the other designs – easily spanning the width of my hand and has an envelope design, as opposed to the accordion design of something like a Zippy. So if you’re wanting a slim, small wallet that will easily fit inside a narrower bag like a Chanel Boy or a Gucci Soho, this may not be the one for you.

With a metal button holding the wallet together (I preferred this design against the leather button of the Josephine, as I’ve heard that can get quite badly worn after multiple use) the wallet opens to reveal a-shaped slot in the front in which a card holder sits very snugly.

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Now, this is the beauty of the wallet for me. The wallet comes with one large open pocket along the back (this is where I’ve put my paper stamp cards and train/railway tickets) and inside it has 6 in-built card slots and one large open section.

Within this interior open section, a detachable zipped coin purse sits very snugly, with a V-shaped cut out design that is perfect for quickly putting a bank card or ID if you just wanted to put your cards/money into a smaller bag.

For my wallet, I have the Monogram print with the Fuchsia interior. You can also get it in the very popular Rose Ballerine colour, and I’ve even heard you can combine colours to make a trio of different colours for your wallet if you visit the right Louis Vuitton.

But I have mine in one whole colour. Although I’ve heard the Rose Ballerine is very beautiful to look at, it apparently marks very badly. And when you’ve got coins or notes rubbing up against the lining, this could very quickly become an issue.

Durability/Usability

For me, I love that the wallet features a detachable card holder and coin purse – as it offers a huge selection of choice. You can take out the card holder for a night out (the card holder has one slot in the front, and can hold two extra cards inside) or you can put your card in the coin purse etc.FullSizeRender (3)
Or, if you just wanted to grab your coin purse (perfect for car-parking/meters or public transport), you don’t have to carry your whole wallet out. Everything is completely detachable and sits very nicely together when completely full. The wallet is fairly heavy when completely stuffed – at the moment, I have quite a lot of coins and cards, so I can vouch for how weighty it is.

Like all Louis Vuitton products, this has the signature Canvas/Leather mix, so it is very durable. I’ve spilt suncream, makeup and toothpaste on my wallet, and all it needs is a quick wet wipe clean. The button closure at the front feels very secure and never pings open, but I am very cautious about completely overstuffing it.

What I have noticed about this wallet is that when you do fill it up, you have to be aware that the pockets stretch. I’ve noticed it particularly on the back open section, as it really has stretched a fair bit, and I’m not sure that even if I take all the stuff out, it may not spring back to flatness. So far nothing has fallen out of the stretched sections, but I will make sure I update this page if something has happened.

I know a lot of people don’t like this when it happens to their products, as they want them to remain fairly pristine, so you’ll have to bear it in mind.

Price 

Louis Vuitton prices range from fairly low to quite high in their luxury goods sections, and wallets are no exception. Online, the Jeanne wallet retails (as of June 2017) for £355, but as I bought my abroad, I paid £331. Now, whether this is because of the Euro-Sterling exchange rate at the time, I’m not sure. So definitely check your prices when you’re abroad.

Is it Worth it?

As you can probably tell, I’m a big Louis Vuitton fan. So I think that the whole brand is worth the money. If you’re wanting to dip your toe in the world of luxury goods, a wallet is a good way to go, as it’s not a huge investment like a bag, and one that you could probably resell for a little loss on authentic preloved sites.

What I love about the Jeanne wallet is that it’s almost customisable. You can take out what you want for the day, and know that it will always come back together well. So it works for both big bags and small bags. And for the price point (bearing mind its only a little bigger than a Zippy, and the wallets start at around the £500 mark), you’re well worth trying it out.fullsizerender-1.jpg

Jeanne Facts and Figures 

– 19 x 11 x 1 cm (length x height x width)
– 7.5 x 4.3 x 0.4 inches

Check out Louis Vuitton’s website for more information.

Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote – First Impressions and Review.

When it comes to designer bags, I think I’ve invested wisely in particular brands/styles. If you’re curious about the pieces I’ve bought, then please take a while to look through my Neverfull review and Speedy review posts. However, recently I found myself at a bit of a loss when it came to deciding between my two Louis Vuitton’s. Due to the ever-changing nature of British weather, I needed a tote bag (for University and workimg_4073) that wouldn’t be as open as my Neverfull, but was both waterproof and smart. I also needed something that could double as an overnight bag, but wouldn’t look too oversized.
Through my research, I kept stumbling upon the Longchamp Le Pliage bags, and was intrigued by all the positive reviews that I found. For the price point (around £75) this line of bags has had devotees from the Duchess of Cambridge to It-Girl Alexa Chung, and was on the rise in popularity in my town.

So, after deciding upon a colour (Blue Mist – currently in stock for anyone curious) I had my sent from Selfridges to my work address, and I instantly fell in love with the practicality of such a well-constructed bag.

Made out of water-resistant Nylon, with a wipe-clean exterior and interior, this bag is incredibly roomy. I can easily pack my laptop, University books, change of clothes and my everyday essentials for a night away, and still have room to spare. With only a small inner pocket (big enough for some loose change and cards for ease of access) it is a real tote bag in all senses of the word. The Le Pliage also comes with beautiful cowhide snap closure and straps. At the moment, these straps haven’t lost their rigidity, so I do find that they can slip off my shoulder as I’m carrying it, but I’m sure that once they get a little more worn in, they’ll be fine. The straps are a lot thicker than that of the Neverfull, but I don’t find this an issue.

With a zip along the length of the entire bag, along with the snap closure, I feel quite safe carrying belongings in here as I think it’s quite secure. I’ve used this bag as a day-to-night bag, and even from University to date night, which is something I’m pleased that it can accommodate with. So far, it’s proved quite durable, and has dealt with some pretty horrific weather without anything getting wet, which also impressed me.

The Longchamp also has this nifty trick of being able to fold up to the size of a paperback book, which will be useful for the travelling that I intend on doing in the next week.

img_4069All in all, I’ve found no faults with this bag so far, apart from the slight grievance about the rigidity of the leather straps. However, I’m not sure over how durable it’ll be in the long run, but we shall have to see. For £75, I would definitely purchase again.

I bought my bag via Selfridges, and found the delivery and packaging quite satisfactory (you get a tracking number and necessary documentation) and my bag is in the colour Blue Mist – a choice so I could transition this bag from winter to summer without any clashes.

But if you’ve got a Longchamp or anything similar, I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment!

Longchamp’s Website

Louis Vuitton Mini Speedy BB Coin Purse – Review

When it comes to SLG’s, I’m a fairly new to that territory. I currently carry my money around in a Cath Kidston purse, and have only seen Chanel wallets and Balenciaga clutches through luxe-bloggers on YouTube.

However, I recently came into contact with this little denim Louis Vuitton coin purse, and I must profess, it’s love. img_3879

Now, as this denim beauty was given to me as a present I’m unsure how much it would retail for, as it is quite difficult to find. The Monogram Denim line was debuted in 2005, and through some internet searching, you can find similar ones for around the $500/£400 price point. Mine came in good condition and certainly has been a fabulous addition to my Louis Vuitton collection.

The coin purse is quite tiny, with a pale gold suede interior. The outside is a fairly deep navy, with the Monogram in a lighter blue. The identification code is tucked quite discreetly inside the lining, which is another reason why I love Louis Vuitton products as, despite the Monogram print being so identifiable, it is these little touches of authenticity that matter.

The purse also comes with a good length chain and a keyring, which makes it useful to attach to the D-Ring inside my Speedy and Neverfull. The zip also secures with a press lock, so it cannot open and spill the contents into your bag. This is a very handy piece of hardware, especially if you decided to use it as a coin purse.

I personally use it as a mini emergency kit for things I need. Depsiimg_3881te the measuremnts only being 4.7 x 2.8 x 2 inches or 12 x 7 x 5 cm, it can hold quite a lot.

In my coin purse, I carry:

  • A mini perfume bottle
  • Mattifying shine wipes
  • A hand mirror
  • A memory stick
  • A Vaseline tub
  • A concealer
  • A Nyx lipstick
  • Earplugs
  • Hairbands

This is carried all without the bag losing shape, which I consider a huge achievement.

I use this purse everyday, and it always gives me a thrill of pleasure whenever I see it. Due to the nature of my job, along with going to University, I can’t carry my Speedy or Neverfull all the time, so just to tote around even the smallest piece of Louis Vuitton makes me very happy.

The next piece I’m saving up for will be a wallet, so watch this space for reviews.

If you have any Louis Vuitton SLG’s then don’t hesitate in letting me know.

 

 

Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM – First Impressions and Review.

As stated in my Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere blogpost, I was saving up for my next Louis Vuitton bag. I knew that this bag would be the fruits of my worklife, and would take a lot of saving and time on my behalf, but I was excited for the opportunity.

Whilst shopping for my Bandouliere, I was shown a Neverfull as a comparison piece, and became enamoured. The structure of the tote bag was something I was sorely missing from my handbag collection, and I wanted this bag to be something that meant a lot to me.

Louis Vuitton Handbag Choices.

Now, like with the Speedy Collection, the Neverfull has different sizes that can make choosing the right bag quite difficult. With three concrete sizes:

  • The Neverfull PM (Smallest of the lot with dimensions = 11.4 x 8.7 x 5.1 inches
    (length x height x width)img_3488
  • The Neverfull MM (Middle size – Dimensions = 12.6 x 11.4 x 6.7 inches)
  • The Neverfull GM (Largest size – Dimensions = 15.7 x 13.0 x 7.9 inches)

The size you choose is all dependent on what you would use it for and what you would pack in it.

From what I can tell, the PM size seems to be quite dainty, the MM seems to be a good day tote/everyday bag, and the GM seems to be a monster of a bag, perfect for luggage/weekend away/hefty office work. However, I knew myself that I didn’t want or need the GM. I’m sure that in the future I’d love to purchase a GM as my definite oversized tote, but for my first Neverfull, I was happy with the smaller MM size.

Also, like with the Speedy Collection, there are a huge amount of different colours, interior and exterior design and personalisation options. I decided to go for the Damier Ebene print (the darkered checkered print) with the Red interior lining. Only a few weeks ago, Louis Vuitton did release the Ebene print with the beautiful Rose Ballerine pink lining, which is a gorgeous mixture, but due to hearing issues with the lining marking quite easily, I wanted to go for something hardier.

For the MM, I paid £835. Louis Vuitton had just done a price increase, which boosted the MM up from £795, which was unfortunate timing on my behalf, but luckily I had saved extra.

Shipping 

I bought the bag online via the Louis Vuitton website, which actually was bit of a palaver, but a phone call to customer service eased my mind. I found that with a bank transfer, Louis Vuitton didn’t confirm when the received the transfer, nor when it cleared. I had to physically ring up and check.

For a UK resident as myself, the bag took a good week or so to arrive from door to door. The shipping was free, and they did give you a tracking number. However, the UPS courier didn’t specify what time they would arrive, so I had to have it shipped to my work address rather than home, as I wouldn’t want it to be delayed or without a signature upon arrival.

The bag came with all receipts, letters and a dustbag, but not in a branded LV box which surprised me. However, I was thrilled when it turned up, and couldn’t wait to use it.

The Review.

As I’ve had this bag for over a month now, I’m comfortable enough to write a review on how it has fared, and what I use it with.

Firstly, the bag is plenty big enough for what I usually carry around. I was really wavering between the MM and GM, just because I couldn’t visualise how big it was going to be (my memory of the size I saw in shop is fairly bad). In my bag I can fit:

  • A Macbook Pro 13inch laptop with charger
  • An A4 notebook
  • Wallet
  • Keys on a large fluffy keyring
  • iPod
  • iPhone
  • A full size deodrant
  • A bagged lunch
  • A scarf
  • A fiction book
  • A 750ml waterbottle
  • A micro umbrella.fullsizerender-1

(Actual image of my Neverfull with everything inside)

Before you ask, yes this makes the bag very heavy. However, it never makes it dreadfully uncomfortable, and I don’t necessarily use the bag for long periods of time when I pack this full. In this brief time I’ve had it, I’ve not noticed any fraying of the straps or any wear to the bag due to how heavy I weigh it down by. This could all change over the years.

Unlike my Speedy, I chose the Damier Ebene print. This choice comes with the treated dark leather straps which are very different from the Speedy’s vachetta leather, that will patina over the time. The Damier Ebene straps won’t change colour, unlike the Speedy. The straps started out initially very firm and stiff, however I am confident that they will soften over the years of use.

Like with the Speedy, the Damier Ebene is a special canvas mix that is waterproof and easily wipe clean, so it’s pretty durable.

The interior of the bag is a gorgeous dark red with black piping, and comes with an deep interior zippered pocket and detachable pochette, that is attached to the bag with a D-ring. The pochette is in the Damier Ebene print and fairly spacious, but can bulge if you stuff it with bulky or circler items. I’ve found that it holds its shape with a compact mirror, small lipstick and tissues. I’ve also used the pochette as a clutch for evenings out, and is plenty big for my cards/iPhone/keys. The pochette can be also used as an extra pocket if you were inclined to keep things in pouches.

The bag also comes with a clasp at the top to offer some security and keep the bag partially shut.

Drawbacks 

The only drawback I’ve properly noticed with this bag is the lack of zip across tfullsizerenderhe whole bag. As the tote is open, all your belongings are on show constantly, which can deter the more safety conscious of us. It’s also a risk for rain. What I’ve done to combat this is I usually layer a thick scarf across my belongings, which can be used to keep some of the rain and eagle-eyed snoops off your possessions. You can also invest in a zippered bag organiser from retailers if you’re so inclined.

Also, as the bag isn’t particularly structured, there can be a deal of sag at the bottom. I’ve had to invest in a base shaper for mine, as I didn’t like how it looked and worried how it could damage my bag. I’ll be doing a review on that when it arrives in the post.

Conclusion

The minor drawbacks are the only issues I’ve had with this bag so far. I think it’s a beautifully designed bag, and spacious enough for my over-packing but couldn’t appear too oversized or out of balance. I love the Damier Ebene print, and I’m happy I chose the red interior. With the base shaper, it’ll help it in shape, and I love using this bag on my heavier workload days, and keep my Speedy for the rainy shopping trips.

However, give me your opinions? If you’ve got a GM, let me know and we’ll have a big handbag discussion in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30 – First Impressions and Review

So, after a good 10 years of pining, making scrapbook pages and just lusting hopelessly, I finally got to get my dream handbag of a Louis  Vuitton Speedy 30 as a graduation gift. And now, after a month and a bit of using it virtually everyday, I think I can finally write a review on it as being an investment piece, and as an everyday handbag.
So, which handbag did I pick?

The Speedy collection ranges in different sizes – from the teensy Nano through to the 25-40 versions, and with a variety of prints and colours at your disposal:

  • The Monogram – traditional LV printed monogram.
  • The Damier Ebene – brown checkered print.
  • The Damier Azure – cream and blue/grey checkered print.

There are plenty of options for your personal taste. With the addition of the crossbody strap, the Speedy evolves into the Bandouliére design, which in turn also has the Monogram, Damier and the Empreinte design (a embossed leather finish in a variety of colours).

So, as you can see, there is a lot of different colours, styles and choices to make. I chose the Monogram print, as I’ve always loved the LV print over the checkered brown, and I like the idea of the pale patina leather (more of that down below).

Now, I’m a girl who carries the world and its kitchen sink in my bag. As a reader, I always have to have a book with me, and usually there’s chargers, cardigans and just an assortment of crap that gets shoved in the bottom of my bag in case I need it. So I prefer handbags that have a crossbody strap, as it bears some weight off my wrists and has that added security bonus. So for me, the Bandouliére was the perfect design.

But what I get most asked is’how much was it?’, and the answer is very simple. It cost £790. And don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how lucky I am to own this bag, and to be given it as a gift was incredibly generous of my family. But for a designer bag that has been tried-and-tested to be long-lasting, and virtually indestructible as a everyday bag, I think it is worth every penny. Another interesting fact I was told is that the pale calfskin colour of the strap, handles and side would darken in time due to the use and exposure to the elements, which I personally cannot wait for. I love that the bag changes as the years go past, as it shows that I’ve been using it.

So, how does this bag fare? Well, whilst I was at the shop, I was allowed to test out both the 30 and 35 size, as I wasn’t sure how big and deep the bags were. And for me, as a big-bag lover, the 30 was the perfect size. It has plenty of room inside for everything I need, and I’m sure that if I needed to, I could turn this into an overnight bag.

If you detach the shoulder strap, the 30 still retains that capable and comfortable handbag feel, whilst to me, the 35 would have looked a little oversized. However, you need to be mindful of the openings of both bags. The zip opening of the 30 is fine for me, but I do find myself sometimes slotting things in at an angle to actually get them into the bag. The 35 may also have the added room so you can completely overfill your bag with every possible necessity, and it not appearing fit to burst. But, it’s entirely up to you and your personal preference.

The bag is brown canvas inside, so there is no worry of scratching any soft leather if you shove your life into this bag, and it has one inside pocket. The inside pocket isn’t the most open or widest pocket ever, so usually I just stick something flat inside there,such as train tickets or keys. The bag also comes with the added security of a lock and key.

I also chose the Bandouliére over the traditional Speedy due to the added shoulder strap, and security that it brings. The Speedy’s handles are notoriously small, so really it can only be held in the hands or in the crock of the elbow. And sometimes, when you have a lot of stuff in your bag, or you just want to have it out of the way, that can feel a bit overwhelming or heavy. Also, despite the Classic Speedy having flaps for a possible strap, these are just punctuared holes in a piece of leather, so if you overburdened your bag, and had a strap holding it up, it may rip and completely disfigure the shape of your bag.

With the Bandouliére’s reinforced side panels, hooks and having actual measures put in to make sure a strap is a viable option, I chose that one. The strap is also an interesting piece of workmanship, as it’s
not just one long piece of leather with an adjustable slide, but actually two straps that buckle together. So this can be switched up to be either a crossbody bag, for those times when you just want to sling it across and forget about it, or a fashionable shoulder bag. The straps also have three different lengths, so you honestly can mix it up so many ways. However, you must be warned. The Bandouliére is +£200 more expensive than the Classic Speedy in the same size. So there are positives and negatives to that.

So how is this bag boxed, and how was the customer service? Customer service was exemplary. As I went into the New Bond Street’s Louis Vuitton, I was greeted by a host of store members who cooed over the fact that this was my first LV. My server was a lovely Asian lady called Grace, who brought out every bag I asked for, gave me all the information I could ask, and brought over some complimentary drinks which really added to the vibe. She explained everything to me, and let me have a look around the shop as she got my bag ready.

Now, how was the boxing? I must say, the packaging for these bags is well done. I got dustbags, boxes, ribbons and all the bells and whistles. Even the receipt was on plush paper and inside a little envelope. But the actual boxing? For ease of transporting, size and whatnot, your bag is folded up and flat-packed into the box. And some people may like that. But for me, it was a bit of an ‘oh…’ moment. Because you are paying quite a lot of money (in my mind anyway), and to see your bag being folded up is just a bit odd. I guess if you were buying a more expensive bag, it wouldn’t get manipulated that way, but who knows. So afterwards, the bag did need a few days being padded out and warped back into shape. The Monogram Canvas bag isn’t actually full leather (a fact I didn’t know) so it can be moved into those positions and squished without too much damage. But I guess that is why it lasts. I can be tossed around, and it will last.

But all in all, I love my bag. I know some people find the Monogram print a bit tacky, and copied. And I was torn between the Speedy and the Neverfull (which is going to be my next splurge), but this is me getting my lifelong dream bag. I use it all the time, it’s a perfect transitionary piece between all the seasons, night and day, and it just screams class in my opinion. I am so happy with it!

But if you have any questions on this bag, please let me know below. I hope this is enough of a review.

But let me know if you’ve got a Louis Vuitton, and whether you think it’s worth it!

Autumnal Fashion Favourites – Capes, Shoes and Handbags.

So, the nights are drawing in, there’s a chill in the air, and the leaves have dropped and are brown underfoot. Autumn has officially arrived, and this season has given rise to a change in fashion, a change in taste, and a change in what I find enjoyable. Like spring, autumn is one of those transitional times of years where you can certainly feel a change in the air. Halloween is fast approaching, I’ve already seen the first Christmas advert, and I find myself steering away from the kimonos and maxi dresses of this past few months, and back into thick tights and warm outerwear. So I thought I’d give you a quick overview of my autumnal favourites.

Capes/Blanket Wraps

(New Look Fur-Trimmed Blanket Wrap – £24.99 (Discontinued online but available within shop)

How excellent are capes?! With  the wind getting cooler, and a definite touch of frost nipping at my arms as I walk to work, I’ve found myself dragging my cape over my shoulders. And for me, capes or blanket wraps are the perfect fashion must-have for these colder months. Not only have they been the favourite autumn/winter staple for the last few years, they seem to be the perfect finishing touch to a variety of outfits and styles. You can dress them down with jeans, jumper and boots for the day, and then use it as a stylish cover-up over a dress and heels for the night. Also what I love about capes is that, as somebody who runs quite warm throughout the year, I sometimes find winter jackets and hoodies restricting. I usually find myself ripping them off throughout the day when I get too hot, but their bulkiness makes them difficult to carry. So the brilliance of capes are that they can be easily tucked away in some moderate-sized handbag. Also, if you add a belt, you can transform this sometimes, shapeless design into a gorgeous waist-flaunting piece of fashion. And for all us curvy girls, who sometimes find the coat-over-chest size an issue, the cape is comfortable and wide enough to cover these areas without appearing too shapeless.

And what I love about my particular cape is the fur collar. Because no matter when I wear it, I feel like a Russian princess!

Handbags

(Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30 in Monogram Canvas – £790)


Now, this isn’t a typical young adult piece of fashion. This is high-end and with a matching high-price. But I have been blessed with this bag as a graduation present, and it definitely had to come in my Autumn Favourites. The Speedy 30, originally designed in the 1930s, has become a staple bag for wannabe handbag collectors, and usually one of the first pieces that they own. And I was no different. With the monogram canvas design, calfskin handles and beautiful design (honestly this bag can hold so much!) this bag can seamlessly move between day-to-night, and even as an overnight bag. Also, with the Bandouliere design, this comes with a strap that can be adjusted to be shoulder-carrying, or even cross-body, so for that added comfort and security. As well as being a fashion classic, this bag is perfect for autumn as it has a muted colour scheme that fits in well with the typical autumnal colours of browns, reds and purple, and it also is sturdy enough to survive being rained on, strong winds and probably even snow. I just love this bag. And there will be a proper blog post linked here.

Shoes

(Black Over-The-Knee Block Heel Boots – New Look £44.99)

and

(Cat face ballet shoes – George for Asda £8)

So, with winter coming, the shoes that I’m now veering towards are quite different from my summer flipflops and lacey flats. And recently, I’ve bought two pairs of shoes that have completely revolutionised my wardrobe.

The first are these over-the-knee block boots from New Look. Now, as a girl who has been blessed with significantly musclear calves and thighs, I find buying boots on the high street a very difficult and limited task. Either they have to be built for people with wider calves – and these completely swamp my thinner ankles and make my boots sag – or I have to just go for ankle-length ones, which is completely fine, but isn’t what I want in a winter boot. But recently, after a random trip into my local New Look and having a peruse around the shoe department, I stumbled upon these boots that miraculously fit snugly over my calves without any zippers or stretchy panels, and even went up to my knees.

These boots are faux-suede, and very cosy for these colder months. With the over-the-knee design, they offer that little more warmth and protection for your knees and lower thigh, as well as making you look a little like a super-hero. The block heel isn’t too high that it looks out of place for a regular boot, and they can easily be worn over jeans for a casual day look, or with tights for a dressier nighttime. And for £45, it isn’t too high a price. So I’d definitely recommend these boots! And for all those girls out there who don’t know whether they’ll fit, go in and try them on! I have worn mine to death, as they look and feel good, plus they fit over my calves and flatter my legs. So click here if you want to buy them.

And the second pair of shoes I bought are these adorable cat-face ballet shoes. Now, I have lusted over the Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats for a long time, but at nearly £400, I just couldn’t afford them. But when I was flicking through a fashion magazine and stumbled upon this £8 supermarket alternative, I just knew I had to have them. Despite being labelled as a ‘slipper’, these are perfect for the crisp autumnal weather, and with a subtle cat face design, and a gorgeous velvet exterior, these shoes may not be suitable for wet days, but are an adorable alternative to the staple black-ballet pumps that should be in every girl’s wardrobe. And for £8? Absolute bargain.

So, these are my go-to autumnal fashion favourites. Links to items will be listed below if they are available online, and if not, try in your local shops or through catalogues. But let me know in the comments if you have any autumnal fashion favourites!

-Alice x

Links to accessories!

Cape – (Alternative Colour Online) 

Handbag – Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere 30

Boots – Over the Knee Block Heel

Ballet Pump – Out of Stock