I think my handbag collection is a relatively healthy size. It may not be the most diverse collection in terms of design and colour, but every piece serves a purpose and has a story. I’m also not someone who’ll spend serious cash on a bag, but my collection isn’t made of £10 designer dupes from Primark – those can get in the bin.
To me, handbags are supposed to be an investment. You don’t have to spend a fortune on one, but in general the more spenny brands are the better quality and offer more classic designs that work with everything. You should want to spend money on a bag you really love, that’ll last ages, and you can use all the time. The most expensive bag I own cost me £60, so it is doable. The most expensive bag I hope to own is about £850, but let’s not talk about that right now.
I have realised as I’ve gone on my handbag journey that I seem to have a very specific type I gravitate towards, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I’ve found the designs and brands that work for me, so I don’t really need to deviate much. I’ve also found myself wanting to buy handbags a lot more than I ever have done before, but I don’t know if that’s me trying to make a wise decision because I have spare cash at the minute, or because I need to feed my online shopping tendencies. Who knows?
I thought I’d introduce you to my pretties, and maybe inspire you to make a lil wardrobe investment.
Audience, meet Steve 2.0 (pronounced Steve Two-Point-Oh). Steve 2.0 is the predecessor to Steve the First, who sadly perished back in January on the train to Preston. Steve 2.0’s actual name is BMarilyn, but I just can’t get behind that.
Steve Madden has become my go-to brand for handbags, particularly this design. No joke, I’ve got three (did have four) Steve Madden bags in this exact design, but just in different styles. You’ll meet the others later. Up til now, this had been my go-to everyday bag that I never bother to empty, but now I keep it more for when I’m doing gold accessories. I have this weird thing about mixing gold and silver – if my bag hardware is gold, but I’ve got silver rings on or the studs on my boots are silver, something has to change. I just can’t do it.
TK Maxx is a great place to get your hands on Steve Madden bags for a serious discount – normally these retail at £50 – £70 RRP, but I got this one for £24.99! Bargain!
Oh look! Another black and gold bag! I mean, I did say I had a type.
My Mum actually bought me this for Christmas around two or three years ago, and I don’t use it as much as I used to, mostly because I’ve kinda fall out-of-love with the design. I still adore the style and the luxe vibes it has, but it’s not that roomy inside and the flap is just really inconvenient for when I just want to reach in and grab my phone.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore River Island bags – I think they’re the best quality ones you can buy on the high street. This is just a bag from a different time for a girl I’m not anymore. Still keeping her though, otherwise Mum will kill me!
Everyone, meet Steve 2.0’s Scottish brother, McSteve. Yes, I’m being serious.
In another life, McSteve was actually called BMaggie, but I don’t judge a bag based on its choices. One of my best friends actually bought him for me for Christmas the year before last, and she had to give it to me early as we were setting off for Edinburgh the next morning for my annual Christmas trip that she was joining me on.
I can say I use him much during the Summer and Spring, but I like to crack him out around this time as red tartan is an A/W staple. It’s also very fitting as I have some Scottish in me, so it makes me feel a little closer to the homeland.
This little vanity bag was a recent purchase from a very bank-damaging day at Rushden Lakes last month. I’m obsessed with the Louis Vuitton Vanity PM bag, but there’s no way in hell I’ll have the budget for that in the next ten years, so this’ll do as a decent dupe for now.
Another River Island number, I love that at first glance it has the LV colour palette and very similar monogramming, but it’s just different enough that I don’t look like I’ve bought a tacky knock-off from Wish. It is a little smaller than I usually go for, and the structured style is going to make it interesting to fit all my stuff in it, but this was purely an impulse buy, egged on by the same friend who bought me McSteve. I was planning on taking her with me on my little overnight holiday to London next week, but obviously that’s not happening anymore, so around the park we go.
This Versace Jeans chain wallet is actually the very first designer bag I ever bought. I saw on the TK Maxx website during my second year of uni, which was when I joined Rock Soc and was going out two-three nights a week. I didn’t have a bag that was small or cute enough to keep up with my partying until I saw this thing.
It cost £45, and I remember my Mum paying for half of it because I was jobless student in a hellish living situation at the time, so it was a little bit of retail therapy. It’s a little battered (I’m not the most careful after a few shots of Wrap & Newphews and WKD blue chasers), but it still looks great and is the perfect night out accessory.
Another Christmas present from the mother. These were in New Look a few years ago, and I remember seeing them everywhere. We went out for a family meal and my cousin had this bag, and I remember saying to Mum that I loved the colour. The next thing I knew it was in a gift bag on Christmas Day!
I’m not the biggest fan of New Look bags – I think the quality isn’t the best and that’s obvious in their products, and for the price they charge for some of them just isn’t worth it. However, this bag is a gorgeous reddish-pink and very spacious inside, so maybe I should be digging it out of storage more often, especially now we’re in Autumn and all I wear is black (as per usual) – might work as a nice pop of colour?
This is actually the most recent addition to my Steve Madden collection. While the brand calls him BCherrie, I call him Steve-O – flows better off the tongue, I think.
For the last few months, I’ve been putting money aside into my piggy bank to save up for the Gucci SoHo camera bag. Not because I just want an expensive brand, but because the entire bag itself is black, even the hardware. For me, I see that as a solution to my gold and silver mixing issues – a bag that works with everything. At the time, the SoHo bag was the only good quality bag I could find like that, so I’ve set my sights on it.
However, a bag like that is going to take more than a few months to save up for, and the silver-gold issue is happening right now. So when I saw Steve-O on ASOS’s New In page, I kinda saw it as an interim answer – use this bag while I save up for it’s better older brother. I do plan on using Steve-O forever though – he’s a little more edgy than his siblings, and he has this pochette-esque detachable chain that I really like. He was a little pricier than the others as he’s a relatively new design and I didn’t buy him in TK Maxx, but I did get 20% off and that money came out the Gucci fund, so I’m not mad.
So, what do you think of my children? And please don’t judge me for owning the same bag in three different style – why fix something that ain’t broke?
I think I’m gonna try and cool it with the handbag buying for a while, but this is really difficult because I have another three new Steve Madden on my ASOS wishlist, so we’ll see how that goes.
Talk to you later,