Update: LVoing Louis Vuitton

In my earlier article LVoing Louis Vuitton: How much is too much to spend on a bag? I had written about considering purchasing a Louis Vuitton handbag. The bag my husband eventually bought for me was the Speedy Bandoulier in black (actually navy but totally looks black), size 25.

The Speedy b 25 is small enough to wear formally at night, as well as to carry during the day if I’m not lugging a lot of stuff around. It fits my bulky wallet, sunglasses, spectacles, cosmetic pouch, phone, keys.. and has room left over. Speedy bags are very roomy despite looking small.

However, I have had issues with the bag strap. Before a year was up, the strap started getting unclipped and my bag would just slide down. When it hit the pavement a couple of times, I took it to the store. It was under warranty, so they sent it to Paris. I got the strap back a month later, but soon after the edging on the strap started to peel off. Needless to say, I was horrified. I removed the entire edging, and although I did a fairly neat job, I could not bring myself to carry it like this. I kept the strap away and now carry the bag by the handles.

The straps on my other LV bags are going strong. It’s only been this one. Moisture in my cabinet? Indian weather? Who knows what’s to blame! The bag by itself still looks perfect though – not a scratch. The leather is like iron. And it looks good carried by the handles, so I’m not in too much pain.

I’ve recently ordered a funky Kate Spade bag strap to wear with my little Speedy b. I’m hoping it will last me a few years – probably longer than the LV strap!

 

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I ordered it online and had it delivered to my brother in San Francisco. When he flies down to Bangalore he will bring it down for me. I can’t wait! I’m as excited as though I’ll be getting a new bag!

TIP: If you’re bored with a bag and haven’t been carrying it much, simply change the strap to give it a new, funky look, and you’ll love carrying it all over again. Keeps the excitement alive without breaking the bank.

 

The Lauren 1980 – Bottega Veneta

A few weeks ago, I received an SMS. Ferragamo was on sale! I had my eye on a pair of nude shoes, so that evening, husband in tow, we walked to UB City, a beautiful mall in Bangalore which houses Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and a few other top-end brands.

Unfortunately the shoes I wanted were not on sale, so I decided against making a purchase. I tried on a few other sale items, but the ones I liked were not available in my size.

We left Ferragamo and stepped into Bottega Veneta. And there, my eyes fell on this beauty: The Lauren 1980 clutch, named after Lauren Hutton. I sat with my husband at the coffee shop outside, and did a quick google search for reviews, but surprisingly, didn’t find many. Anyhow, I didn’t really need reviews to tell me that I loved it, because I had held the bag in my hand, felt the soft leather, and was in love.

We finished our coffee, retuned to the store, and I left with a small bag and a large smile 🙂

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The Lauren 1980

Since I have bought this beauty, I have carried it a lot  – both during the day for lunches, as well as out at night. It has proved to be very versatile for a clutch.

Here are some of the reasons I love it:

  1. It is large (7.1*11*3.1 inches), hence practical, and can easily fit my phone, spectacles, sunglasses, keys, pen, small make-up case. I’m over the age of 40, and need to carry my reading glasses with me everywhere. While I can manage without them… damn! It’s a pain! So a larger clutch works great. I have a couple of other small clutches, and it is nice to have this as an option.
  2. The quality of the leather is smooshtacular. It is soft, so durable, and looks amazing.
  3. I received a lot of compliments when I carried it. My friends instantly recognised it as a Bottega clutch – which, I guess, is good? Although different from the usual BV clutches, the criss-cross weave is unmistakable.
  4. It looks like a pouch – and there’s something vintage and old-fashioned about it which I like.
  5. It is also the perfect size to tuck under your armpit without it doing the disappearing act. So you can keep your hands relatively free. In comparison, you cannot tuck box clutches under your arms without feeling uncomfortable.
  6. It is going to last a long, long time.
  7. I rarely carry my other handheld clutches because they fit so little! I keep them exclusively for parties. In comparison, I have already carried this about a lot.
  8. It can be dressed down because it’s not flashy, and dressed up, because the quality is unmistakable. Perfect for dates – and for that, “Hey, I’m not even trying!” look 😉 This ol’ thing?

(And what a fabulous thing!)

Chanel WOC Review

Let me begin this review by saying, I love my little WOC, which is literally a wallet on chain that also fits my phone, a lipstick, a pen and eyeglasses. My phone is a huge iPhone Plus with a hefty frame, so those with smaller phones should be able to fit in perhaps one more thing like a compact or a small notebook as well as keys.

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Caviar leather WOC, around USD 2100.   

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The WOC with the chain doubled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I have seen reviews of people using it as their daily bag, I cannot. I lug a lot of stuff around, so while it doesn’t work for a daily bag for me, it’s great if I have to nip out for a bit to meet friends for coffee. And of course, it makes a great bag for errands, and works well for the night.

The WOC has 6 card slots, two zippered compartments, and a little additional space. It  can  be carried 4 ways: As a cross-over, as a shoulder bag by reducing the chain, as a higher shoulder bag with double chain – which is the dressiest option and gives it a very Chanel Classic look (not bad for half-price), and as a clutch, with the chain tucked inside. It could also be carried as a wallet in your handbag. I’m not doing that though because my Marc Jacobs zip clutch is still going strong. I’m saving my WOC for nights out.

You don’t NEED this bag, but if you’re in the market for a little cross body to run around with, this is a very pretty option. Most cross-bodies have fat straps, which I don’t like. The strap on the WOC is delicate and has a lovely shine because of the way the metal has been cut.

Needless to say, you WOC will last decades. Also, it’s a Chanel, so brace yourself for the compliments.

 

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

A quick update on the beauty in my bag!

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

 

When I bought this zip clutch two and a half years ago, it could hold my money, cards and cell phone.I could rush out of the house holding just my wallet/clutch, and have all my essentials with me.

Now things have changed – more specifically, my phone has changed. It is a monster 6 plus. A bulky case serves to make it even fatter, and there’s no way its fitting into my gorgeous wallet. I can no longer use it as a clutch unless I’m okay with carrying my phone in my hand. Which I’m not. I’d rather carry a bigger bag.

Having said that, I do love my MJ. It feels so special every time I pull it out of my bag to pay for a purchase. The leather is soft and the quilting looks and feels luxurious. One of the two little pockets in front hold passport photographs of everyone in my family so I always have them on hand, while the other pocket holds change.

I would recommend this wallet more for its aesthetic qualities than its practicality. It doesn’t fit into my slimmer bags, and for this purpose alone I would not buy it again unless I have more than one wallet. I am however going to use this wallet until it falls apart – and that’s going to take a long, long time. It still looks new – and I have used it every single day for the last three years.

Which is good.

And bad.

 

Lovin’ my PS1

So this time, when my DH made a trip to Seattle, I spent a week burning up the internet as I obsessed about my next bag purchase. I narrowed my choices down to the Chloe Marcie and Proenza Schouler. I don’t have a tan bag in my very limited collection, so when I decided on tan, that helped me narrow my choices somewhat.

I also considered the Frye Jenny hobo, considering the leather quality is really good and I’m a sucker for durable, high quality leather. To be honest, I haven’t seen the bag in person which is why I make all my decisions based on extremely helpful reviews, and most reviews for Frye leather are pretty outstanding. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Nordstrom store DH visited didn’t have any Frye handbags, and so he had to select between the PS and Chloe.

He picked up the PS1 and as usual, when he reached home, he said he hadn’t had the time to buy anything for me. I was asleep when he placed it on my bedside table and I woke up to a lovely ‘surprise’. ❤

Ever since I have received my tan PS1, I haven’t been able to separate myself from it. I have carried it with me every single day for the last twenty days. This bag is edgy and gives out a casual vibe, although of course you can carry it out for lunch parties. It’s not, however, a formal looking bag, but it is definitely a bag you will get more wear out of. I went out of town, and this was the only bag I carried. The tan colour goes with almost anything as long as I have either my tan belt or tan shoes.

How could I not love this bag?

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I have realised that although I do carry it with jeans or trousers a lot, it really looks best when paired with flowy dresses and skirts, as they bring out the satchel’s cuteness factor.

Material: The PS1 comes in both leather and suede. Although the suede is stunning too, I chose leather as I presumed it will look better for much longer than suede will, and I will not have to baby it as much. The leather is lambskin, and very soft. Earlier PS1 bags had issues with hardware falling off and leather changing colour, but this has been rectified and the newer bags have been better treated. The bag has a zipped pocket on the back, and my zipper kept falling out as the loop hadn’t been adequately tightened. I just did it myself with a pair of pliars.

The bag is not heavy, which is something I love about it.

Shoulder strap: The bag has a long shoulder strap, so you can hang it from your shoulder. But it is NOT long enough to be worn cross-body if you are taller than 5ft 2 or maybe 3 inches. I am 5ft 5in, and definitely cannot carry it cross body.

Handle: The bag has one handle so you can hold it in your hand or hang it in the crook of your arm. In my opinion, this is when it looks at its slouchiest best.

Pockets: The medium size bag, which is what I bought as I don’t have to carry a lot of stuff, has plenty of compartments so you can organise your things beautifully. It is also spacious, yet not so much that you’re constantly digging to find something. It can easily fit a large wallet, sunglasses case, lipstick case, phone and book in the main compartment, and more stuff like keys and compact in the outside and back compartments. It is large enough to fit an ipad or a kindle.

Durable: Is the leather durable? According to the reviews, it is, but in order for me to attest to that, I will have to wait a while longer. I can however say that my very first designer bag which I bought five years ago, the LV Neverfull, still looks good as new.

Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch

I desperately needed a new wallet. My older one was falling to pieces, and it was anyway pretty useless. It was bulky, and my cash didn’t fit into it because the cash compartment was too narrow for my larger 500 or 1000 rupee notes. I could fit in a few 100 rupee notes, and had to fold in a couple of 500 rupee notes. It was totally impractical, especially since I always liked carrying cash with me in case of emergency, So I had to carry my wallet in a purse, and I always carried cash in the zipper compartment of my bag. Every time I changed bags, I needed to remove my wallet, my phone, my cash, my make up case, my sunglasses case, notebook, pen etc etc, and move it from one bag into another.

I decided I really needed a new wallet when I noticed that every time I was driving the car, perhaps to drop my daughter to a friend’s house, I also had to lug my bag around, even if it was just to be sitting in the car, because I needed the essentials, which were;

My drivers license

Credit cards

Phone

Some cash

So I started my hunt for a wallet that would accommodate all these things, and found it in the Marc Jacobs Zip Clutch.

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First of all, most LV wallets, which I was also considering, are triple the price and are slightly smaller in size (eg. the LV zippy, which was one of my choices). The zippy does not fit 1000 rupee notes. It may fit one note with some difficulty, but not if you’re just dumping them in.

The Marc Jacobs wallet is 8 inches, as compared to the 7.5 inch zippy.

I considered a bunch of other wallets too. In fact, I spent an entire week going through possibly every single website, trying to find the perfect wallet for me. And this was the one I zeroed down to. What can I say? I am in love.

I can use it as a small clutch, and as a wallet. It fits my iphone 4, my cards, my cash, including a bunch of 1000 rupee notes, and one small lipstick tube. Switching bags is suddenly so much easier. I also find myself carrying just my wallet with me all the time, because if I’m stepping out for a short while, it’s all I need.

It’s also something that looks good inside and outside the bag. It can be carried with you at night, even with a dressy outfit, and it makes a perfect clutch.

My husband got it for me at Barneys for 395 USD, plus tax. It’s a third of the price of an LV Zippy, and is much more versatile as it also doubles up as a clutch, and like I already said, it holds a lot more.

I did a lot of research on the durability of the wallet, and many users have written about how they have enjoyed their zip clutches for a number of years.

The leather is gorgeous. It is soft, and the quilted  pattern on the back makes it look rich and luxurious.

There is a flap at the back which I use for sales receipts. There are 12 credit card slots, and there are two bill compartments, There is also another zippered compartment in front along with two small buckled pockets. These compartments are great for small important slips of paper which you don’t want to lose track of, like little credit notes.

 

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It’s also super-stylish. It doesn’t scream the brand and is a high-quality and practical item that will last for years.

I read somewhere about it being heavy, but I haven’t found the weight to be an issue at all. If you have a bag which is anyway heavy, then this will add more weight to it. It is heavier than your regular wallet though, so keep that in mind. My bags have always been fairly light, so adding a marginally heavier wallet is not even an issue.

In a nutshell, it is FABULOUS!

Look Stylish in a SCARF

I have a bunch of scarves lying in my closet basically going to rot. I never wear them! First off, it’s not that cold in Bangalore, so I’ve never felt the need, but of late I’ve been realising how damn COOL a light cotton scarf looks just as an accessory!

There are literally hundreds of ways to wear a scarf, so one of my resolutions for the new year is going to be to experiment with scarf wearing and see where it takes me! I wore a scarf yesterday with an old black t-shirt which I hadn’t worn in ages and ages. It was a terrible, out of shape t-shirt with an iron stain. All that was completely hidden under the scarf, wasn’t it? 🙂

Mango, Zara, Accessorize all sell scarves for around Rs. 1000+. I saw a bunch of scarves on Myntra.com for less around Rs. 200, but I’m not sure of the quality of the fabric. You could even pick up half-meter or quarter-meter fabulous fabric from stores and get your own scarves stitched for a fraction of the cost. Or tear up some old chunnies and convert them into scarves. Getting a few new scarves could totally transform your wardrobe and can make a simple outfit look fabulous. So before you drop thousands of rupees on a new dress, try transforming it with a scarf.

Quick tip: Always remember to wear a printed scarf with a solid, single coloured top, and you should be fine.