.... you realise that there's something you don't have. And when it's in the form of A Bag - that's something to get excited about (can I please point out that my children haven't gone back to school yet so I'm still in that spongey headspace where I get giddy when they flush the loo without asking - so the potential for a new bag is the mecca of excitement for me today)
It struck me yesterday when I saw one of my besties with a new bag as we out for a long dog walk in the afternoon (children only moaned for about 5 minutes which is an improvement on the hour and a half that they gave out at the start of half term) and she was merrily flaunting her new hands free accessory.... the Backpack.
I'm not going to lie - I have done an about turn on these. When they first came out a year or so ago, (not as in they when they were first thought up - as in they were reinvented as a fashion accessory and not just the Kathmandu versions that were in red nylon and had hiking boots and enamel mugs hanging off the side. For actual use - not just as a bag charm) I thought they were vile.
Clearly I am scarred by the memory of my inter-railing rucksack from 25 years ago, that I physically burned when I got back from Europe as I hated the darned thing so much. Black hole and then some. I did spend the whole four weeks chuntering that a suitcase on wheels would have been far easier to manoeuvre. A claim I still stand by, for the record...
So I have ignored these. But as with most things fashion related, I am as fickle as can be and it was only a matter of time before I got on board and realised that they could work for an old bird.
The trick, I think, is for them to be super sleek and structured. Almost like a little briefcase with wings (wings being the straps). Nothing slouchy, nothing boho and nothing that looks like there should be a joss stick lurking in the bottom of it.
A while ago I came across this brand on Instagram and this is the bag that initially made me think - oh hello... these might work.
Mini Gloucester Rucksack in glossy black from Loxley £395
But that is out of stock although there is a waiting list if you do fancy going on it for Christmas... however in the meantime, this from Radley is perfection in a backpack (and no, that's not something I ever thought I'd write..)
This I see in the window of the store at Bluewater every time I walk by and it is honestly the most handsome bag ever.
Radley Richmond Black Backpack £199
It would though be a toss up between the Richmond and the Leadenhall..
Leadenhall Large Backpack £209
But then I found a new brand at Debenhams. This is leather and it looks gorgeous.
Conkca London Black Elizabeth backpack £99
The leather bargain of the day has to be from ASOS.
Clean Leather ASOS backpack £50
However Topshop are completely giving them a run for their money with these reasonable gems in black and in leather.
Leather Ponyhair Backpack £55
Or the Clean Leather Backpack also from Topshop £55
Other more reasonable black options which aren't in leather - these are a great idea if you're not sure they're going to have longevity and want to try them out.
Faith Black grained backpack was £39 now £31.20
Another great looking one from ASOS at a great price. Sleek and sophisticated which is what I think works perfectly with the modern straps.
ASOS Front Lock Detail Backpack £32
My choice though would be this one from Monki.
Monki Clean Leather Look foldover Backpack £30
Although this is gorgeous and it *is* Calvin Klein but still a lot for non leather. However Stella McCartney doesn't seem to have an issue with it...
Calvin Klein Cecile Backpack £145
Much more reasonably priced at the newly branded Paul's Boutique (you can still eschew the ideas of old - they have totally turned over a new leaf and are now eminently useable. Perfect for daily use) is the Gwyneth Backpack.
In a non leather with a tan edging for £68 (if you sign up to the newsletter - details on a popup on their website that I saw - you can get 10% off your first order.)
Gwyneth Backpack £68
They do also do a leather version which is teamed with blue £135
However moving into different colours other than black now and starting with another colour in the leather Gwyneth.
Gwyneth backpack in the olive £138
Another green version can be found at Topshop - rather bargainous £55 again for a leather bag.
Clean Leather Backpack £55
Kipling Yaretzi Medium backpack in camel was £229 now £137.40 (and don't worry - not a gorilla keyring in sight. And yes I did think they were the epitome of cool when I was at school. I'm going with perhaps not, at 42)
Clean leather backpack in camel at Topshop £55
More camel and this, although it is "structured", to me, this is more classic backpack. But it makes the grade as it's not super slouchy. There's no obvious whiff of student about it. (I said obvious, I didn't say any....)
ASOS Structured Pocket Backpack was £32 now £22.50
Conker brown now with Fiorelli Brodie Zip Top Backpack with Zip front pocket £59
And finishing with a couple of more unusual shades now - starting with one that will take you through from Winter into Spring and Summer. This is my favourite sort of shade and it's in the sale too. I might be tempted to say "Christmas?!"
Radley Richmond Backpack in the taupe was £199 now £99
They also do this in a Midnight which is full price but is just gorgeous.
Radley Richmond in midnight £199
Another amazing version from Radley would be the Leadenhall in red. Maybe it should be, go big or go home...??
Leadenhall in burnt red from Radley £209. This is the most stunning shade of red. Full stop.
Grafea Mini Backpack in Oxblood £145
Black - used to be coated - metallic skinny jeans - 2nd Day
Adele jumper in charcoal - hush
Grey oversized cashmere scarf - Black
Angelica work boots - Seven Boot Lane
Harker cross body bag - Anya Hindmarsh
So the children are back to school tomorrow. The fact none of them work up until 8.30am this morning doesn't bode for a peaceful start to the day but they will be up and out and I shall be back with my Kettlercise DVD. She says (secretly seeing an hour of a cuppa, a biscuit and something on Sky+ in the tealeaves...)... because it won't be carnage At All in the morning (pours gin into milk jug in preparation).