Backpacktastic

So if you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen over the weekend that I managed a trip with the best friend and the children (not the rugby playing ones but the others) to Kilver Court.  Also known as the Mulberry Outlet..... Well, there is a lot more there now than just Mulberry - Joseph, Jack Wills (small girls were thrilled.  Although the 7yr old was rather gutted there was nowhere to buy an Arsenal away kit...?!), LK Bennett, Margaret Howell, Toast and MiH jeans.  I managed to bag a couple of bargains (and yes, they are bargains which I will report back on in the next couple of days) but didn't cave on anything in Mulberry (there may have been a Mulberry bag on one of the pics on Insta but that was my friend's pink suede coat... yes a pink suede coat.  It is amazing.  And was reduced by 90%.  You couldn't leave it there for that, could you?). 

But there was a bag that caught me eye, which has been on my mind for a while - not this particular bag but had this one not been £800odd, I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat as it's exactly what I've been thinking I need (that's need with a very small "n" can I please point out).

Here is the rather fabulous bag in question.  So so clever.  It's called the Cara.  Which - I'm not going to lie to you, was absolutely no selling point to me whatsoever.  In fact, the opposite.  I'm 43 year old - do I aspire to own a bag because it is designed (I'm assuming she had a modicum of input and wasn't give free reign but then again, we all know what assume makes, don't we?!) by Cara Delevigne.  That'll be no.  A big fat no.


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But there's no taking away from the fact that it's a superb backpack.  The versatility of it is ridiculously clever - two different ways to carry it as a backpack - one which makes it lie flat, one which err doesn't (but is still quite cool believe me - inspite of the name I couldn't find fault with this bag), cross body, shoulder bag or handheld.  LOVE it.  Don't love the price. 

The one above is much bigger than the ones they have for sale at the mo.  Very useful mind you.

This is the mini quilted Cara available now at £995 


Or the plain black which is what I was looking at (the oversized version) and I think what I'd go for (in another lifetime...).

Mini Cara Backpack from Mulberry £845




I know exactly what I'm after - plain, minimalist and black.   All sounds rather exciting doesn't it?  Not.  

I am however open to ideas... in fact I have looked at these before and never got round to getting one but the seed has grown... 

And I found this one at Net A Porter (thought I may as well get some inspiration whilst I was hanging out with the Caras there). 

Oh the irony - another Kara.  A brand which I've never heard of - Kara. 

Small Leather Backpack by Kara from Net A Porter £335  Which is quite a lot for a brand I've never heard of (apologies Kara).











Also on the wishlist would be the Spitalfields Medium Flapover Backpack from Radley at £190



Or.. there is the rather divine Soho Backpack also from Radley £199




But then there is the supremely lustworthy rucksack from Loxley which I discovered on Instagram.  Not cheap but oh so absolutely gorgeous. 

Mini (it's not so mini at all) Gloucester Rucksack in Glossy Black from Loxley England £395



Or there is the black Verity backpack from Whistles which is simply gorgeous (as are they are, by all accounts...) £280



Love this one which is half price at ASOS and unearthed from the men's section.  

Smith And Canova Leather Backpack was £195 now £125



Now moving onto some more reasonable options although I have to say, I think this is quite a lot still for faux leather (but then I guess compared with what Stella charges, tis peanuts). 

Very much reminds me of the Givenchy one which is ten times as much.

Matt & Nat Brave Backpack £85



A much better price for faux leather (although only as it's half price) from Liquorish. 

Liquorish Backpack was £70 now £38



I have to say, this is probably my favourite of the faux leather ones. 

Urban Originals was £70 for £38



Moving slightly off piste (from my very specific brief - still very much in black backpack territory), we have tassels at Next. 

Black Tassel Rucksack from Next £36




One of my bargains of the day has to be the curved style smooth one from ASOS. 

ASOS Clean Curved Rucksack £28



But I think the winner goes to Topshop.. 

Fold Over Backpack from Topshop £28 Is there nothing they can't pull out of the bag at the moment?  (bar jeans - I'm not loving their jeans...)








So the more the look, the more I think I need one... Perfect surely for Disney in October? (clutches at straws....).  Have you joined the backpack bus yet? (not really selling it by calling it that, am I?!)

From a handy backpack to the most ludicrous not so user friendly bag today (ie my purse can't fit in it so I have to take my cards and cash out which is irritating much).  However I do adore it and despite it's limitations, think I should use it on a daily basis much more regularly. 

And what's the obvious choice for the hottest day of the year so far?  Well that will be black from head to almost toe obviously.  Jollying my Grim Reaper costume up with red shoes.  Trip to London for some meetings and then 90 minutes on the train home on what should have been a 25 min journey.  Yawn.


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Black crepe tunic top - Zara
Black ankle skimmer zip jeans - Boden
Black military jacket - Zara
Red loafers - Gucci
Leopard bag - Tory Burch

The bag was from Bicester a couple of years ago and speaking of bags.. guess where I'm off tomorrow?  Yes a swifty trip to Bicester.  Haven't been for ages and the last time I went (on my birthday) I bought the sum total of absolutely nothing.  Didn't intend to buy anything at the weekend although came home with a couple of things.  This perhaps doesn't bode well.... 

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30 comentarios:

  1. I rather like the Kara. Raced to read this article because I've been looking everywhere for a navy backpack to match navy superga's (has to be dark navy not royal blue) and was hoping you'd have a view on Fjallraven and Knomo and others I've been dithering over.

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    1. Fjallraven are classic, here in Denmark most people my age and younger have had at least one of the Kanken model, it only gets better with age. (My husband was asked if he'd swap his very battered, worn at the corners one for a brand new one! He declined).
      However, while I'd say they are fine for teenagers and those in their 20's, over the age of 30 I prefer something more stylish for everyday use. But maybe that's just me.
      Danish Pastry

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    2. We are all entitled to our "just me" opinions, obviously. Mine is that "occasion appropriate" is a useful concept, but not "age appropriate". Being so far over the age of 30 as to be fully in red hat and purple dress territory, if I fancy a canvas back pack, I'm jolly well having one.

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    3. Good for you, I thought that response was a bit passive aggressive too!

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    4. I wasn't intending to be aggressive and am sorry if it was taken that way, if you notice I start out by saying that fjallraven are classic and really only end up giving my own opinion about why they aren't for me (and not necessarily every other person on the planet)at my stage in life.
      It's obviously hard to know what I meant with a short reply, but passive aggressive it certainly wasn't meant to be!
      Danish Pastry

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    5. Personally I prefer the Knomos as opposed to the Fjallraven - although I will confess to not having heard of either! (clearly we're not remotely trendy enough in the outback of Kent!) It all depends on what sort of look you're after - the Fjallravens have a more sporty edge to them but the Knomos look more minimalist which, if you were asking which out of the two I would personally choose, I prefer.

      If you're looking for navy, it's also worth checking out The Cambridge Satchel Company as they do all their backpacks in navy (as opposed to black!).

      Hope that helps!

      Kat xx

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  2. Hi Kat, I love your blog and totally agree with your backpack lust. I personally love the Whistles Verity bag... I got mine about two years ago with one of the Grazia 25% off codes and it's still gorgeous and used as s handbag/backpack almost daily! Also, it's the only thing I've ever owned that strangers have stopped me to comment on...x

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    1. I think the fact it's been around for a couple of years now does definitely prove it's becoming a classic and that they're here to stay!

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  3. I'm loving the cuffs in the case under the mulberry bag too... I remember having a black Radley backpack years ago, but the lining came apart, don't know if that's still an issue. I also had a gorgeous red one from Galleries Lafayettes, very simple with very clever straps that you could wear as a backpack or over the shoulder. Sadly, long gone.

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    1. Radley have definitely moved up a gear in the last couple of years so hopefully this wouldn't be an issue anymore. I don't think I've EVER had a backpack apart from a monstrosity of a thing from Milletts I had to take interailing and then ceremoniously burned in the garden when I got back!

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  4. TKMAXX website had a few nice ones last time I looked including a Paul Costelloe version xx

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    1. Meant to say there's 30% off The White Company backpack which looks good! x

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    2. TK Maxx is a great shout (is it only me who finds it really difficult to search for things on their website?) And I always always forget that The White Company do bags! Excellent shout.

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  5. Yay for the backpack, am currently toting around a cream/thin navy pattern Orla Kiely one as Toddler is still 'caught short' some days and we need spare Paw Patrol pants / hundreds and thousands of wet wipes... Have been thinking of getting a classic black one for a while now, thanks for the ideas xx

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    1. You're more than welcome! xx

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  6. Kat, I have a faux one from Accessorise, v useful. Salamander x

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    1. Aha another place I always assume only does beach bags!

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  7. How strange that you should post this - I've just fallen in love with a Milli Millu backpack / normal bag thing - can't afford it obviously but still fallen in love with it (and their bags are designed to take a laptop which helps with all the work rubbish I have to schlep around)

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    1. Well if you look at the comments it seems that most people use them loads so hopefully that will help with the justification?!

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  8. I like the Whistles one but actually am not a backpack fan. I find it annoying to have to take it off and rummage through for what I need. for travelling I use my old black nylon Longchamp bag - or a cross body bag. However you have younger kids so I can see the benefit of a backpack at Disney!

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    1. Well... I may have bought something that isn't a backpack... Can only buy one new bag so bought something that is also super useful for travelling but also doubles up as being more useful for the beach, cricket, days out etc etc. Wait and see.....!!

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  9. Totally relate to this as after years of carrying my laptop in a fab oversized shoulder bag my shoulder caved and I now have to level out the weight on my shoulders! Not wanting to look like a student at meetings, ended up with a bucket bag with straps as most of the rucksacks on the high street don't fit laptops. Love the Whistles ones though - any idea if a MacBook will fit? x

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    1. Full sized MacBook? My air would definitely fit into it but that doesn't help if it's not that!

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    2. Hi there - this reply is probably too late as am playing catch up on Kat's blogs but am on my second Whistles bag. It's my 'briefcase' and carts my Toshiba laptop and my tablet and black n reds and umbrella and huge purse wallet and files. Which is why it needs to go on my bag and thenjoy the outside poctet takes keys, oyester card, lipstick etc. They don't wear as well as you'd like for the price but I use it every work day and don't really worry about where it sits etc. I had grey to start with and now have navy which I Adore.

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  10. I second the tk maxx recommendation. I got a lovely minimalist real leather black rucksack from there recently and it hasn't left my back since! Including my recent Disney Florida trip - it was just the ticket for keeping everything safe whilst waiting in all those queues for rides!

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    1. I will have a look thank youxxxx

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  11. Have been hankering after a black leather backpack for a while and this post pushed me over the edge! I found a really simple one by Zign reduced to 60 euros (real leather). Will report back re quality when it arrives.
    In spite of my 41 years, I figure that after years of hauling Peppa Pig, Incredible Hulk and various twee Cath Kidston rucksacks through the centre of Rome every day for the little darlings, I can get away with a minimalist black leather one.

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    1. HA ha ha ha - so so so SO right!

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  12. I had a really nice one but my wallet was nicked from it and I didn't feel a thing!!

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  13. Kat, have you seen this? http://www.tkmaxx.com/handbags/black-leather-pebbled-backpack/invt/11189160. Just spotted it and thought of you...

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