Just when you think you've got everything...

.... 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)

Another simple version at Topshop. 

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. 

But I think the coloured bag of the season for me is going to be Oxblood.  It goes with simply everything. 

Grafea Mini Backpack in Oxblood £145

So break it to me gently.  Are you a fan or have you not come round to my way of thinking yet... I think there is definitely mileage in these, especially if you do need your hands free (dog walking.... just throw it out there) and want a change from a cross body bag.  I seem to literally wear everything cross body now and so a change may be as good as a rest.  The best justification for a new bag if ever I heard one.


Indigo longline longsleeved tee - hush
Black biker leggings - Zara
Caitlyn biker boots - Seven Boot Lane

And today for the last day of the holidays for us.  Another walk in the park (they are moaning less... ish.... I'll reserve that little bit of joy until the weather actually turns and they point blank refuse to come with me).


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).

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24 comentarios:

  1. Hmmm I don't think I'm going to be jumping on this band wagon. (Wait for the about turn). With a 3 and a 1 year old I'm all about the hands free but I think I'll be sticking with cross body.
    You know there'll be a rucksack in my Cristmas list! x

  2. I love rucksacks since I've had children, you can carry much more in them than a cross body. however I have to be honest all those black ones look like something my mother would carry. I think the words she would use are sensible and goes with anything. However I do love the Radley Richmond Backpack in the taupe.

    1. Aha, now I think that's the whole point - the juxtaposition of the slightly more prim, more formal looking bag but "bagged" as a rucksack.! I love it!

  3. I would feel silly with a top handle sticking up behind me ! I would have to choose one with only shoulder straps I think X

    1. I like the way you can carry it though as well (and with some of them, the straps are detachable!)

  4. I like these, especially the non leather ones as much lighter - my only gripe is wearing them over a coat, it just doesn't work so really only for warmer days or over a jacket I think

    1. Now this is a good point. But I don't even have any super thick coats! So rarely outdoors. Even my rugby/dogwalking coats are actually quite thin and I layer under them. I think I'd probably be ok (but on reflection, I might wonder if they are completely waterproof.....although I do tend and avoid any sort of torrential down pour)

  5. I am not sure, I am in and out of my bag too often, and then it is such a pain.

    I think handbags for wallets, keys, phones etc and backpacks for walks, day trips etc.. And for walks daytrips etc I prefer a washable nylon one as knowing us something will spill. Mostly I just get DH to carry his :)

    1. Most people I've seen only really carry them on one shoulder so no difference to any other bag (which sort of defeats the point...!) I REFusE to carry anything spilly in my bag!

  6. Am already there on this one but for all the wrong reasons (carrying heavy laptop/loads of work stuff with dodgy back so one shoulder or cross-body not possible) but think I have been getting away with it with a relatively swish Whistles folded over one in grey - sold out now sadly. Although also not inexpensive of course (justify it with 'well it's because it's for work, I use it every day, blah blah). Just don't look in shop windows to catch your side reflection is my advice.
    Just don't look in shop windows to catch your side reflection is my advice. Also just can'take bring myself to like Radley - is that just me?

    1. Oh I meant to put the Whistles ones on. They're gorgeous! No, I do know what you mean about Radley but I'm always open to brands evolving and there isn't a sniff of a dog keyring on this one. Plus I have a soft spot for them as my mum loves them! They really do have some gorgeous gorgeous bags now and actually for the money compared to much more expensive designer bags, the quality is really good.

  7. Interestingly, Clara rocked a very similar black backpack on Doctor Who on Saturday night - looked like top shop one - always handy in a stairwell alien chase!

    1. You see - I knew I needed one as I never know what to carry when I'm in that situation!

  8. I used to have a black Radley backpack years ago. The lining all came apart, as I remember, I hope they are better made now! The topshop ponyskin one is lovely, though.

    I still use a small crossbody one but don't need a bigger one as yet.


    1. Oh lordy that's a bummer. I've no idea about the quality but their prices have risen significantly which would lead me to assume the quality has gone up to (but we all know what assume makes....!!)

  9. Backpacks are great for a change I think.... You may want to check out a Whistles 'Verity' Kat as it's very similar in shape to the Monki & the Calvin one - I have one of these & I do love it (mine is in a cracked leather..) & I use it quite a bit. I also have a Mulberry 'Cara' which feels fantastic and is quite easy shape, nothing worse than feeling like you're endlessly fishing around in your bag for stuff!! Good luck with your search...
    Louise x

    1. I absolutely love the Whistles ones and completely forgot to put them on! There is so much about a bag's shape that can make or break it and at the end of the day, it all comes down to usability. I swear the best bag I ever had was the Mulberry Roxanne.

  10. I think leather backpacks work with certain street looks. I have a large Sophie Hulme leather rucksack that Inlike to wear with blazer/culottes. I also have a Mansur Gavriel mini backpack which works well with more casual outfits like tee-shirt and maxi dresses and sweater/shorts combo. (Still barely into fall weather in my part of the world..)

    1. This is very true.... Although my friend wears hers over one shoulder with some outfits, which does give it a v different look (but it's not as if I wouldn't have other bags for other looks!!) And I have to say, we're v lucky with the weather here at the mo but that can change in 24 hours!

  11. I love them, and use mine every day for walking to work and back.
    Recently got a new one which is leather and sparkly. Absolutely love it; just looked and it's by Urbancode??
    Can't remember for the life of me where it came from but I do know that it was an absolute bargain ... obviously or I wouldn't have bought it!
    It's not structured tho ..... so ...... maybe I need a structured ..... green one .... from Topshop .... hmmmmm

  12. You know, I was only thinking of these just the other day when using the self-serve checkout in Sainsburys and suffering for the millionth time the annoyance of having my bag swing in front of me and off my shoulder every single time I leaned down to bag something. But I can't buy a backpack for that reason, I can't!
    I have a nice olive green vintage canvas Mulberry one, a bit bigger than normal bag size that I've used for nights away or on day trips out with the kids but as uni was the last place I used one, I always feel a bit student-y when I've got it on!

    1. Funny you should say that, mine was driving me mad earlier (except I was in Lidl!!)