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The importance of being leather

It took me a long time to realise that cheap shoes and cheap handbags are a false economy.  I remember a few years ago wearing some tan Primark loafers to a friend's house, and on the way home the heavens opened and my shoes literally fell apart at the seams.  What are you supposed to do when that happens?  Still, I would buy their plain black pumps for £3 and replace them every few months as the sole parted from the shoe, the rain washed the colour away or the insole resembled something that should come with a Government Health Warning.  Not besides the cost of constantly replacing poor quality shoes, disposable fashion is bad for the environment and bad for the workers involved in producing it.  Now, I know that some people don't feel that leather is ethical, or don't feel it's right for them if they, say, don't eat meat, but these days I only buy leather shoes and handbags.  Whilst I do enjoy the thrill of going into a cheaper shop, like Primark, and coming out with ten items for £30, I have learned through experience that that thrill does not last long, and that the enjoyment of a quality, well-made item outlasts that initial buzz of a big haul.

I've always thought there was a bit of a... gap in the market almost, for handbags that feel expensive and are awesome quality but that aren't 'designer'.  Designer handbags are all well and good but I can't really justify spending £500 - £1000 on a bag, so I found myself wondering recently, where are all the £50-£100 handbags?  The ones that won't fall apart after a few months but that won't break the bank.  After a bit of nosing around, I've made a list of my picks of 'mid-range' bags...
J by Jasper Conran | £79.20
I love a good 'structured' bag and this one ticks a lot of boxes for me - classic and sturdy (plus I'm a sucker for a tan bag!)
betty jackson black | £79.20

Soft leather, monochrome, and it has a TASSLE.  Need I say more?
betty jackson black | £69.30
My definite favourite of the three, definitely bookmarking this for a future purchase.  I love how unique it is  and it definitely satisfies my habit for bags so big you can fit the kitchen sink in.

What are your handbag buying habits?

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22 comments

  1. As a vegetarian, I do feel pretty bad buying leather so for the most part I do recycle and buy mostly vintage bags, but my shoes are mostly leather :/

    I love that Jasper Conran bag, the colour is perfect! xo

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  2. You're totally right. Years of cheap Primark and New Look handbags where the clasps fall off, the lining tears or the seams begin unravelling later, the only one that's stood the test of time is a black leather bag from Gap, that was £120, but snapped up for £20 in the sale! I go through phases of using it, as it's quite big, but I love the feeling that I can always go back to it and it never lets me down :) x

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  3. That Jasper Conran bag is amazing. I love the colour and the structure. It is definitely on my wish list now :) xo

    megansbeautyblog22.blogpot.com

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  4. I love the Jasper Conran bag, I've been a fan of Jasper Conran bags for ages, my Mum always used to buy them! I feel like they are very sturdy and well made too. I wish I had more clothes that went with a tan bag!

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  5. My 6 year old leather satchel is still going strong even with daily use, leather is definitely the way forward - I agree! Occasionally swayed by a super pretty cotton book bag or formal clutch from Accessorize but for handbags - leather all the way!

    Jem xXx

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  6. You're right, deff better to splash out a bit on certain items, especially a good classic bag! xxx

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  7. I agree, trying to buy less but buy better these days with the odd Zara exception of course :)

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  8. I usually spend around £50-65 on a handbag. Love the ones you've picked out, especially the first!

    http://www.danielleyc.com/ xx

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  9. I'm such a bag obsessee - I used to buy SO many but since I got my Mulberry Alexa I literally haven't LOOKED at another bag! xo

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  10. You SO know my thoughts on this, currently oohing and aahing over which shoes to buy next, and someone just gifetd me (y'know, as happens every week...) a Chloe handbag that they 'didn't really like that much anyway'.... as you do. Love the black and white bag, truly beautiful.

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  11. I own more bags than brain cells, and i really like that last one - very pretty! Have you ever considered a mischa barton bag? theyre a good price and most are real leather.. ive had one for years and love it (though i have had to have the strap replaced after overfilling it) xx

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  12. I totally agree. I used to be the same - buying crap loads of cheap stuff but it never lasts and as you say, the thrill of buying a more expensive, amazing quality garment and it lasting, totally outweighs the cons of bulk buying cheap rubbish!

    x

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  13. I love the Jasper Conran bag, quality is so important, I hate it when cheap bags and shoes just fall apart.

    Soul Sparkler

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  14. Oh I love this post! My friend recently dragged me into a Prada store and we both fell in love with their 'signature' bag. I however didn't fall in love with the price tag, well over $1500!! :( Although I really love it, I'm not sure I could justify it.. So it's really nice to see someone highlighting high quality products without the high price tag.

    Love your work.
    Paris x

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  15. I totally agree with you - as I've gotten older I've strayed away from Primark to. I love the J bag and I've also seen some gorgeous ones in Zara recently. I'm a fan of suede as a casual alternative too.

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  16. I'm a huge fan of handbags, leather or not. I'm a stickler for saving up for luxury brands but for quick fix bags that'll still last a season or three, I lean to Zara, Whistles and trusty Topshop. (:

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  17. I totally agree about the cheap bags. They never last so I'm all for buying something mid range. As much as I'd love a designer one its just justifying it! But I love your choices, especially the betty jackson black bag!

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  18. I totally agree with you. I recently made the switch to leather bags and couldn't be more happy! I got one for my birthday last August and It's still perfect! I actually just ordered a new one today. There are a lot of wonderful options for affordable handmade leather bags on Etsy.

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  19. I always try and buy leather shoes now, I mostly buy vintage leather bags too, I'd much prefer to save up and by something quality xx

    Lucy Loves To Blog

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  20. hi,
    I agree with you. Really this blog is very informative.i love leather.these are especially a good classic bag!

    mens leather bags briefcases

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  21. I love this! Shoes are my passion and sometimes its hard to know wether to go the more expensive or inexpensive route! there was no salt

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