Product Type: Radley Clothing
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It's all about the dog!
Radley Fashion Accessoires
Member Name: pinkrules
Radley Fashion Accessoires
Advantages: Very good quality
Disadvantages: Sometimes expensive
It was about 5 years ago if I remember rightly when I got my first Radley handbag. It was back in the days before it became really commercial, and the prices shot up. This first bag was one of the mini grab bags that cost £45 in House of Fraser, the same one would probably cost around £70 today. This first bag was so tiny I HAD to get a Radley coin purse to fit in (well that's what I made myself believe). I sold that bag on eBay after about a year because I realised how impractical it was, but was still in an amazing condition after almost every day use. So I'm not going to say that the quality of Radley items improved as the prices increased, because it was always such high quality anyway.
If there is one thing Radley is well known for, it's their logo of the Scotty dog, which if I'm honest is what really swayed me to buy that first bag over so many others which were far cheaper for that size. You can guarantee that the Scotty dog appears somewhere on every item. If it is not part of the design, there will be a little leather dog (about 2" wide) attached to the handle with a leather strap, so it hangs on display for all to see. However recently, there have been a few variations of the Radley tag, such as it being wooden, or having a little coat on. As well as the handbags, there are many, many accessories that Radley sell now, so it is possible to kit your whole bag out in Radley. Nowadays, you can get bags, purses, phone/travel card/passport holders, key rings, suitcases, umbrellas and scarves.
The bags in general
The bags now come in many shapes sizes and colours. Most of the bags are leather, but they do have a few cheaper designs that are mainly canvas. The price of the canvas bags start at around £35, while the leather ones start at around £70. Some of the designs, which are generally the more plain ones, come in different sizes and colours. Personally I prefer the ones that are brighter so stand out more. The inside of the bags also vary depending on the size and colour etc. The linings are all different colours, and there may be sections and pockets inside, of different shapes and sizes. All of the Radley bags also have a metal dog logo inside too. So if you are looking for a Radley handbag, it is best to check out the inside as well as the outside, to make sure it has the pockets that you need.
I have found out that it is easy to clean out the inside of your Radley handbag. This is because the lining is only sewn into the bag at the very top, so you can pull the lining to the outside to wipe it or hoover it out.
All Radley bags come with a dust bag to protect them, and some of the more expensive bags come with a leather cleaner wipe, which can also be purchased separately.
Radley purses come in many shapes, sizes and sizes, from small coin purses to large purses with different sections for notes/cards/coins etc. There will always be something that matches your bag, or something that stands out if you want it to be easy to find. All the purses have the Radley dog on them somewhere as part of the design, and some of the larger purses also have a Radley tag (like on the bags, but a slightly smaller dog). Personally, I think some of the bigger purses are overpriced so tend to sick with the coin purses or other small purses, but I only use small bags anyway so don't need a large purse. The passport/travel cardholders that you can buy are usually in the same designs as the purses. These are generally quite plain. The main design for the purses and other matching accessories is plain colour leather, with a different colour dog on the front. So even if the main colour is black, the contrasting colour of the dog makes it stand out.
The key rings
The key rings are so expensive, but some of them are so gorgeous that you can't help but splash the cash on them. My favourite one is a little leather handbag (about 2" x 2" including handles). It is a replica of a full sized bag, so it has similar features that you would find on a normal bag. There is the word 'Radley' impressed across the back, and there is a flowery design on the lining. However, my favourite part has to be the little hanging Radley tag, it is metal with Radley written across the middle. This is the most expensive of their key rings, but there are cheaper ones, which are just like metal versions of the hanging tags. They definitely have the cute factor, even though I think they are the most overpriced items that Radley sell.
This is a version of those bags you see everywhere these days, that you're supposed to use instead of carrier bags. They all have nice designs on them, mine is bright yellow with a cupcake design, but is available in different colours and different designs. It says on the bag itself that it is made from recycled materials, and is recyclable itself, although I can't see that anybody would actually recycle it after spending that much on a 'carrier-bag' in the first place. In theory, it is a good idea, as it will mean that you use less carrier bags, and help save the planet etc etc. But in reality, it can be quite awkward to use this bag. This is because the bag comes in a little round case, that's about 6" in diameter. The case is attached to the handle of the bag and cannot be removed, so the case can flap around and pull down on the side of the bag. This is especially noticeable if you have hardly anything in the bag.
Although more expensive than other brands of umbrella, Radley umbrellas are definitely value for money. This was the first umbrella that I have used that could withstand strong wind without turning inside out. I have never had to replace a Radley umbrella because it broke, but only because I wanted a new design or colour. There is a micro sized one that is so tiny it can fit in almost any sized handbag. I use this one to keep in my bag all the times in case there is unexpected rain, because it is so small it is only big enough for one person. There is also a slightly larger version, which can be used by two people. Most of them are now automatic to put them up and down, only some of the older ones are manual. They each come in their own case, which has handles so is easy to carry, even if you have your hands full.
In my opinion, all Radley products are very good quality. However, some of the smaller items do seem very expensive, but I think it is worth paying slightly more for higher quality that you know will not need to be replaced for a long time.
Summary: Good quality items with designs that stand out