“ Brand: Aspinal of London / Type: Handbag „
First of all, can I start by saying the pictures of this handbag do not do it justice. When you see it in the flesh with its patent leather and beautiful finish you really do see what you are paying for.
Aspinal really do of some beautiful handbags and this one is no exception. I was bought this as a gift so I can't comment on the exact price that was paid but I can hazard a guess! The patent leather is wipe clean which for me gives it a little advantage over regular leather.
The bag has a small zipped compartment inside for you to store your phone and purse (only if they're both small), but the main store space if the bag is the huge compartment inside which is sealed with a lockable padlock.
The only wee drawback to this handbag I would say us that you can't wear too thick a coat if you want to wear the bag on your shoulder. Unless you're arms are super skinny you'd struggle a little bit butbithervthsn that the bag is perfect and will last you a lifetime!
I was lucky enough to receive my patent blue Aspinal of London Barbarella Bag as a gift a few years ago. I wasn't familiar with the brand at this time but I could instantly tell my new bag was designer and very expensive.
- Aspinal of London -
This is a designer brand that pride themselves on delivering products that are of the best quality and design but at an affordable price. They sell a wide range of leather goods such as handbags, purses, wallets, diaries, jewellery boxes, photo albums, and vanity cases. They also have some non-leather items such as pens, jewellery, scarves, cufflinks and glass wear. They have collections for men, women and the home. Celebrity fans include Mollie King, Caggie Dunlop, Amanda Holden, Millie Mackintosh, Fearne Cotton and Arlene Phillips.
- The Bag -
The bag measures approximately 28cm in height, 36cm in width and is 20cm deep. The bag I have is navy blue patent leather but it is also available in red, purple, black and nude patent, spring blush and orange smooth leather, tan leather or black croc. The leather is calf leather with my patent version being very soft and shiny. It is also practical as it wipes clean easily. The blue patent leather is complimented perfectly by gold-coloured metal details. These include chains that attach the handles onto the bag so they are drop down in style, buckle details and the signature Aspinal shield shaped clasp. There are also four little metal feet on the bottom to protect the underside of the bag when you put it down. There is a strap over the opening of the bag which is then held in place with the shield clasp. This looks really smart and unique but is also practical for protecting your belongings as it isn't easily accessible. Although it is easy enough for the owner to access once you know how to operate the clasp. I think the bag looks expensive and classy but not over the top like some designer bags can be. It looks sophisticated and classic but with a modern edge.
Once you have opened the bag you instantly notice the contrasting cream grosgrain lining. This is material that has a ribbed/cord like appearance. I think each different coloured bag may have a different coloured lining that compliments that particular colour. The grosgrain makes a good lining as it is very strong. There is also a blue leather badge with 'Aspinal of London England Fine Leather' written in gold. The bag has a zip pocket with a small Aspinal pendant attached to the zip and there is also two phone sized pockets. I feel like the bag is quite roomy inside and can hold everything I need to carry with me, which I quite a lot of stuff to be honest! The bag is beautiful inside and out but really is practical too.
- Presentation Box -
My bag came in a soft dust bag and a beautiful blue and gold Aspinal box. I love designer touches like this and it also helps preserve the bag while I store it away.
- Everyday Use -
I used this bag continuously for about a year and a half until I had a baby and started using a changing bag instead of a handbag (sad face). I found the bag to be a perfect size for me to use on a daily basis. I could fit my keys, phone, purse, compact mirror and a small makeup bag with room to spare. The bag is very comfortable to wear and I found it was the perfect style and size for me as the bag tucked nicely under my arm and the straps didn't dig into my shoulder. I felt the bag wasn't easily accessible to thieves as the clasp is very secure and the strap over the opening would make it tricky to sneak a hand into the bag. The clasp is easy enough to undo when you know how but would be very tricky to do by a thief while you were wearing it. The pockets inside the bag were ideal for holding my Blackberry Phone and my compact mirror which I didn't want to get scratched. I used this bag everyday but as it looks quite smart it would work well for the evening too, although perhaps it is a little big for some occasions.
- Wear and Tear -
This bag has had a lot of use and still looks in great condition. There are signs of wear and tear in the form of minor scratches to the metal on the outside of the bag, which is probably my fault as I am not especially careful with it. These really are minor though anyway. The lining doesn't look quite as good as it did new mainly because of the light cream cover. However, I think the sturdy material has helped keep it in good condition. Overall the bag still looks great and I think I will get a couple more years use out of it, when I can finally ditch the changing bag that is!
- Price and Availability -
The Barbarella bag is available from the Aspinal of London website or one of their stores. They are also available from department stores such as John Lewis and House of Fraser. It is priced at £450 which is obviously a lot of money for a bag but the quality is very high so perhaps this justifies the price. I was very lucky to receive this as a gift as I think £450 is much too expensive for me and is not quite the 'affordable price' that Aspinal claim to deliver.
- Would I Recommend? -
If you are looking for a designer bag and want something of exceptional quality, a classic and sophisticated yet modern design then this could be the bag for you. The price is high but you aren't simply paying for a label but a beautiful, practical, well made and durable bag.