“ Brand: Beth / Type. Satchel „
I went through a phase of impulsively snapping up offers on Groupon, and one of those lead me to discover the website Stylist Pick. I signed up with a reduced rate membership which credited me for three full purchases from their range of items specifically selected by leading celebrity stylists in the fashion industry. When I joined the site they were only stocking shoes and handbags, but they have since expanded their lines to also include accessories, jewellery and womens wear. This "Beth" Pushlock Satchel was one of the items that I chose to purchase after receiving a recommendation for it in my monthly highlights.
This bag has a classic satchel design with straps over the front and a large buckle closure. There is a long shoulder strap that can be adjusted depending on whether you like to wear you bag up close under your arm, or lower down by your waist or hips, although I don't think it's quite long enough for me to be able to wear it across my body without feeling a little uncomfortable. There is also a small handle on the top of the bag which allows you to carry it in your hand if you prefer. Inside, there is a small open pouch pocket which is perfect for storing a mobile phone, and another secure zipped pocket which I use to keep my house keys and travel cards safe and separate from the main bulk of stuff that I carry around with me. The main body of the bag also has a full zip closure underneath the flap front, so this helps to keep everything in place and is safer than having it left open. There were two colour options to choose from: white (as pictured) with black detailing, or black with red detailing. I chose the black version as I thought it would be more practical and less likely to show signs of wear and tear. The metal hardware is a shiny silver colour which stands out nicely against the material.
This bag is made of a faux leather material which has a nice visible grain to it. Mine is black with a deep red coloured piping along the edges and red stitching to add another decorative touch. The bag is fully lined in a matching red colour synthetic fabric. The faux leather has a nice look and feel to it, and is durable when being carried around all over the place on a daily basis. The bag can sometimes look a bit unshapely if there are only a few small items being carried inside, as it does not have a solid structure, but this rarely happens with me as I usually cram my bag full of things for travelling to and from work. It is quite spacious and fits everything inside neatly: I usually carry my phone, purse, travel and office pass cards, keys, MP3 player, make-up bag, sunglasses, snacks and a book or magazine. The only problem that I've experienced is that the material is not fully waterproof, and when I got caught in an unexpected downpour over the summer the material did soak through and it mangled the magazine that I was carrying with me as the edges of the paper got damp and spoiled. Not a problem in good weather, and now I'm more careful to keep my bag firmly tucked in underneath the cover of my umbrella!
I love satchel bags and have a number of them in my wardrobe, with this being one of my most frequently used. The classic look and plain colouring make it fit in easily with practically any outfit and it's really versatile so I can wear it with a smart office outfit, but it still looks good with my more casual grungy off-duty look. I get a lot of use out of this bag and in the time that I've had it I have been really impressed with how well it has worn. There is not a single mark on the material, no scuffs or patches of wear, which is excellent considering that it's a synthetic fabric and in my experience cheaper bags like this made of faux leather tend to end up scuffing or even peeling! Luckily this one is still going strong. My only real problem with this bag is to do with its main feature, the buckle fastening. To close the front flap down properly you have to use the buckle fastening, which is a large pushlock design. It is easy to pop the buckle back into place to secure it, but it is very awkward to actually open it again afterwards. I have to make sure that the sections are perfectly aligned and apply some pressure to the back of the buckle for it to have some resistance, and then push down quite firmly at the same time as sliding the buckle up and out of the lock. This is ok if I have time to do so properly, and even easier if there is a surface that I can rest the bag on, but it does make it quite difficult when I'm on the go, and in particular when I'm in the shops trying to get my purse out to pay at the tills, as I have to juggle everything in my hands and fiddle around to get the lock open.
I really like this bag as it has a simple and smart design which is perfect for taking to work every day. It carries all of my essentials and the little pockets inside are handy for keeping bits organised. The only real downside is that the main buckle is so fiddly to open, and if it weren't for that I'd have been able to give 5 stars.