“ Roebuck / leather wallet by Roebuck „
I recently had a very frustrating experience in which I believed I had lost my purse. Several weeks later after cancelling all my cards, ordering replacements, and purchasing a new purse my other half discovered that my old purse had simply fallen out of my handbag and somehow ended up getting knocked underneath the bed. It was great to have my old purse back and not have the worry of my stuff being nicked and never having it back again, but it was a bit annoying as I'd already got a new purse so now I have two! The replacement purse I chose to buy was this one made by Roebuck. They do a range of Bettie Page accessories and I had my eye on them for a while. The purse costs RRP £4.99 which is a real bargain, and if you look on eBay you can find them even cheaper - I snagged mine for just £2.99 with free postage.
I love the burlesque scene and through my interest in that I have started to explore the world of exotic dance and then fetish modelling, with Bettie Page of course being at the forefront. Bettie is an iconic woman that is known by many for her creative take on modelling, she has a huge following and is an inspirational person. I think her work is still relevant today even though it may not seem shocking to us with our desensitised minds that see all sorts of controversial images day after day until they become normal. This purse features a discreet image of Bettie that adds interest to an otherwise very plain object.
The Roebuck Bettie Page purse is made of a soft black leather with a synthetic inner section. The leather feels quite smooth and soft, and I have noticed that it can mark easily. I have a few tiny dull areas where the purse has sustained scratches of scuffs from being knocked about inside my handbag against my keys and all the other sorts of bits and bobs lurking in there! These aren't hugely noticeable but to have visible damage within such a short time of owning the product, I am concerned about how it will fare after prolonged usage.
The purse actually has more of a wallet-like design. When closed it gives a flat rectangular shape, and is larger than some purses in width as it measures around 5.5" across. The bonus is that it is very thin and takes up only around half an inch in depth. So even though it is quite a large shape when looked at front on, you can easily fit this purse inside even the smallest of handbags without it taking up too much room. I am finding this takes up a lot less space than my previous purse which had a smaller square shape but was a lot thicker.
Looks-wise the purse has a clean cut and classic appearance. The leather is stylish of course black suits anyone for any occasion. On the front the top corner has a subtle indented piece of writing that says "Bettie Page", and in the opposite bottom corner there is a image of Bettie in a seductive pose wearing a sexy white nurse's outfit. Bettie has her trademark beautiful black hair and fringe, and she is wearing a cute nurse's hat along with white gloves. The picture is not overtly erotic or suggestive, so I would think its safe to say no one should be offended by seeing you pull out this purse in the queue at the supermarket and catching a glimpse of gorgeous Bettie! On the back of there purse there is no detail other than a sewn on label with the Roebuck logo.
Going inside the purse is where I first encountered my problems with this product. The purse is closed by two magnetic popper closures which are placed in the corners of the purse. These have a nice strong hold and stay closed firmly. They are very easy to pull apart when you want to open the purse, and are drawn back together by the magnetic connection when you want to close it again. On one half of the purse there is a zipped section which you can use to hold your loose change. This is quite small and it can be difficult to get the coins in and out, as well as the fact that it doesn't really hold much change. Behind this is a large flap in which you could store receipts, stamps, whatever else you keep in your purse. On the other half of the purse there are four slots which are designed for holding bank cards or store cards. Unfortunately due to the placement of the poppers I find that my cards do not fit into the slots that were put there for them. Instead I store my cards in the flap behind the zipped section, and leave only my bank card in the card slots, although I have turned it so it is held vertically on its side so it fits into the space left to the side of the popper. I was really disappointed that the card slots didn't function properly, as I'm sure we all know you always end up with more cards than you need and it would have been nice if I could have organised them properly within the purse.
Above the card section there is a very neat feature - a small compact mirror! This is held in place by the fabric of the inner sections and you can see the mirror through the little 'frame' made by the window in the fabric. The mirror measures 2" x 1" and is excellent for when you're out and about on the go. It saves you from having to take an extra mirror with you for touching up make-up, and it just about the right size for when I want to check my eye make-up or brush my fringe back into place. Of course you won't be able to see your whole face in it but it does come in very handy. Again, the design of the purse causes a problem though. The zip from the pouch opposite is placed in the same area as the mirror. This means that when the purse is closed the metal zip pull rubs directly against the mirror. My mirror has some small scratches in this area, and it doesn't make sense to me that they have put these bits in a place where they will come into contact. A little more thought in the matter could have sorted the problem out. Behind the two sections I have already described is a massive section which is the same size as the purse itself. This is where I store my paper money notes, although I have to shove them really deep down to feel safe that they are in place properly, and you can only put thin pieces of paper in here as this will be folded in half when the purse is closed.
I do like the purse as I think it looks fantastic and has some neat features to it like the mirror. But as a practical purse that needs to suit my everyday requirements, it falls a bit flat. There are some basic errors in the design and I can't believe these flaws have just gone overlooked. The placement of the poppers, zip and mirror are my biggest issues. For the price, I am happy enough but I do wonder how long I will feel like putting up with these little niggles for. I think that the style of the item has been thought about more than the practicality of using it. The purse does look great, and the simple leather with Bettie's picture will make it appeal to a wide range of people. I think most women would like it, and especially anyone who is into the rockabilly, burlesque, or alternative fashion scenes. This would make a great gift for Bettie Page fans and is a reasonable item for the price. I don't think I'd buy one again knowing the issues I have with it now, but I think the slim size and nice appearance are the main benefits.