“ Brand: Harrods / Type: Shoulder Bag „
During a trip to London recently I just had to go and have a look at Harrods, I wasn't really intending to buy anything apart from a couple of Harrods teddy bears as presents for the kids but when my daughter spotted a display of more-affordable-than-the-rest-of-them handbags we decided to have a mooch. I eventually came away with this beautiful Adara shoulder bag, which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it - replacing it on it's hanger and picking it back up again several times before deciding to have a splurge and buy the bag!
It's absolutely stunning, the photograph just does not do this handbag justice. It has a gorgeous shine to it which looks bright and cheerful rather than tacky (as some shiny bags can), the embossed crocodile effect which covers the bag is beautifully done with the patterning being nice and chaotic which gives it a fantastic appearance - I hate it when mock-animal print/embossing is too regimented as to me it can appear tacky and badly thought out. This design is spot on in my opinion, fashionable and highly feminine but without looking like the designer (and by default, me) has tried too hard! As this came from the Harrods gift department it has a discreet silvered plaque with the Harrods logo on the front, and also a attractive silvered and black Harrods 'tag' (which looks like a mini luggage label) hanging from one of the straps - this can be taken off if you don't like it, I've kept mine on as for me it adds to the visual appeal of the bag but I'm sure a lot won't be of the same opinion.
The bag is pretty large and holds all the bits and pieces I need to carry on a daily basis, it's not grotesquely over-sized (as modeled by most WAGs) but a little larger than average with plenty of room for my purse, Kindle, phone and all the odds and sods I have to cart around for the kids when we pop out for a few hours. There's a roomy zipped pocket inside which is great for the stuff that usually falls to the bottom of my bag so at least with this bag I don't need to empty it out each time I need to find my lip balm or comb! At the opposite side of the interior is a small pocket for holding my phone, although annoyingly this doesn't have any means of being fastened so unless my bag is completely upright all the time the phone sometimes just slides out of this pocket and ends up inside the main body of the bag anyway.
I'm a little disappointed with the lining; it looks absolutely fantastic in a hot pink shade, but on touching the fabric it has a rough almost paper-like feel instead of the soft cotton lining I was expecting from the appearance alone. This isn't a big deal I suppose, but it does cheapen the overall handbag experience for me and I can't understand why Harrods have made such a classically styled bag and then spoiled it with such a poor lining fabric? The lining is well stitched and tough feeling, I can't see it ripping any time soon and it follows the contours of the bag beautifully so there's no sagging or loose folds of fabric to annoy me each time I delve into my bag.
The straps are perfect in my opinion. This bag is designed to be worn on the shoulder and the length of the non-adjustable straps are ideal for this, but aren't too long to prevent me from carrying it in my hand or across my forearm if I'm not in the mood for keeping the bag in position on my narrow shoulders. To be fair, the wide straps on the Adara bag do help it to stay in place when I wear it on my shoulders but the fact that the bag doesn't have a completely secure closure means I often feel a bit vulnerable when wearing it in this way if I'm in a crowded area. The bag closes by means of a single large press stud inside the bag, this pulls the top of the bag inwards brilliantly but still leaves a gap at either end of the opening - since losing my purse in the supermarket a couple of years ago I'm a bit nervous of bags which don't close fully, and the overall beautiful design of this one is spoiled slightly for me by this lack of complete security.
I love the two completely open pockets at either end of the bag and find them incredibly useful for dropping a lipstick or strip of painkillers in, they don't sag outwards as has happened with some of my other handbags which have a similar design and stretch nicely with the bag if I'm carrying bulkier items than usual. Again, these pockets are completely open with no fastenings whatsoever so I urge you not to think of them as the perfect place for your phone or iPod (regardless of the fact that they're the ideal size) because anything stored in these pockets could very easily fall out or be stolen.
The bottom of the bag is made up of a flat rigid panel and this is great as it means if I'm out for a meal or whatever I can stand the bag upright at my feet (or on the table, depending on the sort of place we're going to!) without it falling over and disturbing all the contents. It feels to be pretty reinforced at the base so I'm not worried about the PU finish splitting or scuffing (I'm very careful with my bags), this is the case with the entire body of the bag actually and I have a feeling it's going to last me for a very long time.
The measurements of the bag (as taken from the Harrods website) are 24cm (height) x 34cm (length) x 14cm (depth). The bag is one of those which will expand as you add more stuff to it, leading Mark to give it the moniker of my 'Mary Poppins bag' after I handed him a hardback book the other day which looked like it definitely wouldn't fit in an average shoulder bag but squeezed into this one with room to spare!
Overall I highly recommend this shoulder bag. Not only does it have the kudos of being from Harrods (beating a green and gold carrier bag hands down!) but it's a fantastic roomy handbag which has proved to be ideal for me and is also a lovely reminder of a fabulous weekend in the Capital. It cost me £40 in store, but blimping at the Harrods website just now I can see it has been reduced to £32 with a couple of matching purses available to compliment the design of the bag.