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A handbag not fit for purpose
River Island Oversized Cross Body Bag
Member Name: PerfectPeaches
River Island Oversized Cross Body Bag
Advantages: Decent in size
Disadvantages: Poor quality
Despite being a person who has a closet full of shoes (that really is no exaggeration!) I am not overly fussed on handbags. Although I own quite a few I don't go out of my way to buy a new bag like I do with shoes. Generally most of my bags come via gifts whether for my birthday or at Christmas which I am more than grateful for! Last Christmas my mother in law opted to buy me a bag (together with a huge gift bag of toiletries!) which was definitely gratefully received - she did also buy the same bag for her other daughter in law!
The bag in question is by River Island and is known as the Oversized Cross Body Messenger Bag. I have the black version which for me is a great colour for a handbag. My bags have to withstand a child, horses, dogs, being slung in my car so having a pale colour bag for everyday use is sometimes not the best option and lets face it black tends to go with everything. The Oversized Cross Body Messenger Bag is still available at River Island and although I haven't seen it in store recently it is still currently available on their website (Aug 2012) for quite a reasonable price of £28.00.
Messenger bags have been around for years but within the last few years they have become quite 'trendy' and most high street and designer stores have got them on the shelves. Messenger bags are ideal for those that like to carry a lot around as there is just so much room and they tend to have a pretty simplistic design so you can find what you need to without an issue, even in the deepest darkest parts of your bag! My mother in law certainly played safe with choosing this bag as she certainly knows I like to carry everything around with me - when you have a child you don't have much choice!
The Oversized Cross Body Messenger Bag is made completely out of 100% polyurethane which is just a cheap alternative to faux leather and of course leather but then for the price of £28.00 I wouldn't expect the bag to be made of leather. The material is incredibly soft and supple but definitely has a slight cheapness to it and I have a feeling that with plenty of wear the material would start to split in places. However, being made of polyurethane means that it is incredibly lightweight, shower resistant and can be cleaned easily with a damp cloth which for me is perfectly fine considering my bags do get abused somewhat.
The overall size of the bag is 43cm (w) by 41cm (h) which certainly makes it a decent sized handbag especially for those women like me who like to carry a lot around with them. The lining inside is also black in colour so no extravagance given with the lining which is a bit of a shame. On the inside of the bag there is the usual inside zip pocket which is ideal for keeping small items such as a lip gloss, pen etc but that is it, there are no other pockets meaning you literally have the entire bag to keep stuff (and loose stuff) rather than having millions of pockets to have to delve in. The bag is done up at the top by a zip to keep your belongings secure.
The front of the bag is where the most detailing is. The front of the bag does feature another pocket which is fastened with a brass coloured zip. Again, this pocket although not overly large does have enough room to keep a few small items in. Around the top and the bottom of the front of the bag there is brass zip detailing - it looks almost as if someone has taken a zip used the two halves and attached them around the bag to make it look as if the front of the bag can be zipped up - if that makes sense! To me the zip detailing is fine but doesn't do anything aesthetically for me. There is also a small brass plaque with the River Island logo on at the front of the bag.
The bag has a large black adjustable handle which is attached via two brass coloured metal rings at either side of the bag. It is adjustable by a buckle and eyelet holes so depending on how low you want it to be you can adjust it accordingly. The bag is of course designed to be worn over your shoulder and the strap to lay across your body so the bag hangs at the back. I do find though that if you've got quite a lot in your bag that this quite slim strap compared to the size of the bag can actually dig into your shoulder and vice versa, if the bag is light the strap doesn't dig in. Personally, I'd like the strap a little wider just to be a bit more comfortable.
I have now had this bag for nearly 9 months and although it was gratefully received I would have expected better quality from River Island simply because I have and do own a few of their items (including another handbag and a few purses) all of which have been decent quality. The bag was used a lot to begin with and I noticed that about 5 months in threads started to appear on the strap and to no surprise around the corners of the back the material had started to split and look a bit worn. Another thing I also noticed was that the metal rings at the side of the bag which is where the strap is connected to had actually started to pull away or tear from the main bag itself simply because of general wear and tear and probably because I have carried too much.
Now I don't carry an excessive amount of items, certainly not enough to label a handbag heavy but I wasn't expecting to have the metal rings that have the strap attached to actually start coming away from the handbag itself and it was at this point I stopped using the handbag altogether as I knew one day the rings would come off deeming the bag useless as it cannot be worn with no strap! Apart from that the bag had started to get a bit tatty which was a shame as the size of the bag was incredibly useful.
Now for £28.00 I shouldn't expect it to stay perfect but I'd expect it to still be useable after 6 months! May be I just over used my bag which is why it is no longer useable but I've had and still have other bags which have lasted far longer and are still going strong including a Primark bag I bought for £3.00 in a sale about two years ago! Overall, I really did like this bag and may be if you don't carry around everything and anything your bag will last you a lot longer but for me it just didn't live up to what I need which is a shame as normally River Island bags are quite decent. Overall, 2 stars for me. Giving 2 stars simply because of its decent size and that the fabric used is lightweight and wipe proof.
~ Useful Information ~
Brand: River Island
Availability: River Island only
Product No: 620944
Summary: A decent sized bag which isn't well made
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