handbag reviews


Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch review

bottega veneta chain pouch review

Pictured: Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch in Fondant (dark brown) /

Ah, the Bottega Veneta Pouch, the bag that started the pouch trend several years ago; I finally broke down and purchased the chain version! The Pouch clutch is a hot trend which hasn’t faded from the streets since it began roughly three years ago. As the trend matures, it is starting to look like pouch clutches are moving from trend-of-the-moment, into classic IT bag territory. Of course, only time will tell.

What makes an IT bag move into classic territory? When sales are steady, people continue to wear their bag and not shelve it, and subtle variations come to market which are just as popular as the original versions; and those variations don’t slow down the original style’s sales. My proof? The Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch.

The Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch is a convertible version of the original pouch clutch. This version features a chunky chain which can be placed on the bag through loops on the side allowing it to be worn as a shoulder bag, carried on the forearm, or held by hand. The strap can also be attached on one side, giving it more of a clutch strap. Lastly, the chain can be detached and hidden inside the bag so that it can be worn as a classic pouch; although you can see one link on the side when it is worn this way. Love that!

I have wanted to invest in an Bottega Veneta bag for sometime now, but the price made me plan my purchase slowly; I also had to save up for it! I toggled between the chain pouch and the padded cassette bag; ultimately, I decided on the chain pouch for it’s longevity, sleek silhouette, and versatile chain.

Over the years, I have found sticking to neutral hues on a leather handbag is a safe bet. Sometimes trendy colors not only go out of fashion, they don’t keep their original vibrancy over time. For seasonal or trendy colors, I prefer to purchase a bag in moderate or affordable price ranges. So for my Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch, I went with dark brown. Although a traditional fall hue, dark brown can easily be worn throughout the year since it is neutral and classic. It is also a nice alternative to black. Since I own enough black bags, this was a good alternative hue, which reflects my personal style.

The Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch is a great bag to wear daily. It has just enough interior capacity for my daily purse essentials including sunglasses, wallet, keys, lipstick, and phone. It’s always nice to have everything fit, that is what makes a great daily bag!

I love that everything fits nicely inside my Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch bag. There is still a little room to spare for a granola bar, receipts, a pen, or other small object.

The pouch is really easy to get in and out of. The opening is a pull open/close which keeps the bag safe from pickpockets. I have found myself wearing it as a shoulder bag tucked under my arm; although it can be worn as a clutch, and on the forearm as well. The chain is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable on my shoulder; despite looking heavy and chunky. Love that!

The Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch is also easy to wear both casually and dressy. So far I have been pairing mine with jeans, but it will also look fabulous with skirts and dresses. Can’t wait to dress mine up!

Shop the Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch online:

I rate the Bottega Veneta Chain Pouch five out of five stars! I really love the lightweight and comfortable feel of the bag as well as the sleek look. The chain adds some fun and versatility to the bag as well. Love it!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

bottega veneta chain pouch review it bags 2021

Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag review

mansur gavriel pencil bag review

Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag review: bead bracelets / chain link bracelet / Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag handbag in Creme /

How cute is this new little bag from Mansur Gavriel! When it launched last month, I instantly fell in love. The only decision I needed to make was which color to invest in! Although the Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag comes in a variety of beautiful hues, the classic and neutral Creme color caught my eye.

I own a lot of black bags, so I decided to lighten up my neutral bag collection and go with this Creme hue. While it looked like ivory on my computer screen, it’s actually more of an egg color. It’s as if someone took ivory and added one drop of pale yellow to it. That is how I would describe Mansur Gavriel’s Creme in person.

This is a great color for the Pencil Bag since it plays well with seasonal colored shoes, bright prints, and any color combo ensemble. A crème bag will be easy to wear throughout the spring and summer seasons, as well as into the fall and winter seasons. Since crème isn’t a stark white, it will play well with autumn hues, and it can double as a winter white during the cold weather season. Love that!

What I like about the Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag is that it is a dressy bag. This cute little shoulder bag has a shiny leather finish which is not quite patent, but definitely not matte. It is reminiscent of the shiny leather finishes we saw throughout the 1990s on handbags. The finish makes this bag a little bit dressier than a day bag; although it can easily be worn during the day to weddings, parties, luncheons, and any occasion where you are dressing up. Due to the finish, the Pencil Bag can be worn at night too. While it’s not black tie, this bag can be worn to the theater, dinner, parties, and more!

What fits inside the Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag

What’s inside my Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag from top left: Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag / small wallet (in-store Louis Vuitton) / liquid lipstick (vegan!) / lipstick / phone case /

The Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag is small in size. I would even place it in the mini or nano category. It does not fit a full size wallet, so I switch to my small wallet when I wear it. Although it is quite small inside, I can still fit my iPhone, lipstick and keys in addition to my small wallet; this is all I really need. A small, travel size hand sanitizer will also fit inside.

One reason I love this bag for going to the theater, is the opera pocket! This is an easy way to store tickets as you head through the door of a theater. You can also use it to store receipts, or anything flat you need instant access to. The opera pocket is neatly sewn onto the back of the bag.

mansur gavriel pencil bag review opera pocket

Well, that’s it! If you are looking for a classic, dressy bag with a vintage vibe, the Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag is it! The silhouette offers a 1950s/1960s look while the leather finish reminds us all of the 1990s. Love that mix of style!

Shop the Mansur Gavriel Pencil Bag online:

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

mansur gavriel pencil bag dressy handbag

Prada Cleo review

prada cleo review in stock online

Pictured: gold chain cuff bracelet / bead bracelets / spring nail polish / Prada Cleo black size large /

The Prada Cleo is here! While not as hard to get as some other IT bags in recent years, the Prada Cleo does require a bit of searching, and a lot of patience, to obtain.

It took about one month for me to get my hands on my Prada Cleo. I initially ordered one in white, but after two weeks, the retailer cancelled my order stating they miscalculated stock levels. <sigh> Back to the web searches! I finally found one in the larger size, in black. While I initially wanted one in white, the cancellation made me rethink my choice, and I decided to go for a more 1990s color; black. After all, the Prada Cleo is inspired by Prada’s famous IT bags of the 1990s; and I am here for it!

If you lived through the 1990s like I did, you may remember it wasn’t patent leather we saw all over the place, it was abrasivato finishes, and spazzolato finishes, which dominated the streets. Patent leather was a bit too shiny. The 1990s were all about high gloss leather, without crossing into patent territory. Patent leather had it’s moment in the 1980s, so it had an old fashion vibe during the minimalist 1990s. Patent was thought of as a bit too flashy, but high gloss leather, THAT was modern and chic. Loved it!

prada cleo black large

Another trait of handbags in the 1990s was simple, black, and chic. It was all about bags with no fuss. We wore nylon totes, nylon shoulder bags, simple hobos, and simple top handle bags. The big brands were Prada, Kate Spade, Coach, and anything Gucci or Chanel. Shoulder straps were high and tight. We wore our bags under our arm pits, safe and snug. If they had a top handle, they were worn by hand. Carrying your bag on your forearm was an early 2000s thing; not in the 1990s, you would never carry your bag like that!

Since I was a young adult, just starting out, I could not afford the beautiful nylon and spazzolato finish bags Prada designed. They were the IT bags of the moment, but my budget was found on the clearance table in the back. I had a similar bag to the Prada Cleo, which had a strap that used to break all the time. Since I knew shoe repair, I was able to maintain my clearance table bag during the 1990s. Thankfully I had splurged on a Kate Spade nylon tote for work, so I wasn’t always a hot mess with my bag. haha

Now, let’s talk more about the Prada Cleo! This beautiful bag takes inspiration from Prada’s 1990s archives. It has a hobo silhouette with structured, spazzolato leather. The high gloss is very 1990s. The bag fits under the arm without violating the armpit. That’s a huge plus. Armpit bags really aren’t that comfortable, and they slip off your shoulder. The Prada Cleo sits nicely, and stays put, on the shoulder. That’s everything!

The lining of the bag is exactly as I remember it in the 1990s. I love the thick, fabric lining which has the signature Prada logo print. It’s sturdy and easy to clean; perfect for handbag lining. There is also one pocket inside. It does not zip, so it’s more of a phone pocket. It’s not ideal for loose coins. I prefer to use it for receipts or paper notes.

What fits inside Prada Cleo large

prada cleo interior prada cleo in stockwhat fits inside prada cleo large

Pictured: Prada Cleo black large / spring lipstick / iPhone case /

The Prada Cleo is lightweight, and fits all my purse essentials. There is still room inside for my sunglasses, and few snacks for my kids, as well as hand sanitizer, and a spare mask. The bag also has been good at keeping it’s shape when filled my things. This is important since the Prada Cleo isn’t your typical hobo shape; it has a modern twist.

Did you notice the back of the Prada Cleo is longer that the front? This gives the bag a three-dimensional vibe which is geometric and modern. It definitely elevates the Prada Cleo from a 1990s clone, to a 2021 IT bag. Love that!

Since the Prada Cleo sits snugly under the arm, it is pretty safe from pickpockets. That being said, there is a nice magnetic closure to keep the bag closed. I have never had anything fall out of the bag. It’s pretty secure.

The Prada Cleo is a great everyday bag. It’s simple and chic. It pairs well with casual denim looks as well as dressy outfits with skirts and dresses. The simple yet modern silhouette also lends well to staying power. This bag won’t be easily dated as time goes on. I can see it being worn for several years. That being said, the spazzolato finish is not as sturdy as pebble leather, so don’t lay it down on concrete or throw it around; you’ll scratch it. Treat it nicely, and your Cleo should last for many years, and keep it’s nice, high gloss finish as scratch-free as possible.

Shop the Prada Cleo online:

Don’t worry if the Prada Cleo you want is sold out. You can pre-order one here! There are also three different sizes to choose from. The small size has a flap closure, the medium and large look like mine. I purchased the large which isn’t much bigger than the medium; it’s a slight difference which I wanted since my kids always give me things to hold. haha

What do you think of the Prada Cleo? Do you love it? It’s the hottest IT bag of 2021, so when you get your hands on one, snap it up!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO
Cathy

prada cleo in stock review