Thursday, July 30, 2015

My First Louis Vuitton

In my seemingly neverending quest to find the perfect new purse I fell for one that was to be my first item from Louis Vuitton: The LV Zippy Wallet in Vernis Amarante. I actually probably fell in love with the colour first: it's a deep, multitonal burgundy, almost like a metallic paint on a car. 


As I am trying to organise my life a bit more, I have now intriduced a Filofax (yes, paper, pen, all that) and thus have more stuff in my bag. The Zippy is therefore now a bit big for me, partially because I don't have the space in my bag anymore, partially because I have moved out many of the cards my Prada continental purse used to have to hold for me.  


Regardless, I still love this one and thought I'd give you a quick overview:



By the way: I have now had a look and I know that 'amarante" is a plant/flower and has absolutely nothing to do with cherry. *holds up foreigner card*

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Outfit Roundup - Still Waiting for Summer

I am desperately holding on to the idea of summer - even if that means throwing a cashmere cardigan over my summer dress or wearing a scarf all day...


 Dress & Cardigan: Boden
Trainers: Converse


Jumper: Boden
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Clarks
Scarf: C&A (Germany)

Top: Mango
Jean & Scarf: H&M
Trainers: Converse

Monday, July 27, 2015

Covet Monday - Puddles of Oooooh

Sometimes I fancy chocolate and just want to scoff a whole bar of Kinderschokolade. Or Milka. Or Galaxy. Never Cadbury though.

But sometimes I fancy something a bit more special and indulgent. I prefer the classic flavours and don't usually go for massively adventurous combination and probably never would have tried this one, had I not been given a free sample: 


image: Hotel Chocolat


The texture is creamy without being cloying. The caramel sweet but not sickeningly so. The salt adds another dimension and actually brings out the caramel and milk chocolate flavour even more. 

Sometimes I sit there and just have them melt on my tongue very slowly. Sometimes I chew my way through half a bag within a few minutes. Seriously yummy.

What's your favourite chocolate?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Buying Pre-Loved Mulberry on Facebook

If you dipped your toes into the pre-loved Mulberry waters by buying off one the trusted sellers I recommend and you want to cast your net a bit wider you might want to consider checking out the relevant Facebook Groups or Pages.

You might have come across local selling pages and Facebook groups that are focusing on one particular brand, are really the next level of this. In this case her they are a home for Mulberry-obsessedloving members who look to buy, sell or swap their bags and accessories.

As with all pre-loved purchases, it is up to you to make sure you buy the genuine article, i.e. ask for additional photos and get the bag authenticated if you feel unsure. However, the sites I am listing below are moderated by some lovely admins who keep an eye out for anything that shouldn't be there and members purposely listing fakes are banned. They also tend to stipulate that you pay via PayPal, which gives you buyer's protection, should you receive an item that's not genuine. Lastly, these pages offer space to ask questions, lust over other members' collections and reveal your latest purchase. 

Mulberry Buy and Sell (formerly Love Mulberry? Buy, Sell and pass it on)

Mulberry - New & Preloved - Buy, Swap & Sell 

Exclusively Mulberry

Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Celine, Hermes etc., Buy and Sell

There are also some Facebook pages from individual sellers, the following just being some examples that I am aware of. Check the individual's Ts & Cs in re. to returns etc and double check authenticity for your own piece of mind. 

Papillonkia Ltd 
Aqila's Facebook shop. A great place to find her lovely bags and accessories for 11% less than on her eBay shop (avoiding the eBay fees) and to have a chat with the lady herself. Just pop her a message if you're looking for that elusive bag or have any questions. Don't forget that she now also has her stand-alone online shop Papillonkia.

Addicted To Handbags
Run by Jade, you will find great pre-loved Mulberry at very reasonably prices. Fab if you're on a budget. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No Angel Either - Prada Continental Purse

Not a Mulberry?! 

Yep, one of my longest serving leather items is my Prada Continental Purse. This is a really quick run through of what I could fit in it before I moved out and into my newly acquired Mulberry French Purse. Sorry, I am becoming rather predictable...




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Last of the Summer Sales - Boden


The summer sales have been going on for so long that by now you'd expect to be scraping the fashion barrel for any remaining items that are not only bargains but also actually wearable. I am trying to be really good as I think I keep creating a "need" where there truly is only a faint want but I still allowed myself a browse on one of my favourite online shops: Boden.

I generally buy knitwear, dresses and skirts at Boden and what I love is that they keep re-including certain favourite styles from season to season. Over the years I have now bought a few of those in different colours or prints. Boden's florals and other patterns were absolutely  gorgeous this spring/summer season but I couldn't justify buying lots of dresses and skirts - so now might be the time, especially with our summer feeling more like spring.

Earlier in the year, I already purchased the Eliza Tunic Dress in this Navy Leafy Trellis and have worn it lots. 










 
I also loved it in Lavender Grey Botanical but stuck to getting just the one. It's now down from £99 to £59.40, so I might just take the plunge.







Shortly after buying the dress, I got the Modern Pencil Skirt in the same pattern and as it fitted me so well I also bought it in Red Graphic Geo and am now tempted by the Green version of that colourway. That one is now down from £59 to £41.30 (or if you'd like the Red version, that's down to £29.50!).









The item I have been coming back for every season is the Cropped Cashmere Cardigan. Being petite, the cut is ideal for me as it ends above the hips and won't interfere with the waistline of a dress or a jutting out/voluminous skirt. The fact that it comes in lots of different colours, usually updated every season, just means you can pick one each season. They do machine wash, though I found they tend to shrink a fair bit after a while (even if you stretch them carfefully after washing), so after 2 years I bought another black one as my "older" one (left) black one is now *very* cropped and only fits over sleeveless topss. Normally selling for £89, the sale price dropped (depending on colour) to £44.50 - £71.20.
   
Are you still shopping the sales? And if so, what have you bought?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Covet Monday - Cara on Location

Ok, so I really hadn't planned on doing *another* covet post on handbags after last Monday's. Certainly not on Mulberry.

But being on holiday - and having a babysitter available (thanks mum & dad) - meant not only the possibility of having a play with  the newly landed Roxette (and to decide on size and leather) but also to check out the not before visited Mulberry store in Frankfurt.


Upon entering, I was immediately welcomed and offered help but then happily left to browse. A few minutes later the lovely sales assistant, who had greeted me initially, came back and cooed over my cabbage green Mini Aexa, which kicked off a long conversation about classic pieces and other bags in my collection. Both happy to chat, we talked about old and new bags and she was either a very good actress or clearly excited to talk to somebody who is slightly Mulberry-obsessed.


Meanwhile, I had a look at all Roxettes on offer: a blue printed small one and black and oak regular-sized. I dismissed the regular one straight away: just too big. I liked the shape and the cross-body-ness of the small one but wasn't as impressed with the leather as I thought I'd be

 The print on the blue wasn't as deep/pronounced as I would have hoped and the oak (Calfskin) was much more similar to the pebbled oak of Effie rather than the classic oak (Natural Leather) I have seen on Bayswater or Cara. I also slightly struggled with the buckle opening. All together a bit of a "Meh"-moment after all the build-up.







I totally surprised myself though by falling head over heels with a bag I had previously dismissed: the Cara. Specifically the Mini Cara ticked a lot of boxes:


  • Dinky enough for my small frame yet probably just as roomy as my Ledbury as she is quite high. 
  • Flexible carry options and with a bit of tinkering suitable for cross-body wearing.
  • Perfect in finish: I would love to buy a NVT Oak bag from new and see her age. :)
  
So with a price tag of £795 she is also much more affordable than the Roxette (£995 for small oak) and would make perfect use of the voucher I have left to spend.







In re. to the store:

Setup:  

Like all Mulberry stores, it was light and airy, and even though it is quite "deep" and could have easily ended up being dark at the far end, it never felt that way. Fashion is placed at the end of the shop with a comfortable lounge-type area, creating a nice flow & resting point. Plenty of space to wander around and lots of class-topped cabinets afford space to have a play with the goods on show.

Stock: 


Good choice overall with core styles available in core and seasonal colours. 


Noteworthy for myself was also the small Jamie: I was surprisingly impressed by the conversion between short (shoulder) and long (cross body) strap and thought the size and was great. Closure with a non-fuss zip was a bonus.


A couple of exclusives, such as the Aligator printed Lily. (Beautiful and shiny, though a smidge out of my budget at over €12k)




 



Sales Assistants: I really can't praise them enough. They were welcoming and attentive and found just the right balance of giving you attention but leaving you to browse. I was offered a drink after a few minutes and encouraged to have a play with whichever bag I wanted. I also saw them take a couple of items outside for customers trying to decide on colour, to see the finish in daylight/sunshine. (Stark contrast: at Louis Vuitton I was stared down and followed around by security. I reckon, they'd have body checked me, had I asked to see an item right outside the store door. Did I look that dodgy?!)


Location:
The location is, predictably, on Frankfurt's high-end street Goethestrasse, with Louis Vuitton, CHANEL, Burberry and the likes nearby. Parking is available either right outside (if you are lucky) or in the Goetheplatz underground carpark.

 


I really should have taken lots more pictures of the store but feel I can now justify another visit soon. :)

So after all that spiel just to summarise - this week's covetable item is the Mulberry Mini Cara in Oak Natural Leather. And she might actually be mine soon. Watch this space!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Unicorn Satchel

I actually did this video review some time ago and then completely forgot to write up a blog post - so here it is now.

Another one of these fairly rare ones, Mulberry's Postman's Lock Satchel features the timeless styling that makes you wonder why they ever dropped the design. I'd say the PLS is like a slightly more grown up, less fussy and less rock'n'roll Lexie. Very pretty but not overly girly, the shape is pretty practical too. Oh, and you have a long (=cross-body!) strap in there too. :)








Wednesday, July 15, 2015

More Outfits - Sporty and Girly

I shall try and do a weekly post of this, so should you be interested, do pop by every Wednesday when you can see (some of) my last week's outfits. If you want to be really up to date (not that my clothes are) follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, where I tend to post what I wear on the day.  



 Top: Warehouse
Leather Skirt: Mango
Trainers: Converse
Necklace: Accessorize


 Top & Skirt: Zara
Cardigan: Boden
Trainers: Converse
Necklace: Matalan

 Dress & Shoes: Zara
Cardigan: Boden
Necklace: Topshop

 Dress: Zara
Cardigan: Boden
Leather Jacket: Topshop
Trainers: Converse

Top: Topshop
Cardigan: Mango
Skirt: Next
Shoes: Zara
Necklace: Topshop

Monday, July 13, 2015

Motivation Monday - She's Got The Look

Hotel Chocolate Salted Caramel Puddles.
A massage.
Boden's Cropped Cashmere Cardigans.

All things that I'd classify as little (or big) luxuries.

Even if you love your job, Monday mornings can be hard. So what better motivation than reminding yourself what you could do with some of your hard-earned cash. I am therefore introducing "Motivation Monday", where I shall feature things on my wish dream list.

And I'm starting with a pretty big ticket item: the recently launched Mulberry Roxette. Despite carrying the name of a rather successful, yet slightly overstyled early 90s Swedish band (for those who've never heard of them:  that's what the title of this article eludes to), the bag concerned is a rather unfussy and contemporary take on Mulberry's Roxanne. For me the main attraction lies in how her shape showcases the leather and I am currently swaying between oak (can you imagine how beautiful that would age?!) and midnight blue croc calfskin. I need to have a proper look at her in a shop (Spinningfields, here I come).

I am also undecided between sizes. The small one comes with that oh-so-practical long strap. (You know how I feel about being able to carry my bag cross-body.) But the regular sized one might give me more versatility.

The only thing that I have slight "concerns" about is the closure. This seems to be a small belt buckle, which you actually have to undo. Not sure I will want to bother with that much faff. 

The price tag of £995/£1100 (oak/croc) for small and £1100/£1200 for regular is enough reason to get this right. Or to wait for the sale.

What do you think?







Sunday, July 12, 2015

Buying Pre-Loved (Mulberry and Other) Designer Bags

 
In a bid to making buying used/preloved Mulberry (and other Designer) bags easier and less daunting I am publishing a series of posts with lots of hints and tips - find them all under "what I learned". 

First part of the "series":  Trusted Sellers of Pre-loved Mulberry...or new at pre-loved prices

These are sellers of pre-loved, near-new or new Mulberry (and other designer) bags and accessories where you can be assured of authenticity. So no scary eBay bidding with hoping that what you receive is a) authentic and b) as described. As they are business sellers (and not, as most on eBay, private), they offer returns, so should a bag not suit, you can return it!


Naughtipidgins Authentic Bags

Also known as "The Nest", "NPN"

Shian who runs this site is fantastically helpful and knowledgeable about Mulberry bags and accessories. She has a real passion for beautiful bags, her photographs and description are always gorgeous yet never omit any flaws the bag might have. She truly lives by the shop's motto "Only Authentic. Only Lovely. Only Ever Honestly Described"

When I purchased my Nightshade Blue Heritage Bayswater from her, she was fantastic in dealing with my queries re. the leather care etc. The bag was securely and beautifully wrapped. It was like opening a birthday present! Oh, and she always includes a NPN Passport, which acts as a certificate of authenticity. I also acquired a black printed Ledbury form her and did a quick video on the unboxing, should you be curious.

Shian also offers a great commissioning service, that would typically allow you to receive 75% of your sold item'sselling price . Considering eBay takes 10% commission and PayPal a 3.4% fee, this is a great option. You can also ask for a quote to have your bag bought outright from Shian though you will achieve less than selling it through commissioning.

Her site has a fab section on different leathers and their care, which is a great point of reference for any information re. this.

Shian does close the Nest for school holidays so do keep an eye on the dates publicised on her site. You can keep browsing during closure but will only be able to purchase when she re-opens. 


What's your favourite bag?
That's such a difficult question to answer and I don't actually think I can choose just one bag. Different occasions call for different bags and there isn't one single bag that can do it all. I'd still say the  2.55 Chanel 10" flap is my favorite style though... still the unbeatable classic of all time.

What's your favourite Mulberry?
Mulberry Bayswater in oak darwin with older style glossy postmans lock plate - smart everyday bag perfect for work, play or anything life can throw at you.


Papillonika Ltd 

Also known as "Aqila" ;)

Aqila who has recenly launched this beautiful webshop is another lovely and incredibly helpful lady. She sells mainly new or as new and very lightly used bags, all at a fraction of the new price and the bags and purses are sourced from authorised retailers. Find out more about her in my series of interviews with her.

What's your favourite bag?
Favourite bag at the moment is my Prada crossbody double zip tote in Nude with my 7 year old daughters hand made pom pom on!!! 

What's your favourite Mulberry?
Favourite Mulberry is definately the Del Rey and I don't know why Mulberry has discontinued this...xx  


Labels most Wanted

Also known as "LMW" 

Louise offers pre-loved bags and accessories in new/as new or excellent condition for a wide range of designer brands. She also offers a commission selling service, fees again around 25%, so well worth considering before you bother hitting eBay.

What's your favourite bag? 
Considering what I do for a living, I am actually not into bags which is probably just as well as I would want to keep them all! I use one bag at a time and then change before the outgoing one starts to show wear, so  whatever bag I am using at the time would be my favourite!
 

What's your favourite Mulberry? 
I would have to say the classic Mulberry oak Bayswater, as that is always a great seller!

All ladies above are, from my experience, very knowledgeable and approachable, so do not hesitate to get in touch with them if you have any queries. They will also be happy to pop your name on a waiting list if you're after a style that's hard to come by. 

More on buying pre-loved Mulberry in my guide on buying off Facebook groups!

Where do you shop for your pre-loved designer bags? Do you chance it on eBay? Or do you have a trusted shop you keep going back to time and time again? Do let me know! :)

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Mulberry Roxanne - No Red Light Required

Don't tell my Alexa but I think Mulberry's most Rock'n'Roll bag is the Roxanne. The leather biker leather jacket of all bags. If she had a drink it would be a Jack Daniels & Coke. And you definitely wouldn't want to mess with her. Anyway, I digress slightly but I do have a point. 

Chunky, solid, no unnecessary frilly bits, her style is unapologetically rustic, yet she possesses that certain kind of je ne sais quoi that exudes confidence and elegance, all with a bit of comfort thrown in.

If you're after a bag that is robust and versatile, she could just be the girl for you. A real investment piece, whose leather will only get more beautiful with use and age - especially if you manage to find one in Darwin.

The only downside I could find is the weight, but with a wide strap or if you carry her in your hand, not really an issue. And because I don't want to finish on a downer - guess whose Samorga fits perfectly? ;)

Factfile:
Width 35cm, Height 22cm, Depth 18cm
1 inside zip pocket 

2 outside pockets




Monday, July 06, 2015

What I Wore - Roundup

Somebody asked me why I stopped doing outfit posts. Actually, I am still doing them. I just haven't published them on here but only via my Instagram, Facebook or Twitter accounts.

So I thought, I'll do a quick roundup of the last few and try to do a weekly one going forward.


Top: Boden
Skirt & necklace: Warehouse
Boots: Zara


Dress: Boden
Necklace: Marni at H&M
Boots: Something Italian
Boy: Own

Top: Topshop
Skirt: Boden
Boots: Zara

Dress: Sisley

Jeans & Top: H&M
Cardigan: Boden
Trainers: Converse

Dress: H&M
Necklace: Marni at H&M

Top: Zara
Cardigan: H&M
Skirt: All Saints
 Top & Skirt: Zara
Trainers: Converse
Top: Warehouse
Skirt: Zara
Trainers: Converse
 Top: Tesco
Skirt (well hidden): All Saints
Belt: Mulberry

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Room for a Few (I'm sorry, I'll stop soon)

So you might have watched my attempt at passing off my Alexa as a baby bag. What better way to justify a Mulberry purchase with "it's for the baby, really"?! If you did watch it, you might remember that it was a rather cramped affair and whereas you might get away with using a regular sized Alexa to lug around your baby paraphernalia, it won't be big enough to serve as a baby bag. So when I recently got my hands on an oversized version, I couldn't wait to try...







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