H&M coat (3 colors - wearing sz 2), Talbots sweater c/o, thrifted blouse
I’m always on the lookout for everyday bags to review across a variety of price points. For those seeking structured yet minimalistic, business-friendly leather bags < $500, I love the tote or bucket bag options from Mansur Gavriel. The brand offers "simple, elegant" leather goods designed in NYC and made in Italy. Pictured here is their small leather tote in black with royal blue interior.
I first heard about this brand last summer when founders Rachel and Floriana (two friends from LA and Berlin who met by chance and started designing – how neat is that?) reached out. They sent me this tote from their spring line and I'm already hooked. The current collection comes in three exterior color choices - black, cammello (medium tan), or brandy (rich medium brown), with interiors in either a smooth, colorful resin coating or raw hide.
Leather and lining: The vegetable-tanned leather arrives smooth and on the stiffer side, and develops a weathered look with increased wear. The resin interior coating is also very smooth. A note from their website: "Italian vegetable tanned leather is a classic leather that shows its wear beautifully over time. This leather will not remain pristine and sleek. It is completely natrual, meaning it is naked - with no synthetic top finishes. The color will darken, the surface will change, and exposure to water will create spots. This patina created by daily wear-and-tear will fade and evolve over time."
This type of leather isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I'm a fan just as I am with vintage Coach leathers and LV vachetta leather. You can see my bag surface already starting to develop character in the photo above.
Sizing: Based on the measurements I was worried the small tote would be too wide, but it turned out to be very petite-friendly in size as well as lightweight. I now feel even the large size would not look terribly overwhelming on someone my height (see it on Blair). The small fits my 14" work laptop, snacks, a pair of flats, makeup bag and more. I used to be less receptive to open, zipper-less totes, but realized it's less of an issue with a removable pouch for holding valuables. I wear the straps both hand-held and over the shoulder, but will warn that the strap drop length of the small size tote may not fit comfortably so for everyone.
Measurements of S tote (comes with zippered pouch): 16.5" length, 9.5" height, 4" depth. I realized this tote sounds wider than it looks because there are no side panels - only a front and back panel which the measurements are taken off of. The visual width is actually only 13" across. Strap drop is 7.5." Removable zip pouch is 8" x 5.5."
On my wishlist: soft pink mini bucket bag from Fall 2014 collection (image source):
For more info on color options and where to order, Fashionista has an informative post here.Additional details on this H&M coat: fully lined, two functional side pockets. Mostly straight cut with an ever so slight cocoon shape. Concealed zipper front closure with one snap button at the top collar.
Measurements of a size 2 - 13" across shoulders including slight padding, 16" armpit to armpit, 18.5" across bottom, 31.5" total length, 23.5" sleeve length, 5.5" sleeve width.
Material content - 63% poly, 32% viscose, 5% elastane.