Michael Kors Jet Set Travel Tote in saffiano leather - (also in black, red, blue and more)
Happy Monday! Just wanted to share a few quick reviews of sale handbags and boots I tried on (as a reminder, prices go back up August 4th). I'm always getting questions on where to find stylish work bags that can fit a laptop and more. I've heard many good things about Michael Kors' durable saffiano leather (a coated leather with almost a vinyl feel, intended to be more scratch and water resistant) and the price points are quite a bit less than Prada and the like.
This Jet Set travel tote was my favorite out of all sale items tried on. It's roomy inside, but the measurements are just 12" wide x 11" high, so it doesn't look disproportionate on a shorter frame even with flats on. Since the base is narrower than the top opening, this will probably only fit smaller laptops unless you put it in vertically. There's zippered compartments inside, and a handy outer compartment for those items you need to keep on easy access. The straps fit comfortably over the shoulder, plus are adjustable (always a plus for ladies of various heights!). I prefer the tote without the large gold medallion which is thankfully removable. I'm also not a fan of the logo jacquard lining, but that's nitpicking. This bag comes in a luggage brown (shown), red, black, bright blue, pink, and gray, so check the item page for restocks if interested. This was a serious contender for me in either black or luggage, but in the end I didn't purchase as I already have a black Longchamp and a brown Prada saffiano.
Next up, I had noticed these Rockport boots online for their narrower than usual calf measurement, but thought the shaft height would be way too tall. I tried them on and were pleasantly surprised by a few factors. The calf area grazed my legs (my calf measurement is about 12") and the suede material could stretch to fit an inch or two wider in that area. The low wedge was barely noticeable, and the inner footbed was so darn comfortable. I noticed later that these boots use Adidas technology inside which probably explains why they felt like well cushioned running shoes. Sizing-wise, my usual sz 5 was a good fit.
Rockport "Total Motion" suede wedge boot (also in wide calf), sz 5 - 11
The issues with these boots, however, lies in the ankle area as well as shaft height for me. Although the calves fit, the ankles were roomy and resulted in a little bunchiness as you can see above. Not sure if this would be better with thicker socks on. Also I am definitely on the shorter end of the spectrum at under 5 feet tall, and these hit awkwardly right at my knee caps (although much better than I had expected). For anyone with longer calves, or even an inch taller, this shouldn't be an issue. I did not get these for those two reasons, but would recommend as a comfortable, everyday boot for those who can fill the ankle part more.
Back to the work bag department - Dooney & Bourke doesn't get too much attention in the handbag world, but I loved their full leather, vintage styles back before the onslaught of candy colored vinyl logo bags in my high school days. It seems they've now reverted back to their core offering of quality leather items. This nubuck leather tote is classic and could easily fit a laptop, with marginally bigger measurements (13"w x 12" height) than the MK shown above. suede tote. I liked the material with the reinforced bottom and protective feet, however want to note the shoulder strap was unfortunately not adjustable and the weight of the leather felt heavy for me personally.
Dooney & Bourke Nubuck Leather Tote (3 colors)
I went looking for this Rebecca Minkoff work-friendly tote to review but there were none to be found at my local stores. The moto-inspired design could be a good "conservative" option for Minkoff fans who want more than a plain tote. The M.A.B. tote comes in two sizes - the petite-friendly medium which is 14" across and the regular which is 16" across.
Rebecca Minkoff M.A.B. totes (several colors in med vs. reg sizes, sale price starts at $177)This handbag below is a Nordstrom exclusive from Kate Spade. At 14.5" width x 10" height it's more rectangular in shape, and I would say this is probably the widest I'd go for someone my height to still look in-balance. The leather was nice and soft, but unfortunately the overall bag just didn't do anything for me. A reviewer also made a good point that the bag does not have protective metal feet, so the soft leather could easily get scuffed up.
Kate Spade Branton Square - Healy tote (3 colors)
Lastly, this was also a Nordstrom exclusive from the same collection, but I thought the design and satchel shape were cuter than the one above. The shorter handles looked better proportioned, and the adjustable strap could be worn cross-body or just on the shoulder. Unfortunately if you need to carry any sort of laptop, it probably won't fit here. Interior is one large zipped compartment in the center and two side snap compartments. Reviewers were positive but also lamented the lack of protective feet here...not sure why all designer bag makers don't just include that feature!
Kate Spade Branton - Mills satchel (4 colors)