My quest to find a new purse seems to have been never ending. When I made the decision to buy a new purse for my birthday last October I thought it would be quite a simple process. To be fair I had a long list of requirements: it had to be compact, it had to be in pebble leather, it had to have enough room for all my cards and coins, the interior had to be a different colour (oxblood) to the exterior (navy) and finally it had to be in my price range.
So with such a long check list it comes as no surprise that I couldn’t find ‘the one’ and so by November I had given up and bought a new handbag in the Black Friday sale instead…but then in January I got a bonus for long service at work and as I still needed a small purse the hunt was back on, and this time I was more determined than ever. In total I spent over four months looking for the perfect purse by which point even I was sick of looking as I couldn’t find anything that met all my criteria. So drastic action was called for… I would have to compromise!
After discounting brands like Coach – not the right leather or compact enough, Chanel – too expensive, Louis Vuitton – not the right leather, too large and too expensive, Mulberry – not organized or compact enough and Burberry – not small enough, I finally narrowed it down to three brands – Smythson, Aspinal of London and Paul Smith.
From these brands I ordered three different purses, plus a card case and I was so determined to get a purse I even paid for shipping on two of the items.
First up was the Paul Smith purse, which thanks to the sale was in my price range, was the right colour both inside and out, and was the right size. However, it wasn’t in pebble leather and it only had two card slots.
Next up was the Smythson iPhone Mara purse, which was the best priced of all the purses, was an organisers dream for notes, coins, receipts and cards, plus it was in a gorgeous berry colour. But on the downside it was far too big, it wasn’t in the right leather and it didn’t have a contrasting colour inside the purse.
The third and final purse was again from Smythson. It was the right price, the right size and in the most perfect leather. But on the flip side it only had two card slots, which made the purse unsymmetrical (and you know how I feel about things that aren’t symmetrical) and it didn’t have the contrasting colour inside or out.
Last up was the card case from Aspinal of London, which was a good price, was big enough to store all my cards and was two tone, but on the downside it was a bit too big, poor quality leather and didn’t close properly.
So which one did I choose? And why did it take me so long?
Frustratingly I chose the Smythson Dover purse which I first spotted back in December, and which I initially discounted as I thought it was too big, didn’t have enough card slots and wasn’t in the right colour. And funnily enough I almost bought this purse twice before in purple and frost but they had sold out before I could decide which one to buy.
However, when I spotted the free shipping on £100 spend rather than £500 it was too much to resist and so I took a gamble and ordered it even though it was red. And I’m so glad I did as the leather is exquisite and the colour is so much nicer in real life as it’s quite a subtle red rather than a really bright red which I was expecting. This is a really light, delicate purse and although I wish it had two card slots on the other side to make it symmetrical it is definitely a keeper. The only decision now is which cards to carry around with me!
Smythson is definitely what you call a luxury brand, but they have amazing sales which means the items are more affordable. This is now my second purchase from the brand and I’ve been really impressed with the quality on both items. However, the most frustrating thing for me is that I’m not able to see anything in person beforehand and with a lack of online reviews or videos it’s really difficult to make an informed decision as the photos are not always great. The biggest drawback however is the £7 delivery charge and the £7.25 returns bill if the item is not right.
So although this post is a bit of a ramble as well as a rant I figured the least I could do was add a few close up shots of all the purses because if it helps someone else to make an informed decision on whether to buy something from any of these brands or not then it will have done its job.