Monday, 17 November 2014

Grey Handbag Love - Helen Bateman Scotland

I've talked about the hunt for a grey handbag on this blog before. They're not easy to find! Back a couple of years ago, I ordered what I hoped was my holy grail of grey handbags from a consignment store in Dublin and while the colour & size are perfect, I've never got on great with the shape of the bag and definitely don't use it as much as I'd hoped. So the hunt continued....

Then I was approached by Helen Bateman, a designer based in Edinburgh who is best known for her shoes but she has also designed two really stunning leather handbags for her collection, the Lila and this grey leather wonder - the Billy Bag.

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The Billy Bag is also available in lots of other colours....some of which make my grey look a bit dull but I've tried the bright coloured handbag and find that I don't use them as much as my grey, black or navy ones. And once you see the lining of this bag, you'll realise it's not one bit dull.

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These bucket style bags became popular when Zara introduced them a few years back but I never liked the zip-in liner they came with. This bag gives you all the benefits & style of a bucket bag but it's fully lined with all the pockets you need for smaller items so you won't be rummaging for them endlessly. The leather is an excellent quality and will improve with age. There are sturdy studs on the base also - a key requirement of a good tote! Given the number of bags I've bought over the years, I can happily stand over this in terms of quality. It's a lot of bag for your money and will most definitely stand the test of time.

I put the Billy bag through it's paces all weekend. On Saturday, we went to the school open day and it was perfect for accommodating the 52 bits of plastic the kids bought as well as the 4 (yes 4!) boxes of tray bakes I bought from the cake stall (the mums at our school are amazing bakers). No plastic bags anymore thanks to the NI charge but I was ok - tons of room in the Billy Bag.

On Sunday, it was the girls' birthday and we took a small group of their friends to the cinema and on to Pizza Hut afterwards. Once again, the bag was stuffed with wipes, tissues, plastic bags (in case of a Code Vom), candles, matches, cupcakes...etc etc. With room to spare.
Here's how I styled it on Saturday:

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I've definitely gotten out of the way of a bigger bag in recent months but now my days are filled with site visits and house related shopping, I'm glad to have a larger bag with me to stuff all the brochures, paintbrushes, bags of nails and other randomness..

Thanks to Helen for gifting me this beautiful handbag and thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Ax

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18 comments

  1. That is a seriously, seriously nice bag Avril. I need to have a good look at this website. Kettle's on....

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  2. I'm a sucker for a bright lining, and that one does it for me! Gorgeous bag, I must take a look at what else is on the website *sits on credit card*

    Becky x

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  3. It's so difficult to find a nice grey bag, but looks like you've struck gold ... or should that be silver?!! Either way, it's a fab bag. Off to have a look at the site now, as this is a designer that I haven't heard of before. Your good health to wear x

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  4. I love this style of bag, although mine are softer and this looks structured. Really love it Avril x

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  5. That bag is AMAZING, wowsers, I love it!

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  6. Ooh I love both the shape & colour of this bang Avril. A real style straple that will last you for years to come.
    Jane xx

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  7. Gorgeous style and colour Avril....you will get great use out of that bag:) Hope the girls had a lovely birthday!
    ~Anne xx

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  8. That's a great bag Avril! I'm always a bit wary of bags that don't have a top zip though - could anyone just reach right in and grab something?

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  9. Ooooh great bag Avril, I'll have to have a look at the website :) x

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  10. Stunning bag Avril.....I fear a bag obsession may now overtake my coat obsession this season!! Off to peruse what else Helen Bateman has to offer! xx

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  11. I wondered about that too, but having bought one of these in turquoise, I find the two zipped pockets are fine for my wallet, phone, etc and the leather tongue with the magnetic clasp keeps the top of the bag together and stops larger items like my laptop and work folder from lifting up into easy reach.

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  12. Oops, wrong thread!

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  13. Hi Fiona - I was about to reply to Lou also - you beat me to it! I keep my wallet at the very bottom and I do close over the clasp. Always keep my phone in the zipped place but to be honest, I'm never anywhere that I don't have the bag close to me at all times and all they could ever nick from me today was a bag of baby wipes and a reusable shopping bag. I'd be careful if I was on public transport or walking down a busy street x

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  14. Hi Lou - have replied under Fiona's comment above so yes - there is a clasp at the top to stop anything large being taken out and I also use the zipped compartment for my phone. I never have anything worth grabbing in my handbag as I always carry my car keys on me....unless there's a baby wipe & shopping bag thief on the loose :) x

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  15. I love Helen Bateman! It's a must visit shop in the west end. Her shoes are so comfy too, perfect for weddings and all day standing events with work!

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  16. Finding your blog has renewed my desire to dress better and venture into shops I thought were too 'young' for my 45 years ... Very inspiring for those of us who have totally lost their mojo
    Love the style of this handbag but it needs an internal zip, ones that don't spill their innards all to easily and embarrassingly

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  17. I'm really loving grey at the moment and this bag is gorgeous! loving the layering too x

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  18. Stunning bag. I love it, Avril. You've styled it perfectly as always too. Lynne xx

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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