I swapped out my bag the other day and went back to my trusty Leather Satchel Co Loch Blue bag that I bought last July and I have to say I've really missed it!
I have a usual rotation of bags and this poor little satchel has been wrapped up in the wardrobe for the past few months. Now that I'm using it again, I'm puzzled as to why I put it away in the first place, it is a mighty bag and I really love it!
It all started last year when I was searching for a satchel and I had emptied YouTube of every conceivable video shot. I had it narrowed down to two different brands, they were similar in price and look, so I spent ages perusing blogs and reviews trying to figure out the best one to get. There were a few reviews that really sold me on this particular company, By Gum, By Golly, LandGirl1980 and A plus B in the sea to name but a few. All raved enthusiastically about the satchel so I felt the need to check it out for myself.
First off, The Leather Satchel Co have been making satchel's since 1966 so they have a good long history with the bag, I'm sure thousands of children have happily carried their books to school in one of these over the years. Secondly there were 5 sizes and 18 classic colours with 12 new or unusual finishes to choose from. The icing on the cake was that after that the design can be completely up to you! The company offer a bespoke service so THE perfect bag is a very real possibility. They also offer magnetic clasps instead of the original straps, briefcase handles, shoulder pads, deeper gussets, backpack handles along with several other modifications to make the bag truly original.
I decided not to mess about with what I already thought was pretty perfect and went with a standard 14" Loch Blue satchel with a shoulder pad and my initials on the front flap.
And when she arrived a short time later (I don't honestly remember how long it took to arrive, possibly around 7 days from when I placed the order, so really quickly considering they are made to order) I was delighted to see that she was all wrapped up in brown paper and string :D
How utterly delightful!
The colour in the photo's is pretty true to life, the loch blue is a beautiful deep blue satin sheen leather, smooth and tough to the touch, surprisingly flexible but sturdy and holds it's shape. The 14" for me is great as it holds EVERYTHING and can also handle a magazine or A4 documents without looking bulky or brick-ish. The thread used is a brighter lighter blue and sets off the bag lovely.
The strap is long enough to wear cross body and is perfect for over the shoulder. The added bonus with this beauty is that I wear a lot of capes but with 2 small kids a handheld bag is not always suitable, yet I can use this bag over the shoulder without distorting the cape and it's neat enough not to be obtrusive! And with the handy shoulder pad, it stays put and is extremely comfy!
So for the past nine or so months, I haven't used the bag every day but enough to get a good idea of what it's capable of and of how durable it is.
I'm happily surprised. I had a fair idea that there was going to be wear to the front straps, whatever way I treated the bag. You open and close them so many times a day that there is bound to be some stress to the area. As an aside, you can contact the company and they very kindly and swiftly send out colour samples in the post, I received several colours that I was interested in and spend some time playing with them. Shamelessly bending and creasing them (in ways that wouldn't be normal for a bag to go through :D)
Anywhoo, what I am really trying to say is that even though I have opened these straps a gazillion times, they are wearing extremely well, the colour sort of 'cracks' (not the leather, just the top coating) but it is only noticeable if you hold it up to your nose (hehe). I'm actually thrilled at this, as I was afraid the integrity of the strap would somehow be affected, but nope, it's perfect. It hasn't thinned or frayed it's still sturdy and easy to use.
If you like things to look as perfect as the day you got them though, you can choose the magnetic fasteners option and this means that there will be no wear at all to your straps.
As for the rest of the bag, it's as good as the day I got it. No scratches, no stitching undone, no creasing or bumps or distortion. The bag holds it's shape perfectly yet is flexible enough to snugly fit your belongings. I love that when it's full, it takes on this slightly chubby look! Makes me want to squash it in a big hug...
The back is embossed with the company logo (as are the samples that you can get).
Inside the loch blue is a black dyed leather. There is no lining. Don't worry about this if you think that a dark interior will somehow swallow your belongings into oblivion. Instead it becomes more of a Mary Poppins bag with the capabilities of housing all your bits and pieces and possibly a small country as well.
There is a small front pocket that houses my 'need to get at now, little things'.
(A close up of the strap after 9 months)
(In situ, wearing one of my many capes)
(The other strap, close up)
(The shoulder pad, cleverly lined with black suede, surprisingly sticks to your shoulder like glue, no slippage guaranteed)
Ok, back to the inside, the main compartment is just one big space, but narrow-ish.
Still, I managed to fit in my personal planner, my kindle in a Saddleback Leather gadget case, Scaramanga pencil case used as a necessity bag (for plasters, hairbrush, clips, hair bands nail file, handkerchief personal girly unmentionables, breath freshener, panadol tabs, hand-mirror hand sanitizer perfume, hairspray, hay fever balm, sewing kit! I kid you not, it's ALL in there!), Aspinal of London wallet, glasses case, Scaramanga purse with my house & car keys in (I hate having them swim around the bottom of a bag), tissues, canon camera and black gloves (it's Baltic outside and snowing, in March...).
The front pocket houses my limited edition Vaseline tin, Rimmel vinyl lip gloss in Snog (wow, this is my perfect colour, I wear it everyday), tin of mints, hand-cream, phone and reusable shopping bag.
And finally, an empty interior shot. It's clean and unfussy, and I don't find the lack of pockets an issue. I always tend to have things grouped together in their own little package anyway, so for me just being able to pop everything in leaves me with room to spare and no random things spilling around and getting lost.
And here she is, sunning herself before another snow shower. I still can't believe such a neat little bag can hold so much and still look great and be easy to carry. No shoulder ache here!
I am delighted I purchased her and knowing that there is a 5 year warranty (yes, you heard right, a 5 year warranty) makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Check them out, read all the rave reviews and think about what would be the perfect combination for you...
Any other leather satchel lovers out there?