Christmas is a time
when people are looking for Xmas gift ideas not only for others, but the
fulfilment of ideas for themselves for their perfect and complete Christmas. When you know someone
loves fashion and accessories, just go fashion shopping.
Everyday bags are always useful, but if you want to
buy an item your loved one will keep forever as a keepsake choose a
minaudière. That way you will bridge the gap
between a practical solution and a piece as beautiful as jewellery.
The beauty of bags is
that although you should try to get it right the fit is less important.
Fit can be a problem for women with wider calves - so I look at winter boots
with variable width calves from narrow to full
My husband mentioned a designer
handbag for Christmas and my eyes went misty. If only I really could
get my hands on a red Novak from Alexander McQueen I'd be a happy woman!! Yes he said you can
have one. Trouble is he really isn't clued into waitlists and the
like. I want one because it really is beautifully designed and the
tone of red so lovely.
like you, I may find myself choosing a new leather bag from the high street. Fancy a value for money leather
handbag smart enough to be sold with a dust bag and which follows current
trends? Then check out
Monsoon/Accessorize for a great selection of more upmarket leather
handbags than they usually stock. They have a new boutique range with bags
that go up to £140. River Island also has a value for money selection
of modern bags and many feature hardware buckles and studs or pockets,
elements much favoured in bags from top designers.
may also be after or lusting after a real Chloé Paddington or a Mulberry
Roxanne handbag. As Xmas nears you may not be able to run to the price
or even be able to get hold of the real thing. If the real thing is
not that important to you and you are just after the general look and
hardware, you would do well to visit Karen Millen. Karen Millen stocks
a great similar, rather than identical looking bag. At £135 the bag is
a real tribute to the Paddington and Roxanne bags.
Russell and Bromley's website
also shows an all purpose great leather 'Vintage'
studded holdall in black, brown or metallic leather. It's shown right and is priced at
£225 for the leather versions. The Russell and Bromley website does not
offer a shopping cart online yet, but the bag can be ordered directly in
person or by telephone from branches. Staff will post bags shown on
their website for a small shipping fee. 24 hour
delivery U.K. Mainland - £6.50 or 48 hour delivery U.K. Mainland - £5.50.
Branches also carry a suede version at
With a moderate amount of hardware, the R&B 'Vintage' is a great tote bag that comes in
several colours. Be warned when I saw this bag in my local Russell and
Bromley store I realised it was much larger than it appears on their site.
It is almost a shopper, making it a perfect workbag to carry a magazine, a
packed lunch, a bottle of water plus hairbrush and cosmetics. This
adaptable go anywhere tan colour bag, above right will take you into everyday fashion next
year with ease.
Of course the internet is a great
place to shop for handbags and you don't need to be model slim for a
designer handbag. I love Italian leather handbags and its so easy to
surf and order from FORZIERI.com Pure Designs from Italy
including those of top design houses such as Dolce&Gabbana and Gucci.
Gucci have some beautiful capacious
gold leather bags that are ideal for the festive season and will carry on as
cruise wear and then into a glitzy brighter summer. Golds, beiges and
metallics are already in fashion and are set to be just as popular a trend next year, so invest early in
neutral tans and golds so you get maximum wear from the trend. The
Gucci bags are around £600, but are outstanding and the gold leather a
richly burnished deep gold finish that is very superior to anything on the
Right is a low cost metallic look
alternative marrying hardware features with a gold colour finish. It's by
next.co.uk and costs under £20.
and red bags are out in force this year
as you can see from this 100% Tan Leather Underarm Bag shown left and easy
to purchase from next.co.uk.
It has toggle detail, front pockets and zip fastening at £34.99. Size is 24
x 12 x 9cm, Product number 944-049-X36.
You could also check out the
Floto bags on my Floto webpage
review here. Floto sell a range of capacious leather bags and
travel luggage that is made in Italy. Floto colours include a
an evening bag? You might like this one from Marks and Spencer's
Autograph Collection. I
ordered it earlier in November, but sadly had to return it.
At £45 it really is a beautiful long evening bag and I do recommend it to
you as it is finely made. But be warned the colour is an expensive
looking khaki taupe and is not as yellow rich a gold as it appears at first
sight in the photograph. But my loss may be your gain, as many of the sludgy khaki shades
of clothes this winter will tone well with this particular evening bag.
If you would like a more expensive
satin evening bag, try the V.B.H satin clutch bag at £485.00, or perhaps a
Glorinha Paranagua satin clutch bag with crystal tassel and crystal button
closing at £170.00. Both are available from
Browns of Molton
One of the best places to buy from a
wide selection of cute evening bags is Monsoon and Accessorize where you can
make a personal selection from a good affordable price range. Their
site shows all the same evening bags available at their high street shops.
Minaudière is pronounced
Mee-no-dare. This word is not much used in the UK so you may wish to
know a minaudière is a small ornamental case for personal items and is often
carried as an evening bag. They can also be a compact for make up or
Generally this type of evening bag
has a hard case of metal and can be encrusted with beads or crystals or
enamelled. They are often really extensions of jewellery. These minaudière pieces really do 'snap' shut sharply
as they are precision made almost in the way of a large locket. They can be clever pieces of art and may take the form of
animals such as cats curled up, or as butterflies or bugs. Others look
like a fancy hard gold or silver spectacle case.
Net a porter has some
evening bags which are minaudière style, but they call them rigid box or rigid
clutch evening bags I particularly like the Judith Leiber Silver
Swarovski rigid roll-shaped clutch with detachable silver chain they have on
show there at the time of writing. It really is beautiful, as are all Judith Leiber pieces
and it is a very classic piece that would never really date.
That minaudière is over £1300. You can see more of her minaudière pieces on eBay,
just be sure they are not fake replicas.
sell the most beautiful gold minaudière with a dragonfly and at £510 it is a
work of art. The dragonflies come in several colours, but these rigid
bags really are small at about 10cm wide. They are just large enough
for money or a credit card, a lipstick, an ultra thin mini mobile phone or ipod. Such a bag can be worn several ways and can be worn across
the body like jewellery. When a minaudière comes from a top design
house like Gucci and is authentic, there is no doubt they become
vintage collector pieces.
This Gucci dragonfly minaudière is destined to be an antique of the future
and will become as collectable as vintage compacts or reticules.
Other designers of wonderful evening
bags include Philip Treacy and Lulu Guinness. They may still be within your
price range and start from around £70. High street shops like Jigsaw
and Karen Millen also have delightful bags.
By contrast I mention here a place to try for
truly low cost
evening bags. Check out New Look, they have a wide range of evening purses
from £5. They are not large, but they
are almost a
throwaway price and would hold a
mobile phone, short comb, lipstick, and some cash. Many can simply be
hung onto the wrist. What
more do you need if you plan to dance the night away?
You can also try the
Cancer Research UK shops
found on most high streets. Recently I was rushing down my local high
street and passed the Cancer Research Shop. Hanging up inside I
noticed just one lone brand new beaded evening bag in black with some jet,
fuchsia pink and mixed coloured beads hanging from it.
As you can see from the picture
left, this beaded evening bag has a vintage look with its waterfall of black
jet and crystal bead fringe. The Cancer Shop was selling it at just
£14.99. So if you see an evening bag that
looks right, don't hesitate - snap it up. If it's wrong you can
usually take the bag back if it still has the tags. Or keep it as an
emergency gift suitable for any young miss from 10 to 100. Even women
who never have need of such a bag like them just to keep old love letters or
This season every girl and woman
must have a pair of fashionable boots as an instant update to get the
'look'. But we all come in different sizes and boots for ladies with
larger calves can be a nightmare to find. Check out
who make boots to fit fatter calves. The sizes range from size 3 to 8
and the calf width goes up in 5 widths from a slimline 31 cm to 44cm for
sizes 3 and 4. Sizes 5 and 6 go from 32cm to 45 cm calf width, whilst
sizes 7 and 8 from 33cm to a generous 46 cm.
Buckles and Bows cover slimmer
and thinner calves than average, as well as fuller or more muscled calves. You may also find that this is the
winter that you can indeed find boots on the high street that do fit you.
Many boots I have tried on this winter have actually been much too large for my
34cm calves. Lots of boots have been cut to accommodate tucking in skinny trousers. This was certainly the case when I tried on boots at
The closest fitting boots I tried on
this autumn so far were a pair with mock Victorian lacing at the centre
front and a close fitting side zip. If you have full calves, you may be best avoiding such styles as they are designed to look as if they have
been sprayed on the leg in true laced Victorian or Edwardian fashion!
The wider or narrower fit boots from Buckles and Bows come
in half a dozen basic, but wearable styles. They will suit plus sizes
and those with plenty of muscle or plus size calves. They may well
accommodate petites and those with skinny
thin calves too.
Prices range up to £135. Checking their web site is the next step if you
want more info. So even those with fuller calves can have warm fashionable
legs this winter.
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