Remember at the start of the year, when we all though summer holidays were going to be possible? I started the year full of thoughts about where to go for a few weeks – all of shortlist were warm and sunny, some were farther away than others, but I had a wishlist of destinations I was slowly whittling down, and I was starting to collect little treasures to take with me. Then Covid-19 hit.
Like the rest of the world, my summer plans have been put on ice, and the goodies I’d been squirrelling away have been packed up and popped in the ‘summer cupboard’ ready to enjoy when we’re allowed out of the country again.
One of those little treasures is my Saint Laurent Panier Medium bag – most definitely the chicest beach-bag I’ve ever bought, it’s actually the first bag I’ve bought in nearly a decade. Why? I can be super picky about my bags, I get bored of things easily, so when I’m investing in something like a bag, I want to know I’m going to love it forever.
Unlike most straw bags I’ve had in the past, Saint Laurent’s Panier is sturdy – with leather straps and interior pocket which holds all of my beachy bits. The only nod to the brand is the subtle tag, which can be worn inside or out of the bag, and can even be taken off completely – perfect if you’d rather people not know that it’s YSL.
Available in black and natural straw, the Panier tote is perfectly sized as a ‘throw-all’ and can hold multiple books, pouches and bits whilst still looking sleek. It’s also one of the few straw bags I’ve seen which doesn’t look like it’s only been made for the beach – it looks as great thrown on with a pair of jeans and a shirt as it does pool-side. Perfect for trying to combat heavy bag surcharges!
Saint Laurent’s Panier Medium Bag is priced at £750 and is available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to timing, I don’t think I could have gotten it worse. Just a few days before lockdown kicked in, I ordered these leopard beauties from Rupert Sanderson. Part work shoe, part spontaneous purchase, I had them looked out for meetings (paired with black pants and sweater) for a fun Spring update to my regular wardrobe of neutrals.
Then Covid-19 happened.
Safe to say, these haven’t seen my driveway, let alone be worn out and about, but once the world get back to some sort of normal, you can bet these are the first pair of shoes I’ll be reaching for!
Rupert Sanderson Sabine Flats in Leopard are priced at £565 and are available here (UK) and here (US)
When it comes to designer investments, I often find sunglasses are a great place to start. There’s something about a really great pair which can truly transform an outfit, and a well-placed accessory can make an affordable outfit look (and feel) a hundred times more expensive.
When it comes to buying sunglasses, I’m incredibly picky. Frames have to be chunky, over-sized and classic in shape. I hate anything too fiddly or identifiable, which is why I’ve fostered a bit of an obsession with Celine frames. Understated and elegant, their frames are classics which I pull out all year long. My most recent purchase are these Shadows. This two-toned is a fun update on my usual choice of tortoiseshell, and I’m obsessed with the navy fade, which will look as great when paired with a pair of jeans, as when they’re dressed up with a coat.
In my experience, Celine make some of the best quality sunglasses out there – chunky and sturdy enough to survive a few drops and falls, these have already established their spot in my handbag!
Celine Shadow Sunglasses are priced at £371 and are available here
A few years back, if you’d have told me that at least 75% of the time I’d leave my handbag at home, I’d say you were mad. I used to love choosing which one to use everyday, meticulously matching it with my outfit and packing it to within an inch of my life. It was as much a ritual as it was needed, and recently, I’ve found it freeing to leave the house with as little as possible. First, I used to grab my wallet, phone, headphones and lip balm, then I downsized to a pouch kitted out with a cardholder, balm, phone and headphones and since I added my card details to my phone, I’ve found that I now only use that when I head out.
Tovi Sorga have obviously been feeling the same, and they’ve released a stylish new line of contactless wearables, which means you can head out the house with only the essentials, and still leave your purse at home.
You can choose from a range of slick bracelets or beautiful keyrings, which are all handcrafted to order, and made of 100% Natural Leather. You can choose from a range of metallics, brights and neutrals, and when I caught sight of the metallic leopard, I couldn’t resist. Using the fob couldn’t be easier – link the SIM card inside with a free PingIt account which you can control from your phone, and you’re good to go. You can make purchases wherever the contactless symbol is showing. No more forgetting your wallet, or not being able to grab a coffee if you’re out and about – as long as you’ve got your keys, you’re golden! I’ve got it on my car keys, so that whenever I’m out I know I’ve got it on me.
Tovi Sorga’s Contactless Payment Key Fob is priced at £45 and is available here
When it comes to jewellery – I’m pretty picky about what I wear. Years ago, I used to have boxes of trinkets, bangles and earrings, and I positively tinkled as I walked around. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve really curated my collection. I’ve got a few pairs of stud earrings which I can pop in and forget about, I’ve got a nice watch I can wear during the day and in the evening, and a handful of delicate gold necklaces and bracelets which I can wear on their own or stacked and that’s about it. Although I like the curated nature of my collection, it can get a little same-y, so I’ve been looking for some effortless feeling pieces I can incorporate to give my outfits a little update.
I’m not a fan of big, brash jewellery, so I couldn’t have been happier than when Edinburgh-based jewellery star Laura Bond got in touch asking if I’d like to try a pair of her earrings. I had been positively stalking her instagram page (it’s gorgeous and you can find it here) so couldn’t wait to try a pair of her delicate hoops!
These are her gold-plated channel set crystal huggies, which retail for £25 each – the joy of Laura Bond Jewellery is that you can really curate your ears – with your choice of earrings. Sold separately, you can mix and match to your heart’s content, and you can choose from a variety of metals, finishes and even sizes, so you’re guaranteed to find a whole host of earrings you’re going to fall in love with!
I’ve been absolutely loving this hoops to add a subtle touch of glamour to my everyday looks. The cubic zirconia crystals absolutely dazzle in the light, and the gold-plating means they match with all my existing jewellery. These hoops are also incredibly comfortable to wear – my ears can get itchy and uncomfortable when I wear earrings, but I completely forget these are even in. They’re lightweight too – and don’t get caught up in my hair, and I can wear them all day long. Even better – when you buy from Laura Bond Jewellery, you’re supporting a fabulous independently-owned business!
Laura Bond Channel Set Crystal Huggies in 14k Gold Plater Sterling Silver are priced at £25 each, and are available here.