In keeping with my decision to watch what I spend more carefully - as mentioned in my last post - I am once again visiting charity shops. They have some nice stuff for sale at this time of year, anyway.
The day after my snowy visit to Wakehurst Place (two posts back) I was out in the rain with my friend R---. Towards the end of the afternoon we ended up in a picturesque little town called Steyning, and there, at the St Barnabas charity shop, was a brown handbag locked away in a glass cabinet that immediately caught my eye. I have all sorts of bags (haven't we all) but not a small posh brown one. I asked to inspect it.
Lo and behold, it was an L K Bennett. This is a 'luxury' brand but affordable. Well, take that with a pinch of salt: you'd pay £200, rather than (say) £400 for a Mulberry or (say) £900 for a Prada. Basically there isn't a 'big name' to inflate the price. And yet you still get an extremely well-made bag with class, not just bling. The shop were asking £20 for this one.
I didn't hesitate. It had been used a little bit - there was a tiny amount of fluff inside, and the faintest whiff of scent. But not used much. Really, it looked new. The outer brown leather was thick, so that the bag had stiffness and shape, and would stand up without having to be filled to capacity. It was beautifully stitched. And inside, instead of a cotton lining, or even a silk lining, it had a caramel-coloured soft leather lining - pigskin, I suppose - that spoke to me. Here's some photos:
And here's my entire 'brown bag' collection at the moment, from L K Bennett, Mimco and Kew:
I think they cover all the shades of brown needed. No need to buy any more. Honest.