It can’t be just me who follows #myweekinbeulah on Instagram! Since I don’t really have the slender body of a Made in Chelsea star, my birthday present hasn’t been their velvet jumpsuit I have been lusting over since the new collection was launched. Still, birthday money coming in has resulted in me finally getting around to replacing some things that had been in dire need of retiring for a long time. Thanks to the sales I was also able to throw in a smaller bag that I didn’t really need but is helpful to have now I’m one clutch down because one broke just a few weeks ago.
I had been keeping an eye on Mia Tui ever since Jenna from A Balanced Belly and the Bloglancer reviewed one of their bags. What I liked about them was that not only they were stylish vegan leather bags, but they were made with the modern woman in mind. I already feel as organised than my mother, whose bag makes a Marie Kondo-decluttered home look like a mess despite the amount of stuff it contains. I also haven’t lost my keys for the whole 2 weeks since they got to me with next-day delivery (I had an extra £5 off on signing up and who wants to wait 3-5 days for a birthday present?), and if you have ever stayed with me you know what a change that is. The key clip alone is worth the money for me.
What I like about Mia Tui, which is the reason I went back to Busy B for my diary after trying one last year, is that the item is designed around the life of a modern woman instead of the life of the modern woman having to adapt to the item. I never look like a polished human being when travelling: by the time I am two doors down on the street, my bag has fallen off my shoulders about 10 times and the stress and effort to put it back all the time has already me sweating like I’m playing the final at Wimbledon (maybe I should wear a headband when I travel). It’s even worse if I attempt to put my bag on my suitcase, but the Jennie travel bag has been designed to fit on the handles so that I can put my bag on my suitcase and be very zen up until I realise that I’m going to be late because the trains are delayed. Then I’ll still have a panic attack and begin to pray for time to stop. That part of the bag also has a decent-size external pocket with a zip, and it works really well to hold drinks when the bag sits on your lap and gives it the support not to fall through the crack (tried and tested, by accident- as all the best inventions are!)
The Jennie is meant as a travel bag, and unfortunately, I haven’t yet used it as such, but my hand luggage never really contains much more than what I usually take out with me on a day working out of the house, and I’ve once put the gym kit in it with everything else so it’s big enough to double as a weekend bag too. At first, it seemed massive to carry around, but I’ve got used to it. In addition to the elastic key clip, it comes with three pockets of different sizes, two insulated pockets for bottles, and two spaces for pens. It also had a transparent bag that is now my gym toiletries bag but will be good for flying whenever I fly next, and a pouch that can be also used as a small crossbody bag (the main bag can also be made crossbody). I bought it in Scarlet, so it goes with all my clothes and looks a bit less boring than other colours (I already have a mustard yellow bag, I just don’t like to use it as a work bag as the handles aren’t good for carrying a laptop around). They have a very nice range of work bags but I’m trying to scale down my wardrobe and I like a good multitasking piece. I don’t exclude the possibility of buying another bag in the future, especially if any of the ones I have reaches the end of its life and cannot be repaired further.
The other bag I bought was the Megan in teal. It’s a small bag that can fit the essentials, although my wallet is massive and I need to scale it down if I want to fit that and my diary at the same time. The downside to that bag is that it won’t fit my water bottle, but it may fit in a smaller one and anyway, if I go out of the house for a limited time I won’t take one unless it’s 30º and I would die (= get a migraine) without constant hydration, so I’m not in a rush to find a bottle small enough to fit it. It’s mostly a day bag, but it looks smart enough to be a casual evening bag so I’m sure it’ll get used more as time goes on. So far I took it to have coffee with friends and to the cinema, and used it over the shoulder even if it should fit crossbody (it doesn’t with the massive hoodie on my winter parka). I’m too clumsy not to keep putting the bag back on the shoulder as I have a slight imbalance and one shoulder is lower than the other (you can’t see it but it’s there), but I don’t think there’s much that can be done to make it stick on the shoulder a bit more, which is a pity as I really like the look of it on the shoulder instead of crossbody.
If you (or a woman in your life needing a present) are a woman on the go and known for having the content of a house with her in her bag, this is a brand you want to look at. The price is reasonable and, as I said, the leather is vegan, but you couldn’t really tell as it’s so soft.