When it comes to handbags, I’m a mostly practical woman. As much as I adore sporting chic little box bags or impossibly small oddly shaped clutches for dinners out socialising, on a day-to-day basis I don’t want to have to edit down my payment cards, ID and assorted change into a tiny coin purse in order to be able to fit the necessities into a pretty bag that will elevate my outfit. Realistically, I’d much rather find a lovely bag that fits my actual, whole purse, because that is what adulthood requires. Thankfully, adulthood doesn’t also require that one’s sensible day bag be boring, because this little Ivy number certainly isn’t that.
Bag: Blood Orange/Beige Ivy handbag C/O Hotter Shoes
Cardigan: Beige Cropped cardigan by Ye MAK
Brooch: Posy brooch by The Little Shop of Gorgeousness and Fripperies
Dress: Blue Jade dress by Collectif* dyed Dylon Olive green
When it comes to errands and daily minutia, satchels are my go-to. I like the small note of versatility that I can wear them over my head in a cross-body fashion, but then also sling them over one shoulder if I need to re-bag, so to speak, quickly. No battling to get both handles of an arm bag back onto your wrist whilst simultaneously stashing away your purse post-checkout, in need of a third hand to also hold your shopping bags in the struggle. Satchels offer a hands-free convenience that can’t be beaten for a day of errands or travelling about from place to place, especially if multiple types of public transport are involved.
The thing about satchels, though, is that depending on their size and style, they don’t always look particularly in tune with my fluffy skirted 50s dresses of preference. Pick the wrong satchel and it will look too bulky with that spaghetti strapped sun dress, or too casual with that cinched-waisted New Look style swing dress. This Ivy handbag by Hotter is fun enough and compact enough that it will easily fill a void in my handbag collection, becoming my new favourite piece for completing casual outfits that require a level of practicality without forcing the abandonment of my aesthetic.
Made of real leather, Ivy is a colourblocked statement piece of vibrant and beautiful blood orange paired with a muted beige that helps balance the vivacity of the bag’s primary colour. It’s certainly bright and fun, but the blood orange isn’t as glaring as true orange, nor as intimidating as red, providing a joyful middleground that allows you to make lively style pairings to your hearts content.
The shoulder strap is adjustable in length, achieved by choosing between 5 holes to fasten the black strap buckle through, offering a length adjustment of up to 5 inches. The fastening on the front of the bag features a decorative buckle that conceals the magnetic popper that closes the bag, creating an easy open and close experience.
Unlike every other satchel I’ve owned in the past, the main compartment of the bag has a zip to seal it closed at the top, meaning not only are your items safe from potential spillage if you’re sometimes a little clumsy, but you’re also protected from pickpockets in crowded places. Inside the bag there’s a zipper inner wall compartment to house your smaller items, and another zipped compartment on the outside back of the bag, which is especially useful for items you want to stow away but only briefly, like train tickets or ID passes.
The bag measures 17 cm in height, 25cm in length, and 5cm in depth, so it’s a great size for carrying around your daily essentials without being tempted to load up your bag over time with an increasing number of ‘this might be useful’ items, resulting in an overflowing bag and an eventually aching back. My work bag is currently full of those ‘just in case’ bits and pieces, to the point where it’s a struggle to find the items I actually need to access regularly, so I appreciate a bag that forces me to be concise and thoughtful in my planning and carrying.
The Ivy handbag comes in 3 colours combinations, this blood orange/beige, a royal blue/french blue, and a metallic mauve/powder pink combo. Hotter Shoes have stores across the UK as well as a website. They regularly offer discount codes and deals to save you money, so it’s well worth signing up to their email newsletters or following their social media platforms to be kept up to date on their latest deals.
[Disclaimer: This handbag was gifted to me by Hotter in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and wholly truthful, with no input from any companies or any other individuals. Items marked with an asterix * are items I bought myself but are made by companies I have accepted gifted items from in the recent past in exchange for writing honest reviews to feature them.]