Choosing a bag is a ridiculously difficult choice. There are many things I become attached to, I still wear the fleece I was given when I was 16 (it must have been massive on me then), and whilst it cost a small fortune my Mulberry cross-body bag has seen me through over 8 years (more than £1 a wear), the same for my Animal work bag, and my O’Neill working away wheelie (which I am looking to replace but can’t find a wheelie bag with enough space for 3 days of clothes and a ‘safe-place’ for my laptop). As always, I digress. Starting uni warranted something new. I’m not just saying it, and I was delighted when a Hotter UK Chelsea Bag arrived for me to put through its paces.To me, bags serve different purposes. My cross-body bag is for an evening out, an accompaniment to my wheelie case when I’m working away.
My work bag is for when I need my laptop and don’t want to take two bags.
When I’m out with the children I might take a tote bag with my cross-body bag with bits and pieces for them, which usually depreciates in weight as they eat and drink whatever I’ve filled the bag with, and gets filled up with treats I’ve succumbed to along the way.
And that about sums up my life. But then I changed my life a little. Deciding to go back to university. And I did, I really did, need a new bag. I didn’t want my work bag – it was too big. I didn’t want my cross-body bag, it was too small. I really was Goldilocks.
The Chelsea Bag from Hotter met my specific needs.
For starters it’s ‘just right’, the perfect size. Uni takes place from a Thursday afternoon to a Saturday evening. Fortunately it’s Cardiff University, so I travel each day by car or train (it would be train more often if not for engineering works!).
Being in uni when the rest of the world is working means I might be picking up work calls on my breaks, replying to work calls.
Travelling by train, especially when I’m on my way home means I appreciate carrying my bullet journal to occupy my brain whilst numbing it from the thoughts lecturers have filled it with.And my Hotter UK Chelsea bag has enough space for everything. A zip pocket at the back holds my make-up essentials; two pockets at the front hold phones and pens. The main compartment is large enough to hold my three notebooks (work, uni and journal), as well as bits ‘n’ bobs – wet wipes have now been replaced with hand wipes; a packet of tissues; business cards; and the other bits ‘n’ pieces which always land in anyone’s handbag. Fortunately with the Chelsea bag they all fit.
If I’m honest there’s one bit of the Chelsea bag I would change. The zip back pocket.It is the perfect size for a credit card, Oyster card, train ticket… even a door key. And that’s great. But another habit which has formed is that I carry a card holder. It fits my train ticket, Oyster card and a couple of receipts. And it doesn’t fit. It’s my essential. I don’t carry a wallet or a large purse. Now I carry a card holder and a coin purse. So I’d really like an ever-so-slightly larger essentials pocket.
And that’s it. The only functional point of improvement. From an aesthetic point of view, I love it. It’s the perfect in stylish functionality, so stands with all of my other loyal bags. It’s available from Hotter in Tan and Black/ Leopard. I definitely think a few other colour ways would be well received. I’d love it a bit more year round if it was available in a light tan, but I do feel it’s perfect as an Autumn – Winter look.I love the detail. These little side buckles just take it from a basic bag to one that means a little more. I love the fact that whilst I think I’ve got everything I need, the bag still shows signs of being able to hold more. Bags usually split on the seams, so knowing this bag as oodles of capacity is definitely a good thing. It goes without saying that I’m not just using this bag for university. I’ve started using the bag on a Saturday morning for mum duties – climbing classes and soft play, followed by the weekly food shop. It’s perfect.
And I have (just maybe) started preferring it for nights away with my overnight bag. Because it’s always good to carry a few extra things – a battery pack, a novel, a little more stationery. Unfortunately more is probably the way to go, as much as I do love attempting minimalism.
The Hotter Chelsea bag is a great addition to any collection. Perfect for carrying over the shoulder, at elbow, or in hand, it can make an outfit. And it is a great styling item. Making an outfit complete.
The Hotter Chelsea bag retails at £85.00 in store and online.
Disclosure: We received a Hotter Chelsea Bag for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions contained are our own.