My Hot New Haut It-Bag

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I’ve been doing heavy duty accessory research for the past while. Drilling down on accessories, as the politicos might say. Ha. Sorry. I couldn’t resist. I hate that expression, actually. Anyhoo, I’ve been looking for a new purse, a small cross-body bag. Not too small, not too big, not too lady-like, with just enough embellishment, and into which I can fit at least half of the stuff I haul around in my bigger bags.

According to The Edit on Bloglovin … “one of the Hautest It-Bags of the season” is the Chloe Hudson bag pictured below. I love it. But at somewhere between $2290.00 (CAD) at Holt Renfrew and $2800.00 at Nordstrom… well… I think I’ll drill down a little more. Even the sale price at Farfetch is $1667.00. Yikes. Maybe I don’t love it quite so much.

Chloe Hudson bag
Chloe Hudson bag on The Edit

I saw these bags by German designer Philipp Bree on Matchesfashion.com. I love the clean design, and the colours are gorgeous. PB0100, as the line is called, was new to me; you can check it out here. Listed at $860.00 CAD, these small cross-body bags are much more affordable than the Chloe. But still more than I wanted to pay. Not that I was in any danger of actually buying one; I was only doing research, looking for inspiration. Not shopping…yet.

PB 0100 bag          PB 0100 bag
German designer Philip Bree’s PB0100 bags on MatchesFashion.com
I saw this shot, below, on the fashion blog Who, What, Wear. I like the size of these bags. They are a bit too lady-like, though. Perhaps it’s the smooth leather, or the hardware, especially the one on the right, but I can’t see wearing them with my down coat.
black it-bags
Black cross-body bags on Who, What, Wear

So with all this research under my belt, knowing pretty much what I wanted and what I didn’t want, I hit the streets. Last week, I did the rounds of the Rideau Centre and environs. I tried on numerous bags in numerous stores. They were all too big, too tiny, too fussy, too cheap looking, or too expensive. Except one. One was just right… to quote Goldilocks.

I saw this cross-body, saddle bag from the Canadian company Mackage, at Nordstrom in December. And I loved it then. But since I hadn’t done my research, or looked at and eliminated other options, I didn’t buy it. You can’t rush these things, you know. But, last week, once I’d eliminated the choices at all the other stores, I hustled back to Nordstrom to have another look at the Mackage bag. It’s exactly the right size, and although it’s quite structured, the pebbled leather makes it more casual, and less dressy. I love the chunky black hardware, especially the chevron decoration on the side. And the whole tidy, unfussy, kind of polished edginess of it is …well… just perfect. I’m gushing, I know.

Mackage cross-body bag
My new tidy, edgy, perfect bag from Mackage
Mackage cross-body bag
My new bag will look good with my Vince turtleneck and my leather pants.
Mackage bag with leather pants and a t-neck

Or with a skirt and jacket, like this pencil skirt and long jacket with leather trim from Elie Tahari. I tried this outfit with a silky white turtleneck and my Stuart Weitzman loafers. And then noticed that I do look a tad… uh… ecclesiastical.

          Love my new Mackage bag with a skirt and long jacket
But for most days, I need my new bag to look good with jeans. Or with my beige Tory Burch cords, and a turtleneck, and my black Cole Haan ankle boots. Look Ma, no hands.
hands free with my new cross-body bag by Mackage

And, of course, it is January. And January in Ottawa means frigid temperatures, so I’m going to be wearing my down coat most days for a while. And this bag is great for that. Not too dressy. And with a strap that is long enough to allow the bag to slip easily on and off. Over my big down coat. This is key. Let me explain.

Mackage bag with my Zara down coat
Happy that my new Mackage bag looks great with my down coat

Two weeks before Christmas, I was grocery shopping wearing this down coat and my large Marc Jacobs bag worn as a cross-body. I tried to remove the purse over my head in the store, and ended up blocking traffic in an aisle for two or three painfully embarrassing moments. The not quite long enough strap caught in the big collar of my coat, dragging the collar up over my head like a hood, and since my coat was unzipped, and my scarf hanging loose, the strap then wound itself in my scarf. I thought I might abort the attempt, but it was far too late to turn back now. So, I staggered around blindly, trying to untangle myself, cursing inwardly, getting redder and redder in the face, while a growing, and increasingly impatient, crowd of shoppers tried to squeeze by me. Let’s just say that the first thing I did with my new bag when I got it home was practice taking it off and on over my down coat.

Yep. I’m loving my new purchase, folks. My not too big, not too fussy, polished yet edgy, “haut it-bag.”  Doing all that “drilling down” paid off. And I don’t foresee any cross-body bag provoked cursing on the horizon. I can’t promise there won’t be other cursing… I have been known to explode into epithets on occasion.

Like yesterday.

I usually take my blog photos with my i-pad mini, and I’ve been having trouble with the little “home” button which takes me back to the main screen. I will click it and get Siri…”How may I help you?” So I have to click her off and click “home” again. And when I was taking shots for this post, I did this about three times in a row. Argggg. And then I did it again. “Oh…bleep…bleep!” I said emphatically. And before I could click again, up on the screen I read…”I don’t speak to you like that.”  Wow. Busted. I yelled to Hubby who was in the kitchen: “I think I’ve just been told off by my my i-pad.” Next thing I know, she’ll be speaking in my mum’s voice…”Oh Susie, watch your language.”

Now it’s your turn, folks. Do curse-producing accessory malfunctions happen to you? Been shopping lately, have you? Any perfect purchases you’d like to share with the rest of us?

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32 thoughts on “My Hot New Haut It-Bag”

    1. Oh, good! Thanks, Susan. I think every cross-body bag should have an exterior slip pocket. Mackage is not easily found here in the states (which actually make it even more appealing!)

  1. It's perfect! I have been on the hunt for the perfect cross body bag, too — even though I haven't quite had the wardrobe malfunction that you had. Thanks for the link to Mackage website. All their bags look great! Unfortunately, there are only a few styles offered online at Nordstrom in the U.S. I will keep watching to see if they carry this one! Meanwhile, enjoy the ease and style of being out and about in the winter when properly outfitted…

  2. Great looking bag!! The nice thing about a simpler design like that is that it won't look dated in a year. Perfect size! I hate doing the scarf vs. crossbody Gordian Knot dance. Usually it happens as soon as I get into the car…

  3. Really like it . I do prefer ' mystery ' bags . Don't care for instantly identifiable designer bags & it's not just about the cost . Perfect size , too small & they look like children's bags to me . The chevrons add a nice touch of edginess too & stop it looking too ladylike . But I don't need another bag 🙂
    Wendy in York

    1. I agree about the too small bags. When I see shots of celebrities holding the latest teeny, tiny, structured top-handled bag that looks like one they might have had when they were six…I just laugh. As for not needing another bag…remember what King Lear said, "Oh reason not the need…" Except he wasn't talking about shopping. Still. It's good to know that being able to quote most of the Shakespeare plays that I taught for decades comes in handy sometimes:)

  4. 🙂 Excellent research! That new bag is beautiful – it's a classic, not just the color!
    By the way, I had two BREE bags for ages. Excellent quality. just in case you would reconsider.
    A very HAPPY weekend to you! 🙂

  5. Didn't your persistence pay off? It's a great little bag – not foo fussy and not too expensive. And the swearing? I can relate as I get a bit teretz-ish myself and it usually surprises me as I don't realize something(s) bubbling beneath the surface. Ah well – it releases the tension in any event.

  6. I really do think this bag is perfect Sue. Worth waiting and doing your research! I especially like the pebble leather and the chevrons. I hadn't heard of the Mackage brand. I ll have to look out for their bags when we visit Canada this summer. I've a few Roots, Canada bags, having bought my first one in Whistler a good few years ago … It still looks like new, great leather!
    I didn't get chance to comment at the time but I thoroughly enjoyed your post on your step father, logging and bologna sandwiches! It could well be my favourite or certainly in my top 5 🙂 you write so well I could clearly picture your day, almost as though I was there!
    Have a good week! Wondering if you've still got a snowy view outside your windows?
    Rosie

    1. Thanks so much, Rosie. My mum laughed when she read that post about my step-dad. She commented to me that I was "turning him into quite a character." But that's just who he was.
      I am indeed looking at snow outside my window this morning. We've had amazing skiing after the melt down and the subsequent freeze back up. Although it was a bit slippy for a couple of days:)

  7. That is so funny. I often wait for Siri to lose it with us when we are getting road directions and keep deliberately doing our own thing. I expect her to say something like: 'I don't know why I am bothering. Find your own way!' Love the bag. It looks great with all those outfits. Enjoy it.

    Charlie
    Fur Earwig

    1. Thanks, Charlie. WRT Siri..when we were in France last spring our rental car had a GPS… and when we defied "the lady's" instructions I had to mute her. We laughed that she was getting increasingly frustrated and probably yelling something like you just said.

  8. What a great find!! And I love every outfit you've worn it with, spot on! I have a Chloe cross body bag (a gift!) and they are so practical. Your story about getting caught up in your strap and coat in the store made me chuckle – talk about frustrating!! Thanks so much for linking up to #AllAboutYou – pinning to the board, let me know via email if you'd like to pin to the group board

  9. I've been enjoying carrying a crossbody this winter. They just go so well with the puffy winter jackets that are an inevitability up here

    Never heard of Mackage. I've been wanting to add a Canadian designers handbag to my collection for a while and Derek Alexander was the only name that kept popping up

    1. I'm really enjoying mine as well. I was not familiar with Mackage until I saw this bag at Nordstrom in Ottawa. Apparently they have been an outerwear brand for a while…and only recently branched out. Montreal based, too.

  10. Because of your wonderful review of the Mackage bag I decided to give it a try and I was able to purchase at considerable savings through Amazon here in the states. I love it also. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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