Radley has come a long way since the days of a dog playing with a beachball was emblazoned across the front of a purse or tote and carried by your next neighbours nan. Sure the Scottie Dog branding which is synonymous to the Radley brand still remains, but the company has grown with the times and their designs have evolved to reflect a more fashion forward, sleek and tailored style to give the likes of Michael Kors and his it-list bags a run for their money.
You can still indulge your inner Scottie Dog lover with one of the classic Radley prints(of course) but the new styles feature classic shapes such as totes, cross body, grab bags and so on under 16 signature collections made of quality leather to a high finish. Collections include the Clerkenwell which features a lasercut grid design against a zip front, the equestrian themed range of satchels from Grovesnor and the sleek and structured Border collection where this little shoulder bag beauty* comes from. The Border collection is a heritage collection which showcases a strong silhouette, smooth exterior leather, embossed front flap and detachable Radley disc charm. I picked the bag in the shade Taupe, a classic colour which lends itself as well to the pastel shades of spring as it does winter and actually resembles more of a pale grey than it does my understanding of taupe (of course, I’m going purely off my experience with Taupe coloured eyeshadows).
Organisation of my handbag is usually as organised as my wardrobe… frustrating and non existant. It’s not rare to find me hunched over an open handbag and rummaging around the contents in exhasperation because I’m pretty certain I’ve misplaced something… only to find it hiding beneath a loose receipt at the bottom of the bag. Being the largest of the Radley flapover grab bags it gives enough room for all your vital must haves but means you don’t end up lugging the kitchen sink and a collection of battered and forgotten tampons around with you. The best part? The interior is split into three sections (two open sections + 1 zipped) so it forces you to be organised. Purse? Section 1. Lipstick? Section 2. Notebook? Section 3. House keys? Hell knows, it’s a handbag not a miracle worker. The interior is an almost nautical blue stripe fabric with the taupe leather detailing… and there’s even a little Scottie Dog hiding away on the back wall there in gold harware and it has the usual back zippered section for those items you want to keep locked away and the pockets on the front for your mobile phone, bus pass, Oyster Card, the odd receipt… you get the drift.
This was my bag of choice for almost two months at one point which is a mean feat for me and my everychanging handbags (I get bored, yknow?) as the neutral colour meant it went with pretty much everything, its compact enough to not be a bulky bag but its big enough to actually carry a decent amount of stuff in and it just looks cute. The only thing I’d change about this bag if I could would be the length of the shoulder strap as the length is the handbag strap equivalent of a knee length skirt and I do love me a longer strap for cross body purposes.
Had you told me 5 years ago when I was trying to feign delight come Christmas morning at a Scottie Dog chasing a beach ball across the length of a purse that I’d be considering spending my own money on a Radley bag (the Clerkenwell zip top cross body bag) I’d have guffawed and declared “not until I’m 65” but it seems that like the majority of us, Radley gets better with age.