So, since a trusty everyday bag that's as good looking as it is practical is always tricky to come by, I've spent the last week putting the Marla through its croc printed paces.
TEST 1: A normal work day
I don't know about you, but when I go to work I need stuff. Just loads and loads of stuff. Notebook, sometimes two, diary, a pen, lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm, makeup bag, hand cream, tissues, anther pen, sunglasses, actual glasses, phone, purse, keys, Oyster, one more pen, magazine, book, a bottle of water. That's just what I have in there right now. Sometimes I even need a change of clothes! So could the Marla take it? More than. She swallowed all my crap easily, even separating it into various hunt-easing compartments. Nice.
NOTE: The zip pocket on the front is awesome. It's now my Oyster and iPhone home. So easy to reach while in mid-rush!
TEST 2: Day to night
Be it an evening work event, product launch or dinner with the girls, I quite often have to go from morning to evening in one swoop. While a change of clothes would nice every time, I often don't plan quite so far ahead, so it's more of a makeup top-up and shoe swap (if I'm lucky). An especially casual day bag however, can sabotage this in an instant. Sometimes, there's just not enough eyeliner and lipstick in the world! So how did the Marla do here? Impressive. She's so shiny, an evening shindig just isn't a problem even though she's rather large. Hurrah!
TEST 3: Work to gym
My daily hours are long, and so there's rarely time to come home, change into my gym kit and then head back out again. So I tend to bring it all with me a few days a week, and call in at lunch time or on my way home. The problem however, is that carrying multiple bags gets on my nerves, and I have a mild style aversion to gym bags. So did I manage to fit my kit into the Marla? Kind of. Given everything I pile into it as standard, this was an ambitious plan for the bag. So while leggings and a t-shirt slotted in nicely, the trainers and towel were just never going to happen. A shame but hey, it was a big ask!
TEST 4: Weekend wear
Overly formal bags paired with laid-back weekend looks, to me, is always weird. It's as though you spend so much time at work you've forgotten how to dress yourself once out of it. So to become the ultimate everyday essential, a bag really needs to be able to blend with everything. Can the Marla do downtime? Even though she's a shiny croc print leather tote? She can, and it's all thanks to the long shoulder strap. Despite a messy topknot, no makeup and baggy denim shirt, the Marla and I got along perfectly this weekend, while she offered plenty of room for my shopping too! I took a few notebooks out...
So after spending a week with the Marla in tow, what do I think overall? She's awesome!
The colour is bold. Despite being a rich burgundy, when the light hits the leather the redness is very visible. But even though the shade is quite 'statement' and carries a strong autumnal vibe, it didn't hinder any of my summery style choices.
In terms of size, there's plenty of room for you to hoard your clutter along with a few extras you pick up along the way, yet it's not going to slow your pace while storming through the ticket barrier. The compartments are awesome too. On the inside you've got two large pockets (one zipped) along with a phone holder and one of those slightly larger compartments I tend to fill with lipsticks. Then, on the outside, you have another super convenient zip pocket.
The whole bag zips up, which being quite security conscious I like a lot, while the two different carry options help you style it up or down.
Is it worth £149? If you love it like I do, then yes. You really can take it EVERYWHERE!
The Marla is available now at fiorelli.com in burgundy or classic black. While you can keep an eye out for the rest of the new real leather collection by following Fiorelli's #FiorelliHandpicked hashtag on Twitter and Facebook. Fancy it?
ONE MORE THING: Re the images, yes, I did wear the same pair of shoes nearly every day last week. New Look. Polka Dot. Why not? And yes, that is my bed and wardrobe you can see in the picture surroundings there. I chose the pink and purple floral quilt, naturally. My boyfriend the overwhelmingly blue one.
You can follow Amy Lewis on Twitter at @amylewis2187
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