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The Art of Choosing a Purse

Choosing a new purse is a bit like choosing a new coat - it's got a lot of boxes to tick.

It needs to be equal parts versatile and classic, so it goes with everything but never looks dated. It also needs to strike a balance between fashionable and practical, so it goes with everything but makes life easier - not harder. And most importantly of all, it needs to be big enough to fit everything in but portable enough to take everywhere (and still leave room in your bag for all your other essentials!).

So, yeah... just a teeny bit of pressure.

Am I asking too much of my penny holder? Maybe. But, unlike bags - of which I have a few too many - I have just a single purse that I use everyday. Because, you know, I can live without the lipstick that got lost in the bottom of yesterday's bag, but I sure can't live without a bank card that got left behind.

Since I only usually replace my purse every 6-12 months, choosing a new one is kind of a big deal. As well as ticking all of the above boxes, it's got to go the distance, too.

So let's talk about my latest one, shall we?

But first let's look at it... Black Radley leather purse

Before we go any further, I feel I should point out that this is the first black purse I've had in a long time. A very, very long time. And I know that might be hard to believe given the general theme of my wardrobe, but I usually go for something more colourful.

But I fell in love with this one and that was that.

I've also never owned a purse - or anything else - from Radley. What do you think of when you hear the name Radley? It's quite possible that it conjures up images of the (cute but hardly fashion forward) dog logo and your favourite aunt's favourite bag. I'll admit it: that's kinda always been the case for me.

Black Radley leather purse

But it looks like Radley is having a bit of a 'moment'. Except I hope it's more than just a moment, because I'm absolutely digging the new styles and giving major heart eyes to  all the beautiful designs. Don't you just love it when a brand unexpectedly ups their game? I certainly do - especially when it's without upping their prices!

As soon as I saw this purse, I knew it was 'the one'. The black leather, gold zip, foldover detailing and perfect number of pockets/card slots inside won me over, but it was the bar detail across the front that really sealed the deal.

It's so minimal yet eye-catching. Classic yet modern. It's the kind of purse that makes you march to the till and forget about cutting down on sugar when you're in two minds about buying your 3rd Twix of the week because you get excited to pull it out of your bag.

Black Radley leather purse

(Yes, I only seem to have Euros at the moment.)

This purse also passes my newly imposed 'final test'. I realise 'test' sounds a little scary, but I promise it's all for a good cause.

Since trying to ruthlessly edit my wardrobe, I've taken a strict new approach to the things I put into it and the same goes for accessories. So here's the deal: even if everything else is perfect, I won't buy something unless I would be happy to pay twice the price for it.

It's a useful little trick to make sure you truly love something before you tap in your pin. If the answer is an easy 'yes', congrats - you've found something you really love.

What's on your checklist when you look for a new purse - and what are your deal-breakers?

Jodie xo

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