Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Loosened Purse Strings

Purse - Biba at House of Fraser

For eighteen months, I have been lugging around a tatty old purse and cringing slightly every time I put it into new bags or pull it out to pay in shops.  It was an olive green, matte leather, three quarter sized piece that I bought in Bruges after broken zip on my old Topshop number kept letting my coins slip away.  It was only meant to be a temporary purse yet it has persevered  since June 2011, embarrassingly.

Every time I found a suitable replacement, I was either experiencing a bout of poverty or I found myself second guessing the purchase.  I knew that I didn't want another run of the mill high street purse - I wanted something that would last, something shiny and exciting.  Yet, at the same time, I wasn't sure if it was a bit silly to spend such a lot on something essentially designed to hold your money - wouldn't I rather keep the money and simply let it inhabit something less shiny and exciting?

Throughout this angels and devils battle concerning a new purse, I'd had this Biba one at the back of my mind.  It's the Ruby zip around model and I kept returning to the Plymouth House of Fraser store to quietly lust over it.  I originally wanted it in green, then purple, then green, then purple.  I think not being able to make my mind up was the real reason it never got bought.  That, and the fact it was going to take a £99.00 sized chunk out of my  poor student budget.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was innocently browsing the House of Fraser website only to find my long-loved purse reduced down to £59.40.  It was now or never.  I spent a few days pondering the green vs. purple problems, including seeking, and receiving, advice direct from the HoF Twitter team.  They said green.  My mum thought purple.  

In a surprising turn of events, I ordered black.

As I mentioned in last Monday's post, I'm a recent convert to black.  I just didn't used to understand it, but now I really appreciate its classic connotations and its understated elegance.  Pair it with some gold, such as the logo and zipper on this purse, and I'm sold.  It clicked that I would probably get bored with either of the novelty colours (also, as my Dad always says, "where there's doubt, there is no doubt" - wise words) yet black would never go out of favour.  It just felt right.

As you can see, the purse has twelve card slots, plus two pockets behind them where you can keep extra, less used cards - you know, the Cafe Nero loyalty cards and the library cards for towns you no longer live in.  There's also the zippered coin purse and lots of room for receipts, notes, bus passes... you name it, there's a hiding place for it in this purse.

I had this ordered to the UK and made my mum bring it with her at the weekend.  She was flying with just hand luggage, a meagre 10kg allowance from Ryan Air, and complained about how heavy it was.  For the £60 it cost me, I should think so - if it'd been light as air, what exactly was I paying for?  I must say though, parting with a little extra money was definitely worth it.  It might not be the most cutting edge purse you've ever seen, but I know I'll use it for as long as it's alive and, at this stage in my life, if I'm going to splash out on something, I have to know I'll be getting my money's worth.  I'm pretty sure I will this time.

If you like what you see, this little number and its coloured siblings are still on sale.  Find them here.


  1. I am quite literally beyond jealous that you have this! I've lusted over pretty much anything Biba related for years! But, never had enough money, or felt brave enough to splash out! haha The purse is lovely though! And agreed on the black, it'll never go out of style. :)

    Aimée X

  2. That purse is just amazing..If only I could have one..

  3. this is go gorgeous. a new purse is on my christmas wishlist too....