The Tote Bag I swear by for Work and for Play

minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review

Sussan polka dot top (this one is a dead ringer and I LOVE this option too!), J Crew denim skirt (this one is also cute), Linjer soft tote bag, Linjer watch, Dear Frances heels (block heel version here), Mademoiselle X Mejuri earrings

When it comes to bags, I’m a creature of habit. Most mornings, I’m in a little bit of a frantic rush (that’s what working essentially two jobs does to a girl!), so as glamorous as switching out my bag daily might seem, I prefer to have one handbag that I know I can rely on whether I’m heading out to the office, or catching up with friends on the weekend. And for the last six months, there’s only been one contender in my handbag collection which has really fit the bill; the Soft Tote from Linjer.

Rather than go for my usual choice of classic black, I opted for the soft tote in ‘chestnut’; which is worth nothing that in person the leather is a little richer and deeper in colour than it appears on the website. Given my relatively neutral-toned wardrobe, it’s proven to be the perfect pairing – particularly when wearing a softer colour palette, like above.

The bag itself is an incredibly classic design; it features one large open section, which is fully lined in a beige cotton twill, and a small interior hanging pocket, which is held shut at the top with a centre magnet closure. The exterior of the bag is incredibly simple – the only visible elements being some stitching at the seams, which in the currently climate of logo mania is a welcome reprieve. Crafted from a high quality vegetable tanned leather, processed using tannins from natural plant sources developed over 40 days, the aesthetic and overall feel, even some months after purchase, are of an incredibly high standard.

Perhaps the key selling point for me with this bag above others is just how functional the bag is. The interior comfortably fits a container for lunch sitting upright (I typically take leftovers from the night before into work each day), in addition to a makeup bag, my daily essentials, a pair of shoes, and the odd bit of miscellaneous mail from my PO Box.

I personally prefer to either wear this on my shoulder, or as a ‘top-handle’ bag – the latter I tend to go for when I’m carrying a little more than usual, as I find that when I overstuff the bag, the straps tend to slip off my narrow shoulders.

minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review
minimal polka dot outfit linjer tote bag review

Given that this has been my go-to bag for the last six months, both for my daily commute into the office, casual weekends running errands, and for travel overseas, it’s seen it’s fair share of wear and tear and I’m incredibly impressed with how it’s worn so far. The leather has softened up beautifully; while the bag still stands up on its own, it’s relaxed quite considerably and become more and more comfortable to wear. One thing I haven’t done is baby this bag, and I’ve been impressed with how little marking there’s been to the exterior leather – aside from some corner wear and minor surface scratches (which are the result of having an all too playful kitten…), it’s held up very well.

It probably goes without saying that this is one of the best additions I’ve made to my wardrobe this year, and I’m still struck by how often I get compliments when wearing the soft tote out and about.

In case you missed it, I actually did a full bag review of the Linjer soft tote bag back in March, which also includes an overview of everything that can fit inside (including a 13″ laptop!!), so if you’d like to check the out I’ve dropped it down below! x

Spring Wardrobe Essential: The Midi Skirt

spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle
spring wardrobe essential midi skirt minimal mademoiselle

Hollister top (old but similar here), Lover midi skirt (old but I love this one or similar here), Atmos & Here denim jacket (old but this is the same in a mid blue wash), Senso flats, 3.1 by Phillip Lim bag

Following on from my post last week, I wanted to talk about another spring wardrobe essential; the midi skirt. Warmer weather has been coming in waves, which has had me trying to get on top of my spring wardrobe staples a lot sooner than I’d anticipated.

This white cotton broderie midi skirt from Lover has been a wardrobe workhorse the last few years, as the cut and colour lend themselves well to the spring season, and this year is no different. If you go back through my archives you’ll see my favourite way to wear this skirt is either with a cashmere knit sweater, or a slinky silk cami – two silhouettes I absolutely love, though to mix things up a bit I’ll probably be pairing this with more fitted ribbed tees and off the shoulder crop tops, in addition to simple white tees with embroidery on the bust. I’m not really planning to add to my closet in a big way, so I’ll mostly be making do with what I have.

While I’ll usually throw on a cute mid-heeled sandal, a trusty pair of dressy flats is usually the much more practical option, and this pair from Senso has been a welcome addition to my closet for the upcoming season. As much as I love a black bag, the combination of this outfit called for much softer, muted tones, making my mini pashli bag the perfect pairing (it’s the perfect size for a weekend day bag!). I

Aside from being a great staple at home, I also feel like a midi skirt is perfect for packing in your suitcase for any holiday – I took this one with me to Italy and the US last year and it worked really well for both casual and more dressed up looks, plus it was nice to have something that I could rely on (that wasn’t denim!) when the weather cooled down a little.

I’m planning to share a few more of my spring wardrobe essentials in upcoming outfit posts, but in the meantime it would be great to know what some of yours are! x

My First Chanel Bag

chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag
chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag
chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag

the investment purchase: a chanel bag

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this rather spendy wardrobe addition with you for the last week… but in case it wasn’t completely obvious, I bought a Chanel!

Suffice to say, it was a pretty big decision – these days I scoff at the idea of paying full price for a pair of designer shoes. I’ve been thinking about purchasing a classic Chanel bag for the last few years, and after stumbling across my dream Chanel at their Castlereagh Street boutique (and getting the thumbs up from Luke), I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet. If you recall my blog post featuring some bags I’d been wish listing from earlier this year, then you might already have a pretty good idea what I came home with…

chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag
chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag
chanel chevron caviar leather small boy bag

the reveal

Rather than opt for a classic flap, I decided to go for the Chanel Boy Bag, which I’ve had my eye on since it was released in 2011. I’ve got a bit of a penchant for small sized bags, which in part might be due to the fact that anything other than a tote bag during the week is redundant for me, so it probably goes without saying that I decided to go for the small. While I do also like the medium – and it’s certainly a more practical size for day-to-day – personally I find that anything larger than the small can look a little boxy against your frame if you’re not careful.

As timeless as the classic Chanel quilting is, when it comes to the Boy bag I’m much more drawn to the chevron leather; it has a fresh and modern feel which I think gels a lot more with my personal style. The leather is the caviar leather, of which I finally understand the appeal – a lot of the lambskin bags I looked at in store had some minor visible marking – plus I love that it’s incredibly carefree and (relatively) low maintenance, two things I often look for when investing in a new handbag. The final detail is the ruthenium hardware, which I absolutely adore – I think the aged silver chain works perfectly against the rich black leather of the bag.

In case it isn’t obvious, I’m pretty smitten with my new bag purchase, and chances are that I won’t be able to help playing favourites when it comes to picking which bag to wear every weekend.

While I haven’t been able to find this exact model pre-loved online, I’ve pulled together some similar alternatives in addition to some other classic bags which would be equally lovely in any bag lovers closet! x

Winter Uniform #2

mademoiselle minimal winter uniform

Assembly Label sweater (it also comes in black), Blank NYC skinny jeans (also available here), Senso flats (they also come in black), 3.1 by Phillip Lim mini pashli bag (also here), Linjer watch, Astrid & Miyu zodiac rings, Go-To Skincare Super Handy hand cream

I shared a quick round up of some of my winter favourites a few weeks back; equally as simple but at the other end of the colour wheel, is this peachy and milky-toned outfit. Again, I’m all about anything easy, and during the weekend, a sweater with a great pair of jeans is generally the first thing that I’ll reach for.

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with these skinny jeans from Blank NYC; the denim is thick and has incredibly stretch, making them an absolute dream to wear, plus the lace up fastening is so unlike anything else that I already own.

What really makes this whole outfit is the dusky apricot ‘form’ knit sweater from Assembly Label. At least 99% of the outfits I tend to share are monochromatic or have a little bit of denim, and I feel like this helps to break up the – perceived – monotony somewhat, plus it looks cute tucked into a pair of high waisted jeans.

And then there are the shoes… I bought them on a total whim in a bid to have a muted yet dressed up pair of flats that would work for both weekends, and for the office, and these completely fit the bill. The elastic at the heel does take a little bit of breaking in but I love the way that these look with denim and with calf grazing midi skirts. They also come in classic black; it probably goes without saying that these are incredibly tempting, and I think they would be perfect paired with a cocktail dress for an understated elegance a la Grace Kelly.

Spring Wardrobe Essential: The Denim Jacket

spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit
spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit
spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit
spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit
spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit
spring wardrobe essential denim jacket mademoiselle minimal outfit

Everlane oversized poplin dress (I love this ladylike option too!), Topshp denim jacket, Charlotte Olympia kitty flats (affordable option here), Celine trotteur bag (similar more affordable style), Linjer watch

It’s not quite Spring yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about the key pieces I’ll be putting into regular rotation as soon as the weather warms up. Given we’ve been seeing the temperatures creep up into the 20s, I figured now was as good a time as any to start thinking about those spring wardrobe essentials.

I’ve been sticking to my no shopping diet (for the most part – I do have a rather spendy purchase to share with you all but more on that in an upcoming post… So instead of looking to inject some new spring-worthy items to refresh my closet, my plans are to remix what I already own, a thought which brings me a welcome comfort in knowing that I’ll get to pull out some of my favourite warmer wear workhorses.

My first spring wardrobe essential? A trusty denim jacket. The one I’m wearing above is a boyfriend style from Topshop which is the perfect mid-wash blue, with just the right amount of slouchiness, and I have a lighter wash cropped option from Atmos&Here which pairs well with fitted dresses and just about anything high waisted. Personally I love having those two options to choose from, depending on the kind of look I’m going for, though if blue washed denim isn’t your preference, I think a black denim jacket (like this one or also this one) makes for a great alternative.

One of my favourite ways to wear a denim jacket is simply with a white shirt dress – the one I’m wearing is from Everlane. It’s incredibly boxy, and has 3/4 length sleeves which look cute rolled up too. For the shoes, I opted for my trusty kitty flats from Charlotte Olympia (these are an excellent affordable dupe!!). I often fall back on these for relaxed weekend outfits as I know I can rely on them to not only look cute, but be super comfortable too. My bag is the trotteur bag from Celine; this is a relatively new addition to my wardrobe (I did an unboxing for it here), and it’s been perfect for weekends – I often tend to reach for this over all other options. Finally, my watch is the ‘classic’ from Linjer (I did a review on it here), which I adore for it’s inherent simplicity and lack of obvious branding, plus it’s a much daintier option than the other watches I own.

Is a denim jacket one of your spring wardrobe essentials, and how do you like to wear it? x