I’ve been searching for a vintage school satchel for years. In every charity shop, at every car boot, my eyes are peeled for a brass buckle or leather strap. I’ve come close to buying from eBay before, but it’s hard to gauge the quality of vintage when you buy it online and I wanted this bag to be perfect.
Eventually, my need for a new bag overtook my desire for a truly vintage piece. When the strap breaks on your plastic faux-satchel and the contents of your bag spill out over platform 1 at Kings Cross, you know it’s time to invest. So I caved to a blogger cliché and bought a Cambridge Satchel.
I chose a classic 14″ satchel in yellow which cost £81, with £5.99 for postage. Every bag is handmade so delivery is estimated at around four weeks, although mine took six. The craftsmanship is simply stunning – this bag was a joy to unwrap!
Vintage dress, Primark cardigan and belt, brogues c/o Bertie, Topshop ring
I went for the sunshine yellow shade because it’s just such a happy colour – perfect for dreary autumn days. I love how vibrant it looks against my navy outfit.
The 14″ is the second largest size available (ranging from 11″ to 15″) and it’s just about big enough for everything I haul around with me. My iPad, purse and sunglasses fit snugly in the main compartment and my phone, diary, pen, mints and lip balm are slipped into the front. My MacBook fits in but there’s no room for anything else including the power cable, so if you need to carry a laptop around I’d suggest the largest size. I’m hoping the leather will give out as I use it so it’s not so much of a squeeze.
Although it was quite an expensive purchase, my general rule is to invest in bags and coats and save on the rest, and as a vintage alternative was proving impossible to find I think this satchel was well worth the price. The style is perfect for anyone who enjoys the librarian aesthetic (and let’s face it, who doesn’t), and the pop of yellow makes my heart sing. I’d love to build up a collection of Cambridge Satchels – the black version and the brown version would completely fill the satchel-shaped hole in my wardrobe. Maybe after payday…