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Tory Burch Perry Tote Review

Wearing Sandro Dress in size AU 8/FR 36 (AU Link, UK/International Link),
Chanel Slingbacks (affordable options: US/International Link and AU Link)
and Tory Burch Perry Tote (here)

SHOP THE LOOK

Believe it or not, the Tory Burch Perry Tote is my very first tote.  I know, I know – I am seriously late to the tote party. It’s no secret that totes are practical and functional – the market is well and truly saturated with them at different price points.  Even I’m surprised it took me this long to join the party.  

Previously, my shoulder bags – ie. Celine Belt Bag or Prada Double Saffiano Bag – sufficed in holding all of my day’s essentials.  While they can’t fit a laptop, I never really needed a larger style bag to transport all my things on a day-to-day basis. 

Since starting my secondment position back in September last year, I’ve been carting a laptop with me to and from the office. So the necessity for a larger and functional bag became apparent. I was on the hunt for a bag that was both functional and minimal in its aesthetic.   

I considered a lot of totes – like this Saint Laurent Tote and even the classic Louis Vuitton Neverfull.  But I wanted something minimal, compact and sturdy and I heard a lot of positive feedback about the functionality and design of the Tory Burch Perry Tote.  

I ultimately settled on the Perry Tote in the original size in Light Umber, which is a rich camel brown colour.  The triple compartment design feature was the ultimate drawcard for me (and only introduced as part of the new design in the last recent years). Rather than a big bottomless leather pit to dump my stuff, the three compartments keep my belongings much more organised!

woman in navy shirt dress carrying camel tory burch perry tote bag and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP AFFORDABLE TWO-TONED SLINGBACKS

Sizing

The tote comes in two sizes – original (the one I have) and small. 

Original

  • 28cm x 34cm x 13.4cm | 7.8” x 9.6” x 4.8”
  • Handles with a 24cm (9.6”) drop
  • Three interior compartments (1 centre zip compartment and two open compartments either side)
  • Fits a 13” laptop
  • Price $610 AUD | $348 USD

Small 

  • 19.5 cm x 24cm x 12cm | 11.2” x 13.6” x 5.3”
  • Handles with an 11cm (4.4”) drop and optional crossbody strap
  • Three interior compartments (1 centre zip compartment and two open compartments either side)
  • Fits a 7” tablet
  • Price $535 AUD | $298 USD
woman in navy shirt dress carrying tory burch perry tote and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP SANDRO MINI SHIRT DRESSES

Wear and tear

I’ve used the bag regularly now for the best part of 4 months. Unlike my other bags, where I put in a little bit of care, I’ve been relatively hands off with this bag.  The leather is so durable it honestly looks new. If I get something on it, it cleans really easily with a wet wipe.  The bag is made of a pebbled leather. The interior of the bag features bonded leather which gives the bag structure but it is still soft.  

In terms of functionality, I use the internal middle pocket to keep my keys, wallet, pens, ear buds, security passes for work and my headphones. The side compartments I use to hold my laptop, diary, my KeepCup and lunch (when I’ve been good and packed it my Porter Bowl the night before!).

One of my favourite features of the bag is the colour. I wear a lot of navy, black, white and grey to work and this bag complements all my outfits.

The tote comes with a removable charm in a contrast colour, in my case, red. The charm features the Tory Burch logo in a brushed gold finish. I’m not too fond of the contrast red colour charm that my bag came with so I opt to wear the bag without it.   

The verdict

For my one and only tote bag, it’s an absolute winner. The bag is soft but sturdy and it holds a lot while still looking really compact.

Even though it’s not as highly priced as the other bags in my collection, my husband thinks that it looks to be of the same, if not better, quality than some of my other designer bags.  

What fits inside

If you want to see what fits inside, head over to my Instagram where I’ve filmed a short IGTV video taking you through that I pack in my bag for a day in the office.

woman in navy shirt dress carrying camel bag and wearing chanel slingback sandals

SHOP MY TORY BURCH PERRY TOTE

tory burch perry tote in light umber

SHOP TORY BURCH PERRY TOTE IN OTHER COLOURS

I hope you enjoyed reading my Tory Burch Perry Tote review. If you liked this post, be sure to check out my review of my Celine Belt Bag and my Prada Saffiano Double Bag.

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The 3 Biggest Myths About Purchasing Designer Bags

Wearing Zara jacket (sold out – similar here), Nobody Denim Jeans, Tony Bianco Mules (sold out in black, available in red, similar style in black), Chanel bag (not available online)

SHOP THE LOOK

For the majority of us, buying a designer bag is a significant milestone. Personally, there is always a big build up before I purchase a designer bag. I’ll always do a heap of research until I’m satisfied that the bag is the right one for me.

Over the years, I’ve come to find there to be a lot of misconceptions about luxury bags – from what puts it in the ‘luxury’ category in the first place, the in-store shopping experience to the presumption of quality and craftsmanship that come with the big price tags.

In this post, I take you through the three of the biggest myths when it comes to purchasing designer bags.

#1 – If it’s expensive, it must be great quality

The idea that “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always ring true when it comes to luxury handbags. While you can expect the quality of luxury goods to be of a premium standard, the market is saturated with affordable options from smaller designer houses that offer the same, and at times, even better quality and craftsmanship.

It’s no secret that a price tag correlates with its popularity. And the more iconic the bag, the higher the price tag. Take the Chanel Classic Flap Bag that I’ve pictured in this post (I’ve got the medium for reference).  It currently retails for over $8,000 AUD (insane!) and Chanel continue to increase their price of their bags – because, well, they can. The iconic fashion houses have seen their classic handbags transcend years of trends and remain in high demand.

#2 – If it’s expensive, it must be functional 

Ha! This is one that my husband really doesn’t get.

To use my Chanel bag again as an example – it’s a beautiful piece, but apart from my phone, keys, card holder and a lipstick, it doesn’t really hold much more than that. I’ll still wear it any chance I get, but it has to be on days when I don’t need to carry too much with me.

Personally, I find the most functional bags are ones that can actually cart around all my stuff on a day-to-day basis. My Celine Belt Bag and Prada Double Bag are great examples of a practical designer bag, as are tote bags.

While my Chanel may not be the most functional, it’s a real beauty!

#3 – If I’m shopping at a luxury store, I can expect amazing customer service

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I find the in-store experience to be completely overrated.  It can be unpleasant if the store is busy and you need to wait to be served, and once you’re being served, you either encounter sales associates who will bend over backwards for you, or on the other end of the spectrum – unhelpful, judgmental and abrupt in their manner. The inconsistency in service puts me off shopping in-store and I buy online whenever I can.

I’d love to hear of any other myths when it comes to purchasing designer bags in the comments and whether you relate to any of my experiences.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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The Labels to Shop in your 30s – from High Street to High End

SHOP THE LOOK

In my tentative 20s, my shopping habits were nothing short of haphazard.  I was living at home while I studied at university. They were days of little responsibility – no mortgage, no clients, no kids.  I viewed the minuscule income I earned from my casual retail job as disposable. And boy, did I dispose of it! Save for public transport, phone bills and the occasional textbook, I had no qualms spending a full week’s pay on clothes… and that included full price Zimmermann. 

My relationship with money has changed and, thinking back, I wish I had developed healthier savings habits early on. While I don’t wish away the freedom that I enjoyed to spend my money exactly how I wanted at that time – I wasn’t a big drinker or party goer – I realise that most of my money was hanging in my closet. 

My 20s were a time for growth but now that I’m in my mid-30s, married and a mum, I’ve matured in both my spending habits and my personal style. 

SHOP MOCK NECK SWEATERS

My love for fashion hasn’t diminished by any means, it has just evolved to take into account the other areas in my life that require priority. 

As such, I have a different approach to shopping now.  As you would have seen in my post outlining my style goals for 2020, I’m continuing to apply a strategic and considered approach when purchasing any new pieces. 

Here is my trusty list of labels that I’ve enjoyed shopping in my 30s to suit all budgets from high street to high end:

Zara: $40 – $150

If I’m looking for a well-made piece on the trendy side of the spectrum, I always look to Zara. You can pick up a top from $40 and a blazer from as little as $70. They’re reliable if you’ve got gaps to fill in your work wardrobe and if you shop smart, you can find pieces that will last you for years.

Marks & Spencer: $30 – $80

I only recently tried out Marks & Spencer’s clothing range after collaborating with them at the end of 2019. As part of my partnership, they kindly gave me a voucher to spend and I picked up a couple of pencil skirts and a few knits for work. The quality of their pieces exceeded my expectations. I was particularly impressed with their ‘Cashmilon’ knits – they only set you back $32.50.

SHOP MY M&S PICKS
(All images clickable)

While there is no freestanding store to shop here in Australia – their online store is very user-friendly. I’m looking to repurchase more of their knits when the weather cools.

Uniqlo: $40 – $100

Uniqlo is a magical wonderland of quality basics. Linen, cashmere, merino – they’ve got it all covered. I’ve been wearing their 100% cashmere jumpers for years both to work and on weekends and their EZY ankle pants are great for work and only set you back $50 a pair. I particularly enjoy the convenience of their in-house alterations service and always take advantage whenever I’m buying pants. It saves me a trip to the tailor.

Everlane: $100 – $300

Everlane’s transparency and sustainability ethos sets it apart from other high-street retailers. In recent times, Everlane has focused on utilising recycled materials and repurposing them into garments. I have their ReWool Double-Breasted Overcoat (made of recycled wool and nylon) and it will be on high rotation this winter.

SHOP MY EVERLANE PICKS
(All images clickable)

I’m looking to continue to build a solid wardrobe of good quality basics. Everlane’s minimal aesthetic is right up my alley.

The Frankie Shop: $200 – $500

I’ve been slightly obsessed with The Frankie Shop since coveting the outfits of all my favourite fashion editors/bloggers wearing it last year to all the major fashion weeks. Their pieces are luxe and minimal – all with very reasonable price tags.

I have a pair of their Bea trousers (~$300) and I’m so impressed with their quality. Shipping to Australia isn’t the most streamlined process from their online store, so I rely on Net-A-Porter to get my fix. You can check out my picks from The Frankie Shop’s collection in a dedicated blog post here.

Reiss: $200 – $700

Reiss is the upper end of the high street. Their tailored pieces are exceptional quality (suit jackets from $600) as are their coats (from $650) of which I have two.

SHOP MY REISS PICKS
(All images clickable)

Reiss is stocked locally in Australia (at David Jones) but I prefer to shop it online from John Lewis or Selfridges because the prices are much better. 

Scanlan Theodore: $300 – $800

My love for Scanlan Theodore should be no secret to any of you following me on Instagram. I’m the proud owner of quite of few of their pieces.

When I was at university, I put the label up on a pedestal, and dreamed of the day that I would wear their suits to work. It was an amazing feeling to finally acquire several of their pieces and as you know, since I don’t stop banging on about the label, I’m a regular customer. I cannot recommend this label highly enough for investing in forever pieces for your wardrobe.

Theory: $300 – $1,500

Like Scanlan Theodore, Theory had always been the epitome of ‘making it’ for me when it came to dressing for work. It was a huge ‘fashion milestone’ of mine when I bought my first Theory piece – this trench coat – on sale no less (and still available here (international link) and here – (AU link)). Their pieces are so well tailored, I’m really looking forward to adding more of their pieces to my wardrobe in the coming years.

SHOP MY THEORY PICKS
(All images clickable)

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SHOP PENCIL SKIRTS

SHOP PRADA DOUBLE BAGS

See my comprehensive review of my Prada bag here.

So that rounds up my list of my favourite labels that I’ve enjoyed shopping in my 30s. I’d love to hear of the labels that you’ve enjoyed shopping.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

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Everlane Day Heel Review

Woman wearing jeans and black Everlane Day Heels
Woman wearing jeans, white shirt and Everlane Day Heels
Wearing Everlane Day Heels, H&M shirt (sold out) – similar here by Staud, Nobody Denim jeans and Celine Cabas Tote

I’m always on the lookout for comfortable and functional heels. These days I’ve been setting aside my 3” stilettos and opting to wear mid-heels.  Instead of commuting to the office in flats and switching over to my higher heels once I’m at work, I’ve been leaving home in my mid-heels and wearing them for the whole day.  I like the idea of leaving home in heels – I’m 5’2” so the extra height is a great boost of confidence. 

The Everlane Day Heels have been on my radar for a while. They’re a hugely popular shoe for Everlane and my curiosity was sparked even more as the feedback has been varied across the board.

Woman wearing jeans, white shirt and Everlane Day Heels

SHOP THE LOOK

I’ve been road-testing these heels for the past few weeks to see how they fair with my usual routine. I’ve been wearing them to work (including the usual drop off/pick up of kids routine before and after work), to run errands on the weekend and on date nights with my husband. 

I have my fair share of black shoes so naturally, I opted for a black suede pair. The heels comprise of 100% Italian leather. The toe is a round ballet-inspired toe with a modest 5cm (2”) block heel. There is an elasticated back with a pull tab and the insole is cushioned.

Woman wearing jeans, white shirt and Everlane Day Heels

Size and fit

I’m typically a size AU/US 6.5 (EU 37) and I have wide feet. Having read the reviews about Everlane’s narrow shoe make and the elastic potentially digging into the back of my ankle, I went up half a size and opted for a US 7 – and I’m glad I did. 

Even though I sized up, they still felt really snug in those initial days – especially around the toes. I also found the elasticated back dug into the back of my ankle which caused some discomfort in the late afternoons, after wearing them for the whole day.   

It took a solid week for the area around my toes to loosen up (including a pretty uncomfortable second day in them).  As for the elasticated back, it hasn’t loosened up as much as I’d like but it’s certainly got more give now that I’ve been wearing them for a few weeks.

Wear and tear

At first wear, the plush cushioned insole was a standout feature.  This continues to provide a huge source of comfort when wearing the shoe.  

As for the suede, I generally love the understated look it gives and I’m very impressed with the quality and feel of the Italian suede used in these heels. The suede looks to be of premium quality, feels sturdy but is soft to the touch.  Suede, particularly black suede, seems to be typically more of an A/W combination – but I’ve had no qualms wearing these during the height of summer here in Sydney. And, of course, because they’re suede, I avoid wearing them in wet weather (…not that we’ve had any rain during this particularly troublesome dry summer).

I’ve found myself reaching for these heels regularly since I got them, particularly for work and on Casual Fridays.  My shoe wardrobe comprises mainly of pointy toed styles so I do like the change of pace of the round toed style. I think they’re a less dressier and more relaxed heel. 

Woman wearing jeans, white shirt and Everlane Day Heels

The verdict

The Day Heel retails for $212 AUD / $145 USD. 

I think they’re a great price for the quality of Italian leather. The heels are incredibly versatile and provide simple elevation to my wardrobe without much effort. The heel height is modest and practical – making them perfect for me and my lifestyle. 

In terms of comfort – they’re comfy for heels but they’re not my most comfy pair of shoes.  My biggest bugbear is the elasticated back that is still not as loose as I would like, though I’m hoping with time it will give a bit more.

SHOP THE DAY HEEL IN SUEDE

SHOP THE DAY HEEL IN NAPPA LEATHER

Thank you to Everlane for kindly sending this pair for me to road-test.  

And to those tracking Everlane’s push for no plastic, my order arrived in a recyclable box and was packed with tissue paper and brown packaging paper. 

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“January Casual” – My Tips on Relaxed Workwear

Woman wearing casual friday workwear
Woman wearing casual friday workwear to the office
Wearing camilla & marc jacket (sz 6), Nobody Denim jeans (sz 26), Acne Studios Linen Tee, Tony Bianco mules and Celine bag

Apart from our interstate trip to see family in the lead up to Christmas, we’ve haven’t planned any other trips so I’m back on deck now. Spare me the condolences – one of the advantages of working when everyone is on leave is no back-to-work blues when everyone returns to the office at the end of the month! 

Also – another perk to working now is that I get to take advantage of “January casual”. 

Woman wearing casual friday workwear to the office with black blazer, jeans and celine belt bag

SHOP THE LOOK

While most companies enforce the usual business dress code from February through to December, with the exception of Fridays of course, most of the (non-stuffy) law firms I’ve worked in relax their dress codes to casual until Australia Day which falls during the last week of January on the 26th.  

The concept of relaxed dressing confuses many – and it’s not the workplace’s intention for employees to show up to work looking sloppy. Some misinterpret the idea of ‘casual’ so it’s important to always maintain a sense of professionalism.

Here are my tips to nail the “January casual” dress code:

Perfect the balance of professionalism and comfort 

As a rule of thumb, I like to convert one element of my usual work outfit to casual.  For example, I’ll wear a relaxed linen shirt with a pencil skirt or I’ll pair some jeans (…with no distressing or rips because, HR) with a plain tee and blazer. Keeping a structured element to your outfit retains the professionalism that you still need for the office.  

Dial it down a few notches with your footwear

In my personal opinion, and it may be a controversial one, January casual is the only time when open toed shoes and sneakers are acceptable in the office. Common sense still needs to be exercised of course – I’ll avoid my Birkenstocks but will wear ‘dressier’ flat sandals and if wearing sneakers, I’ll wear minimal ones.

Woman wearing casual friday workwear to the office with black blazer, jeans and celine belt bag

Here’s to those entering timesheets and traipsing around the office in sandals and sneakers!

Happy Casual January folks!

SHOP BLACK POWER JACKETS

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My Style Goals for 2020

asian woman in trench coat carrying chanel bag and wearing black heels
asian woman in trench coat carrying chanel bag and wearing black heels
Wearing Jac & Jack tee (colour sold out, similar style in cream and light blue-grey), H&M Skirt (sold out), H&M Relaxed Trench (sold out), Vince Camuto heels and Chanel bag

Happy New Year folks! 

My husband and I started off the year right by squaring away our family budget. As dull as it may sound, I personally find there to be freedom within the confines as I know where all our money is going in order to enable us to work towards our goals and more importantly – how much I can spend on clothing for the year!

According to this Who What Wear article, financial advisors consider that you should spend no more than five per cent of your take home pay on clothing. For example, if your monthly take-home pay is $5,000, you should be spending no more than around $250 per month and if your monthly take-home pay is $10,000, you should be spending no more than around $500 per month. (Sorry for the unprompted reality check…)

To kick off the year, I’ve set myself a few simple style goals. Setting these goals enables me to get more bang for buck out of my wardrobe, and keeps me on the straight and narrow with my allocated clothing budget for the year.

asian woman in trench coat carrying chanel bag and wearing black heels

SHOP THE LOOK

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Take a considered approach

The pieces that are still going strong in my wardrobe are the classics that were purchased after much research, planning and deliberation. Whether they were high-end, high street, staples or special occasion wears, wise choices on the fabric, fit and construction can make for an extended life of these pieces. Particular items that come to mind are denim, suiting and knitwear that will stand the test of time if you have an eye to the future.

I’ll be looking again to shopping my favourites including Scanlan Theodore and The Frankie Shop (preferably on sale!). That doesn’t mean I won’t be looking to the high street (ie. H&M, Marks & Spencer or Zara) for my fill on basics, but it just means that I’ll be focusing more on quality so they last.

asian woman in trench coat carrying chanel bag and wearing black heels

Keep it natural 

I’ll be continuing my focus to shop pieces made from natural fabrics – such as silk, cotton and wool. Along with the environmental impacts, I prefer how they feel against my skin and find they last a lot longer than pieces I have previously owned comprised of polyester and other synthetic fibres.

Keep it minimal

My approach to this goal is to maintain the course I have set for myself by steering away from trends and maintaining a minimal and neutral colour palette.  This approach has served me well, particularly with workwear, with my tailored navy pieces still going strong after several years.   

I love how bold patterns and prints can add such a point of interest to an outfit. However once worn, I find I have to wait some time before re-wearing it as it was so distinctive. While neutrals may not make that much of an impact, I’m faced with little dilemma when looking to repeat items, or even entire outfits! 

I can see lots of neutrals on the horizon for 2020 and beyond!

asian woman in trench coat carrying chanel bag and wearing black heels

I’d love to hear of any style goals or resolutions that you’ve made for the year and whether any of mine align with yours.

Thanks for stopping by!

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