As I’m rather interested in clothing and accessories, that’s often what people buy me for Christmas and my birthday. Although everyone who’s close to me seems to know my tastes rather well – as proven by the slinky shoes, hand-knitted shawl, Doctor Who jewellery and heart-decorated cardie that I received this festive season – it never hurts to ask outright when there’s something specific you want. When that something is very special indeed, it also helps to have a birthday so close to Christmas that it can be requested as a joint present.
Last year, I just couldn’t stop thinking about the Beatrix handbag by TUSTING. A compact yet spacious bag with classic styling, made from top quality leather, this little beauty suited my needs perfectly. I even found out that they can make it with shorter handles at no extra cost, which is ideal for me as I never carry my bag over my shoulder. (I like to think that I evoke the glamour of the 1950s by carrying my bag in my hand, or in the crook of my elbow, but I’m probably just inadvertently copying my dearly missed gran.) Thankfully, the lovely Mr Topper granted my Xmas/Birthday wish and I now have a Beatrix all of my own! Please excuse me for a moment while I tell you all how lovely it is.
Founded in 1875, TUSTING is a family company who have been tanning the world’s finest leathers for well over a century. More recently, they’ve been making these beautiful leathers into stunning luggage. 100% made in Britain, these bags and briefcases are built to last but, if yours is a little too worn and damaged for your liking, the lovely people at TUSTING can also repair it for you. Looking at my Beatrix bag now, I can see it will be a long time before it needs that level of TLC! Despite the fact that many of the items I carry around every day are surprisingly heavy, my new bag is keeping its shape and still looking smart. The leather is beautifully strong yet smooth to the touch, and the hardware is all a gorgeous shiny silver colour. I didn’t realise just how poor quality the zips are on most bags until I opened the Beatrix! The cotton lining is hard-wearing and dark enough that it will never look dirty, plus there’s a zip pocket inside for important stuff like my keys, phone and Oyster card. If you’re not a fan of fancy gimmicks or style over substance, then Beatrix is the bag for you. I’m most certainly smitten.