Big is beautiful

Westbourne Tote, Radley, £250
Character in a bag.

Leather Studded Tote, Miu Miu, £920
Bang on trend with the studs, but understated.

Eton Bag, Aspinal £475
Croc-skin classic in a colour to die for.

Fippy Suede Bag, Comptoir des Cotonniers, £146
Equally useful – and attractive – for work or play.

Faithful Houndstooth Bag, Alexander McQueen, £995
Edgy yet miraculously suit-friendly.

Black Patent Circle Bag, William &Son, £1,025
This super-sleek bag says “I am the boss”.

Somerset Tote in Cerise, Mulberry, £425
A statement bag by a statement brand.


Zoe Strimpel
Why a big bag is a woman’s must

IN my early twenties I became obsessed with designer handbags and, at the time, small was considered beautiful. I forked out months of piggy bank savings (a fund for treats) on a Gucci number – black leather, compact, with a zip and a simple strap. The best thing about it – in my opinion – was the enormous, some might say garish, Gucci logo in shiny metal on the side of it. I wore this expensive bag with pride – even though I often couldn’t zip it up fully because there was too much inside.

But then times changed and it was all about tote bags. I remember ogling a massive Dior beach bag and wishing I had the funds. From then on I vowed never to invest too heavily in a bag that wasn’t big enough. If you’re anything like me, you like to carry a mini-house with you – book, glasses case, umbrella, makeup, an extra layer, A-Z as well as the usual phone, wallet and so on. Nothing looks worse than some random object poking out of a small and perfectly formed bag. I’m never going to fall into that trap again, and, luckily for us now, roomy totes are in, and as grown up and sophisticated as any sassy little gold-plated number I may once have dreamed over.