Are you thinking about buying a new handbag? We're not being a bunch of spend-your-whole-paycheck enablers here but the handle is falling off that one you've got and you keep losing your keys in the other one because you've ripped the lining. You need another one. Really. But let us give you a hand(bag) because they're not always easy to buy.
In the handbag-buying world it seems you have two choices: buy from the high street or jump a couple more price brackets and a waiting list and buy designer.
OH WAIT. No, wait. There's secret option C: independent handbag designers.
Known for their perfectly formed leather satchels, all handmade in the UK, Brit Stitch have quite a following. Their standard bags come in half pints, full pints and milkman sizes (that's adorable, right?) but the real talking point is that you can customise your own for an extra tenner. Half pint bags start at £70.
One of our favourite bag designers, Flaska Laverne is based in Spain but sells her bags through the ever-wonderful Boticca. Her designs are elegant and sophisticated and made to last. The leather is so soft and will only get more beautiful over time. Prices start at £82.
Edinburgh-based Blair Sorley likes to keep things local. Every single piece is produced from start to finish in the city, cut and made from hand in their studio. Their oversized leather clutches are the best purchase, but these little ladybird coin purses are adorable.
In a bid to fight against the high-street trend for mass production at low quality, Teals decided to created their own fashion brand, offering beautiful items produced on a small scale. They work with fashion designers who have the same values and create vintage leather satchels and handbags. The satchels are around £75.
Another brilliant Boticca stockist, Georgina Skalidi is actually based in Greece. She works her magic on suede, creating striking geometric clutch bags. They're handmade and affordable (prices start at £85) and add a pop of bright colour to a dreary wintery day.
This bag company go one step further with their leather bags. Inspired by their travels, they don't make their bags by hand, but they do use an ethical factory in Delhi. The leather is such good quality, and their lining is gorgeous travel-inspired prints. Now you just need somewhere to go on holiday. (But that's a whole other bag of tips.)
French & English always feel a little like a brilliant vintage shop. Like you've stumbled upon something no one else knows about. Maybe it's the name or maybe it's the fact that their leather bags are all limited edition. Whatever the case, the cute Parisian chic thing is definitely something I can get on board with. And since prices are around £60 for a small handbag, a Eurostar ticket isn't totally out of the question.