If there’s one brand I’m loyal to (the whole of ASOS doesn’t count), it’s the Cambridge Satchel Company. They turn ten years old this year, so what better time to share my collection with you. I’ve mentioned my love of them before, and for some reason that post had massive amounts of traffic from China. Maybe they really love satchels there, but I’m hoping this will make satchel fans from any nation happy. This isn’t even every satchel I’ve ever owned from them, but this is what I have right now, and I’ll talk you through it.
The yellow and pink 15″ Batchels (basically, a satchel with a handle on the top) are now sadly beyond repair and have gone to the satchel heaven in the sky (just landfill, really), and I miss them. I bought the pink one in 2011 when the company was in its very early stages, only just moving to its first factory, and the yellow one in 2013 after having the pink as my only satchel (imagine that) that I used daily until it fell apart. The pink one was only £64, I say only, but that’s pretty much my per-bag budget, and I’ve since tried to only pay around this price. Full price, their satchels can now be as much as £160-£250, but thankfully they have regular sales, and thats when I swoop in. It’s led to some disappointments, as colours I’ve really wanted have sold out before they were reduced in price (RIP Walnut Grey, I wanted you so much), and sometimes I’m not quick enough and a sale bargain I had my eye on has gone. Whilst I wish I’d never worn my original yellow and pink ones out, assuming (wrongly) they’d be part of the permanent collection forever and I could just replace them, I do like that Cambridge Satchel comes out with new season colours all the time. Perfect for a fan girl like me.
Most of the time I’m drawn to neutrals, and I tend to favour a 13″, unless I have a lot of paperwork to carry and then I need a larger bag. At first I didn’t think much of Moss, the light khaki green batchel (above), but it was the first one I’d seen with gold hardware, and I like that much more than the silver I’ve decided. You can see I’ve used Moss quite a lot and it’s getting a bit saggy, and the flap is cracked and becoming thinner. This is the same with all leather, it weathers with use. These satchels start off smooth and curved (like the grey one, above right) but then the top gets thinner and more pointed as you can see with the terracotta one in the middle. I try and rotate them as much as possible to keep them fresh, though the 15″ size is the only one that’s good for A4 folders and magazines, but the 13″ fits my MacBook okay.
Putty (above) is quite close to the Walnut Grey one I’m sad I missed out on. I wish it had gold hardware, but I still love it. Terracotta is the only shade I’ve duplicated, I have the 13″ satchel (above) and the large push lock handbag (below), though yellow is the colour I’ve bought the most different shades of. These ones (below) are my more ‘grown-up’ satchels I tend to take to meetings, or smarter events. I don’t think they make the twist lock satchel (below, right) anymore, I think it’s quite unique, and somewhere between a handbag and a satchel. The colour, Oxblood, is a real classic, and they have featured it across their ranges for a few years now. It doesn’t look like this shade is going to go, even if this style has now.
I LOVE the Poppy (the yellow one, above), it’s one of my favourite bags, you cannot go wrong with this no matter what it’s worn with. Every now and then I see this in the wardrobe and think ‘why don’t I use this more!’, and then after one day out with the Poppy I remember how annoying it is. There’s no pockets inside, and the curved bottom design means everything just sits in a heap. It’s so frustrating digging around in there for keys or a lip balm. Cambridge Satchel, if you happen to read this, for the love of god please just put a little phone pocket or something on the inside, just a pouch! It would definitely make me want more Poppys though, so maybe it’s a good thing they don’t. Stunning bag, absolutely gorgeous, if not very practical.
In 2013, The Cambridge Satchel Company teamed up with Vivienne Westwood for a very exciting collaboration, designing three different size bags in three colour ways. I love the squiggle design, that the straps have a geometric shape, and of course Westwood’s iconic logo stamped on the front. I was torn between the black with yellow squiggles or the terracotta (again) with a grey-blue pattern. My jaw dropped slightly at the prices, which started at £165 for the itty bitty size. Although these were limited edition, I bought my 13″ one about two years later in a final-final clearance sale, having resigned myself to the fact I couldn’t afford one, and would probably never own it. I think it was about £75 or £80, such a happy day! This is truly special, and as you can see, I hardly use it.
Cambridge satchel have always been great for their primary coloured beauties, and these are the ones that I get complimented on the most, I guess they make people feel nostalgic. I tend to wear these more on a casual day out, though I once wore a yellow one to a job interview by mistake (I was nervous), but the interviewer even commented on what a nice bag it was. I got the job, so maybe it helped me to be memorable. Sadly, the yellow 14″ one below is not as nice a yellow in real life as it photographs. This is how it looked on the website too, in reality it’s a much muddier orange-yellow, but not nice enough to be mustard. It’s okay, but not as pretty as my original yellow batchel. I’d really like a yellow satchel or batchel in this exact yellow. The red one is a 13″ called Brighton Red, and it’s a bit deeper than this photo shows, and I can’t remember the name of the 13″ blue one, though it looks very much like the Lagoon Blue they currently have on their website.
I also can’t recall the name of this tomato-red 15″ satchel (below), and I do tend to pass it over in favour of the more pillar-box Brighton Red. It’s still a nice colour though, despited being a bit squashed at the top (my fault), and it’s that useful 15″ size for days when I have big things to cart about.
The Zig Zag Large Push Lock (below) is my evening going-out bag of choice at the moment. I love it, and I always get asked where it’s from. This was very limited edition from their Christmas 2017 range, and I was heartbroken to realise it was sold out as soon as the January sale launched. I cursed not buying it full price (the large push locks are £100 each), and didn’t expect this gold and black stunner to be so popular. I phoned up the Covent Garden store and they didn’t have any, and told me to try another store. I rang the Brighton branch, fully prepared to get a train down there from London if needs be (mad collector alert), and was overjoyed to be told they not only had one in stock for £55 (I think), but would post it to me with no extra charge.
I was also over the moon to be gifted the Gold Stars small push lock bag from the Christmas 2017 range by Cambridge Satchel, the first time they’ve worked with me as a blogger. When bloggers gush about brands being their dream collab, this was definitely mine, and when they said they might also gift me something again in the future I almost passed out. I’m still not on their press day list (but I know which bloggers to spy on when those days happen, to get some sneak Instagram Story peaks), but I’m happy to have connected with them, even if it’s just the once. The small push locks are so cute, perfect to just fit an iPhone, lipstick and keys.
The Large Traveller bags are an eye-watering £225 (though I definitely paid under £100 for my sale bargains), and they’re perfect for a day’s excursion or road trip when you need to take lunch, a camera, your makeup mag and a few bits. I love their boxy shape, and they also have three pockets on the front and sides. If I have any colour regrets in my collection, it’s the Peony one (below, left). I liked it at first, a pretty, very pale peach. But there have been so many better colours released after this, including Sand, Ochre and Terracotta that are all in the nude and brown family, and would make much better Large Travellers (for my taste). I feel bad for Peony, but it gives me feelings of regret each time I see her.
The Ivy (below), on the other hand. Such a beaut. I always get a people stopping me about this one as well.
The Pumpkin Batchel (below) is my only other batchel (for now, mwah ha ha), though as you can see, it’s in way better nick than the Moss one. This is because I like the idea of only bringing Pumpkin out in October, being as autumnal in colour as it is. Is this crazy? Yes, and I’m also not averse to wearing one of my red ones throughout December, either. Pumpkin is a beaut, the gold hardware making it all the more spesh in my eyes. This came out in 2016, and I waited until it was in the 2017 January sale to bag this baby, making October 2017 it’s autumn debut.
I realise I maybe be going on about Cambridge Satchel’s prices a fair bit, I dream about being rich enough to just stroll into one of their shops and buy whatever I wanted each time a new season range drops. Until then, I need to be a bit thrifty, this is (almost) a ten-year collection, who knows how much it will grow in the next ten years? Cambridge Satchel’s current Spring 2018 range is driving me insane, there’s a new yellow shade called Matte Indian Yellow which is so pretty, I’m praying there’s some left for the sale. I’ve also got my eye on a large push lock in white with black polka dots, and another in Matte Eggshell. Cambridge Satchels are great designs, and well-made. They will last if you don’t wear them to death like I’ve done with some of their bags in the past. They’re an iconic brand that single-handedly reignited an interest in traditional satchels in the UK. Ten years on since they launched, Cambridge Satchel Company are still going strong, producing beautifully coloured and quirky designs that will get you stopped in the street.