Reviews

I roughly estimate that I own about 100 pairs of shoes. Handbags? Not even close as many. In fact, I just counted and it were 10 (with half of them being some kind of cheap-o bags from years ago). That’s why I feel like I really need to step up my handbag game, so my bag choices can be as extravagant and well-decided as my shoe choices. Now I’d love to be in the position to start a designer handbag collection and jauntily spend thousands on lustworthy arm candy made of the most luxurious leathers, but unfortunately, like so many of us, I have a limited budget and quite a few monthly bills to pay. Luckily for me, BagInc was nice enough to help me stay within my budget by sending me their fabulous Melrose Glam “So Soho” Leather Satchel to testdrive (thank you very much!). Many of you, as I’m sure, will instantly notice that it’s designed to have the look of Mulberry’s almost iconic now “Alexa” bag. BagInc’s version however will only set you back $139 while you’d have to spend a whopping $1,5k on the Mulberry designer bag.

Melrose Glam "So Soho" Satchel in black (Mulberry Alexa knockoff)

Melrose Glam “So Soho” Satchel
($139, BagInc)

Me Toting My New Melrose Glam “So Soho” Leather Satchel

Melrose Glam So Soho Leather Satchel Review (a Mulberry Alexa bag knockoff)

I was immediately intrigued by the idea of reviewing yet another Melrose Glam bag since I already reviewed one of their other bestselling bags which I absolutely loved and ever since wondered if it was just a fluke or whether they could hold up that quality level.

Melrose Glam So Soho Leather Satchel Review (a Mulberry Alexa bag knockoff)

So?

I think my “real life” pictures from above will do most of the talking. If not: nope, no fluke, this satchel is yet another wonderful quality bag well worth the $139 investment. The marbled leather is sturdy and looks and feels awesome. I also love the attention to detail; everything about this bag looks carefully constructed: the hardware, the stitching, the inside lining of the bag, etc.

But?

No big downsides about this bag, but I do want to state that the bag had a small and hardly noticeable rub spot and tiny speckles of what seemed to be white paint. The rub spot doesn’t bug me much since it’s really small and the white speckles on the inside of the flap fortunately were non-permanent and easily removable.

There is one thing though that I wished was different about this bag and that’s the side straps which aren’t adjustable. I know it’s the desired look, but that makes it impossible to enlarge the inside volume of the bag which could be easily achieved if the side straps were adjustable. Since I’m the type of person who carries all her life in her bag, it really annoys me. That way the satchel isn’t big enough to hold all of my travel essentials (a DSLR camera + backup lens need a lot of space, people!), but on the other side it is also too big and heavy to be used as a quick-out-the-door bag companion.

Bottom Line

Once again Melrose Glam managed to create a great looking quality bag at a fair price (get it for less by using our exclusive 10% OFF promo code “INTHEIRCLOSET“, worldwide shipping is free on orders of $99+). Apart from the 2 minor things I mentioned above, the bag is pretty much perfect.

PROS:

  • Great quality & craftmanship!
  • Fair price!
  • Real leather (sturdy and non-smelly)!
  • Mulberry Alexa look for a fraction of the original’s price!

CONS:

  • Came with a teeny tiny rub spot and a small (though removable) white stain on the inside!
  • Side straps not adjustable (= depth/inside volume of the bag can’t be enlarged)
LookOur Rating: ★★★★★
QualityOur Rating: ★★★★☆
WearabilityOur Rating: ★★★★½
PriceOur Rating: ★★★★☆
OverallOur Overall Rating: ★★★★½

{ 2 comments }

Review: BagInc Alexa Studded Bag

by Irina on March 4, 2012

Like many of you I was quite smitten with Alexander Wang’s Rocco bag, but again, like many of you, I didn’t have a spare $875 to indulge in this studded handbag goodness. Then I discovered BagInc’s “Alexa” – a bag quite worthy of the perfect “Doppelgänger”-title, all that for $179 (and we’re speaking real leather bag here!). But since I’ve always been more of a shoe girl, acquiring new footwear was always first priority, hence I never got around to actually buy this fabulous looking bag. Luckily, a few months later my fashion blogger status enabled me to get this studded beauty for free because BagInc contacted me and asked whether I’d be interested in reviewing this particular bag since they saw so many orders from people who found this bag via our Real vs. Steal post on the Alexander Wang Rocco bag. I was. Here is my review:

BagInc "Alexa" Studded Bag in black (Alexander Wang Rocco knockoff)

BagInc “Alexa” Studded Bag
($179, BagInc)

My BagInc “Alexa” Bag

Review: BagInc Alexa Studded Bag in black

The first thing I can confirm (which you can probably already see from my photos above) is YES, the bag looks just as good in real life as it does on the product photo. And it feels goood, too. But first things first.

The bag arrived packed very flat, so what I did first was restoring the bag’s shape by stuffing it full with leftover padding material. I let the bag sit like that for around 2 days, then took it for a closer inspection. What really stood out most to me was the supberb quality and the involved craftmanship, I didn’t quite expect to get that from a $159 bag that came all the long way to me from Hong Kong, China. So I looked closer and tried to find the catch. But nothing. The brass hardware looked good, zipper worked like a charm, no loose threads or horrible stitching or any sign of smelly leather.

Another thing I really liked about this bag is the textured leather which feels soft yet sturdy and is also cut quite thick which I think is a huge bonus since paperthin leather bags tend to rip easier and wear down quicker.

But?

There are two minor things that slightly bugged me about this bag. 1.) I wished it was about 2-3 inches wider which I think would make the bag look less square-ish when you’re looking at it from the front. 2.) Due to its duffle shape the bag looks best when it’s stuffed to the brim. The structure of the bag is not stable enough to hold up the round shape on its own, so if you want the full-fledged duffle shape you have to stuff the bag which might be a problem to some of you who, opposed to me, don’t tend to carry all their belongings in their bag.

P.S.: If anyone’s interested in the details of my outfit. I got the coatls and scarf (sold out!) from ASOS, the ring is from The Quiet Riot (YSL Arty ring look-a-like). Shoes are by Dolce Vitaamazon.

Bottom Line

It is a quality bag and definitely worth the $179 investment (get it for less by using our exclusive 10% OFF promo code “INTHEIRCLOSET“). Apart from the 2 minor things I mentioned above the bag is pretty much perfect.

Do I recommend this bag? Yes. Would I have bought it with my own money? Yes, I just didn’t because sometimes you have to see (and feel) something in real life before you recognize its true fabulousness.

Don’t believe me? Read one of the many bag reviews which are almost all 4-5 star reviews with people being totally amazed by the quality of this bag (just like I am!).

PROS:

  • Great quality & craftmanship!
  • Fair price!
  • Real leather!
  • Alexander Wang Rocco look for a fraction of the original’s price!

CONS:

  • Could be a few inches wider!
  • Duffle shape best visible when bag is filled generously with stuff
LookOur Rating: ★★★★★
QualityOur Rating: ★★★★★
WearabilityOur Rating: ★★★★☆
PriceOur Rating: ★★★★☆
OverallOur Overall Rating: ★★★★½

(The bag has been provided to me for review)

{ 15 comments }

A few months ago Ugglebo Clogs contacted me and asked whether I’d be interested in “testdriving” a pair of their famous clogs. I was a little hesitant to agree at first because clogs aren’t exactly in my scheme of prey when shopping for shoes. But I went to their website anyway, took a look at their products and instantly fell in love with the Seattle Mid Shearling Boot. A few days later a big package from Sweden arrived on my doorstep.

Ugglebo Clogs Seattle Mid Shearling Boots in tan

Ugglebo Clogs Seattle Mid Shearling Boots
($319, Ugglebo)

Ugglebo?

Ugglebo Clogs is a Swedish Clog company that focuses on providing traditional clogs, high-fashion clogs and clog boots. They started creating clogs during the 1960′s and 70′s and the company was officially founded in 1965 by Sven Carlsson.

Ugglebo Clogs

Ugglebo focuses on the legacy of the Swedish clog making industry while incorporating a contemporary approach to its collections. Each clog is still crafted by hand, using the time-honored techniques and luxurious materials. Ugglebo Clogs aims to craft their footwear using the finest leathers, wooden bases, and metal hardware available.

Ugglebo Clogs

My Ugglebo Clogs

Review: Ugglebo Clogs Seattle Mid Shearling Boots

Sorry for the bad lighting, guys. These photos were shot on a very gloomy day about 20 minutes before nightfall set in, so the light was pretty crappy in the first place and almost gone already in the second, but I hope you still get a good grasp of how the Ugglebo boots look in real life.

When I first put them on it was like a sensory contradiction. The shearling lining was warm, soft and cozy, it felt like slipping into a cloud, while the wooden platform made the boot feel very heavy and stiff at the same time.

Walking in clogs as I learned from my experience takes some time and effort because the sole doesn’t bend which feels awkward at first and makes climbing stairs a bit dangerous, but it’s nothing too serious and surely no unsolvable quest. I quickly adjusted after wearing my boots for a few quick errands.

Unfortunately due to the mild winter we’re experiencing here I couldn’t fully test them under extreme cold weather conditions yet. There was no walking or playing in the snow and no freezing temperatures though I’m very positive the shearling lining would keep my feet toasty warm and me pleasantly happy when we’re being hit by a blizzard the next time.

Bottom Line

I love my Uggleboo shearling clog boots! I never thought I’d like or wear them as much as I do. Sure they’re a bit tricky to combine with and probably only suitable for the colder seasons due to the shearling lining, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be having these boots for a long time and they’ll be lifesavers during the next cold winter.

Oooh, and did I mention the “Seattle” boots ($289) come in a non-shearling version as well? I also like the casual coolness of the studded “Philly” ankle boot clogs ($259). Visit Ugglebo Clogs and see if anything tickles your fancy!

PROS:

  • Superb quality & manufacturing. These are handmade shoes, people!
  • Very warm and super comfy boots.
  • Everyone commented on the cuteness of these boots whenever I had them on.

CONS:

  • Price! Might only be a worthwhile investment for die-hard clog fans.
  • Heaviness of the boots! It’s in the nature of real wood clogs to be rigid and heavy though, so don’t buy if you’re looking for lightweight boots!
LookOur Rating: ★★★★☆
QualityOur Rating: ★★★★★
WearabilityOur Rating: ★★★☆☆
PriceOur Rating: ★★★☆☆
OverallOur Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

(The boots have been provided to me for review)

{ 4 comments }

Leopard is one of those prints that is really a fashion staple, although it seems to come in and out every few years. Well, it’s in again for the fall/winter 2010 season, and in a big way. Designers are peppering everything with it, so American Chic‘s Leopard Print Tassel Hobo is dropping at the absolute perfect time.

American Chic Leopard Print Tassel Hobo

American Chic Leopard Print Tassel Hobo
($70, American Chic)

Vahni & Her American Chic Leopard Print Tassel Hobo

Vahni & Her American Chic Leopard Print Tassel Hobo

As I mention in my video review, I’ve been scouring the ‘net for affordable leopard bags, without much luck. There is a lot out there in the $1.200 to $2.900 range, but not much for the everyday person. This bag is a fun, irreverent leopard piece that is like an instant wardrobe update, and for only $70.

What I loved about this bag—other than its generous size and useful interior pockets—is the braided tassel detail, and the gold hardware. At-a-glance, the bag looks luxe, and makes a statement. Without the tassels and gleaming gold, I might not be so enamored. They really take this bag to the next level, and are the kind of details a synthetic bag should have to keep it from looking cheap.

Bottom Line

The American Chic Leopard Print Tassel Hobo is a fantastic—and practically foolproof—way to cost-effectively work some leopard into your wardrobe. I think the bag will hold up fine for a season or two of regular use, perhaps longer. It is also a nice alternative for those who are opposed to wearing animal fur, but really want a bag covered in this vibrant, glamorous pattern.

PROS:

  • Will never show a speck of dirt.
  • Fun, on trend, inexpensive. Great animal-friendly alternative to calf-hair leopard print print bags.
  • Roomy, cloth-lined interior with three pockets. Big enough to fit a laptop in.

CONS:

  • A large bag; may be overpowering for petite women.
  • Seams near the strap look a little fragile, like they might tear with repeated, heavy use.
  • Synthetic material is a little plasticky, though texture on the surface does make it more believable.
LookOur Rating: ★★★★☆
QualityOur Rating: ★★★☆☆
WearabilityOur Rating: ★★★★☆
PriceOur Rating: ★★★★☆
OverallOur Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

(The bag has been provided to Vahni for review)

{ 6 comments }

Review: Plattoes Shoes

by Celine on July 2, 2010

A girl just simply can’t have enough shoes. Handbags? Yes. Dresses? Probably. Shoes? Never. It is for this reason that I was over-the-moon enthusiastic to try out and review Plattoes shoes. They have, what I think, is a truly unique concept: you pick out the base shoe (wedges or heels) and then you have multiple ribbon options to choose from. Both pairs of base shoes come with metal loops to thread the ribbons through. They have 6 double-sided (reversible) ribbons and 18 standard ribbons. You can buy as few or as many as you’d like and the idea is to mix it up as often as you’d like.

Plattoes Heel Base

Plattoes Heel Base
($79.99, Plattoes)

Celine & Her Plattoes Heels

Celine & Her Plattoes Heels

The concept is original and fun, it’s quite exciting to be in the driver’s seat, so to speak, during the design of your shoe, and the idea of being able to switch up the color (ribbons) whenever I felt like it was pretty awesome. But does it work? Are the shoes comfortable? Are the ribbons easy to thread and tie? And first and foremost, are they cute? I’m sure you’re all wondering what the answers to those questions are, because I pondered them as well.

The shoes come packaged nicely in your standard shoe box. The ribbons are wrapped in plastic. I urge you to go on to the site and watch the various How to Tie videos, as attempting to tie the ribbons by “instinct” (as I did) turns out to not be so fruitful. Trust me. The shoes will feel loose and uncomfortable. The videos show you how to double tie, make cute bows, etc. Also, a tip from me: put the shoes on your foot first and only then start to tie. If you don’t proceed this way, your ribbons may end up being too tight and you’ll have to try and shove your foot under them… as I… ahem… did. You’ll get a much better, yet still snug fit if you do it this way.

Once on, I have to say, the shoes were pretty darn cute and ended up being moderately comfy after wearing them out shopping for a few hours. I opted for a black & white gingham ribbon, a navy striped ribbon and a red, double-sided, polka dot ribbon. I love the idea of being able to switch the ribbons according to what outfit you’re wearing, but I have to say – the process of tying the ribbons does get to be a bit tedious and to be completely honest, I never got a super comfortable fit – although I think I probably just have to dedicate some extra time to figuring out which ribbon-threading works best for me. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had chosen the wedges, as I think that shape of shoe lends itself much better to this concept.

Bottom Line

All in all, the idea is really fun, the ribbons are incredibly cute, but I think you have to have the patience to thread and re-thread the shoes for this to work best. I would also recommend purchasing the wedges over the heels and definitely watch the videos provided on the site for tips. If you do that, I think you’ll most likely be pretty psyched with your purchase.

PROS:

  • There exists a ribbon to match every outfit
  • A great price considering how many different looks you get
  • Really cute “retro” look

CONS:

  • Definite learning curve when it comes to tying the ribbons
  • Comfort wise, they never feel quite like normal shoes
LookOur Rating: ★★★★☆
QualityOur Rating: ★★★☆☆
WearabilityOur Rating: ★★★☆☆
PriceOur Rating: ★★★★★
OverallOur Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

{ 3 comments }

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