Thursday Miscellany: Fall Bags And More

Navy and pine saddle bag from DeMellier London. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

My Latest Bag Crush

I probably get dozens of unsolicited catalogs each week in my mailbox. Usually it’s a quick glance and then into the recycling bin they go.* Something about the DeMellier London catalog caught my eye though, and I set it aside.

I’m always on the lookout for bags that are stylish as well as functional, and these designs really appealed to me. They’re sleek but not boring (thanks to some really fabulous colors.) They’re refined but not fussy. There aren’t a lot of superfluous details or hardware. The branding is unobtrusive. And they’re moderately priced for quality leather bags. (Above, the Oslo crossbody bag.)

My latest crush for quality leather bags: DeMellier London. This Mini Berlin bag is perfect for running errands or going out. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I saw that shipping and returns are free on orders over $250, so ordered one of the bags to examine. (Shipping is FAST, BTW. I received the bag within 3 business days from the UK.) The quality is indeed excellent. I love the color too, and am keeping it. This is the Mini Berlin in Forest Grain. It’s a smaller bag, holds my wallet, phone, keys, travel-sized lotion, business card case, and lipstick. Perfect for running errands or going out. It has an adjustable cross-body strap, or can be carried in hand with the top handle (does not fit over the arm, though).

You’ll be seeing this one in an outfit post soon, and I’m considering trying the larger size in a different color.

DeMellier Midi Venice bag in tan leather. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I also really like this style (Midi Venice) with both a top handle and cross-body strap. If you prefer your bags in a neutral shade, tan leather goes with everything.

I feel good about supporting a smaller woman-run business, and especially one that creates beautiful and useful products. And I love companies that are finding ways to do some good in the world: for each bag purchased, DeMellier will fund lifesaving vaccines for children in need in conjunction with SOS Children’s Villages.

There are many more styles, from wallets and leather accessories to laptop totes. And most styles include free monogramming if you like! You can see the full range of bags on their website.

The Iconic White Shirt And Another Good Cause…

Easy White Shirt from Lafayette 148 New York. More about this shirt and their campaign to help fund a school in China at une femme d'un certain age.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this recent post in conjunction with Lafayette 148 New York. They sent me this beautiful white shirt in Italian stretch fabric to style and share on Instagram. It’s part of their #MyWhiteShirt campaign to benefit #SchoolofDreams which provides a free elementary education to children in Shantou, China. For each time the #MyWhiteShirt and #SchoolofDreams hashtags are used, they will contribute $10. So if you’d like to take part, show us how you style your favorite white shirt and post on Instagram with those hashtags. (Shoes here.) Shirt c/o Lafayette 148 NY.

Do you like to add some color with your handbags, or do you stick to neutrals?

*I’ve had more than one person suggest that I should write to the companies sending catalogs and request to be taken off their mailing lists, but at this point the effort seems daunting.

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  1. Susan, I also received that handbag catalog and yes, they certainly look fabulous! I must mention, if perhaps they could also publish the dimensions of the bags and a photo of the inside? That helps me figure out if the bag will work for me. Cant wait to see that pretty green bag worked into your posts!

    1. I received the catalogue too and am very tempted. I had seen the Mini Venice on another blog and loved it, especially the pebbled leather. How heavy is your bag? I live in NYC where I walk everywhere and need that won’t weight me down. These bags are exactly my style and it’s great to hear that the quality is there. Also, for the poster Meg above, if you go onto the website and click on the bag you’re interested in, the dimensions will be available. I needed to do the same thing.

  2. HI Susan, I love the white blouse. Its seems to be very oversized …do you mind sharing what size you are wearing? I’m very short waisted and some oversized tops will look like tents on me. Trying to decide!

  3. Hello Susan, re the avalanche of unwanted catalogs: I regularly use the service of to help keep my mail delivery reasonable. They do a good job communicating with companies that will remove your name/address upon request. Some companies do not participate but the majority of catalogs I receive are, in fact, listed in the database and do accept one’s request for removal.

      1. I’ve been using catalog choice for many years. They do the work for you to eliminate unwanted catalogs. I tell everyone about it because we all get too much junk mail

    1. I’ve also used the app PaperKarma, if you have a smartphone/are a bit more techie. You snap a picture of the mailing label, and they contact the company on your behalf to get you off the list. Admittedly, it sometimes takes a couple of tries, but the junk mail has gone down *significantly* since I started using them. Very much worth the $20/year after the free trial.

  4. Save up a pile of the catalogs and then spend an afternoon on Catalog Choice ( It really will make a difference to reduce the volume you receive. (You’ll need the catalogs to enter the key code or customer ID from the back to unsubscribe yourself).

  5. I took my name off mailing lists as that is one of the most common ways identity theft can happen. However, you must repeat the request from time to time. Simple opt out in one shot works. ..

  6. I’m not a huge handbag person, but I have a few really good ones that will, quite frankly, last me the rest of my life. I have the same white shirt, just labeled differently for another company & I simply love it! It can be worn in all seasons, is comfortable & it looks great dressed up or dressed down. I would encourage everyone to buy this white shirt & help a charity at the same time!

  7. Hi Susan,
    How heavy is the bag? I love it but always need bags on the lighter side before I put all of my stuff in them. They are beautiful and totally my style!

    1. Hi SueAnne, it’s not the lightest bag in my collection, but it’s far from the heaviest either. I’ve worn it crossbody for extended periods of time now and find it quite comfortable. If you’re concerned about weight, you might want to try the Oslo bag, as it has less compartmentalization and so would be lighter.

      1. Thanks Susan. I’ll check it out. The burgundy and the green ones (as well as the navy) are all calling my name. LOVE the Forest Green of the bag you got!

  8. It feels good to get off those catalog lists. I usually just call the customer service number to do that.

    Think of the trees, gasoline and energy you’ll be saving!

  9. I support and appreciate charities and when companies “do good”. I’m probably saying something that not everyone would agree with but I wish companies would assist children and other needy folks here in America. There is so much need right in our own backyards.

    Ok…I’m a handbag junkie and these are fabulous in both color and style.

  10. Another handbag company that does good is Feed Project. The bags are more casual but well made and reasonably priced. They help feed people in the US and the world.

  11. For anyone interested in purchasing a Demellier bag, I just called the company and was told that you can use coupon code Autumn18 to save 10%! I still can’t decide which one I want. I’m leaning towards the Manhattan which looks super easy for every day and the price is great.

  12. I can appreciate the satisfaction from a well-designed bag that suits one’s needs. I would love to know how to care for them to keep them looking their best for years to come. I also wonder if the newer synthetic materials will wear as well. I think that this a subject worth visiting since these items are often the most expensive and utilized items in a wardrob

    Would you consider a post on the subject please? This could also possibly include the subject of shoe care.

    Thank you for the inspiration .

  13. Adore the bags but find that they need to get bigger as I get older. I now include reading and sun glasses, purse, phone, keys and tiny umbrella (I do live in England after all). I have always bought leather handbags but recently purchased synthetic, I suppose it is all about the design, what do you think?

  14. I too just took a month and every time I got a catalog, I called the number to discontinue mailing. I felt so good about the paper, money and waste I was saving the world! It wasn’t that overwhelming to do.

  15. I love the IDEA of using different bags, but the reality is that I usually find it’s too much trouble to change them. So, I’ve been paring my collection down, but still have a ways to go.

    1. Hi Julie, if you’re referring to the Midi Venice bag, the lighter tan color may no longer be available. The closest I’m seeing is the Cognac Grain, which is just a shade darker.