Sunday, 25 December 2011


Wishing all our valued customers a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

What Makes A Good Handbag Really Great?

We asked a few ladies what separates a good handbag from a really great handbag and here is what you said.

Many women sited colour as being their number one priority for choosing a handbag with Black being the most popular as it’s a colour that goes with any outfit and can be used for many different occasions. If the budget is tight and you can only afford one handbag then it has to be black. For those who like to stand out and are not afraid of colour, the brighter and more eye-catching the better.  Matching bags and shoes are a fashion faux-pas.

High quality is next on the list of basic requirements. Words such as durable and long lasting were bandied about with craftsmanship. One lady intimated that she needed her handbag to stand up to lots of abuse. Most women agreed that leather was a hardier and more beautiful looking material for handbags than PU or fabric.

 Gianni Conti Maremma Cross-Body Bags £95.95
As quality is generally linked to budget, it was agreed that in reality you should buy the most expensive handbag you can afford. However, if you saw a handbag to die for, then by hook or by crook, you’d find the money to buy it whatever the cost.

Yes, size does matter! Many women want a large handbag with a roomy interior as they need to carry lots of items. This goes hand in hand with bags which open wide for easy access. Equally, lots of women want small, neat bags that look cute and are not cumbersome or heavy to carry.

A number of women cited pockets as being the most important factor. Handbags with great organisational features such as interior side zip pockets, pen holders, sections for credit/store cards and i-Phone holders were most prized. Outside pockets also increased a handbag’s attractiveness as they are useful for storing keys and items you want quick access to.

Smith and Canova Large Handbag - Venice - £99.95
A lot of women like their handbag to fasten with a zip. If the handbag is accidentally dropped, embarrassing contents don’t fall out. Plus, there is an additional feeling of security when out and about in cities or on local transport where pick pockets might be ready to take advantage.

This also featured quite highly on the list of requirements. Women wanted their handbag to be noticed and admired. A stylish handbag with a fashionable design is viewed as a status symbol. The perfect handbag is one that can be lovingly gazed at time and time again, giving you that warm happy feeling.

Following on from Creativity, handbags made to showcase fashionable designer effects are high on the list of desirability. Distressed leather, washed leather, metallic, slouchy and crunch leather feature highly in the most wanted lists; anything that is not plain and boring but with plenty of detail.

Marta Ponti Onion Bags £119.95

Timeless Classics.
A high proportion of women wanted their bags to be classically timeless. If they found a bag they adored, they wanted it to last forever. If they had to change their handbag due to wear and tear, then they wanted it to be exactly the same as the previous one they had owned.

Bag Charms.
Ladies love dangly bits. Big themes include animals, hearts, letters and gems. Fashion plays a big part in choice, too; shiny gold and silver for those who love bling; feathers and beads for a touch of boho; dark and mysterious for gothic; vintage or antique for the preppy look.

Much the same as for bag charms, personal preference is the overall decider as to whether to opt for gold, silver or antique metal fittings on handbags. Interestingly, it also depends on what colour jewellery you normally wear.
 Catwalk Collection Laptop Bags - Helena - £89.95

Interior fabric was another important factor in the perfect handbag but for many differing reasons. Light coloured fabrics are revered as you can find contents more easily. However, as many women said they preferred dark coloured fabrics as they hide stains from leaky pens and perfumes. Signature linings where the maker’s brand name is imprinted into the weave are seen as the most elegant. Patterned linings or stripes are playful and fun-loving.

Long cross-body straps or shoulder straps that can be adjusted to fit for personal sizing would be a nice option

Find your perfect handbag at

Monday, 5 December 2011

What gifts and presents will you be buying online during Cyber Monday?

The first Monday in December has become known as Cyber Monday when people rush to their computers to order Christmas gifts for family and friends. Cyber Monday is always the busiest day for internet purchases. The mix of December Sales and brand new products arriving online produces an exciting frenzy of Christmas shopping second to none. 

This Christmas looks set to be another record-breaker for many online sectors. It is forecast that shoppers in the UK alone will spend around £19million per hour on the biggest online shopping day of the year and online retailers are bracing themselves for a record 85million visits today.

The bestselling selling products in The Real Handbag Shop online are Catwalk Collection Handbags and staff at the warehouses are working flat out to deal with more orders this year than ever before. Also very popular are Gigi Handbags and at the luxury end of the market, Gianni Conti Leather Bags. Customers know there are big savings to be had on leather handbags, work bags and purses when they buy online. Peak buying times will be at lunchtime and in the evening.

 Buy Christmas Gifts and Presents from

Friday, 2 December 2011

October Birthday Gift Ideas for Men and Women

Whether you are buying a gift for a charismatic, diplomatic, idealistic and romantic Libra or an ambitious, intriguing, discerning and sexy Scorpio, here are some great ideas for people who have October birthdays.

October Birthday Facts
 Birthstone: Opal
Flower: Marigold or Calendula
Star Sign: Libra (the scales) September23 – October 22
Star Sign: Scorpio (the scorpion) October 23 to November 21

 Ladies Leather Handbags from £29.95 and Purses from £25.95

Famous Celebrities Born in October
 Julie Andrews Actress b. October 1, 1935
Kate Winslet Actress b. October 5, 1975
Simon Cowell A&R Executive b. October 7, 1959
Sharon Osbourne Celebrity b. October 9, 1952
Paul Simon Singer b. October 13, 1941
Roger Moore Actor b. October 14, 1927
Zac Efron Actor b. October 18, 1987
Kim Kardashian Socialite b. October 21, 1980
Katy Perry Singer b. October 25, 1984
Hillary Clinton Former First Lady b. October 26, 1947
Bill Gates Entrepreneur b. October 28, 1955

Mens Leather Bags from £45 and Wallets from £11.99
 October Poem by Robert Frost
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Accessories Gift Guide for Men! What Women Want!

Yes, we all want to give surprise presents which are an instant hit with the recipient. In our mind’s eye we rehearse their faces lighting up with joy when the wrapping is removed to reveal a gift just perfect for them. After all, a well thought out present will delight and there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing a genuine smile in return. 

 Oriano Purse and Keyring Gift Set £25.95

So how do we get the right gift? Just take your time, maybe sit down with a cup of coffee and focus on the person you want to buy for. It may be handy to write a list of attributes associated with that person. What music do they like? Do they have hobbies or play sport? What job do they do? So, for example, the intended recipient may be femail with blond hair and green eyes. She loves cooking but already has a whole library of cook books. She loves dressing up and going out on shopping expeditions with her friends. Her clothes are mainly mixes of blue. She wears silver based jewellery.

 Gigi Matinee Purses £24.95

Next you need to plan your budget and decide how much you want to spend. It’s not always the biggest gift that is the best, sometimes it’s those little gifts that mean the most. For the femail who loves going out shopping a new handbag or stylish purse is a clever idea. A dark navy blue handbag would look absolutely fabulous with blue clothes and one with silver fittings would complement her jewellery. A purse can be any colour as it mainly stays out of sight but if she has green eyes, the chances are she’d love a green one. Most ladies will prefer leather over PU or plastic as not only is leather perceived to be of greater value, it looks better, feels nicer to handle and will last longer, too.

 See a great selection of leather purses at

Monday, 21 November 2011

Bolla Bags! Brand Spanking New Handbags!

Bolla Bags first appeared on the British handbag market at the end of 2007 and is already very popular across the UK and Ireland. Making both classic and stylish bags from luxury leathers, the emphasis is on high-quality at an affordable price. 

As a company based on the Dorset and Hampshire border and very close to the New Forest, it’s not surprising that the collection is hugely influenced and inspired by the countryside lifestyle. Soft fresh leathers, rich tones and exciting new shapes, highlight the classic and quintessentially English countrified styling for which Bolla is fondly known.

A limited collection of sixteen Bolla Bags will make a guest appearance at The Real Handbag Shop website this month. Please tell us what you think of them and if you would like to see us stock more styles of Bolla Bags in the future.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Leather Handbags for everyday use

The Real Handbag Shop Team is often asked what constitutes a great handbag for daytime use. Naturally, this largely depends on your own personal lifestyle and what you like to carry round on a daily basis but it’s interesting to note what Dannii Minogue says in her book ‘My Style’ (published by Simon & Schuster) on the subject of her own handbags for daytime use: ‘I like a decent-sized bag so that I can throw everything in it. I joke that my handbag is a mini wardrobe. I choose bags with at least one zip pocket inside them where I can keep the things that I can’t afford to lose – my keys, phone and lip balm.’

If your old handbag is looking a bit dilapidated and you’re looking for a new one or you’ve simply outgrown the last handbag and need to upgrade, here are some tips to help you choose the perfect new handbag for everyday use.

Firstly empty out the contents of your existing handbag and lay them out on the table; get rid of any objects superfluous to use and add anything you can’t live without. This will give you a good idea of the size required. Ideally, you don’t want a handbag which is too big or the contents will be swimming around, nor do you want an over-packed small bag bursting at the seams.

Handbags with myriad pockets can be handy to keep all your items in a fixed location from where they can be retrieved quickly and easily. Catwalk Collection makes a number of Organiser Bags in every conceivable size and colour but for everyday use we can highly recommend their Big Bellstone Tote Bag at £69.95 (photo left). Each bag is made from Vegetable Tanned Crunch Leather and comes in the most gorgeous colours of jet black, dark brown, navy blue, red and green. If this isn’t quite big enough, The Kensington Tote Bag at £74.95 gives you that extra space.

If you want an elegant luxury handbag which looks and feels expensive you can’t go far wrong with one made from Italian Leather. Again, there are plenty of styles to choose from but if we had to pick just one, it would have to be the Mock CrocA4 Tote Bag by Gianni Conti at £149.95. This is a ladylike bag and absolutely fabulous leather which is so heavenly it almost makes you go weak at the knees.

If you don’t want a heavy leather handbag, look for lightweight leathers or handbags with few or no metal fittings. The Gigi Collection of handbags is made from high quality leather which is soft and comfortable and won’t weigh you down. We love their Organiser Shoulder Bag at £64.95 which comes in soft Antique Leathers; check out delicious cream, honey, red, dark navy blue, dark brown and jet black.

If keeping the contents of your handbag safe and secure whilst out-and-about is a priority, look for handbags which fasten with a zip. Kipling’s Charu Bag at £109.95 is an excellent choice; this is a spacious shoulder bag made from fashionable Vintage Leather with zips all round. We give this one 10/10 for Street Cred!

Bucket Bags tend to have one large compartment which is great for throwing everything in and remains a popular choice for everyday bags. If you like to be on the receiving end of seriously admiring glances opt for either Alex by CatwalkCollection at £79.95 or Caz at £84.95

All these leather handbags and more can be found at

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery 2011

A Guide to Christmas 2011 Online Ordering from The Real Handbag Shop Website

Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery from the U.K. 2011:
Fri 2nd December – South and Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (incl. Japan), Australia and New Zealand.
Thu 8th December – Eastern Europe, USA and Canada.
Fri 9th December – Western Europe
Mon 19th December – UK (Saver UK, 1st Class Signed For and DHL/Yodel48)
Wed 21st December – UK FAST (Special Delivery)

We will be doing our very best to get all your Christmas orders to you as soon as we can. To help us achieve this, when placing your order online, please write your delivery address clearly. If you are unsure of the postcode you can check it at

For British Forces please visit and ensure your order is placed at least 24 hours in advance of the last posting dates.

Full details about our delivery services can be found on our website at

There are so many great products at The Real Handbag Shop online, what will YOU buy? Select from hundreds of gorgeous leather handbags and bags online at the touch of a button. See our wide range of beautiful leather purses for ladies or take your time to browse through our fabulous collection of wallets for men. There are great gifts for everyone. Prices from £5.95 for an adorable Bag Charm to £189.95 for a Gianni Conti Luxury Italian Leather Briefcase.

If you need any assistance with Christmas ordering from The Real Handbag Shop website, please contact our Customer Service Desk on 0844 736 5855.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

In celebration of the name Jane, some famous ladies and a leather handbag!

The name Jane is a girl’s name of Hebrew origin and translates as meaning ‘God is Gracious’.

Some Famous Janes

Jane Birkin, Actress and Singer (photo)
Jane Seymour, 3rd wife of Henry VIII
Jane Asher, Actress
Jane Austen, Author
Jane Russell, Actress
Jane Fonda, Actress
Jane Seymour, Actress
Jane McDonald, Singer
Jane’s Addiction, Alternative Rock Band
Jane Krawowski, Actress and Singer
Jane Horrocks, Actress

 Famous Songs About Jane

 Lady Jane, The Rolling Stones 1966 (photo)
Sweet Jane, Lou Reed 1970
Chantilly Jane, Didi Zill 1977
Baby Jane, Rod Stewart 1983
Plain Jane, Sammy Hagar 1992
Oh Jane, Vanity Fair 1999

Famous Paintings of Jane

Jane Avril, Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec  1899 (photo)
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, Paul Delaroche 1833
Jane Burden as La Belle Iseult, William Morris

Well Known Characters called Jane

 Jane Eyre, novel by Charlotte Brontë 1847
Jane, Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer 2005
Jane Porter, Tarzan’s wife
Jane Gay, Daily Mirror Comic Strip during the 2nd WW
Calamity Jane, Wild West Film 1953
G.I. Jane, Action Film 1997

A Leather Handbag called Jane

 Jane by Catwalk Collection Handbags £55 (photo)

Friday, 9 September 2011

Luxury Leather Baby Changing Bags; great gifts for mums-to be!

According to the government’s births statistics, most babies are born in September and November. 

If you’re looking for a special gift around this time, you can’t go far wrong with a luxury leather baby changing bag. Catwalk Collection makes a classic baby changing bag in jet black which is currently on Special Offer at just £89.95. Each luxury leather baby bag comes with a changing mat and there are plenty of pockets and compartments to store bottles, bibs, nappies and toys. A kitty cat patterned inner lining adds an adorable finishing touch.

Naming The Baby!

When it comes to the name game, it appears that fathers might as well keep their opinions to themselves, as according to a recent survey by Bounty Parenting Club, four out of ten mothers disregard the views of the father during the process of choosing a name for their new born.

The survey also revealed that the average couple considers twelve different names before settling on a final choice. However, one in four couples won't make their final decision until after the baby is born. Despite the current trends, a quarter of parents pick a name they selected when they themselves were children. A fifth of new parents named the baby after their favourite colleague or friend, while 37 per cent included a family name. Four in ten people took into account names approved by grandparents and 52 per cent avoided names of all their own friends and children.

Somewhat sadly, a third of couples actually fall out over their new baby’s name. As well as finding a name both partners like there are still loads of other factors parents have to take into consideration when choosing a name such as nicknames, what children may later be called in the playground and how first name will sound against the surname. Fifteen per cent of mothers fell out with a friend from whom they copied or stole a name they liked.

Unbelievably, one in ten parents end up drawing names out of a hat and a further 14 per cent toss a coin. For the babies of really indecisive parents, they remained nameless for an average of 11 days.
Even if a name is decided upon, the problems don’t end there. 17 per cent of couples fell out after one of them actually registered the baby with a different name to the one agreed or simply misspelt it on the birth register.

The Weird and The Wonderful in Baby Names!

Apple: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
Aurelius Cy: Elle Macpherson and Arpad Busson
Blue Angel: U2's The Edge and Aislinn O'Sullivan
Bluebell Madonna: Geri Halliwell
Buddy: Jamie and Jools Oliver
Calico: Alice and Sheryl Cooper
Camera: Arthur Ashe and Jeanne Moutoussamy
Destry: Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw
Fifi Trixibell: Bob Geldof and Paula Yates
Fuchsia: Sting and Frances Tomelty
Gulliver: Gary Oldman and Donya Fiorentino
Harper Seven: David and Victoria Beckham
Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily: Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence
Hopper: Sean Penn and Robin Wright
Princess Tiaamii: Jordan and Peter Andre
Saffron Sahara: Simon and Yasmin Le Bon
Sage Moonblood: Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack
Satchel: Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
Shiloh Nouvel: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Sparrow: Nicole Richie and Joel Madden
Suri: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Tallulah: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Zola Ivy: Eddie Murphy and Nicole Mitchell

See luxury leather baby changing bags at

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Lust for Blood Red Leather Handbags

What women wear from one day to the next generally depends on what mood we wake up in. This is why most of us females find it so difficult to pack for a holiday; we just don’t know how we’ll feel on the day. Will we be bright and sunny, or dark and mysterious?

If you fancy a little adrenalin rush, we suggest the colour red. Did you know that the colour red invokes intense emotions, stimulating the heart to beat faster and breathing to become more rapid? No wonder red is known as the colour of love.  It’s well documented that red clothes and accessories attract more attention to the wearer and a recent survey suggests that one in five men actually prefer a woman wearing red lipstick.

Amongst accessories, red is quite often used as an accent to lift an outfit whether as jewellery, belt, shoes, scarf or handbag. In this way you can create an alluring flash of sensuality without going overboard. Just think about Christian Louboutin’s famous red soled shoes of which he states, “I selected the colour because it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable and the colour of passion.”

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Quilted Leather Look - Jackets and Handbags

We think that Pippa Middleton looks fabulous in her quilted leather jacket (Whistles) and striped dress (BCBGMAXAZRIA ) which she wore on her way to work the other day. We’ve also seen her rock the look with a quilted leather jacket over a print tea dress, too. Indeed, quilted leather has never been more popular than it is right now and it's easy to see why; quilting adds under-stated elegance without being flamboyant. It introduces pattern to an otherwise plain surface. A quilted leather handbag, for instance, can totally lift a plain, block-colour suit, giving it a chic, stylish twist.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Vintage Fashion and Leather Handbags

Some clothes and accessories have that delightful vintage appeal which is currently so popular amongst the fashion pundits. Vintage isn’t a new idea; it’s been around for a while. Originally the term vintage applied to new fashion products which reflected a stylish era in the past but has since been adopted by the designers and morphed into meaning new products which have been purposefully aged to show antiquity.

All SaintsVintage Dress £75, Forte Forte My Shirt Blouse £125, 7 For All Mankind Gwenevere Faded Jeans £104, Tie-Dye Print Dress & Distressed Jacket Milk & Honey, Alice Shabby-Chic Leather Shoulder Bag Catwalk Collection £59.95

Examples of this include ripped shorts or jeans as seen first on the catwalks of fashion houses Balmain, Burberry and Roberto Cavalli, followed closely by the majority of the high street brands including Firetrap, Warehouse, River Island and Mango. Whether you prefer skinny or kick flare, bootcut or straight-leg, boyfriend or roll-ups, vintage can be successfully applied to most of the current fashion styles in leg ware. For those who want to create the vintage look, switch your mind-set to flea-markets and car boot sales. The fashion trends this season include plenty of new dip-dye prints and tea dresses which will work perfectly with distressed or faded jackets.

Catwalk Collection Leather Cross-Body Bag - Dispatch - £44.95

Handbags, bags and accessories should be chosen to blend in naturally with this popular trend for the much loved, lived-in look. Leather products in particular lend themselves beautifully to the aging process; it’s one of those fantastic materials that can look better with a little age. Sure, brand new leather products do look nice but sometimes the old beat-up look or worn leather effect is just plain cooler. If you covet the look of old, comfortably worn-in leather and you don't want to have to wait the years it takes for the look to develop naturally, you can now buy a modern fashion bag which has been especially distressed in order that it takes on that much coveted fashionable vintage effect much more quickly

 Catwalk Collection Laptop Bag - Antique Leather - Helena £79.95

Mulberry was one of the first handbag designers to adopt distressed leather which was used on their iconic Roxanne Bag as well as a whole host of other designs. Catwalk Collection Handbags continues to produce a good selection of vintage and antique leathers and has further developed new adorable leather which they call ‘shabby chic’ for their Alice Shoulder Bag. When selecting a handbag, look for antique brass or silver fittings as anything shiny and new will look out of place and spoil the effect.

 Catwalk Collection Shoulder Bag - Washed Leather - Zara £59.95

Visconti has led the way for vintage fashion bags for men with their Hunter leather; distressed oiled leather which contains wrinkles, scars and scratches that are inherent characteristics and natural beauty of the hide. This is dark and sultry leather with plenty of attitude.

 Visconti Distressed Hunter Leather Messenger Bag VT3 £79.95

See vintage leather handbags and bags at

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Nude fashion handbags - soft neutral leathers

Soft colours in nude, sand, camel and stone are perfect for creating a sense of tranquillity and conjuring up the feeling of natural beauty. Long flowing dresses with flat gladiatorial sandals and wide brimmed sunhat will give you that dreamy, faraway look synonymous with those elusive beaches and exotic places you can only read about in books.  The coolest girls will be accompanying this look with feathered accessories, handbags with bag charms and boho jewellery. In the photo Ri2k Leather Tote Cranley £66.00.

A serious pair of heels with a demure knee high wrap-dress or shift dress, on the other hand, will bring you into touch with the current fashion for 60s which reflects those chic and elegant days of style icons such as Jackie O. Two piece suits with bracelet sleeves, polo necks and miniskirts also fit the bill nicely. To avoid looking dated, however, focus on the latest accessories such as large handbags. Shown below Catwalk Collection Dannii Shoulder Bag £69.95 available from

Monday, 20 June 2011

The place to buy Ri2k London Leather Designer Handbags

Ri2k London has emerged in recent times as being leaders in classic, feminine and practical leather handbags. If you delve into the history of the brand, you will see that it once was in partnership with John Richmond, a designer who brought elements of creativity and the energy of youth with a nod to the music industry. However, Ri2k London needed to be seen as a luxury brand in its own right and it parted with the RICHMOND label in 2004, branching off to become a collection of well-designed handbags that capture what women really want.

The new driving force behind the next generation of Ri2k London handbags is British designer Isla Simpson, who brings cool sophistication and understated elegance to handbags that are created for every-day use in mind. Isla studied at Central St Martins, College of Art and Design in London, spending her weekends working at the legendary vintage shop Steinberg and Tolkein on the King’s Road. During the summer, Isla also completed internships working for handbag designers such as Billy Bag, Emily Jo Gibbs and Zandra Rhodes. Graduating with a degree in Textile Design, Isla began working amongst the High Street players such as Jigsaw, Ted Baker, Whistles & Aubin and Wills, as well as Anya Hindmarch and Oushka.

The wealth and influence of the rich tapestries of these environments can be seen reflected in Isla’s work today, allowing her to add her stamp to the brand, bringing an individuality and personality to each new Ri2k London collection.

 Ri2k Leather Handbag £99.95

See the latest Ri2k London leather handbag collections at