Please note: This post contains affiliated links. It does not cost you extra to click and purchase through these links. However it does help with the cost of maintenance of this website. For more information please read my disclosure.
Today as promised, my clothes, bags and shoes inspiration, which finally came back to me after being on serious short supply for the past couple of months, is finally being put at the forefront of my blog.
When I started out, my initial motivation was always fashion, especially modest fashion. However, I appeared to have lost sight of that recently as Winter always makes me concentrate more on comfort food, as opposed to what to wear. Now that Winter is finally coming to an end, I can finally get out of my oversized woolly jumpers and wear more exciting things.
Anyway, enough rambling about my fashion slump. My husband is always permanently confused as to why women covet bags so much. I tried to explain to him that a bag is one of those items, which is universally available to any woman. It doesn’t matter what size or height you are, nor how much money you have, it seems like the one luxury good you can actually attain and make full use out of (as no one will question why we are using the same bag everyday!). You can wear it whatever the weather (unless it’s raining and it’s not waterproof).
I had this in-depth conversation recently with a relative of mine. She asked me to recommend a WOC to her. I was confused. Like what is a WOC? I quickly Googled it (ahh the age of information saves me in most sticky situations) and found out that it’s simply a Wallet On a Chain (or purse for us British). Flummoxed as to why she would contemplate or even need a WOC I asked her, what are you going to do with such a small bag/purse? Especially now that we all have children and tend to carry the equivalent of a backpacker travelling the world, inside our ridiculously oversized totes.
She made a fair argument saying:
- She doesn’t always go out with her children.
- It’s the perfect thing to grab when you’re leaving the house in a rush.
- It’s light and perfect for short outdoor trips (say shopping where you need to carry extra bags and really don’t want your extra handbag baggage).
- It also fits perfectly into our oversized bags so basically acts as a purse when you need it to be, as the straps/chains are usually detachable(this means we wouldn’t lose our keys and phone inside our black hole of a handbag/ Am I the only one who spends an insane amount of time looking for my keys in my handbag?).
- Lastly, the advantage a WOC had over a standard purse or wrist strap purse, was that we would technically be hands free as it hangs on our shoulders.
On hearing her arguments, I was suddenly convinced, I really do need a WOC or its equivalent, in my life. Before my research into the vast and varied WOCs available, only one such classic WOC came to my mind. The iconic Chanel quilted WOC. The advantage of the Chanel WOC which is an eye-watering £2000+ is that it retains its value. If you would ever consider (we would have to be in a really really tight spot) reselling your WOC, you would probably get somewhere close to what you paid for it back. So this bag is almost like an art piece or a good investment for the savvy shopper because as long as you look after it, it never depreciates in value (and sometimes even increases in value).
Surprisingly though, since Purses with chains became quite fashionable, every single company produces at least one or two variations of this handbag in their collection. I have interchanged between Crossbody bags and WOCs in my top 10 collection, as I feel Crossbody Bags also fit in the category of a small bag with a slightly larger strap so you can wear it across your body. Some people (me included) don’t feel comfortable with a strap going across the body (although it does make the bag more secure), but since they are produced in similar sizes and styles, I felt it would be impossible to do a post about WOCs and ignore its older sister (the cross body bag which has been very popular as of late). The crossbody can also be worn on one shoulder (the straps are adjustable as they are usually made out of the same fabrice as the bag), making it quite similar to a WOC.
- Victoria Beckham is an excellent designer and style icon. This WOC proves why her styles are so classical and iconic. Simple in its design and nature, the style is timeless and elegant. This is £1,195 so definitely on the higher end of the WOC spectrum. The Box with Chain Leather shoulder bag is small enough to be a wallet, but large enough (and wide enough) to store most of the essentials (yes our oversized phones which seem to be getting larger with each new edition).
- This small saddle bag from The Cambridge Satchel Company definitely fits into my definition of a cross body bag which is potentially small enough to fit into our larger bags. Again the design is simplistic and cute, and although it’s not available in this particular shade anymore, the black version/ and oxblood version is priced at a very affordable £120. It is slightly taller then the average wallet and sightly deeper, but it’s perfect for those who always have a few extra things to carry.
- Chloe always design bags which feel beautiful to look at and are distinct enough to give it a Chloe-esque feel. The Faye is no exception. The muted colour palette and ring with chain make this my favourite from the whole collection. At £950 it is slightly more affordable then the larger bags, so worth the investment if you like designer pieces. They do produce a crossbody/WOC which is smaller and more WOC like (the Drew).
- LK Bennett is the perfect example of British fashion. Drawing on a vintage camera case for inspiration, this crossbody easily adds a pop of colour to any outfit. The slightly quirky yet quintessentially British take on a crossbody makes it the perfect casual crossbody for going out.
- All Saints has always been a personal favourite brand of mine embodying the East London spirit into their collections, Season after Season. The Mori bag is small enough to be a crossbody, and large enough to be a very small shoulder bag. The clean cut exterior, with an attached tassle (and whipstitch giving it the All Saints look) makes this a strong contender in the crossbody/small shoulder bag market.
- This Mulberry Darley gives Chanel-esque feels with the quilting (yes Chanel owns the iconic quilt effect) and chain. The trademark Mulberry buckle and a more affordable price tag of £550 (yes I know it’s expensive/ but cheaper then the Chloe and Chanel!) it’s the perfect WOC for fans of the Mulberry brand and those looking for a simple yet relatively inexpensive designer WOC. It’s available in countless styles and colours and you really cannot go wrong, quality wise.
- Coach have recently been taking out bags which are both edgy and stylish. The Coach Swagger 20 chain WOC definitely ticks the boxes when it comes to both style and edginess. It can double as both a day and evening bag and at £325, it can almost be considered affordable.
- The second Victoria Beckham bag to feature on this list. I really am a huge fan of her simplistic yet elegant style. The Nano Half Moon is slightly cheaper then the box bag at £895 and is smaller yet big enough to fit in all the absolute essentials. Again this more of a crossbody, but it’s elegant style means it can easily be used as an evening bag too.
- This suede crossbody takes a new meaning with the metallic gold colouring and studded flaps. It is the perfect day to evening bag for those who like a little sparkle in their bags. I have a huge weakness for gold and metallic (or anything shiny) objects, so a studded gold bag is probably something I would carry on a daily basis (I do wear black mostly so it adds much need colour into my daily outfit). At only £149 it’s a steal!
What do you think of WOCs and crossbody bags? Which do you prefer? A WOC or its more practical counterpart the Crossbody? Feel free to comment below.