Just a quick hello today because as I thought, getting the shop ready for our delivery of chic new bags has helped us to keep our minds occupied over the last few days. Before I go on to talk about them though, I just want to say a huge thank you for all of your kind messages that have been coming in from every direction. I’ve been reading them out at the dinner table as they’ve arrived and we’ve all felt buoyed by your warmth. We’re grateful to every single one of you who took the time to write a few words. We have the funeral to face tomorrow and then hopefully we’ll be able to start looking ahead again.

So on a brighter note, let’s talk about chic new bags. With everything that’s been going on, I haven’t had chance to launch the new Fou de Coudre business so for now, we’re still working in the Midlifechic Boutique. The bags continue to be made at the same artisan factory in Istanbul that we’ve used before. As you know it is a supplier for some of the Bond Street brands and we use the same leather and craftsmanship as they do so these bags are designer quality at a more affordable price.

When we were in Turkey this summer, the lira crashed. It sounds great – and it is for tourists who are visiting but not for the Turkish people. I’m determined that we will always deal fairly with our suppliers and because the currency has been fluctuating for the last 12 months, we’ve always paid them in sterling. We’ll continue to do this and in fact this year we’re paying them more because materials such as the calfskin come from Italy and so their costs have gone up.

However I’m confident that the bags are still great value for the quality and one day I hope to be able to buy them in larger quantities. Until then, I will simply have to operate on small runs, reinvesting every time to buy a few more.

So, what’s new?

A completely new design – the Portrait Tote

You’ve seen me road-testing this Portrait Tote for the last few months and it’s become my favourite for both work and weekends. There are two reasons for this – firstly thanks to the shape and the light grey leather interior, my purse / pens / notebook are always easy to find. I don’t end up ‘knitting string vests’ as my grandma used to say when she saw someone rummaging in their bag.

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Portrait Tote in navy

Secondly, it converts to a cross-body in a second, simply by pulling on one of the straps. This is particularly brilliant when you’re commuting or carrying extra bags but also when you want to use your phone on the move because it leaves you completely hands free rather than having to hunch your shoulder at one side. It isn’t easy to find a cross body of this size so I’m really pleased with it.

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Portrait Tote in navy

It’s currently available in navy, black or scarlet.

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Portrait tote in scarlet

The crossbody XL

I was blown away by the success of the crossbody bags last season, they sold out a few hours after launch and we restocked four times. Lots of people commented that they were the perfect bag for using with another bag when commuting or travelling. Since then I’ve been asked lots of times for a larger version that could be used on its own. So, I’m delighted to be launching an XL version which has all of the qualities of the original including slightly larger slots for credit cards as requested, a leather backed vanity mirror, a central coin purse and a detachable strap so that it can be used as a clutch.

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Crossbody XL in scarlet

The XL is available in scarlet, navy or black. The original is currently available in scarlet only. This picture shows you the size difference.

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And this is the original on me for scale in scarlet

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… and in navy.

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…and in black

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Handsfree clutches in new colours

The handsfree clutch is back by popular demand and in new colours. I’ve added scarlet to the range, great for adding a pop of colour to simple jeans and heels outfits.

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Handsfree clutch in scarlet

I also managed to find a lovely gold for this season. Last year I just couldn’t find a leather that I was happy with but it was a problem that I was determined to fix when the soft silver sold so quickly.

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Soft gold handsfree clutch

And while I was at it I found a metallic pewter colour which was so unusual that I decided to make a few as a test.

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Handsfree clutch in pewter

Metallics go with any outfit all year round so now there is a choice of either the soft gold, the pewter or the restock of soft silver if you’re quick. I’ve replenished the classic navy and black colours too.

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The Pop of Colour

And of course I would have been crazy not to restock the Pop of Colour bags. I’ve gone for your perennial favourites – the original orange and the scarlet. When we took orders last time you were spilt 50:50 on those two colours so it was an easy decision to make.

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Soft orange pop of colour

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Scarlet pop of colour

And that’s it for now because it took every penny I had to get this far. We’re delivering internationally again – if you don’t see your country on the drop down list do get in touch and we’ll give you a shipping price. At the moment I’m not planning to take orders so when they’re gone, they’re gone.

With that I will leave you but I hope to be back to blogging again next week some time. We’ll start dispatching as soon as we’re back on Friday so thank you to anybody who places an order, I do appreciate your support both on this and everything else.

Disclosure: ‘Chic new bags’ is not a sponsored post. A huge thank you to everyone who supports my fledgling business.

Other Autumn/Winter 18 posts you may have missed

A week of two halves at Midlifechic

Coats knits and boots from JD Williams

Embracing autumn and bringing it in

Midlifechic edit – Marks & Spencer AW18

What I’ve been wearing and a midlife lately catch-up

John Lewis & Partners new women’s clothing review

Colour trends AW18 and how to work them

Key wearable trends AW18

How to wear Hush when you don’t do slouchy

Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo AW18 review