Red is the colour: the ultimate Christmas bag from Ilex London

If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect Christmas bag, can I please introduce you to this beauty, c/o Ilex London?

I love red accessories at the best of times, but there’s no denying that red is the unofficial colour of Christmas. It goes so well with metallics, especially gold, and it pairs beautifully with navy and white – just ask Father Christmas!

Now, while a smart little clutch might seem like the ultimate Christmas bag for parties and cocktail dos, I’m here for your wake-up call. You don’t need a red clutch, you need a red tote! Stuff it full of Christmas cards, hide your partner’s pressie inside when you’re shopping, cram your scarf in there for good measure. Take it to the works party and line it with tupperware to nick sausage rolls and quiche to eat later.

Take it to a carol service and throw the order of service in afterwards. Buy a pack of mince pies and mulled wine and retrieve them on a visit to a friend, and look like the most casually perfect and festive guest in history. Pair it with sequins and tartan and red suede high heels or black novelty slipper shoes.

Wear it with a black velvet dress, or a white shirt and jeans, or a navy skirt and cable knit jumper. Carry it to work, to school, to appointments, to parties, to friends and family – take it on Christmas day and Boxing day and NYE! Put your clutch INSIDE it and then you’ll never be without space for all the things we actually need at parties – your phone, spare lippy, extra tights, a mirror, your keys…

Have I convinced you yet? Nab your Harriet here for £205 (but if you sign up to the newsletter, you’ll get 10% off!) Also, check out the Ilex sale here, where there are a few bags in the same lovely colour red available!

New Bag Alert! ILEX London Tote

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Even though I love autumn, it can get a bit drab. Oranges, browns and yellows are lovely, but sometimes you want a pop of colour! So when ILEX London asked me to select a bag from their range, I immediately went for this gorgeous Samantha tote in a luxe cobalt! It’s such a great size and goes really well with the autumnal shades – as you can see above, where I’ve paired it with some pretty Joules Westbourne Chelsea boots in ocelot (find them here  – I also LOVE the leopard version here!)

There’s just something about blue and animal print that I love – and you can also incorporate another pop of colour alongside it, too! Check out these pretty Mrs Alice for French Sole flats (find them here) – don’t they just look perfect with this tote?!

Check out ILEX London here, and the Samantha range here. To see all their bags in cobalt, check here! And, thank you to ILEX for sending me such a beautiful bag – it’s going to get used a lot this season!

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What To Wear With A Tan Bag: Ilex London Harriet

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Ilex London were kind enough to send me a bag from their new range recently, and after a lot of umming and ahhing, I went with this gorgeous Harriet Shoulder bag in Wood. For some reason, I have very few tan bags, so when this arrived I immediately went into panic mode about which shoes to wear with it. Silly me – in fact, tan seems to go with everything!

Pictured above, I paired them with Russell & Bromley’s Coco Pop espadrilles, which were worn by Pippa Middleton a few years ago and are still part of the brand’s line. With the toe-cap detailing and the straw wedges, they’re a classic that never goes out of style, and match this Harriet perfectly!

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One of my favourite purchases from Russell & Bromley are the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoons, or as they’re called in the UK, the SW Cocos. Dark blue suede contrasts beautifully with the tan bag, and I can imagine this in an outfit with a navy skirt paired with a white blouse – effortless summer chic! This is another item from the Middleton wardrobe, this time made famous by Kate. It seems like you either loves these wedges, or you hate them – I love them, and judging from the offerings from other shoe brands, this combo of navy suede and cork heels is still firmly in style.

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Moving into more recent offerings from Russell & Bromley, these Xpresso Crossover Flats make a lovely pairing with the tan bag – taming the boyish feel of the brown and giving it a softer, even feminine feel. Pair this with a tulle skirt and a blouse tied at the waist for the ultimate in girly summer chic. You’ll feel like a ballerina, but the chunky, solid Harriet bag will prevent your outfit from turning into a costume, giving a cool juxtaposition and providing you ample space to store your stuff on the run. And, of course, wear these with pride knowing they’ve been royally approved – Kate wore these on the recent Indian Royal Tour!

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Finally, white shoes haven’t been on the fashion forefront since the ’80s, it feels like, but I couldn’t resist these Rockstud Valentinos, and they go awesomely with the Ilex – the gold detailing picks out the logo perfectly! (Check out Dune’s Heti in white for a decent alternative at £70.)

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So, enough about the shoes, what about the bag? I love this sturdy little trooper – it’s perfect for work (or play!) as it has a central, easily accesible section with a zippered pocket, plus two additional zipped compartments either side, very much like the Modalu Pippa bag. It has two straps to carry over the shoulder, or an attachment to convert it to a shoulder bag. Priced at £205, it’s an investment bag, but one which will carry you through the seasons. It can fit a heck of a lot inside – the only limit is going to be how much you can physically lift… It fits an iPad easily, and you can just about squeeze an A4 mag or paper inside the middle part.

So far I’ve taken it on weekends away (perfect for stowing makeup and jewellery), work events (to hide notebooks and my camera) and to the cinema (of course, I would never smuggle Coke Zero and a packet of chilli crackers into a movie). It’s even been carried along the ramparts of Warwick Castle and over the London Bridge! I am really looking forward to wearing it in autumn and winter, too, as the new seasons open up a whole new range of styling possibilities!

Check out the Harriet here, and the whole range from Ilex London here.Which bag would you pick from the range?

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