Ladies, I have something crazy to confess: I’m really not all that fussed about chocolate. It’s not that I dislike it, but I can kind of take it or leave it. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m the girl who can eat 3 M&M’s. Who shrugs in the face of brownies. Who manages to make her Christmas chocolate last for months (you may all hate me now). However, despite my lack of sweet tooth, I was sweetly defeated the moment this Chocolatier Grab Bag from Vendula London came across my radar…

I had heard about these Vendula London unique bags only last year, but their quirky, exceptionally detailed collection of clutches and handbags made it to my wishlist immediately. They’re a UK based company, est. in 2003, whose store mission is to create arm candy that makes people ask, “Where on earth did you get that bag!?!” That is a mission I can definitely get behind. One scroll through their website and I was completely smitten with the creativity inherent in every piece, the minute details. Seriously. My voice went up a few octaves just landing on their homepage.

As a major fan of novelty handbags, you can imagine my excitement for the opportunity to scope out the cuteness factor, quality, and functionality of their bags for myself. Would it live up to the squeal emitted from me when I first clapped eyes on this bag? Read on to find out…

{Review Vendula London}: Sweet Defeat - The Dressed Aesthetic

{Review Vendula London}: Sweet Defeat - The Dressed Aesthetic
Outfit styled using Dressed for iPhone

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The Specs

First up, here are the basic specs. The bag is 23cm(H) x 29cm(W) x 10cm(D) and made from vegan leather. I really found the quality of the faux-leather to be outstanding and (as a big sewing nerd) my eye immediately scopes out the stitching, which I found to be near perfect. It comes with a detachable shoulder bag handle, interior compartments and a zippered pocket. I found the bag to be really roomy without being overwhelming.

I also really appreciate the fact that each of their designs comes in a range of sizes, so you can select one one that suits your personal preference, from clutch to coin purse to cross body. My grab bag version has a strong metal frame and clip, with the upper portion of the bag made to look like the awning stretching over the storefront. I was really happy to see the awning was really sturdy and doesn’t look likely to get bent or damaged very easily (cause no one wants a wilting awning…)

An additional design feature I really appreciated (and tend to look for prior to my handbag purchases) is the little metal feet on the bottom of the bag. These may not look like much, but they go a long way to protecting the bottom of your handbags when you have to rest them down. Over time, this means the bag lasts longer, much like having a heel cap on your high heeled shoes.

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The Details

Now to the fun part – the intricate details. It’s as if someone crawled inside of my mind and created the perfect Kara handbag! There’s a reason I have an obsession with food-mimicking accessories – I love the concept of art imitating life, and this bag takes the chocolate cake.

It’s designed to look like a Chocolatier’s storefront, and the enticing elements in the window are imbued with so much hand-stitched charm I almost can’t even take it. From the bike resting against the brick storefront to the pink bows around the necks of the chocolate bunnies to the actual swinging sign above the front door – I love the layers and the texture and the true care that went into this bag. Much like the vintage dresses I love so much, you find more details the longer you look.

You can tell whoever made this bag has a seriously whimsical sense of humor and I kind of find myself wanting to be friends with these people…

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The Styling

As most of you know, I am no stranger to the quirky bag – in some cases, the more outlandish the better. But I get asked often for advice on the best way to style novelty handbags – that readers love the way they look but can’t think of a way to actually make them fit into their wardrobe. Personally, I treat a novelty handbag the same way I would a printed shoe or a pop color accessory – it’s a focal point to add a splash of something special to an outfit. In this case, I opted to go for a dress without a lot of pomp and circumstance – this blue 1950’s cutie is one I picked up during my last visit to the east coast of the US from The Wonder Shop. Because the bag is so eye catching, I knew a solid blue sundress would be the perfect basic canvas.

If you’re just starting out with novelty bags, start with a simple outfit and try to focus your look around the bag, which will be a good jumping off point for color. Because the bag is mostly in the pink/fuchsia family, I opted to pull out one of the more subtle colors in the bag (i.e., the blue-tinted shop window and the blue bicycle frame) for my dress color. Plus, because I was really embracing that whole art-imitating-life-imitating-art concept, I rather fancied myself as the crisp, cloudless blue sky hovering above the world’s most charming chocolate shop.

This bag retails for £87.50 on the Vendula London website and they ship worldwide. They are currently in stock (yay!) so I hope you scoop one up while you can. If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll receive a voucher code to save 5% off your first order (full priced items only). They also have sales and deals throughout the year they advertise through the newsletter to help you make one of these amazing bags yours.

Vendula London can also be found on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram if you want to follow along and get sneak peaks of what’s coming next to their site. The Ladies Day bag is definitely next on my radar…

Any questions about this bag you may have that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

xoxo

Outfit Details:
Dress: The Wonder Shop (similar modern or vintage herehere & here)
Belt: Alannah Hill (similar here)
Necklace: Swarovski (similar)
Handbag: c/o Vendula London
Shoes: Steve Madden (similar herehere & here)

Lip color: Vani-T Cosmetics, in Scandal via Look Feel Be

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