Time for a tote upgrade
Autumn is here! And that means swapping out straw bags for jumbo totes, striding down the street in a proper trench coat and trying out two great new brands
Switch it up
If you’re anything like most of Team Stylist, you’ll have been gallivanting around town with your stuff in straw bags and cotton shoppers all summer. But now that cooler weather is on the horizon, we’re stowing away our wicker, rattan and raffia and pulling out our big leather handbags. This sturdy black Kin tote is roomy enough to hold everything you could need on any given work day, and simple enough to go with anything. £55, John Lewis
Bring me sunshine
There’s no reason why autumn/winter style should be devoid of fun, and a smooth tote in a bright block colour is a super-fast way to add a shot of cheerfulness to an outfit (trust us, yellow can be a neutral). This oversized tote by high-end vegan accessories brand Wilby is actually made from sustainable cork, but looks as sleek as leather. We’d wear with a biker jacket and dark jeans. £120, Wilby
OK, this tote isn’t quite as supersized as the others on this list, but not everyone likes lugging their entire lives around with them on a day-to-day basis. So, if you rarely carry more than a paperback novel, purse, make-up bag and water bottle, this mock-croc leather number is ideal – it also comes in dark chocolate and black. The longer straps mean it’ll fit over the puffiest of puffer coats – and you can even get it monogrammed for free! £70, Azurina
If you do like being able to pour the entire contents of the kitchen sink into your handbag, try this. Matt & Nat are renowned for their vegan accessories: their ethical faux leather is beautifully supple, their bags are lined with material made from recycled plastic bottles, and their styles are unfussy and timeless. This Abbi bag comes in multiple shades, including brown, black and olive, but we like the Desert in dusky rose best. £110, Matt & Nat
Allow us to introduce you to Folkdays, an ethical fashion brand we think is rather lovely. Based in Berlin and founded by former development aid consultant Lisa Jaspers, the label sources its products from artisans in developing countries around the world and provides them with a decent income. This navy leather tote is handmade by a company in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but has a distinct Scandi vibe – and it’s big enough to hold your laptop. £134.27 (€149), Folkdays
Every week in September, Stylist’s fashion editor Polly Knight
will be handpicking her favourite coats from the biggest AW19 trends. First up, the classic trench
I’m obsessed with this trench. Oversized, slouchy and the perfect shade of beige, it has fabric-covered buttons (chic) and supersized pockets (must-have room for phone, Oyster card and lip balm). I know what you’re thinking: linen blend?! And sure, it’s not going to protect you from a downpour, but we’re going for style points – and carrying a brolly – instead.
The shape makes it the perfect accompaniment to your floaty florals at the tail-end of summer, stomping boots when the autumn chill sets in, and jeans and trainers at the weekend. Wear it now, love it forever. £159, & Other Stories
Want to see Polly’s whole trench edit? This way, folks.
Sound the good news klaxon! Two refreshingly grown-up new fashion labels are launching this week
First up is Palones, a new British brand launching this week: expect excellent tailoring, frankly fantastic coats and lots of office/party-appropriate dresses made using archive fabrics and recycled buttons (we especially love the yellow Debbie midi dress shown here – it’s £150, but prices start at £35). And on Sunday, new womenswear brand Harpenne goes live. Highlights include a high-necked printed dress (pictured) and some good statement blouses, with prices starting at £25.
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