As you all know by now I have gone back to work now my little lady is back at nursery… what a shock to system it has been? It seems getting up (and actually having to look alive and presentable) just an hour earlier is quite the mission. Getting up and washed and dressed and fed, and getting two little sleepy monsters up and dressed and fed, and carted off to school and nursery all before your 8-6 is quite the palava some days. I have come to realise that there are two main things I couldn’t be without in my new working life… and those few things I think we all need to invest in and that’s a decent pair of shoes, and a decent bag!
As you all know I eat mostly raw these days and certainly most days eat only fruit throughout the day… as anyone who is vegan or eats a high raw or fruit diet will know, you need to eat more, to get the calorie intake you need (my colleagues do find it strange when I eat punnet’s of grapes at a time). This means that I need to take more food, thus need a decent size bag to put it all in!
So let’s take yesterday for example, I took a large box of grapes, about a punnet and a half, some cashews, sultanas, two big bottles of water… alongside all the little things like diary, wallet, phone, notebooks etc. So I do need a pretty hefty bag to carry it all! I was kindly gifted the Large Duffel Bag from Wills London before my first day and I am loving it. It is unisex, and stunning! I have it in navy which suits my style perfectly. It is a really generous size and I can fit so so much in it!
It is a stunning high quality bag which is ethically made and vegan friendly and I can tell from it’s quality it is going to last me years! It has a tie top fasten and then the large flap over which is secured by buckles at the front. It’s a gorgeous looking bag. It as standard is 15” high, but can be extended up to 19”, with a 6 inch depth! It can fit ridiculous amounts in and would be great for travel too. We now use this as a weekend bag as well, thus far we have been trying to put all our Nik Nacs into a little bag and then we just end up taking two bags or carrying ugly carrier bags around, so I am so thankful for this bag. It’s a god send. Anyone who follows me over on Instagram (if you don’t then… well… do!) will know that we as a family of four go out on many Cornish adventures wondering around the beaches, the coast and local trails. Leah who is potty trained and now uses a “big girl toilet” still needs a potty on these adventures, as she is to much of a diva to squat in a hedge! So the potty, plus spare clothes for that just in case moment (thankfully few and far between these days) plus drinks for four, snacks, a blanket or towel… the list goes on.. it all fits. As it’s a unisex bag too the other half doesn’t feel daft carrying it! We recently took it out for a day trip to a gorgeous beach in Newquay, as well as coming to work with me, I can see it coming on many adventures with us from now forward! Here’s some quick FAQ’s! They are handmade with Italian micro leather (faux leather) and heavy weight cotton canvas, have cream canvas lining, solid nickel hardware, has a large open pocket from 15-19” and a small internal zip pocket and a larger external zip compartment. They are all handmade ethcially in Portugal and PETA vegan approved! The bags aren’t the cheapest, although I have seen much more expensive, they are however a luxury purchase, that is high quality and will be versatile and last for years! A definite go to work and general life essentail!
A few quick things you’ll find in my work bag too.. just because… A food carrier, lunch box/bag, whichever you wish to call it. I personally use useable plastic lunch boxes that I was gifted (BPA free) and put them inside this carrier I purchased from Dot Com Gifts, Which has now changed to Rex London. These are lovely bags that are made from recycled plastic and foil. I have one in the style Vintage Ivy. They are foil insulted so keep your food nice and cool!
Another quick item is a decent water bottle, I have several, my most recent purchase was again from Rex London, as I want a slightly smaller bottle with a open top concept to keep on my desk and refill when needed. I went for Desert Bloom water bottle, its 600ml which is still a good size and easier to carry around than my giant one I have at home! They are made from BPA free plastic and super cute in design…!
The other and possibly most important essential, a decent pair of shoes! On my first few days I wore silly dolly shoes that had thin soles and rubbed my feet to death… and boy did I regret it. Not only did it hurt, but it meant even my most comfortable shoes rubbed right in the wrong place for weeks after. Anyone who knows me well will know I basically live in boots, and when it is hot, gladiator/flip flop style sandles… that is how I roll! One of my most comfortable shoes I wear daily are the Chelsea boots in chestnut from Wills London so when they kindly offered me some more boots I was very happy indeed as I know they are amazing quality and will last me a lifetime! My work clothes are very blue/navy/grey in theme, not on purpose, it seems I am drawn to the aesthetic! So am now the owner of a good black boot. The Brogue Booties to be precise!
Now these beauties will literally go with absolutely anything… and I mean anything, I wear them with black trousers, coloured trousers, chinos, jeans and with leggings under skirts and dresses and they look fab! The smarten up any look and give a quirky casual look too! They are made from (faux) soft micro suede and have stunning hand stitched details. They have stretch to the sides which makes them wonderfully easy to put on which I very much appreciate, and a cushioned insole made from recycled rubber! They are water resistant and breathable too! I also love the fact Wills London is entirely ethical both in fashion terms and environment, they send their shoes and bags in lovely canvas bags or sustainable non treated cardboard boxes. They are also of course PETA approved and vegan friendly too. If these are anything like my Chelsea boots, I know I can wear them day in day out with no issues, they keep beautifully and wear slowly. These are really comfortable thanks to the stretch in the fabric, no rubbing even from first wear! These really have become a go to for me! Theres nothing worse than having awful shoes on at work is there!
The other go to pair I have been wearing non stop for work are the Signature Desert Boots, I have these in Grey, they also do Brown and Green I believe and they are stunning. Smart but again can be dressed down to be casual. I wear these both for work, days out and even on nights out to (I am not much of a heels kind of person now a days!)
Again they are made from the lovely faux micro suede and are water resistant and breathable. The soles match in colour and are a grippy TR sole. I’m literally wearing these now on the school run!
So those are my top 2/ a few, work day essentials, Must have, bag and shoes! Quality over quantity is something I stick by these days, Wills London is one brand that I will pay for, the premium product is worth the additional price, better for the environment and ethically sourced and made… I would much rather invest my money in something made well, that will last a long time. It wasn’t until this year I started thinking about it all.. let’s add up how much money I’ve spent on fast fashion silly flimsy sandles. Ones that need replacing 3 monthly, or break easily, or just really aren’t all that comfortable? I had that dawning moment where I got to thinking I am mad? Literally mad… why not buy a decent pair of high quality shoes! That’s when I found Wills London Vegan Shoes and I haven’t looked back, I own around 4 pairs now I think that I flit between daily and that’s all I need and I know they will last me a long long time. I’d certainly recommend finding some staples for your work wardrobe that can be multi used in both work and day and that are functional for many outfits! It makes life a lot easier and comfier!!