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Why are Radley bags so universally hated?

(58 Posts)
AlpinePony Fri 19-Aug-11 11:07:52

I am currently in the market for a good, fairly staid winter work bag in the region of 100-150 pounds.

I bought a Radley "signature" bag back in 2002 - before I knew it was "signature" and it's been around the world and used every winter since and still looks great, no problems with stitching, no tears, etc. Biro leaks are not Radley's fault! wink

But I get the impression from S&B that Radley bags in general are detested, "boring" and "crap". Why is that?

I'm 37, not 7 - so I won't be needing a satchel for my school books any time soon. I don't like "fuss", so come on - tell me what's wrong with them, what is wrong with this ?

JemimaMuddledUp Fri 19-Aug-11 11:16:15

I think they are just a bit mumsy and boring for the S&B crowd.

I say that as the mumsy and boring owner of a Radley wristlet, a Kipling backpack, a Boden satchel and a Seasalt jute bag. So shoot me grin

Moulesfrites Fri 19-Aug-11 11:16:36

Nothing wrong with than IMO, is plain and functional.

I think the problem started when Easley went bait nuts with leather appliqué and started adding all kinds of grass and animals and bits to their bags? A bit naff IMO.

Moulesfrites Fri 19-Aug-11 11:17:23

So many typos!



Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 19-Aug-11 11:19:56

It is the stupid dog.

I also think they are really unimaginative.

Moulesfrites Fri 19-Aug-11 11:20:21

Like this

JemimaMuddledUp Fri 19-Aug-11 11:26:02

Disclaimer: my Radley bag doesn't look like that. Although it does have a (small) dog on it.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 19-Aug-11 11:26:13

Moules - exactly. They are carried by ladies of a certain age who are trying to appear youthful and carefree, and just look daft.

Around here anyway, they are frequently paired with the 'mum boot' - ie. mid-heel, black, square heel and toe, and jeans which are an inch too short.

AitchTwoOh Fri 19-Aug-11 11:27:24

they're the per una of the bag world, i think.

sparkle1977 Fri 19-Aug-11 11:30:32

I personally do not like Radley bags. As alibaba says the stupid dog doesn't help matters.

Fossil bags are much nicer for the same sort of price range.

ameliagrey Fri 19-Aug-11 11:34:06

They have some nice bags but the ones with applique are twee.

i have the Radley over the body messenger and like it for what it is, but have seen very few others I'd buy- they might have the style but not the colour.

I have taken the dog off but kept it in case i Ebay the bag sometime.

You might try looking at the John lewis w ebsite for bags if you haven't already.

I've had nice bags from RiK2, Modalu ( latest one is a smalll "Pippa" Bristol, Osprey, and I've also seen a few from Fossil, and Longchamp, if you can stretch to that.

midnightexpress Fri 19-Aug-11 11:36:38

Bah. I have the across-the body one. It's black, it's plain, you can cut the bloody dog off. Not the most exciting bag in the world but I don't get terribly excited by bags, I guess. It's a bag. Bof.

Mind you, the applique one linked to higher up is pretty vile.

MrsPollifaxInnocentTourist Fri 19-Aug-11 11:37:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PinotsKittens Fri 19-Aug-11 11:43:21

I agree the applique is wanky. As is the dog. The monkey on Kipling bags is also wanky. Seriously, I do not need an animal hanging from me. NO.

What is the S&B opinion on Lulu Guinness? She appliques sometimes but quilt more often.

Oh and OP - LK Bennett all the way for deliciously soft, fantastically coloured leather bags that last and last <swoons>

TattyDevine Fri 19-Aug-11 11:50:58

Agree they can look a bit twee and considering their price that doesn't go down so well, the black one you linked to is absolutely fine in my opinion. Some of the colours are a bit old-lady or dusky patelly twee shite.

polyhymnia Fri 19-Aug-11 12:37:14

I hate the twee dog - though I know you can take it off - I hate the applique, and I just find the whole vibe from them sort of unstylish and unsexy - British but not in a good way. They're not even cheap.

Having said all that, I do know my dislike is not only subjective but bordering on the irrational. I would never consider buying one, yet speak as someone who has more than one Kipling bag - with monkeys removed, of course! They are very practical/ functional but, for me, somehow their Belgian quirkiness saves them (or at least some of their styles) from being too worthy and frumpy.

But L K Bennett is of course a whole different proposition - some gorgeous things (have eyes on Anna or Annina). Ditto Peony and Moore, etc.

JemimaMuddledUp Fri 19-Aug-11 12:51:40

DD has my Kipling monkey attatched to her school bag. She is 5 so it is OK grin

alemci Fri 19-Aug-11 12:52:50

I love Radley bags and make my DH buy them for me for birthdays etc. They always sell well on ebay.

i also like the umbrellas and I love the doggy.

ameliagrey Fri 19-Aug-11 12:53:27

The dog comes off easily- honestly. Just unknot the tag.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Fri 19-Aug-11 13:51:49

Amelia there is still something about knowing the dog has been there in the first place!! grin

I love osprey, their bags are lovely and soft and beautiful.

madammecholet Fri 19-Aug-11 14:05:20

Again, for me its the bloody dog - blurgh, plus they are the dullest bags out there - on a par with clarks bags imo. Bog standard high street offering.

I second Peony & Moore with polyhymnia, as well as Red Direct, LK Bennett.

newpup Fri 19-Aug-11 14:22:52

I have a brown across the body Radley that my pil gave me for xmas a few years ago. I am not that keen on the brand but it is a great liitle bag, has never frayed or worn and is still in good condition.

My fav everyday bag is my brown leather bucket bag from Timberland. I love it. Also fossil bags are fab, I have a small brown one and a beautiful large purple one that is my best bag ever.

AlpinePony Fri 19-Aug-11 14:28:57

I like unfussy, I like hard-wearing. I don't want to change bags every season - I want to be able to pull it out of the wardrobe again in 10 years and it still be in good nick and able to do another season.

I have looked at Peony & Moore, Red Direct et al - but a bit too 'fussy' iykwim.

For me it's got to be 100% leather only, no sparkles, no fabric, no tassles, no annoying buckles.

It seems I am the Clarks wearer of handbags! grin

I did actually really like the Jaeger Olympia (particularly in green) until I noticed that god-awful zip along the bottom - what the fuck is that all about?

It's funny how we view things differently, e.g., for me at Peony & Moore - the Marianne is "dull" and over-priced and the Lucia couldn't be more "mumsy" if it had a shitty nappy hanging out the side of it.

madammecholet Fri 19-Aug-11 14:35:51

LOL at alpinepony, off to dig out a used nappy to display over my Lucia this afternoon!

..each to their

AlpinePony Fri 19-Aug-11 14:47:21


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