Lottie Camel Ostrich Tote c/o marc b.
Coat, Skirt and Shoes: Primark
The version I chose is a gorgeous camel/light tan shade, with stunning "ostrich"-effect trimmings in a delicate nude with a hint of dusky pink - perfect with other neutrals, pastels, brights, metallics or prints for a summery feel now, but won't feel inappropriate come autumn either. Its gold accents complement the overall ladylike-luxe feel, complete with little metallic heels (OK, "feet"), to keep it off the floor - genius!
Once I'd clocked its impressive stature, I did have hopes that it might double up as a particularly stylish laptop carrier, but the opening wasn't quite wide enough for my widescreen version to make it in - I'm sure you could get away with a netbook though, and certainly an iPad (or, perhaps more importantly, pretty much any pair of shoes you may own).
A4 folders, files (aside from the super-thick ringbinder kind), portfolios etc slide in easily, and the hard sides help to keep loose papers from getting creased if you're not that organised. There are 2 medium-sized zip pockets, one on the back and one inside, along with a standard-sized phone pocket (which makes a great bolthole for a Kleenex Pocket Pack if you've already joined us in the 21st century), and a larger one which will easily accept an iPhone plus case.
On first impressions, it does feel quite heavy, what with all the scaffolding, but, testing it out on my standard weekly shopping spree, carrying my usual essentials (purse bursting with change for parking machines, phone, umbrella, keys, Evian) didn't aggravate my already-bowed-and-beaten bag-carrying shoulder, and it was just as comfortable (possibly more so in fact) as any of my less robust pieces of arm candy (well, for me - I may have unintentionally buffeted a few more unsuspecting shoppers than usual). I DID use the detachable adjustable shoulder strap though - godsend!
You can pick Lottie up on the marc b. website here, along with her brand new younger sisters, re-fashioned in black and tan quilting - super versatile, but faux ostrich will always hold the key to my heart.