Ever since laying eyes on the gorgeous image below, I had become
mildly completely obsessed with finding a big, bucket-y tan leather tote just ike it. Something big, something "relaxed". Something I could fit kid's jumpers and drink bottles and cossies and towels and bunny rabbits in.
I currently use a very old Anna Sui purple shopper/tote (a "perk" from my magazine days) for all those times we need to schlep stuff - The beach, trips to the in-laws, random Sunday afternoons at the park... I stalked all my favourite designer-y online shopping haunts - Shopbop, Luisaviaroma, Bluefly (great for designer handbags at 20-50% off!), The Outnet, even Saks, and Barneys online. Then, finally, Net-a-Porter. Despite being somewhat of an expert online shopper, I was (until now) a Net-a-Porter virgin. But I was most interested to see what all the fuss was about, so in a quest for the perfect tan leather kid's-stuff-schlepper-carryall-tote, I found myself clicking "add to cart" and waited patiently for the infamous, black-boxed experience to unfold. Here's what happened next.
6 May, 2.27pm
Click, click, click and one Vanessa Bruno "large laser-cut leather tote" was mine (I would post the link, but she has since sold out). It ticked all the boxes, had the essential "smooshy" factor and was the perfect size. Yes, they charge £30 for delivery, but as an online shopper, you just have to get used to factoring this in. I affectionately refer to it as "convenience tax". It's certainly cheaper than flying to Europe!
8 May, 9.32pm
8 May, 9.32pm
An email! "Dear Louise, Your order has now been shipped. DHL will deliver your order between 9am to 5pm GMT, Monday to Friday. If you are unavailable, DHL will leave a card so you can contact them to reschedule. Thank you for shopping at NET-A-PORTER.COM." I'd heard Net-a-Porter was as quick as Shopbop (around 3 working days), so my excitement was palpable. Yes. I'm a bit materialistic like that.
12 May 10.24am
A nondescript brown package arrived this morning and I signed for it. Even Mr Tonic walked past the box on the table and exclaimed (with a hint of mockery/sarcasm): "Ooooh. Net-a-Porter." Indeed. And here she is and I looove her. She's beautiful and soft and oh-so smooshy...
(above) That's her, chillin' at TT HQ. And the best bit? She's small enough to use everyday. So the moral of the story? There's a good reason Natalie Massenet (Net-a-Porter's gorgeous 45 year old founder) is a multi-millionare. Mind you, being married to a "French hedge-fund manager" can't hurt. But I highly recommend shopping on Net-a-Porter. They have a truly amazing (and highly covetable!) range of stock and it's all, quite literally, right there at your fingertips. If you can get over the shipping cost, you will not regret it.