My Cambridge Satchel: a love letter

Dear my Cambridge Satchel,

We’ve been through so much together, you and I. You complete me. (Well, you complete my outfits!) How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

If you don’t think I’m completely crazy for writing a letter to my favourite bag, read on to find out why I am deeply in love with a piece of leather…

Cambridge satchel amidst autumn flowers and leaves. Pinafores and Peonies

In terms of handbags, I only have a handful. I have a few Cath Kidston tote bags that I use for work, and a couple of small shoulder bags in various colours that I use for nights out or when I’m dressing up. I tend to carry the world in my bag for school, as I teach in different schools every day so I don’t have desk drawers to leave my fancy teabags or paracetamol in… which means that at the weekends I swap it for one of my smaller ones. There’s one particular bag which always wins me over.

My ultimate favourite bag for the weekend (and every day really if I’m honest) is my Cambridge Satchel. Oh, I have deep love for my satchel. I have always had a penchant for the more traditional things in life, including satchel style bags. I remember going to buy my first bag for University and wanting to really nail the creative student look, so I bought a brown corduroy satchel from Accessorize to go with my corduroy jeans, checked shirt and Converse (hey, it was the early 2000s guys!). There is something just so elegant and timeless about a satchel and that cute, preppy look. I remember watching An Education for the first time and falling in love with the 60s hair and beautiful oxblood satchels.


I have had my Cambridge Satchel for almost 6 years now. My then-boyfriend (and now husband!) and I had been together for a year when our first Christmas approached, and he asked what I’d like. I tentatively asked for a Cambridge Satchel, 15″ tan leather, and with my initials embossed in gold – no dots between the letters. I didn’t think I would get one due to the price (which it is most definitely worth), but sure enough there was one beneath the tree that year. I believe my face lit up even brighter than the Christmas lights when I ripped open the paper to see that iconic bicycle sketch on the dustbag!

Tan leather Cambridge Satchel. Pinafores and Peonies blog
Tan leather Cambridge Satchel, with Cath Kidston coat and Zara scarf. Pinafores and Peonies blog

When my husband proposed to me, after I’d stopped crying (I mean, we’re talking a couple of hours here!) one of the things I said to him was hey, at least my new surname will start with the same initial and you won’t have to buy me a new Cambridge Satchel! He thinks I was joking, but I don’t think I was. I really was relieved that my surname still begins with B; I actually love this bag that much!

Tan leather Cambridge Satchel. Pinafores and Peonies blog.Tan leather Cambridge Satchel, with Cath Kidston tweed coat and Zara tartan scarf. Pinafores and Peonies blog

My favourite thing about this bag is how beautiful and new it looks even after 6 years of near constant wear. It is 100% worth every penny; I see it as an investment in an artisan, high quality wardrobe staple that will never age. The edges of the leather have softened just as you would expect, and the very end of the strap has even survived being chewed by my naughty little Yorkie when she was a puppy. It’s been my bag of choice on all of our weekends away, surviving being packed in suitcases, searched by customs and shoved into aeroplane holds by overzealous cabin crew. It’s been on the train to and from London, and the last time I took it there was when we made a pilgrimage to choose my wedding ring and my husband’s wedding suit. We went to the Covent Garden flagship store, and I most definitely would have made a little purchase if we didn’t have a wedding to pay for! The gold embossing on my initials had started to scratch off, and the lovely staff re-embossed my four year old bag for free. Now that’s customer service!

Tan leather Cambridge Satchel, with Cath Kidston tweed coat and Zara tartan scarf. Pinafores and Peonies blog

Tan leather Cambridge Satchel, with Cath Kidston tweed coat and Zara tartan scarf. Pinafores and Peonies blog

Coat – Cath Kidston
Scarf – Zara
Chelsea boots – Topshop

Oh, satchel. You go with everything. I wear you when I’m dressed up and dressed down, and you always garner lots of compliments from people – even strangers who stop us in the street! I do hope you’ll stay with me for a long time – I mean, you survived my puppy chewing you, so I have faith that you’ve got a few good years in you yet. In the mean time, please don’t feel bad if I end up buying another one when our new house isn’t eating all of my money – they’re just so flippin’ nice. You’ll always be my favourite though.


Lucy x

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