So what's inside your bag?

Jam Love’s Shibaura travel tote filled with the finest of the top five items

Jam Love’s Shibaura travel tote filled with the finest of the top five items

First published in Life Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Lifestyle editor

The ultimate handbag – and contents – are reckoned by one luxury goods brand to cost £10,000. Jaine Blackman asks what women want and takes a peek inside their bags

What would you like in your ultimate handbag?That was the question luxury launches website asked 1,095 of its “opinion-forming” members.

Some of the unusual most desired handbag items included Thor star Chris Hemsworth’s room key, a bottle of wine, a puppy and a magic wand.

More commonly, and heading the list, was a top of the range smartphone; followed by an expensive wallet/purse, hi-spec tablet and camera, and designer glasses/sunglasses.

Teaming up with Jam Love handbag brand it is launching “The Ultimate Handbag”: Jam Love’s Shibaura travel tote filled with the finest of the top five items.

The fashionista’s dream bag contains a Vertu Signature Touch phone; Burberry ziparound wallet; iPad Air; Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III camera and Gucci sunglasses.

Of course, it doesn’t come cheap: the fashionista’s dream bag will set you back £10,325... or £450 for the bag on its own.

The research shows how technology has impacted on women’s fashion, function proved much more important than appearance as neither perfume nor cosmetics made it into the top five.

We asked some Oxfordshire women what they would carry in their dream bags.

Pat Winslow, 60, a writer and humanist celebrant, of Witney

* Tell us about your bag

This bag is made from recycled saris: I don’t know how much it cost. It was a birthday present.

* What’s inside?

Assorted pens and the odd pencil; notebook for ideas and poems; two packets of tissues; my smart phone; my reading glasses; my wallet; diary; plastic bags in case it rains (the bag isn’t waterproof); a small light bulb and a shopping list I suppose the notebook for ideas might be considered a bit different. If I haven’t got a notebook with me I’ll use bits of paper or bus tickets or till receipts.

I don’t normally carry light bulbs, but the one on my cooker has blown and I need to get a replacement.

* How much are the bag and contents worth?

No idea. If I lost the notes for a Very Good Poem I’d be a bit upset. You can’t put a price on that. My wallet isn’t worth very much. It’s got nothing in it and the plastic is good for nothing as well. My mobile’s a cheapo.

* What would be in your dream bag (and what would the bag be)?

£10,000. I don’t care about the bag. It could be a bin liner as long as the £10,000 was in it.

* Do you usually carry a handbag?

It’s a shoulder bag. I don’t really do handbags. I don’t own a handbag, in fact. There’s never enough room in them. Sometimes I carry a novel, the Sunday paper, a bottle of water, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, my iPod... I have also been known to carry a hand bell, slippers, seashells and pebbles, dental floss and wine, of course. I never go anywhere without a bag.

And your other bags?

I have four shoulder bags: the very smart leather one is for funerals and it has my script in it and family visit papers, leaflets, business cards, pens, reading glasses etc; there’s a blue stripy shoulder bag covered in campaign buttons from various demos and rallies. It’s a hippy bag and I have a Tibetan bag – also stripy and that’s a hippy bag.

Oxford Mail:
Clare Mackintosh

Clare Mackintosh, 38, writer and mum-of-three, Chipping Norton.

* Tell us about your bag 

My handbag was a birthday present and the label just says Italian leather.

* What’s inside?

My smartphone (I’m a social media addict), the first draft of the book I’m writing (due next month and not nearly ready), my purse (no money, but lots of receipts), a scarf (I have dozens), sunglasses, sun cream, lip salve, a phone charger, a packet of tissues, a hairbrush, a pencil case, some Lego and a loom band bracelet.

I always have at least three pencils in my bag. I like to write in pencil rather than pen, and can’t bear blunt pencils. Of course I could just carry a sharpener with me, but somehow it seems more convenient to have spare pencils! If I’m at the writing stage of a book, as opposed to the planning or editing phase, my iPad and wireless keyboard comes everywhere with me. I think my current bag and contents are probably worth around £150.

* What would be in your dream bag (and what would the bag be)?

I once spent £500 on a Louis Vuitton handbag. It was money given to me for my 21st birthday and I still use the handbag, although it’s far too small to be practical. One day I will give it to my daughter.

£500 now seems a shocking amount to spend on a bag – I certainly wouldn’t do that now. But if money were no object you’d see me with a Hermes Birkin bag slung over one arm, inside of which would be the keys to my Mercedes, a phone with Robert Downey Junior’s number on speed-dial, and a jar of La Prairie moisturiser. Until then, I’ll make do with the Lego and the loom bands.

Rosie Jacobs, 31, owner of Kinship of Oxford, lives in Cowley

* Tell us about your bag

My handbag is from Kinship of Oxford and costs £80 ( I love it because it’s handcrafted from tanning the leather to the stitching on the buckle and it’s called the Oxford Satchel, so I had to have it!

* What’s inside?

Phone; umbrella; sunglasses; gloves; fan; diary; purse; wet wipes; tissues; chewing gum; tote bags; lip balm; pen and a pencil; hairband and business cards.

I always carry a hand held fan (flamenco style not electric). It’s great for taking to clubs or if you’re stuck on a hot bus.

* How much are the bag and contents worth?

About £200.

* What would be in your dream bag (and what would the bag be)?

I love the Holly handbag from Russell & Bromley and I’d definitely need to have a Liberty scarf tied to it and a phone, Chanel perfume and some D&G sunglasses in it.

* And your other bags?

I have about five handbags but I generally stick to my Oxford Satchel as it’s so versatile and holds so much. I like to know where my bags have been made so don’t tend to buy lots of cheap ones.

Oxford Mail:
Debs Wardle

Debs Wardle, 31, is a member of Team Fe-line (, who lives in Little Coxwell, near Faringdon

* Tell us about your bag

It’s Radley and was £30 from a pre-loved shop in North Devon.

* What’s inside?

Wallet; insect repellent; eye spray; a packet of tissues; some Scholl Party Feet; buttons that came off my coat which I haven’t got round to sewing back on again; a mostly empty packet of tissues; Smints; sun screen; miscellaneous receipts; Post-It notes; four pens; three lip balms; car keys; house keys; a business card holder... and if I was going out my iPhone would be in there too. I guess eye spray’s a slightly odd thing to have (ditto for insect repellent) but I wear contact lenses and it’s just brilliant for when I get something in my eye or said lenses get a bit cloudy.

* How much are the bag and contents worth?

If I’ve got my phone in it, probably about £500 (the phones the only thing worth much!).

* What would be in your dream bag?

A lot of cash, probably!

* And your other bags?

I feel completely lost if I’m out and about without a handbag. I have two, my beautiful Radley which I usually use, and a Kath Kidstone bag that I use for more outdoorsy activities; walking, camping, etc.

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