Ahh... my first J.Crew handbag.
I have been lusting over this bag for at least 2 months... well, probably since receiving that little look-book thingy with my Spring Rewards card from J. Crew (see lust-list to the right!). Anyway, it was a definite no-go at it's original price, but once it was reduced a couple of times, I had to bite the bullet.
I'm justifying this purchase for said reason: for about 2 years, I have completely neglected the "handbag" aspect of my wardrobe because, let's face it, with an infant, having a diaper bag that's just not completely hideous is all I was concerned about. Now, I'm all about the big, fashionable handbags that can also double as a baby/diaper bag when we go out with Connor for a couple of hours. The only other handbag I have that fits this bill is my Michael Kors satchel in Vanilla (which I am OBSESSED with .... LOVE IT!!) but this bag also works for that purpose.
The packaging was less-than-impressive from J.Crew (just a plastic bag) and it didn't come with a dust bag (weird) ... but I never use the bust bags that my purses come with anyway because I don't have enough of them to transition them out of commission for very long, so that's really a non-issue.
I have to admit that I was hoping for a bit darker color. I thought the sandalwood would be more of a medium brown, but in reality, it's more of a dark nude color. That is really how it is represented online, but sometimes the colors look completely different online than in real life, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. The leather is obviously of excellent quality, although a bit stiff right out of the box. The description online says the leather will soften and age over time ... I trust this will happen since that has been my experience with nice handbags in the past.
The style is pretty cool and unique, and I like the different pockets and center divider. The removable resin shoulder strap is a great option, especially when I'm going to be toting Connor around and will need to be getting in and out of the bag often. I also appreciate the hidden magnetic closure at the top ... usually I prefer a zipper, but it's nice to change it up, plus this is easier to get in to. I considered the "tote" version of this bag, too, but I prefer a more shallow bag. The deeper the bag, the harder it is to sift around for stuff that falls to the bottom, so I'm glad I went with the satchel.
**Bottom Line: A BUY at the sale price. I wouldn't have paid FP for this bag, but at it's sale price, it's worth it if you need a big bag.