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As you’ll probably know, I’m a huge fan of the Kensington range of bags from Kurt Geiger. I published a post last year of my collection at that point however it has grown since. Over the last 4 years, I’ve acquired various bags from the range from mini to cross body to classic and XXL. All Kensington bags come with a dust bag and authenticity card. My first (a mini) and most recent (XXL) Kensington bags have been gifts from friends and therefore have sentimental value more than anything else.
I thought it might be helpful to give an overview of each size of bag should you be considering purchasing.
As mentioned above, the mini was the first bag I got from the Kensington collection with the soft, diamond quilted black leather and silver hardware. This was a great option as my first Kensington as it was small enough to carry around the essentials but chic enough to want to use it regularly. Inside there is one compartment which is not surprising given the petite frame of the bag. Rather than trying to squeeze a purse inside, it’s better to use a card holder to maximise the space for a phone, keys and anything else you might need.
If worn as a cross body, the strap comes down quite long on me (I’m 160cm/5 ft 2in) and the bag sits just below the hip. The chain strap can be tucked inside and the bag used as a clutch for evenings or occasions which is great as it makes it multi-functional and drives down the cost per wear. The strap can also be adjusted to sit on the shoulder which means you have multiple options to style it, increasing versatility and making it a great all rounder.
Cross Body Kensington
This is the newest addition to my collection but it’s already a firm favourite. More spacious than the mini, I can carry my camera, additional lens as well as day to day essentials making it ideal for a day out, exploring, travelling, shopping or running errands. It has a sleeve pocket on the inside as well as a zipped compartment on the rear exterior. This is really handy for cards or anything you need quick and easy access to.
The cross body strap being adjustable is a huge plus as that’s one of my only reservations about other models. The strap is leather which is different from the chain style on most of the other models. It’s also ideal for wearing cross body as sometimes the chain can dig in / be uncomfortable for prolonged periods of wear, particularly if you’re carrying anything heavy inside such as a camera.
Overall it’s practical and functional and a great choice for everyday wear.
Classic (Medium) Kensington
This is probably the most iconic shape and style of the Kensington range with various colour ways, materials and patterns. With two equal sized compartments alongside a sleeve pocket in some, it’s roomy but enables organisation which I love. There’s nothing worse than rummaging around trying to find something and coming across everything except the item you’re searching for. You can open the flap and easily see where everything is. If you are more of a Monica (from friends) then this is definitely the bag for you.
The only downside of there being two compartments is that if you wanted to carry something big which you expect would fit inside from the overall shape and size of the bag, you may find it difficult. I can fit my camera on it’s side inside one compartment which should give reference to how big each compartment is. Obviously the bag is soft and not a stiff structure therefore you could squeeze things in, moving the separator between compartments however you would risk altering or impacting the overall shape of the bag.
I have 7 of the classic Kensington’s which definitely demonstrates how much I love this design. They are really wearable day to day and particularly handy for travelling as passports and documentation can be kept safe in one compartment while other items are kept separate. Although I’m not likely to do much overseas travel in the immediate future, I will be exploring more of my own country and the classic Kensington’s will be joining me on my adventures.
Kensington Basket Bag
I purchased this bag in Spring / Summer 2020 and although I knew it would be great for trips and holidays, I didn’t expect to utilise it as much as I did day to day. It’s pretty much exactly as you would expect for a basket bag. It has a good width and depth and is robust enough to carry essentials for a picnic in the park or perhaps a day at the beach. The leather straps are great as they are sturdy yet smooth. The quilted front pocket is ideal for storing things you want to keep close to hand or within easy reach. You could probably get an insert or organiser to go inside which would protect the raffia as well as making it easy to find things however it’s the kind of bag you use when you want to throw everything in and head out for the day therefore you might not want to compromise on space.
It also comes in a smaller size however the large is probably most practical for this style of bag. With it being made of raffia, it obviously doesn’t have the quality or craftsmanship of the other Kensington designs which is something to keep in mind. I wouldn’t recommend splurging on designer versions of basket bags (unless money is no object) as it’s likely the weaved raffia will split or lose it’s shape over time. The Kensington version is reasonably affordable at £99 and a great option if you’re considering picking up a basket bag for the Spring / Summer season.
Kensington Soft Tote Bag
I ordered this bag at the turn of the year having had my eye on it for a little while. I thought it would make a great work bag with the strong top handles and a longer body, fitting in notepads or my laptop when travelling to different locations. While I believe it would be absolutely ideal for this purpose, I couldn’t see myself using it for any other reason. Having been working from home since March 2020 with no indication as to if or when we might return to the office, it didn’t seem sensible to keep it when I knew it wasn’t going to use it in the immediate future.
It has the beautiful, buttery smooth quilted leather which is soft and supple while durable and robust. Inside there are two main compartments alongside the pocket sleeve which features in some of the other styles too. The top handles are what make this bag stand out from the others. They are thick and strong but in proportion to the size of the bag. They are secured about half way down which is really important as otherwise they might pull and alter the shape especially if carrying quite a lot inside.
This is a lovely bag and a great choice if you want a really smart but chic option for work or leisure.
It’s safe to say this is the bag you need if you carry a lot of stuff around day to day. It fits EVERYTHING inside and is an absolute dream. It has that cool and effortless vibe and even if inside is a hot mess, nobody knows as they just see this beautiful soft quilted exterior. It definitely makes a statement and let’s face it, you couldn’t miss it therefore a great option if you’re prone to losing things. You would definitely notice if it’s missing and it shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Inside it has two huge equal sized compartments lined with the Kurt Geiger slogan as well as a sleeve pocket. As the bag is so big, the pocket is ideal for keys, phone or anything small that you might not want to get lost in the larger compartments such as lip gloss or medication. The XXL benefits from the combination strap with the usual chunky chain and a leather patch for the shoulder area. As you can fit so much inside, if it only had the chain it probably would be uncomfortable and impractical so this is a great way of still having the appearance of the chain for the most part and the smooth leather part ties in well with the rest of the bag.
This has quickly become my favourite Kensington despite not having had that much use of it yet. I expect to get much more wear out of it over the coming weeks and months as we ease out of lockdown and return to some normality. I plan to use it for spa days which I can’t wait for alongside days out, trips or overnight stays. Naturally, it would be ideal for travelling and a roomy carry on for flying. It’s definitely a statement bag and a dupe for the Chanel XXL at a much more affordable price point. I actually prefer the design of the Kensington XXL with the flap closing half way up the bag as opposed to the flap being top heavy if that makes sense.
What’s your favourite style from the Kensington range?