Monday 23 February 2015

The iCandy Emilia Bag Review

I have always had a love for bags and pretty things, when it comes to shopping I know what I want and what I don’t want. As I have got older my appreciation for these material objects has only grown, and I now have some rather lovely bags.

Of course when Leo came along 3 years ago, my prized bags were packed away into their dust clothes for the foreseeable future, and in their place was a changing bag. For me picking a changing bag was as daunting as picking a name for my new arrival, I didn't want my changing bag to look like an ordinary bog standard changing bag. I wanted something beautiful, something unique that would still make me happy in the same way my pre-baby bags did. I spent as long looking for the perfect changing bag as I did trying to find my perfect pushchair, and I had only just had one delivered mere weeks before Leo arrived.

With Leo being 3 and a half we are slowly making are way out of needing a changing bag, but it is surprising how many things you need to take with you. A spare change of clothes, drinks, snacks, sun cream, on the go entertainment for said 3 year old… So when iCandy asked me to test run the new  iCandy Emilia Changing Bag, I jumped at the chance. Looking at the Emilia you wouldn't for a second think ‘Changing bag’, it looks just like my pre-baby bags that I adored so much, and for that reason I love it that little bit more.

Of course just because it doesn't look like your average changing bag, that doesn't for a second mean that it doesn't boast all of the qualities that you NEED with one. The Emilia comes complete with a changing mat, bottle bag and dust bag that all fit compactly within the bag and don’t detract from just how gorgeous this bag really is.

The Emilia East West bag is the special edition from the iCandy bag collection, inspired by English actress Emilia Fox. There are 2 classy colour options available, Ivory and Royal, these both come in Patent but you can choose to have the Emilia in Leather if you wish. I have it in the Ivory Patent and absolutely adore it, it has so much room to store everything for both Leo and myself, and the practicality combined with the elegance of this bag just makes me love it more!

When the bag arrived back in September I knew I was opening up something special. It was delivered in a classic iCandy box, and inside the box was a parcel wrapped in iCandy paper, embellished with Rose petals. Once I had removed the paper wrapping, I came to the bag which was safely tucked away in its very own dust cloth.  I have never opened a package like this and right from the get go, iCandy paid every attention to detail (and that was before I had even opened the bag up!).

Once the opening ceremony was over, I was presented with my rather beautiful new bag. It was shiny, spacious, luxurious and I couldn't wait to use it. My first fears were how the colour might hold out against the elements but I needn't have worried, the patented bodywork of the bag mean that it is easy to wipe clean if it does attract dirt, and for me that is essential when picking a changing bag, because let’s face it.. Kids are dirt magnets! You certainly don’t want to shell out your hard earned wages on a beautiful bag that is not even going to resemble the same bag after a few months of use.

The simple details on the Emilia bag are what attracted me to it in the first place, along with its generous size I knew that this bag would be up to the challenge of getting everything Leo and I needed from a trip to the shops, a day out or even overnight. The Emilia hasn't let us down and it has been incredibly well used over the months, from trips out and about, to long weekends away we have managed to fit everything we need inside.

The bag boasts two main sections that each have four smaller pockets within which makes it really easy to organise for both parent and child. I have one side for everything I need such as my wallet and phone, and Leo has another side for all of his essentials. The Emilia then has a zipped pocked on the front of the bag which is great to keep objects you may need to access more readily.

In terms of carrying this bag there are a few options depending on how you prefer to hold it. You can attach a long cross body strap so that you can drape it over your shoulder or hang it on the back of a pushchair, or you can carry it like a tote bag with the two shorter handles. I tend to carry it on my arm rather than over my shoulder because I tend to use this bag more for myself now than I do for Leo, but that is again the beauty of this bag because even after the baby days are far behind you, you still have a gorgeous bag that you can use for your everyday life.

Over all I am really impressed with the iCandy Emilia bag and I can see myself enjoying this bag for a long time, it has certainly received many positive compliments when it has been on my arm, and shocked many others when they realise it is a full kitted out changing bag. The attention to detail that has gone into this bag is exactly what iCandy is all about and I couldn't be happier with the Emilia.

The Emilia retails at £200 for the Patent bag as seen here, and £250 for the Leather bag. This does put the changing bag in the higher bracket of the market, but having seen how it  has fared in the months that have passed since I began using it, it is fair to say that it will see you through and last.

Disclaimer: I was sent the iCandy Emilia for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

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