Simple Jeans and Top With a Statement Tote

Embroidered sweatshirt, skinny jeans and red tote
Jeans and a top… is there a better combination?

In my opinion it can only be improved with a statement accessory – in this case a stunning red leather tote bag from newly-launched British luxury brand Brenda MacLeod. Add this red beauty to a jeans n’ top outfit (with heels) and it will always look classy. I’ve taken to fighting off the cooler days with sweatshirts quite a bit lately, and in this case the red in the embroidery detail on my sweatshirt was picked out beautifully by both my pedicure and the bag.


I have written this post in collaboration with Brenda MacLeod. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

It’s great to have the opportunity to show off a new British brand to an international audience: Brenda MacLeod is a self-named label based in Scotland and her bags are made in Italy. I chose the stunning Red Jane Tote Bag – and I could have died and gone to heaven when I took it out of the box… When you get a “wow” from the husband you know you’re onto a winner. Red is the perfect colour for a bag, especially if you’re the type that wears a lot of black or neutrals: it will zhuzh up your outfit every time. The Jane tote is roomy and has all the compartments you need with several inner pockets for your phone, etc. – plus a key ring (this is soooo handy for someone like me who can never find her keys). It also stands upright on the floor: this is a feature I’m leaning towards more and more these days for bags (maybe it’s a grown up thing? Who knows).

Brenda MacLeod red Jane tote bag

At £324 the price tag is a lot more than you’d pay for a faux leather bag in Topshop, but it certainly doesn’t cost as much as a Hermès Kelly bag or similar; for this sort of quality I can see why some women are ‘bag girls’ as opposed to shoe girls (which is what I’ve generally always been). Hats off to Brenda for creating a beautiful collection of stylish, luxury bags that appeals hugely to my ladylike side.

What’s your opinion on a red bag – would it work with your wardrobe? Are you a brights or a neutrals sort of girl, and what qualities do you look for in a bag? Do share in the comments!

Catherine x

P.S. If you want to see how I styled the same sweatshirt with a pleated skirt, check out my Paris trip outfit here!

Skinny jeans and red tote
Embroidered sweatshirt and red tote
Embroidered sweatshirt

Bag: c/o Brenda MacLeod, Sweatshirt: c/o La Redoute, Jeans: Zalando, Sandals: c/o La Redoute, Sunglasses: Borrowed from the husband, Watch: Asos, Rings: Asos / Debenhams

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  1. 27 August 2014 / 6:24 am

    That bag looks great quality, I think there will be a lot of red around this year, great to spruce up black or most wintery colours

  2. 26 August 2014 / 6:07 am

    This bag is DELICIOUS, dearest Catherine!! I keep thinking about adding a red bag to my own – growing! – collection (I've always been more of a shoe girl, too!) because, as you said, it would be the perfect way to spark up my go-to all-black looks!! XO

  3. 21 August 2014 / 7:09 pm

    I think it is absolutely perfect. Love the colour and the leather. The structured simple lines. Love it. I would buy it instantly….. if it didn't look so like my own red leather bag. Tempting though.
    You styled it so well. Simple it may be, but still a perfect outfit.

  4. 21 August 2014 / 5:10 pm

    This handbag is just perfect in structure, but also what a great color! When I looked at this whole ensemble, I just thought of Fall fashion, which I'm welcoming this year! 🙂

  5. 20 August 2014 / 9:18 pm

    I carry a vintage Italian red leather tote to work every day. It's beautiful, durable, and practical. The next step is to watch Ebay for a good deal on a vintage red leather Coach or Dooney & Bourke bag. Thank you for all the wonderful posts, Catherine. – Retro Mary from Saint Louis, who wishes to be in the U.K.

    • 20 August 2014 / 11:01 pm

      Oooh great tips Mary – not so good for my bank balance though!! Thank you hun (from Catherine, who wishes to be in the US 😉 xx

  6. 20 August 2014 / 7:17 pm

    What a bag. Seriously.
    I have a sunshine yellow purse I bought on a whim last year. I thought it would be difficult to style but it does add a lovely pop of colour to my outfits. It also works with spring, summer & autumn color pallets quite nicely.

    • 20 August 2014 / 11:00 pm

      A classy yellow tote is fabulous too, Amy – you're so right!

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:59 pm

      Hehe I'm intrigued JJ – let me know if you post it! C x

  7. 20 August 2014 / 4:41 pm

    Great bag 🙂 loving the detail in your jumper too…

  8. 20 August 2014 / 3:59 pm

    That bag is fantastic, and you are so right that a great bag dresses anything up.

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:58 pm

      I'm beginning to think red is the perfect neutral, Dawn – don't you think?! Thank you x

  9. 20 August 2014 / 9:05 am

    Hahah, I rarely get a "wow" from the boyfriend 😀 Adore this bag, it's spectacular, so lustrous and classy, adore the embroidering on the top too ^^

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:58 pm

      You need to teach him, Keit!! Heehee thanks sweetie x

  10. 20 August 2014 / 8:09 am

    Wow, that bag is fantastic, Catherine! I love both the style and the colour. Definitely a highlight for every classic outfit. I'd steel it from you right away…
    Your photos are beautiful as always 🙂

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:57 pm

      Aww Annette thank you! I think it's very "you" – I think we have similar taste in bags 😉

  11. 20 August 2014 / 7:26 am

    I would say I'm more towards the subtle and neutral kind of girl. Although there are times when I want a brighter day and needed some colors to perk me up, then I will go for sharp colors.
    I love your red bag! It's a winner that's for sure. Totally love a red bag like that in the closet. Comes in useful for days when you need a whole load of stuff in the bag and gloomy days =)

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:56 pm

      My thoughts exactly, Yen! I think it's going to get a lot of use…!

  12. 19 August 2014 / 10:12 pm

    Oh Woww! This bag is AMAZING! The colour and structure is so chic and I love the outfit you've styled it with 🙂

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

  13. 19 August 2014 / 9:31 pm

    You can see the quality in that bag. It's gorgeous looks worth the price tag

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:55 pm

      I forgot to say about the smell too, Lauren!! The leather is heavenly x

  14. 19 August 2014 / 8:34 pm

    that is a gorgeous tote, in a gorgeous color! yes, I'd love to own one like this : >

  15. 19 August 2014 / 8:14 pm

    Very lovely bag and great casual/chic outfit.

    X x

  16. 19 August 2014 / 7:38 pm

    Love the red bag and yes it would work in my wardrobe! You look great…love the pictures.

    • 20 August 2014 / 10:55 pm

      Oh yes you're definitely a red girl, Pam!! Thank you hun x

DISCLOSURE: Items marked* are PR products (I never accept anything I wouldn’t choose for myself) and my opinions are 100% honest. I also use affiliate links where I may earn commission if you click through and buy, at no cost to you.