Simple Jeans and Top With a Statement Tote | Brenda MacLeod Bags

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.

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).

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!

Brenda MacLeod red Jane tote bag
Skinny jeans and red tote
Embroidered sweatshirt and red tote
Embroidered sweatshirt

Catherine x

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

Bag: c/o Brenda MacLeod, Sweatshirt: c/o La Redoute, Jeans: Zalando, Sandals: c/o La Redoute, Sunglasses: Borrowed from the husband (Ray-Ban real deal here), Watch: Asos, Rings: Asos / Debenhams

Linking up to: Visible MondayLet It ShineShare in StyleMonday MingleStyle SessionsTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday’s Fab Favourites

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


  1. August 27, 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. August 26, 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. August 21, 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. August 21, 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! πŸ™‚

  5. August 20, 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.

    • August 20, 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 πŸ˜‰ xx

  6. August 20, 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.

    • August 20, 2014 / 11:00 pm

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

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:59 pm

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

  7. August 20, 2014 / 3:59 pm

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

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:58 pm

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

  8. August 20, 2014 / 9:05 am

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

  9. August 20, 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 πŸ™‚

    Annette | Lady of Style

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:57 pm

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

  10. August 20, 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 =)

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:56 pm

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

  11. August 19, 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 πŸ™‚

    Take care,
    Daniella xox

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:55 pm

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

  12. August 19, 2014 / 8:34 pm

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

  13. August 19, 2014 / 8:14 pm

    Very lovely bag and great casual/chic outfit.

    X x

  14. August 19, 2014 / 7:38 pm

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

    • August 20, 2014 / 10:55 pm

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

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