The Côte&Ciel Bowler Bag is a daily-use bag for women and can be considered a cross between a messenger and a handbag. It’s got personality, it’s interesting and it comes in a bunch of different fabrics which are really cute. Plus it holds all your day-to-day tech. We really like this bag and we’ll explain why below…
The bag has a central zipper and splits out with sides. There’s a section for a 13-inch laptop in the center, with space on each side of it to place other things. Essentially a center board that really grows out as you need it to. On one side is a pocket that fills out under a zip and the other side is a large cavity. This layout is quite versatile because if you want to use the bag in front of people in a work setting, you can hide personal clothing and items away on this side; or if it’s just for your own daily use then perhaps some papers or work items and then just fill it as required. The lovely thing about this bag is that the rigidity is in the center. Everything else is left to wrap around your body, which feels quite comfortable.
The bag features a really interesting design mix, a kind of fashion designer’s approach to something with soft drapey fabrics and interesting expression, in combination with a designer’s approach to quite clear organizing sections. Most of the technical aspects of the bag are hidden away. There’s a quick-access external pocket which is great for a wallet or phone. The bag has classic Côte&Ciel hardware, which unfortunately means it just needs the edges knocked off a touch more to slide properly. But you really don’t have to adjust it much, so for this bag the hardware works well. You adjust it once and then that’s generally it. Again though, the zip is not really the quality you want in a zip. So there’s a bit of sticking, a bit of that crabbing and grabbing as you move the zip along. It’s not a deal-breaker though, it’s just slightly annoying. We wish they’d upgrade their zipper supplier.
However, everything else on the bag works really quite well. It’s just excellent bag making. If you don’t have much in it, it stays quite slim and discreet. If you start to fill it out, it grows and billows with your needs. Obviously, it doesn’t look as good when it’s really stuffed out, but it looks fine and the reality is, if you want to stuff it, you want to stuff it. It’s a cute bag, it gets attention and people will regularly ask what it is.
There’s a few fun elements too, for example: a dedicated key holder, there to keep your keys safe, and at the same time help you find them quickly, like when you’re fishing around for them late at night for instance. Oh, and here’s a little hack: we also found it a pretty handy way to hang your bag up on display (if you’re a bit of a bag nut like us).
In addition, the Bowler comes with leather pulls and there’s an interesting mix of cotton webbing and leather wrapped on there. The build quality is fine. You end up with a great daily bag for women.
It’s not super weatherproof, but if you get a bit of a splash that’s not a problem. A small issue is that there’s no storm flaps over the zip and the zip is immediately above the laptop. That’s one downside, though I guess the designers figured that the sort of person using the bag is not caught out in the rain too often.
Who it suits
You’ll see in our imagery the bag was going around with Miyo who runs a baby fashion label. It works across so many different outfits, from being dressed up to being dressed down and casual gear. It’s quite a universal look in that sense. It’s a great professional women’s bag that will cut across many different environments, such as after work if you’re going out to dinner and want to use it as a handbag. However, it’s not a fashion bag; it’s still a work bag. So if you’re just trying to dress up for the night, this bag probably carries a bit too much. But in terms of a versatile work bag, it’s great.
Who it doesn’t suit
The bag doesn’t suit highly active people who want to ride hard on a bike really fast. You can ride a bike with it if you’re reasonably upright but it doesn’t have stabilizing straps like a small messenger would. If you’re getting really active, there are definitely better bags. Also, if you need to lug huge loads all the time, you’ll probably want a backpack.
This is a work bag that suits professional women and is versatile enough to accommodate a variety of work and leisure environments. It’s important to pay attention to the type of fabric and the colorway when choosing the bag, as there is variation between the fabric and colorway options. While it’s not well suited to active pursuits, this is a bag that can adapt to a range of EDC needs and it can handle both smaller and larger loads while remaining stylish.
Yes, that’s right! We’ve got one of these up for grabs.
How Do You Win?
Well, we’re going to play this one a little different. If you want this awesome bag you’ll have to engage a little…
How? By commenting on our posts!!
THE BEST COMMENT OF THE MONTH WILL WIN! Be it insightful, informative or otherwise awesome. We want you guys to get your ‘comment on’, talk it up (or type it), and let us know your valuable opinion on stuff. We want to hear it all!
Competition Closes: 31st October